There are many islands and research bases both above 60° North and below 60° South… Making a QSO with these rarely occupied Bases and Islands is challenging. Here is another exciting adventure into learning more about our world by contacting these cold and difficult areas to reach.
Antarctica is one of the seven continents but there are no countries. On the other hand, over 30 Countries have one or more research bases in and adjacent to the Continent. Some count for separate DXCC countries. Many represent rare IOTA groups. 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 their QSL cards stimulate your imagination and interest in such operations.
In the Arctic, there are many Russian, Canadian and US islands along with a a surprising number in the other countries above 60 degrees north. Many meet the IOTA clarification for separate IOTA groups. Some islands have residents, but many require activation by a well planned expedition.
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.
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. Radio contact with a lighthouse reminds you of the solitude, 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 contact one of these out of the way lighthouses. Lighthouse references are noted in the Additional Award Links page. The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society, the VA3RJ Lighthouse and the older World Lighthouse On the Air web pages provide extensive lighthouse information.
Today, the recently developed web-based IOTA software program replacing the old IOTAMEM application process has resolved a myriad of problems. A multinational team has restructured the entire award to streamline management, reduce QSLing costs, and simplify applications by matching ClubLog and LOTW QSOs yet retaining the challenge of working islands and achieving IOTA award goals. Click on the IOTA Checkpoint Information page to obtain detailed information on the present application process.
There is no charge to gain access to the IOTA program, develop your personal database including inserting confirmed islands into your private IOTA list but you must first register on the IOTA website. The website provides detailed information on rules, valid islands and their IOTA number and call sign details of prior operations. The only fees you will be charged is when you elect to obtain an award. I know you will find the present process much better and easier to use and will allow you to examine your database quickly.
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.
The photo below was obtained during an ARI convention when a few of us visited Marconi’s Radio Station near Bologna.