JOTA 2021

JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) is an opportunity to bring amateur radio to scouting. Each year, typically in October, scouts and scouters get on the air waves to talk about how scouting impacts their lives across the country and the world.

Eli Knasinski (KD9SQQ), Chad White (KD9SYJ), and Isaiah White from Troop 17

Troop 17 participated in JOTA this weekend at our charter organization’s location, Harrisville Congregational Christian Church. Our troop trailer (not pictured) has a PVC pipe mounted to the side with a 30 foot extended flagpole mast reaching to the sky. It’s almost tall enough that it should be supported with guy wires however our dipole antennas seemed to keep it steady in the low wind environment.

For antennas we chose to run with 2 dipoles. Reaching the top of the mast was a dipole cut for the center of the 80 meter band. It is constructed of speaker wire (which works wonderful for measuring twice and cutting once!) and a simple center conductor that also has a 1:1 balun connected to RG58/U coax. Our second dipole is cut for the 40 meter band and was approximately 4-5 feet lower from the top of the pole. It is constructed of green electrical wire (thanks Mike!) with a center conductor connected to RG58/U coax. Both antennas were oriented North-South so we were broadside to the East-West.

Jason Knasinski (KD9BGS and Troop 17 Scoutmaster) with Chad White (KD9SYJ)

Our 80 meter dipole was connected to my MFJ-949D antenna tuner and in turn was connected to my Yaesu FT-891 radio in my go-box. This setup worked great for all of 80 meters and even though orientation was wrong the band was so open that I was hearing stations from Antigua and Santiago with no problem!

Jason was working the 40 meter band with his ICOM IC-7300. That is one awesome radio with a built-in tuner, waterfall display, and voice spectrum analyzer all in one box. Again, we were not oriented for North-South contacts but he was able to work a group of scouts in Toronto that said the temperature was 38

First post

I’ve not built a website since before WordPress was even an idea. I’ve used tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver and straight HTML editing but this is a bit new to me so bear with me as we get going as many things will likely change.

This blog is primarily going to be used to document my exploration into ham radio. I’ve been licensed since October 2017 and currently hold an Amateur Extra license. My oldest son is also licensed currently as a Technician, KD9SYJ. My youngest is trying to get his license and will very soon.

Having already started my journey now 4.5 years in, I’ll likely post a few blogs about how I started and some highlights of what I’ve done. I’m also currently finishing up a Bachelor’s degree in Cloud and System Administration so these next posts may or may not be on any regular cadence.

Have a question or want to send me a note? Feel free to comment here or shoot it in an email to!