Jamboree on the Air will celebrate its 50th year this year when it gets on the air October 19-21. Normally a 48 hour event, this year's JOTA will be 50 hours long in recognition of the anniversary. The fun begins at 2200 (local time) October 19 and ends at midnight (local time) October 21.
An on-the-air operating event sponsored by the World Scout Bureau, JOTA was founded in 1958 by Les Mitchell, G3BHK. It has grown to become the largest international Scout event. More than half a million Scouts and Guides in more than 100 countries participate in JOTA, involving as many as 10,000 Amateur Radio stations.
The event relies on the Amateur Radio community and local hams for its success. Getting Boy and Girl Scouts (including Cubs and Brownies) on the air to talk with other Scouts around the world provides a great opportunity to expose youth to Amateur Radio. Some troops and clubs team up to make a big splash with lots of activities, radios and antennas, offering a variety of modes to experience. For others, JOTA provides an opportunity to coach a smaller group of Scouts and to just have fun talking on the radio. Scouts usually enjoy communicating by
speaking into a microphone, but some radio amateurs are able to provide other modes, such as slow-scan TV or amateur TV, satellites, packet radio, RTTY or even EME!


    Florida Hams Help Nab Burglary Suspects: Some hams in Florida got an earful when they heard what turned out to be teenagers planning various robberies over the Jupiter Farms 444.400 MHz CERT repeater.
    On September 8, Al Moreschi, AG4BV, of Jupiter, and John Levey, KI4HTL, a retired police officer, of Palm Beach Gardens, overheard, according to Moreschi, "what sounded like men talking about committing a burglary and we were monitoring them on one of the local ham repeaters." Moreschi said he and his fellow hams notified local law enforcement agencies of the break-in, but the alleged thieves "didn't describe the house well enough to get the exact address."
    The amateurs kept listening for the vandals to show up again on the repeater. On September 21, they were in luck.  This time the hams were ready and had set up recording devices to capture the break-in as it transpired.  Moreschi said he and his fellow hams recognized the voices and started recording; they also called the police.  The last transmission heard over the air by the suspects was, "Code Red, Code Red, Code Red. There are cops everywhere, dude!" Three suspects were captured and arrested: one at the scene, one who was walking down a nearby road and one at a local grocery store.
    An official with the local sheriff's office said that the suspects were charged with burglary for the two break-ins; the
three are suspects in other local robberies, as well.  The tapes made by the hams are in the custody of the sheriff.  Moreschi said that the suspects might also be facing charges from the Federal Communications Commission for operating without an amateur license. "We don't know how these kids got hold of the ham radios.  Their transmissions came right over the CERT repeater, and that has a special tone and you have to have a special tone to key it up," Moreschi said.



ICOM Returns as November Sweepstakes Principal Awards Sponsor: ICOM has generously agreed to serve for a third year as principal awards sponsor for the 2007 ARRL November Sweepstakes. The Amateur Radio equipment manufacturer's first such sponsorship was for the 2005 events. The 2007 CW Sweeps takes place November 3-4, while the phone Sweeps is November 17-18. Under its agreement with ARRL, ICOM will be the principal sponsor for nearly 150 unsponsored contest plaques that recognize various levels of operating achievement in the popular annual competition. "Competitive operating events are the proving grounds for equipment, operators and antenna systems," said ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. "ICOM Amateur Radio Products National Sales Manager Ray Novak, N9JA, and ICOM recognize the importance of these testing grounds, as well as the high levels of achievement in contests that deserve to have 'some wood on the wall.' The Amateur Radio industry has been terrific in supporting many contests and activities run by ARRL, and we know first hand that participants appreciate the attention and devotion shown to these pursuits." Patton predicts nearly 3000 entries will be received for the November Sweepstakes this fall.


Russ will be showing how PSK31 works and hopefully recruit more members of SMARS into this fascinating digital mode. It requires very little outlay of cash since a ham uses the equipment that he usually has, a computer and a transceiver.
As a further incentive, Russ will auction off a computer all set up to go with PSK31 already installed. The proceeds of the auction will go to the club. A real win-win situation for everyone!
With the construction of an easy to build gadget, the ham is ready to go. Wow! Let Russ get you going in this variety of communications available to hams.

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