After some persuasive arguments and constructive criticism from Paul K7CW, Sebastian W4AS, and Pete WA7JTM I've decided to modify my proposal for the creation of a new 5 Band VUCC Award.
* Eliminate the requirement to "reset to zero" all previous grids worked and confirmed. * Eliminate a requirement to include at least one of the low bands like 2 Meters or 6 Meters. * Insure that the 5 Band VUCC Award complies with all existing rules and requirements for VUCC Awards, with no changes needed. This will reduce the cost to administer the award, and minimize programming changes needed for Logbook of the World.
But Pete WA7JTM made some some great points about how activity has declined in the past few years as many experienced VHF operators have worked nearly all possible grids in their area. His suggestion caused me to do more research on other awards that the ARRL has recently implemented. Inspiration came in the form of the Worked All States (WAS) Triple-Play Award.
So in addition to the 5 Band VUCC Award, I'm proposing the establishment of a VUCC Triple-Play Award that would allow operators to earn VUCC on any amateur band above 50 MHz provided that they could work the required number of contacts for a basic VUCC Award, but on each of the three modes Phone, CW, and Digital.
For example, you could earn VUCC Triple-Play on 432 by confirmed contacts with 50 Grids in Phone, CW, and Digital Modes. All previous grids confirmed in the past would count towards the new award, but it would be a rare station that has already earned this award passed purely on past contacts.
* Insure that VUCC Triple-Play complies with the existing rules for VUCC, with no changes needed. Keep costs to administer low, and make programming in LoTW easier. * Allow all previous confirmed grids to count towards the new award. * Any digital mode would be acceptable. While I expect WSJT modes would dominate, PSK, RTTY, and others would qualify too. * Satellite operators could join the fun by digipeating through the International Space Station and digital satellites. Tough but possible!
This would serve my original purpose of immediately increasing on-air activity especially during contests when more grid-chasers would turn out hoping to pick up new grids. And everyone would be happy because they wouldn't see a lifetime of accomplishments wiped clean by resetting to zero.
I hope that others will continue to offer constructive criticism, and join me in writing their Division Directors and Vice Directors, along with their VUAC reps to support these ideas. VHF-UHF operation could use a shot in the arm, and this a great way to do it.
Thanks to all who took the time to offer their thoughts on this proposal.