HSARC Club Meeting: Thursday December 6th at 7:30pm.
Please note the time change: Monthly meetings will now start at 7:30pm!!

What is an Activation?

In ham radio, you can qualify for an award for just about anything. Awards for things like Worked All States (WAS) or worked all 488 grid squares in the continental US (MMFA) or worked all counties, etc. Some people are driven to wallpaper their shack with these awards.....others really don't care.

Oglala Lakota county has 2 ham radio operators living there. One of the ham's has a Technician's license that is about to expire. Chances are, most folks have never had an opportunity to make contact with somebody living in Oglala Lakota county using ham radio.

For somebody completing a grid square challenge, it's no big deal since Oglala Lakota county falls within the DN83 grid square and there are plenty of active hams living in that area.

For the county chasers, the odds of winning the lottery are far greater than the odds of talking to somebody operating from Oglala Lakota county. So having an opportunity to do so is kind of a big deal.

One or more people or clubs will decide to do an "activation" of rare locations once in a while...to give people a chance to pull of the impossible. You can think of an activation like a mini Field Day or a local DXpedition. Several hams will decide on an activation date and location. They may even request a special event callsign for the activation. On the agreed upon date, they will travel to the location and set up their equipment. They will operate on as many bands as possible using Phone, Digital and CW.

Activations, especially the rare ones, generate a lot of buzz within the ham community and hundreds (or thousands) of people will try to make this rare QSO. For the activating operator, it's fast paced, mildly stressful and a whole lot of fun.