HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day (IOTA): What Does IOTA Stand For?

IOTA stands for Islands on the Air—a program established in 1964 to encourage Amateur Radio operators to contact stations located on the 1,200 or so island groups dotting the planet. It is administered by Islands On The Air Ltd in partnership with the Radio Society of Great Britain.

Think you’re a master at world geography? The IOTA list of islands is enough to humble the most formidable Jeopardy ringer. IOTA enthusiasts strive to make contact with as many island groups as possible, including Chukchi Sea Coast East group, Hokkaido’s Coastal Islands, Estremadura Province group, Vesteralen Islands/Troms County South group, Niedersachsen State group and hundreds of others. See the entire list here. For the DXer, it is a fascinating pursuit. Top island chasers receive recognition for 750 and 1,000 contacts, plus the satisfaction of reaching parts of the globe most folks don’t even know exist. For complete rules, lists of islands, the most-wanted island groups and more, visit the official IOTA website.

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