When you make a contact, it is important that you provide your location. Well, it isn’t all that simple to actually know where your are. With all the contests and specialized awards for contacting stations in various locations, there are a whole bunch of different ways to identify your location.
This article provides a list of the different location values and identifiers that you may need for different circumstances.
Grid Square Location
Maidenhead grid squares divide the globe into 324 large areas of 10 degrees of latitude by 20 degrees of longitude and are called fields. Each field is divided into 100 squares. This is where the name grid squares come from. Each of these 100 squares represent 1 degree by 2 degrees. The two letters that follow a grid square further define your location within that square by dividing each square into a sub-square. These sub-squares are 5 minutes by 2.5 minutes.
There are a whole bunch of sites that let you find your Grid Location, but I find
Amateur Radio Ham Radio Maidenhead Grid Square Locator Map
Latitude and Longitude
Your latitude and longitude can be specified in either traditional minutes and seconds, or with a more modern decimal format. The above grid locator provides both for your square. Google Maps can be used to refine your coordinates more closely to your actual location.
ITU Regions and Zones
The International Telecommunication Union divides the world up into 3 regions a many zones. You can use the interactive map found at
to find your ITU zone. That site can also show your grid and CQ Zone.
CQ Magazine Zone
The CQ WAZ Awards. The CQ Worked All Zones (WAZ) Award and its variations are issued to any licensed amateur station presenting proof of contact with the appropriate number of CQ zones of the world. It is sponsored by CQ magazine.
The official zone list can be found here:
The http://epc-mc.eu/zones.php site can also be used to find your zone.
IOTA stands for Islands On The Air. If you’re not on an island, you don’t have an IOTA number. A list of IOTA numbers can be found at: https://www.qrz.com/i/iota.html