YOTA 2018: Day 2

| August 18, 2018

BaCAR Activity

Our second day of activities began with a BaCAR (Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio) introduction. We were briefed on the main goals of BaCAR and told that we would be building our own cube to send up as a payload, tied onto a high-altitude balloon. This was very exciting, and we were divided up into five teams, each named after one of the ‘Big Five’ which live in Africa. All of the UK team were in Team Buffalo.

We spent most of the day project managing and making sure everybody was assigned a specific role in the team, such as programming, engineering, radio comms and general support work to whoever needed help. We got all the components we needed together, started assembling our own payload and came up with our very own experiment to monitor when the cube was in the upper atmosphere.

The building of the payload was tough, and many challenges had to be overcome to finish the payload in time, so it was ready for the next day when the balloon and all the teams payloads would be launched.

We did some drop tests and used a very high-tech vibration tester (we tied the cube onto the end of a brush and shook it as hard as we could). Both of these tests pointed out some flaws in our design, and the rush was on to get these solved before the end of the day. Despite our best efforts, some last-minute work was required the following day at the launch site – see Day 3 blog.

Amateur Satellites

During the day, we also were given a talk about amateur satellites and the CubeSat program – a very interesting talk!

We were then informed how to work amateur satellites using our antennas we made during day 1, something which everyone made use of during the week in South Africa.

At night time there was always somebody outside trying to work satellites, and most had contacts on them. 

Train the Trainer

A train the trainer activity also took place where we discussed how to get more young people into the hobby by discussing how we got into the hobby and how we think we could encourage more people to join amateur radio.

Very good ideas were discussed, hopefully some of which will be implemented when we return in the UK.

HAREC Preparation

The HAREC examination was another item on the program for Day 2 and was open to anybody who wanted to get their amateur licence. The HAREC is equivalent to an Advanced licence here in the UK.

There were a large number of people who put their name forward for the exam and they began their preparations for the exam, which they would be taking in a few days time.

Day 2 was a very busy day, but little did we know, the next day would be a lot busier!

Nathan, MI0NPR

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

Tags: , , ,

Category: YOTA 2018