[CQ-Contest] Suprising News - ITU Zones not defined worldwide !!

Tim Makins, EI8IC contesting at eircom.net
Fri Sep 13 11:37:14 EDT 2002

An interesting piece of information has just turned up....

Background: I was working on an overlay map for North America, and
discovered a number of discrepancies amongst available reference sources and
existing maps as to where exactly some of the ITU/IARU zone boundaries were.
So, I thought the best idea would be to go to the very top. I therefore sent
an email requesting the definitive ITU zone definitions to the IARU
president, Larry E. Price, W4RA LPrice at iaru.org

To quote from his reply :
> Tim - you have to keep in mind that the ITU has one administrative purpose
> for having zones that has nothing at all to do with amateur radio.
> However, various amateur radio organisations decided to have both awards
> and operating events on the air based on the idea of zones.
> But, since this is not why the zones exist as far as ITU is concerned, the
> sponsors of these amateur events are free to interpret the zone boundaries
> any way they wish. So, there might not be a single "official amateur radio
> zone list."
> For the US & Canada, the interpretation by ARRL is found in The ARRL
> Operating Manual, desk top reference, page 12 which defines the
> boundaries between US States and Canadian provinces.
> If you have more questions about any particular contest or award, they
> should be directed to the sponsor.
> 73
> Larry, W4RA

I thus went for a bit of a search on the Internet once more, and found some
definitions from the ARRL, the RSGB, and the IARU:

06          W-K-N-A   U.S.A. (Washington, Oregon,
                     California, Nevada, Idaho,
                      & that part of Montana,
                      Utah & Arizona west of
                      110 Deg. W.)

6. W6, W7 (excluding Wyoming & Montana east of 110W)

This map provided on the IARU's homepage, and copied frequently on many home
pages, shows a third definition !

This is just one example of discrepancies, noted straight away. There may be
others. On a flippant note, I could say that if you lived in parts of
Montana it's now officially possible to be in two places at once ! On a more
serious note, it seems to me suprising that all IARU member societies can't
come to a common zone definition.

73s, Tim EI8IC
Resources for the Newbie and Budget Contester
New range of flags for Ham Webmasters.

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list