|WARG has a long history with involvement in
JOTA, the Scouts get together to use amateur radio to communicate with
other Scouts near and far. The opening broadcast uses WARG's linked
repeater network, but JOTA activity normally did not use WARG's
It was considered way back not to have scout activity on most of WARG's repeaters but rather use VK6REE, WARG's portable repeater, as a dedicated scout repeater for the Perth area.
Over many years VK6REE was set up at a number of suitable locations in the Perth area for JOTA use, and it was most successful. Most times there was a net controller who kept the contacts flowing freely.
The use of a net controller was a very successful change introduced by WARG, that should be looked at for todays JOTA, which has moved onto many WARG repeaters in the metropolitan area.
VK6REE complete with duplexer in the back of vehicle
WARG were contacted during the 1980's by amateurs who worked for AUSSAT, Australia's Communications Satellite provider, with the idea of using a spare voice channel on the AUSSAT Satellite, to link Sydney to Perth, for the exclusive use of JOTA.
The offer was taken up by WARG and equipment was manufactured to interface with the AUSSAT equipment and connected to a 2 metre amateur transceiver, that then linked to a chosen Perth repeater.
This was a very exciting experience, when the system was switched on for the first time. To hear VK2 callsigns from the Sydney area coming out of your 2 metre radio was ground breaking in the 1980s. Remember this was way before todays Internet connections to voice repeaters.
For testing, each JOTA, Perth amateurs enjoyed the 24 hour test period before JOTA, to chat with amateurs in VK2, with good FM quality. Driving around in Perth and talking to similar mobile stations in Sydney was great excitement all round.
For several years WARG provided this AUSSAT connection, with improvements on the remote control capabilities of the linking transceiver. During the testing period the transceiver could be switched to various amateur repeaters, including VK6RMW, Mt.William, so amateurs in the Bunbury area could join in on the fun.
One year the Aussat system was also linked to New Zealand. The New Zealand repeater system was the backbone system and VK6 & VK2 amateurs enjoyed FM quality contacts between the two countries.
JOTA VK6RAP Link to VK6RMW
WARG linked VK6RAP to VK6RMW for JOTA. To extend the JOTA coverage these two repeaters were linked and many contacts were had via the linked system. I'm trying to find out more details on this, as my memory is a bit scarce on how this was done.