TRAIN THE TRAINER REPORT: JANUARY 2020 EDITION
From 17th to 20th of October 2019 in Rome there was the biggest Maker Faire in Europe and YOTA Italia had the opportunity to participate presenting a new project to be used in case of emergency: a suitcase which provides you the ability to communicate and control remotely items using the satellite Oscar-100. The kit is composed of an ADALM Pluto, a small amplifier and a Raspberry-Pi, the kit is able of receive and transmit in full-duplex mode using a small dish and we hope to have it fully working during the next year.
During the same Faire we were also streamed live to the national radio broadcast station “Rai Radio 2” talking about amateur radio hobby and how to become an ham-radio operator. The faire was a great success and we had a lot of new young people involved in our team.
Since a few years it’s a habit of YOTA Italy to participate to Pescara Ham-faire. Also this year we went there with youngsters from all over the country: Andrea IU8HPE, Fiodor IZ7YBG, Matteo IU2GGL and Martin IN3IBW with his father Christian IN3EYI, ARI national manager coordinator for the ARI radio club, of which YOTA Italy is a part. Ham radio fairs are a functional way to show to the OMs that there is Youth in Hamradio and that they care about the future. In this edition of Pescara we met Emanuele IU8MFH, who is licences but didn’t know about the YOTA world. He was very surprised when he found out because he didn’t think that something like YOTA could exist. He will surely participate to other activities in the future. We also distributed many leaflets to people who asked us about YOTA and they’ll talk about it to their sons and grandchildren. We had good results from the fair and even the OM were very proud of us and hoped the YOTA project grows up more and more.
- YOTA Sub regional camp in PA
A team of 7 Italian youngsters invaded this year’s winter YOTA camp in PA. We had a few difficulties to arrive and ended up there 4 hours late but we made it at the end! Surprisingly for the first time in YOTA Italy there were more girls than boys in the team. For two of the girls was the the first time being involved in a YOTA event. Claudia IN3HJX was very surprised from these experience. This was her impression: ” Winter YOTA was my first sub regional camp. I didn’t know what to expect at first, I didn’t know the other youngsters and I was a bit worried but I gave it a try, and I was right! Too bad it was so short… At the camp I made my first qso and I got closer to the Ham world, I met new friends from different countries and I’m still in contact with some of them. I even got the chance to build a QRM detector and I think that was one of the most interesting activities. The Dutch guy who was sitting beside me taught me how to do it and the result was pretty good. I would do it all over again. This was a great start to enter the Ham world! I’m even going to meet with a few other girls for a contest in January.”
We’re trying to involve new youngsters in this kind of events even if it can be difficult since some of them can be a bit shy at first. Many of us are already looking forward to subscribing to this year’s YOTA camps and hopefully also this time we’ll have some new participants in our team.
During tiìhis year’s DYM sine if the italian youngsters worked hard and managed to make 11.713 QSOs, a good result considering bad propagation and every day’s tasks. Moreover we had less operating youngsters compared to last year, but many of them had never used a YOTA special callsign before.
The two callsigns that we have had assigned were II4YOTA and II8YOTA.
We were active in many modes and bands (SSB, CW and FT8 in HF, VHF and QO-100 satellite).
Some of us took the occasion to operate from radio club stations, contest stations and other places. Alessandro IU4FNO even used it during Vecchiacchi contest. He says: “Vecchiacchi memorial day is a VHF&UP contest, held every year in the first weekend of December. Due to my university schedule, I managed to operate only for the last three hours, using my home station under II4YOTA. A total of 88 QSOs where made, quite good result considering my QTH and working conditions. I really enjoy VHF&UP competitions and using the YOTA special call added extra fun. Callers where intrigued by the strange suffix and many of them discovered the existence of YOTA and the DYM event.
We hope to have more VHF&UP contests worked by Italian Youngsters in the future, considering that some of them have a separate section for youngsters in their leaderboards. So yes! There is youth in Ham Radio… also above 50 MHz.”
During Christmas holidays we were active almost all day long and we didn’t stop till the 31st of December at 24:00 UTC. To communicate we used a Telegram group with all the interested youngsters. We also had, as last year, a Telegram Bot created by MarcoIU2DPM to reserve the callsigns and to check which calls were operating. We had a lot of fun and we are already looking forward to next year.
Two of our youngsters participated with their relatives to the kids Day the 4th of January.
A very interesting day for the kids and for the youngsters that help THEM. Unluckily we couldn’t organise anything big because this event is not very known in Italy and we decided to participate only the day before. Kids were very interested in this funny way of communicating and, who knows, maybe some of them will also start studying for the radio operator licence. Amelia IU5LVM, who participated with her cousin Jacopo, said:”It was very cool, even if I was very tired after. I Found out that my cousin is a little pile up machine that can’t wait for the next kids day to come to participate again. I hope he will keep building interest for this hobby and take his licence soon.” This positive experience will surely be a good excuse to organise something bigger in the future. Hopefully this event will get more popular with all the photos that we posted on social medias. It’s a great opportunity considering that here you can’t operate without a licence, not even with a OM near you.
We didn’t do anything as big as previous years. Usually the youngsters would meet at a contest station and work together but this year some of them were at the subregional camp. Many youngsters still managed to do the contest by their self.
One of them is Carmelo IT9GHW: “An intense week of study seemed lighter than usual … I was waiting for the 40/80mt contest.
After reviewing the contest rules on ARI website, I turn on my ICOM IC-7300, setup the PC and configured QARTest (a must have for every contest).
I wish I could run on single operator 80 meters but I had no chance to put up a reasonable antenna.
I officially started the contest at 13:06 UTC.
After 5 QSOs in SSB, S&P mode, I switch to RTTY, just to warm up a bit.
I kept on running until 18:54 UTC with a few breaks. In the meanwhile I switched role, S&P and RUN both in SSB and in RTTY, a few times until the skip is way too long to get some new italian station.
At 07:00 UTC the next day I resumed the contest. The competition kept running smoothly with a few breaks along the way. I completed the contest at 12:02 with 200 QSOs, 105 connected provinces and a raw score of 28665 points.
The 40/80mt contest is always a good opportunity to build some contest experience, many people consider this “national” contest a really easy one. This is not true, even a local competition can have some “difficulties”.
I’d like to take part of a team of young radio amateurs like me but both the distance between my QTH and the northern part of Italy (most of the YOTA guys are located there) and the the lack of Youngsters colleagues in the area, make it very difficult to happen.
I’d like to say thank you to Yota Italia group for letting me experience a more dynamic and exciting radio amateur activity.”
- YL’s “Bande Basse” contest
On the 11th and 12th of January, the Italian Bande Basse contest was held. For the occasion was created a team of only YL of different ages and experiences, composed by Amelia IU5LVM, Lucia IU5IZQ, Simona IZ5IOZ, Nicole IZ3XAK, Claudia IN3HJX, Lucrezia and Paola (waiting for their callsigns).
This event was decided to take place at the A.R.I. Prato Radio Club located in the center of Italy at a reasonable distance from each participant.
What motivated us to pursue this initiative was the idea of finding and building an opportunity that would allow us to join together among Italian YLs, to get to know each other, have fun and learn together. That’s why we wanted to do a contest with a team of YL only!
To make it even more exciting, following a proposal by Roberto IK3TCH president of the A.R.I. Verona Radio Club, it was decided to create a “competition” in the “competition”, that was to create two teams, one of YL in Prato and one of OM in Verona, that would challenge each other till the last QSO!
To organize our challenger team’s contest in Verona was the young Alessio IU3LZN (licenced since last year). Several Radio Club’s members, Marco IU2DPM from Milan, Emanuele IU3GOW and Francesco IU3GNB from Verona took part to the challenge.
Once we had chosen contest, place and challengers, we took care of the organization, choosing a hotel not too far from the Radio Club and the catering for the meals.
The contest participants arrived from the evening of Friday the 10th until the morning of Saturday the 11th.
On Saturday morning there was a small visit to the city of Prato. Then just before the start of the competition a briefing took place where rules and regulations was reviewed and the team agreed on how to move during the contest. For the occasion we were given a pink sweater personalized with our name and the special call used for the occasion II5YL.
During the contest there were several pile up moments where we helped each other. The daytime coverage shifts were not rigidly fixed but everyone could work freely and friendly trying to always have at least two members of the team doing the contest at the same time. There was an exchange of advice given by the different Ham Radio experiences, there were those who had never done a QSO and those who had already done a lot of contests, those who knew the CW and those who didn’t. Among the many linking factors the differences and the meeting helped to build the group, favouring the growth of all of us!
During the night shift Paola operated in CW mode. Break time was really few because the adrenaline and the emotion of the contest gave us that charge to never give up to do QSOs and until the end the YL team gave it all!
The YL team made 589 QSOs while the OM team made 620 but the final score is still to be seen. Regardless of the result we all won because we all had a great time and the goal of unity seems to have been achieved!
Big thanks to A.R.I. Prato and A.R.I. Verona Radio Clubs who hosted us, the Regional Council of Tuscany and QSLitaly.it for the sponsorship and to all those who made this event possible.
- Big success: reduced ARI national fee for youngsters!
After a long 5 years of fights the 2020 ARI fee finally included a discounted price for young ham operators up to 25 years, the fee is 50% of the normal price (39€ instead of 78€).
Like every year, a group of youngsters will meet in March at the Ham-fair in Montichiari and hopefully this time we’ll see some new faces.
We are planning to do something from local radio clubs for the kids day will be held in June, with some games and activities to learn about the ham radio world.
There will probably be also some activities in schools, but nothing official yet.
We started by invading the PA19 camp and we look forward to send Italian operators to every camp during the 2020! Keep on rolling youngsters!