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Worked all South African Grid Squares

Rules for the ZS WAGS award
 here  to download in pdf format)

Revision 2.1 - 26th April 2012


The aim of this award is to involve any licensed amateur radio station in a fun activity to collect at least one contact from each of the Maidenhead grid squares. There are 83 South African grid squares which are listed below:


JF86–JF89, JF95–JF99, JG80–JG81, JG90–JG91, KF05–KF09, KF15–KF19,

KF25–KF29, KF36–KF39, KF47–KF49, KF58–KF59, KG00–KG05, KG10–KG14, KG20–KG25, KG30–KG37, KG40–KG47, KG50–KG57, KG61–KG65.



This award runs perpetually and contacts may be made on any date and at any time.

Frequencies and Modes

·         All bands HF, VHF, UHF and Microwave.

·         All amateur modes

·         Contacts via Satellite repeaters are accepted.

·         Contacts made via terrestrial repeaters, or by Internet connection such as Echolink or IRLP are excluded.

Participation Classes

Two classes of operation are defined as follows:


  • Hunters are amateur radio operators who operate from their home QTH, and who seek out and work contacts with stations in other grid squares.


  • Activators are amateur radio operators who operate a portable or field station from:
    • Inside their home grid square but away from their home QTH; or
    • Inside another grid square for the purposes of  activating the grid square for other Hunters.


Activators may claim credit for the activated grid square, provided a minimum of 5 contacts are made with other stations from the portable or field station during the operation, and provided a log of all contacts made during the operation is submitted.


In addition, an Activator who makes 10 or more unique contacts from any of the rare grid squares may apply for the Activator’s Award.  To be considered as unique, multiple contacts with the same station must be on different bands or using different modes. For purposes of this rule, a rare grid square is defined to be a grid square in which no currently active radio amateur resides on a permanent basis.  As guidance to determine which squares qualify, refer to the grid square map on the SARL website at http://www.sarl.org.za/public/QRA/MapGrid.asp, which shows the density of radio amateurs based on current information in the SARL web database. This rule will be interpreted on a flexible basis by the Awards Administrator, to encourage the activation of the more remote, difficult or unpopulated grid squares on a regular basis.


Activators may claim any contacts made from the activated grid square.

Sponsor and Contact Details

This award is sponsored and administered by the Sandton Amateur Radio Club. Correspondence can be directed to the ZS WAGS Award Administrator as follows:


E-Mail:            zswags@gmail.com


Snail mail:         PO Box 527



South Africa


Website:          http://www.zs6stn.org.za/


Any disputes are to be addressed to the Awards Administrator. Upon receipt the dispute will be addressed by the Committee of the Sandton Amateur Radio Club whose decision will be final in the matter.


Log Information

Logged information for each contact must include Call Sign, Date, Time, Band, Mode, Power, QTH and the 4 character Maidenhead locator, example ‘KG43’. The standard log template is to be used which can be found on the website as above.


If the station worked does not know its grid square, an acceptable alternative would be to use their street address or some other reliable point of reference, EG: “25 km South East of Winburg on the road to Marquard”. One can then use that information to establish the correct grid square. If there is any uncertainty or doubt regarding the correct square the contact should not be used for the award.


All participants must keep a log of the stations worked.


Hunters: The log information must be transferred to the official application form / log sheet, indicating the station worked against each claimed South African locator square.


Activators: Must submit a complete log of all stations worked from the portable / field station in order to claim the activated grid or apply for the Activator’s Award.

Applications for Awards

Applicants for awards must be able to prove that they have achieved one contact in each of the required number of grid squares for the respective award. The application forms and log sheets are available for download from: http://www.zs6stn.org.za


Applications for awards are to be sent to the Award Administrator and must include a handling and mailing charge  payable into the Sandton Amateur Radio Club’s bank account (EFT, Direct Deposit) as follows:


First certificate:                       R 25.00

Subsequent certificates:          R 5.00 (if applied for at the same time)

NB: If you pay by depositing cash into our bank account, we are charged an additional cash deposit fee of R6.00.  PLEASE add this amount to any cash payments.


Bank Account name:              Sandton Amateur Radio Club

Bank:                                     ABSA Bank

Branch:                                  Ferndale

Branch Code:                         632005

Account number:                    92 7072 1875


Notes to applicants:


  • The South African Hunter’s home QTH grid square is automatically allocated as worked, i.e. each South African hunter automatically begins with a ZS WAGS count of one.
  • Activator applications are those that travel to a certain grid square in order to “activate” it and must submit their entire grid square operating log to the Award Administrator for operations in that grid square. A photograph of your portable / field station at the grid square is required as proof (and will be used in our gallery of interesting stations and locations!)
  • A contact with any station will be valid as long as the station is operating from within one of the 83 listed grid squares. This will include stations legally operating in foreign countries, or maritime mobile.
  • The use of paper QSLs or the online SARL SA-QSL is encouraged but is not a requirement.
  • The system is based on honesty and trust.
  • The Award Administrator may request proof of any contact claimed.
  • The Award Administrator will accept applications submitted from 1 August 2008 onwards.
  • All contacts count towards the award including those from the past.
  • Each station is to keep track of its own status. For example: ZS WAGS 56/83 achieved.


Hunter’s award


Awards will be based on an incremental contact system. Once 25 grid squares are achieved you may apply for the first certificate, and subsequent certificates may be applied for when sufficient contacts have been made.


A certificate will be issued to an applicant who achieves contacts in one of the following categories:


  • ZS WAGS 25 – 25 grid squares worked.
  • ZS WAGS 40 – 40 grid squares worked  [Added June 2009]
  • ZS WAGS 50 – 50 grid squares worked.
  • ZS WAGS 60 – 60 grid squares worked.
  • ZS WAGS 70 – 70 grid squares worked.
  • ZS WAGS 80 – 80 grid squares worked.
  • ZS WAGS 83 – All 83 grid squares worked - The ZS WAGS Full House award!


Additional endorsements may be applied for in the following categories:


o   Single band: All contacts must be made in one band only


o   Single mode: All contacts must be made in one mode only.  Modes are restricted to the following:


o   SSB:  This will be the normal mode for contacts made on HF

o   CW: All contacts made using CW only

o   FM: All contacts made using FM only

o   AM: All contacts made using AM only

o   Satellite (any mode): All contacts made via satellite

o   Digital (any digital mode): All contacts made using a digital mode


o   A combination of a single band and a single mode as specified above.


o   QRP: An additional endorsement may be applied for on any award where the transmitting power for all contacts is limited to a maximum of 5 watts.


Activator’s award


The Activator’s Award will be made to any operator who makes a minimum of 10 unique contacts from one of the rare squares as defined above.


Awards will be administered once a month, so please allow for delays in regard to issuing of the certificates.

All about locations

Determining grids


Accurate Maidenhead locator information is available from various sources:

  • Using a GPS
  • Using  a map
  • Google Maps
  • By Calculation
  • Or by using the SARL call book on the SARL web site.


Note: The SARL online callbook allows each amateur to enter a grid locator for his home location, and shows this on a Google Map. However, these locators are not verified in any way and it is advisable to check that any locators obtained from this source are reasonable and correct.


The website http://f6fvy.free.fr/qthLocator/fullScreen.php uses Google Maps to show Maidenhead grids to 4 or 6 character precision. This award only uses a 4 character grid (1 degree latitude by 2 degrees longitude). On the bottom centre of the display enter the 4 character Maidenhead locator you wish to see.


TinyLocator is an excellent piece of freeware for not only working out the Maidenhead grid square from a number of sources, but will give you distances between them too. A Google search will direct one to its website for download.


SARL web based converter: http://www.sarl.org.za/public/QRA/Abt_Locators.asp


Doubtful locations very close to the boundaries between grids must be resolved in accordance with the WGS84 geodesic system. This is the system used for official purposes by the Surveyor General of South Africa. The GPS system uses the same standard. Google Earth also uses this standard.


If you have a problem determining your locator, contact the Award Administrator

Stations on grid boundaries or grid intersections
[Added June 2009]


An activating station located within 30 metres of the boundary between two grids, as determined by a GPS using the WGS84 geodesic system, may claim both grid squares for each contact made, and any Hunter who makes contact with that station may claim both grid squares for the single contact.


An activating station located within 30 metres of the point of intersection of four grids, as determined by a GPS using the WGS84 geodesic system, may claim all four grid squares for each contact made, and any Hunter who makes contact with that station may claim all four grid squares for the single contact.


NB: For any claims for the Activator’s award/s or credit towards the Hunter’s award/s for stations on grid boundaries, PLEASE submit photographs of the station AND a photograph of the GPS showing the location, or other proof of the exact location.

Glossary of Terms

  • Echolink – An amateur communication service which uses Voice-over-IP to connect radio amateurs and amateur radio repeaters
  • GPS – Global Positioning System, commonly used by devices for determining ones position on the earth with accuracy of as little as 3 feet.
  • IRLP – Internet Relay Linking Project, which connects amateur radio repeaters via the internet
  • QRP – Low power radio transmission either telephony or Morse
  • QTH – Station’s current location
  • SA-QSL – South African online QSL service, online service for electronic exchange of QSL information in South Africa.
  • SARL – South African Radio League, the body which administers amateur radio in South Africa.
  • VOIP – Voice over Internet Protocol, method by which voice may be transmitted as data over a data network such as the internet.
  • WGS84 – World Geodetic System scheme 84, defines a reference frame for the earth in GPS terms and is valid until 2010.
  • ZS WAGS – Worked All Grid Squares, this award.



Planned activations

New procedure as from July 2011:

If you wish to be added to the ZS WAGS mailing list, send an email to zswags@gmail.com and you will shortly receive an invitation to join the email group.

Please email zswags (at) gmail.com with details of any planned activations of rare / unpopulated grid squares.