Fans of portable ham radio are encouraged to grab their equipment and head for the water as part of the new “One-Day Getaway,” sponsored by the US Islands Awards Program. The annual event will debut on Saturday, May 9, from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC (Friday evening to Saturday evening in the continental US). Founded in 1994, US Islands promotes portable ham radio operation from islands in all bodies of water — lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and coastal islands in US territorial waters.
“US Islands is a great way to go on a mini-DXpedition without spending a lot of money,” said US Islands Awards Manager Jay Chamberlain, NS4J. “Discovering islands in your own backyard and setting up a station outdoors is always a good time. If hams have only operated outdoors during Field Day, we offer another route to get outside and enjoy portable ham radio in a different way.”
The One-Day Getaway is an on-air activity, not a contest. No scores are tallied, and no prizes are awarded. Participation from all radio amateurs, regardless of experience level, is encouraged. Contacts may be made with any station. US Islands offers achievement awards for both island activators and island chasers, including a certificate for your first US Islands activation.
While there are some 2800 islands on the US Islands list, there are more than 17000 islands within the US. Participants can use Google Earth to locate new islands and be the first to operate ham radio from that location.
Complete information on the US Islands Program, a how-to guide for One-Day Getaway participants and a list of currently qualified islands is available on the group’s website.