JOTA/05 weekend (Oct 15, 2005) dawned bright a clear for the #10 White Rock Scout Troop. It was to be wet and dull, but a surprise break in the weather brought sunny skies and beautiful temperatures to enable the White Rock ARC to support the local Troop in their JOTA activities.
As the major fundraising event of the year was to take place on the same weekend as JOTA, the radio activities did not experience the attention they might have otherwise deserved. Ralph Webb, VE7OM met scout leader, Ed Vandyke, VE7GHV, at the Bread Garden entrance to the Semiahmoo Mall to help set up for the day.
Ralph brought his portable station consisting of IC706, Buddipole™ antenna, SGC tuner, cables, DC power supply and other necessary paraphernalia necessary to put an HF station on the air to participate in the Jamboree on the Air.
Ed supplied an operating tent, which consisted of a large tepee, table, and logging equipment. This was set up just outside the entrance so the public and scouts could not miss the operation. The Buddipole™ was set up as a vertical, with a wire counterpoise just off the brick entrance path, in a garden area, with coaxial cable and tuner control cables attached, it seemed to blend into the foliage. Mark’s Work Wear World generously donated 110VDC access, which enabled the station to be run on AC mains powering a 12VDC, 20A power supply.
As this location is just off one of the main intersections on the Hilltop area of White Rock/South Surrey, noise, both RF and audio, was thought to be a concern. It turned out that on that particular day, the RF noise was very low, and the tent shielded the operator from much of the traffic and pedestrian noise.
Getting under way, just after 10:30 local time, the portable radio operation was able to make contacts with Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Norman Wells, NWT, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, a /MM just east of the date line making its way toward North America, as well, other stations in Canada and the USA. A number of scout groups were contacted during the operation, and some were able to visit with each other over the radio.
Although the number of contacts were small, the quality of contact was much greater!
Next year, weather permitting, perhaps a similar operation could be mounted and the public given more access to the radio operation going on. The antenna outperformed all expectations, given its size and location, so all that was needed was operators to put the RF energy into the air.