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This Weekend, Islands On The Air contest (IOTA) sponsored by ICOM

This Weekend, Islands On The Air contest (IOTA) sponsored by ICOM

This weekend of 25/26 July sees amateur radio enthusiasts around the world taking part in the RSGB Islands On The Air contest, sponsored by ICOM. The IOTA contest encourages people to operate their amateur radio stations from islands. Points are awarded for contacts between stations, with many operators managing several thousand such contacts in the 24 hours that the contest runs. More points are awarded for contacts with stations situated on islands - hence “islands on the air”!

This year the RSGB IOTA contest starts at noon UTC on Saturday 25th and ends at the same time the next day. Some enter the contest on their own, but many people form groups and take turns at operating. As an island nation, all radio amateurs in the UK count as “island” stations, and are therefore heavily sought-after in the rush of activity that characterises the start of proceedings.

IOTA is organised under the auspices of the Radio Society of Great Britain, and has been sponsored by ICOM for a number of years. Participants compete for trophies and certificates, and the enormous kudos that is accorded those who do well in the contest. It is possible to enter in one of several different categories - for example single operator or team effort - so that a lone chap with a small station on a windswept island is not competing directly against a multi-operator station with fixed aerials. A lot of fun will be had by all participants in what is affectionately referred to as “Probably the best contest in the world”.

Details of the IOTA contest can be found at and more information on the long-running IOTA Programme is at

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