GatesAir DAB Transmitter Supports Radio Sonar Project for Swiss Scouts Camp

  • 15 December, 2022


USA: GatesAir, a Thomson Broadcast subsidiary dedicated to wireless content delivery, closes out its 100th anniversary celebration with a story that accentuates how the company’s professional broadcast transmission equipment can make a positive impact in our communities. Heading into the holiday season, GatesAir is proud to share how 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, provided the attending youth with an opportunity to manage and operate an amateur radio station. The boys and girls involved in bringing RADIO SONAR to life 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 horizons. The 2022 theme for BuLa was “Mova,” meaning “to move.” Specifically, the intention was to raise awareness about how everything around us 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 main valley of Canton Valais (Kanton Wallis) - with the coverage area estimated as 30-minute drive in every direction. Throughout the broadcast day, the programming was delivered in the country’s three official languages of Switzerland: French, German, and Italian. Listeners could also hear the broadcasts via the BuLa’s website or the downloadable Mova app.

Lance Eichenberger, RadioTrend with Swiss Scout on tower build.

The radio facility was designed and integrated by RadioTrend AG, a Swiss telecommunications company that specializes in broadcast facility design, assembly, and installation. A RadioTrend AG team of RF experts headed by Lance Eichenberger handled installation and commissioning of the transmission system. RadioTrend AG chose two transmitters, including a GatesAir Maxiva VAXT Ultra Compact DAB/DAB+ radio transmitter and a third-party FM transmitter to enable FM/DAB+ simulcasts. RadioTrend AG also provided a test license that enabled the station to broadcast temporarily over the air, and equipment that allowed participating boys and girls to build out a fully automated on-air studio.

“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 to those that work and live outside of our industry,” said Alexander Kurz, Sales Director - DACH & CEE, 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 that showcased key activities taking place at the Swiss Federal Scout Camp.”

Switzerland’s 2022 Mova/BuLa Federal Scout camp was an impressive undertaking that required two years of planning as well as two months of field preparation, and the support of over 5,000 rangers and other support volunteers. While the camp was a temporary installation, it became a fully functioning small town, including cooking, medical, and transportation services while the scouts and support staff were onsite.

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GatesAir DAB Transmitter Supports Radio Sonar Project for Swiss Scouts Camp