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.
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 (link no longer available)
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
Marine vessel locatons see:
Wondering how they track these vessels, it is done via AIS receivers located around the coast. Vessels carry a AIS transmitter connected to a GPS and regularly transmit their locaton.
If you would like to try to build a little AIS receiver and you are located around the coast, read on.
SDR AIS Decoding using a cheap USB DVB-T Stick
Hi all, here is a little project for the tech savvy Venturer, Rover or Leader. This project will be of particular interest if you live near the coast. You can use a DVB-T STICK to build a low cost AIS Receiver. Full credit and thanks goes to the team from MarineTraffic.com … For more detail see: http://tinyurl.com/oo4r594
If you have not played with the AIS display provided by MarineTraffic.com this may be something new for your JOTA / JOTI station.
During the warmer months I run a smart phone app that puts me on the MarineTraffic.com map when on my little boat.. You may even spot our real yacht SwingShift around the bays or lakes. Enjoy! – Philip VK3JNI
You would love a portable HF receiver! You are on a budget and your wish list includes PLL, AM, FM, SSB, MW, SW and a clock but you thought you where only dreaming?
JOTA is coming up in October and I frequently get asked to recommend a portable radio receiver that could let scouts of all ages tune around and listen in to JOTA stations without the complications of having an unsupervised transmitter sitting in the campsite or station. Check this out… AM, FM and Single Sideband with good coverage range, this portable receiver may meet the needs of new amateur operators, leaders and scouts alike. Includes rechargeable battery… all for under $350, sounds like a good deal. Note, I have no commercial interest in this company, other than buying one myself… It works great! http://tecsunradios.com.au/sto…/product/tecsun-pl880-radio/…
Need Air Band as well… consider http://tecsunradios.com.au/…/tecsun-pl660-radio-vhf-air-ba…/ This one is smaller and under $200.
Please note, we have no commercial affiliation with this company. – Philip VK3JNI