The GB4SBS JOTA Page
GB4SBS ran for seven years following an unfortunate accident between the friend of an Assistant Scout Leader, who was interested in Amateur radio (me!) and a copy of "Scouting" magazine which contained an article about JOTA.
From simple beginnings at the 6th Shoreham Headquarters running a JOTA station for one troop of about 20 Scouts, we moved on to a District-wide event for hundreds of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Ventures from seven Groups. We operated from Hillside, our District campsite which provided us with a warm (compared to outside!) training room to operate from, and a large field in which to erect our aerial(s). Operating from a campsite also meant that the Scouts could stay at the station all weekend, so we stayed on air (almost!) all through the night.
Although JOTA is not about "chasing DX", this must be top of our FAQ list at the station! So here for the curious is a list of the furthest (roughly) contacts for each of the past 7 years:
In 1996 and 1997 over 90% of our contacts were on 80m, we were
actively seeking European JOTA stations that our Scouts could
pass messages to. (It was also the bottom of the sunspot cycle!)
Most years we used:
For two years we erected a Butternut HF5V 5-band vertical on
top of our 40-foot pole with fourteen elevated radials,
but this was a lot of effort for one weekend!
In addition to the JOTA amateur radio station, we successfully
ran the following activities. You are very welcome to borrow (or
even steal!) any or all of these ideas for your JOTA event, but
please at least let me
know how you get on. Why not send me some of your ideas and I
will post them here for others to try.
|This is a treasure-hunt around the campsite
using CB radio. A base station operated by a
leader gives directions to a team of Scouts. The
directions lead to a "clue " consisting
of a letter and an amateur radio station callsign.
One member of the team has to tell the base station the letter and callsign using the phonetic alphabet, then another clue is given. This continues around the site with a different team member passing the information each time.
|When all the clues have been collected, the letters have to be rearranged to spell a word connected with JOTA, and the countries of origin of the callsigns have to be obtained, either from knowledge picked up over the weekend or from the display of QSL cards around the training room. All the callsigns are from stations that we have previously contacted and their QSL cards are on display.|
|We use a computer program that both sends and receives Morse Code. Many of the Scouts spend hours at the keyboard gradually learning the letters, then try their hand at sending Morse to the computer. It is very unforgiving! Despite the "old-fashioned" image of Morse Code, there is something about it that fascinates the Scouts and some seem to enjoy practising it more than anything else on offer.|
Last updated: 06 January 2002
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