Winter YOTA – Day 2

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December 13th 2019: Day 2

 

After breakfast the organisers gave a short presentation about what would happen today. The program changed a little due to the weather but was still packed with interesting and fun activities. We started the morning of with a short game to wake up and get to know each other better. After this, the first workshop of the day started. Han Jenniskens PA0JEN gave a presentation about the satellite QO-100. The youngsters learnt about the different systems that can be used and how easy it is to listen to the satellite via SDR. After learning about this fascinating type of amateur radio the youngsters had the opportunity to make QSOs via the satellite themselves. After a short break Lennart Kieft PA2LEN continued with a presentation about other amateur radio satellites. Satellites such as SO-50 are easy to work with a handheld radio and homemade yagi-antenna. A great way for youngsters to get into satellite operation. In the evening the youngsters got an opportunity to practice their contest skills in a fun way. The “off-air” contest is a classic at YOTA camps. Benches are set up to represent the HF bands. By sitting on the bench, you occupy a frequency and can call CQ. Other participants are running between the bands making QSOs with those occupying the band. Other people (mostly crew) were creating QRM by playing SSTV recordings and other sounds found on the real bands. It was an organized fun chaos. The logs were checked meticulously. The 2 best stations had 40 contacts in 2 10-minute periods. After dinner it was time for a pub quiz. The topics ranged from DXCCs and technical questions to questions about the host country and the IARU.

Of course, the call PA6YOTA was on air nearly the entire day and late into the night. The youngsters were eager to get on the air with the ICOM radios. Everybody is looking forward to the next day and many more interesting and fun activities.

Winter YOTA 2019 – Day 1

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December 12th 2019: Finally the day has come, winter YOTA has begun.

Today the participants arrived at the location of the first ever Winter YOTA camp held in Oosterhout in the region of Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands. Teams from 10 countries across Europe arrived during the course of the afternoon. As more and more motivated youngsters arrived there were a number of activities to get to know each other. For many of the youngsters this was the first ever YOTA event, but there were also some familiar faces. Once all the participants had arrived it was time for a traditional Dutch dinner. After which the organisers of the event introduced the activities we would be doing in the upcoming days. The participants are divided into groups of 5, named after famous inventors and scientists: Hertz, Tesla, Morse, Maxwell and Marcconi. Every team can gain points by winning different competitions such as the off-air contest. There will also be points for the team with the most QSOs and the QSO with the furthest distance. The organisers of the camp prepared a tight schedule of interesting and educational activities, for example kit building, working satellites and a workshop about QRM by the Dutch telecommunications agency. All the participants are looking forward to the upcoming days. The highlight of the evening was the intercultural evening which has become a YOTA tradition. Each countries team brought traditional food and drinks from their country. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying international food and getting to know each other better. Tomorrow the first workshops start, everybody is excited to start learning!

During the entire weekend, the youngsters will be on the air with the callsign PA6YOTA on HF and VHF, we hope to see you on the band.

Upcoming Winter YOTA – PA 2019

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With only a few days left till Winter YOTA, we want to thank our sponsors to make this event possible! Young amateur radio enthusiasts coming from Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia and The Netherlands will be travelling to Oosterhout, in the Southern part of The Netherlands. Listen for PA6YOTA 12-15 December and make a QSO with one of the youngsters. Follow the YOTA pages for updates on the event!

Youth on the Air Camp Coming to IARU Region 2

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The first camp for young amateur radio operators in North, Central, and South America is coming to West Chester, Ohio in June, 2020.

A summer camp for licensed amateur radio operators ages 15 through 25 will take place June 21 through June 26, 2020 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township (North Cincinnati), Ohio, according to an announcement today by the Youth on the Air (YOTA) committee in IARU Region 2. The camp is being hosted by the museum and the West Chester Amateur Radio Association (WC8VOA). The camp, a modified version of the popular Youngsters on the Air camps in IARU Region 1 covering Europe and Africa, is operated by Electronic Applications Radio Service, Inc. (EARS). EARS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to wireless technologies and activities. IARU Region 2 covers North, Central and South America. The camp will focus on building peer & mentor relationships and learning how to take amateur radio to the next level. Campers will attend workshops and activities in multiple STEM-related subjects, such as Radio Contesting, Electronic Kit Building, D-STAR, APRS, Satellite Communications, Building Antennas, and Radio Direction Finding and Orienteering. Campers will also build teams and contesting skills by using amateur radio at nearby Kings Island Amusement Park. A high altitude balloon launch is also being planned. Social and team building activities include a pizza and pool party, a trip to Dave & Buster’s and operation of a special event station using the call sign W8Y. The event is a pilot for what hopefully will become a future series at other locations. This is the first camp specifically for youngsters 15 to 25 living in the Americas who already have their amateur licenses.

This camp could not take place without financial and equipment support. Campers will use the latest and greatest amateur radio equipment courtesy of ICOM America, Heil Sound, X-Tronic, and R&L Electronics. Major financial supporters at the time of this press release include: the Yasme Foundation, the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation, Orlando Hamcation and Orlando Amateur Radio Club (OARC), the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF), Dayton Hamvention and Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA), the Huntsville Hamfest, the ARRL Foundation, Southwest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA), Radio Amateurs of Canada, and Gary West, K8DEV & Dee Dee West, KA8DXE. Their financial support makes it possible for these aspiring young amateur radio operators to attend the camp at a greatly reduced cost. Clubs and individuals who wish to donate to help further defray the costs of the camp can do so via PayPal by visiting YOTAregion2.org, and clicking on the donate button. Donations can also be made on GoFundMe. More information about YOTA in the Americas as well as the summer camp can be found at YOTAregion2.org, and on YOTAregion2 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. YOTAregion2.org is also sponsored by ICOM America.

Train the Trainer report – France – October 2019

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For the past two months, few things happen in France. Back from Sofia, I wrote first a CR for the REF society and the administrators who were convinced about the fact that what they did for me this year has to continue the next few years with me but not only, with the objective to see a YOTA France born. Then I have the ascent of the REF to write an article for RadioRef Mag, who is the only and the most read by the French amateur community radio magazine. At mid-October I met F5DJL President of REF and F1AGR who is the “coordinator” of the youth activities. I made two proposal who were quickly accepted. First, creating a website/page in French with goals to explain what YOTA is to the 15-26 population of F licenced, and to let know to the French amateur community that there are some youngsters involved in this hobby in their own country. The other goal of this page is to allow everyone who is interested by YOTA to get directly a contact with someone who knows what he is talking about (not someone who’ll ask someone else and then no answer). The last goal comes with the second initiative I took, create a Telegram YOTA France, a unique group, not one on WhatsApp, not one on snapchat, a unique Telegram group where all Youngsters from France can start to speak and organise events together (so inform that there is a formal group of discussion for those who don’t think that it could be exist or don’t find the person who can enter it in the group). If they are interested by the international part of the YOTA Group, of course they’ll be added on the Gen Group.

So, after LZ YOTA :

-CR to the REF

-Article

-Meeting with the REF

-Building the website (simple but functional)

-Creating the unique known place of chat to bring together the France youngsters

After that, using every social media and our Website to encourage everyone interested to be added to the group. It’s just starting. By the way for the next activities, we will be active as TM19YOTA, I’ll represent Youngsters in the French contest commission at the end of November, and I have been contacted by F4GKR to be with him in Serbia next year for the IARU meeting. For the Website and the Group, I hope that before December it will be operational. I think that this is doable.

Just for information : REF has a list of potential 26 youngsters in France (in age of being selected). We have no information about those who are in age but not in the REF list.

Best regards, CU perhaps in the WE during the WW, Tom F4HWS.

Train the Trainer report – Austria – October 2019

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In the last 2 months important achievements were made for youth in Austria. The support from our society OEVSV has greatly increased. After we put lots of effort into convincing them of the importance of youth.

At the general assembly of the society, youngsters were present to put pressure on the representatives of each region of Austria. They all agreed to organise youth activities with their regional youth coordinators and support the youngsters already in their regions with any activities they want to organise. Additionally, the youth coordinator on the national level secured a budget specifically for youth activities. It shows that slowly the OMs are realising that youth is the way forward.

Some other important achievements were also made:

There will be an OEVSV online learning platform so that youngsters can learn for their license exams online when and where they want to. Before we often had the problem that youngsters were interested but it was too difficult for them to learn for the exam because there were no courses near them etc. and with time, they lost interest. This online learning platform will solve this problem. On the platform there will be video lessons, but the users will also be able to ask questions and get feedback on their progress.

The youth team in Austria will create a website, which is independent from the website of the OEVSV website. There was a youth section on the society website before but that was difficult to find and there was not a lot of content on there. We want to make the website “by youngsters, for youngsters” so all the content on the site is made and written by youngsters. We have lots of great ideas for things we could do with the website. We will also make social media channels, to start off we will make an Instagram account and do our best to upload content on a weekly basis. A goal like uploading content every week is also a good motivator to go out and do something. All of our platforms will be named YOTA-Austria.

Our plan is to create a stronger youth community in Austria, at the moment very few youngsters actually know each other. Getting the support from the heads of the individual regions was key to connecting youngsters across Austria more. First of all, we will do some activities to bring the existing youngsters closer together. Once we have a group of motivated and active youngsters, we can start focusing on getting new youngsters interested in the hobby. For instance, going to schools and universities etc.

The highlight of the coming year will no doubt be a sub-regional camp in Austria. After organising the YOTA summer camp in 2016, enthusiasm about the camp was very high within the society. Now with the sub-regional camp we have the opportunity to organise a camp again. We hope to make it a large sub-regional camp with lots of cool activities and workshops.

Train the Trainer report – Sweden – October 2019

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During the YOTA Bulgaria 2019 the Swedish team consisted out of two participants. The camp was considered great fun, but a general thought was that the time planning seemed a little off. For some things, that could have needed more time, time was missing and for some things, we were done way before the schedule. To the “thumbs up”-parts, the team liked that there was a lot of activities presented and nice to see that our hobby has so many side tracks.

The Swedish Youth team, SK0YT, consists of 6 members in the central committee. There is supposed to be one from each district SM0-SM7 but at the moment, representation from SM1 and SM4 is missing. There are more youngsters in Sweden, but they are not included in the planning committee.

Since YOTA, no youth activities have been done in Sweden. But the Swedish youth team is planning to have a camp for December YOTA Month. The camp will be held in Jönköping and we expect about 5-10 youngsters.

The weekend thereafter, we are planning a Nordic youth meeting. This will be a meeting where all Nordic youth societies can discuss how we will do the NOTA which is one of the things we are planning on for long term. Even though the camp was planned to be held in Norway, the Swedish committee helps the Norwegian one in terms of planning, the camp is also likely to be held in Sweden which makes us responsible for the planning. But at the moment, that is only briefly planned.

Train the Trainer report – Slovakia – October 2019

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After the YOTA summer camp in Bulgaria, the participants were really excited to take part in the activities that motivate youngsters to get to know our beautiful hobby. Slovak amateur radio association (SARA) does not dispose of an established team that directly focuses on the youth, however there are people in SARA willing to dedicate their time to organise events and support projects that expose ham-radio to the adolescence.
 
During September, radio-club OM3KFF attended the so called “Vedecký veľtrh” (scientific fair), where we explained what is our hobby about, to a quite big amount of people. This event is mostly aimed for people from primary and secondary schools, thus it was quite difficult to engage the kids for a longer period of time, where we could explain at least the basics and principles of making a QSO. However, we managed to interest some of the youngest youngsters with QSLs and morse code. Beside kids, also other people attended this event, since it was free and on a very popular square in the capital of Slovakia. Here, most of the times we reached out to people who walked by, we managed to immerse them into conversation where we provided them with a deeper understanding of broadcasting and explained what is it that we actually do. To these people we handed out leaflets about an upcoming course, the same radio-club is organising, starting in October.
 
At the end of September, Slovak youngsters also took part in the sub-regional camp in Czechia. Here, we were able to see that these kinds of activities work. The youngsters, mostly from Czechia, due to the lack of propagation of this camp from our side, got super interested in the ham-radio in just a weekend, even though most of them never heard about ham-radio before. The OK organisers managed to do this through introducing many areas of ham-radio, such as fox-hunting or QSOs through satellite or simple PMR and Off-Air contests, which was a great way of teaching the youngsters to do a QSO on their own. Many of these activities were in a form of competition, which was a great initiative for the kids to do their best. During this weekend, the OM team thought about creating a group of people who would dedicate some of their time exclusively for activities fro youngsters, since we can see that if we offer activities and advertise them properly, people will eventually come and take interest. 
 
At the beginning of October, we published an article in journal for Slovak and Czech ham-radio operators, to explain what is YOTA about, where we also mentioned the objectives of the Train the Trainer (TTT) program. This is a great way of motivating the earlier born operators to take interest in engaging the youngsters in the ham-radio in their neighbourhood or society.
 
In September, the above-mentioned course got off to a good start, since around eight new people showed up, from which half of them fall into the category of youngsters. These people appear to have a long-term interest, therefore the goal for us is to prepare them for exams, so they can receive their own license. Another big goal is to reinforce the relationship of the new members to radio, so they will be eager to broadcast by themselves, maybe even from their own station, if their resources allow them to do so. In the upcoming months, we want to focus on these new members and during the winter time do HF contests from the club station. When spring comes, we also hope to introduce them to SOTA, WWFF or fox-hunting. We are looking forward to accompanying these new potential members through their ham-radio journey.
 
All in all, the SARA and radio-clubs managed to do activities where we successfully engaged people in ham-radio operation and hope for finding more time to expand our horizons about how to interest people and make ham-radio their hobby for a lifetime. At the end, good bait catches fine fish.
 
73 de OM1DP

Train the Trainer report – Finland – October 2019

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Team Finland at YOTA 2019

 

Finland has been represented at YOTA summer camps since 2012. This time the team consisted of four people: Anu OH6ME as a team leader accompanied by Otava OH3OT, Tia OH3TIA, and Mikael OH3UAF. Only Anu had been at YOTA summer camp before, so it made a nice first camp for the others. And what a camp it was!

 

Before the camp, we had high expectations for it, as the other youngsters in Finland had only told good things about the past camps. We knew the week would be about meeting new people, having a great time among our hobby while learning a lot of new things! Now, after the camp, I think we all can say that we were most sincerely right!

 

Learning at the camp was fun! The technical side was made easy from the start, nothing too difficult. Even us who had never been that much in contact with antenna building enjoyed the workshops. Also, some of the lectures (for example the antenna guying) were really good. Because as we have a youth team for organizing youth activities in Finland, we really are going to take advantage of the Train The Trainer lectures!

 

Visits to Sofia city center, Milara factory and LZ5R contest station we’re a huge plus to the program! It’s always nice to see something from the country you are at, and it surely should be part of future YOTA camps as well.

 

How does the youth team work in Finland?

 

In Finland, the youth team has been there since the start of the 21st century. In 2015 Juuso OH1BAR took the led of the youth team. Since then the youth team has been growing in terms of activity. In 2017 Kati OH2FKX became the team leader. In October of 2019 youth team consists of six members: Kati OH2FKX (Team leader), Niko OH5CZ (assisting team leader), Vilma OH2VT, Otava OH3OT, Anu OH6ME, and Antti OH6VA. At the end of the year Antti will leave the team with Mikael OH3UAF replacing him.

 

The youth team works in co-operation with the other committees of SRAL. Vilma and Otava are part of marketing committee, with Otava also attending SRAL 100 years committee from the start of 2020.

 

The youth team is the main youth activity organizer in Finland. We have meetings every month in Google meet. Between the meetings someone has always something to do. Most of our activities happen yearly, which makes it easier to plan as we already have experience doing similar things. For more information about what we do, check ‘What’s on the horizon’ down below!

 

 

What’s on the horizon?

 

Next year of youth activity in Finland will consist of the same base as last year. By next August we will organize two camps. First of them, Polar has already been held from 11th to 13th of October. At Polar, Niko OH5CZ held a contest training. With the lead of Niko, the participants operated SAC SSB with OH2YOTA-callsign in multi/multi with 180k+ score and 783 QSOs. At DYM-camp we will be having as many QSOs as we can with OH2YOTA callsign from OH5Z contest station. (Last year we made little more than 5000 QSOs in three days!)

 

In Finland other than camps we will continue maintaining youth section on the SRAL webpage (www.sral.info/nuoriso) and @yotafinland Instagram page and youtube-channel..  We will be making whole new youth-targeted marketing materials in co-operation with the marketing team of SRAL. We will also be writing articles to Finnish ham magazine “Radioamatööri”.  During December Yota Month, we will give youngsters and clubs in Finland an opportunity to use OH2YOTA callsign. We will market that as much as possible. That way we could maximize our DYM QSO-amount.

 

What comes to Nordic youth co-operation, we will deepen it by attending the Nordic youth team meeting near to Stockholm, Sweden in December of 2019. We will increase activity on our joint Instagram and make a graphical guide for @nordicsontheair social-medias. We’ll also help with organizing the NOTA 2020 in Norway next spring, which will be a tough job as there are not many youngsters in Norway.  As we want to grow the  NOTA brand, we won’t be having our own Sub-Regional camp in Finland.

 

Next summer there is a change that we do co-operation with OHDXF and Finnish lighthouse society to give youngsters an unique change for a DX-pedition at Market Reef OJØ, and of course, send a team to YOTA 2020! We will also arrange some programme for the youth in the SRAL’s summer camp. The program will include a youth meeting and youth operating hours from the camp station. Also, for the first time ever, we will be teaching ham radio for interested not-yet-ham youngsters at the summer camp!

 

As you can see, another busy year in Finland is about to start. We will be actively reporting about our activity on later TTT reports, next time in December, then you will hear how our DYM-camp went!