JOTA and contests don’t mix very well

Once a year, scouts from all over the world make contact with other scouts in the world. 2011 was no exception. This year, the ‘Work All Germany Contest‘ was held on Sunday, at the exact same moment when JOTA 2011 was still in full swing. No problem, one would think, as the famous ‘ham spirit’ would take care of accidental interference.

No such luck.

I’ve heard ‘amateurs’ yelling at scout groups to “get lost” (I won’t repeat the words I actually heard) from certain frequencies, because “there was a contest going on”. If the scout groups stayed put, their signals were flattened like a bug by 2KW linear amplifiers. What a shame. Please, please, no contests anymore while scouts are on the air!


One comment on “JOTA and contests don’t mix very well

  1. I trust you recorded the call sign of the “hams” telling the JOTA scouts to get lost. Or was it a case of “no call sign” illegal transmissions by those involved. A case of too many self appointed chiefs, experts, would be “thought police” types now in ham radio who give us a bad name, to the point where you have to ask “Is this ham radio” anymore.

    Certainly I believe it is not what my father (first licensed in 1932 and now SK) would recognizes as ham radio.
    Neither do I, coming back to ham radio after a break of a few years;think such current (mal-)practice as an operater running very high power with a beama , relaying a report from a remote station so someone who cannot hear the remote station can “claim a QSO” for DXCC or some such award. To me that is fraud and no QSO existed.

    The JOTA scout stations I could both hear and contacted, were conducting “real” in the sense the old timers would mean by that term.

    Puting up a vertical “on the day” and making direct unaided contact , no QSP, on SSB or even CW, witha W, K or VE, VY while running 100 watts or less. Is more likely to have sparked interest in ham radio in some of these young people, than the competing demonstration of the robot like quick fire exchange of reports and serial numbers of a contest, not to mention the turnoff of such rude people.

    Even a ten year old can work it out that a computer hooked to a rig, and correctly programmed can do a better job; of a contest, even calculate the optimum frequency band to use unaided. And If there are machines at each end of the links, controlling the rigs and “communicating”, churning out “QSOs” faster than any human could, The award becomes a contest for the” best robot” (computer)! But that;” the ultimate contest environment” is not what my father would have called “Ham Radio”.

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