Day 3 of RadioWeek explored one of the biggest technological shifts in broadcast radio
GatesAir has helped a Swiss scout project to run an amateur radio station. Part of the 2022 Mova/BuLa Federal Scout Camp, which drew 30,000 boys and girls to an elaborate camping site in the Alps town of Goms, Valais, Switzerland, involved building and operating an amateur radio station. The project — Radio Sonar — used a low-power GatesAir Maxiva transmitter to broadcast live DAB+ radio coverage of Mova/BuLa events.
The BuLa Federal Scout Camp event happens only once every 14 years. Known as the “Bundeslager” or “BuLa” for short, the two-week event enables scouts to collaborate on challenging and engaging activities that help them build skills, make friends and broaden their horizons. The 2022 theme for BuLa was “Mova,” meaning “to move.” Specifically, the intention was to raise awareness about how everything around the scouts is in constant motion.
Located at the center of the tent camp in Goms, the Radio Sonar media center broadcast live 24/7 to the immediate surroundings — the upper valley of Canton Valais — with the coverage area estimated as a 30-minute drive in every direction. Throughout the broadcast day, the station delivered programming in the country’s three official languages: French, German and Italian. Listeners could also hear the broadcasts via the BuLa website or the downloadable Mova app.
This exceptional camping activity gave the participating scouts a true taste of what it takes to run a professional radio stationLance Eichenberger, RadioTrend AG
RadioTrend AG, a Swiss telecommunications company specializing in broadcast facility design, assembly and installation, designed and integrated the radio facility. A RadioTrend AG team of RF experts headed by Lance Eichenberger handled the installation and commissioning of the transmission system. RadioTrend AG chose two transmitters — the GatesAir Maxiva VAXT Ultra Compact DAB/DAB+ radio transmitter and a third-party FM transmitter to enable FM/DAB+ simulcasts. RadioTrend AG also provided the equipment for the participating boys and girls to build out a fully automated on-air studio as well as a test license for the station to broadcast temporarily over the air.
“This project brought inspiration to a national organization and the local communities that came together for a meaningful event, proving how global technology companies like GatesAir can make a positive impact on those that work and live outside of our industry,” said Alexander Kurz, sales director – DACH and CEE for GatesAir. “The broadcast industry has a responsibility to create and deliver news and entertainment to communities worldwide. We feel privileged to have played a pivotal role in this exciting amateur radio project designed to inspire and empower the young and perhaps even give birth to some of our next generation of RF experts.”
“This exceptional camping activity gave the participating scouts a true taste of what it takes to run a professional radio station,” added Eichenberger. “That includes unearthing and delivering live news and special reports showcasing key activities at the Swiss Federal Scout Camp.”