2023 is being celebrated by ARRL as “The Year of the Volunteer.” The first adventure has been announced as a project called “Volunteers On The Air (VOTA).” ARRL members get ‘points’ for each contact they make with another ARRL volunteer or member. So, if two ARRL members contact each other, they will each receive a point for that QSO. No special codes are required, no sequence numbers need to be exchanged, and no section information needs to be passed. Make contact with a fellow ARRL member, and you each receive a point. Both of you must upload the QSO to the Logbook of The World (LoTW) to receive the points. Your points are calculated when the QSO is matched. This could be an FT8, CW, simplex 2M FM, RTTY, or an SSB rag-chew contact.
To add more interest to the year-long operating event and help demonstrate the ARRL volunteer value, each level of volunteer activity has been assigned a point level which is shown in the table below. For example, if you contact Bill Mitchell AE0EE, the Minnesota Section Manager, you’ll get 175 points for that one contact.
I’m hoping you will be able to get some certificates, or wallpaper, for your efforts. More details on this as they are fleshed out.
So, get your HF gear running, make sure your LoTW connection is working, and see you on the air!
VOTA Program Rules
These rules will be extended or revised, so please return here to check for updates. This operating event starts January 1, 2023, at 0000Z and ends December 31, 2023, at 2359Z. This event is for ARRL members. You can join or renew online at https://arrl.org/join/. All QSOs must be uploaded to the ARRL QSO matching system, Logbook of The World (LoTW). No repeater contacts are allowed. Contacts can not be made on the 12 M, 17 M, 30 M, 60 M, 630 M, or 2190 M bands. All other bands can be used. Contacts can be made on any legal mode of operation. You receive ‘points’ based on the volunteer level of the ARRL member you contact. Points range from 1 point for an ARRL member to 300 points for ARRL President Rick Roderick K5UR. The point levels are listed below. Each QSO will get only one point value. For example, someone who is a member, a life member, and an Assistant Section Manager will be worth the value of the highest role, 35 points, for the ASM role. Stations can contact each other once per band per operating mode: CW, Digital, Voice. So, each operator pair can count up to 3 QSOs on each band, one per mode.
Logbook of The World (LoTW)
The reporting for this VOTA effort will be handled automatically by the ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTD) QSO matching system. If you already log your QSOs from your favorite logging software and it uploads them to LoTW, you will automatically be participating. Your QSOs will be verified normally, and the callsigns of the hams you work will be searched to find the appropriate points (table shown below) that you receive for each QSO.
Setting up Logbook Of The World
If you aren’t set up to use LoTW, now is the time to set it up. The LoTW quick-start page is a great place to start, and the “What is LoTW Document” explains the whole process. You must authenticate yourself with the system by receiving a postcard mailed to your FCC-registered address. The TSQL program is used by your logging program, N3FJP, N1MM, DX Lab Suite, or something else to authenticate and upload to LoTW.
If you need help setting up your LoTW account, watch some YouTube videos, or contact your Elmer, or a local club.
W1AW/0 Portable Operations
As a part of the Year of the Volunteer celebration, the mystical callsign W1AW will be used portably to the corners of ARRL-land. Members in each state/territory will be asked to operate their stations for two different weeks using the callsign W1AW/x where x is one of the local regions: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, KL, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH7, KH8, KP2, KP3, or KP4. For example, Minnesota’s first week starts May 10, 2023, at 0000z and will run through May 6, 2023, at 2359z, using the callsign W1AW/0. Each state coordinator will approve the time/band/mode slots throughout the week, and hams can operate their stations using W1AW/0. You can schedule your Minnesota operating time by clicking this link at https://ok.arrl.org/w1awmn/.
Traveling W1AW rules include:
- Remember that each operator must follow the rules for their license class. Stay in the sub-bands that you’re legally allowed to operate in.
- Operators can operate from anywhere in the state/territory.
- Members that contact the portable W1AW stations will receive 5 points for those QSOs.
- Each band/mode combination can be activated simultaneously. For example, N5OP could be working on 20 M SSB, N5OK could be working on 20 M CW, N5AZQ could be working on 20 M FT8, and N5HZR could be on 40 M SSB, all at the same time.
- State operations start at 0000z each Wednesday.
- State operations stop at 2359z the following Tuesday.
- Operations should not happen on the 12 M, 17 M, 30 M, 60 M, or 2190 M bands.
- All operation log files for the week must be consolidated into one ADIF file and sent to the state coordinator, to be uploaded to LoTW.
Volunteers Point Value Table
Note: These appointments are for current appointees unless otherwise noted. Eg: Assistant Director (AD) is only for the current Assistant Directors. Past office-holders and appointees are only eligible if the title listed includes the word “Past,” such as “Past Section Manager (PSM).”
|Abbreviation||Full Position/Title Name||Point value|
|HVP||Honorary Vice President||250|
|VP||ARRL Vice President||250|
|PVP||Past Vice President||225|
|OFF||Staff Officer, Treasurer, Counsel||150|
|PV||Past Vice Director||125|
|ARRL||W1AW ARRL HQ Station||100|
|CLM||ARRL Charter Life Member||100|
|PSM||Past Section Manager||100|
|DM||ARRL HQ Department Manager||75|
|HQ||ARRL HQ Staff Member/Volunteer||50|
|MAX||Maxim Society Member||50|
|AC||CAC/DXAC/ECAC Advisory Members||40|
|ARDF||Direction Finding Coordinator||35|
|ASM||Assistant Section Manager||35|
|EMC||Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee||35|
|LOTW||Logbook of the World Committee||35|
|PRC||Public Relations Committee||35|
|RF||RF Safety Committee||35|
|ACC||Affiliated Club Coordinator||30|
|DEC||District Emergency Coordinator||30|
|PIC||Public Information Coordinator||30|
|SEC||Section Emergency Coordinator||30|
|SGL||State Government Liaison||30|
|STM||Section Traffic Manager||30|
|SYC||Section Youth Coordinator||30|
|DC||Diamond Club Member||25|
|LAB||W1INF Lab Museum Operations||25|
|LC||W1HQ HQ Operations||25|
|CM||Contest Managers/Log Checkers||20|
|QSM||Incoming QSL Bureau Manager||20|
|VCE||Volunteer Consulting Engineer||15|
|ADC||Area Digital Coordinators||12|
|ADEC||Assistant District Emergency Coordinator||12|
|ANM||Area Net Manager||12|
|ASEC||Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator||12|
|ASTM||Assistant Section Traffic Manager||12|
|LGL||Local Government Liaison||12|
|OBS||Official Bulletin Station||12|
|OES||Official Emergency Station||12|
|ORS||Official Relay Station||12|
|PIO||Public Information Officer||12|
|RNM||Region Net Manager||12|
|TCC||Transcontinental Corps Directors||12|
|State Abbrev||W1AW/x around the USA (work each state twice)||5|
|QSL||Incoming QSL Bureau Sorters||3|
|LM||ARRL Life Member||2|
|AFF||ARRL Affiliated Club Call Sign||1|