Scoutonia: amateur radio technical package

“Keep it simple” is now more important than ever. Simple things may still work when everything else fails. Simple things that work do attract the Scout’s attention and enthusiasm. Much more than complicated things that may or may not work under less favorable circumstances.

NBEMS Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software: something you may try and see if this would be useful and interesting for the Scouts. It is a software protocol; that allows you to transmit and receive digital messages via a variety of radio equipment. No complicated computer to radio interface needed. It even works holding the rigs microphone in front of the computer speakers. The Fldigi software is free and can be downloaded here . It will require some advance preparation to familiarize yourself with it. So please do this well in advance of the JOTA weekend.

NBEMS on a smartphone. The FLdigi software can also be run on an Android smartphone as an App. The instruction set is here. And the App can be downloaded here. Read the installation instructions first. You may need to help the Scouts with setting it up on their phones so they can use it to receive messages.

IARU emergency traffic handling procedures: the radio communication during emergencies is organized somewhat differently from regular amateur radio traffic. Operating procedures are found here.

Some more inspirational ideas for an exciting JOTA weekend can e.g. be found in the ARRL handbook for emergency communications.

National emergency coordinators: several countries have an amateur radio emergency co-ordinator. These trained radio amateurs will be able to assist your Scout group and your radio operators to take part in the JOTA theme activities. They may also point you to additional resources in your area. Find the coordinator in your country here.

Echolink linking of stations: you can set up an Echolink node that serves as a direct interface between internet and radio. In this way, Scouts can span large distances with a simple handheld radio. A possible suggestion is to have a try-out with another Scout group during JOTA, some distance away.Detailed instructions on how to set up an Echolink node are here.

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