I took the morning on Saturday April 5th to take part in the RaDAR Contest. RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio which of course endorses and promotes activities on the go and quick set up of active amateur stations.
The contest was a 4 hour time block and had various categories. I chose to do the portable QRP option taking my radio and antennas and snowshoes to get to where I wanted to be. The time frame for this RaDAR Contest was from 1400-1800z, so I left the house it was -12c. Grabbed my gear and put my snowshoes on and hiked to my spot to attempt to make my first 5 qsos before I would have to pack up, walk another km and then set up again and make 5 more contacts before doing it again. Well as the Propagation Gods would have it the bands were not great and there were a few other QSO Parties and contests on as well with Europe and Polish Stations quite loud on 15 and 10 meters. I was running a VX-1210 at 5 watts with a Chameleon Whip antenna. Exchange was call, Name Report and Grid Locator with other operators to gain points.
I worked Phil N1EP in Maine on 15 meters with a great report both ways, I then called CQ a number of times while listening to the Blue Jays and Whiskey Jacks singing while the heat of the sun slowly got warmer and warmer, remember I started at 10am local time..a slight breeze was about but the sun was great, as it has been a long winter. I then moved to 10 meters and heard a station calling CQ, it was Alex UR0EV from Ukraine, he heard me at 5 watts and we exchanged reports, Alex was a 579 and he gave me a 559, great report for a 10’ mil whip and 5 watts. That was all I was able to work as the snow was getting soft now by noon and I had to snowshoe back and the snow was sticking to the bottom quite well making them heavy. If you went off the trail the snow is still waist high and not easy to get out of..
The following pictures show the trail I was on, my setup of the VX-1210 and Chameleon mil whip all sitting on my snowshoes. All I know is it has been a long winter and we are not out of it yet, cabin fever is setting in big time for everyone up this way and spring cant arrive soon enough, let alone summer..I too needed to get out and operate portable again to keep things moving.