RaDAR March 28th 2015 with VE3FAL/PM

Temperatures this morning were still cool(-10c) when I got up but the sun was starting to shine nice through the tree’s.

March 28th sunrise

I was looking forward to the RaDAR event as well as the regular gathering of HFPack, HFNow and RaDAR gang that will congregate on or near 18157.5

I once again donned my favorite rig, the PRC-104, with the Chameleon Whip, a 10’7″ counterpoise and headed out around the property.

VE3FAL_PRC104_03282015Once on 17 meters the first I heard was Greg N4KGL who was QRP with the KX3, he was maybe a 2×2 but was unable to hear me call him. I called a number of times but no joy. I then heard my friend Budd W 3 Fast Freddie calling and he worked Greg, I then called as well and when Budd was clear with N4KGL he called me and we were able to have a 2 way 5×9 exchange on the band. Budd then asked if anyone else was hearing me and Warren KD4Z in GA. came back to me with a great report, so we exchanged reports and had a good qso, Warren then worked Tom G0SBW who was very weak to me, I asked Warren to pass along to Tom that I said hello and that he was just audible here.

I then came in the house for a minute and noted that Paul W0RW was portable with his Green Radio on 18.088, so I tuned the PRC-104 down to 18.088 and put the leg key on and worked Paul, we were both 599 reports so great signals on 17 meters.

After about an hour outside I was happy with the contacts I made and the propagation conditions as well as teh weather outside as I was able to operate with no gloves on again today.

So thanks to Budd, Warren, Paul and of course the RaDAR gang for being on the air and playing radio and going portable, thus the Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio group.

Next weekend, April 3rd and 4th (0000z-2359z) will be the 24 Hr. RaDAR event and I will be out portable for that one as well operating SSB,CW and digital modes.

RaDAR Information Below:

1. Aim
The RaDAR “Challenge” is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. This challenge is for all licensed radio amateurs not limited to South Africa. A RaDAR operator can take part in any of the three defined categories (see point 7) which may be changed at any time during the challenge. The
points system is so structured as to encourage portable RaDAR operations, especially moveable RaDAR stations. Moveable RaDAR stations rely on fixed and portable stations as a point of contact using channelised frequencies. “Search and pounce” techniques are also allowed.

2. Date and Time
From 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 4 April 2015 and from 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 7 November 2015 – 24 hours will give equal opportunity to the international community of RaDAR operators. RaDAR operators can define their own operating time schedule or remain active for the full 24 hours.

3. Bands and Modes
All amateur bands are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites.
Modes – CW, SSB, AM, FM or any legal digital mode. QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will NOT be allowed.

4. Suggested HF calling frequencies
See http://zs6bne.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/radar-calling-frequencies/ for the latest international list of frequencies. The WARC bands can be used considering this is a RaDAR Challenge and not a contest as such. It provides better opportunities for Ra-
DAR contacts during difficult propagation conditions.
Recommended digital modes frequencies – Refer to the South African Radio League Contest Manual, General Rule 15.

5. Exchange
The RaDAR challenge requires more than a minimalistic information exchange. Accurate information exchange is considered more important than a large QSO count.
Call sign, name, RS(T) report, QTH and grid locator. Note the grid locator can change as RaDAR operators are allowed to move position at any time. The grid locator of six characters is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 10 characters for higher
position accuracy. Smartphone applications are generally used to establish more than a 6-character grid locator. If working non-participating stations, call sign, name, RST and QTH is acceptable.

6. Scoring
1 point per QSO.
Individual QSOs – per mode, per band, per satellite, per call sign.
If the moving RaDAR station has moved the required distance (see point 7) contact can be made with a previously worked station, again.

7. Categories and multipliers
The following multipliers are applicable to determine the final score. If category/mode of transport changes were made during the challenge, than calculate accordingly.

X 1 – RaDAR Fixed station (At home or in another building)
X 2 – RaDAR Field station (Portable – away from home)
X 3 – Moving RaDAR station – See modes of transport below.

Modes of transport and required movement distances (moving RaDAR stations only)
Vehicles, motorcycles and motorboats etc. (Motorised transport) – 6 km
Bicycles – 2 km
On foot and paddle canoes – 1 km
Wheelchairs – 500 m
Aeronautical mobile stations are considered moving stations and can communicate at any convenient time.
Note: Moving RaDAR stations can move at any time but are required to move to the next destination after five contacts have been made from the present location. The move needs to cover the required distance before further contacts are allowed to be made. This requirement tests the ability to rapidly re-deploy your amateur radio field station.

9. Bonus points (All categories)
Five (5) points (The equivalent of five QSOs) for a minimum of one satellite or any digital modes QSO involving a computer, smartphone or digital modes device. (For clarity thereafter 1 point per Satellite / Digital modes QSO).
Five (5) points for the first successful same continent RaDAR to RaDAR QSO (As may be confirmed by the extensive information exchange.
Five (5) points for the first intercontinental (DX) QSO
Ten (10) points for the first successful inter continental (DX) RaDAR to RaDAR QSO (As may be confirmed by the extensive information exchange).

10. Log Sheets
Log sheets must be submitted by 14 April 2015 and 17 November 2015 and sent by e-mail to [email protected].

See https://zs6bne.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/11046905_10152762072212759_727315224761083499_n.jpg for a log sheet specifically designed for the 2015 RaDAR contest.
Note: A photo of the station (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry. A photo is required for each new location that moveable stations visit. These photos are used to promote amateur radio and the RaDAR concept showing where amateur radio can be used to communicate from and in the many different ways.





Have a great weekend one and all and a good week coming up.





The “Ice Man”


Fred Lesnick, VE3FAL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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