Learn About The 'OTAs'
POTA: Parks On The Air
Parks on the Air ® (POTA) is a group within amateur radio for international portable amateur radio operations that promote emergency awareness and communications by operating from national/federal and state/provincial level parks.
Operators who setup and make contacts from a park all called 'activators' and those portable, mobile or home based stations that they make contact with are known as 'hunters'. Activators and hunters earn points and awards for making QSOs with a POTA station.
Learn more at: https://parksontheair.com/
SOTA: Summits on The Air
Summits on the Air (SOTA) is similar to POTA, but activators operate from a recognised summit. Both activators and chasers earn points, leading to awards. Members are able to purchase awards, trophies or goods from the on-line shop and these purchases, together with the occasional donation are the means of financing the SOTA facilities.
You can join in straight away! Just go to SOTAwatch at https://sotawatch.sota.org.uk/en/ to see what is happening right now in SOTA. To post to SOTA facilities you will need to register an account. Then you will be able to add alerts and spots on SOTAwatch (which will likely help a lot, if you plan to activate) and upload your chases or activations to the SOTA database. There is no charge for registering.
SOTA is global, activations can take place throughout the 24 hours of the day. Once you transfer your log to the database there is a permanent record and you can check your entries against those of the stations that you contacted, and keep track of your progress towards awards.
More info at: https://www.sota.org.uk/
IOTA: Islands On The Air
Islands On The Air (IOTA) is an exciting and innovative activity programme that has caught the interest of thousands of radio amateurs worldwide. Established in 1964, it promotes radio contacts with stations located on islands around the world to enrich the experience of all active on the amateur bands and, to do this, it draws on the widespread mystique surrounding islands. It is administered by Islands On The Air (IOTA) Ltd in partnership with the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).
It is therefore very similar to POTA and SOTA, but for recognised islands (or groups of islands). There are frequent DXpeditions, or special amateur radio expeditions to the lesser known islands around the world and you will often hear about great 'pile-ups' (where many, many amateur radio stations are calling at once) to try to make contact with those rare locations.
More information at: https://iota-world.org/
JOTA: Jamboree On The Air
Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around Canada, and in your own community. Held on the third full weekend of October each year, this worldwide jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby amateur radio shack, Scout meeting place, camp or community center.
JOTA started in 1958 with the World JOTA Bureau located right here in Ottawa, Canada.
More information at: