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.
Enjoy – Philip VK3JNI.
Have you ever wanted to listen to Short Wave Radio but you don’t have the equipment? Tecsun, an Australian company in NSW have made available a Software Defined Radio (SDR) on the internet. The receiver is located in Gosford NSW. Yes you can enjoy all the real fades and other noises we associate with HF Radio.
You can tune it to the desired HF Frequency and Mode (e.g. select frequency 4835 MHz, select the mode AM and you may hear the new Australian Short Wave station Ozy Radio, currently reporting an power output is 500w and the location is confirmed as Razorback near Camden approx 45 km southwest of Sydney.)
You can also listen to the amateur, marine and explore other interesting data on the HF bands too using the SDR.
Philip VK3JNI – 7 Apr 2018
HF and Shortwave bands can be full of strange voices and noises. Some good fun can be had by experimenting with radio and PC , Mac or Android devices to try to decode the data within some of the noises we hear.
One company who has released some interesting apps is Black Cat Systems.
Visit http://blackcatsystems.com/ to view their catalogue.
While our license conditions may restrict our foundation operators from transmitting digital signals, everyone can receive and try to decode the data signals we hear on air.
Have fun… Philip – VK3JNI
The 2016 JOTA-JOTI reports has been published – over 1 million participants across 156 countries and 33,000+ locations.
Read all the details including individual country reports by downloading the World JOTA-JOTI 2016 Report FINAL
This is a big report so it may take some time to download. One quote from the report…
“This was our first JOTA-JOTI experience and I think the Scouts had more fun than expected. We really enjoyed chatting with all of the different groups around the world. Uniforms, badges, and awards were a common topic. One thing we learned is that it is very common for people in other countries to speak multiple languages. All of our conversations were in English, and for most contacts English was not their first language. Another fun thing our Scouts learned is that other Scouting organizations have co-ed groups. Our longest chat was with a remote group in Australia who were 4.5 hours away from the nearest McDonald’s. They were sad to see us go as we had run out of time at the end of our event.” – Boy Scouts of America
Philip – VK3JNI
Remembrance Day Contest
On 13 & 14 August is the Remembrance Day Contest, this Australian radio contest is well supported and is a good opportunity for both new and older operators to have a go at Radio Contesting. You can take part with just a hand held and sit on top of a hill or try and run as many bands as you legally can from home or your favorite location.
This contest commemorates the Amateurs who died during World War II and is designed to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants. It is held on the weekend closest to the 15th August, the date on which hostilities ceased in the southwest Pacific area.
Aim Of The Contest
Amateurs in VK, ZL and P2 will endeavour to contact other amateurs in VK, ZL and P2.
* VK, ZL, and P2 mean any station operating within Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea and their external territories.
Time: 0300 UTC Saturday to 0300 UTC Sunday
For rules of the contest see http://www.wia.org.au/members/contests/rdcontest/
Suggested contesting software:
Suggest you load it before the contest and have a practice.
Many Venturers, Rovers and Leaders around the world combine a little bush walking with Amateur Radio. Here is another good reason to take your light weight radio gear, Summits on the Air (SOTA)
Quite a few Scouting Radio Operators are getting involved in SOTA. Two active Scouting Radio Operators are Kevin, VK3KAB and Peter VK3ZPF.
Here is the link to Peter Fraser’s (VK3ZPF) Blog
Thanks to Peter and Kevin, for providing good information, ideas and many useful links including a good guide to getting started.