Beacons don’t belong in the bin! On 21 June AMSA we received a satellite detection of an unregistered EPIRB, 5km offshore of Avoca Beach. We tasked a Toll Ambulance Rescue helicopter RSCU206 with a specialist paramedic and retrieval doctor on board, and VMR Cottage Point to the area. RSCU206 couldn’t detect a signal over the water however homed the EPIRB to the nearby Kincumber Waste Transfer Facility. The crew landed at the tip and used a handheld homer to locate the beacon, before destroying it.
Incidents like these are a waste of time and emergency services resources. Signals from incorrectly disposed distress beacons can also interfere with passing air traffic and take rescue resources away from real community protection. Learn how to dispose of your unwanted beacons:
Gilwell Park, close to London, is considered by many to be the
spiritual centre of Scouting and Guiding. The property was
purchased by the Scout Association in the early part of the 20th
Century to provide space for scouts from London’s East End to go
In addition to camp sites, Lord Baden Powell based his successful
leader training programme there.
Gilwell Park is still used for leader training, camping, events,
even weddings and conferences.
2019 marks the centenary of the Scouts acquiring Gilwell Park.
In commemoration of this, OFCOM have granted the use of a special
callsign at Gilwell Park – GB100GP – for the whole of 2019.
It is intended that this callsign will be activated at all the major
Scouting events in the UK this year – Fun Days, Gilwell 24,
JOTA-JOTI and Scarefest. The call may also be used for
demonstrations during Gilwell Reunion.
In addition to the above, there will be a special 4 day activation
of the callsign, from July 25th to July 28th, to cover the actual
anniversary of the day that Gilwell Park was officially opened
as a Scouts site, 26th July.
I wonder who will be the first in Australia to work this special
It’s GB100GP and I reckon it will be on air quite a bit as the
Scouting Amateur Radio crew in the UK are quite active.
For many years, Amateur Radio assessments and licensing administration has been provided via a signed Deed between the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA). Scout Radio and Electronics team (SRESU) had a number of WIA approved assessors and this arrangement permitted SRESU to run amateur radio training and assessments.
So what has changed? Following a public tender in 2018 and the outcomes becoming known in early 2019, we now know that the WIA was not successful in continuing the services provided, the Deed between the ACMA and WIA has expired as of the 1st Feb 2019. Changes are in the wind and we congratulate Australian Maritime Collage, part of the University of Tasmania who will provide the services including Amateur Radio Assessments and call sign administration.
On behalf of Scouts both in Victoria (and across Australia) we sincerely thank the WIA and affiliated radio clubs for supporting Scouts to undertake many radio related activities including Jamboree on the Air and Amateur Radio training and assessment activities. We hope to continue our working relationship with the WIA and affiliated clubs. We look forward to positive future activities that may come out of this significant change. This is not the end of a wonderful relationship between Amateur Radio and Scouting.
I also thank all amateur radio operators who have supported radio Scouting activities, including JOTA, Jamboree Amateur Radio stations, activities, training and assessments. We look forward to your ongoing support both though this transition and beyond.
We anticipate several further public announcements in the coming weeks as the work will begin to develop new relationships. We will seek to clarify the future of our Amateur Radio training and assessment.
For the time being, we must postpone our planned Amateur Radio training and assessment activities until the dust settles and we find our way forward. We will however continue to provide our Marine Radio training and various radio related activities. I thank you for your support and understanding while we work through this transition.
Between 4-14 January 2019, 8400 Scouts from every Australian state plus representatives from 18 nations will converge in Tailem Bend in South Australia to participate in the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree – AJ2019.
One of the 150 activities on offer to the Scouts will be a chance to participate in Amateur Radio. To facilitate this activity, we will establish a showcase station under the special event call sign VI25AJ and a Direction Finding course. We are expecting 2000 Scouts to experience amateur radio over the 10 day period.
We’d love to see as many amateur radio enthusiasts giving us a call during the Jamboree period to help give the kids an amazing experience – and perhaps take up the hobby on their return home.
We will be active on the HF bands both SSB and digital modes, Satellites, IRLP and Echolink. Full details such as operating schedules, frequencies will be available via our VI25AJ QRZ.COM page.
Once formal activities have finished for the day the showcase station will be available for licensed amateurs to use and if you happen to be attending AJ2019 bring your HT, we will have an IRLP linked repeater onsite.
All you ever wanted to know about the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is now one mouse click away… On the occasion of the 60th JOTA, the story of the JOTA has been updated. With new “old” materials that surfaced from archives. Discover how the largest annual youth and amateur-radio event on earth started with a coffee meeting in a snack bar. How a visionary Scout leader carried the idea forward and the world embraced it. And what about those radio waves that connect World Jamborees to the world, ever since 1957? Well no, that appeared to start 10 years earlier, in 1947. One of several new facts that seem almost forgotten, now surface in the new edition of “CQ Jamboree”. Don’t miss it. Get your full-colour printed copy by following the link below. The printer service offers free shipping cost world-wide now. Use the reduction code “ONESHIP” (valid up to 6 September 2018).http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/CQ_Jamboree In case you want copies for your entire group or district, use the code “FTW18”; it will give you an additional 10% reduction for 15 copies or more.
On Saturday 21 July 2018, Scouts were invited to join the Radio and Electronics team to take part in the Trans Tasman Low Band Amateur Radio Contest. Bjorn a visiting scout took up the challenge and his farther could not get him to go home. He joined Peter to make over 50 contacts. Watch the Video by clicking here.
Amateur Radio is seen by many as the hobby of gray haired old men listening to scratchy noises. There is so much more to the hobby.
WSPR is one of the more exotic combinations of PC and HF radio. Low power signals containing a radio callsign and location are transmitted at random on known frequencies around the world. Other stations with PC connected to their radio receivers monitor these frequencies and the results are plotted on the screen. Results are also automatically uploaded to the Internet for others to view and study.
This is real STEM activity. How far have the signals traveled? Why do they change? How can we hear more stations? Lots of activities and thoughts can spin off!
You can be part of this experiment with a moderate cost Short Wave Receiver, a PC, some free software and a simple home made interface. You can leave it running in silence over night or when doing other things. You will be amazed at the signals that you can decode.
Could this be an interesting JOTA related activity? Yes, signals can be received with out having to hold a radio licence. All can be done with out any gray hairs or scratchy noises in the house to annoy others too.
Contact the Radio and Electronics team for more. information.