On the 17th October 2015 Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society (BSARS) took part in the Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) with the First Brede Scout Group – who BSARS are associated with and on who’s grounds their shack is, using the permanent special event call sign GB1FBS – First Brede Scouts. In all there were in excess of 40 scouts, plus helpers and Scout Leaders, from around the surrounding area who camped overnight in the grounds. All of the Scouts were taking part in activities, which they had to complete, to enable them to visit Canada in two years time as a large Scouting Troop.
During the day the Scouts came in to the shack in small groups and were shown various aspects of Amateur Radio (AR) from Data Modes (computer generated code) to SSB (single side band )(speech), including the safety aspect of being in shack with a lot of power. Martin M0MJU pointed out where the master switch was in case it needed to be switched off for any reason. Some of the Scouts, shown by Dan M0HOW, even had a go with Hand Held Transceivers to pass greetings to a Scout, Issy 2E0IJA, who had taken her exams and was now an intermediate license holder. Many of the Scouts passed SSB greetings to other Scouts at another AR Station in Norway who were also taking part in JOTA.
As the shack has three operating areas it was easy for one small group to have a go and listen to SSB and another group to see how Data Modes are sent via a computer to the outside world.
The group who were doing SSB were shown, by Antony G4CUS and Phil G3MGQ, how to tune a Transceiver, what an Ariel tuning unit (ATU) was and what a “Q” codes represents. “Q” codes are series three letters which have a meaning in AR language. They are not really codes – as codes are not allowed to be sent via AR operators other than Morse Code (CW) – but there meaning is a way of describing something in short. For example QTH means “Where I live” or “My location”. QSL means “Do you understand?” ” Are you receiving me ok?” Depending on the context in which it is used a “Q” code can have sever meanings. Many of the Scouts got to grips with this concept and quickly used it during their time passing greetings including using the phonetic alphabet when they said their name.
The group who were watching the Data Modes section were shown by Steve M0SSR, how a computer, connected to a Transceiver, could send machine generated code around the world with very little power, sometimes no more than 25 watts, and other AR stations with the same type of equipment and software could decode it and understand what was being sent. The group were also told how AR, as a hobby, can help them in areas of their schooling. This they found strange until it was explained that AR covers all aspects of schooling, Maths, English, Science, History, Geography, Astronomy and Physics. Examples of each area were explained to each group which they took on board.
Many of the Scouts showed great interest in what they were being shown and it is hoped that some will even get to take their Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced exams in the future to help keep the hobby alive.
The members of BSARS wish to thank the Scouts from the different groups their leaders, the First Brede Scout Group for organising this event that enabled BSARS members to pass on some of their knowledge.
Thanks to Antony G4CUS, Dan M0HOW, Issy 2E0IJA, Martin M0MJU. Phil G3MGQ , Tony G4KLF, Steve M0SSR and Dominic – not yet licensed -for helping out.
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