Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It is held annually the third full weekend in October. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. This jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby amateur radio operator’s ham shack. Many times you can find the hams will come to you by setting up a station at your Scout camporee, at the park down the block, or perhaps at a ham shack already set up at your council’s camp.
Scouts of any age can participate, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Venturers, including girls. Once at the ham radio station, the communication typically involves talking on a microphone and listening on the station speakers. However, many forms of specialized communication may also be taking place, such as video communication, digital communication (much like sending a message on your smartphone but transmitted by radio), or communication through a satellite relay or an earth-based relay (called a repeater). The exchanges include such information as name, location (called QTH in ham speak), Scout rank, age, and hobbies. The stations you’ll be communicating with can be across town, across the country, or even around the world! The World Scout Bureau reported that nearly 1 million Scouts and almost 20,000 amateur radio operators participated in the 2015 JOTA, from more than 17,776 stations in 151 countries.
This year marks the 60th Jamboree on the Air and will be held October 20 – 22nd. There are no official hours, so you have the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts. The event officially starts Friday evening during the JOTA Jump Start and runs through Sunday evening.
Scout Frequencies: Here is detailed information on frequencies suggested as Scout amateur radio frequencies. These were initially suggested by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and their Jamboree on the Air organizer. As with all amateur radio frequencies they are a shared resource. If someone else is already on that frequency, move up or down to find a clear frequency for calling. Please visit K2BSA for information on frequencies and modes. https://www.k2bsa.net/scout-frequencies/
Two Echolink conference nodes have been designated for Scout contacts — *JOTA-365* (node 480809) and *JAMBO* (node 832996).
JOTA participating stations should take special care to avoid conflicting with any emergency response traffic activity under way in the Caribbean. In general, steer clear of any net traffic you might encounter.
A potential conflict exists between PSK and the new FT8 mode on 18.100 MHz, the frequency recommended for both modes. FT8 is the predominant activity at 18.1 MHz right now, and JOTA organizers suggest looking for PSK contacts on either side of 18.100.
“As always, a Scout is friendly and courteous,” Wilson said. “Follow the Scout Law as you navigate the Amateur Radio bands during JOTA-JOTI weekend.” JOTA organizers note that propagation during a sunspot minimum is not likely to be helpful while attempting to make Amateur Radio contacts around the world.
For the third year JOTI.tv will broadcast live television on YouTube. On the JOTI.tv YouTube channel we will share the latest news and activities worldwide together with our friends from JOTI Radio and ScoutLink. http://jotajoti.info/joti-tv-ready-for-jota-joti-2017/
To Find out more about Jamboree on the Air you can visit the Boy Scouts of American website at: http://www.scouting.org/jota.aspx
ARRL Public Information Officer – Honolulu