After a long first day of introduction, we were told that Flex radio stations were available 24/7. So we decided to take this as an advantage to activate them…At 4 AM.
So the next day, we actually woke up at 4 AM and got downstairs to the radio stations. We were surprised that the security guards were also there at that time of the night, watching us in the dark wondering what we were doing.
As soon as we got there, we started to call CQ on 20 & 40m with both 9A22YOTA (local setup) and 9A1YOTA (remote station installed on Krk island) special calls. To be honest, operating “top gun” stations such as this feels quite satisfying with more than a kilowatt power output!
Paul F4ILV and Jules F4IEY went nuts on 14Mhz, by doing a lot of American stations and actually got several Australian stations with a good report as well!
Maxime F4IQN managed to work a lot of US stations using 9A1YOTA and even got a 59+20 report from a Texan station on 40m! Indeed, at that time of the day, the grayline allows this kind of staggering QSOs.In the end, we did what we wanted (paying the sleep price but still^^): we really felt free to operate as we wanted, lonely, with no other external disturbance.
Moreover, watching the daylight on dawn and the rising sun also felt like magic.At first glance, it did not sound like a good idea but if we had to choose between catching some VKs on the air and sleeping time, well…The answer was quickly figured out! Not to mention the initial plan was to quickly operate the stations and get back to sleep. However, it turned out that we just carried on until the morning, thus we did not get back, resulting in being more tired but proud and happy!
The hardest part of the third day has directly been the very first task of the day: getting up such that one will be in time for the meeting at 6.15 o’clock to start the excursion. Everyone managed to do so! A little later the bus started its route heading to the coast. Until arrival, it was nearly 3h to go, but everyone used the time to eat the packed breakfast and get some more rest.
Once arrived, everyone was excited to check out the site for the day. It was located in Baška, a city on Krk island. A team of organizers went to the place even earlier in the morning in order to set up a station. So the youngsters were able to activate the IOTA island EU-136 directly from the beginning. They set up several beams, vertical antennas, and a satellite station, such that there was an HF station, a 6m station, and a QO100 station available.
The youngsters have been using the station a lot! But since there was also outdoor sports equipment provided, they also used the change to energize and do some physical movement. It is a great refreshment after sitting and listening at a station. But the greatest part here was to see, how all the different nationalities and cultures, no matter if younger or older, smaller or taller, played together outdoor games. They agreed and adapted all the rules automatically and made sure that everyone is integrated! Everyone was considerate without exception, if someone fell down, he was immediately helped up by others and no one, literally no one, was interested in a competition. For everyone the game and the community stood in the foreground, no one wanted to be the fastest or best. This is the spirit we want to have in our hobby and we can be proud that our youngsters are spreading exactly this spirit!
One of the stations on the air from the island of Krk was 9A1ØØQO.
The whole site was prepared with cozy seating so if youngsters weren’t at the station or in a sports game, they sat down to connect with each other or used the group’s laptops in order to get on air remotely.
After lunch, it was time to enjoy the Croatian summer at the beach! The swimmers within the participants enjoyed the beautiful turquoise water of the Adriatic sea while the non-swimmers got an ice cream or took a sun bath at the beach. At that point, we also need to mention, that some youngsters even skipped the beach part in order to stay at the station and operate there. Is anyone still in doubt that the youth is not interested in our hobby? Choosing to be on air rather than enjoying a beach with beautiful torques of water gives a clear answer!
After the beach time, it was time for the daily Train The Trainer session. This time, each of the four groups should think of two small activities that can be done with a group of youngsters. This could range from energizer or icebreaker games to fun educational activities, but all somehow related to ham radio. They should provide the ideas in an activity card, mentioning not only how it works, but also how long it will take, what needs to be provided, and what are or knowledge the players should have. We still don’t know all the ideas that came up, since the presentations of them will be done next time. Later on, they will also be available on our website.
After that, pizzas were served, so it was a relaxed dinner time. The bus left at 20 o’clock to get back to the campsite. Once arrived, most of the participants went for a shower to remove the salt from the sea. Being tired and being back in the room, going to bed was the first option for most of the youngsters. Nevertheless, a few resisted the tiredness and so the evening ended with some music and guitar jamming.
After a long arrival day for some teams, the first day was rather kept short. For the second day of YOTA Summer Camp 2022 many activities had been planned. The day started with breakfast at 7 am. Due to the great weather conditions in Croatia during summer, the food at the camp is served outside. Since everyone gathered for breakfast, the chance has been taken to make a few announcements for everyone. After a short team leader meeting for further alignment, the activities started at 8.30 o’clock with energising games.
For the energisers, the participants gathered in their group for the first time. Each country is assigned to one of four groups and many activities throughout the week will be done within these smaller groups.
After getting to know the group members better as well as getting awake through the energisers, it was time to start with the first workshops. There have been four different workshops each of the same length, so each group was rotating along.
In the first workshop, the youngsters have been thinking about sustainability in ham radio. They have been thinking about sharing a station and that working remotely will help overcome some issues of sustainability. But they also came up with limitations of it. Nevertheless, they were interested in the opportunities it offers them. Especially, since many youngsters are limited in space and money if it comes to setting up a station. They have practically experienced the delay arising from being on air remotely.
After a break, the groups continued with the next workshop. In another one, FT8 has been introduced. The first part consisted of a lecture where they learned about what you need and what to take care of in order to do FT8. Besides the necessary hardware, they learned about WSJT, such that they are well prepared for the practical part. The lecture was continued outside at the station such that the youngsters could also experience the theory at hand!
Before the groups continued with the third activity, there was time for some well-deserved lunch. After some food and a longer lunch break, the workshops continued.
The next part for the group was to learn about the history of the first overall satellites as well as ham radio satellites. Through a combination of theory and practice, the group was learning how to work on satellites, their orbit, and which equipment is needed. The group also learned about the satellite QO-100, a Qatari geostationary. It is reachable from nearly all home countries of the youngsters attending.
After a break, the last workshop for the day has been a soldering project. Each participant was given a “wabbit”, a small ARDF beacon setup. It is a self-designed kit based on an Arduino component. The main part of it has been assembled in the workshop. All youngsters enjoyed the kit building quite much. It was also great to see that not only did supervisors help if something within the kit-building was unclear, but also the participants did so among themselves. The workshop finished with the built main part and the microcontroller will follow in an upcoming workshop.
After all the workshops the youngsters had another well-deserved break. Before the dinner, it was time for the first TTT session.
It started with some history about how TTT started. Of course, also a general introduction has been given and a short overview of the TTT Web page, such that everyone understands the concept behind it better. In order to give more concrete hands-on examples, two teams gave a presentation about youth activities in their country.
Last but not least, it was finally time for the traditional intercultural evening! Every team brought various national food or something that is typical for their countries. To get a rough idea, every team shortly introduced what they have on their table. After that, everyone could walk around to check out everything themselves! Some stayed at their booth while others started to walk around. So that way everyone could get in touch with each other throughout the evening.
And simultaneously you got to know many different peculiarities, some even brought some souvenirs or wear their traditional clothing, and QSL cards were exchanged. And with all these different flavors and impressions, the second day of YOTA summer camp came to an end.
The long awaited and unfortunately twice postponed 10th edition of a YOTA Summer Camp has finally started this evening. From August 6th to August 13th the event will be held in Karlovac, Croatia, in the south of Zagreb. After two long years of no in-person events, we are more than happy that the Croatian Amateur Radio Society (HRS) in cooperation with the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group put all the effort once again into making a YOTA Summer Camp in 2022 finally possible. The camp is now attended by nearly 100 participants from 24 countries.
Throughout the week, several workshops and activities have been planned for the participants. They will learn a lot about various topics of our common ham radio hobby as well as being able to directly connect with mind-liked youngsters in the same age group.
The first day was dedicated to three main activities.
Firstly, teams travelled from their home countries to the venue in Croatia by train, bus, car or plane. After their arrival they were greeted and picked up by a big group of volunteers at the various locations around the Zagreb area. Shuttle busses then carried the participants towards their final destination, the YOTA Summer Camp. Thus, lots of smaller groups arrived in Karlovac throughout the entire day and checked-in to their rooms. Every participant received a YOTA 2022 branded backpack with lots of useful and needed gear for the upcoming week and its activities upon arrival.
In the afternoon the first presentation with an introduction of the earth-surrounding planets and the in the radio world well-known sunspots took place. The youngsters were able to observe all these planets and the sun later in the outside area as well.
From 8pm local time sponsors as well as guests of the camp were welcomed to the venue to tour the camp location including the set up radio stations. Afterwards they were invited to attend the official Opening Ceremony which was streamed live to the YOTA YouTube channel. You can re-watch the event here. Guests and speakers were Mr. Tomić (Croatian Association of Technical Culture), Mr. Vincetić (Croatian Amateur Radio Society), Mrs. Šćulac (Karlovac County) and Mrs. Fočić (City of Karlovac). The whole evening was moderated by Croatian organizing committee members Mihaela Šišul (9A3WW) and Petar Papoči (9A7PP). After a short welcome by Philipp Springer (DK6SP), Chair of the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group, Emil Balen (9A9A), Head of the Croatian Organizing Committee, announced the 10th edition of YOTA Summer Camp 2022 open.
The evening ended with more stargazing at the location and social activities among all the youngsters. First contacts and even more QSOs were made, and we are looking forward to an amazing week ahead.
This year’s 10th YOTA Summer Camp will be held in Karlovac, Croatia, from 6th to 13th August. The organizers as well as all worldwide attending teams are looking forward to a week of training, fun and most important new friendships.
And also YOU can be part of the event!
YOTA Team Croatia (HRS) established an AWARD which everyone can achieve by working the YOUNGSTERS ON THE AIR during the Summer Camp 2022.
This award is awarded based on a defined number of points. Each QSO with a 9A YOTA station (9A22YOTA, 9A1YOTA, 9A2YOTA, 9A3YOTA, 9A4YOTA, 9A5YOTA, 9A100QO) in a different band/mode combination (slot) earns you one point. Duplicates do not count. Valid QSOs will be QSOs made from August 6th 2022 0000 UTC to August 13th 2022 2359 UTC.
You can obtain the award after having gathered the minimum required points (see Table 1 below). Minimum required points differ for young operators (see Table 2 below).
In case of a tie for a platinum position, both operators will be awarded platinum awards, but the operator that gathered the maximum number of points sooner will be given the prize.
3 Young Operators
A young operator is an operator who was under the age of 25 on January 1st 2022. Before August 13th 2359 UTC, young operators can register online, providing evidence of their age on January 1st 2022. This will allow them to participate in the awards as young operators and have adjusted the minimum required points. To register you can fill in a form (https://forms.gle/xuB13wA1CvnjAxWC8).
Operating times for different stations during the camp can be seen in Table 3 below.
August 6th – August 13th
August 6th – August 13th
August 6th – August 13th
Table 3: Operating times for YOTA stations
5 Bands and Modes
During the duration of the YOTA Summer Camp Croatia 2022, the following bands and modes will be used.
All amateur radio bands including WARC, VHF, UHF, and satellites.
SSB, CW, digital (FT8, FT4, RTTY).
Awards will be presented online. All operators which have gathered the minimum required points will be able to download their award after the final scoring after the end of the YOTA Summer Camp Croatia 2022.
The prize for platinum position operators above the age of 25, is s 9A5N key plus a weekend break for a family of four in the city of Karlovac, Croatia.
The prize for platinum position operators under the age of 25, is a CircuitMess Synthia plus a surprise. Special thanks for the YOUTH award at the platinum level goes to https://circuitmess.com/. If you don’t win, you can get 20% off their subscriptions using the discount code “YOTA20” !