2022 October 15: Jamboree On The Air
Movie This camera is on a tripod and simply recorded the operation. Not very creative. Stu Parkinson's video
is considerably more interesting.
YOUTUBE: Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) 2022.
Troop 1 video. Produced by Stu Parkinson. 3:24 length.
We participate in JOTA or Jamboree On The Air at Hyrum State Park, Hyrum, Utah on Saturday,
October 15, 2022.
- Baofeng UV5R Walkie talkie. Inexpensive, low power, VHF/UHF. Range is a few miles but can be over 100
miles line-of-sight with improved antenna and nothing between the two points. Usually used with repeaters that have greatly extended range and coverage.
- Icom IC-705. Expensive (around $1300), low power (5 or 10 watts). Direct conversion SDR (software
defined radio) that uses a DSP (digital signal processor) chip to perform most of the functions
traditionally performed by discrete tuned circuits. It is a nearly complete station in a
small package that includes its own battery. Add antenna and operate! It covers HF ham bands, VHF
and UHF ham bands; also FM commercial broadcast and aviation "air band". General coverage receiver
from about 100 khz to 30 mhz, maybe higher, haven't tried the full range. It also has a GPS receiver
built in and "sound modem" interface to your computer. All you need for digital modes is a USB cable
and Windows 10 (and presumably Linux, Windows 11 and so on). You can even remote this radio through
the internet via Wifi LAN connections. D-STAR built in, and it can play the role of a base station
to your D-STAR walkie-talkies, or it can be a D-Star walkie-talkie or node talking to a gateway.
- Icom IC-7300. Expensive, popular, also around $1300, medium power (100 watts HF rig up to 50 MHz.
It also is a direct conversion SDR transceiver. It features essentially the same visual interface and
touch screen as the IC-705. It lacks the VHF/UHF capability but adds a built-in antenna tuner. It
also has the built-in digital modes "sound card" interface.
Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium power station. This provides AC/DC power where ever you go.
1000 watt-hours energy storage capacity. 1500 watts sustained AC power output on two sockets.
5 volts on each of three (or is it 4?) USB ports for charging devices. 12 volt cigarette lighter
socket and 12 volt Anderson Powerpole socket. Charged from household AC supply (60 watt charger) or solar panels up to about 300 watts
total capacity and not more than 22 volts if I remember right. Performance: 5 hours of operating
used less than 10 percent of its energy. The ICOM 7300 pulls about 9 watts while receiving,
45 watts transmitting SSB but no audio, and up to about 70 watts talking. That translates to about
25 watts average power when the PEP (Peak Envelope Power) is 100 watts or so output and over 200
watts PEP input power. For estimating how long you could talk, divide the 1000 watt-hours by 70, or 14 hours key-down talking.
- MFJ 4416C battery booster with external 1 Farad capacitor. I added two 50-amp Anderson SB50 connectors. This up-converts the battery voltage to the
13.6 to 14 volts DC the radio needs to meet specified power output. The capacitor smooths the current
demand by filling in the peak demand. For instance, the ICOM 7300 demands over 20 amps from the
battery, but the Goal Zero can only provide 20 amps and will shut down the port if you try for more.
This is bad. So the capacitor provides the required amps for a few milliseconds and
the Goal Zero maintains the capacitor. The result is a maximum average current of about 7 amps
from the Goal Zero even at the very moment the radio is showing 20 amps. The lithium battery was
providing about 11.3 volts to the booster during transmit, 11.4 volts when idle.
- MFJ "Big Stick" Antenna for 20 meter (14 MHz) band. This is a 17 foot telescoping stainless steel antenna sitting on top of
an adjustable loading coil. The coil allows for operating on lower bands (longer wavelengths) although
the efficiency is going to be reduced. I used 3, 30 foot radials or wires laying on the ground.
- MFJ 2182 31 foot telescoping fiberglass mast and antenna kit (Mast by itself is MFJ 1910)
for 40 meter(7 MHz) band. The kit did not work particularly well
out of the box (okay, it was nearly a disaster with about 12:1 SWR) but with some experimenting and tuning I eventually
used 28 feet of it, with a 28 foot antenna wire, and radials 30 feet long. 12 foot radials that it
comes with are very nice, tangle up horribly, and did not work. I'll use them for higher frequencies.
50 foot radials did not work, it seems unusually sensitive to radial length, not so much radial count.
Anyway, it is lightweight and the slightest breeze would blow it over so I used mason's twine to guy it.
It is a friction fit for each telescoping section so don't guy it with tension,
just loose so it won't blow over.
I arrived at Hyrum State Park around 3 p.m. Set out the radios and batteries. Set up the 20
meter stainless steel vertical telescoping rod
antenna. I have it in two pieces; the antenna bracket is fastened to a copper grounding rod and
the telescoping part stays in its box until needed.
Bring out the heavy AGM batteries and the heavy Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium power pack.
I used the AGM battery to initially charge the
capacitor to prevent damage to the Goal Zero since hooking up a discharged capacitor (of that capacity)
would look like a short circuit. The stupid AGM batteries don't care, what's a little spark among
friends? But the Goal Zero won't like it.
Plug the charged capacitor to the input side of the MFJ booster, then plug the Goal Zero to the input side
using Anderson powerpole to Anderson powerpole cable. Output side goes to the Icom 7300 radio. Connect
the 25 foot (if I remember right) antenna cable to the radio. Lay out the logging notepad and Radio
merit badge booklet and we are ready to work.
I tuned around until I heard a "CQ Jamboree"
This was coming from station W4IRQ north of Seattle on 14.263 MHz Upper Sideband. Time about 2220
UTC (Universal Coordinated Time also known as Greenwich Mean Time) or 4:20 pm MDT. We had about
20 minutes conversation with Ian and Oliver of Troop 1 taking turns talking to Tegan or Tigan in
Washington. That's all the Scouts on hand for this time of day.
Around 6 p.m. MDT some Scouts showed up to make supper, have a camp fire, and talk on the radio.
I changed antennas for evening work on 40 meters. This is a tall, lightweight fiberglass sectional
telescoping mast with a relatively fine wire (20 gauge insulated) dangling from the top. Three
strings (Mason's line) provided guying. I used a "fidget spinner" with the bearings removed since
it has a hole in the middle for the mast, and three holes around it for the guy strings.
Activity on 40 meters was sparse and I was unable to find or induce (by calling CQ jamboree)
any Scouting related activity. However, at around 7:25 pm (0125 UTC) on 7.192 MHz, made contact
with N7UXA who lives in the southwest portion of Logan on Mendon road. He's an old scouter and
talked in turns to several Scouts of Troop 1 describing his own Scouting experiences.
Later in the evening around 9 pm activity started picking up on 40 meters but I did not hear
any scouts, and back east they've gone to bed anyway, so we started cleaning up the site (Lake 26)
and taking down antenna and equipment.