YOTA 2018: Day 1

| August 10, 2018

We set off for South Africa just after 2200hrs, and enjoyed our pleasant 11 hour flight to Johannesburg! We started bumping into fellow attendees while queuing for customs. We were greeted by a large welcoming reception, and driven to the fantastic Kopanong hotel a few miles from the airport

Software Defined Radio

We started off YOTA 2018 with an introduction into Software Defined Radio, SDR. Each person was generously given a SDR dongle by the YOTA organisers and shown how to set up a program called SDRSharp which allowed us to receive different modes such as FM, SSB and AM. The presentation also showed us how to integrate SDRSharp with other programs such as GPredict, to allow us to decode SSTV from satellites, which we were told would link in well with our outing on Saturday.

Train the Trainer

The next activity we took part in was our first Train the Trainer event, which involved each team going to the front of the conference room and outlining to the other amateurs there how they have encouraged amateur radio in their home country. These ideas were then written down and after everyone had shared their efforts back home, we all voted to see what we think as a group would encourage younger people into the hobby. The result of our voting was trying to encourage more JOTA events, foxhunting and construction in the hope to grow our hobby.

Wildlife Preservation

And then, there was a cheetah.

Antenna Construction

In support of the prevailing theme of satellites and high altitude ballooning, we constructed our own dual band yagi antennas.

The wonderful kit was created by Guy ZS6GUY, and left us little to do other than insert the elements into the colour coded, injection moulded, mounting spacers. It came with a lovely carry bag, allowing them to be easily transported for field days and SOTA activations. The quality of the antenna was further demonstrated by the low SWR readings, and performed extremely well on 2m and 70cm.

Intercultural Evening

That evening was the intercultural evening. We were greeted with an diverse array of local food and produce from all of the attending teams. We were represented by buscuits, crisps and a rather excellent bottle of Islay single malt.

All in all we’ve had a fantastic first day, and are looking foreward to the rest of the week. We will be posting more updates throughout the week.


Team UK: YOTA 2018
Peter MØSWN, Mike 2EØMLJ, Ben MØNBA and Nathan MIØNPR

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Category: YOTA 2018