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JOTA and JOTI at Narrabeen 2006

Numbers this year were down a little on previous years, with 140 youth members from 15 different troops or units, 22 leaders and at least 20 Venturers and Rangers helping run the activities.

After a hot and sunny Friday a cold and gusty southerly change came through on Friday night and stayed with us until Sunday lunch time when everyone was packing up. Some tents were blown down and the large activites marquee was damaged.

The main activities for the weekend were Radio, Computers, Electronics, Canoe trip, and Putt Putt golf. A movie was played in the big marquee on Saturday night.

Radio

This year we ran two tents with two radios in each tent, using the callsign VK2SNR. We also had an Echolink station remotely connected to the JOTA-E(nglish) Echolink conference. A highlight of the Saturday morning was short contact with HB9S via the Echolink conference, the radio station of the World Scout Bureau in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first tent used a directional antenna (A TH3jr Yagi) on a 15M high mast, for the 10, 15, and 20 meter HF Amateur bands. The other radio was a VHF 2 meter rig to work local contacts via repeaters.

The second tent used a dual-band 80 and 40 meter dipole, strung east-west between two trees, and supported in the centre with a 40ft fibreglass pole. There was also a VHF 2 meter rig in this tent for local contacts.

The weekend was very busy, with a continuous stream of contacts in both tents. Most of the contacts were to stations in Eastern Australia, via HF. Every Scout, Guide, and Cub who attended one of the radio tents received the opportunity to talk to a Scout, Guide, or Cub via the radio, making this one of the most sucessful JOTA operations in recent years.

Computers

Action was fast and furious on the Scoutlink chat channels. Many contacts were made with local and international sites. Channels are limited to 60 members and at times there were more than 25 English language channels operating, indicating 1500 scouts and guides online simultaneously. New channels are created by the operators when the current ones get too full, and at times there were over 80 channels covering a very wide variety of languages.

Other Activities

Those who didn't fancy the canoe expedition on Narrabeen Lakes participated in a walk around Narrabeen headland.

Those who braved the canoe trip had to be dragged from their vessels at the end as they still enjoyed it immensely.

Fortunately the Putt Putt golf was able to be played in the wind and rain, although I don't think we have any potential Tiger Woods amongst our ranks yet.

Three different electronic kits were constructed in the big tent. These were a flashing light Windmill, HeeHaw sirens and another siren.