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.

Train the Trainer report – Sweden – February 2018

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Swedish team report ”The start of 2019”

What are we working with right now?
Right now we are planning the trip to NOTA in april (which we are looking forward to a lot!) while trying to recruit as many people as possible to join. We have also started planning for the autumn events via meeting over skype.

What are our goals?
We continue with the same goals as in the last report. That is to keep regular activities each year as follows:
NOTA
To give the Swedish youth an opportunity to get friends and further get into the hobby. YOTA
For youngsters to develop more fun ideas to bring back home to our activities.
Fall weekend event
A smaller follow up event to meet our NOTA friends in Sweden from the previous NOTA and for the youngsters who did not manage to participate in NOTA.
3 December YOTA events
Lighter, more casual events at three club stations for the youngsters to get active with the exciting DYM-Signal during three entire weekends (fri-sun).

When a youngster who has never before heard of amateur radio asks you what it is, how do you explain it in a few short sentences?
Ham radio is a way to talk with basically anyone anywhere, you only need a radio and an antenna and you are off! And yes, of course there’s internet and mobile phones that makes it possible to talk to anyone in a very simple way, but that is not the point for us. We can compare it with sailing as an example, even though you can take the ferry to Islands such as Gotland, people still sail. Radio is a hobby just like sailing which gives you more control over what you are doing while you can continue to learn even more about it.

For more questions: Bumblebee.itlyftet@gmail.com

73 de Team Sweden!

Train the Trainer report – Slovakia – February 2018

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Ham exams took place in February. Four students of our course gain courage and managed their Novice class. Another three members of OM3KFF upgraded themselves to Extra class. Now, we will have more time for practice and also we are going to start Morse code lessons.

We also use contests for training of beginners, mainly SSB and RTTY. We did part time easy operation in CQWW SSB, Mexico RTTY, CQ WPX RTTY. CQ 160m SSB, ARRL SSB and CQ WPX SSB are following soon.

I gathered participants for summer YOTA camp in Bulgaria who replied public call. After discussion with youngsters and their parents, we agreed a new team leader (Bety OM1DP).

…how do you explain it in a few short sentences?

Amateur radio is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. 

Train the Trainer report – Czech Republic – February 2018

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OK team February report

During the winter we have some interesting contests in OK. So we were sure to take part in them. First was 2m Christmas contest where OL18YOTA made huge success by taking 4th place in Adult Multi category, Martina will tell you more. In February there is 2m/70cm QRP contest. Honza has really adventurous story from this contest. So keep reading.


CHRISTMAS CONTEST 2018


Under a callsign OL18YOTA we took a part in the Christmas contest.
Contest was on 26th December, in two parts from 08.00 – 11.00 and 12.00 – 15.00 UTC.
With the ICOM IC-7600, TR 144 H, PA-800W and 2 x 10 el. Yagi antenna we did 204 QSOs. Best DX was DL1KFS with 838 km. This number of QSOs brought us the 4th place in the Multi category 144MHz. For some of us it was the first time in Christmas contest and also the first longer contest.

Martina OK2YLQ

WINTER QRP CONTEST 2019


One of the best opportunities for real men is the annual Winter QRP contest held every year on 1st Sunday of February. The contest starts at 9:00 UTC and consists of two separate two-hours periods – first on 70 cm and second on 2 m bands. Only 10 W power output is permitted, so the best way how to win the first place (awarded by the little „snowman“ statuette) is participation from the highest hill you can find in your neighborhood. But imagine, that it’s winter time and in Czech republic there is normally about approximately two meters of snow cover in the mountains!


Two teams of youngsters decided to participate this tough event this year – Martina OK2YLQ (17) took part from home and tried to give some points to as many portable stations as possible, and Honza OK1JD (24) made a choice to take part from the Velka Destna hill (1115 m asl) with intention to reach at least one of the first three places in each category. Here is his story:

„Sometimes in December I made a choice to take part in the Winter QRP contest on VHF/UHF. And because I have never participated this competition before, I didn’t realise that portable operation in winter from mountains is not so easy as I imagined. So I decided to visit the highest hill nearby – Velka Destna (asl 1115 m). I persuaded also my friend Martin (he is not a ham) to come with me, because I needed someone to help me with all the necessary equipment – FT-817, batteries, 6 el and 10 el yagis, tent, shovel, and so on.
Our little expedition started at 7 am when we packed the car and in 40 minutes we reached the parking place in 900 m asl, 3,5 km far from the top of the hill. First three kilometers were quite easy. The „road“ went through the forest, so the 80 km/h wind (which we expected according to the weather forecast) was not a problem so far. But the last 200 meters to the top were a real hell – every second step we falled down into the snow cover so deeply, that it was very physically difficult to stand up again, especially with heavy backpacks. Aprx. 30 minutes before contest we started to build the tent and both antennas. In the strong freezing wind it was not so easy and we finally started our CQ´s almost 40 minutes after the beginning of the contest!

Because of bad propagation, short antennas, terrible FT-817 (it is really not a TRX for a real contesting HI), icing and of course because of the lack experiences with this contest (it was our first participation) we reached only 24 QSO´s on 70 cm and 52 QSO´s on 2 m. So the result was a far far away from our expectations (we wanted to manage 40 QSO on 70 cm and minimally 65 QSO on 2 m).

Nevertheless the most important thing than number of QSO´s is the excellent feeling that we managed this hard challenge and even when the nature is against you, you can deal with that and you overcome yourself. Looking forward the W QRP 2020!

Honza OK1JD

Train the Trainer report – Germany – February 2018

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How to explain amateur radio

Explaining amateur radio in a few sentences can be quite challenging. Here are a few ideas collected from german youngsters:

“We use radios to call out into the whole world, waiting for a response from someone. We don’t care at all about who is coming back, we’re excited about who is answering and where our signal was received. We might even get an answer from countries of which we don’t know much about.”

“It’s comparable with a random chat with someone around the world. But the main point is that we use our own communication system with radios and antennas, so we’re completely independent of the internet, mobile or telephone network.”

“As radio amateurs we deal with a lot of different topics from natural sciences, e.g. satellite radio, contacts through the world with less power or electronic self-building projects.”

A possible counter-question to why we still concern ourselves with amateur radio these days is

“Why is horse-riding still a popular hobby, if there are cars, trains and airplanes?”

Besides all the colloquial explaining, it might be still the best idea to actually show, what ham radio is. A possible way to do so is to introduce it through school or local youth activities, e.g. a small fox hunt, some on-air-activities or a classical introductory course to soldering.
As an example: This was just done by an active radio club (DARC E09 near Hamburg) where they organized some activities for an open-door day in the mid of February at a school in their town.

TrainTheTrainer-report: Update February

We‘re finally looking forward to our Subregional Camp in Baunatal in March! During the last two months we focused on everything concerning the camp.

Besides a lot of organizing points, we also tried to advertise our camp as well as possible, so that nearly every youngster knows about it. This includes: promoting the camp on the DARC website, post on the social media accounts of the DARC and YOTA as well as reposting it, writing a general email to all young DARC members, advertising in the CQDL magazine (German ham radio magazine) and also directly contacting youngsters.

It actually worked well since the camp is completely full and we also got a high number of participants from Germany itself.

Besides the planned activities for all youngsters, we want to use the chance to get to know the German youth and try to figure out, what they think about youngsters in amateur radio and what kind of youth activities they’re interested in. Together with them and depending on all youngsters preferences, we want to find a strategy, how we can improve the youth situation in general.

You want to know more?

Have a look at https://twitter.com/darc_ajw as well as https://www.darc.de/der-club/referate/ajw/

Feel free to contact us via ham-yota@darc.de !

Train the Trainer report – Finland – February 2018

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Here is our report no. 3. And pictures can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ju1YP6T8Py4KxF-IpiRpkyA9gpnm1cAW?usp=sharing

Mail can be sent to nota@ham-yota.com or oh2fkx@pupu.li 

Also our Instagram is @nordicsontheair

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Next two months won’t only make a big difference for young Finnish hams, but it will also be a step ahead for whole Nordic European amateur radio community! As we have mentioned before in December Train The Trainer report, we are organising a sub-regional YOTA-camp, NOTA (Nordics On The Air) In Finland.

The camp, which was held in Sweden last year, will happen in Southern Finland this April from 19th to 22nd. The Programme of the event will be similar to YOTA camps including, for example, beginner-friendly radio orienteering, working from OH2YOTA, popular intercultural evening and of course, sauna, the Finnish way of having conversations!

Even though the camp is mainly meant for Nordic youngsters, we also welcome people from everywhere else in Europe! Be quick, we have a limited amount of places for participants and the sign up closes on February 24!

In the next two months, Finnish youth will be represented in the spring event and biannual meeting of Finnish Amateur Radio League. As usual, youngsters will be taking part in the event as well as helping in organizing it. Also, amateur radio hobby will be advertised in a couple of fairs during the end of winter and spring. In later 2019, we will be organizing more camps to get the youngsters better into the community.

Biggest problems in getting new youngsters are usually in them, people just aren’t interested anymore or on the other hand don’t have either time or resources for the hobby. In Finland, we have a great experience in recruiting new people to the hobby. How we describe the hobby to a youngster goes something like this: Amateur radio is about being international, making contacts with other radio amateurs all over the world, and of course, making new friends. These are not the only things that this hobby has to offer, there is something for everyone!

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73

Kati OH2FKX