GB1DSG hosts Thinking Day On The Air 2008 (TDOTA)

We put up a single feed fan dipole for 40m and 80m at 65 feet which certainly hammered out a signal creating quite a pile up in the UK, particularly Sunday afternoon on 80m. We had no shortage of stations to talk to, so thanks all who hung in there waiting for an opportunity.The evening before, James and I held court through the night picking up ZL, VK, S and N America which is excellent and James’s first copy to VK on 40 meter band – this was very thrilling. Being a Scout Station – and being spotted continuously meant that we were creating quite a stir across the globe.


petroleum-jellyThe day itself was excellent; we had a different Brownie pack through the door every half-hour. Each pack would have a fun chat outside by me before watching the “Hello” film from the ARRL. It’s very American but I can’t find anything short and to the point that can replace this wonderful little blast of interest for children. RSGB, if you have something – please let me know since I would love to show something a little more English.

After the film, they went to Chris and did a kind of “appreciation of morse code” where they could all send their names too. Morse bracelets were new this year – so thanks to the individual who thought this up, I can’t remember who you were now – a Pink bead for a DIT, a purple bead for a DAH and a white bead for a SPACE. They thoroughly enjoyed this activity. If only I could get Cubs to sit quietly and do these little crafts!

Finally they prepared their greetings message and Tim just maintained a pile up the whole afternoon so that when we had some girls ready, he would chose a strong station to get a greetings message through. If there was time, we had our own QSL design factory to top it all off!

That afternoon, we talked to many stations – many had been Guides or Scouts and some even claimed that their first ever radio experience themselves was doing JOTA and TDOTA – so it was wonderful not only to hear those stories but also to let the girls climb over their nerves to deliver a simple message on the radio. It didn’t help when I explained that only the WHOLE world was listening! I’m a rotter 🙂

Although we were gratefully thanked by the Guide District, I must say that it’s a pleasure to share our hobby with young people. We’re slowly building some budding M3s and I’m really proud of our achievements at Dorridge Scouts. If you are one of us and you are reading this, then be proud of what we do – and make sure that your local community understands that being a Radio Amateur is not a thing of the past, it’s bang up-to-date and happening now, on your door-step.