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Subregional camp Czech Republic – Feedback

By | Community Written, Czech Republic 2019, Publication, Subregional Activities | No Comments

First of all, I would like to thank all the organizers because the preparation and implementation has been a great effort and time. With the participants, we planned to go through the theory of radioamateur broadcasting, after testing without transmitting to a practical radio contest with radio stations. In the form of competitions and questions we went through all the corners of amateur radio operations. Children could then try all of these types of supervised operations, either through satellite and shortwave operation, or even FM operation including DSTAR and DMR. In the end we thanked all participants and rewarded the winners in the individual competitions.

Martin Černý OK1VHB, IARU R1 Youth coordinator

 

YOTA in the Czech Republic was my fourth YOTA event and the first one on a subregional level. Therefore, I found myself not knowing what to expect, because I knew there would be much younger attendees compared to the big YOTA summer camps. However, during the whole weekend, every participant, without exception, was focused on learning the basics of ham-radio operation and finding their own joy in it. I really liked how all activities were in a form of competition, which motivated the new potential future operators to always do their best and create new friendships. The days at the camp flew by, due to the very packed program the organisers of Czech Radio Club prepared for us. In three days, they managed to enlighten the participants in all of the areas which ham-radio offers, such as fox-hunting or connections through satellites. At the end of the weekend, I felt really happy about spending time among all of the curious minds and look forward to the next YOTA events.

Bety OM1DP

I’ve really enjoyed this Subregional camp. The program was just perfect. I learned a lot about ham radio and made new friends there too. Trainers at the camp were well experienced and they explained everything you wanted to know. The hotel we stayed at was a really good pick, because the rooms were in good shape and the food was good too. Everything was just great and I’m looking forward to another Czech Radio Club event.

Michal

Subregional camp Czech Republic – Sunday

By | Community Written, Czech Republic 2019, Publication, Subregional Activities | No Comments

The last day of our camp started with presentation about PMR followed by a PMR contest. The youngsters made huge progress in their operation skills, many of them could soon take part in a real contest! After lunch there was a presentation about DX on VHF, UHF and microwave by Petr OK2ULQ. Those youngsters who were relatively new to hamradio were amazed at how far one can reach using only simple equipment. We finished our camp with the awarding the winners of the Of-Air contest and PMR contest.

During the whole weekend there was a competition to paint OL19CAMP QSL cards. The most beautiful one will be used as an official QSL card and will be distributed via bureau.

 

 

Subregional camp Czech Republic – Saturday

By | Community Written, Czech Republic 2019, Publication, Subregional Activities | No Comments

On Saturday the program started at 6 a.m. –  kids are unstoppable! A lot of them couldn’t stay in bed and started to operate the radio in the early morning. The official program started with workshops. The participants were divided into 4 groups which rotated between five stands –

1) Fox hunting theory

2) J-Pole antenna building workshop

3) Electronics basics (taught by using a game)

4) Satellite operation

5) DX and contest basics

Dividing the participants into groups allowed the presenters to make their presentations more interactive and interesting for the participants, for example by using a game.

 After lunch we went out and tried ARDF, this was connected to the SOTA activation. Each youngster was given a receiver and their task was to find the fox hidden three kilometers from the camp. Despite our assurance that there is no need to leave the roads, of course the youngsters decided to follow the signal exactly and set off straight into the impassable forest! The finish was close to the look-out tower where the HF and VHF SOTA set-ups were prepared in advance. The lookout tower was the perfect place to test the J-pole antennas made in the morning. Unfortunately, it started to rain very heavily on the way back, the outside activities scheduled for the rest of the day were cancelled.

In the evening there was an “Off-Air contest”. First the participants learned how to make a contest QSO and how to log it correctly. After some time practicing, Honza OK1JD announced that he is satisfied with the contesters performance and that the big Off-Air contest could start. It was a great success! Considering that most of the youngsters had never had a QSO before the start of the camp, it was simply unbelievable how they were suddenly able to make 3 – 4 QSOs per minute.

The day ended with a presentation about all the activities organized by YOTA, for example the December YOTA Month, the Youth Contesting Program and the summer camps by Martina OK2YLQ. The participants were enthusiastic about participating in more of the YOTA activities in the future.

 

Subregional camp Czech Republic – Friday

By | Community Written, Czech Republic 2019, Publication, Subregional Activities | No Comments

The first Czech YOTA Subregional camp started in the afternoon of Friday the 27th, with the arrival of the first participants. The registration of newcomers lasted until 7 p.m.. The program was started by Martin OK1VHB who made a presentation to introduce the participants who are new to hamradio to HAM radio and the HAM spirit. The program continued with a lecture by Honza OK1JD about physics, antennas, radios and QSO basics. All of the participants learned how to make a SSB contactsand in the end of the day everybody was able to understand the principles, so during the night 80 m operation using OL19CAMP could follow.

After a little stress before the first CQ calls, the small expectations of the organisers were quickly exceeded. The Youngsters were really comfortable operating the radio and their enthusiasm and open mind were a big surprise.What makes this camp different to previous YOTA subregional camps is that a large part of the participants were not yet ,for many of them it was the first time learning about amateur radio.

 

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 6

By | Community Written, Publication, YOTA Bulgaria 2019 | No Comments

The last full day of the 2019 YOTA summer camp began with the last session of teams presenting the youth activities they have done in the last year and their plans for the next year. For the morning workshop the teams were split into two groups again, whilst one group built a vhf antenna and learnt about the theory behind it, the other learnt about ropes and knots and practiced a number of useful knots, fore example for putting up antennas at field days . After lunch the hands on workshops were continued with building an HF antenna, as before the youngsters also learnt about the theory behind how this antenna works. The wire dipole for the 20 metre band is a great tool for field days, SOTA activations and more. Furthermore this antenna enables a lot of youngsters who do not have access to other antennas to get on the air from their home. Combining the theory with hands on building made it very interesting and more intuitive.

After the last workshop there was a grand ceremony including a magic show to mark the end of the YOTA camp. Followed by a small  farewell party where all participants enjoyed the last evening together.

The special callsign LZ19YOTA was on the air nearly 24 hours a day. Youngsters who had never before had a HF QSO were helped by those who have experience. It was also a great opportunity to exchange contest experience and learn from each other.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 5

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Just like the last few days, the day began with a Train the Trainer presentation, this time the Finnish team gave an in depth view in to one of YOTA’s  most successful subregional camps, the NOTA – Nordics On The Air, which has already been organised twice. They gave many great ideas which can be used at other subregional camps and some great recommendations on organising such an event. Again this presentation was great motivation for the other youngsters to organise something once they get back from YOTA.

Amateur radio is different in different countries, for example in Austria Hamnet is popular, in other countries it’s VHF contesting. Today the Bulgarian organisers showed us what is popular in their country: ARDF and HST! The morning workshops featured some explanations of ARDF, especially interesting for those participants who have not done ARDF before, but also those who have some experience learnt a lot from the experienced Bulgarians. In the afternoon we had the chance to put what we learnt into practice. Some ARDF beacons were set up around the location of the camp and the participants had fun finding them with their ARDF receivers. Other participants chose to practice their high speed telegraphy skills with a variety of different morse keys.

The afternoon ended with another session of short presentations by the participating countries, they showed which youth activities they have done in the past year and what their plans are for the next year.  The purpose of these presentations is to exchange ideas for youth projects between countries. Furthermore the successful projects of some countries motivated those with relatively young youth groups that it is possible to grow a large and active youth group. For example the participants told about their visits to technical schools

After these presentations there was still some time to operate using the callsign LZ19YOTA late into the night.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 4

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The 4th day of the YOTA summer camp started with a Train the Trainer presentation by the German team, having recently organised a very large and successful subregional camp, they had a lot of interesting ideas and experiences to talk about. More and more subregional camps and activities are being organised by youngsters all over IARU Region 1 and this presentation motivated many of the youngsters to organise some activities of their own.

Following the presentation by the German team, the hands on workshops of the day started. The participants were split into 2 groups, one group began building a vhf wire antenna with a very interesting design, along with learning about how the antenna works in theory. The other group began a great interactive lecture about ropes and knots, skills which are essential when putting up an antenna. Aside from learning different knots and when to use them the participants also learnt about types of rope and their uses in amateur radio and some useful tricks for SOTA or field day activities and putting up antennas at home.

The afternoon was different from the other days, today the youngsters got on a bus to go the beautiful city centre of the capital city of Sofia, just 30 minutes drive from the camp location. The trip brought the youngsters to many famous places, for example the famous Alexander Nevsky cathedral or the beautiful national historical museum.  This excursion was a great chance to see the culture and architecture of a different country. YOTA is not only about amateur radio but also about cultural exchange between youngsters and bringing the teams which are from all over IARU Region 1 closer together. After all amateur radio is a passion which brings people from all over the world together.

After returning from the city trip, the youngsters began with their own short presentations. Each country had about 5 minutes to tell the other participants what youth activities they have done in the past year and how successful these were. But maybe most importantly they explained their plans and ambitions for the next year. This was a great opportunity to learn from each other and exchange experiences.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 3

By | Community Written, Publication, YOTA Bulgaria 2019 | One Comment

The day was started by an interesting presentation by the Italian team who told the participants about their subregional camp and their successful youth activities. The idea is to inspire youngsters to start heir own local activities after going home from the YOTA camp. Even though the participants still felt the effects of last night’s intercultural evening, they were all eager to learn from their fellow youngsters. Again the Train the Trainer presentation was followed by the second part of yesterdays presentation on measurements by Rhode and Schwarz. Seeing professional instruments in action was quite an experience for the participants.

The afternoon activities were very different, all participants left the hotel and took the bus to the Milara factory in Sofia. This innovative Bulgarian company produces a wide range of products for the production of electronics, for example robots for the automatic production of semi conductors. The visit gave an insight into the technology and how it is related to amateur radio. And once again it was clear that amateur radio can be the beginning of a great career in many kinds of engineering.

After the visit to Milara, the trip continued to the impressive LZ5R contest station, for some of the participants this was the first time at a large contest station. The antenna farm and large masts were quite impressive! But the staton set up was equally impressive, learning how a large station is structured and interconnected was incredibly interesting.

Again the YOTA participants learnt a lot during the day and after getting back to the hotel in the evening, and eating dinner the youngsters sat together to write articles for their national radio magazines, their social media and websites.

Don’t forget to follow our social media channels for more updates and pictures, you can find links at the top of the page.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 2

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The first day of the 2019 YOTA camp began with the traditional group picture with all countries presenting their national flags. After this the first Train the Trainer presentation began, the aim of the Train the Trainer program during this week is to give youngsters the skills, ideas and knowledge to go home at the end of the week and start their own youth activities in their countries. There will be various presentations by a number of countries during the week and time to exchange ideas and experiences between the teams. This mornings presentation was by one of the organisers of the 2016 YOTA summer camp in Austria, giving some tips on how to organise such an event. For example, the budget, some tools to help organise, how to get sponsors, how to communicate with the media and much more.

The next presentation was by Rhode and Schwarz, a sponsor of the camp. The participants learnt about the basics of electronic measurements in amateur radio and how they can be used in all kinds of situations. A very interesting and useful lesson! Tomorrow the presentation will be continued, for sure there will be a lot more to learn.

After learning so much it was time for lunch and after a short break the afternoon activities started. During the afternoon the participants built electronic kits which can be used to find broken transistors. Furthermore the participants had the opportunity to put what they learned in the morning into practice by using a variety of different measuring instruments.  Everybody had fun soldering and putting together the kits. The more experienced youngsters helped those who have less experience with the soldering irons. A great example of youngsters teaching each other and working together. Again a lot was learnt, not only how to solder and put together a kit but also how the kits work and the function of some of the different components. Meanwhile some youngsters operated on 20 metres using the special callsign LZ19YOTA, which will be on the air during most of the week.

The evening ended with a joint dinner. After this the social highlight of the day began, the intercultural evening. This is a tradition which has been going on for a long time at the YOTA summer camps. Each team brings traditional food and drinks from their country. Many teams wear traditional clothing to represent their countries culture. The participants are always proud to show the traditional food of their country, and it was obvious that a lot of effort went into the preparations. The food available ranged from smoked cheese from Slovakia, to sweet Baklava from Turkey and everything in between. Apart from the culinary side, a lot of countries also showed of their countries touristic attractions, for example Iceland’s stunning landscapes. It was an evening of cultural exchange and gave the participants the chance to get to know each other: a lot of new friendships were made, and now the whole group knows each other.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 1

By | Community Written, Publication, YOTA Bulgaria 2019 | One Comment

YOTA Bulgaria 2019 – Day1

During the day the YOTA participants arrived at Sofia airport, only about 30 minutes from the Hotel where the YOTA camp is taking place. By the evening all the teams had arrived at the hotel in Bankya, just outside the capital city Sofia.

After a grand ceremony in the middle of the city centre, YOTA 2019 was officially opened by Alexandra Alexandrova, the deputy major of the city. All participants joined the ceremony together with many local citizens of Bankya.

Welcoming words were spoken by Vesi LZ1VST and Panayot LZ1US, on behalf of the organising committee and BFRA, joined by Lisa PA2LS and Alex IV3KKW representing IARU R1.

The ceremony ended with traditional Bulgarian dances performed by a local dancing group wearing beautiful traditional Bulgarian dresses. In the end the audience and the YOTA participants joined the dancing to traditional Bulgarian folk music.

We are looking forward to a great week of learning and exchange between different countries, with the first presentation starting tomorrow morning.