There was one very full hour between events and evening meal when we were suddenly inundated with about 50 or 60 eager bodies all wanting to do everything and we found it difficult to keep up with the demand.

Will, 2E0HAI’s data-modes setup had its screen projected on to a white wall so all in the room could see what was going on. He was able to communicate using PSK, RTTY and SSTV. We were all fascinated to see SSTV pictures arriving from various parts of Europe.

The HF rig was mainly used for making contact with Scout Groups around the UK & near continent. The contact with Gilwell Park was a highlight as a number of the Scouts knew about them. The FM rig was used to make contact with local groups, such as Locks Heath and to local amateurs when conditions on HF were not so good.

The Morse code buzzers were amazingly popular considering that most had not heard of Morse Code before the event. They soon got the hang of it and were happily buzzing away. Some were even able to decode some letter without looking at the crib cards by the end of their session. The smiles on their faces was priceless.

We were well looked after, fed and watered by our hosts and a good time was had by all. As is usual, the taking down of aerials and the packing up took considerably less time that setting up. We have been invited back next year and have agreed a number of improvements to enhance the Scouts experience of JOTA!

Instructions Crib Cards


With grateful thanks to:

2E0BZY – Tom, 2E0CGH – Wendy, 2E0DHG – Ray, 2E0HAI – Will, G0BHK – Ted, G0SEM – Rob, G0UKB – Brian, G3YPW – Pete & M0ACL – Liz and all the Scouting fraternity.

The aerials were erected in no time at all, the feeders laid out and all the radio kit installed into the main room of Lyons Lodge. We were all ready for a Saturday morning start.

The equipment consisted of:

A pair of 40 foot push-up masts to support the antennae, a full-sized G5RV for general HF usage, a 20m vertical dipole for Data-Modes and a 2m collinear for local 2m FM working.

The 2m FM transceiver was a Yaesu FT-897, the HF was a Yaesu FT-840 and the data modes kit arrived in a 19” rack-mount courtesy of Will 2E0HAI. We also had several sets of Morse buzzers so the Scouts could send Morse code messages to each other.

Before the Scouts could send ‘greetings messages’ over the air they had to fill in a little crib card (so they would not become tongue tied in front of the microphone). This also required them to have knowledge of the Phonetic Alphabet so that they could spell their names.

The organisation of the JOTA camp is such that there is plenty of entertainment for all the young attendees. We were competing with ‘bouncy castles’, ‘Lazer Quest’, ‘Surf-boarding’ and lots of other things. We did manage to lasso a few into our room during the day during times when the queues were too long or they ‘had done it all’.

Permissions: Photos taken by Ted G0BHK.

Photos of children agreed by parents as part of signing the ‘Permission to Camp’ form. If any parent objects to any individual photo, please contact me by email  - colin (‘at’ sign) g4gbp dot co dot uk

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