JOTA 8th Worthing Sea Scouts 2015

Richard Poore G4OHC was asked if he could raise a team to assist the 8th Worthing Sea Scouts with their JOTA 2015 event. At the monthly meeting, and with no other requests, club members agreed to support them. Following the example of leading clubs and the recommendations of the JOTA organisation, he wanted to include a variety of radio related activities in addition to JOTA station contacts. Richard was particularly keen that the scouts got the opportunity to build something during the day and that each got a radio to take away at the end of the day.

Antenna Setup

The antenna set up on the playing field

Not having the necessary activity skills myself, I offered to help him plan it. Graham volunteered to come early and help with antenna erection. Martin agreed to lead antenna erection and fox hunt direction finding; Mike the telegraphy talk, Morse code games and certificates; Mark the JOTA station itself; Richard building; Gary roving assistant; myself scout coordinator. In the event, we all had to take turns at each task. Mark in particular put the skills from his new job to good use as he taught the scouts to solder, leaving Gary and Mike to struggle with the crowded band conditions when their activities were completed. Peter Rudd arrived in time to try his hand at DF Fox hunt and help de-rig the antenna.

QSO with The Gambia

Scouts listening to C5S in The Gambia

We had a fantastic start. Our first contact was a JOTA station from The Gambia. We called the scouts into the shack, but as they arrived there was deep QSB and with our limited power we were unable to make ourselves heard. We were disappointed, but the scouts’ enthusiasm was un-dimmed.

Building Morse Buzzers

Scouts learning to solder by assembling Morse buzzers

Assembling AM Radios

Some of the Scouts even built an AM receiver

The activities commenced. We had a team of six, with two more attending before and after the event to rig and de-rig the antennas. This meant we could fully occupy the scouts during the day. Radio related activities consisted of 80m Fox hunt, Morse code training, quiz and game, AM radio kit and Morse code buzzer building. Our scout partners carried out the additional activities required for the scouts to achieve their International badges. The Morse game used was the excellent and challenging Morse Mouse from the web site of Charlie Davy M0PZT. Three simple AM receiver kits and 12 superhets came from China. The DF Fox hunt equipment was supplied by Gary and Martin.

Radio Direction Finding

Radio Direction Finding

The Scouts tried their hands at Radio Direction Finding

The scouts provided a superb buffet lunch, while we replied with a short talk on the history of telegraphy!

G0JXX's Telegraphy Talk

Mike, G0JXX, gave a short talk on telegraphy and Morse code

Learning Morse Code

Learning Morse Code

Learning Morse Code

Learning Morse code

Returning to the radio, we found that 40m was jammed with wall-to-wall Dutch stations. In spite of reaching JOTA stations in the Netherlands, Norway and Gibraltar we could not combat the variable conditions long enough to get our scouts on the air. With time running out, we were fortunate to get a friendly Norwegian who took messages from every one.

Scouts On The Air!

The Scouts sent greetings messages to a station in Norway

We left with happy memories; the boy who learnt the Morse alphabet in 5 minutes while we watched; the shout from the girl who spent a couple of hours building an AM radio, which worked first time when connected to a wire thrown out of the window.

The GB8WSS Team

The GB8WSS Team (less Graham!)

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