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Ham Radio at #2017Jambo

Participants at the Jamboree will have the opportunity to talk to people around the world using ham radios.

K2BSA, located near the Summit Center, will be the home of all amateur radio operator activities at the Summit. The K2BSA staff will let Scouts get on the radio and talk to whomever they are tuned into at the time.

All the K2BSA staff are experienced Scouters and are extra-class amateur radio operators, the highest certification an amateur can earn. They are happy to explain how the radios work and help you tune in on a signal.

They will host four-hour merit badge sessions starting every hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. They will cover the full spectrum of radio operation and will show some cool presentations and a video. They will also cover topics such as emergency procedures. They advise you to stop by, to register for a time to take the merit badge, as spots will be limited.

They plan to launch a medium-altitude weather balloon at 10 a.m. Thursday and track it. A medium altitude weather balloon can travel all over the world, so stay tuned to see where it will go.

K2BSA also is the home of amateur radio direction finding (also known as fox hunting), a fun geocaching-esque course using radio instead of GPS. Bryan Wendell from the Bryan on Scouting blog listed this as his sixth favorite activity at the 2013 Jamboree. The K2BSA staff will show how the equipment works and then send you off to find the foxes (radio transmitters). The tones from the tracking device will get louder as you get closer — or softer as you move farther away. See if you can find all five foxes in the 60 minutes allowed. (If you enjoy this activity, you might also try a similar activity in Orienteering, run by Brian Coleman.)

Finally, for all the amateur radio operators in attendance, K2BSA will host a nightly net on the WV8BSA 2 meter repeater. If you did not bring your equipment, you can join in the conversation using echolink.

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