5BDXCC Plaque: less than advertised

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by W5MT, Apr 12, 2018.

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  1. W5MT

    W5MT Ham Member QRZ Page


    I just received my 5BDXCC plaque from ARRL. It was awarded in Feb '18. The painted tile piece does NOT have the red striped border, Australia is definitely not blue, but purple, same as SA, Greenland and Madagascar. The painted areas are quite dark (except for EURASIA) with very, very little contrast between the painted color of the continent and its black border and any labeling or other painted markings within the continent.

    In the ARRL's website picture of the plaque, and others I've found images of, the plaque has the red stripe border and basically more color and contrast making it a quite attractive piece to have on the wall.

    Did ARRL change their pattern for this award piece recently? Is this a defect? If this is the "new" plaque pattern, I'm sorely disappointed in what I received as it really has an unprofessional appearance to it.

  2. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is mine for comparison.. which I got back in December 2014.. so not too old. IMG_3638.jpg
    W2SKI and N4FZ like this.
  3. W5MT

    W5MT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, that's what I've seen in all the pics I could find; but admittedly, that was 3 years ago, so maybe ARRL changed the pattern since. Attached is an image of mine. Actually, Australia is blue, but you can tell only in the brightest of light. I very much like the well defined colors of the older plaques and the red stripe border. It appears to me that either ARRL changed their RGB or CMYK color requirements, or have gotten very loose in their quality control or acceptable variations.

    N4FZ likes this.
  4. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, I agree the "old" one is more attractive. But the important thing is, CONGRATULATIONS. That is a significant accomplishment.

    I have DXCC on 40-30-20-17-15-12-10 meters but getting DXCC on 80 meters ( which is all I need for 5BDXCC ) has proven a real challenge. I have only 97 countries on 80 meters, and now have a 1000' beverage to improve my hearing, but it is still a challenge as I can now hear better on 80 meters than most people can hear me.
    N4FZ and K2HAT like this.
  5. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you contacted ARRL and asked about it?
  6. W5MT

    W5MT Ham Member QRZ Page

    N4UP, thanks! Like you, 80m was the final one to fall for me, and it took a while hihi. I also have 30 and 17m endorsements but I'm 8 short on 12m (and given current solar conditions, not likely to be anytime soon before I get those on 12m). Maybe like you, my antenna situation is not that impressive on the lower bands. My antenna is ~75-ft end-fed wire that slopes from 8-ft above ground to a tree limb at 30-ft above ground and then tied straight across to another tree limb in the corner of my backyard. The end is fed with an Icom AH-4 Remote Tuner and thus is limited to 200W; I use an Icom 756ProII (100W).

    To help on 80m, I was going to suggest to hit all the worldwide contests but it looks like you might be doing that already (I looked up your call, and we have worked several times -- mostly during TXQP or the 10m contest). I got a big boost this past November during the CQWW DX CW contest. Conditions were particularly good (as they often are during contests weekends hihi) and I picked up 4 or 5 I needed then. I really try to work the ones that are LOTW, but even then, you may have to go to OQRS (ClubLog) and make a donation (a buddy calls it a "ransom" hihi...) to get the DX to upload your contact. I did that on a few.

    Also, use ALL the modes available. I'm not a real big fan of the computer modes (JT-65, JT-9 and the now popular FT8; takes no skill) where you just sit there and mouse click on whom you wish to QSO. However, during my big push this past 80m season (Oct - April for me), I made several DX QSOs on JT65 and FT8 to pick up some new ones.

    I started this past season at 92 and now up to 105 on 80m, a particularly "hot" season this one was. Last season, I don't think I picked up but 2 or 3 new countries on 80.

    The beverage will be a big help. I do not have one, but my friends that do say they are definitely a bonus against noisy backgrounds. With my setup, I always felt like if I could hear them well enough to copy their call, I could work them... (well... in reality, that's about 80% true hihi) I just can't hear them most of the time. It's so frustrating watching 80m DX spots from the east coast that I can't even get an ESP copy on here in Texas hihi ! ! But, having the beverage IMO will be a big boost for you, especially as the season is winding down (tstorms and other atmospheric disturbances becoming more frequent).

    GL es 73!
    N4FZ likes this.
  7. W5MT

    W5MT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have not thus far. I was wanting to see if anyone else had the same plaque or could suggest what was going on. Since I first posted my message, I did some more searching and found an image on Google of a gentleman's plaque that was like mine, dated May 2017. With that, I'm now assuming ARRL made a pattern and paint change a while back and it is what it is; however, I will drop them a note with my thoughts.

    N4FZ likes this.
  8. W5MT

    W5MT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did contact the League on this matter and was advised that the plaque I received is the only plaque available and they offered to refund my money and shipping if I shipped the plaque back to them. Disappointing, but not surprising; and a shame, this plaque really looks second rate.

    I sent a follow-up advising that the plaque displayed on the current 5BDXCC Plaque website was incorrect (and has been for at least a year as best as I can tell) and advising they correct the issue or else be subject to false advertisement complaints.
    K1BOO and N4FZ like this.
  9. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    Mine from 2 years ago; wow that went by fast.... I did not know it had changed.

    I am lazy and have not added the 12, 17, 30m add ons.

    K1LKP, W2SKI and N4FZ like this.
  10. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wonder if some red pinstripe tape could be used to fix that. Not sure what the smallest width it comes in is.

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