There are a great number of internet clubs specializing in all kinds of digital modes. As far as I am aware, all are free to join and most operate some kind of awards program that rewards contacts using various modes. These clubs are a great way to find other people who share a common interest. Here are some of the larger clubs:
EPC - European Phase Shift Keying Club
I think one of the largest clubs is the EPC, with over 12250 members, including several club stations with special EPC calligns, so you will not be alone when you join! The EPC also operates an extensive awards system, with over 400 available - some easy, some extremely difficult to achieve (all are free of charge and casn be downloaded as high quality PDF’s). For more information and to join, see the EPC website: http://eu.srars.org/
To make matters easier there is a free award checking program that can be downloaded. This checks for all EPC, NDG and CDG awards and can read most logs. Once the software has completed its check it will tell you if you have qualified for any awards and you can apply for them - just click to apply. You can only apply for awards you have qualified for. There have been a few stations that have been excluded from certain awards or barred from the awards program for cheating (where it has been proven that cheating or false applications had been made). In all honesty you will only be cheating yourself, but if you are caught out by the system your callsign is liable to appear on the EPC website! Thankfully the number of cheats is very, very low. On the website you can view all the awards, the rules and even see who has which awards ( I am currently in 5th place in the Award ranking Table (out of 62 SWL’s) with 310 out of a possible 442 awards. The leader has 322 out of 442 so not much to choose between us. For the transmitting members, the number 1 award holder (out of 291, although several are tied on various scores so there are actually a lot more awards holders than it first appears) has 343 out of 446 awards. To download the “Ultimate EPC” award checking software visit the members website: http://epc-mc.de/
30MDG - 30 Metre Digital Group
The 30MDG is a group that is dedicated to the 30m (10.1MHz) band, and in particular the digital modes section from 10.140-10.150MHz). The 30m band is unique and offers both short and long haul contacts and can often be the most reliable band for certain areas of the world. 30m being one of ‘WARC’ bands, is free from contests and voice communication (SSB, AM, FM etc). 30m has seen a massive surge in popularity in the past couple of years, due to the formation and activity of the 30MDG. This really has been one of the biggest success stories of the past few years, and I am proud to be part of it. The website has a wealth of useful material and even an online SDR receiver. For more information and to join, see the 30MDG website: http://www.30mdg.org
DMC - Digital Modes Club
The DMC has been running since late 2006 and is open to all licensed hams and SWL’s who are interested in any of the digital modes. There are over 3250 members and there is also an awards program. For more information and to join, see the DMC website: http://www.digital-modes-club.org
I will be adding more clubs over the following weeks (such as Croatian Digital Group, Natal Digital Group, Olivia Modes Club, Feld Hell Club, PODXS 070 Club and others. If you are a member of an internet radio club that I haven’t mentioned, please E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include any that I think qualify (preferably digital modes, or clubs that promote activities on certain bands/modes etc.)
An important part of joining these clubs for many people are the awards programs they offer. To showcase some of the hundreds of awards available, I have raided my own collection to show the diversity of designs that are around. Some are real works of art and must have taken a lot of effort to produce.
AWARDS: Click here, or on the ‘Awards’ button on the side bar, to see a gallery of some of the available awards from the above clubs.