| INTRODUCTIONThe United States Islands Awards Program, USI, covers saltwater and inland fresh water river or lake islands of the fifty (50) states of the United States and U.S Territories or Protectorates (See master island directory). USI was formed to further enhance “island chasing” that has become so popular on the amateur radio bands. The USI goal is to promote a simple but effective system of island collecting in a professional radio-manner and to operate totally on the “honor system”. USI warmly welcomes all ham radio operators and island enthusiasts to yet another facet of island collecting. USI is open to anyone (Ham or SWL) interested inworking toward the many and varied US Island Awards by collecting and activating US islands.
We are not affiliated in any way with the Islands On The Air (IOTA) award program offered by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB).
The governing body of USI is the USI Committee (COM) and is composed of the Program Coordinator (PC), a Qualifications Manager (QM), an Awards Manager (AM), a Contest Manager (2014) (CM), a Special Events Manager (SM), several Advisors (A), and a Web master (WM). The Program Coordinator (PC) will administer USI with assistance from the QM, AM, CM, SM, A, and WM. The QM will assign state island numbers and maintain the US Island List.
|1.||The island is totally surrounded by water and is a minimum of 100 feet long in any direction (including height) and a minimum of 50 feet from the main shoreline at DX-pedition time. These distances are approximate and shall be at the discretion of the operator. Bridges and narrow causeways linking the island to the main land or other islands are acceptable. Please ensure that the island is not a peninsula. USI encourages Island Hopping, activating multiple islands in a day or weekend.|
|2.||Operation from boats, ships, etc. is allowed as long as some part of the radio station (transceiver, antenna, feed-line or power supply) is physically located on the island.|
|The name of the body of water, lake, river or sea, must be listed on a map. The island must be present on a map, including aerial images like Google maps. The island name should appear on a map of some type, preferably in the USGS Geographic Name (GNIS) database, or as a minimum be known locally. First time qualifiers must coordinate the “official” USI name with the QM. Please supply the QM with accurate Latitude / Longitude coordinates or an accurate street address so the island can be linked to Google Map.|
|4.||Although USI was officially launched in September 1994, prior contacts with US islands count for awards. All state, territory or protectorate islands that meet 1 through 3 above must be qualified and receive a USI number. See QUALIFICATION.|
|5.||An island that resides in two states will be given two numbers, for example: Turtle MI062L Lake Erie, Turtle OH038L Lake Erie|
|The Qualification Manager (QM) will assign numbers for all islands according to state and type. Example: ND001, TX010 or TX012 where ND and TX are the state abbreviations for North Dakota and Texas, and the number is a consecutive qualification number issued.The suffix L, R; or S designate the type of island (lake, river or coastal shore) and are added after qualification. When ordering QSL cards, please remember to have the USI number, island name and QTH (state, territory or protectorate) printed on them along with the other verification info for award purposes.You may also QSL via Email. USI accepts Email QSLs as long as the report is complete. A special eQSL form and listing of those island activators who accept email QSLs is included on the USI Website. You are encouraged to use the USI logo on your QSLs.|
|2.||All the HF amateur bands are acceptable including WARC and any mode can be used. 6 meter contacts are allowed only after an island has been initially qualified. Cross-band, cross-mode, or satellite contacts are not allowed. The unofficial USI operating frequencies are 7.250, 21.350, 14.250-14.260 (main) and 28.450 mHz phone plus your favorite CW or digital frequency. The frequencies should be easy to remember as they all end in 50 and there are 50 states! Those frequencies should be used for USI DX-peditions and to pass USI info. The frequency range of 14250 to 14260 kHz will become known as the ISLAND CORRIDOR. Note: 14.260 should be reserved for, and given way to IOTA (Islands On The Air) operations.|
|3.||If you’re planning an island expedition, contact the QM and/or Web master in advance so an island number can be issued before hand and the details will appear on the USI calendar. Also, consider joining the USIsland Yahoo egroup.|
|4.||Once you have qualified a new USI, email the QM with a summary statement of your operation. “W7I made 40 QSOs with 4 DXCC countries from VA077.”|
|QUALIFICATIONQualification is the initial, first time operation from a US island authorized and numbered by the QM. In advance of the qualifying operations, the QM will assign the island a USI number (ie: VA099, Lake Anna, Virginia) if required. If the island is already on the USI Island Directory, just notify the QM and webmaster of your pending expedition. An island is only qualified once. The QM will retain your call sign as the person who qualified the island. Islands can be qualified by an individual or a team. The USI requires one “Team” call sign be used for all qualifying operations. Such as a 1×1, club call, or the call of one of the operators. (All operators will receive credit for qualifying a new island).In order to qualify a new U.S. island, a minimum of 25 contacts including at least 2 different DXCC entities are required. Example: contacts with Canada and the U.S. count as the two DXCC entities. Until you reach the magic 25 QSOs during your qualification operations, we ask that you only use the term “VAnew or TNnew” and the island name. Once qualified (25 QSOs), the official number may be given out (VA099L). The island number changes to add the L/S/R upon qualification (VA099 in Lake Anna becomes VA099L). You are encouraged to make more then just the minimum contacts. The USI and island hunting has a large following. This will give others a chance to add your island because of propagation changes.
If band conditions are poor, and the 25 QSO mark is not reached, the same operator(s) may return to an island on another date to finish getting the required 25 QSOs needed for qualification. This must be coordinated and verified with the USI QM. Once you have qualified a new USI, email the QM with a summary statement of your operation.
CQ Island CQ Island CQ US Islands de NS4J NS4J on “Virginia new, Smith Island for the US Islands program, CQ Island CQ Island CQ Island
Activation is any subsequent operations from a qualified US island. You are NOT required to contact the QM to activate an island. There is no minumum number of QSOs required for an activation. An island expedition can include qualifying one island (with QM approval) and activating another island. No summary statement is required for activations.
When activating an island that has two different state numbers, you will use the number from the state you’re in. Or, if you are sitting on the state line, or the island is completely claimed by two states, you can give out the two numbers, in two separate contacts.
Check out the Awards page for a complete listing of all the USI awards.
|So, “what do I need to do to qualify an island”, you say? Study the Island Directory or your local charts or maps. Spend time on-line with Google Earth or maps. Contact and work with the QM in advance for verification and acceptance and then go out and do it!!!
Remember to give advance notice for the www.usislands.org web site calendar, Yahoo eList and if you can (14.260 MHz), so we all have a shot at working you.Don’t forget to visit the USI photo album to see photos and stories of past USI adventures, and take some photos of your own to add to the collection.
|CONCLUSIONUSI, including the COM and all members, assume no liability or responsibility in administering this program nor do they make any guarantees of any kind. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome – improvement ideas are especially appreciated. USI will be changing as we grow making island collecting even more exciting!USI COM members usually can be reached on 14.260 MHz. Thanks, 73 and have fun CHASING ISLANDS!
Webmaster – US Islands Awards Program (rev: 29 July 2014)