W9DC Biography & QSL Info
QTH and Radio Equipment
Island Hunting and How to Get Started
Island Awards
Additional Award Links
IOTA Checkpoint Information

New IOTA Website Open

FREE For All Island Hunters


1. Plans being developed to check QSls at the April 2015 Visalia Convention.

2. IOTA Honor Roll deadline for the year is January 31.

3. Can now insert your new island groups using ADIF files.

4. Help with the QSLing issue - See K6VVA's ideas

5. 10 new island groups were added to the list of approved IOTA groups in July 2014.

Amateur Radio Island Awards Resource -- These web pages are designed to assist you with learning more about the many challenging international ham radio island award programs. The original and still the most popular island award is IOTA but there are many country and regional island awards which complement the IOTA program. It is important to note that not all islands valid for awards count for IOTA but part of the fun is to research the various awards. Hunting islands, meeting award requirements and submitting applications demands some basic knowledge. QSLing is also an important component to seeking awards and I have provided recommendations of QSL practices for expeditions and Island hunters on the Island Hunting link. I hope that we can provide you with helpful suggestions to make the process of hunting islands and seeking awards easy and enjoyable.

History of Island Awards -- Geoff Watts, a well known SWL and editor of the DX News Sheet developed the "Islands on the Air" (IOTA) award program in 1964. Many of the islands counting for IOTA also qualified as islands for the DXCC program so those who were active in DXCC had a head start. As IOTA grew in popularity, additional resources were required and the award was assumed by the Radio Society of Great Britain in 1985. The interest in Island Hunting increased rapidly which encouraged other radio associations to create awards for working islands in their own countries.

Island Hunting is Contagious -- It is fun to locate an island on a National Geographic or Google map, find a resident amateur or encourage a ham to go to the island and then make a valid QSO. Even more enjoyable is the opportunity to meet the friendly group of Island Hunters who seem eager to help you work "a new one". The excitement of the hunt is increased by the tolerable pileups, the minimal intentional interference, the need for only one QSO per island and the attitude that it is not a "life or death" need for a contact.

Island Award and Resource Data -- NEW, NEW, NEW: A new IOTA web-based software program has been developed to solve a myriad of problems with the old IOTAMEM application process. Click on the IOTA Checkpoint Information page to obtain detailed information on the changes and the new method of making an application. While there is no charge until you make an application for an award, you must register to gain access to the new program on line. It provides detailed information regarding IOTA and allows you to insert your newly received island cards and insert them into your personal database manually or using an ADIF file. I know you will find this new process much better and easier to use and will allow you to examine your database quickly. Even better, there is no cost unless you apply for an award.

The Islands Award and Additional Award links above are two additional pages containing sources of major island awards and key links to aid in successful island hunting. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in your island hunting efforts.

Lighthouse Hunting -- Lighthouses are beautiful and fun to visit. Those located on islands pose a greater challenge to visit due to rough seas, various restrictions and their location away from the mainland. Working a lighthouse reminds you of the solitutde, difficulty and strength of the lighthouse keeper who braved the elements to warn ships at sea. This mystery and beauty of the lighthouse has attracted the interest of many folks including hams who find excitement when they work these out of the way lighthouses.

Arctic/Antarctic Base and Island Hunting -- Here is another exciting adventure into learning more about our world by contacting these cold and difficult areas to reach. Most bases when staffed utilize ham radio to maintain communication with home and to keep posted on world events. The stories of exploration and expeditions as well as the QSL cards generated encourage your imagination and interest in such operations. I have listed several popular awards and information regarding bases and islands in the Additional Awards section of this web site to help you to participate in such programs.

List of Islands Activated by W9DC - See W9DC Biography

Thank you for stopping by and

73 and HAVE FUN,


(Revised August 1, 2014)