Almost every weekend there is a radio amateur contest somewhere in the world. Because of the nature of radio waves these contacts can be heard also outside of that particular country. Even during third the weekend of October there is one very big contest organized by the German radio amateur’s league (DARC’s Worked All Germany Contest). In the past this has been a problem for those stations participating in JOTA-JOTI, but luckily and with good relations with the organizing party (DARC) scouts have been heard and DARC has made an enormous effort to make this weekend go smoothly for both; for the contesters as well as for the scouts.
In addition to using “contest free frequencies” there is also another option, namely WARC bands. The WARC bands are three portions of the shortwave radio spectrum used by amateur radio operators. They consist of 30 meters, 17 meters and 12 meters wavelength. Due to their relatively small bandwidth of 100 kHz or less, there is a gentlemen’s agreement that the WARC bands may not be used for general contesting. This agreement has been codified in official recommendations, which states that contest activity shall not take place on the 30, 17 and 12 meter bands.
Non-contesting radio amateurs are recommended to use the contest-free HF bands (30, 17 and 12m) during the largest international contests. You can find a full listing of recommended Scout calling frequencies at JOTA Rules. Note that these are calling frequencies. It’s recommended that you move off the calling frequencies to conduct your contact. This allows others to use the calling frequencies.
This year during JOTA-JOTI think also about using WARC bands for your radio contacts, not only those more busy bands!
Hannu “Banda” Rättö, OH7GIG
World JOTA-JOTI Team