Will, 2E0HAI’s data-modes setup had its screens 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. Will also brought along a wide-band SDR so there was much examination and inspection of the whole of the RF spectrum from about 1MHz to 2GHz.

The HF rigs were mainly used for making contact with Scout Groups around the UK & near continent. 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. Liz M0ACL also managed to speak to Cairo Scouts which was quite a neat achievement using the SteppiR.

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 letters without looking at the crib cards by the end of their session. The smiles on their faces was priceless.

The Arduino programming proved to be very popular as well. Brian G0UKB brought some examples and with two programming stations working he was kept very busy. We even found the odd expert among the Scouts, I certainly learned a thing or two!

Andy 2E0REE and Pete G3YPW kept the low band HF stations running well and many greetings messages were passed through them.

Chris M0KTT manned the 2m VHF station for most of Saturday and with the help of Nigel M0NAF in local Bishops Waltham did a sterling job.

Liz M0ACL spent most of Saturday using the TS590 & SteppiR and Sunday on the 2m rig where Matt M0EBX from Haslemere received many greetings messages. Whilst Liz was working the 2m rig Geoff G3ROG was working the TS590 and the steppiR.

Thanks also go to those I have not mentioned by name in the above texts. We could not have done it without such a great team and I thank you all for being part of that team!

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, possible adding JOTI!


With grateful thanks to:

2E0BZY – Tom, 2E0CGH – Wendy, 2E0DHG – Ray, 2E0HAI – Will, 2E0REE - Andy,  G0BHK – Ted,  G0UKB – Brian, G3HRH - Ray, G3ROG - Geoff, G3YPW – Pete, M0ACL – Liz, M0KTT - Chris, & M6LPI - Neil and all the Scouting fraternity.

The aerials were erected and the Co-ax feeders laid out then all of the radio kit installed into the main room of the Pine Lodge. This time we had the use of the Itchen Valley Radio Club’s trailer mast and SteppiR antenna. The trailer and mast were delivered and collected by Ray G3HRH who spent time with us on Saturday.It took a while to erect and to make sure that it missed all the aerial guy lines and surrounding trees.

The equipment consisted of:

A full-sized G5RV for general 80/40m HF usage, an Inverted V aerial Data-Modes, the SteppiR for 20/15m HF and a 2m collinear for local 2m FM working.

The 2m FM transceiver was a Yaesu FT-897, the 40/80m was a Yaesu FT-840, the SteppiR was connected to the IVARC TS0590 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. And as an experiment we also brought along some Arduinos and programming computers.

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. Plenty of help was needed to make sure all this went smoothly and thanks go to Wendy 2E0CGH & Ted G0BHK

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. Despite this we had a lot of interest from the Scouts themselves and there were often queues waiting to send messages over the air-waves.

Here are some pictures of the event. Photos taken by Paul G6MCX & Ted G0BHK. Photos credited by hovering the mouse over the photo.

If anyone objects to the inclusion of any photo please Contact me and I will remove it.

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