„Radio“ workshop at PINAKARRI scout camp in Laxenburg

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200 radio contacts on shortwave, VHF and echolink has been made by our Scout Amateur Radio Station OE3SCOUT at PINAKARRI scout camp until shortly before visistor´s day. Phone as well as digital mode PSK31 has been used – and naturally morse code – especially popular with scouts.

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Actually there are no workshops on Saturday – but here an exception was made because there were so many interested parties. This time there were scouts and guides of the Vienna Group 31 Stadlau, inaugurated successfully by Susanne OE3YOS and Sven OE3BLS to the secrets of amateur radio and morse code.

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At about 9:30 local time, everyone gathered in front of the actual workshop tent, because the weather was very good. The workshop hosted by Susanne and Sven – both scouts of the Scout Group Bruck an der Leitha – have actually been very conscientious and well prepared and the good preparation paid off well in the previous workshops. They were actively supported at the workshop by Franz OE5FSL and Hanno OE1JJB.

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Among other things, the radio wave propagation on VHF and shortwave were explained and shown by means of a flip chart. The different composition of an amateur radio call sign was explained to the workshop participants. We also find the one or other famous or prominent callsign was there.
DSC_0225Amateur radio is really operated worldwide in almost all countries of the world, many scout amateur radio stations as OE3SCOUT or HB9S (World Scout Bureau in Geneva) are among them. Yes also by movie actors, politicians, kings and even by astronauts this fascinating and very extensive amateur radio hobby has been operated formerly, recently and now – Amateur radio is cosmopolitan and diversity !

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OE0MIR was the call sign of our Austrian astronaut Franz Viehböck aboard the Russian MIR space station. Francesco Cossiga was Prime Minister and State Minister of Italy – and radio amateur with the call sign I0FCG. Even the late King Hussein of Jordan JY1 was a passionate radio amateur and had also radio contacts from his country residence at the Wiener Kahlenberg with austrian radio amateurs.

DSC_0308To everyone’s surprise, the scouts of today’s workshop for the most part had already profound skills in morse code! Just to be on the safe side each participant still got a morse code „cheat sheet“. One of the group was able to come up with a word and send the word with a real morse key. The others had the task to take down the word correctly, then was changed – that worked great!

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Next we went in the workshop tent directly to the radio station OE3SCOUT where we have reached the amateur radio station OE3MSU in Pechtoldsdorf using a VHF radio. For the duration of the camp we had the possibility that scouts and guides could speak without a radio license with other radio amateurs via radio – NOW was the opportunity!

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Each of the attendant scouts and guides could take the microphone and talk with OE3MSU Max in Perchtoldsdorf – it worked extremely well! In the VHF/UHF range repeaters are very often used. They are usually mounted on hills or tall masts to improve the range and therefore the quality of the radio links. So also the operation of the car or portable use works better.

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The scouts and guides had a lot of fun doing wireless operation and the fear of the microphone gradually dissipated. So the scouts had to introduce themselves, said how old and in which scout group they are. Max wanted to know which school they attended and asked about their hobbies.

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Also GuSp troop leader Felix enjoyed voice radio and tried a contact with Max in Perchtoldsdorf via radio. Certainly an interesting experience using a real radio – but also unfamiliar. On voice radio somebody has spoken alternately – always only one can talk not like the mobile phone, where you also can interrupt at any time the other.

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For several years many VHF/UHF repeaters are also connected to the so-called ECHOLINK. Here the internet plays an important role and by the combination radio/internet, it is even possible that one can reach another radio amateur world wide even with a mobile app – even if the radio links may even not are optimal. Contact to the Ivory Coast or Japan or South America? No problem!

DSC_0385A special highlight of course was the radio operation by morse key! Our Hanno OE1JJB, longtime radio amateur and an absolute telegraphy expert and high-speed telegraph has shown with great joy how the morse code works in practice.

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During a morse code contact with Harry DF4ZU/m – a german mobile station in Wiesbaden – Hanno explained during the radio contact, with whom he has contact and translated the morse code for the attendant scouts. By the way Hanno usually use a small morse code paddle – this morse key has two levers which are moved horizontally. This allows considerably higher speeds than a conventional manual key.

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The workshop participants were very interested and it was very nice, even to be at the „Radio“ workshop here. The interest even went on the workshop schedule also – obviously here a fire was kindled and aroused genuine interest. Thank you very much to all the workshop participants for their interest and special thanks go to Sven and Susanne for their commitment hosting this workshop on PINAKARRI scout camp, but also to Franz and Hanno for their support!

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