Ideal Ham Demo station?
I have always thought that the ideal ham radio demo station for
kids would just be a bunch of HF receivers and let the kids tune
around the bands. This would keep those idle hands busy while
waiting their turn at the JOTA TX station. But that is
impossible due to receiver overload... Unless!...
What if we put up a Kenwood TS-2000 operating as a SKYCOMMAND
remote base a few miles away and control it from the JOTA site
over VHF/UHF link (skycommand). Then the TRANSMITTER is far far
away and will not overload all the receivers.
We don't even need to mention this link. The operator still has
a rig and front panel in front of him... And he has full control
of his TX frequency... but we can have a LOT more receivers on
the air listening across the band for the kids. In fact, all
these receivers can do the spotting for the single TX station.
Problem is, this is a single point failure system. However, the
fall back is simply that opearations would default back to
normal with the TX at the site.
Just an idea.
But if it worked, then the scenario for each troop as they came
by might be:
After the usual explaination, let the kids dial around and see
what other stations they can find (with a little chart and
supervision to show them best where to listen). I think tuning
the radio themselves and seeing what they can hear is a pretty
valuable experience that we have not been able to do in the
past. We could get dozens of HF rigs set up as receivers easily
In my old age, I am less and less excited at putting a lot of
technology in front of a simple process, but if others see the
benefit of letting the kids tune around the band as worthwhile,
then it might be worth the effort.
Just a thought.