KOTA Czechia 2023 – Day 3

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The Kids On The Air (KOTA) event today had its third and last day held in the Trhanov Castle in Czechia.

The day began with a presentation by Philipp, DK6SP, who shared insights into the possibilities within amateur radio. He told us stories about his travels and showed us how important friendship is in amateur radio.

Before lunch, we got the opportunity to take part in a high-altitude balloon launch, carrying a 20m WSPR beacon as payload.

Over the last two days, we received a step-by-step introduction to contesting. We learned how to do QSOs and had some training in the Off-Air contest. For a final activity, we got to try out our newly gathered skills in a PMR contest, where all participants gathered in the nearby park and got two times 35 minutes to make as many contacts with each other as possible.

The closing ceremony was held in the lecture room, where not only did every participant receive their camp certificate, but the winners of the contests held during the camp got their awards and some presents for the sponsors.

KOTA Czechia 2023 - Day 2

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KOTA, Kids On The Air, has successfully ended day 2 of their camp in Czechia. The participating kids did have a long and eventful day.

On today’s agenda were World Wide Flora Fauna activities from three OKFF entities. Also, various workshops were held, e.g. soldering, QO-100, “How to do a good QSO”, SSTV and ARDF on a nearby mountain. Furthermore, all attending took the group photo. In the evening the famous “Off-Air Contest” was held. The day finished with some OL1KOTA shortwave and QO1-100 activity.

Stay tuned for the final day at this event tomorrow.

KOTA Czechia 2023 — Day 1

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KOTA, which stands for Kids On The Air, officially opened today. This event is organized by the Czech Radio Club (ČRK/CRC) in collaboration with the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group and marks a new addition to the well-known YOTA program. It’s aimed at a different age group and is considered a Subregional Camp.

Approximately 30 kids between the ages of 10 and 15 have gathered at Trhanov Castle in Czechia. Today’s schedule included their arrival, having dinner, a brief welcome session, and their first workshops on “What is amateur radio?” and “How to have a QSO.” These enthusiastic kids are already on the air using the callsign OL1KOTA. They are operating on the HF bands and the QO-100 geostationary satellite throughout the upcoming weekend.

Additionally, during the camp, participants will have the opportunity to take part in various interactive sessions, workshops, and hands-on demonstrations. The program is designed to provide valuable insights into the world of amateur radio, encouraging a sense of exploration and learning.

YOTA Summer Camp 2023 | Day 6 | 11.08.2023

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Day 6 – A day trip to Budapest 

This blog post is written by Mari ES5MJR from YOTA Team Estonia.

On the last full day of the YOTA Hungary camp, the participants were taken to see Budapest, to put a cherry on top of the cake that this event already was. 

 The trip started early in the morning as two buses full of youngsters set off from Györ. I ended up in the back of the so-called party bus, where music was blasted and energetically sung along to. Those who didn’t have the energy managed to somehow sleep through it. 

 We arrived in Budapest within 2 hours about 10 am. We were separated into 3 different groups. To our misfortune, we had to climb multiple sets of stairs to see the gothic Matthias Church. Once we made it to the Trinity Square everyone was in need of water and the Estonians of some shade (me being one of them). Tomi HA8RT kindly took the tour guide role and enlightened us with some history. After some recovery, we started slowly heading down with beautiful panoramic views of the Pest side of the city. 

The views from Trinity Square were amazing!

 A marking point in our tour was definitely the Liberty Bridge connecting Buda to the Pest. The 19th-century architecture was stunning to look at. The bridge was lively, filled with bicycles, cars, and the occasional tram. The Donau River itself wasn’t any inferior, the water was full of tour boats and yachts making their way in the waves. We were so amused that we were stopping the traffic. Luckily we got out of the way quickly. 

We had lunch in the Pest part of the town (pun intended) near a market where we could fill all our souvenir needs starting with magnets and ending with local sausage. 

After our meal, we walked through the city center encountering gorgeous sights of various architectural eras. Taking a quick stop in front of the Hungarian National Museum to take group pictures. Our last cultural destination was the Kossuth Square where we took the metro to our bus pick-up. Following the slightly chaotic bus ride home, to top the trip off, we had some pizza before the closing ceremony. 

The only way I could describe the official event ending was joyful… and also loud enough to trigger some hand-watches warning of damaging dB levels. The night was followed by an after-party in the cafeteria. Some people say that international world peace can never be achieved, but for those 2 hours of dancing and singing to various songs around the world with people from so many different countries, I think we managed to do something.




YOTA Summer Camp 2023 | Day 5 | 10.08.2023

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Two blog posts are written from this day, keep on scrolling for the pictures!

This blog post is written by YOTA Team Italy

We woke up in the morning and after having a very tasty breakfast we went to the conference room where the first lesson of the day took place.

In the conference room, we found Sylvain waiting for us to teach us what is behind a Software Defined Radio (SDR). Although there are plenty of people who know about electronics and technical stuff, the lecture was easily understandable for people who do not know much about that. Alessio, in particular, found it a bit difficult to follow it as he is a high school student.

After that, we had Tibi, OM3RM who held the lecture about the CR3DX contest station showing us all the equipment in the shack (e.g. antennas, towers, main radios, amplifiers [legal limit “always”] ). He also mentioned they had a 5400km (3400 mi) QSO with OM in VHF! He moves roughly 5 times a year for major contests such as CQWW / WPX. Furthermore, they are trying to set up a fully functioning remote station to be able to work even longer, anytime, anywhere.

Lessons finished early so we had plenty of time to play some sports together and go for a swim in the river nearby. After a quick snack with some gelato, we went to the outside station where *insert guy’s name* from Mastrant showed us some of his products and how to use them to hook the antenna on the ground. At the end of the demonstration, we were also given some gadgets such as a 12 meters-thin rope and a cute keychain. It was really interesting because we had the opportunity to see and touch everything with our own hands.

At 5 pm, it was time for *presentations by youngsters, for youngsters*: Two teams prepared topics in order to share their experience and inspire the others to follow suit.

To begin with, the French talked about their “beta test” gathering at Provins for their TM45KOP activation. It consisted in explaining what and how the weekend went at F6KOP top gun station.

Then, Team ON showed us their project about a weather balloon that they launched. The purpose of the balloon was to measure some weather information such as temperature and humidity and to transmit them back to Earth with a radio signal. It also has GPS tracking that makes localization a lot easier and it’s very useful when you have to retrieve it. They told us that you should inform the local air force before launch so that it won’t be a threat to anybody and even showed us how to build our own since it’s very simple. Apparently, that circuit is very durable and can be reused or reprogrammed for other activities such as a transmitter for ARDF.

The last presentation was quite a surprise, Jules F4IEY and Bastien ON4BCY showed us something that we did not even think existed: the Meme Appreciation Month (MAAM) event! Everyone was hyped up to see that a group of young youngsters are putting fun special callsigns on the air, just for fun! By doing this, they spread the internet culture and give a more modern image of amateur radio. One of the outstanding proposed ideas was to make an SSTV meme contest, which Sylvain, IARU R1 president, approved! Now we are just hoping this funny event can actually happen.

If you have any ideas of special calls to be activated between July and August 2024, feel free to fill this form

The fifth day of the annual YOTA Summer Camp was again a day full of fun and activities. This blog post gathers the feelings of the fifth day into 10 pictures!

The day began with a presentation about SDR radios by Sylvain F4GKR

Many of the participants found one of the more technical presentations of the camp really interesting!

YOTA Camp is also about having fun together with new friends! Before the next presentations some of the participants were playing with a ball outside of the lecture hall.

The next presentation of the morning was about OM Power

During the free time, after lunch, the most enthusiastic operators were already on air with HG23YOTA!

The next activity was about Mastrant ropes at the outdoor station

At the same time, there was also an opportunity to be on the air. Look at how shiny the YOTA key looks!

The afternoon consisted of the last presentations of the camp.

Team Belgium told us about radiosondes!

Soon after Belgium, we were introduced to Meme Appreciation Month, after which it was time for Dinner!

In the evening many participants went swimming in the river nearby, operated the HG23YOTA, and enjoyed the company of likeminded hams all around the world!

Join the YOTA community – now on Discord!

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Every year we bring people together through camps and events. Now we want to invite you to our Discord server, a place for you to keep in touch outside our events, share your experiences and love for this hobby, and most importantly – make new amateur radio friends online!

How can you join the YOTA server? The invitation link can be found on our social media and website. 

Who can join the YOTA server? Everyone that is interested in ham radio is free to join the server. 

Let’s make this community bigger and better – don’t forget to invite your friends to join us on!

Join Here!

Join now to explore the world of amateur radio together!

YOTA Summer Camp 2023 | Day 4 | 09.08.2023

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After a short sleep of 3 hours, the day started with a lecture given by Josipa 9A3GVJ just after breakfast, where she presented us with the basics and some ideas on how to organize youth events in our countries. Although we knew some of the programs mentioned, she came up with some good ideas that we will use for sure back in Spain.

Just after that, we divided into 15 groups and each group had to plan one youth activity following some statements. This was actually very nice as the colleagues in our groups were from different countries and this helped us to have a variety of opinions on how youth activities perform in our respective countries.

The morning wasn’t still over. Zoli HA1AG explained to us some tricks and advice on how to operate digital modes on our day-to-day and in contests. After his recommendations, we reached half of our day, time for lunch!

Afterward, we went to the radio station to get on the air with the special call from camp HG23YOTA. We had very nice pileups, and they weren’t the only ones, as the next activity was the Off-air contest. It’s called off-air as no radios are used. How is this possible? Our voices became our radios, we had to break through the pileup of the rest stations, having very rare DX stations like 3Y0J, HV0CN, and E66E. It was the first time that the members of our team participated in this type of contest, and they really liked it! Definitely, another idea we will try in Spain.

Off-air Contest in action

The schedule ended with some Kahoots about some curiosities about Hungary and some concepts we learned in the past lectures. Suspiciously, the Hungarian team won the Kahoot about Hungary… 🤨 It was time for dinner, some free time to get on the air and enjoy the camp with the rest of the teams until dawn.

YOTA Summer Camp 2023 | Day 3 | 08.08.2023

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August 9 YOTA Activities: A Day Filled with Radio Adventures

This blog post is written by YOTA Team France.

Early Morning Radios

The day kicked off for Team France with a true dedication to the art of radio communication. Bright and early at 4:30 AM, F4IEY was up and running HA1KHJ station. The thrill of making contact with stations around the world was invigorating, and we made it to reach 2000 QSOs before even sitting down to breakfast.

The only band working at 4AM!

Following the morning radio run, we went to the IARU lecture by F4GKR. His ability to connect with the younger generation was palpable, leaving us all inspired and making us understand what IARU is doing for us, as individual hams, and youngsters. As the lectures continued, the energy in the meme channel was contagious, leading to the birth of a fantastic idea – a very soon upcoming presentation about the Meme Appreciation Month

Meme sample from the #memes channel

Afternoon Explorations

The afternoon was marked by a unique tradition – flag pictures. Although the day for this choice remains a mystery (it feels more logical to do this at the end), it provided an opportunity for camaraderie and a bit of light-hearted fun.

French Speaking Countries

Then I decided to set up my QRP equipment, a 705 paired with a trusty Buddipole. We attempted to activate HG23YOTA on a 40m band with a mere 5W of power. To our delight, the pileup was very real, and against the odds, we managed to log 6 more QSOs!

Precious little rig

Adventurous Evening

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the adventure continued. Equipped with headlamps and a spirit of exploration, we embarked on an ARDF (Amateur Radio Direction Finding) challenge under the veil of darkness. Our mission was to locate 5 hidden beacons, and armed with our trusty lights, the journey took on an exhilarating edge.

The evening also brought a welcome surprise – the outdoor station was operational. Cheers erupted as successful contacts were made, marking another milestone in our YOTA journey.

Midnight Magic

The day concluded on a triumphant note, with over 600 additional QSOs achieved across a multitude of bands before the clock struck midnight. The dedication and passion of all participants were palpable, underscoring the remarkable community that had formed over the course of our YOTA activities. 

73 DE F4IEY / K4IEY Jules – Team France

YOTA Summer Camp 2023 | Day 2 | 07.08.2023

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This blog post is written by YOTA Team Finland

YOTA Summer Camp Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

As before, the day once again started with lectures, the subjects being:

High-Speed Telegraphy: Basically, receiving and transmitting morse at inhuman speeds, also being good practice for DXing. After this, we had lunch and went sightseeing in the city where the camp is held in. We got to see the beautiful city of Győr and hear amazing facts about the city told by a local. For example, we saw a citadel that was first constructed in the time of the Roman Empire and a house where Napoleon used to live! Also, we had a chance to taste the best Ice Cream in Győr, which ironically enough, was Italian Gelato. It was good though!

Győr sightseeing

After the sightseeing, we went for dinner and had an educational Train the Trainer -lecture. We have to learn to teach by being taught! The TTT session also had a couple of guest stars when first Mario EA1JAY presented us with the Spain subregional camp as a great example of what TTT can lead to. Last, but not least Leon DL3ON told us about his experiences at the YOTA Region 2 camp. It was nice to hear what kind of activities our friends in the Americas are doing!

Mario EA1JAY Presenting Spain subregional camp

After the lectures, many people could be found inside the camp station, where many great contacts were made. Someone had a successful satellite QSO on 70cm, and we captured some moon signals on 2m! We, unfortunately, didn’t have an amplifier, so TX wasn’t possible. Alex DL2ALY was kindly sharing his knowledge and teaching people about the wonders of satellites. The station was buzzing with life and the sounds of QSOs left and right and tales tell that some late-night operators were seen working up until the first hours of the next morning. Some people stayed outside enjoying the leftovers from the past days Intercultural evening

YOTA Summer Camp 2023 | Day 1 | 06.08.2023

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This blogpost is written by YOTA Team Finland

YOTA Summer Camp – the first whole day

Sunday was the first whole day in the YOTA23 Györ. After waking up from the first well-rested night for many who traveled from afar, we had a pleasant breakfast in the cafeteria and headed to the lecture hall.

At first, we got to know each country by having short presentations about what each country’s radio youth are doing, and how they are doing in terms of the size and frequency of their activities. Then we got a nice lecture about ARDF, and even got to try it in the afternoon!

At the ARDF exercise, all teams were given an 80m handheld receiver with directional antennas, and we had to find low-powered transmitters hidden around a marked area. Some brave youngsters even got to venture in a small forest to look for transmitters!

After the ARDF we got to do some split activities. It could be anything from kit building and learning CW to going out swimming in a river or operating in the camps radio station. This was a well-received interactive experience and both the CW from basics and kit building were so popular that neither could fit all the people who wanted to participate in one go. Luckily, we will have more opportunities to continue from where we left off.

To crown the first day, we had the intercultural evening, where every country prepared their own booth where they could serve some goods from their countries, or tell people stories and information about their countries, all the while getting to know the respective countries! The evening lasted up until midnight and many people were there for the whole time! The evening was very well received and greatly helped to lift the spirits and create unity for the people present. The evening was full of laughs, kind words and appreciation towards other cultures – ham spirit at its best! There were even singalongs in various languages and especially teams Finland and Italy seemed to find many songs in common in their respective languages. And many were happy to join even in languages they might not have spoken!

Many great pictures of the evening are available online at www.ham-yota.com.