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Nordics On The Air Finland 2019 – Day 3

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Sunday, 21st of April

Sunday, the third day of the camp started with the happening invented by the Swedish youth team. The challenge was to design a chosen type of CW paddle (straight, bug or sweeper) and build it out of a piece of plank, conducting tape, nails and the special rule, at least one fruit! The result was 8 keys with bananas an apples, even a Nokia phone! After the competition all the keys were tested on air and many youngsters got to try working CW for the first time.

During this time, half a dozen people were out in the woods activating a OHFF area Teijo National Park (OHFF-0112). It is great that so many wanted to try to activate the park that was 28 km away from Leirisalo. For them the day started early, approximately at 6:30 and they, of course, made some coffee. Everybody didn’t get so excited but the fun part in this hobby is that there is something for everyone.

The view at Teijo National Park was awesome, there was a fireplace and some snacks made by Tiiti OH3HNY. The atmosphere was awesome and we had so much fun.

This time the group had a Yaesu FT-817 and end fed half wave antenna for 80-10m, a log book and five watts to work with. It was a little hard but they did it. Together. Almost sixty QSOs and 2,5h later the youngsters returned back to campsite for lunch.

After the delicious falafel lunch we had four presentations about scouting and JOTA/JOTI from the Netherlands PA3L, Norway LB4IH, Iceland TF2EQ and Finland OH1ESI & OH1UBO. Getting to know your fellow mates in the camp is easiest done by sharing your stories!

Then it was time for the traditional Off air contest. With huge amounts of QRM from several crazy finns our participants max QSO count ended on ca 20 in 9 minutes.

When our ears finally got to rest for a bit it was time for more participant presentations. This time Oliver SA5ODJ introduced all friends to the interesting online material available from Dayton contest university and spoke about yagi theory. After all the presentations everyone learned something, from newbie to pro.

During the evening there was shack operation, ABBA singstar, taco sunday, sauna time and a huge pile of Finnish pancakes. If you’ve followed us on Instagram (@nordicsontheair) you might have seen some fantastic footage from the singstar session…

73 de OH2YOTA NOTA crew

Nordics On The Air Finland 2019 – Day 2

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Saturday, 20th of April

The Saturday morning dawned with a bit of rain. Apparently people had not been active at the OH2YOTA station late in the night because they started to gather at the main building way before the official wake-up call. We got a nice breakfast, a combination of traditional Finnish porridge and leftovers from the intercultural evening last night. Did you know that you can use the Norwegian Geitost as a topping to oatmeal porridge?

Today was the first day of real action. We started with two lectures about different ways of spending time outdoors with a radio: ARDF and OHFF. Keijo, OH2ETM, introduced us to ARDF, amateur radio direction finding, or casually: radio orienteering, or even more casually: fox hunting. Keijo was wearing the official Finnish team outfit from a world championship competition where he represented Finland. Anu, OH6ME, had prepared an introduction to OHFF, or how to activate nature sites on radio. OHFF would be on schedule tomorrow, but today we had a chance to try radio orienteering.

So after lunch everyone stuffed their pant legs into their socks (tick prevention action) and headed for the forest, to find the ‘foxes’ Keijo had planted there. Some guys had changed to real orienteering equipment, and they were the first to finish the track, too. The sweaty Swedes emerged from the forest, asking first for coffee and then for sauna. Others took it a bit more easy, a nice walk in the forest.

Every night ends with a relaxing sauna, and today we got to enjoy barbecue Makkara = sausage as well. Too bad the morning rain was not heavy enough to put an end to the grass fire warning, and we were not able to have a full experience of open-fire barbecue. Safety first, and so we used gas to burn the sausages.

Fun fact: In Finland (at least some parts of it) the mustard types are graded HF, VHF, UHF, and SHF, depending on the intensity of the taste!

 

73 de OH2YOTA crew

 

Nordics On The Air Finland 2019 – Day 1

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Friday, 19th of April

The organizers view …

The camp, that has been planned since last autumn, is finally here! Organizers of the camp including Finnish youth team with some active adults arrived at the venue, Leirisalo on Thursday. Thursday’s plan was to set up the station, print info papers, make food and make the final plans for the camp.

Friday morning was tough for every organizer. Some of us had been awake until 2, trying to get the station to work. The hours in the morning went fast finishing work from Thursday, and for the last briefings. The first team to arrive in Leirisalo was Sweden and the rest arrived in the afternoon.

The very first afternoon of the camp started with some instructions and going through the upcoming program. Also, we had ice-breaker games to get to know each other.

But that was not all of it. The main program of the day was ahead of us. In this YOTA sub-regional camp we also had the famous YOTA-activity, Intercultural evening.

On the camp, we have  participants from 8 different countries. So we had a lot of new interesting foods and drinks to try. Also, one of the organizers, Vilma, had just come from Taiwan with some exotic Asian foods to bring to us. After all, Intercultural evening on NOTA19 was a very successful and a lot of fun.

Rest of the evening went the Finnish way, going to the sauna! Despite the so-called “shyness” of Finns, everyone got along.

Very good start for the second NOTA, and the second YOTA sub-regional camp of the year!

 

The participants view …

This morning the Swedish NOTA team woke up in Åbo after a night spent on the ferry. After a short breakfast on a restaurant we all stuffed ourselves into the cars and went to Salo. After about 40 min (plus minus some navigation errors) we arrived in Leirisalo where the camp is held.
After arrival, we started mounting the Yagi-antenna and we got it half way up before lunch.
The lunch (a nice tasting soup) was extra nice tasting due to us being tired and hungry and because of the very good company. The tower work continued after lunch, but we still had a lot to do when the last bunch of people arrived by a charter bus.
It is amazing what the Finnish radio amateurs can do! We found out that everyone participating and organising the camp was a licensed amateur radio operator, from the cook to the bus driver. The Finnish youth team had done a great work in recruiting help for the camp.
The camp site, Leirisalo, comprises a main building, sleeping quarters, summer kitchen with cold eating facilities, and a sauna. The youth team had even delivered a lake next to the sauna, WOW. We were warned of snakes and mosquitoes, the former being poisonous but luckily the latter being the more probable ones to attack us. The place is surrounded by forest on one side and the lake on the other side. Today, the Finnish weather struck us really warm and pleasing, and we are hoping for it to continue so for the whole weekend.

We will be QRV on most short-wave bands during the weekend and we try to activate most modes as well.

We hope to hear you on the bands!
73 de OH2YOTA
(With keyboard ops OH3HNY, Tiiti and SA7GGO, Gustav)

 

YOTA Subregional Camp DL 2019 – Day 3

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Sunday, March 17th

Also on Sundays it started again at 8 o’clock with breakfast. Since this also meant the last day, the last things were packed into the suitcase, checked out at the hotel and then it was the last time to the amateur radio centre. Arrived here, the Saturday afternoon was continued: three timeslots were offered for further workshops, groups, conversations and handicrafts, whereby one had partly also opportunity to catch up missed workshops from the previous day. The offer was again fully exploited and there was still a lot of radio transmission in the tower as DF0YOTA.
Before lunch, there was a joint final round in which many of the self-organised programme items were summarised. Thus one could be shown once again how diverse the contributions of the young people were in the self-organized Barcamp style.
Afterwards everyone had the opportunity to anonymously write down their thoughts about the Subregional Camp in Baunatal. With the help of a divided feedback wall all participants, but also the Orga, could be told again what was on their hearts. This possibility was well accepted and subsequently read aloud. The three participants, who had received their DE callsign the evening before, of course received their certificates!
For lunch there were delicious homemade cheese noodles, which were completely taken over by some participants and everything was organized by themselves!
Afterwards it was time to say goodbye to the first ones, who unfortunately had to go home. But some could still stay and help to clean up.
After the last things had been tidied up, the supervisors handed over the YOTA flag signed by all 60 participants to the DARC management on behalf of the youngsters.
More reports and pictures will follow in the next few days, so be curious.

YOTA Subregional Camp DL 2019 – Day 2

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Saturday, March 16th

After a long day yesterday, the second day started early again. From 8 a.m. onwards all participants were present at breakfast in the hotel. Everyone strengthened themselves for the long day ahead. Afterwards the whole group went to the DARC Headquarters. There we were already friendly expected.

At the beginning three groups were divided which visited alternately the CQDL editor-in-chief Stefan (DH5FFL), the chief of the QSL sorting Dietmar (DL1ZAX) and in representation for the DARC management the DARC youth coordinator Gerrit (DH8GHH) and punched with questions to the respective topic areas. Thus the process of the CQDL – from the first contribution idea up to the finished CQDL -, the way of the QSL cards from our home QTH over Baunatal up to the receiver and the individual coworkers and their tasks in the DARC were presented.

After the question hours were over, we returned to the entrance area for a leisurely lunch. Participant Mathis (DL7MLP) programmed his own booking system for beverages with RFID chip cards – alias the camp name badges – and tried it out directly. Afterwards we went next door to the amateur radio centre, where we continued directly with a short guided tour through the camp rooms Alpha, Bravo, Charly, Delta, Echo, Foxtrott and Golf, as well as through the radio tower.

The rest of the day was explained afterwards. First, everyone who had offered a workshop should briefly introduce the content and find a suitable time slot and room for it. At the end a well filled program on the whiteboard resulted, so that everyone could get an individual overview, when the points of interest for everyone took place. At the same time DFØYOTA was activated from the tower. So there was a lot of radio work, SDRs were examined, Raspberry Pis were programmed, satellite QSOs were explained and done, DXPediton experiences were exchanged, lectures were held, (ARDF) foxes were hunted and much more! Everybody just had something to do and it definitely didn’t get boring. Due to the flexible programe everyone could pursue their own interests in amateur radio. The positive side effect was also that during the course of the day almost every one of the 60 participants talked to each other and got to know each other better.

Pizzas were delivered to the amateur radio centre just in time for dinner afterwards. So every youngster found something to his/her taste. Moreover, the evening continued freshly fortified and we let the day pass in review together. Everyone returned to the hotel with a smile on their faces. Unfortunately the departure from the YOTA Subregional Camp is scheduled for tomorrow … but more in the next report.

YOTA Subregional Camp DL 2019 – Day 1

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Friday, March 15th

While everything was ready to welcome the arriving participants at the Hotel Stadt Baunatal , the last preparations were still in progress at the headquarter.

In the course of the afternoon, the youngsters gradually arrived. After they checked in, the prepared hall filled up. After a short greeting of the participants, the YOTA program of the IARU R1 was presented – after all, the subregional camp is also a part of it! After further organizational hints, there was a small introduction round; this made it easier to learn the names. Afterwards there was enough time to get to know each other during dinner.

After the last participants had arrived during the evening, the intercultural evening took place – as it is the tradition at every YOTA camp. All participants had brought something special from their own region. The most creative things were presented and the most diverse stories told. This was a good opportunity to get to know each other. Afterwards the young people let the evening end together. Tomorrow we will continue with workshops and radio operation as DF0YOTA from the tower of the DARC headquarter.

Youth Contesting Program 2019 – ARRL SSB @LX7I

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At the beginning of February, I saw that LX7I will host the YCP for the ARRL DX SSB. I immediately applied after checking transportation. Three weeks after I was notified that I had been selected to be one of the youngsters to go to LX land. We all arrived on Friday afternoon and after a first get-together, we start to get sorted in the shack.

For this experience I met the other team members: HA8RT, DK4EE, DL8GM, DC2CL or Tomi, Louis, Markus and Claudia. It was a really good time with them at the station, sharing experiences, discussing the hobby in our own respective countries and enjoying simple off-air time or pile-up time.

As expected from a Multi-one, Multi-two and Multi-Multi (all in one HI), LX7I station is well organized, the antenna dispatch system is great.

The 22 antennas on the 6 towers, full sized beams, stacked beams, fixed or not, dipoles, verticals, (plus the RX beverages) were awesome for me. As a fan of large antennas, stacking methods, performance comparison, speaking with LX2A Phillipe, the owner of the station, was a great pleasure. It was also very interesting to see the background of a big gun station and its evolution.

It was not my first experience in contesting, but there have been lots of first times @LX7I for me: my first radio operation outside F land as LX/F4HWS, my first ARRL DX SSB, my first time operating monobander Yagi on 40 and stacks on upper bands and my first time in M2 category.
I love the feeling of challenge operation though the friendship relation that you can create on the air and in the shack of course!

The best memories of this WE in LX was the arrival with the meeting of everyone, the warming up session with good pile up from LX/F4HWS, LX/DK3EE, LX/DC2CL, the off times with the group, and the last minutes of the contest at night, fingers crossed, with all the team in the shack, behind Tomi on 80M and Louis on 160M fighting for our last QSO: a new multiplier on the top band!

Finally, competition with ED1R, E7DX and LZ5R was intense and excitement has increased with the live score sharing web site, “cqcontest.net”.

I think that every youngster of the YOTA group who is interested by this type of event or contests should definitely apply. This is a great opportunity to operate big stations, get more experience with ham radio, meet great people, contesters, and friends, and finally to have fun in what they like.

Thanks to everyone, see you for the next one.

LX7I YCP Team, Tom F4HWS.

Train the Trainer report – Austria – February 2018

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At the beginning of 2019 the Youngsters in Austria were working together on some international YOTA projects, for example the YOTA online shop where you can buy clothes and accessories with YOTA branding. Of course the profits go to support YOTA projects such as the summer camp. Furthermore we were meeting to plan events in the summer months. Most of our plans are for the summer holiday period for 2 reasons. Firstly the weather makes outdoor activities much more enjoyable so it is possible to organise camping trips and field days for example. Furthermore  most youngsters are still at school or university so in the holidays they have time and are not worrying about exams and the like. We have some big plans, however we can’t talk about them just yet.

Furthermore some of the youngsters were preparing for future contest operations by acquiring new masts for the contest station oe1w where there are always many youngsters helping out building the station and operating. Another activity which we are preparing and which will happen soon is the expansion of the antenna system in the Austrian club’s headquarter station. A 12 metre Hummel mast and a 4 square will be added to the station soon. Most of the construction, mounting antennas etc. is done by youngsters. It’s always a fun day of working together on such projects. These kind of get togethers are also the perfect opportunity to introduce new youngsters to the community and to show them the kind of fun things that we do.

Kids Day

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15 June it’s again Kids Day. This event is especially created to promote Amateur Radio to youth. This is a moment where you can share your amateur radio hobby with your family, grandkids, friends, scouts or even to the general public. This day can be the first time for youth to experience a real radio QSO, hopefully they get interested in becoming a licensed amateur radio operator.

You could make use of this suggested exchange: Name, age, location and favourite colour. Be sure to work the same station again if an operator has changed. To draw attention, call “CQ Kids Day.”

Suggested frequencies IARU R1:
10 Meters: 28.350 to 28.400 MHz
15 Meters: 21.360 to 21.400 MHz
20 Meters: 14.270 to 14.300 MHz
40 Meters: 7.080 to 7.120 MHz
80 Meters: 3.650 to 3.750 MHz

Other suggested frequencies by ARRL:
12 Meters: 24.960 to 24.980 MHz
17 Meters: 18.140 to 18.145 MHz
40 Meters: 7.270 to 7.290 MHz
80 Meters: 3.740 to 3.940 MHz

Youth Contesting Program (YCP) 2019

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Check out our Youth Contest Program (YCP) 2019. Youth members from IARU R1 member societies are invited to take part in a contest from so called “Top-Gun” stations. These young HAM’s will learn how to operate the contest station, improve their contest skills and will aim for the best results together as a team.
We have contests confirmed from our long time partners 9A1A, ES9C and 4O3A already. But we would like to welcome our new stations into the program as well 
LX7I will make the beginning during upcoming ARRL SSB, LZ9W, OZ5E and DP9A will be available for contests later in the year 
We hope for additional locations joining soon! More information and the application form is available here.