HAM Radio 101

What is the World Castles Award (WCAgroup.org)?

For many Hams, being an amateur operator is about more than simply getting on the air and logging QSOs. It’s about solving problems, conquering challenges, and, above all, learning new things. As Hams, we relish the chance to embrace the hobby’s interconnectedness with other disciplines, from space meteorology to geography. For those interested in history and architecture, there’s no better way to get more out of your Amateur Radio license than pursuing the World Castles Award (WCA).

Started in 2009 by a group of Russian Amateur Radio operators under the umbrella of the International Castles On The Air (COTA) organization, the WCA is designed to consolidate “radiohams from different countries for activation and popularization of historical objects—castles, fortresses etc. all over the world.” Further, it encourages Hams to promote these unique structures and draw attention to neglected castles and forts that are in need of renovation. Recently activated locations include Fort Van Kessel in Belgium; Gewerkenegg Castle in Idrija, Slovenia; Fort Stalin in Sevastopol; Chateau La Deveze in France; and Ukraine’s Fortress Kamyanka.

Sound like a good time? Click here for available awards and rules and a spreadsheet of forts and castles that are part of the WCA program. You can get the full story at the WCA’s official website. Now get online and have fun storming, uh, working the castles!