Radio hams, like
adherents to most hobbies, like to have some way of measuring their achievements.
Hence the interest in chasing awards. One of the most prestigious UK awards is he
"Islands on the air" series of awards. International Amateur
Radio contests are organized by different amateur radio organisations all over the world.
In such a contest the ham radio operators are allowed to come on the air with certain
power limits and specified mode of operation (either SSB, CW or RTTY) and the ham radio
operators have to contact other stations within a specified period of time. There are
different score points for making radio contacts with different countries of the world. In
India,an Indian ham radio operator participating in the GARDEN CITY CONTEST (organized by
Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum and Bangalore Amateur Radio Club)
earns 1 point for each Asian ham radio station, 2 points for Europe, Africa and Australia
and 3 points for contacting each station from North and South America. One additional
score point is awarded for each contact using home-made equipment.The time allowed is 24
hours. In some of the radio contests, ham radio operators can join in groups; that means
that while one operator makes a contact with another station on a particular frequency,
his group operators search for other stations on other frequencies which can make the
scoring process much faster.There are contests called "Fox-hunt"
where one can prove his efficiency by tracking down a particular ham radio
operator's position in a big city through his direction finding equipment! These hobby
operators also exchange an acknowledgment card known as the QSL card. Two ham radio
stations reciprocate with a QSL card ,each station sending the card to the other as a
proof that radio contact was established between them.
"Islands on the air"
"Farne Islands Foray"- by Don Field, G3XTT: 'Amateur Radio',February 1987
( published by Amateur Radio Magazine, Sovereign House,
Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4SE,
Hunting Lions in the Air Contest