GB2JAM ... the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

JOTA Weekend 20th & 21st October 2012


The response to this year’s Jamboree On The Air station from both scouts and club members was a little disappointing.  However, as is always the case, those who did attend had a great weekend.

4 P.M. on Friday 19th October saw several club members congregate at the 20th BIRKENHEAD Scout H Q in Oxton.  As often happens for J O T A, the weather was marvellous, a pleasant fairly warm afternoon without a breath of wind.  In an ant like swarm the W.A.D.A.R.C. members spread across the playing fields assembling various bits of equipment and in the failing light, around 7:30, the antenna array was set up, although a few ‘tweaks’ were necessary next morning.

The set up included a 40 Ft ‘portable’ mast carrying a 2M / 70 Cm WATSON co-linear, above the Club’s 3 element Tri-band beam. Slung just below this was an 80 M dipole, orientated east / west.  At the other side of the field was a 30 Ft telescopic mast carrying a G5RV for use with P.S.K. We also erected a shorter pole on an adjacent fence, carrying a co-linear for 4M on the G4BKF Echolink node frequency.

The radios used were the Club’s Icom IC 735 for 80 Metres, A Trio TS 711E for 2 Metres and AKD 4001 for 4 Metres and a Trio TS 440SAT with TL922 Linear for 10 / 15 / and 20 Metres. The P.S.K. station was run using a Yaesu FT 857.

After a quick check that everything worked on Friday night, everything was rested until morning. We went on air just before 10 A.M. on Saturday working mainly 2 M and 80 M during the morning. There was an invasion of about 20 Scouts completing their communicators badge in the afternoon and then in the evening, once their ‘QRM died down, a chance to play radio again.

In total we made just 82 contact over the weekend but several of these were lengthy Q.S.O.s with other scout stations where either our visitors or their scouts went on air and actually used the radio. That is what J.O.T.A. is really all about. It is not a contest but is an opportunity for young people to try a new activity. After all, that is the generation where the radio amateurs of the future come from !!!!

The contacts we made included a Scout station just 40 Miles from Jerusalem, One in Gibraltar and another in Malta as well as numerous across all of  Europe and the U.S.A. One of the best contacts of the weekend came when the TL 922 linear burst through a pileup on 20 M to get a 5/9 + 10 report from 9Y4,  Trinidad. We also spoke to our former WADARC treasurer Bob, now EA5 / G4NCI via Echolink.

An even rarer event occurred on the Sunday morning when Gordon G8MMM was actually caught on camera with a microphone in his hand. (See photo below).

J.O.T.A. 2013 is 18th – 20th October so put the date in your diary NOW and come along to help make WADARC a BIG signal on the Air again.



Simon (G6XHF)

Station Manager GB 2 JAM


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