Mills on the year (MOTA) is an amateur radio activity that is performed by amateur radio hobbyist all over the world. During this activity, hams visit ancient mills, including water mills and windmills while taking them on the air. It is an interesting activity that is basically not done to win an award or a certificate, but as a hobby and a spirit to explore the ancient buildings that are hard to find in today’s smart world. Participating in MOTA also makes you win certificates, but there are certain conditions to claim the certificate. We will see those conditions later in this article.
The world is developing with a furious speed while leaving behind the ancient buildings and procedures that people still love to explore and understand how those buildings were developed with limited technology. One such example of the most admirable buildings is mills. These mills include Windmills and Water mills. Whereas many of these mills have turned into to ruins, some of these mills are still serving the people around them.
Participating in MOTA is an awesome way to spend some quality time being a ham. It helps gain experience because getting signals in such areas is not easy, and you have to be on the air using the weak signals, may be, bad weather condition too.
Hams participate in Mills on the Air (MOTA) activity to explore these ancient buildings as a hobby. They visit the buildings to find out something interesting about the mill, about the functioning of the mill, about the development of the mill, and several other types of details. Many hams capture pictures of these buildings.
Hams not only visits these mills but also take them on the air. The purpose of being on the air from a mill is to spread the word about that mill. It has been noticed that even the younger generation living a few kilometres from the mill is not aware of any such ancient building that was built by their ancestors. Hams also share the photographs and invite other hams to participate in the activity, share details of their visits, and keep the people around them informed about such beautiful, ancient mills.
Whereas MOTA is interesting, there are some rules that must be followed to participate in this contest and claim a certificate. Every year in the month of May, Denby Dale Amateur Radio Club arranges the event. The main aim it to spread the awareness about the ancient mills and protect them. As it is not a contest, there are no such rules; however, you should follow some guidelines. You should visit the building with the prior permission for being on the air on an amateur station. You must not pollute the mill. You must ensure that you have the permission to take pictures of the mills. And, when you share those pictures, you should have the copyright to share those images. Additionally, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not damage any part of the mill.
Mills on the Air is not a contest; hence, there is no award provided to the participants, as nobody here is a winner. Everyone who participates in the event is a hobbyist who understands his/her responsibility to protect our heritage and wants to spread a word about it. Though, there is no award provided, the participants can claim a certificate. To claim the certificate, a ham has to ensure that he/she has been on the air for 10 or more mills. A proof for the same should be provided, like QSL card. Moreover, to claim the certificate, there is a flat fee of £5.00. The certificate will be issued in the PDF format, which can be downloaded and also printed.
The fee you will pay for the certificate will be donated to SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings). This society takes the responsibility of protecting our heritage and also makes the people aware of the ancient buildings. You can check the fee as a cheque.
You should have all the necessary equipment that is must for you to go on the air from the mill. It includes a transceiver, an antenna, and a radio wave scanner. If you also want to capture photos of the mill, you should also carry a camera.