“Overall, this December YOTA Month was a great experience for me. I had plenty of opportunities to have fun on the air. So much that I took part in… 7 special calls! In France, I used to operate TM22YOTA during weekends and TM4YOTA during weekdays from my local radio club station or my school. When I was at home, I managed to use the four american special calls K8Y/O/T/A and 9A0YOTA remote stations. Besides, I was in charge of organizing the YOTA contest with this 9A0YOTA special call. It sounded like a mess at first but it actually went pretty well. There were 3 operators: me, Darije 9A3BYW and Ryan EI8KW. As I was on vacation, I also had to set up a log server remotely a few days before and between two ski slopes ^^. The craziest part of this contest was during my shift turns, I had to do most of the contacts in my car, laptop on knees while going back home! The whole month was an amazing adventure with a lot of surprises, friends heard on the air, experimental modes (SSTV, FREEDV, PSK31…) and last but not least, massive pileups! My hype was so high for this year and all went so well that I hope to get the same hype for next year.”
– Jules F4IEY / K4IEY
Erasmus in Sweden of Maxime F4IQN
“I was in Sweden in Erasmus during December YOTA month so I couldn’t take part in the french DYM calls. During my stay, I was a member of ETA, Chalmers university radioclub and electronic club (SK6AB). It seems the club is not connected to YOTA activities organized by the national member society so I didn’t get to participate in the DYM in Sweden. The members are more interested in the DIY side of things and not the operating part. This is due to the very old and half functioning equipment of the station; it appears that the hobby is generating more interest among members after a prolonged period of disinterest. I participated a bit in DYM using remote stations in the US and Croatia but I was seriously limited by the slow wifi in my room and the exam and project reviews period in december/january.”
– Maxime F4IQN
The downside of this year was the lack of people operating the French callsigns due to something really relevant for a semester’s end: exams! Even if there were more activities in general than in previous years, the French young team mostly studied for an engineering degree and everyone was not available because of this exam period. Furthermore, adding the fact that most radioclubs are closed during holidays and because of the lack of personal HF gear, people cannot operate at all! A solution to this downside could be setting up an HF remote station, available 24/7 so that French operators can use it anytime, anywhere.