Youth on the Air G15YOTA

Wednesday 9th December was the turn of Wellesley House school to host G15YOTA and the Hilderstone radio club did a brilliant job in promoting amateur radio to the youngsters. Hopefully they gained a better understanding of radio communications and an appreciation that amateur radio is a fun hobby.

We had the Wellesley House pupils in the morning and St John’s Margate Brownies in the evening. We were really lucky with the dry sunny weather – the walkie talkie and the fox hunting groups were able to go outside. Well done to Phil Challans for braving the cold morning and evening!

“ Fox hunting
Fox hunting

Len West G0GNQ, Armando Martins M0PAM and Bob MacDonald 2E0ATZ did a sterling job getting the pupils and Brownies to send and receive Morse.

We did have difficulty with the portable delta loop antenna which we purchased with STELAR funding. It didn’t seem to perform properly so we reverted to a dipole. Bob managed some contacts on the club radio and the pupils were able to speak on the microphone with other operators.

“ James using PSK31
James using PSK31

We had two youngsters (less than 26 years old!) helping on the day. James Blackwell M6NMS is on the Youth Committee of the RSGB and he came from Sheppey with his own mobile set up using PSK31 and only 6W. The pupils were amazed to have conversations with radio operators all over Europe on PSK31. James runs a radio communications business BroadNet. Matthew Woolley 2E0MAP came from Canterbury and his experience as a scout leader helped with the Brownies. Clive Widdus G1WCR used 70cm simplex for the contacts with Matthew out of sight and when he asked what was the best thing they had done in Brownies they replied ‘using radios’. Some had in fact been to two of our Thinking Day on the Air events so they had come back for more!

“ Bob helping a youngster
Bob helping a youngster

The deputy Headteacher tweeted to Tim Peake that the school was preparing for his radio contact with a picture of Bob on the radio and Tim replied with a ‘like’!

“ Magnificent Brownies
Magnificent Brownies