G3OUR at the Jamboree on the Air in 1968

Until recently, I wrongly attributed the events described on this page to the 1967 Jamboree on the Air. However Simon Watts G3XXH, who appears on one of the photographs, has pointed out that he did not come up to Oxford until 1968. This seems pretty conclusive! I have also checked my diaries which show that we did indeed operate from Youlbury in 1968. It seems fairly likely that we did not operate a JOTA station at all in 1967. But of course, if anyone knows better . . . .

Anyway, at the 1968 Jamboree on the Air at Youlbury camp site, I took quite a number of photographs. This page has been separated from the main Oxford University Radio Society page so that these may be included without making the main page too slow to load.

Experience in 1966 had shown us that although Youlbury was on top of a hill, it still was not ideal for radiating a good signal. The Lawn Hut was surrounded by trees some 40 feet high, whilst the Banana Pole was only around 35 feet high! We resolved that this year, we would do better. It also seemed like a good way to involve some Scouts in the activities. So in advance of the day, an aerial "tower" was constructed using classic scouting techniques. Here we see the base being constructed.

The base of the tower

Some hours later and it is beginning to look quite high.

The tower under construction

Though, when viewed from a distance, it is still rather dwarfed by the trees.

The tower from a distance

But with a final tripod on top, supporting as much of the banana pole as was prepared to stay upright, the final result looks quite impressive and was a definite improvement on 1966.

The tower complete

The feeder came down from the top of the tower and entered the lawn hut at roof level. Here Darrel Emerson G3SYS is preparing to secure it.

G3SYS on his perch

The following picture shows Darrel testing out the rig, with Paul Barker looking on. Paul later went on to get his amateur licence with the callsign G8DBK but at the time this picture was taken, I think he was still a short wave listener. Notice Darrel's electronic "bug" key, by his right hand, in a die-cast box with its paddle made from Meccano and some sellotape, resting on top.

Darrel operating

The next photo shows a good front view of the equipment. The operator here is Simon Watts who was in his first year at Oxford and still an SWL at the time. He got his licence as G3XXH later the same year. Simon is seen here operating the tuning control on my "ugly" receiver with the KW transmitter on the right.

Front view of rig

There is a good picture of Tony G3VBZ, operating the station on the OURS 1963 - 1971 page. In addition to sporting the only Scout Uniform in OURS, Tony had another wonderful asset. He was the only member of the society to own a car! This was invaluable for getting all the equipment up to Youlbury and back again after the event. I can remember it being jolly hard work by bicycle on the previous occasion. Here Tony is seen standing beside the magnificent vehicle.

Tony's car

We operated all through the night, though not everyone managed to stay awake! By the end of the session we could still believe we were hearing faint voices shouting "CQ Jamboree" even with the receiver turned off! Several of us experienced this phenomeon and thereafter in the society, it was known as the "Youlbury Effect".

The night shift!

Copyright © Alan Simpson 2001-2012 Back to the OURS Index Back to 1963-1971 Last Updated 2012-06-27