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Re: [ScoutRadio] New Guy

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  • Elden Morris
    I, personally, am coordinating efforts here in Cobb County, Georgia, between the Kennehoochee Amateur Radio Club and the American Legion Post 264 where the
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 29, 2009
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      I, personally, am coordinating efforts here in Cobb County, Georgia, between the Kennehoochee Amateur Radio Club and the American Legion Post 264 where the event will be held.

      I have contacted the Atlanta Area Council as well as the Covered Bridge and Foothills Districts that are in Cobb County.

      As my efforts are also being geared towards the Girl Scouts, I have also e-mailed the Atlanta Girl Scout Council.

      In the next few days, I'll be visiting local Boy and Girl Scout Troops to let them know. The Boy Scouts have a roundtable here and I'll also be visiting it.

      73's, Yours in Scouting

      ELDEN MORRIS, N1ETN

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Mike

      To: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com

      Sent: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 15:07:10 +0000 (UTC)

      Subject: [ScoutRadio] New Guy



























       



          


                        

      I've been asked to chair the ad-hoc committee for Jamboree on the Air for the Longhorn Council.





      From what I understand, it hasn't been very well attended in the past and wanted to know what some of you might have done to have good results.





      I've got some ideas which includes partnering with various clubs in the area.





      Thanks!





      Mike


      KE5TTL











          
        



          

          

          

          




    • Steve Conklin
      ... We ve had very successful JOTA events here in recent years. I ve been the JOTA coordinator for the last three years. I think that these are the key factors
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 29, 2009
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        On 07/28/2009 10:07 AM, Mike wrote:
        >
        >
        > I've been asked to chair the ad-hoc committee for Jamboree on the Air
        > for the Longhorn Council.
        >
        > From what I understand, it hasn't been very well attended in the past
        > and wanted to know what some of you might have done to have good results.
        >
        > I've got some ideas which includes partnering with various clubs in the
        > area.
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        > Mike
        > KE5TTL

        We've had very successful JOTA events here in recent years. I've been the JOTA
        coordinator for the last three years.

        I think that these are the key factors for our success:

        1. We have a very active local club, and I talked about it every week at our
        meetings for weeks the first year I handled JOTA. I also talked about it
        at our county ARES/RACES meetings. That got me connected with about
        a half dozen other amateurs who are interested in JOTA. Most of these
        are also active in emergency communications, and this gives them a chance
        other than field day to unpack their go boxes and have a good drill,
        while making a good demonstration for scouts. The club has supported the
        effort by allowing us to use their tower on a trailer. The tower is handy
        for antennas, but more than anything it is a magnet for drawing scouts.
        We flew a large international scouting flag from the tower.

        2. We have a very supportive district. The first JOTA I organized happened
        to fall on the weekend of our fall district camporee, and we set up there
        with about 300 scouts in attendance. It was so popular that the district
        leadership committed to having the district camporee on JOTA weekend every year.
        We also are fortunate to have a scouter who is very involved in international
        scouting. He provided a large assortment of flags from different countries,
        which were hung around the shelter we used. We also displayed a prefix map.

        3. The Camporee site is well suited for a range of activities. We are given
        use of a shelter with AC power, in which we placed two HF stations and
        three VHF/UHF stations. We used SSB, PSK31, and SSTV. The VHF/UHF stations
        operated using several local repeaters and IRLP. In addition, we set up
        a battery powered HF station in a field in the middle of the camporee
        competition events. I have found that there are a lot of scouts who are
        mic-shy, but who are totally comfortable with digital modes, probably
        because they are familiar with internet chat and texting.

        4. There is a local amateur who comes out and sets up a display he built
        which has a straight key and morse decoder. This has proven to be very
        popular.

        5. The North Alabama Repeater Association has been very helpful, including
        allowing us to activate the repeater links normally used for Skywarn. This
        allows the scouts to work over a ten (plus) county area using VHF.

        6. We now have enough licensed scouts that 4-6 of them are generally
        hanging around the stations, explaining things to the non-ham scouts
        and telling them how to get licensed.

        7. I attended the district round table before and after JOTA, explaining
        our plan and reporting on the event, and provided information to the
        leaders there about a radio merit badge and licensing class we were
        planning.

        I know that a lot of our success is due to the colocation with the
        camporee. I don't know whether that's feasible for you, but I highly
        recommend it. I think that the other important thing is to get
        in front of both the club(s) and the district leadership multiple times
        and share your excitement about what you're doing. Make contacts and
        follow up with them, then coordinate what they are doing. My only regret
        about the way this has worked out is that I've ended up in more of a
        coordinator role than actually being on the air during the event, but
        it's really exciting to have a successful event.

        I know this isn't exactly an answer to your question, but I hope it helps.

        Steve Conklin, AI4QR, Madison, AL
        Troop 204, Talakto District, Greater Alabama Council
      • Keith Kaiser
        I can t over emphasize the importance of attending Roundtable. Roundtable is the life blood of a district, it is where you should have the opportunity to talk
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 29, 2009
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          I can't over emphasize the importance of attending Roundtable. Roundtable is the life blood of a district, it is where you should have the opportunity to talk with every adult leader (Unit Leaders, Parents, Commissioners) in your district. If you want to have a successful event like JOTA you must get out there tell and show them what to expect. 

          Bring your radios to RT, set up a demo station (even w/o an antenna), demo HF/VHF/EchoLink, etc.


          73's
          Keith Kaiser



          On Jul 29, 2009, at 10:03 AM, Steve Conklin wrote:

          On 07/28/2009 10:07 AM, Mike wrote:
          > 
          > 
          > I've been asked to chair the ad-hoc committee for Jamboree on the Air
          > for the Longhorn Council.
          > 
          > From what I understand, it hasn't been very well attended in the past
          > and wanted to know what some of you might have done to have good results.
          > 
          > I've got some ideas which includes partnering with various clubs in the
          > area.
          > 
          > Thanks!
          > 
          > Mike
          > KE5TTL

          We've had very successful JOTA events here in recent years. I've been the JOTA
          coordinator for the last three years.

          I think that these are the key factors for our success:

          1. We have a very active local club, and I talked about it every week at our
          meetings for weeks the first year I handled JOTA. I also talked about it
          at our county ARES/RACES meetings. That got me connected with about
          a half dozen other amateurs who are interested in JOTA. Most of these
          are also active in emergency communications, and this gives them a chance
          other than field day to unpack their go boxes and have a good drill,
          while making a good demonstration for scouts. The club has supported the
          effort by allowing us to use their tower on a trailer. The tower is handy
          for antennas, but more than anything it is a magnet for drawing scouts.
          We flew a large international scouting flag from the tower.

          2. We have a very supportive district. The first JOTA I organized happened
          to fall on the weekend of our fall district camporee, and we set up there
          with about 300 scouts in attendance. It was so popular that the district
          leadership committed to having the district camporee on JOTA weekend every year.
          We also are fortunate to have a scouter who is very involved in international
          scouting. He provided a large assortment of flags from different countries,
          which were hung around the shelter we used. We also displayed a prefix map.

          3. The Camporee site is well suited for a range of activities. We are given
          use of a shelter with AC power, in which we placed two HF stations and
          three VHF/UHF stations. We used SSB, PSK31, and SSTV. The VHF/UHF stations
          operated using several local repeaters and IRLP. In addition, we set up
          a battery powered HF station in a field in the middle of the camporee
          competition events. I have found that there are a lot of scouts who are
          mic-shy, but who are totally comfortable with digital modes, probably
          because they are familiar with internet chat and texting.

          4. There is a local amateur who comes out and sets up a display he built
          which has a straight key and morse decoder. This has proven to be very
          popular.

          5. The North Alabama Repeater Association has been very helpful, including
          allowing us to activate the repeater links normally used for Skywarn. This
          allows the scouts to work over a ten (plus) county area using VHF.

          6. We now have enough licensed scouts that 4-6 of them are generally
          hanging around the stations, explaining things to the non-ham scouts
          and telling them how to get licensed.

          7. I attended the district round table before and after JOTA, explaining
          our plan and reporting on the event, and provided information to the
          leaders there about a radio merit badge and licensing class we were
          planning.

          I know that a lot of our success is due to the colocation with the
          camporee. I don't know whether that's feasible for you, but I highly
          recommend it. I think that the other important thing is to get
          in front of both the club(s) and the district leadership multiple times
          and share your excitement about what you're doing. Make contacts and
          follow up with them, then coordinate what they are doing. My only regret
          about the way this has worked out is that I've ended up in more of a
          coordinator role than actually being on the air during the event, but
          it's really exciting to have a successful event.

          I know this isn't exactly an answer to your question, but I hope it helps.

          Steve Conklin, AI4QR, Madison, AL
          Troop 204, Talakto District, Greater Alabama Council


        • briankaywalker
          Mike, I have never done a Council wide event, but do my troops event every year... We start at 10 AM and run to 5 or so PM. There is no better tool to get the
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 30, 2009
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            Mike,

            I have never done a Council wide event, but do my troops event every year... We start at 10 AM and run to 5 or so PM. There is no better tool to get the job done than EchoLink. I have a bunch of my Venture Crew licensed, so I have plenty of help too... Setting up three or more(you will want far more) EchoLink stations is tricky if you only have one IP address so get that figured out early... (I had three IP addresses last year plus games to get more).

            Scouts start the morning off working the UK and Europe, then move to the US and Canada and end in Asia, working mainly Australia and the Philippines etc... Plenty of action! The UK has a lot of EchoLink to HT and Base station action...

            We always have food (Pizza for lunch) and last year we added in an ATV mini cam station, this year we will have the Scout Helmet Cam on ATV and have our Sat/Comm station running (last year we had it up but didn't know what we were doing with the new equipment - practice practice practice). HF station or two and several HT's and base VHF/UHF stations on the local repeaters. What ends up happening though, is everyone enjoying the EchoLink experience best, as it is 100% consistent.

            Scouts usually can't hold a 15 second conversation, but if you get a few of your pro's from last year to show the way, within an hour you have a group of rag chewers... I am always amazed at the change that takes place. A true TRANSFORMATION! You have to give the Scout the time to make the transformation...

            The general JOTA experience is giving the Scout a few minute on a mic... My goal has always been to give each Scout hours... This really gives them a taste for Ham Radio! And the odds of getting a Scout licensed will go up Tremendously, after a Scout has three or four years of JOTA hours you don't have to tell them what Ham Radio is all about, and why they want to get licensed, they are already motivated...

            Check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un-3p3a65XI of our interview with Astronaut Richard Garriott, he was on the ISS in 2008's JOTA doing QSO's with Scouts and a ton of Slow Scan photos etc. It might be fun to show your Scouts the video... We have three ARISS ISS Contact videos up on YouTube also, Search "ISS Crew 272". You might also go to the www.arrl.org/Scouts web page and www.arrl.org/scouts/jota/ for more ideas. Some years the UK Scouts have set up directories of units that will be working the JOTA event and the call and location... It is great fun to be one of the few USA Stations listed. Try your hand at working as many on the UK side as your group can. Try and set up contacts in advance as possible. Getting a call from HB9S is a very cool thing! and trying to get to the ISS... is tops.

            Good Luck in your event! And do make it a Tremendous Day,
            Brian
            K9BKW
            WB9SA Trustee
            See you on the Air!

            --- In ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com, "Mike" <Mike.Goodrich@...> wrote:
            >
            > I've been asked to chair the ad-hoc committee for Jamboree on the Air for the Longhorn Council.
            >
            > From what I understand, it hasn't been very well attended in the past and wanted to know what some of you might have done to have good results.
            >
            > I've got some ideas which includes partnering with various clubs in the area.
            >
            > Thanks!
            >
            > Mike
            > KE5TTL
            >
          • Dale Lamm
            From several years of working with Scouts, they like best (in order) 1. Foxhunting 2. Experimenting with Morse and digital modes 3A. Chat with other
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 30, 2009
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              From several years of working with Scouts, they like best (in order)

              1. Foxhunting
              2. Experimenting with Morse and digital modes
              3A. Chat with other Scouts/hams on the air
              3B. Help assemble portable station, including raising antennas

              In brief, learn by doing, not lecture.

              Just back from final summer camp weekly visit for 2009. Next events on the
              books are a presentation for Webelos, OA Ox Roast in August, then JOTA. Get
              a helper who is energetic and has a good attitude towards young people.
              Eagle Scouts?

              Just my humble (but experienced) opinion,

              73 de NX8J


              [snip]

              I've been asked to chair the ad-hoc committee for Jamboree on the Air for
              the Longhorn Council.

              From what I understand, it hasn't been very well attended in the past and
              wanted to know what some of you might have done to have good results.

              I've got some ideas which includes partnering with various clubs in the
              area.

              [end]
            • Dan Romanchik KB6NU
              Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean by experimenting with Morse and digital modes? 73! Dan KB6NU ... CW Geek, ARRL MI Section Training Manager Read my ham
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 31, 2009
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                Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean by experimenting with Morse and digital modes?

                73!

                Dan KB6NU
                ----------------------------------------------------------
                CW Geek, ARRL MI Section Training Manager
                Read my ham radio blog at http://www.kb6nu.com
                LET'S REALLY MAKE THE ARRL THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR HAM RADIO



                On Jul 30, 2009, at 11:34 PM, Dale Lamm wrote:
                From several years of working with Scouts, they like best (in order)

                1. Foxhunting
                2. Experimenting with Morse and digital modes
                3A. Chat with other Scouts/hams on the air
                3B. Help assemble portable station, including raising antennas

                In brief, learn by doing, not lecture.

                Just back from final summer camp weekly visit for 2009. Next events on the 
                books are a presentation for Webelos, OA Ox Roast in August, then JOTA. Get 
                a helper who is energetic and has a good attitude towards young people. 
                Eagle Scouts?

                Just my humble (but experienced) opinion,

                73 de NX8J

                [snip]

                I've been asked to chair the ad-hoc committee for Jamboree on the Air for 
                the Longhorn Council.

                From what I understand, it hasn't been very well attended in the past and 
                wanted to know what some of you might have done to have good results.

                I've got some ideas which includes partnering with various clubs in the 
                area.

                [end]

              • Dale Lamm
                [snip] Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean by experimenting with Morse and digital modes? [end] Exploring would have been a better word than
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 31, 2009
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                  [snip]
                  Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean by experimenting with Morse and digital modes?
                  [end]
                   
                  Exploring would have been a better word than experimenting, my bad.
                   
                  Kids know all about texting, cell phones, etc. When they see (some for the first time) how our great-great-grandfathers managed digital coms with a key and a sounder coil, complete with abbreviations to expedite traffic, they are fascinated.
                   
                  I always have a straight key, a paddle and a PC keyboard ready to go with an MFJ keyer-decoder. Not always hooked up to the rig, cause I want them to just play around without transmitting. They like to watch the tiny little MFJ LCD decoder screen as they send. Instant feedback when sending with a paddle. I move them along to recognition of a few simple characters by ear, they catch on fast.
                   
                  Next is "on air" work. Do a few short CW Q's and let them watch. Fire up Digipan or your favorite PSK utility. Watch as they realize there are several simultaneous "chat sessions" running on one HF voice channel. Some Scouts are comfortable with keyboards, not as comfortable with mikes. I have to demo a few Q's on voice before they get the hang of it.
                   
                  Have a cheat sheet handy. It contains suggested questions to ask on the air, such as "Were you ever in scouting?" "What was your best campout as a boy?" "We are using an inverted V dipole. What are you using?" When their tongues get tied, just point to one of the questions on the cheat sheet to keep the QSO moving. How many times have you tried to run a voice QSO demo and 98% of the words had to come from the distant ham? When I'm chatting with a distant Scout, I try not to ask questions that can be answered with just "yes" or "no". Basic conversational skills apply.
                   
                  Hope this is enough to answer your question!
                   
                  73 de NX8J
                   
                • briankaywalker
                  Dale, Awesome ideas... Troop/Crew 272 bought MixW http://www.mixw.net/index.php and build my own interface, later got a RigblasterPro
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 31, 2009
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                    Dale,

                    Awesome ideas... Troop/Crew 272 bought MixW

                    http://www.mixw.net/index.php

                    and build my own interface, later got a
                    RigblasterPro

                    http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGblaster.htm

                    PSK31 with the waterfall display and the keyboard action is second nature to the texting generation... We have always had good luck with PSK31 getting contacts... When HF SSB had issues the PSK31 shined (again EchoLink is a for sure thing if you want No Sun Spot DX).

                    For Morse Code we bought and build NorCal Keyers

                    http://www.norcalqrp.org/nckeyer.htm

                    but the kit has been discontinued (you can still get the Pic chip)... check out the PICCPO kit at

                    http://jacksonharbor.home.att.net/piccpo.htm

                    It has a touch switch built in (add the piezo speaker for a $1 and you have a cheap Code Practice Oscillator, get two and you have a $17 paddle).

                    http://jacksonharbor.home.att.net/ham.htm

                    is a link to some kits (I have not bought any of these..). We used Altoid Mint tins, and small blocks of wood to mount our projects.


                    The question cheat sheet is a great idea... you have to help them over the first few ice breakers... If you are lucky the other side will have Scouts, so you can have Scouts talk to Scouts... Don't forget the rest of the world, your Scout Troop is Coed, I'm not sure if that helps motivate conversation or not, but the Scout should be prepared ;-)

                    Dale have you used your light bulb antenna to do HF to local HF? How about sharing that Hamvention setup you had with the group... it would be great for local practice...

                    Brian
                    K9BKW

                    --- In ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com, "Dale Lamm" <DaleLamm@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > [snip]
                    > Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean by experimenting with Morse and digital modes?
                    > [end]
                    >
                    > Exploring would have been a better word than experimenting, my bad.
                    >
                    > Kids know all about texting, cell phones, etc. When they see (some for the first time) how our great-great-grandfathers managed digital coms with a key and a sounder coil, complete with abbreviations to expedite traffic, they are fascinated.
                    >
                    > I always have a straight key, a paddle and a PC keyboard ready to go with an MFJ keyer-decoder. Not always hooked up to the rig, cause I want them to just play around without transmitting. They like to watch the tiny little MFJ LCD decoder screen as they send. Instant feedback when sending with a paddle. I move them along to recognition of a few simple characters by ear, they catch on fast.
                    >
                    > Next is "on air" work. Do a few short CW Q's and let them watch. Fire up Digipan or your favorite PSK utility. Watch as they realize there are several simultaneous "chat sessions" running on one HF voice channel. Some Scouts are comfortable with keyboards, not as comfortable with mikes. I have to demo a few Q's on voice before they get the hang of it.
                    >
                    > Have a cheat sheet handy. It contains suggested questions to ask on the air, such as "Were you ever in scouting?" "What was your best campout as a boy?" "We are using an inverted V dipole. What are you using?" When their tongues get tied, just point to one of the questions on the cheat sheet to keep the QSO moving. How many times have you tried to run a voice QSO demo and 98% of the words had to come from the distant ham? When I'm chatting with a distant Scout, I try not to ask questions that can be answered with just "yes" or "no". Basic conversational skills apply.
                    >
                    > Hope this is enough to answer your question!
                    >
                    > 73 de NX8J
                    >
                  • Steve Conklin
                    ... All good suggestions, but I want to give a shout-out for fldigi, which is possibly the most capable software out there for digital modes. It runs on
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 31, 2009
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                      On 07/31/2009 11:16 AM, briankaywalker wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Dale,
                      >
                      > Awesome ideas... Troop/Crew 272 bought MixW
                      >
                      > http://www.mixw.net/index.php <http://www.mixw.net/index.php>
                      >
                      > and build my own interface, later got a
                      > RigblasterPro
                      >
                      > http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGblaster.htm
                      > <http://www.westmountainradio.com/RIGblaster.htm>
                      >
                      > PSK31 with the waterfall display and the keyboard action is second
                      > nature to the texting generation... We have always had good luck with
                      > PSK31 getting contacts... When HF SSB had issues the PSK31 shined (again
                      > EchoLink is a for sure thing if you want No Sun Spot DX).
                      >

                      All good suggestions, but I want to give a shout-out for fldigi,
                      which is possibly the most capable software out there for digital
                      modes. It runs on several versions of windows and many linux
                      distributions. Fldigi is open source and costs nothing.

                      http://www.w1hkj.com/

                      fldigi is also part of NBEMS, Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System.
                      http://www.w1hkj.com/NBEMS/index.html

                      NBEMS is interesting, because it allows error-free transfer of
                      binary files, although it is slow and not very suitable for
                      large files. It is suitable for small spreadsheets and photos
                      for damage assessment.

                      Steve/AI4QR
                    • Dale Lamm
                      [snip] Dale have you used your light bulb antenna to do HF to local HF? How about sharing that Hamvention setup you had with the group... it would be great
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 31, 2009
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                        [snip]

                        Dale have you used your light bulb antenna to do HF to local HF? How about
                        sharing that Hamvention setup you had with the group... it would be great
                        for local practice...

                        Brian
                        K9BKW

                        [end]

                        You're always a source of good info (and links) Brian. TNX much!

                        Will write up the light-bulb QSO stuff when I can. Off to a BSA event and
                        then a Webelos demo Saturday morning.

                        Can share a quick PSK31 story.... Did not pack the computer line out to rig
                        mike in cable on a recent camp demo. Had a rig speaker to computer line in
                        cable, so we could see the waterfall but could not transmit. I thought, why
                        not? Hit F9 to transmit PSK, squeeze PTT and held the mike up to the
                        laptop's tiny speakers. It worked, but copy was not 100%, according to the
                        fellow on the receiving end. I'll bet his waterfall looked funny!

                        73 de Dale
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