But hams like also to show their skills during contests over the
air. The best among them are also listed in official rolls and often win
awards. All this activities are considered very enjoyng my most, but not
all, amateurs all over the world and many efforts are done to set up good
contest stations and to find the best location for transmitting.
Usually contests are done during week-ends and, while some of them are for a single country, others have the participation of Hams all over the world. Radio contacts are very quick during the contest: operators exchange the data required by the rules and immediately after go looking for another radio station.
Interestingly enough, the country definition for DXCC is not the same you find on world maps, because geographical factors are considered to be important as political ones. As a result, Sardinia is a DXCC country, not part of Italy, and the same apply to Canary Islands, not being part of Spain. You got the concept...
Other awards are done in particular occasions, and are usually easier to get. There are contests for all interests, for contacts by satellite or by Moon, for the different bands, etc.
One of most wanted these years is without any doubts IOTA (Islands On The Air), exactly because it is very hard: you must contact some hundred stations transmitting only from islands.
The Ham Radio Dictionary
© 1995-1999 Vinicio Coletti