Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is the biggest world Scout and Guide event (around 750.000 participants in 2010) and can certainly be one of the most exciting annual activities in which you can participate.

Many licensed amateurs will have had exposure to amateur radio through an association with the Scout or Guide movement.

The mission of the JOTA is to bring scouts and guides from all over the world together by means of electronic communication, creating awareness, understanding and friendship with people outside their normal living environment. Stimulating interest in the technology used for the communication and developing the understanding and knowledge of these technologies."

This category of articles is designed to assist amateur radio operators who are new to JOTA, to become involved this enjoyable and rewarding weekend activity. There are information and tips on setting up a JOTA radio station from operators with many years experience.

The information provide in the associated articles, is of a general nature and the reader should determine what is applicable to their own situation. The St George Amateur Radio Society Inc and / or the writer does NOT accept responsibility for any action taken based on the information provided.

2016 will again see members of The St George Amateur Radio Society volunteering their time and equipment to make the Jamboree On The Air activity available to guides and scouts attending the Endeavour Boree Regatta 2016. Over the JOTA weekend, the SGARS JOTA team expect about 500 guides and scouts to experience the JOTA On Air activity, at one of the largest and busiest JOTA stations in Australia.

Operating with the club call sign VK2LE from Kurnell in Sydney (Captain Cook’s landing place), the operators will be seeking contacts from other JOTA stations, both locally, interstate and overseas, using 80m, 40m, 20m, 2m, 70cm, Dstar and Echo Link.

VK2LE may also be found on one of the following greater Sydney repeaters, which will be used by JOTA stations to co-ordinate contacts; North Region – Terry Hills VK2RMB (2m & 70cm), South Region – Maddens Plains VK2RMP and West Region – Blue Mountains VK2RBM

During the JOTA weekend the VK2LE will be on air from 10.30 AM to 10.30 PM local time on Saturday 15th, and 9.00 AM to 2.00 PM local time on Sunday 16th October. Operating frequencies will be logged over the weekend using Contest Radar and the PI4RAZ JOTA DX Cluster

Jamboree On The Air or JOTA is an opportunity for half a million Scouts and Guides all over the world make contact with each other by means of amateur radio.

2015 will be the 20th year that members of The St George Amateur Radio Society have operated an amateur radio station, for Jamboree On The Air, at the Endeavour Boree Regatta. This is the largest JOTA radio station in Australia with about 1000 Guides and Scouts in attendance, over the weekend 17th & 18th October 2015.

 

Jamboree On The Air or JOTA is an opportunity for half a million Scouts and Guides all over the world make contact with each other by means of amateur radio.

The use of amateur radio means that many scouts and guides get the opportunity to discover the skills of wireless radio techniques and electronics. JOTA is also the only event that offers each individual scouts and guides the opportunity to speak to others across the world.

JOTA is held over the third full weekend in October and this year the 57th Jamboree On The Air is over the weekend 18th and 19th October 2014.

Scouts and Guides click here >>>

JOTA is also an opportunity for amateur radio operators to show case their hobby to young, enthusiastic minds, potentially the next generation of amateur radio operators. In additional you would be doing something for your local community in a great social atmosphere.

This is a great opportunity especially for foundation license holders and new comers to JOTA, to gain operating experience as seasoned advanced operators will be there to assist and lend their support.

Before the JOTA Weekend

A good JOTA experience comes from a close collaboration between scout and guide groups and amateur radio operators and good planning and preparation. For those new JOTA or have not been involved for sometime, we recommend you also read the "Getting started with JOTA" article.

Here are some tips for amateur radio operators to plan and prepare for the JOTA weekend;

  • Before the JOTA weekend, meet again with the scout and guide leaders, to finalise plans for a successful weekend. Confirm how many scouts and guides will be attending and when. Will you have enough radio operators to share the operating over the weekend? Has access to the operating venue been arranged? When can you gain access to setup? Will scout and guide leaders be attendance to supervise?
  • Make a visit to the JOTA operating and check such things as the availability of power, where can you erect your antennas so they will not fall down, can cables be installed safely and not cause a trip hazard, are the toilet and kitchen facilities in good working order, is off street parking available, etc.
  • Determine the activities who will do on the JOTA weekend, and the associated hazards involved. Asses the level of risk of each activity (Risk Assessment) and prepare a way to do these activities, which will reduce the level of risk (Safe Work Method Statement). All operators at the JOTA weekend must read and sign that they understand and abide by the Risk Assessment/SWMS. If things change on the day, the SWMS may be modified to suit. Provide a copy of the RA/SWMS to the scout and guide leaders.
  • Have all radio operators completed and submitted the Scout and Guide "Working with Children" forms. There is a different form for both scouts and guides and you will need to show photo ID to the leader when you present the form.
  • Insurance cover for your radio equipment, in the event it is lost or damaged over the JOTA weekend. Scouts and guides will have insurance to cover volunteers, but this may not cover your equipment. Your local radio club may have insurance cover if JOTA is a club activity. If not, you may need to provide your own insurance.

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Getting Started with JOTA

A good JOTA experience comes from a close collaboration between scout and guide groups and amateur radio operators.

Here are some tips for amateur radio operators who are interested in participating in JOTA for the first time;

  • Find out if your local radio club will be participating in JOTA or ask local hams in your area if they would be interested in operating a JOTA station. As the saying goes "Many hands make light work"
  • Make contact with local scout and guide groups in your area to find out if they are interested in participating in JOTA. Your can do this through the district scout or guide office in your area, the scout and guide web site for your state will have contact details or contact the JOTA co-ordinator in your state.
  • Set up a meeting between the scout and guide leaders and the amateur radio operator(s) to discuss the format of the JOTA weekend. Location of the JOTA station, how many scouts / guides will be attending, when and for how long. Groups of about 6 to 8 are a good size over a period of about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on age. A scout or guide leader must be in attendance at all times.
  • For a single operator with a small group of scouts / guides, you may decide to operate from your home station. If so, check that your home insurance will cover such an activity? It would be preferable to setup a portable station at the local scout or guide hall or your local radio club rooms. Some scout / guide groups may organise a weekend activity in the bush, so you may be operating portable under canvas.
  • Find out if there will be other JOTA stations operating in your region, that you can contact through local VHF and UHF bands. Take note of the callsigns, location, operating hours and bands being used. These operators will also be seeking JOTA contacts. If there are no other JOTA stations in your region, consider using IRLP and HF to extend your contact range.
  • Plan what equipment you will need for your JOTA station and check that it is all in good working condition, before the JOTA weekend. Try to keep it simple. A dual band VHF UHF FM transceiver with CTCSS for repeaters with tone access and DTMF for IRLP and dual band vertical antenna. Also a HF transceiver preferably with internal antenna matching so you do not have to spend time retuning when changing frequency and bands, and a multi band HF antenna such as vertical or Off Centre Feed dipole. Don't forget the coax cable, extension speakers, power cables and power supply.

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About Jamboree On The Air

JOTA is a 48-hour worldwide held over the third full weekend in October each year (from Saturday 00:00 to Sunday 23:59 local time no matter where you live) and is the largest yearly scout and guide activity with around 750,000 participants in 2010, increasing by about 15% each year..

Amateur radio operators bring scouts and guides from all over the world together by means of electronic communication, creating awareness, understanding and friendship with people outside their normal living environment.

Call frequencies are allocated for JOTA operation in the MF HF VHF and UHF bands. Scout and guides who participate in JOTA each receive a badge.

JOTA is an excellent opportunity to introduce young people to the world of amateur radio.

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