Youth on the Air Campers activating W8Y, ARISS contact set for July 14
The first Youth on the Air (YOTA) camp for young radio amateurs in North, Central and South America is now underway in West Chester, Ohio. Among other activities, campers operate the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting’s W8Y special events station in West Chester Township and the Camp Hotel. The camp will run until Friday July 16.
The two-dozen or so campers will enjoy amateur radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with ISS crew member Akihiko Hoshide, KE5DNI, Wednesday.
“This ARISS contact is intended to inspire these young radio amateurs to learn more about communication using amateur satellites and to establish ARISS radio contacts,” ARISS said this week announcing the contact date.
ARISS team member John Sygo, ZS6JON, in Paardekraal, South Africa, will serve as the telescopic bridge relay station. The ARISS contact is set for July 14 at 11:03 a.m. EDT (1503 UTC). The contact will be broadcast live.
“We are very excited to finally bring this program to the Americas,” camp director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, told ARRL. “Our young people offer an incredible range of hands-on sessions for their peers. We hope this pilot will give us the information we need to replicate this camp in multiple locations for years to come. We also hope that this will bring a stronger community of young amateurs into amateur radio. “
The long-awaited summer camp for up to 30 hams aged 15 to 25 was scheduled for last June but had to be postponed until this summer due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The Young Amateurs Camp in the Americas was inspired by the Youngsters on the Air summer camps held in recent years in various countries in IARU Region 1.
The Region 2 camp aims to help participants take their amateur radio experience to the next level by exposing them to a variety of activities and providing them with the opportunity to meet other young amateurs. Activities include building kits, building antennas, finding transmitters and direction finding, digital modes and a high altitude balloon launch. The exploitation of amateur satellites is one of the workshops offered. Others include effective radio communication, the history of local amateurs, and the use of amateur radio in an emergency.
W8Y will be broadcast as campers complete their projects, between sessions and in their spare time. Dedicated hours of operation on HF will include Tuesday July 13, 1800 – 2130 UTC. The hours of operation of the dedicated satellite stations will be Thursday July 15 from 1400 to 1700 UTC and Friday July 16 from 1500 to 1700 UTC.
The camp’s opening ceremony on Sunday featured keynote speaker Tim Duffy, K3LR, who told campers, “Amateur radio is the best hobby in the world!
A one-hour closing ceremony on Friday July 16 will begin at 1700 UTC. The YouTube channel will also feature a daily video highlighting yesterday’s activities.
The ARRL and the Yasme Foundation donated project kits to the campers. XTronics supplied temperature controlled soldering stations. Youth on Air Brochure website includes more details about the camp. – Thanks to ARISS for some information