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Youngsters On the Air Summer Camp Doubles Down On ARISS Contacts:

from The ARRL Letter on August 10, 2017
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Youngsters On the Air International Summer Camp Doubles Down On ARISS Contacts:

More than 80 participants from about 30 countries are wrapping up this year's Youngsters on the Air ( YOTA international summer camp -- YOTA UK 2017 -- which continues until August 12 at Gilwell Park in London, the site of Scouting headquarters in the UK. Attendees include two members of the German team who cycled all the way. The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB is serving as the host of YOTA UK 2017.

Those attending were fortunate to have experienced not one but two Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS contacts with ISS astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA. The first contact was video only via HamTV -- the digital Amateur Radio television system on the ISS -- and the second was audio only. A glitch in the attempted video contact led to the second attempt via more conventional means.

DATV pictures on 2395 MHz were successfully received on the ground, and campers and onlookers were able to see Nespoli floating in the Columbus module. He could copy audio from the ground, but because of an issue with the Ericsson 2-meter transceiver on the ISS, the YOTA UK 2017 participants could not hear him.

A second, more successful, contact took place during the next orbital pass. For this session, Nespoli operated the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver in the Russian Service Module. The young radio amateurs used the special event call sign GB4YOTA to speak with Nespoli at NA1SS, as many spectators looked on. A group of young Scouts visiting Gilwell Park were excited to witness the contact and listen in as 12 YOTA UK 2017 participants asked Nespoli questions about life on the station, many of them of a more technical nature.

Among other activities, YOTA 2017 participants have been on the HF bands from GB17YOTA. They also put together QRP CW transceiver kits that they can take home. An outing to an Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) course offered participants a challenge. All of the youngsters will have the opportunity to take the UK Foundation class Amateur Radio exam. This summer's gathering in the UK is the seventh international YOTA camp.


The ARRL Letter

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