The morning participants with club members in the new trailer purchased with the grant from the RSGB Heritage Fund

Thinking Day On The Air on Saturday, February 17th was the first decent sunny day of 2018. It was also the first event of the new year for the Bittern DX Group’s Educational Outreach Project.

And so 8 members made the journey to Saham Tony Village Hall in JO02jn to set up GB5WDG and give around 60 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and their adult leaders a chance to see different aspects of Amateur Radio.

Across the day, all the young people were given the chance to find the fox transmitter some 50 yards away in the Fox Hunt, shown how morse code works, and all keyed their name correctly earning a certificate, they were then allowed to talk on air to each other using PMR handsets which we found was a great way to overcome ‘microphone shyness’ before being introduced to VHF working with each participant correctly conducting a meaningful QSO with a club member outside on a handheld (and enjoying the sunshine!).

HF working was generally poor but one brownie did get a chance to have a short conversation with an amateur in Germany.

Next they were shown the principles and techniques behind satellite working with three QSOs being conducted on AO 92 and the children, and adults, were impressed with the telemetry data from Funcube-1 including a Fitter Message greeting the members of Watton District Guiding for Thinking Day On The Air. We are very grateful to the team at AMSAT-UK for their friendly and continuing help in using Funcube-1 in our demonstrations.

Lastly, but by no means least, the young people saw a demonstration of signals using light, the interruption of which demonstrated some of the challenges of that medium but was nonetheless good fun!

Club members found it very rewarding to see the young people take part in our hobby. Although some were clearly not bothered by all the technology one Brownie said it had ‘blown her mind away to see what we could do’. But as a counterbalance, when being told how we could talk around the world and beyond, one commented “I just use Skype”!!

The Bittern DX Group’s ongoing Educational Outreach Project, is aimed at bringing an Amateur Radio ‘experience’ to the general public and was given a boost last year with a grant from the National Lottery’s Awards for All fund.

Late last year, after the death of our generator, the growing need to ease equipment transportation problems, and with the encouragement and support of our Regional Manager, Keith Haynes G3WRO, we successfully applied to the RSGB Legacy Fund for funds to buy a trailer and new generator. We are very grateful to the RSGB for this grant which will make a tremendous difference to our work.

A great and fun day was enjoyed by everyone and the feedback we have received from the Leaders has been very encouraging. We would urge other clubs to just ask if their local Guiding Group would like to take part in TDOTA next year.

Fox hunting with Alec G3YOA
Julian M0NUX explaining space satellite communications to an enthralled group.
Sue 2E0TSZ explaining about using a PMR handy  with Thomas M0TEO out of shot on the other end of the PMR contact.Looking on  Steve (Balders) MOHET wondering if its Coffee time yet also in the shot is a Guider (with the bobble hat)


Peter G6ZRV with Rainbows preparing to “have a go” and call CQ on air, Adam M0OAS was doing a great job outside in the sunshine providing a reliable contact to their CQ’s
Category : app