December YOTA Month 2017 has started!

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It is finally December and we are excited to announce, that December YOTA Month has officially begun! It is time to get on the bands again to spread the YOTA spirit and have fun while showing young people how amateur radio is not only alive, but also active and ready to grow as an activity even in a world, where communication is by other means faster. December YOTA Month also encourages us who already have our licenses to come together as a community and interact even more actively. The readiness and eagerness of societies around the world to partake is each year proved by the number of registered stations that we have; this year more than 35 stations with a YOTA suffix were registered and will be on the bands for all of us to try and make a QSO with.

If you are interested in knowing more about the stations that are taking part in DYM you can check the main website www.ham-yota.com or the event’s website https://events.ham-yota.com/ for more information about them.

Last but definitely not least, we always love to receive feedback on your experience during December YOTA Month as it is a mirror of our work and helps us improve! Furthermore it’s a great way to share impressions with fellow HAMs and everybody who for some reason is not able to get on the bands to feel included in the event. This is why we encourage you to send us your stories and of course pictures that we will share on our page.

With all the formalities out of our way, we wish you a December full of QSOs in the local club or at home and perhaps many new editions to the local amateur radio society. Don’t forget that December YOTA Month is not a competition – it’s all about having fun and spreading the spirit here!

See you in the log during December!

Article: Gergana, LZ1ZYL
Picture: Claudia, DC2CL

Youngsters at A44A in Oman

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During the last weekend of October a group of youngsters successfully participated in CQWW SSB 2017 contest from A44A station. After arriving on Thursday morning in Muscat we immediately headed to the station. Together with the team, we started to prepare the location for the contest including tuning antennas to SSB etc. The next step was to create a well thought out operating plan. The contest started at 0400 local time. During the entire 48h we experienced amazing teamwork and hospitality even though we have been in a very tight race with A73A in Multi/Multi category from Qatar. For the time of our visit we stayed at a villa next to the station and the beach at Oman sea. Unfortunately, we did not plan enough time for visiting places around Muscat. Still the team did a great job to show us the must sees, e.g. Jeep tour in the omani desert, Muscat city, traditional places and many more. Furthermore we had the great opportunity to meet up with two good friends we met at YOTA 2015 in Italy and spent some quality time together. At the end it looks like our competitors from Qatar may have worked some more stations … but we will see after logcheck.

We would like to thank the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society (ROARS) as well as all team members of A44A / A47RS for making this beautiful trip a real success.

73 de Philipp, A45VG (DK6SP) – Flo, A45VH (OE3FTA)

 

 

LY YOTA team trip to ES5TV

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The following post was written by Simonas Kareiva, LY2EN (President, Chairman of the Board. Lithuanian Amateur Radio Society (LRMD))

 

In the summer of 2017, me and my wife visited the ES amateur radio summer camp in Merelaiu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cc67GwVYhc). Besides being a beautiful spot in Estonia, it was also a good place to reconnect with all the fellow hams from ERAÜ and I must say I have enjoyed chatting with every single person I’ve met there. It was almost a small talk between me and Tonno ES5TV, who said his superstation is open to opportunities to host young amateurs from Lithuania, whether it’s a big or a small contest. But big names like Tonno talk big and just few months later I was already discussing trip details both with himself and the young members of the Vilnius University amateur radio club LY1BWB, where almost every active member was a YOTA kid.

As the summer went by, some of the young contestants had serious plans for the CQ WW SSB, therefore I did not want to interfere neither with them or with the plans of the superstation itself. But the following weekend seemed attractive: Ukrainian DX Contest, Multi-OP ALL MIXED category, no limitations on band or mode changes, one signal at the time – sounded exactly like fun to me and others who had previous contesting experience at LY4A, LY2W and elsewhere.

ES5TV site

ES5TV site

It was a first visit to Tonno’s site for all, including myself. The few who declined, had visited ES5TV earlier, during the YOTA summer camp of 2013. Finally, a total of eight people signed off the trip, including my wife, who, not being directly involved in the hobby, took the delicious initiative of managing the kitchen’s businesses during the contest. We drove to Estonia ham-style, with VHF radios and APRS on, reaching the site just a couple of minutes into Saturday. The call signs brought in were LY1KB, LY5AT, LY5WB, LY3EU, LY1WS and LY2EN.

 

Connections between the numerous pieces of equipment

Connections between the numerous pieces of equipment

My first impression of the station was jaws dropped on the floor, without yet actually understanding all the switches and connections between the numerous pieces of equipment. In the early hours of Saturday, some took the chance to make a morning escape to the Tartu science centre – AHHAA. Not only I had to understand how the station ensemble works from an intense briefing by Toomas ES5RY, but also had to translate it to the the rest of team later. But in the end it was clear. No switching of antennas during transmissions. Patience, when multiplier position blocks you. Do not sit silently if you notice some equipment is broken or misbehaving – shout it out loud!

 

 

 

Contest kicked in with full force

Contest kicked in with full force

It was still an ongoing discussion and testing of things around 12:00 UTC when the contest kicked in with full force. Two operators were caught in heavy pileups and QRM on the run position; initially a bit cumbersome, double operation went smoother and smoother as the contest shifted gears. ES9C TEST!

On the in-band position, Jüri ES5JR was calmly fishing for CW callers, while the guys at run were interchangeably operating SSB. There was not much of resting for others; socializing and storytelling was second to observing and trying to understand how to unlock the true power of the superstation with a small switch at the run position or a hidden pedal at the in-band.

Pork ribs to test out the kitchen shack of ES5TV

Pork ribs to test out the kitchen shack of ES5TV

 

As the contest progressed, seats were switched, stomachs got empty. To mitigate the latter, almost 10 kilos of pork ribs were waiting to test out the kitchen shack of ES5TV. My wife took command and the ribs were such a success that the contest almost had to pause. Some photo evidence survived, clearly displaying Toomas ES5RY praising the final outcome.

Night time was low band time and 160 meters turned out to be the most valuable multiplier band, an average of more than 5 points for QSO. Linas LY5AT made his first and valuable CW QSO’s – chasing multipliers with assistance was not rocket science and, hopefully, a little push and promise to future self to become proficient in CW.

We have finished the contest with almost 2,6M points and all except five Ukrainian oblasts in the log. There were no empty chairs throughout the night and enjoyable openings on 20 meter band in the morning. On 15 meters, nobody was a match to the famous double-H tower, pictured below. The only thing we have lacked was good 10 meter propagation and enough sleep.

In the aftermath, Simas LY3EU said: “I used to hate working in multi-op category, but this contest has changed this. Toomas gave awesome tips which have changed my view on teamwork during contests. His operating tips made me to like contesting a lot more than I used to. The station setup is amazing and it is something to be desired by many. There is a ton of antennas to choose from, there is a humongous amount of filters, switches and all kinds of stuff which make operating the station a lot more fun. I loved this contest!”

Linas LY5AT also added:

The team!

The team!

“I’ve worked in a Multi-op station before, but after coming to ES5TV I have realized that everything I knew about such operating style could be done in a completely different way. It was a great pleasure to take part in operating such a modern, complex and really amazing set up station which opened up my eyes. Tonno – thank you for this opportunity, and thanks for all the tips and support from the locals who were in the station

Toomas ES5RY, Juri ES5JR, Valeri ES5QA.”

In my own experience, I rarely participate in contests alone. Teamwork and smooth cooperation to me are essential parts of amateur radio contesting. But overall enjoyment of it, all the positive emotions you get from humming crowds, waiting for your call, is extremely important. Some amateurs might find contesting stressful just because of reasons; they might think they can’t keep up with the results of the experienced, drag the team behind, but guys, that is not how cooperation works. My view here – no matter what your capabilities, set your attitude to positive and you will always get better results from everything you do – and contesting at large is no exception.

 

Simonas Kareiva, LY2EN
President, Chairman of the Board
Lithuanian Amateur Radio Society (LRMD)

Youngsters joining A44A in CQWW SSB 2017

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For the first time, two youngsters will join a multinational team at A44A during the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB contest. The idea behind this is to find new stations and hosts for future YCP (youth contest program) events and general YOTA purposes, like participating in events such as December month and Summer camps. The station is located in Muscat, Oman, and is the headquarter station of the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society (ROARS) and is commonly known as A47RS. We would like to extend a huge thanks to the team in Oman and everyone else to make this project happen and we hope to see you down the log during the activity.

       

December YOTA Month 2017 registration started!

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Winter is coming to the northern hemisphere, summer is starting in the southern part. Which means it’s time again for December YOTA month! We encourage you all to take part using a callsign with YOTA in suffix. The idea is to show the amateur radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters to become active on the ham radio waves.
Do you want to participate? Register here before December starts.

YOTA UK Participant’s stories #2

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YOTA UK has come to an end. Another great week where a lot of information was exchanged and many new friendships were made.

Today we have Sebbe and Michele describing the ISS contact and their experience with ham radio respectively.

YOTA UK ON8WS

Sebbe, Belgium, ON8WS

Hi, I’m Sebbe from the Belgian team and I am an amateur radio operator for 6 years. This is my first time participating in the YOTA event. The activity I liked the most was the ISS contact. In the past, I have heard a few school contats of the ISS just by using handheld radio and a directional antenna from my garden. It was one my dreams to see a space station contact in real life and thanks to YOTA, this dream has come true. This was really a once in a lifetime opportunity. We had a contact with Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli. We could see him live via video and he answered a lot of our questions about ham radio in space and onboard the ISS. We had some technical issues in the beginning but these were solved very quickly thanks to the ARISS operators, Nasa, and Paolo Nespoli himself. I would like to thank YOTA for this wonderful experience.

I am Michele, IZ1YPF, from Italy. Amongs all the activities we’ve been doing the foundation exam interested me a lot. It’s challenging beeing examinated in another language. Even if I got my italian full licence, was actually interesting knowing how the rules and requirements are in the UK. The tricky part was actually think withe britain’s mind set. Most of the questions were really hard to answer just because, after some years in the hobby, I forgot the proper procedures. I would say that this activity gave me a good re-education, on what are the actual laws before, during and after transmitting on the air.
I just hope to get my call, and make some qsos just before leaving the country.

YOTA UK IZ1YPF

Michele, Italy, IZ1YPF

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