JOTA is a spectacular opportunity to introduce Scouts to amateur radio. For many, this will be their first exposure to the world of ham radio. Some will go on to become hams, enjoying the hobby for a lifetime. A few will even find the basis of a career in science and technology.
We’ve assembled a fair bit of information here to help you work with your Scouting partner in setting up this event. You should also consult the American Radio Relay League information at www.arrl.org/jamboree-on-the-air-jota .
As a licensed amateur radio operator, you must, …
of course, comply with FCC regulations regarding frequencies, power, quality of signal, etc. Third-party traffic is approved by the FCC. Therefore, Scouts can talk with other Scouts when both stations are licensed by the FCC. When the station you are in contact with is outside U.S. jurisdiction, a third-party agreement must exist between the U.S. and that country’s telecommunications authority. If an agreement exists, then Scouts in the U.S. may talk directly to the Scouts in that country. If not, then the licensed ham radio operator must talk for the Scouts. The full list of countries with a designation of which countries have third-party agreements with the U.S. is at this link: www.arrl.org/third-party-operating-agreements .
- All radio operators must operate their station strictly in accordance with FCC regulations.
- Stations should try to contact each other by calling “CQ Jamboree” or “CQ JOTA” or by answering other stations sending this call.
- Any authorized amateur radio frequency may be used. It is suggested that the frequencies listed below be used, at least for a starting point. Once contact is established, you can move to another frequency to leave the calling frequency open for others.
- Any amateur mode of operation can be used such, as CW, SSB, PSK, SSTV, FM, and satellite. The more modes in operation, the more exciting the event will be for the Scouts.
- JOTA is not a contest. The idea is to contact other Scout stations and allow as many Scouts as possible to talk to other Scouts and learn about who they are and what they are doing. You might think about counting the Scouts on both sides of the QSO rather than the number of QSOs!
- All frequencies are shown as megahertz.
- Primary HF recommendations are for General Class licensees. Technicians may take advantage of 10 m and VHF/UHF for voice communications.
- After contact is made on Calling Channel or frequency, move to another channel or frequency for QSO.
- Experiment with modes prior to JOTA or Radio Scouting demo. ‘Murphy’s Law’ prevails!
- Use web search tools to find lots of helpful information about any of the modes commonly used for JOTA and Radio Scouting.
- WOSM (World Organization of the Scouting Movement) calling frequencies are shown to indicate center of international activity.
HF SSB Voice
||WOSM Calling Frequencies
||Suggested Band Segment for US Stations
||3.940 & 3.690(1)
||3.920 – 3.940
3.670 – 3.690 (1)
|(1) Extra segment
||7.190 & 7.090 (2)
||7.180 – 7.200
7.270 – 7.290
|(2) 7.090 not available in Region 2
||14.270 – 14.290
14.320 – 14.340
||18.140 – 18.150
||21.360 – 21.400
||24.960 – 24.980
||28.350 – 28.400 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||50.160 – 50.200
||WOSM Calling Frequencies
||Suggested Band Segment for US Stations
||3.560 – 3.570 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||7.030 – 7.040 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||14.050 – 14.060
||18.070 – 18.080
||21.130 – 21.140 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||24.900 – 24.910
||28.170 – 28.180 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||50.150 – 50.160
Call CQ JOTA. The chart below shows the commonly used frequencies for PSK-31.
||(4) Region 2 (USA).
7.040 to 7.060 for Regions 1 & 3
||(5) Most activity for JOTA will be on 20 m
||(6) Most activity can be found at 21.070
2 Meter FM Simplex
147.450, 147.480, 147.510, 147.540* * Use 147.540 as Calling Channel. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO or auxiliary or control link. Avoid 146.520, the National FM Simplex Calling Frequency, as well as 146.550, which is commonly used by mobiles and RVers.
70 CM FM Simplex
446.000*, 445.950, 446.050, 446.100, 446.150 * Use 446.000 as Calling Channel. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO or auxiliary or control link.
REF033A has been allocated as a full-time JOTA/Radio Scouting D-STAR Reflector. After contact is established, stations should disconnect from REF033A and connect to one or other repeater or migrate to an unused Reflector.
SIMPLEX Channels: 145.670*, 145.640, 145.610, 438.010. * 145.670 and 438.010 are commonly used as the National D-STAR Simplex Channels and should be used only as Calling Channels for JOTA. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO.
All wide area talkgroups are permitted for use for JOTA for establishing contacts. After contact is established, stations should utilize as few resources as possible. For international, national, and regional QSO’s, stations should move their transmissions to one of the DMR-MARC UA talkgroups or to the DCI TAC-310 talkgroup.
For intrastate contacts, stations may use their area’s statewide talkgroup (if applicable). The use of your repeater’s local talkgroup (if applicable) is always permitted. A full list of repeaters and their available talkgroups can be found at http://www.dmr-marc.net/repeaters.html .
SIMPLEX Channels: 441.0000*, 446.5000, 446.0750, 433.4500, 145.7900*, 145.5100. All simplex frequencies operate on time-slot 1 and use color code 1. (*are commonly used as the National DMR Simplex Channels and should be used only as Calling Channels for JOTA. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO.)
Use Topic Channel Node 9091 as a Common Meeting Place or Calling Channel. After contact, disconnect from 9091 and one station should connect to another’s local node.
Software or apps available for Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android. Dedicated Conference Node *JOTA-365* (node 480809). When contact is made on a Conference Node, it is recommended the two parties establish direct contact with each other to free up the Conference Node.
CQSRVR: CQ JOTA
CQSRVR: CQ SCOUTS (other times of the year)
Check your insurance coverage for your equipment and, if the Scouts are visiting your ham station, your premises. This is just one more element to verify before the event to avoid any problems repairing or replacing equipment damaged during the event.
You’re encouraged to send news releases of the event to your local newspapers and television and radio stations. You can encourage photographers to attend the event. You can also forward photos to your local news media, including weekly papers. A sample news release is included on this website.
- Jamboree-on-the Air is about getting young people to talk to each other using amateur radio.
- Arrange for the use of a club call sign, or apply for a special-event call sign in plenty of time.
- Prepare some simple diagrams and explanations showing how radio works and how signals can be transmitted around the world as well as to the nearest repeater.
- Arrange with the Scout leaders regarding venue, QSL cards, patches, participation certificates, other activities, physical arrangements, publicity, and details required for the JOTA report form on this website.
- Notify the national JOTA organizer of your event using the details on the registration form on this site.
- Go to Scout meetings beforehand to introduce the subject.
- Organize activities such as kit building, soldering practice, SSTV, FSTV, packet radio, and weather satellite reception. The simplest of things, such as a closed-circuit RTTY station, can generate a great deal of excitement.
- Offer to train Scouts for the Radio merit badge.
- Offer a Technician license preparation course for those interested in learning and doing more with ham radio.
- Ensure that no more than three Scouts are watching one Scout on the air. Keep Scouts involved and active or they will quickly grow bored.
- Ensure that the station is safe for young visitors.
- Observe your license conditions, especially regarding third-party traffic.
- Involve the Scouts in the contact. The goal is to involve as many Scouts as possible in making a contact. It is not to maximize the number of contacts or the distance of the contacts; it’s about the experience for the Scouts.
- Try to use plain, understandable English where possible. When you do use Q-signals and other ham radio terms, take time to explain them to the Scouts.
- Don’t try to work weak stations from remote locations. Go for stronger, more local stations that unpracticed ears can hear easily and understand. Local FM repeaters can be just as exciting for Scouts.
- Don’t feel you have to keep the station on the air with no Scouts present.
Useful Internet Sites
K2BSA Amateur Radio Association
BSA JOTA Information
World Organization of the Scout Movement JOTA Information
ARRL JOTA Information
Ultimate resources site for everything ham radio
Best all-around Radio Scouting discussion group
Worldwide coverage; however, be certain to post identical information at ScoutRadio at Yahoo
Emphasis on discussion, announcements, and promoting getting “Scout Camps on the Air (SCOTA)”
It’s recommended that you also look over the “Guidelines for Scout Leaders.” It will give you an idea of the necessary preparation by your partners in the event, and perhaps you’ll see areas where you can help.
Best wishes for a great Jamboree-on-the-Air. We look forward to hearing all about it in your JOTA report.
With Scouting’s Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) just days away, JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, said this week that he’s optimistic a record number of US JOTA stations will register this year. He said it was a bit more difficult to compare figures from earlier years, because the JOTA and JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) registrants are in the same database. The official JOTA-JOTI sign-up systemremains open. JOTA will be on the air October 14-16.
“We currently have 448 US stations signed up out of a world-wide total of 2,800,” Wilson said. “We expect to have a few thousand more stations around the world signed up by JOTA-JOTI weekend. Make sure you register your station.”
Wilson is not optimistic about favorable HF propagation …
this weekend, however, but he’s hoping for the best. Most JOTA activity will center around selected HF frequencies.
The “PI4RAZ/J JOTA / Scouting Cluster Node” is one place to find out who’s on the air and where. “Hearing them might be another matter, but it’s a good starting point,” Wilson said. A “Scouts QSO” page lets JOTA stations make schedules with one another. No log-in is necessary. “Just use your call sign to post information,” Wilson said.
To help newcomers to ham radio, a Radio Scouting Quick Reference Card was developed by Tom Schuessler, N5HYP, to help Scouts with phonetics and call signs. On the back side of the card are common Q signals and a list of questions to help get Scout-to-Scout conversations going.
Wilson again urged all stations that register to file post-JOTA reports. Every station that files a report will be entered into a drawing for an Icom radio.
More than 1 million Scouts in 150+ countries — at nearly 18,000 stations — are expected to take part in JOTA 2016, engaging with other Scouts to talk about Amateur Radio and their Scouting experiences.
It is with a great deal of sadness that I must announce the passing of Roy R. Goodrich, KI4ZIT of Abilene.
Roy passed on September 24th.
On September 12, 2016 by voice vote, the US House of Representatives suspended its rules and unanimously approved H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, as amended.
H.R. 1301 now procceeds to the US Senate for consideration. Click here to read the full story.
What will the Radio Parity Act Do?
The US House of Representatives will consider the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, under a suspension of the rules on Monday, September 12. A suspension of the rules is a legislative procedure used to quickly pass non-controversial bills.
Speaking at the New England Division Convention on September 10 in Massachusetts, ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, expressed confidence that the bill would pass the House, but said the legislation would face additional hurdles in the US Senate.
In July, an amended version of the bill received a unanimous favorable report from members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Before reporting the bill out of committee, the panel first voted to accept the amended language “in the nature of a substitute.” Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said the substitute bill represented “a good balance” following months of meetings, hard work, and compromise, and he recommended the measure to his colleagues.
“The amendment guarantees that even in deed-restricted communities, Amateur Radio operators are able to use an effective outdoor antenna,” Walden said. “Without an effective antenna Amateur Radio operators are severely limited, so this amendment ensures that amateurs are free to pursue their passion wherever they live.”
In June, the ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) — the national association of homeowners associations (HOAs) — announced that they had reached consensus on rhw substitute language for H.R. 1301 in an effort to move the bill through committee and to overcome objections to the companion US Senate bill,S. 1685.
For more information on H.R. 1301, visit the ARRL website.
I have been informed that an emergency exercise is being held September
12th through the 16th. Anyone who can help please contact our SEC Dale
Durham, W5WI @ Email: email@example.com Cellphone: 830-719-9000.
ARRL West Texas Section
Section Manager: Ron Harden Jr, KB5HGM
August is past. We are finally into September. This means Football, Fall rains, Football, the slow winding down of Hamfest season, Football, School starting up again, Football, Hurricane season on the Gulf Coast, and of coarse Football!
Speaking of Hamfests. The Lubbock ARC is having their annual Hamfest September 10, 2016. It will be held at the Noble Stidham Memorial Club House located at 1108 98th St in Lubbock. From 9am to 1pm. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the 2 previous years. This is a fun Hamfest! It is not a large one on the the scale of Dayton, but give them a couple of years and they will catch up. It is one of my favorites because of the Spirit of the LARC and I recommend you attend if at all possible. I’ll be there manning the ARRL table (between trips to the snack bar). Stop by and say Hello.
I have received a number of emails and calls about RM-11708. Seems to be a lot of talk about it. On the one hand the concern is encroachment on to much of the CW portion of the bands. On the other hand the concern is that U.S. Hams are the only ones in the world with baud rate limitations. I have done some research and made a few phone calls to the technical Gurus at ARRL HQ (Which by the way is something ANY member can do) and have come up with some interesting information. It is WAY too long to put in this newsletter, so I have posted it on my website at http://www.arrl-wtx.org/rm-11708/
I have opened the page up for moderated comments. Please keep it civil. Uncivil comments will be
deleted. Tell me what you think.
Jamboree-on-the-Air is coming up. If you are helping a troop and need help with material you can call the league or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org JOTA will be held the third weekend in October. THIS IS A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS. There is no set time for the start or end. Since it isn’t a contest, there’s no designating starting point. When your station is ready to go, get on the air and make contacts. You have the whole weekend! FMI see the JOTA page on the ARRL website.ff
That’s all I have for now.
Thank you for your service.
West Texas Section Manager
[UPDATED: 2016-09-03 @ 16:41 UTC] Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and weather-spotting volunteers remain ready if needed, as Tropical storm Hermine continues to make its way up the US Eastern Seaboard. Some strengthening is forecast after the center moves offshore, and Hermine could be at near-hurricane intensity by September 4. A category 1 hurricane when it came ashore along Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm at 0842 UTC. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN), which activated to gather ground-level reports on the storm as it approached landfall, now has secured after 19 hours of continuous on-air coverage. The net now is at Alert Level 2 — monitoring mode.
“[M]embers of the Hurricane Watch Net, operating under tough band conditions on 20 and 40 meters — mainly caused by a geomagnetic storm — transmitted advisories on Hermine to the affected area and received numerous weather reports — observed and measured,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV. “Those reports were then forwarded to the National Hurricane Center by way of WX4NHC.”
Farther up the coast, the ARRL New York City-Long Island Section has been alerted to a Tropical Storm Watch.” We are in a monitoring mode at this time,” ARRL N-LI SEC Jim Mezey, W2KFV, said on Friday. “All Districts have been asked to check their equipment and their availability.”
Connecticut ARES also has gone on a Level 1 alert. “There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast as to the impacts this storm is likely to have on our area, but we should be prepared for whatever it brings,” Connecticut SEC Wayne Gronlund, N1CLV, said. “Please maintain good situational awareness as this storm moves up the coast by watching/listening to your preferred weather forecast sources.” Gronlund advised Connecticut ARES members to be ready to assist by ensuring that radio batteries are charged, vehicles and generators are fueled.
“Now is the time to make preparations to keep your family safe should you be asked to deploy,” he said. “Remember, you should not deploy without direction from the appropriate ARES or local official.”
According to FEMA at 12:30 UTC, mandatory evacuations were ordered in Florida for five Big Bend counties, and voluntary evacuations in three others. Upward of 300,000 customers were reported without power, and Amtrak suspended rail service on Thursday in the US Southeast.
As of 1500 UTC on September 3, Hermine was about 35 miles east-southeast of Duck, North Carolina, and some 80 miles southeast of Norfolk, Virginia, with maximum sustained winds of 65 MPH. The storm is moving to the east-northeast at 15 MPH.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward for up to 185 miles, and tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect along the East Coast. The storm resulted in evacuations and flood damage, and a dozen or so structures were damaged due to possible tornado activity. There have been reports of downed trees and power lines throughout the affect areas. The NWS said interests along the US northeast coast should monitor the progress of the storm, which could generate significant rainfall and the potential for flooding.
Graves noted that the last major hurricane to strike the US was Hurricane Wilma in 2005. He thanked daily users of the net’s frequencies —14.325 and 7.268 MHz — for their cooperation in keeping a clear frequency.
“The Hurricane Watch Net will be prepared for the next hurricane to threaten land in the Atlantic Basin,” he added.
[UPDATED 2016-09-01 @ 1652 UTC] A New York City man faces a fine of $23,000 for operating on Amateur Radio frequencies without a license and for transmitting a false officer-in-distress call on a New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio channel. The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) on August 31 to Daniel Delise of Astoria. It details a history of complaints and alleged illegal radio operation on Delise’s part that dates back to 2012.
“The Commission previously warned Mr Delise that unlicensed operation of this station was illegal and that continued operation could result in further enforcement action,” the FCC said in the NAL. “Mr Delise’s deliberate disregard of the [Communications] Act and the Commission’s warning warrants a significant penalty.”
ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, credited the intervention earlier this year of New York Rep Peter King with getting the case “off the back burner and up to the front of the line.” Lisenco and ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, met with the Republican congressman in January to discuss ongoing interference issues in the Greater New York City/Long Island area. King subsequently wrote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to urge “timely and visible enforcement.”
Lisenco also praised the direct involvement of
FCC Enforcement Bureau Region 1 Director David C. Dombrowski “and his willingness to work with us and to use information we provided as potential leads,” as well as “a system of grass-roots reporting that depicted the current pattern of intentional interference with legitimate amateur communications on local repeaters,” coordinated by Richie Cetron, K2KNB, an Official Observer and Assistant Hudson Division Director. Lisenco said FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith “has been a great help in keeping us informed and in the loop.”
The FCC reported receiving “numerous complaints” that Delise was transmitting on different frequencies, issuing two official warnings in 2012. The Commission said complaints about Delise continued through 2013 and 2014, but, the FCC said, an investigating agent “was not able to confirm a rule violation.” Still more complaints alleged that Delise was transmitting without authority on 461.225 MHz, a frequency licensed to NYC City Wide Disaster Services, the FCC recounted. In 2014, the FCC received 10 more complaints identifying Delise by name, plus another nine in 2015 and one more in 2016.
Last April, field agents monitoring in Delise’s Astoria neighborhood detected a strong voice transmission on 147.96 MHz. They were able to track the signal to the building where Delise resided, and, ultimately, went to his apartment and confronted him.
The FCC said Delise admitted making the transmissions on 147.96 MHz and acknowledged that he did not have an Amateur Radio license. As a result, the FCC’s New York Field office issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation.
A couple of weeks later, the NYPD informed an FCC field agent that it had taken Delise into custody for “sending out false radio transmissions” over the NYPD radio system and for possessing radios capable of operating on NYPD frequencies, in violation of state law. According to the NYPD, a call had gone out reporting an officer in need, and the responding officer spotted Delise speaking into a radio. The police report said Delise admitted to making the transmission and that he told officers that he had more radios and would continue to transmit on police frequencies. Obtaining a warrant, the NYPD confiscated all radio transmitting equipment from Delise’s apartment, including 14 radios capable of operating on NYPD frequencies.
The FCC concluded that Delise apparently transmitted without a license on Amateur Radio frequencies, even after being warned not to do so, and that he apparently transmitted false or fraudulent distress signals on NYPD frequencies. Both violations were “willful,” the FCC said.
Delise could have faced a penalty of more than $140,000, under the provisions of the Communications Act. The NAL gave Delise 30 days to pay the fine or to file a written statement seeking a reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture. The FCC fine may not be at the top of Delise’s list of worries, however. According to Lisenco, Delise now is serving prison time resulting from the false police call and his guilty pleas to other charges.
Special Bulletin 11 ARLX011
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT September 1, 2016
To all radio amateurs
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced plans to activate for Tropical Storm Hermine at 1400 UTC. The storm is expected to develop into a hurricane before making landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The net typically operates on 14.325 MHz until nightfall, then moves 7.268 MHz for the remainder of the evening. Given current band conditions, however, the HWN will be active on both frequencies simultaneously. The net will remain in operation until further notice, HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said.
“It seems we’ve been tracking this system, which began as a tropical disturbance, for nearly 2 weeks,” Graves said. “Yesterday, this system finally became Tropical Storm Hermine. It is expected to make landfall late Thursday evening or early Friday morning as a Category 1 Hurricane somewhere between Panama City Beach and Cedar Key, Florida…of course, this could change.”
As of 1200 UTC, Hermine was reported
strengthening. It’s located about 235 miles west-southwest of Tampa with maximum sustained winds of 65 MPH, moving north-northeast at 12 MPH. A Hurricane Warning is in effect from the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach. The NWS said interests along the US East Coast should monitor the progress of this system.
Graves said the HWN would be available to provide back-up communication to entities such as emergency operations centers and Red Cross offices in the affected area. “We will also be interested to collect and report significant damage assessment data to FEMA officials stationed in the National Hurricane Center,” he added.
Florida’s Emergency Operations Center is at full activation, and evacuation shelters are on standby.