News from YOTA 2019 Netherlands

| December 20, 2019

Charlie, 2E0FMZ

I had a wonderful and very memorable time at this year’s winter YOTA camp. We attended lectures on satellites including OSCAR-100, jet engines and QRM hunting.

We learned a lot about specific methods for reducing QRM, and I discovered that a balanced feeder is better than a coaxial, which can act like a pseudo antenna. I also learnt that baluns are important as omitting them can lead to an electrical charge returning to the radio and creating a charge in Morse keys and sometimes microphones.

We built a small QRM detector kit consisting of six resistors, three capacitors and transistors, two diodes, a switch and a headphone jack. I think this tool will be very useful in the future as it will help me solve issues of QRM within my home.

We were shown around one of the QRM hunting vans the radio communications agency in the Netherlands (Agentshap telecom) use to detect interference/EMC cases. It had a lot of very specialist and accurate equipment they use to track down various interference issues.

It utilised specialist antennas as well as highly sensitive SDR systems to accurately track signals down to a couple degrees of rotations relative to the antenna. It taught me that tracking down illegal or problematic transmissions isn’t a difficult task, and I learnt about how many illegal and pirate stations are located and seized.

I enjoyed hearing about the history behind the OSCAR programme. As a result of the YOTA camp, I feel much more confident with many of the technical aspects of amateur radio in these fields. I will definitely be looking into a taking a crack at OSCAR-100 once I get the parts which include a satellite dish, LNB, and appropriate antenna such as Patch of the Year.


Category: YOTA 2019 Netherlands