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Day 5 | Wednesday, 2022-08-10

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Wednesday started again at 6.15 o’clock in the morning. Everyone gathered in front of the building to get some breakfast before getting on the bus for the second excursion.

After about an hour of bus drive, we reached the capital of Croatia. Hopping off the bus was close to the main square in Zagreb. Once arrived, participants were split into three groups and met with their tour guide. Thanks to them, the youngsters not only got the typical sightseeing spots but also got some more insights into the historical background of Zagreb. Starting at the main square, each group took a slightly different route, but all ended at the technical museum named after Nikola Tesla. The museum has been the second part of the day’s schedule. The visit there started with a high-voltage show. It has been very impressive and included also not only experiments but information about Nikola Tesla himself. He for example went to high school in Karlovac, which is the location of our camp! Some participants also volunteered for helping the museum guide show the experiments.

Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb

After the show, it was time for a tour through the rest of the museum. There were many old vehicles and a mine shaft to see. It was very interesting to see how people worked underground back then. Even though there was not much time left, the youngsters agreed that the radio exhibition can’t be skipped! Since it was already time for lunch, the busses picked everyone up and brought us to our lunch location on Medvednica. We went to a restaurant on the mountain and got served lunch. After lunch, half of the group went on to the summit of the mountain. When our group was eating, the other group had kindly been setting up a radio station. We could start working SOTA immediately and therethrough the Sljeme summit was activated. The group operated on both HF and VHF, and there was plenty of non-SOTA QSOs done as well, since we were so high, and the coverage from both repeaters and simplex was so good, doing a QSO on an FM handheld was easy, and even some Slovenian repeaters were easily opened on a handheld with 5W and a rubber duck antenna.

After operating the SOTA station for about three hours, we went to the cable car down. On our ride, the traffic was dense on the camp frequency since everybody wanted to make a QSO with their callsigns ”/Cable Car Mobile”. Down in the valley, the buses waited and we started going home. After arrival, dinner was served, and thereafter, the day faded into evening and soon it was night.

4 meter band at YOTA 9A by team France

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This blog post is written by YOTA Team France!

On Tuesday morning, the French team (Jules F4IEY, Maxime F4IQN, and Paul F4ILV) decided to operate, using their own QRP rig, on unusual amateur radio bands during the morning break.
To do this, we deployed our own setup with a portable dipole antenna and laptop in the middle of the camp.

At first, we wanted to try to operate the 4m band using the available rigs. After finding out it was not possible, we decided to tune our own Buddipole antenna on it, using a bunch of adapters and a nanoVNA to adjust both arms the right way. Then, we tried operating 70500 kHz SSB and FT8.

In a nutshell, the 4m band in Croatia is located in the VHF low band section (VLB) limited between 70.5 and 70.6 MHz. It is pretty interesting to use in terms of propagation as it combines both ionospheric and tropospheric properties.

Why operate 4m instead of 6m or another conventional VHF band? Well…The answer is quite simple: in France, it is forbidden to use this band because it is allocated to other public services that probably do not exist anymore such as analog ambulances or firefighters. So we decided to take the 9A summer camp as an opportunity for us to operate on it (and show it to our French old fellow hams what it looks like ^^).

Another interesting band we just figured out recently, that could also be used in Croatia, is the 8m band. Located between 40 and 40.5 MHz, a special local (non-CEPT) license is required to transmit on it as the third harmonic could interfere with the air band, especially near the emergency section (around 121.500 MHz). To get this grant, it could take weeks or even months; the HAKOM (local FCC entity) needs to verify that the transmitter used makes a clean modulation with no additional harmonic waste.

To comply with the restrictions, the team members told us operation might be possible using one of our available 9A special calls. It still needs confirmation though, it could be interesting to show fellow hams, the whole potential of these unknown and unused bands.

Still, we managed to tune the dipole quite easily on this band. However, unfortunately, we could not go further than listening, after finding out that the All band ICOM IC-705 rig does not support 4m…
But even without transmitting anything, we were able to listen to some CW beacons and other weak signals.

Next level: hoping to do the same kind of operation, with at least one QSO on 4m in the next few days of 9A Summer camp.
We definitely think that these forgotten bands need more attention.
Long live QRP, a power consumption-friendly amateur radio operation, promoting portable setup, anytime, anywhere!

Day 4 | Tuesday, 2022-08-09

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This blog post is written by Team Germany!

After a long trip day to Krk the day before, on the fourth day different workshops have been on the schedule. Breakfast was served from 7 to 8 o’clock and after a short team leader meeting, there were some energizer games such that everyone will get awake. The main activities for the day were workshops, again four in total in a rotating setting such that every group will get into every workshop during the day.

The first workshop for one of the groups was about the International Space Station ISS. Rather than being a tiring lecture, the youngsters were given some project work. They were supposed to create a poster about the ISS. But in the end, it was incredible to see what they created within one and a half hours! The posters either contained greatly structured information about the ISS or have been in a super creative style with really great drawing skills!

One workshop slot was reserved for operating time at the station. They have been using not only all the stations which are set up during the camp anyway, but they also had the chance to help each other and give some guidance to the newbies in more detail. Thereof, they especially encountered searching and fixing technical difficulties around the radios.

In between the workshops, there was a short break, but after the first two ones, it was time for a longer lunch break! Lunch was served and due to the amazing weather in Croatia, it was possible to have the meals like any other day outside at prepared tables under some trees.

In the afternoon, the schedule continued with the third workshop. It was time to program! The wabbits, the ARDF transmitters from the second day, were about to come alive. The participants installed Arduino software and connected their wabbits to their laptops. The start has been a pretty simple program, which just brings one LED on the board into blinking mode. This was extended such that the wabbits were able to blink in morse code and send CW signals.

The last workshop for the day was about carbon-neutral DXing. Renewable energy becomes more popular and is also prominent among the youth. The youngsters learned what is needed in order to set up power for a ham radio station using solar panels and batteries. They got to know how it works and what to take care of. Many have been surprised by the simplicity of the whole setup, especially once they got to experience it themselves outside in the practical part.

Solarpanels at carbon neutral DXing workshop

After all workshops, it was time for the daily train the trainer sessions. It included two presentations about youth activities in Italy and Croatia, which have been held by some participants of the camp. They included hands-on examples and explained the steps they have taken in order to set up these activities.

Dinner was served afterward and the activity for the night was prepared. A group from the Zagreb School of the film came and created an outdoor cinema. They showed a selection of award-winning films which have been made in Croatia. It ended with a surprise for one of the organizers: since it was his birthday, everyone joined singing a birthday song for him after the film. Cupcakes were served until people slowly started to go to bed to get some rest for the next day.

Team France operating 9A YOTA Stations in the morning

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This blog post is written by Team France!

After a long first day of introduction, we were told that Flex radio stations were available 24/7. So we decided to take this as an advantage to activate them…At 4 AM.

So the next day, we actually woke up at 4 AM and got downstairs to the radio stations. We were surprised that the security guards were also there at that time of the night, watching us in the dark wondering what we were doing.
As soon as we got there, we started to call CQ on 20 & 40m with both 9A22YOTA (local setup) and 9A1YOTA (remote station installed on Krk island) special calls. To be honest, operating “top gun” stations such as this feels quite satisfying with more than a kilowatt power output!

Paul F4ILV and Jules F4IEY went nuts on 14Mhz, by doing a lot of American stations and actually got several Australian stations with a good report as well!
Maxime F4IQN managed to work a lot of US stations using 9A1YOTA and even got a 59+20 report from a Texan station on 40m! Indeed, at that time of the day, the grayline allows this kind of staggering QSOs.In the end, we did what we wanted (paying the sleep price but still^^): we really felt free to operate as we wanted, lonely, with no other external disturbance.
Moreover, watching the daylight on dawn and the rising sun also felt like magic.At first glance, it did not sound like a good idea but if we had to choose between catching some VKs on the air and sleeping time, well…The answer was quickly figured out! Not to mention the initial plan was to quickly operate the stations and get back to sleep. However, it turned out that we just carried on until the morning, thus we did not get back, resulting in being more tired but proud and happy!

73 DE 9A/F4 Team

Day 3 | Monday, 2022-08-08

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This blog post is written by Team Germany!

The hardest part of the third day has directly been the very first task of the day: getting up such that one will be in time for the meeting at 6.15 o’clock to start the excursion. Everyone managed to do so! A little later the bus started its route heading to the coast. Until arrival, it was nearly 3h to go, but everyone used the time to eat the packed breakfast and get some more rest.

Once arrived, everyone was excited to check out the site for the day. It was located in Baška, a city on Krk island. A team of organizers went to the place even earlier in the morning in order to set up a station. So the youngsters were able to activate the IOTA island EU-136 directly from the beginning. They set up several beams, vertical antennas, and a satellite station, such that there was an HF station, a 6m station, and a QO100 station available.

The youngsters have been using the station a lot! But since there was also outdoor sports equipment provided, they also used the change to energize and do some physical movement. It is a great refreshment after sitting and listening at a station. But the greatest part here was to see, how all the different nationalities and cultures, no matter if younger or older, smaller or taller, played together outdoor games. They agreed and adapted all the rules automatically and made sure that everyone is integrated! Everyone was considerate without exception, if someone fell down, he was immediately helped up by others and no one, literally no one, was interested in a competition. For everyone the game and the community stood in the foreground, no one wanted to be the fastest or best. This is the spirit we want to have in our hobby and we can be proud that our youngsters are spreading exactly this spirit!

One of the stations on the air from the island of Krk was 9A1ØØQO.

The whole site was prepared with cozy seating so if youngsters weren’t at the station or in a sports game, they sat down to connect with each other or used the group’s laptops in order to get on air remotely.

After lunch, it was time to enjoy the Croatian summer at the beach! The swimmers within the participants enjoyed the beautiful turquoise water of the Adriatic sea while the non-swimmers got an ice cream or took a sun bath at the beach. At that point, we also need to mention, that some youngsters even skipped the beach part in order to stay at the station and operate there. Is anyone still in doubt that the youth is not interested in our hobby? Choosing to be on air rather than enjoying a beach with beautiful torques of water gives a clear answer!

After the beach time, it was time for the daily Train The Trainer session. This time, each of the four groups should think of two small activities that can be done with a group of youngsters. This could range from energizer or icebreaker games to fun educational activities, but all somehow related to ham radio. They should provide the ideas in an activity card, mentioning not only how it works, but also how long it will take, what needs to be provided, and what are or knowledge the players should have. We still don’t know all the ideas that came up, since the presentations of them will be done next time. Later on, they will also be available on our website.

After that, pizzas were served, so it was a relaxed dinner time. The bus left at 20 o’clock to get back to the campsite. Once arrived, most of the participants went for a shower to remove the salt from the sea. Being tired and being back in the room, going to bed was the first option for most of the youngsters. Nevertheless, a few resisted the tiredness and so the evening ended with some music and guitar jamming.

Day 2 | Sunday, 2022-08-07

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This blog post is written by Team Germany!

After a long arrival day for some teams, the first day was rather kept short. For the second day of YOTA Summer Camp 2022 many activities had been planned. The day started with breakfast at 7 am. Due to the great weather conditions in Croatia during summer, the food at the camp is served outside. Since everyone gathered for breakfast, the chance has been taken to make a few announcements for everyone. After a short team leader meeting for further alignment, the activities started at 8.30 o’clock with energising games.

For the energisers, the participants gathered in their group for the first time. Each country is assigned to one of four groups and many activities throughout the week will be done within these smaller groups.

After getting to know the group members better as well as getting awake through the energisers, it was time to start with the first workshops. There have been four different workshops each of the same length, so each group was rotating along.

In the first workshop, the youngsters have been thinking about sustainability in ham radio. They have been thinking about sharing a station and that working remotely will help overcome some issues of sustainability. But they also came up with limitations of it. Nevertheless, they were interested in the opportunities it offers them. Especially, since many youngsters are limited in space and money if it comes to setting up a station. They have practically experienced the delay arising from being on air remotely.

After a break, the groups continued with the next workshop. In another one, FT8 has been introduced. The first part consisted of a lecture where they learned about what you need and what to take care of in order to do FT8. Besides the necessary hardware, they learned about WSJT, such that they are well prepared for the practical part. The lecture was continued outside at the station such that the youngsters could also experience the theory at hand!

Before the groups continued with the third activity, there was time for some well-deserved lunch. After some food and a longer lunch break, the workshops continued.

The next part for the group was to learn about the history of the first overall satellites as well as ham radio satellites. Through a combination of theory and practice, the group was learning how to work on satellites, their orbit, and which equipment is needed. The group also learned about the satellite QO-100, a Qatari geostationary. It is reachable from nearly all home countries of the youngsters attending.

After a break, the last workshop for the day has been a soldering project. Each participant was given a “wabbit”, a small ARDF beacon setup. It is a self-designed kit based on an Arduino component. The main part of it has been assembled in the workshop. All youngsters enjoyed the kit building quite much. It was also great to see that not only did supervisors help if something within the kit-building was unclear, but also the participants did so among themselves. The workshop finished with the built main part and the microcontroller will follow in an upcoming workshop.

After all the workshops the youngsters had another well-deserved break. Before the dinner, it was time for the first TTT session.

It started with some history about how TTT started. Of course, also a general introduction has been given and a short overview of the TTT Web page, such that everyone understands the concept behind it better. In order to give more concrete hands-on examples, two teams gave a presentation about youth activities in their country.

Last but not least, it was finally time for the traditional intercultural evening! Every team brought various national food or something that is typical for their countries. To get a rough idea, every team shortly introduced what they have on their table. After that, everyone could walk around to check out everything themselves! Some stayed at their booth while others started to walk around. So that way everyone could get in touch with each other throughout the evening.

And simultaneously you got to know many different peculiarities, some even brought some souvenirs or wear their traditional clothing, and QSL cards were exchanged. And with all these different flavors and impressions, the second day of YOTA summer camp came to an end.

Day 1 | Saturday, 2022-08-06

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The long awaited and unfortunately twice postponed 10th edition of a YOTA Summer Camp has finally started this evening. From August 6th to August 13th the event will be held in Karlovac, Croatia, in the south of Zagreb. After two long years of no in-person events, we are more than happy that the Croatian Amateur Radio Society (HRS) in cooperation with the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group put all the effort once again into making a YOTA Summer Camp in 2022 finally possible. The camp is now attended by nearly 100 participants from 24 countries.

Throughout the week, several workshops and activities have been planned for the participants. They will learn a lot about various topics of our common ham radio hobby as well as being able to directly connect with mind-liked youngsters in the same age group.

The first day was dedicated to three main activities.

Firstly, teams travelled from their home countries to the venue in Croatia by train, bus, car or plane. After their arrival they were greeted and picked up by a big group of volunteers at the various locations around the Zagreb area. Shuttle busses then carried the participants towards their final destination, the YOTA Summer Camp. Thus, lots of smaller groups arrived in Karlovac throughout the entire day and checked-in to their rooms. Every participant received a YOTA 2022 branded backpack with lots of useful and needed gear for the upcoming week and its activities upon arrival.

In the afternoon the first presentation with an introduction of the earth-surrounding planets and the in the radio world well-known sunspots took place. The youngsters were able to observe all these planets and the sun later in the outside area as well.

From 8pm local time sponsors as well as guests of the camp were welcomed to the venue to tour the camp location including the set up radio stations. Afterwards they were invited to attend the official Opening Ceremony which was streamed live to the YOTA YouTube channel. You can re-watch the event here. Guests and speakers were Mr. Tomić (Croatian Association of Technical Culture), Mr. Vincetić (Croatian Amateur Radio Society), Mrs. Šćulac (Karlovac County) and Mrs. Fočić (City of Karlovac). The whole evening was moderated by Croatian organizing committee members Mihaela Šišul (9A3WW) and Petar Papoči (9A7PP). After a short welcome by Philipp Springer (DK6SP), Chair of the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group, Emil Balen (9A9A), Head of the Croatian Organizing Committee, announced the 10th edition of YOTA Summer Camp 2022 open.

The evening ended with more stargazing at the location and social activities among all the youngsters. First contacts and even more QSOs were made, and we are looking forward to an amazing week ahead.

UPCOMING: 10th YOTA Summer Camp Croatia 2022

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This year’s 10th YOTA Summer Camp will be held in Karlovac, Croatia, from 6th to 13th August.
The organizers as well as all worldwide attending teams are looking forward to a week of training, fun and most important new friendships.

And also YOU can be part of the event!

YOTA Team Croatia (HRS) established an AWARD which everyone can achieve by working the YOUNGSTERS ON THE AIR during the Summer Camp 2022.

AWARD RULES:

1 Points

This award is awarded based on a defined number of points. Each QSO with a 9A YOTA station (9A22YOTA, 9A1YOTA, 9A2YOTA, 9A3YOTA, 9A4YOTA, 9A5YOTA, 9A100QO) in a different band/mode combination (slot) earns you one point. Duplicates do not count.
Valid QSOs will be QSOs made from August 6th 2022 0000 UTC to August 13th 2022 2359 UTC.

2 Scoring

You can obtain the award after having gathered the minimum required points (see Table 1 below).
Minimum required points differ for young operators (see Table 2 below).

Award LevelMinimum Number of StationsMinimum Number of Slots
Bronze9A22YOTA + 1 (2)6
Silver9A22YOTA + 2 (3)10
Gold9A22YOTA + 4 (5)20
Platinum9A22YOTA + 4 (5)max
Table 1: Minimum required points (all operators)

Award Level Minimum Number of Stations Minimum Number of Slots
Bronze9A22YOTA + 1 (2)4
Silver9A22YOTA + 2 (3)8
Gold9A22YOTA + 4 (5)12
Platinum9A22YOTA + 4 (5)max
Table 2: Minimum required points (young operators)

In case of a tie for a platinum position, both operators will be awarded platinum awards, but the operator that gathered the maximum number of points sooner will be given the prize.

3 Young Operators

A young operator is an operator who was under the age of 25 on January 1st 2022. Before August 13th 2359 UTC,
young operators can register online, providing evidence of their age on January 1st 2022. This will allow them to
participate in the awards as young operators and have adjusted the minimum required points.
To register you can fill in a form (https://forms.gle/xuB13wA1CvnjAxWC8).

4 Schedule

Operating times for different stations during the camp can be seen in Table 3 below.

Station (Callsign)Operating Date
9A22YOTAAugust 6th – August 13th
9A1YOTAAugust 6th – August 13th
9A2YOTAAugust 8th
9A3YOTAAugust 10th
9A4YOTAAugust 10th
9A5YOTAAugust 12th
9A100QOAugust 6th – August 13th
Table 3: Operating times for YOTA stations

5 Bands and Modes

During the duration of the YOTA Summer Camp Croatia 2022, the following bands and modes will be used.

Bands:

All amateur radio bands including WARC, VHF, UHF, and satellites.

Modes:

SSB, CW, digital (FT8, FT4, RTTY).

6 Awards

Awards will be presented online. All operators which have gathered the minimum required points will be able to
download their award after the final scoring after the end of the YOTA Summer Camp Croatia 2022.

7 Prize

The prize for platinum position operators above the age of 25, is s 9A5N key plus a weekend break for a family of four in the city of Karlovac, Croatia.

The prize for platinum position operators under the age of 25, is a CircuitMess Synthia plus a surprise. Special thanks for the YOUTH award at the platinum level goes to https://circuitmess.com/. If you don’t win, you can get 20% off their subscriptions using the discount code “YOTA20” !

8 Leaderboard

You can see the Summer Camp award leaderboards here: www.hamradio.hr/yota-yota-award/

Source

YOTA Team Croatia (HRS)

First Session – YOTA Contest 2022

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Press Release
by International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 – Youth Working Group

Nicosia, Cyprus – Tuesday, 15.05.2022

The first YOTA contest session of 2022 is coming up soon. Take the opportunity to test your stations a week prior the CQWPX CW contest, or better yet, open your radio station to the next generation and become a station sponsor. Give the next generation a chance at the radio and work the active ones in the YOTA Contest.

Thus, we want to remind you that we will have three (3) YOTA Contest sessions coming up in 2022 again. Lots of participants enjoyed the 2021 sessions already and thus we hope to get even more people involved into the events this year.

The upcoming three sessions will be taking place on the following days:

1st round | 21st May 2022 | 0800 – 1959 UTC
2nd round | 23rd July 2022 | 1000 – 2159 UTC
3rd round | 30th December 2022 | 1200 – 2359 UTC

So, are you ready to compete within the next YOTA Contest? Everyone in the ham radio community can take part, it takes place three times per year and only lasts 12 hours. Its aim is to increase the youngsters’ activity on the air, strengthening the reputation of the YOTA program and demonstrate the support for youngsters across the world.

During the past year we have received several rule translations into various languages. A big thank you to the contributors! So, if you are not that fluent in English, check them out here.

If you have any further questions after reading through the rules, please go to our FAQ page to see if your question has been answered already. If you still have a question, feel free to drop the YOTA Contest Committee an email at contest@ham-yota.com and we are happy to reply.

On behalf of the YOTA Contest Committee,

73 Philipp, 5B4AQC | DK6SP

Chair
Youth Working Group
International Amateur Radio Union
Region 1

 


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