Youth on the Air Month each December encourages young hams around the world to get on the air and make lots of contacts, both with other young hams and older ones as well. The idea started in Europe, where the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 organization has made a concerted effort to promote ham radio to young people (see previous story). In 2019, there was also an organized effort in the Americas (IARU Region 2) in conjunction with the upcoming YOTA Camp this June in Ohio.
Organizer Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, and YOTA Month coordinator (and 2018 Newsline Young Ham of the Year) Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO, report that 18 hams under age 25 in both North and South America used special call signs to draw attention to the activity and made a combined total of more than 12,000 contacts.
|Jack McElroy, KM4ZIA, operates K8Y via|
amateur satellites during YOTA Month.
(Photo courtesy youthontheair.org)
In the U.S., 15 young operators around the country alternated using four different 1x1 special event call signs, K8Y, K8O, K8T and K8A (YOTA) on SSB, CW, digital modes and satellites, racking up nearly 10,500 QSOs. In Canada, David Samu, VE7DZO (featured on CQ's November 2019 cover) made over 450 contacts as VE7YOTA, all on CW. Down south, young Chilean amateur Mathias Acevedo von Frey, CE2LR, operated XR2YOTA and one highlight for him was meeting another local young ham, Manu Antonio Pardo Rivas, CA3MPR. Their combined QSO total was over 1500 contacts. Overall, the various YOTA Month stations on both continents logged 12,467 contacts. Around the world, 48 special-call sign stations operated by young hams made nearly 129,000 contacts during YOTA Month.