WHAT IS THE JAMBOREE-ON-THE-AIR (JOTA)?

The JOTA is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world connect with each other by means of amateur radio. Short-wave radio signals carry their voices to virtually any corner of the world. It's the shear excitement of having a live conversation with a fellow Scout or Guide at some other place in the world that attracts so many young people to this event. JOTA is a real Jamboree during which Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared. 

The use of amateur-radio techniques offers an extra educational dimension for Scouts. Many grasp the opportunity to discover the world of wireless radio techniques and electronics. Thousands of volunteer radio amateurs assist the Scouts over the JOTA weekend with their knowledge, equipment and enthusiasm. 
 

WHEN IS IT?

The JOTA 2020 starts at 00:00 h local time on 17 October and runs up to 23:59 h local time on 18 October. Note that details for use of special radio licences, operating times and allowance for Scouts to use radio transmitters may vary per country

HOW TO TAKE PART?

To take part in the Jamboree-On-The-Air and experience the excitement of long-distance, wireless radio contacts requires the help of a licensed amateur-radio operator. This is not as difficult as it looks like at first glance. Such a person can easily be found via the national amateur-radio organisation in your country. Each country where Scouting exists has such an organisation. Look up yours here >>>

Radio amateurs throughout the world are very keen on helping Scouts to take part in the JOTA.

Most Scout Associations have appointed a National JOTA-JOTI Coordinator (NJC), who co-ordinates activities for the Association and liaises with Amateur Radio Organizations in the country. Where no NJC exists, the International Commissioner is the point of contact. List of the National JOTA-JOTI coordinators will be available soon on this website. 

HOW TO PROCEED?

a)    Familiarise yourself with the JOTA information in this circular, have a look at the JOTA info available on www.jotajoti.info from the World Scout Bureau and share it with your radio operator.
b)    During the JOTA weekend, visit an amateur-radio station with your Scout group or invite a radio amateur to install their radio station in your Scout building;
c)    Via the radio, call "CQ Jamboree" or answer Scout stations calling to establish a contact;
d)    Any radio frequency authorised by the national amateur-radio regulations may be used. It is recommended that stations use the agreed World Scout Frequencies or frequencies nearby to easily find each other. 

Yes, it is that simple….!
 

SPECIAL ADVICE FOR COVID-19 MEASURES

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented measures in almost every country. Luckily, the JOTA-JOTI event will not be affected as much as other events, as participants are able to take part from any location, anytime during the weekend, with any number of Scouts.

Nevertheless, some safety considerations need to be taken into account. Please check your local regulations effective at the time of the event, particularly in regard to the maximum number of people that allowed to gather in one space. 

Social distancing: 
Radio signals can bridge thousands of kilometres around the globe. So certainly, they can operate at 1.5 or 2 meter distance at your local station. Ask your radio operator to install a microphone lead of 2 meters or more, so your Scouts can keep a distance from the operator. Alternatively, you can use wireless microphones on bluetooth, or even separate walkie-talkies to get your audio to your radio transmitter. 
You may also place radio stations outdoors, for example at a Scout camp, where there is ample space to keep distances. Radio amateurs will be pleased with the large space to set up the antennas. 

Hygiene:
Take care of extra cleaning at your station, in particular microphones and keyboards used by more than one person. You can place transparent screens between participants and / or radio operators. Also take additional measures for food and drinks at your radio station.

Different locations:
Is it possible for your Scout group to not be present at the same location? Ask your radio amateur to connect two or more locations together electronically so you can all enjoy the same event. Ask him about a short-link amateur television (ATV) connection or using station remote control over a wifi link. 

Activities:
Several fun activities can be offered to Scouts almost unchanged, including a morse code game with stations in separated rooms connected by wire, or foxhunting where individual Scouts try to locate small transmitters hidden outside in the field. Is the morse code too difficult or fast? Try one of the decoder apps on your smartphone and discover what is behind these mysterious beeps on the radio. More programme suggestions will follow soon.

Be creative and focus on what is possible and safe to do.
 

WORLD SCOUT FREQUENCIES

Scout Frequencies are chosen in a segment where low-power, simple stations are transmitting. This allows Scouts to operate such stations from camp sites and still be able to communicate with others. 

band

phone (MHz)

cw (MHz)

band

phone (MHz)

cw (MHz)

80 m

3.690 & 3.940

3.570

15 m

21.360

21.140

40 m

7.090 & 7.190

7.030

12 m

24.960

24.910

20 m

14.290

14.060

10 m

28.390

28.180

17 m

18.140

18.080

6 m

50.160

50.160

9M4S - WOSM’S VOICE ON THE AIR

The amateur radio station of the World Scout Bureau will be active on all short-wave and VHF bands during the full JOTA weekend with the Bureau’s call sign 9M4S. Directly from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

At 9M4S, you can speak directly with local participants and World Scout Bureau staff. The station is run by a team of Scout radio operators.

Making a contact with 9M4S may sometimes require patience as usually many stations are calling at the same time. The operators will do their very best to make contact with Scout stations world-wide and speak to Scouts in as many languages as possible.
 

ECHOLINK MAKES RADIO-WAVES TRAVEL OVER THE INTERNET

If you have an internet connection available at your radio station, we recommend that you use the Echolink system. Its main advantage is that Echolink allows you to make radio contacts over very large distances, regardless of the radio propagation conditions, using even small handheld radios.

Echolink works via computers that are connected both to the internet and to an amateur radio station. By contacting one of these, your signals can go from the airwaves onto the internet and vice-versa. Suppose you are at a location that does not allow you to put up antennas, or you have easy access to the computer classroom in a school building, you will now you have the chance to take part in JOTA from the school’s PCs, simply by connecting to Echolink. There is a main conference node on Echolink where Scout stations meet: JOTA-365.
 
Your radio amateur has to register with Echolink beforehand. This takes a few days, so don’t wait until the last moment to prepare your Echolink station. 
Register with www.Echolink.org before 1 October if you intend to use it for JOTA.
 

THE GERMAN WAG CONTEST

Germany runs a contest (amateur radio competition) during parts of the JOTA weekend. The organisers of this WAG contest limit the use of amateur radio frequencies in such a way that it allows both events to operate in parallel without interference. Note that this is a world-wide arrangement, not just for Germany.
The contest stations will not operate in the following segments (called "contest-free zone"):
 
80 m 3650 - 3700 kHz, 
40 m 7080 - 7140 kHz, 
20 m 14100 - 14125 and 14280 - 14350 kHz, 
15 m 21350 - 21450 kHz, 
10 m 28225 - 28400 kHz 
 
There is no contest traffic on the 17, 12 and 6 m amateur radio bands. This leaves all World Scout Frequencies in the clear!! 

Scout stations may use the whole of each amateur radio band. If you experience any interference from the WAG contest, please move to the segments listed above to enjoy an interference-free contact. 
 

WHAT’S NEXT?

Programme details and material to follow soon, stay tuned.