Grant from WIA to Scout Radio Activities Group.
Last week I presented a cheque from the Wireless Institute Grants Scheme to the Scout Radio Activities Group in Adelaide. The grant was for construction of some portable Amateur Position Reporting System (APRS) units that can be used to track groups of people.
Trevor Quick - VK5ATQ
Scouts involved in the construction include Gerard Rankin, VK5ZQV, Peter Dodd VK5KDO, Sam Adcock VK5KSA, Dean Whitehorn VK5ZDW. Prototype units were on display showing the general construction, and demonstrating the operation of a position reporting device. Scouts conduct events including canoeing and trail walking.
These can be for the Duke of Edinburgh Award where there is a need to challenge the participants and to raise their stress level. This has an element of danger where persons may become lost on land or water. For example the wandering River Murray has many bends, high cliffs, and backwaters which stretch for miles. Then there are the reeds and small islands to create hiding spots. On land there is a history of hikers becoming lost, especially in places like the Flinders Ranges, resulting in numerous people called on to form search parties. One way to ensure no one suffers from these testing events is to have a GPS connected to a small radio transmitter and a receiver feeding a computer. The result is an accurate real time record of location of each team or canoe.
The comfort of knowing where persons are is great for confidence, saves organising search parties, and reduces suffering for the participants. The savings in search and rescue is enormous.
The APRS project will also introduce scouts to Amateur Radio as Amateurs conduct in these events. The WIA is proud to assist volunteer groups who are community minded and present Amateur Radio as a valuable past time. Who knows how many new Amateurs and members we will gain.
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