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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

N4KGL Outing for the RaDAR Rally On-The-Air Meetup

Today was the RaDAR Rally On-The-Air Meetup. This two hour event is a chance to make portable contacts but in particular meetup with other RaDAR operators. So where to operate? It is hard to resist a trip to Sandy Point in St. Andrews State Park near Panama City Florida. I always want to take advantage of the salt water effect for vertical antennas. The Google Earth view below shows a 43 degree angle toward the UK and a 110 degree angle toward South Africa. 

St Andrews State Park

So what to pack? Since I have been having fun with the N6BT Bravo 7K and I now had a second, Why not take both. Maybe I can try a parasitic array with the Bravos. It turns out they both slip nicely into the beach cart. I also packed the Alexloop for back up.

The beach cart had two Bravo 7Ks and the back pack had the KX3.

As I headed toward the beach I realized the the steady North wind made it refrigerator weather and I was dressed a bit light. But onward for a one kilometre walk to Sandy Point. Reaching the Point I deployed one Bravo 7K vertical for 20 Meters. I checked the local repeater and talked to Bob KK4DIV. He was deployed for the Meetup from a bayside park in Lynn Haven, Florida. I made a contact with Bob on 14.346 our first meetup frequency. I called CQ RaDAR and a RaDAR op came back. It was John VA3KOT and a after a few repeats we got our grids exchanged. Continuing, I got a call from RaDAR op Mike, AC4MV. I thought he was local as his signal was S9 but Mike was in West Virginia. Mike is a member of our local club and spends time in Panama City working on his boat.

The Bravo 7K setup for 20 meters near the surf.

Continuing two local hams gave me a call Bob WB4BLX from his home and Jim K4LIX from his mobile. After 40 minutes, it was time to go to 20 CW I did not hear RaDAR ops but did pick up Marty KB2HHW in Tennessee.
the beach cart makes into a table.

The first hour concluded and it was time to go to next band. I decided on 10 meters. I had thought about using the second Bravo as a parasitic array but with the time short and the weather being uncomfortable I reset the single Bravo to 10 meters. I also passed up on opportunity to move since I already had five contacts. You get double the QSO point from the second location in the RaDAR Rally.

This was not sunset but just a brief appearance of the Sun,

On 10 meters  I got a surprise call from a local Jim ND9M. Jim spends a good part of the year as VP9JM from Diego Garcia where he works. So am chatting away with Jim and I get a call from Eddie ZS6BNE in South Africa. He was weak but readable except for some QSB. He gave me a 519 and I gave him 529. Hey it was a please to work Eddie the originator of RaDAR. Maybe the saltwater was helpful. I was running 10 watts with the KX3. I did make use of our RaDAR spotter page. I got an error on the few tries. It did not like an extra space on my callsign.

Pelicans on the return trip. They get some handouts from the fishermen.

I appreciate the efforts of the other RaDAR ops I did not QSO with including Lucy M6ECG, Tom G0SWB, Don KK4QAM, and Pat NQ0N among others.

Greg N4KGL