Source: The ARRL International Grid Chase
Get ready to kick off 2018 with a new year-long operating event!
Bart Jahnke, W9JJ
ARRL Contest Branch Manager
You may not know this, but your station is in a Maidenhead grid square. The entire world is divided into thousands of these 1° latitude × 2° longitude squares, each one with a unique designation. They're all part of a geographic location system adopted in the 1980s at a meeting of the VHF Working Group in Maidenhead, England.
Unless you are a VHF enthusiast, this nugget of information may not mean much. But at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2018, the global Amateur Radio community will be very interested in grid squares.
Get in the Chase
The objective of the ARRL International Grid Chase is simple: Work stations in as many grid squares as possible and upload your log data to ARRL's Logbook of The World. If you are not currently registered with Logbook of The World, this is a good reason to get started. Go to https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/getting-started/. Registration and uploading are free.
Every new grid square contact confirmed through Logbook of The World counts toward your monthly total, so you have an incentive to start the chase as soon as you ring in the New Year.
Just turn on your radio and start calling "CQ Grid Chase," or listen for others doing the same. Make the contact, enter it into your log, and you're on to the next (see the sidebar, "Tips for the Chase").
At the end of each month, your totals on the Grid Chase leader board will reset to zero. Fear not, though. The online scoring system will maintain your monthly totals for a grand total at the end of the year, when an annual summary will be released and awards given to top finishers in various categories.
The ARRL International Grid Chase is open to all amateurs, regardless of location or license class. Any operating mode is eligible as well as every band, except 60 meters. You'll find the complete rules at www.arrl.org/aigc2018.