SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, May 26, 2013

RADAR Fun May 25th 2013

An opportunity came about as my wife was scheduled to work Saturday in Apalachicola FL which is about 65 miles from Panama City. I volunteered to drive and therefore I had the day to spend in the area. A few miles further is St. George Island which has the state park and the lighthouse. So this was a made to order opportunity for RADAR Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio. RADAR is an on-going program see the details here.

I set up in one of those covered picnic areas by the beach with the KX3 and the Alexloop on the table. My initial mindset was to avoid the WPX CW contest.  I managed a QSO with KA9ZAP in TN on 30 meters. Now sometimes you get those picnic areas to yourself but this was a beautiful Saturday and there was a flood of beach-goers coming in. So I picked a sort of no mans area out in the parking lot and set up my 44 foot doublet. Even though there was activity on 30, I was not getting out so good. I shifted to 17 meters and hooked up with KK4IP. KK4IP is a disabled vet and was at Omaha Beach. I thanked him for his service. We had about a 30 minute QSO. I was trying to finish out five contacts at the park and gave in to the WPX. I snagged two 40 meters stations pretty easy which was surprising on the 44 foot doublet.

Time for lunch. I headed out to the Subway near the lighthouse. The lighthouse and its beach access was hosting a crowd also. I found a bench that was covered and I set up the Alexloop. I had a number of inquiries from visitors about what I was doing. They seemed impressed. In fact, a lighthouse volunteer spoke to me. He remembered the Atlanta folks activating the lighthouse a while back. He took a picture of my setup for their newsletter. Most of my contacts there were WPX on 20 CW and one was DQ4W from Germany.

It was time to head back across the bridge to Apalachicola. I did have time for another stop at a park. The one I picked had some nice shade. Most of my contacts had said I was on the weak side. But I got a solid 579 report with the Alexloop on 30 meters from Allan W4MQC on Pine Island FL. Allan and I have has a few previous QSOs. We had a 35 minute ragchew this time. Allan is wrapping things up at his summer home and is headed to New Hampshire.

I must say RADAR inspired me to have three portable outings in one day. This qualifies as the mobile category multiplier.since the locations were more than three miles apart and I made at least five contacts at the first two. The RADAR program is a good way to exercise your portable operating skills and equipment. See this link for the rules. In addition there is a Google+ Community: Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio (RaDAR) for sharing your RaDAR operations at this link You don't have to join the community to participate in RaDAR. The RaDAR program is administered by Markus KD0JKM. The RaDAR rule structure is close to that formulated by the founder of the RaDAR contest idea: Eddie ZS6BNE.