The Tunisian youngsters made a great presentation about their activities in the recent YOTA Online session, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fgMXxiVFhc&t=472s
Yota Italy never gives up!
At the end of february we got stuck in the lockdown due to the Covid-19 situation, it wasn’t easy to stay at home for more than two months but we managed with no problems at all, most of the youngsters are students, which, of course, were stuck in their houses and we got to find something to do! here are some of our activities:
- YOTA NET
The YOTA NET event is already a tradition of the international team, it’s a special evening where we meet over the air to spend some time together, we thought that the lockdown would have been a great event to do a NET! We first started in 40m band but at that moment they were unusable, we also tried 20m and 80m but with no success at all… the only way was to use one of the biggest ham radio repeater in north Italy that provides coverage of the whole north area (IR3UX) with a live stream of the NET on the Discord platform in order to let all the youngsters able to listen the big QSO that born in that moment, we got more than 20 non-Yota operators that came to salute us. Success!!
- Online CW lessons
We noticed that some youngsters were interested in learning CW but they never had the opportunity to do that, so we decided to start an online class made from youngsters to other youngsters! Two teachers were on charge: Matteo IU4LGT and Ernesto IU0LJD, we had 12 participants for more than two months and we were all able to learn the basics of a QSO and also do some training over the air!
- RadioMobile online class
A well-known software for ham radio operators is “radiomobile”, a special program which allows you to create coverage maps, link budgets and much more! The teacher for this lesson was Sebastian IN3FOX which has shown us how to make a coverage map for a repeater and how to find the best route and places for a radio assistance (for example during a rally or any other type of similar race).
- 4NEC2 lesson
Another very interesting software is 4NEC2, this program allows to draw, study and optimize any kind of antenna, it shows the radiation pattern, gain, f/b ratio and much more. Marco IU2DPM (the teacher) taught us how to make a GP antenna and a three element Yagi for the 2m band.
- GnuRadio class
We all know that ham radio is always getting closer to the PC so Francesco IU3GNB thought to show u show to use GnuRadio, a software that is able to create a flow chart and talk to and from SDR or any other type of digital stream in order to get and send data to the PC. Francesco taught us how to create a two-way chat connected to the Adalm Pluto that the “Urgensat Team” presented at the Maker Faire Rome 2019, a text chat based on the QO-100 satellite
- Radio, radio e ancora radio!
The main activity for an ham radio operator is the radio of course and we all participated to a lot of different events that the Covid situation made even more crowded!
The most participated events were the Italian Activity Contest which runs through the whole year in the VHF & UP bands, we had 15 youngsters in the 144MHz category and other guys in the 430MHz and 1296MHz chart. We also have IU4FNO which is going to be in the first three places of the national competition, congratulations! We also participated at the “Sezioni VHF/UHF”, “Cinisello VHF”, “Trofeo ARI 50MHz” and “Lazio VHF”.
Even on the HF bands we had youngsters participating in the WPX SSB, EA RTTY, OK-OM DX, Yuri Gagarin, SP DX, Helvetia, ARI DX, UBA CW e Russian DX.
We all hope to keep this spirit through the whole months and years and hope to see you on the air!
News here are good, one of the F youngsters left France in January to study in South Korea, the others obtains degrees and achieved their studies.
Each youngsters enjoyed “on-air” time on their own (a bit sad by the way). I took part in the ARRL DX SSB from LX7I, then enjoyed the WPX SSB in 9A remotely from France and then I will have the opportunity for the second time to join HQ team during the upcoming IARU.
YOTA F activities are down, and for the next five years I really hope that we will have more and more young licenced in France. There will be events as each year to promote local clubstation and society where each youngsters will be present to promote their activity. There is also the science weeks (october) where we have at the local clubstation 4 days of presentation of the hobby to boys and girls (from 7 to 10 years old).
Next year as we should have organized that activity this year, we will try to meet during a week end, as well as taking part together in a contest, and being at the SummerCamp !
Something that I want to try is to make a couple of articles with fresh descriptions, pictures and explanations of what is hamradio and why there is still interest in this hobby even in the youth sphere – and then to diffuse them. We all saw too much articles where old ham get a place in press, with an ugly picture, where the journalist restitution of what said that guy about radio ever sound annoying.. So we will try to get this up!
For the rest with a little group it’s difficult to impulse something, find something new, try to get the rest involved or interested but, no worries that we will get that group running well !
ACTIVITIES DURING AND AFTER QUARANTINE
- Annual Lithuanian Cup contest took place just as it normally would. Although there were a lot more youngsters, compared to previous years, that worked on-site.
- More hams finished their QO-100 set-ups and can now do QSOs.
- New DMR hotspot in city Šiauliai that has many VHF/UHF/SHF loving radio amateurs.
- Several groups of radio amateurs expressed their desire to organize local mini hamfests this summer.
PLANS FOR 5 YEARS
- Make young people more aware of amateur radio by getting them to interact with it by hosting events directed at young people. We already have some events that require no knowledge of amateur radio to participate and you try out many ham radio activities. This could hopefully attract more youngsters into amateur radio hobby.
- Help hams or clubs obtain QO-100 set-ups. We can already see better equipment, designed for this purpose and at a lower price, emerge from the chinese market.
- Overcome some minor newly introduced station registration rules to allow for easier station operation.
- Make local amateur radio chat/email conference pages more youngster friendly and attempt to move to a more modern platform.
Report on the YOTA Activities of the Association Amateurs Radio Algeriens
After the Annual YOTA gathering that took place in Bulgaria in August 2019, the ARA has tried to follow on the same spirit in order to acquire more youngsters into the activity. Thus, we have looked into a source of youngsters that would already be motivated by radio communication, electronics and a community life.
The ARA considered two fronts, the first one being the ARA headquarters in Algiers 7X2ARA, and the second is the Radio Club 7X3WPL in the northern border to the Sahara Desert 400 km south of the capital in the town of Laghouat. The choice makes sense since these are the only two radio clubs that are active at the moment.
In the north, we focused on three nests that were promising, the first one being the Boum community that is located in the town of Boumerdes 45km east of Algiers. This is a community of around a hundred of youngsters having different activities from technical to art related activities, we contacted them and some of them were keen to follow along the train of ham radio.
The second nest is the National Polytechnic School, it is one of the best engineering universities in Algeria, they deal primarily with telecommunication and electronics which made them quite an interesting target within our reach.
The third nest is the University of Bab Ezzouar or USTHB, and more specifically the electronics and telecommunications departments.
In the south, in the Town of Laghouat, there are two nests, the first one is the University of course, and the second is a private school, called ADI School that teaches languages and technical skills. This school was chosen because it is a hub of English speaking people that are more or less attracted to all that is technical and the manager of the school was quite interested to show her students a new activity that promotes languages and respect of the other.
With all that in mind, let us dive into the activities that were undertaken for the youth in both regions (north and south). The activities are in chronological order from the oldest to the newest.
24 August 2019 Boum Community Ham Radio Introduction and Training
Afif 7X2RO has brought a group of youngsters from the Boum community and explained to the hobby as well as doing some QSOs. Rayane also did a course on radio electricity to help them fathom the matter. This has been done to prepare future candidates for the candidates for the Ham Radio Certification Exam.
30 August ARDF Test with the Boum Community
After discovering the ARDF activity in the YOTA summer camp in Bulgaria, we thought of implementing it in Algeria in a few steps, this activity was the first among those.
Afif 7X2RO, Mohamed 7X3TL and Rayane (Call sign coming soon) have gathered a few members of the Boum Community in order to try ARDF and understanding how orienteering works. The ARA has 10 ARDF receivers on 80m but no transmitter to go with, so we brought the TS480 along with a car battery and CW Keyer, we set the frequency and put the worst antenna we could find in order to have a weak signal to work with. Then we sent the youngsters to get far from the radio and asked them to come back following the signal they hear. After that, we explained the ARDF competition guidelines and why it is important for search and rescue. They were mesmerized by the activity.
18 October 2019 JOTI JOTA in Sidi Fredj’s Scout Camp
Of course, the ARA could not miss the JOTI JOTA event, thus, Afif 7X2RO and Mohamed 7X3TL and Sifou (Call sign coming soon) went to Sidi Fredj in the scout camp to meet with a hundred scout coming from every part of the country and explained to the Ham radio hobby in all of its activities: Ham operation, Electronics, ARDF, SSTV through Baofengs, Morse code….
The event was a great success, but, it is to be understood that scouts in Algeria have drifted very far away from Ham radio, that it is why it is quite complicated to get them back to it.
19 October 2019 JOTI JOTA Setif Scout Camp
Because we cannot be in two places at the same time, we organized a second JOTA the next day in Setif 300 Km east of Algiers, where we met a second scout company where we did the same activities as the day before, but the number was quite the double as we met with 200+ scouts over there.
21, 23 October 2019 ADI School
In Laghouat, we have found a private school that was ready to open its door to us to do demonstration and explain what the hobby is, so taking that opportunity, Mohamed 7X3TL has taken a good amount of equipment and showed the three classes studying Communicative English what the hobby is about and what we do. The students were discovering this for the first time and were quite interested.
07 December 2019 HF Electronics Workshop CLS Boumerdes
After understanding that a lot of youngsters are attracted to electronics more than radio operation we thought of organizing electronics workshops which deals with HF, thus, the first workshop was organized in Boumerdes with the great help of the aforementioned Boum Community in the Scientific Hobby Center.
There were 50 participants from the three nests, the Boum Community, the Polytech School and the USTHB University
We explained to the participants the Ham Radio Hobby and how it relates to electronics and telecommunications, then, we gave them components and a circuit board and asked them to solder a simple 6 components ultra QRP CW transmitter, after they finish they tested their transmitters with the TS480 that we brought for the event.
We also took the opportunity to operate with 7X2YOTA, the QSOs count was very low due to the low position of the antenna (no high place to put it on).
Also, the date of the event was very close to the national elections, and all activities for clubs and associations were to be stopped, thus, we tried to keep the event as quite as possible.
21,22,23,25 December 2019 Certification Training and Exam
In order to prepare the candidates for the operator certification exam that was to be organized on the 25th of December 2019, Afif 7X2RO and Rayane (Call sign coming soon) did a three-day training on Radio Procedures and Radio Electronics for the aforementioned candidates.
14 Candidates took the exam for certifying ham radio operators on the 25th of December 2019, as of the date of this report, the results were not yet given and we are waiting.
26 Dec 2019 Field Day Zemmouri by the Sea
We took the opportunity of the coming of Abdel 7X2TT/M0NPT to Algeria, to have a field day in the beautiful beach of Zemmouri 60Km east of Algiers. With the help of the Boum Community we gathered 12 youngsters (what 4 cars could take) in order to show them the hobby from a new perspective, Abdel 7X2TT/M0NPT brought equipment to use the Satellite Es’Hail as a repeater to make DXs, as well as, other satellites. We also used a small CW beacon from those we made in the aforementioned electronics workshop that we hid under the hood of a car and pulled a long thin wire from it on the ground and asked the participants to find it with the ARDF receivers. It was a fun task because nobody could imagine the location of the beacon.
We also explained what a beacon is and had some demos with a Raspberry PI doing the transmitting with RPITX.
A beautiful day like that one had only one way to end and that is by a mega pizza that we shared together.
28 December 2019 – 2nd January 2020 Cap Sigli Low Band DXpedition.
To end the year, in collaboration with the Tunisian ARAT the ARA organized a DXpedition to Cap Sigli 200Km east of the capital, there was 2 youngsters from ARA and 2 others from ARAT on boy and girl from each country. The focus of the event was activating 7X7X in the low bands when possible and switch to other bands when there is no propagation.
The ARA and ARAT team shared knowledge and experience in different areas, it was a fruitful event for both, especially for the youngsters for whom this is the first expedition that they participated to.
The youngsters made many QSOs from which a lot of them were DXs, they were really proud.
7X7X was active on SSB, CW, Satellite (QO-100 and others), FT8.
We ended the year on a great barbecue that was enjoyed by everybody.
December YOTA Month in 7X3WPL
During the whole month of December, a full training program has been unraveled by the team of 7X3WPL in the south for younsters.
Driss 7X3DL explained the operational part with SSB, Satellite and Digimodes.
Hamid 7X3DA who is a pioneer of the CW in the country, did some CW training sessions.
Mohamed 7X3TL Did a 4 days electronics training and explanations to culminate in the making of a CW ultra QRP mono frequency transmitter that they tested with the TS480Sat of the club.
We also had the visit of Dr. Boutte Aissa a researcher in the Algerian Space Agency who did a presentation about Nano Satellites and the possibility of making our own.
We also had the visit of Professor Abdelkader Abdellaoui who spoke to us about space and what it represents for the Ham Radio Hobby.
The December month in 7X3WPL was a full view of all that is related to ham radio that the youngsters who were present really enjoyed. The long event ended by a ceremony in which everybody went home with a certificate of participation and a big smile.
Where are we from the 2018 planning for 2019
Assembly of transmitters for ARDF practical training for young academics
This has been done with great success twice in Boumerdes and Laghouat (7X3WPL), even if it was their first time doing so. They built the first part of the transmitter, i.e. the oscillator. The remaining pieces to the transmitter (amplifier and auto keyer) were not built because of lack of budget.
Conferences within universities and high schools
This has been done for universities as we have discovered that for high schools, the studies are too condensed for the students to have extracurricular activities within class time or after those.
Import of kits (UBTX) organization of several sessions practical work for the assembly of these kits
The original plans were to get sponsorship from the US embassy, but we had no reply from those regarding this project.
Participation in the JOTA jamboree on the air as every year
The target was beaten, because it was done twice, in two places with two different scouts associations.
Organization of a field day for young YOTA people (the event will take place in a forest or mountain)
We have organized three of these, on in a forest and another on the beach and the third was in Cap Sigli.
Organization of one or two ARDF competitions
The transmitters were not ready in time because of budget issues.
Organization of IOTA with YOTA people
Done in Skikda July 2019.
Planning for 2020
Participation in the 2020 JOTI JOTA
Participating with a greater experience and understanding of scout youngsters.
Participation to the 2020 YOTA summer camp
As it was a great experience in Bulgaria in 2019, we wish to send a few participants to YOTA 2020 summer camp to acquire more knowledge and motivation.
Organize a 2020 Emergency Communication Fieldday
Organizing an Emergency Communication Fieldday and getting involvement of more youngsters.
Involve more youngsters with the certification exams
Training and exam taking, the goal is 3 to 4 exams in the whole year.
Low band YOTA Expedition
After the great success of the event that was co-organized with ARAT by the end of 2019, we wish to repeat the experience and give the world the opportunity to contact a 7X station on 80m and 160m.
Sub-regional YOTA Camp
If we acquire the right budget, we wish to organize a gigantic sub-regional camp in Algeria with 100 participants from Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger and Occidental Sahara. These countries were chosen because we have students here in Algeria of these countries. We are still waiting for the subvention of the ministry as well as looking for other sponsors to cover the immense cost of such an event.
Participate and organize SDR camps
Since SDR is the cheapest way a ham radio can start operating, we wish to push youngsters into this discipline. Thus, we have Rayane that will go to the SDR camp organized in Paris, and with the experience acquired she can coach candidates to participate to the SDR camp in Tunisia to then be able to lunch our own SDR camps in Algeria.
Open New Radio Clubs
We wish to open new radio clubs where it is possible to do so, i.e. having the right young power to drive the club and take it in charge. This is because it is true that the Algerian radio club coverage is very weak.
Organize a Dexpedition IOTA with Youngsters
If we get the right authorizations, we could organize an IOTA Dexpedition.
Plan for more events with ARAT
Since our great experience with the Tunisian Association ARAT, we wish to rejoin our efforts in order to organize more events together.
We wish to organize ARDF competitions in Algeria if we get the funds to procure equipment such as transmitters and receivers.
ATV Field Day
We wish to organize a field day using ATV with F4COX, we will see how that goes.
Organize electronics workshop
As our recent experiences showed, electronics is a great way to attract youngsters that are studying in the field of Telecommunications and Electronics in to the hobby, thus we wish to organize continuous electronics workshops.
Difficulties that we encounter
The main difficulty that we encounter is a budget one, it is to be understood that in Algeria Ham Radio is not very well known by the authorities, thus they give very little or no money to the association. We are trying as best we can to push but to almost no avail. Ham Radio is a hobby after all and some activities should be partly paid by participants, but it should also be understood that in a country where the best case engineer gets a monthly salary of 400 euros, it is really hard to buy anything that is imported and not subsidized by the government, the question becomes like this, do I eat for a month or do I starve for a few months to get a transceiver.
Adding to that the strict laws that consider ham radio equipment as dangerously as firearms, a lot of youngsters get into despair when facing such issues, we try our best to find circumventing solutions, but, it is said that what we are doing is very hard and it is not to be compared with other European countries with more relaxed laws and budgets.
The youngsters who participated during YOTA 2019, are planning a meeting with the youth committee of the VERON. Here we will sit together and see what kind of activities we can organize together. There are some ideas about activities with youngsters. During YOTA we had the idea to organize an ARDF day for youngsters, but this will be discussed during the meeting.
After coming back from Bulgaria, a report was written about the week itself. This article will be published in the Electron, the magazine of the Dutch society VERON.
We helped preparing for the Jota-Joti where in the midday kids under 16 came in to send on the 2-meter band and solder. In the evening, youngsters above 16 came in to work on the 70 cm and 80-meter band. The next day, the youngsters had a PMR treasure hunt and made connections on 2 meters and HF.
Next to that, preparations started for the day of the radio amateur which is held the first Saturday of November. Here the youngsters have their own stand on the youth square to show/talk to others about YOTA.
The Dutch sub regional camp (Winter YOTA) is also coming up. This is organized from the 12th of December until the 15th. Because this is in December, the call PA6YOTA will also be available for participants to use. The location is Oosterhout, which is close to Breda in the southern part of the Netherlands. During the week a lot of activities will be planned, like a treasure hunt, intercultural evening, lectures and workshops. Also during the weekend, a blog will be written and updated on www.veron.nl and on www.ham-yota.com.
December YOTA month 2019 in Finland
Since 2013 Finland has taken part in December YOTA month, and this year wasn’t an exception. The first DYM activity in Finland for 2019 was already on the first day of the month; on the 1st of December, when the radio club of the scout district of Southwest Finland, OH1AS started the activity as a part of their activity weekend in Liesan maja, Lieto. About a dozen of young radio scouts were on air. What a great start to DYM!
The next weekend, from 5th to 8th of December, was the turn for the activity weekend “workkimisviikonloppu” organized by SRAL’s youth team. This was the 3rd time the weekend was held at the OH5Z contest station. The participant amount for the weekend was 12, a little less than the year before. The weekend included making QSOs, a presentation about remote stations and a lot more!
At the best, ham hobby is about sharing aspects of the hobby and socializing around similar-minded people. The youngsters among the hobby are highly connected, and we think it has to be that way. That’s why we always have time for that on our camps as well. This year the weekend was at the same time as the Independence day of Finland, which meant we gathered to celebrate the day together in the evening!
This year on the activity weekend we had a guest, Tomi HA8RT from Hungary. Tomi participated in NOTA 2019 camp in Finland in the spring, and we thought that he would be a good companion and a superb operator due to his astonishing CW skills. With the help of him and the other operators, we made a total of about 3300 QSOs during the weekend!
On the whole of December, youngsters in Finland had the opportunity to use OH2YOTA callsign. Especially OH2FB, and OH3BKL operated the callsign for the rest of the month, well done! The total QSO amount Finland made in December 2019 was 5384, which was around 800 less than in 2018. Way to improve next year!
Nordic youth team meeting – preparing NOTA 2020
On the third weekend of December, four members of the Finnish youth team traveled to Uppsala, Sweden to plan the NOTA 2020, and Nordic youth co-operation. With the company of Youth team from Sweden, and youth coordinators of Norway and Iceland preparations got a rocket start. Hope to see you in Norway in easter 2020! More info can be found at ham-yota.com/nota2020
During the weekend, important documents were made, planning of the program was started, and a proposal for the NOTA graphical guide was introduced. The weekend also included a sauna, nearly frozen lake, Singstar, and great company. Nordic youth co-operation at its best!
Start of 2020 in Finland
A new year for the youth team in Finland starts during the weekend of week 3 when the youth team gathers together to plan the upcoming year. Also, roles will be divided so the activities will be even better organized. As Antti OH6VA left the youth team at the start of 2020 after multiple years of valuable work for the youth in Finland, it’s now time to welcome Mikael OH3UAF to the team.
Mikael was one of the members of Team Finland in YOTA summer camp 2019 in Bulgaria. He is great with video editing and photography and always likes to help with anything he can, which makes him a great addition to our team!
If you want to know about the other upcoming activities in Finland this year, make sure to check the Team Finland’s Train the Trainer report on the 15th of October. Otherwise, see you again on the 15th of March!
Train the trainer report – The Netherlands – January 2020
On the 3rd of November 2019 it was the day of the radio amateur in the Netherlands. It took place in ‘de IJsselhallen in Zwolle. The day of the radio amateur is a big event and known by every radio amateur. There are multiple stands which look exactly like any other radio market. Next to that there were a lot of stands for information. YOTA also had one. A few youngsters stood with the stand, giving information about what YOTA is and how you can get in touch. Some youth magazines were also handed out.
The Dutch sub regional camp (Winter YOTA) was held from the 12th of December until the 15th. This weekend, youngsters from 10 different countries attended. Many of them discovered different new topics to the hobby. Also, many of them had the opportunity to make their first QSO on HF and UHF with the special callsign PA6YOTA. During this week, lectures and workshops were given and many youngsters got a new skill and knowledge which they can take home and share with the youngsters there. The blogs can be found on https://www.ham-yota.com/category/pa2019/.
During the YOTA December month, youngsters all over the Netherlands were busy making contacts with PA6YOTA and PB6YOTA. All together 5732 QSO’s were made with these two callsigns. With all the YOTA stations 129020 QSO’s were made and 2579 awards were downloaded, a great result! When youngsters were on the air, they also invited friends into their homes to show them what it is like to be a young radio amateur. Some youngsters also went to PI4COM in Rotterdam and PI4UTR in Utrecht to make QSO’s there. They shared techniques on how to handle a pile up, it was a lot of fun and of course we hope to make more QSO’s next year!
On the 8th of January, the youngsters who went to Bulgaria YOTA 2019 had a meeting with the youth and youngsters committee of the VERON. Here, we discussed what kind of activities we can organize and how we can approach the youngsters in the Netherlands. We now made an Instagram account for YOTA in the Netherlands, which you can follow by searching yota_netherlands or via this link: https://www.instagram.com/yota_nederland/?hl=nl
TRAIN THE TRAINER REPORT: JANUARY 2020 EDITION
- Maker Faire Rome
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.
- Pescara ham-faire
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.
- Kids Day
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.
- 40/80 contest
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€).
- Future plans:
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!