After some 6,500+ QRP QSOs logged as a VE/VA station, at least 511 have been with IOTA islands. These represent 81 worked IOTA DXCC’s of which 61 have confirmed in LoTW and 36 in eQSL for a total of 62 electronically confirmed IOTA DXCC’s (about 1% of the QSOs). The attached figure (made using OK2PBQ’s online QSO Map program: http://ok2pbq.atesystem.cz/prog/qso_map.php) maps the IOTA’s having confirmed at least once in LoTW.
Regrettably, even if electronic QSL’s were admissible (which at this time they are not) this would still be short of the magic minimum number (i.e., 100) required to apply for an IOTA Award.
However, for a VA/VE station, contacting IOTA DXCC’s while operating QRP with small wire antennas is not an easy task: most IOTA’s are located in remote locations, several are operated by island expeditions creating huge and often impenetrable pile-ups, while others may operate portable and, on occasions, also QRP.
In my particular case this is also compounded by the fact that I only QSL electronically. Also, I do not actively “chase” IOTA’s, they just happen to show up in my log in the course of regular operations or contest participation.
Although the RCGB IOTA Contest does allow for a QRP category (http://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2016/riota.shtml), the actual IOTA Programme (https://www.rsgbiota.org/info/directory/rules-en.pdf) does not allow for either QRP operation or electronic QSL’s.
Hence, there may be an open window for any QRP club/organization or electronic QSL program to offer a QRP-IOTA award perhaps requiring a minimum number of confirmed IOTA DXCC QSL’s lower than the threshold required for a regular RSGB IOTA Award (https://www.rsgbiota.org).
Just a thought…