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ON1GPS Pieter

YOTA ZS 2018 Kicked off (Blog #1)

By | YOTA South Africa 2018 | No Comments

Today the YOTA event kicked off!

We started the day with an early breakfast, and had the first presentation at 8:30,
this was about the the current status of the radio station.

After a 15min break, the SDR workshop started, everyone got a free DVB-T dongle so they can do some basic SDR receiving, the workshop helped youngsters install SDR# software, gave short introductions to APRS/AX.25, weather sat decoding, SSTV and satellite tracking.

The next workshop was even more hands on, building a 2m/70cm dual-band handheld Yagi, with injection moulded supports and CNC cut fixing holes, it was so hands on the organizers had to threaten participants with lions to get the participants back to their seats for the next presentation.

Train the trainer is all about how to get youngsters in the Hamradio hobby,
the main ideas are:

  • ARISS contact
  • SOTA
  • Amsat
  • Social media
  • Basic license classes
  • workshops
  • contests
  • SOTA
  • Starting youth club
  • Fox hunting
  • youngsters camp
  • CBers, BOS paramedics
  • Construction of stuff
  • Scouts/field days

After lunch, we had a nice presentation about the preservation of Cheetahs, and even had one visit us!

A short break later, we were introduced to the BACAR (Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio) project, which is a whole story in itself, so we will come back about this later.

After dinner, it was time for the intercultural evening, where all the countries provide food and drinks from their country following camp tradition.

A few weeks to go!

By | Publication, YOTA South Africa 2018 | No Comments

With only a few weeks to go to YOTA 2018 in South Africa, the SARL Events Team is hard at work to conclude preparations for a 7 day programme filled with a range of amateur radio related activities, excursions and lots of fun!

The event will be held in the beautiful central region of Gauteng at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre easily accessible from the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

All teams and participants will be met at the airport with a traditional South African welcome and be transported to the venue.
Being in the Southern hemisphere and August in Gauteng, it will expectantly be a mild winter with sun-filled days with day time temperatures in the low 20 degrees C and will be a “pseudo-Summer” camp for the overseas visitors.

The week will offer many opportunities to learn more about amateur radio and getting to know fellow amateurs from various other countries.
Highlights planned for the week include learning about SDR technology with your own SDR dongle, build a mini CubeSat and experience launching it as well as tracking it into near space on a high altitude balloon. Learn about Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR) which is in essence amateur radio on the move and build a QRP HF transceiver kit.

A visit to a game reserve to view the Big Five including some cultural experiences like a traditional braaivleis in an open-air boma and operate the ZS9YOTA special events station.

The theme of “Train the Trainer” will be explored, to enable participants to return to their home countries, equipped and inspired to organize and promote radio amateur activities to other youth groups or ultimately starting a youth group.
Should you have any specific questions about travel arrangements, documentation or any other specific information, please do not hesitate to ask, we are happy to assist: [email protected]

The Events Team will keep participants informed in the next newsletter to be released soon. In the meantime bring your laptop, and if a licensed radio amateur your hand held radio and a copy of your amateur radio license.

We are looking forward to welcoming all teams in August this year!