How do I quickly find a JOTA station on the amateur radio bands?
Well, help is offered by the Amateur Radio Club in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. The club has launched a special DX cluster (a database for radio amateurs) that can be used during JOTA to see exactly at which frequency a Scout station somewhere in the world is transmitting.
How does this work?
If one amateur radio station hears a Scout station on the air, he can enter the date, time, frequency and of course the radio call sign in the database. The information is immediately visible worldwide. He can also enter his own transmitting frequency. Other Scout stations can use the info to tune to the announced frequency and make a contact.
What do you need for this?
- A computer, a packet radio terminal programme or an internet connection.
- Electricity or a battery pack.
- An enthusiastic Scout to operate the system (the "JOTA contact manager").
With special free software you can access the database via internet or via packet radio. So even in a location where there is no internet, you still can connect to it. A suitable software is DxLink. This programme lets you choose your own dx server link. Set the server to: pi4raz.nl port 7300.
Further instructions on how to connect via internet or packet radio are available on the DxLink website
This Scout DX cluster can also be accessed via the logbook of Ham Radio Deluxe (the software we use this year for on-line logging all our JOTA contacts). Simply add the PI4RAZ cluster to the cluster list in the logbook window. Use the same address and port number as mentioned above.
If you do have an internet connection available, you can also access the cluster via the web here.
Thanks RAZ for making this available. We trust many Scouts will enjoy the service.
Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD)
To visualize how big the amateur radio world is, an online logging tool offers help. It logs all you radio contacts and displays them on a world map. It also gives you direct access to details of the contacts that you made. The HRD amateur radio software suite offers many interesting features for the Scouts to play with.
- HRD version 6 (with a 30-day free trial) can be downloaded here
- HRD version 5 (completely free version) can be downloaded here
Online-, but also offline logging is available with HRD (you can upload logs later if no internet connection is available at your JOTA station). The online tool gives you the possibility to display your contacts on an electronic plot map.This shows how far your contacts have reached and, indeed, how big your radio world is. The logbook also gives you the distance and further details of each contact that you enter. The Scouts that serve as your station's "logbook operator" will be able to directly present the overview. Have a look at the online tool here.
If you are using more than one radio station simultaneously, you will need some extra software to enable all stations to use the same logbook. The complete SW package that you need to install, including step-by-step instructions for JOTA users can be downloaded here.
If you add the web link of your logbook to your JOTA report that you send to your National JOTA-JOTI Organizer after the weekend, we can include it in the worldwide overview that will be compiled after the event.
You can also add your JOTA radio station on this website and see electronic plot maps of other radio stations. Go to http://scout.org/jota to add your radio station to this website.