One of the ongoing challenges during Jamboree on the Air is the amount of contest interference that happens around the designated Scouting frequencies. This year’s station report feedback appeared to indicate that the problem is growing.
The Worked All Germany Contest, operated by the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club, has elected to designate contest free frequencies where “contest operation is not allowed.” You can see this at Worked All Germany Contest Rules. This helps greatly to reduce interference from this contest.
There are also four state QSO parties on the same weekend as Jamboree on the Air. In mid-December 2015 we sent emails to the those who operate the QSO parties asking them to consider establishing contest free frequencies. To date, only one has responded and they have stated they have “no plans to implement contest free zones.”
This may be something that you, as a Radio Scouting supporter or as a K2BSA Amateur Radio Association member, could work on if you’re a member of one of these clubs or know the organizers of the contest. Here’s the information:
- Illinois QSO Party, Western Illinois Amateur Radio Club
- Iowa QSO Party, Ottumwa Amateur Radio Club
- New York QSO Party
- South Dakota QSO Party, USS South Dakota Wireless Association
I will note that one or more of these contests encourage and reward contacts with JOTA stations. While that’s nice, making contacts isn’t the point of JOTA activations. It’s about engaging Scouts in conversations to help them learn about new locations, new countries, new cultures, and ideally those conversations are with other Scouts.
We greatly appreciate all contacts that help activate JOTA stations, but it would be ideal if we could clear the contests from the designated Scouting frequencies and as a result open up Scout-to-Scout contacts.
Something to work on for 2016 and follow on years.