This year, we took our Special Event equipment to Market Deeping Scout hall for Jamboree on the Air. We started to set up in the back hall on the afternoon of Friday 19th October. 2 Gazebo's were erected in the hall so that voice echo would be reduced. In one the VHF station was set up while the other housed the 2 HF stations. Internal set up was completed early Saturday morning, so too was the erection of antennas. The front hall was used for preparing the Scouts to go on the air plus interactive Enigma coding by computer, set up by Alan, it was also the general association area for all of us. The antenna system was held up by Andy's mobile lattice tower at about 75 ft. The antennas were a 40mtr Moxon, Carolina Windom 80 for 80mtr and on top a 2/70 co-linear.
Andy set up his own Kenwood 590 on the Moxon for PSK 31 and voice and the Club TS 590 SG was set up on 80mtrs for voice, both in one gazebo. In the other gazebo, we set up our Icom IC 746 for 2 metres. Having checked everything, we were ready to start by the time the Scouts came in at 10 am on Saturday. Please note, prior to the Jamboree weekend, Tracey, Alan and myself (Tony) had spent 2 Wednesday evenings preparing and training the Scouts for the JOTA weekend. This proved to be worthwhile when the Scouts went on the air. Throughout the weekend the Scouts went on the air on all bands talking to other Scouts or Amateurs via voice and one or two getting into PSK with Andy's help. VHF was open which proved fruitful. I personally worked into Braintree Essex and a mobile in Didcot near Swindon, FM 50 watts and received 5/9 plus reports, the former being a JOTA station. The Market Deeping Scouts, when on the air, were all complimented for their clear speech, radio procedure and use of the Phonetic alphabet that was due to the pre training. To keep the Scouts busy in their down time, Alan had set up a coding/decoding game using 2 laptops showing virtual Enigma machines with changeable rotors, they loved it. I also set up a Morse code challenge which some of the Scouts had a go at.
Now the Stats
115 contacts, 49 of which were UK stations, 18 countries worked and 36 of the total contacts were JOTA stations. Very successful!! One station in particular, LA1 JAM was worked by Andy, and I video recorded part of it which can be viewed on YouTube. GB1 MDS qso with LA1 JAM Scout Jamboree Oct 2018, give it a look.
After a very enjoyable weekend we started to dismantle the station at 3 pm Sunday 21st. As with set up, the usual crowd of willing members turned out to help, most of them had been there all weekend.
Votes of thanks, Firstly, from me to all the PADARC members who helped in any way over the JOTA weekend and to Tracey and Alan for their pre JOTA help and ideas. Thank you all, I could not have done it without you. Secondly, to Alison and Peter from Market Deeping Scouts, who kept us supplied with food and drink over the weekend, real life savers! Also to Grahame who sorted things out from the Scouting side and, of course, the Scouts themselves, who really did themselves proud!! Thank You for hosting the event.