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

Monday, July 9, 2018

N4KGL's Plans for the July 14th RaDAR Challenge.

The RaDAR Challenge comes with many choices to make involving the venue, the equipment, and the time of day. This July 14th, I plan to go minimalistic. I will use the Elecraft KX2 with an MFJ whip and drag wire counterpoise on the HF bands.



The venue will be unusual. I have chosen the Hathaway Bridge over St Andrews Bay in Panama City, FL. Its height above the salt water will be in the order of seventy-five feet. I expect altitude to be advantageous for my 10 watts with a limited antenna. I will also consider the adjacent Carl Gray Park as an additional stop. It is right on the bay. The salt water effect for vertical polarization has been helpful for my portable operating. I should get excellent low angle radiation at the shore or on the bridge.




I have had success operating pedestrian mobile with the KX2 at street level and next to the salt water. However, it takes some work and luck to score a contact. The KX2 is literally a handi-talkie for HF, I find the Alex-Mic by PY1AHD is useful. I use a KX2 paddle, but I tap it like a straight key. I will also have a VHF HT with me. Simplex FM contacts count as well.

The bridge has some constraints. You cannot stop on the bridge per the posted signs. Therefore, I must keep moving. Per the RaDAR rules, you must move at least one kilometer after five contacts if on foot. However, you also can move while you make the required five contacts, The bridge is not the place to be if a thunderstorm is coming through. That was the case this Saturday and I canceled a practice walk across the bridge I wanted to make.



The toughest part of RaDAR on foot in July here in Florida is the temperature and humidity. Therefore, I better start early in the day. A satellite pass opportunity may influence my timing. The first satellite contact is a bonus. I doubt that I try to operate sats from the top of the bridge. I hope to make some RaDAR to RaDAR contacts. Let me know if you will be operating RaDAR.

The planning is a big part of the RaDAR Challenge. It is a chance to be creative. Also, weather and other factors may require a plan B. If you try RaDAR have fun making plans and good luck on the event. Be safe!

73,

Greg N4KGL

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Get Ready for the July 14th, 2018 RaDAR Challenge

RaDAR Is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio


RaDAR Challenge Rules from http://radarops.co.za/index.php/radar-rules/

1. Aim
The RaDAR “Challenge” is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. Categories (Fixed / Field / Moving) 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.
RaDAR operators are encouraged to be self-sufficient during each challenge, with not only power supply and communications equipment but food, water, protective clothing and shelter.
2. Date and Time
RaDAR operators define their own operating time schedule. It’s up to each individual to plan his / her MAXIMUM, SINGLE PERIOD, FOUR HOUR ops. He / she should consider propagation with the ultimate goal of inter-continental RaDAR to RaDAR communications in mind.
00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 7 April 2018, Saturday 14 July 2018 and on Saturday 3 November 2018. Twenty four hours will give equal opportunity to the international community of RaDAR operators.
3. Bands and Modes
All amateur bands are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites. Modes – CW, SSB, FM or any legal amateur radio digital mode. As from 2018 the WARC bands will be excluded even though the RaDAR Challenge is not a “contest” as such.
QSOs via terrestrial FM repeaters should preferably not be used for the purpose of the challenge.
4. Suggested HF calling frequencies
See https://zs6bne.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/radar-calling-frequencies/ for the RaDAR Calling channels, the latest suggested international list of calling frequencies
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 and grid locator. The grid locator of six characters is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 8 or 10 characters for higher position accuracy (especially for moving RaDAR stations).
6. Scoring (For determining your own success rate)
1 point per QSO. Individual QSOs could be per mode, per band, per satellite, per grid location. If the moving RaDAR station has moved the required distance contact can be made with a previously worked station, again. Suggestions have been made to call CQ including grid location, for example CQ RaDAR from grid KG34acXXyy, to help callers determine whether it is possible for a new contact with a previously worked moving RaDAR station
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 (in a building away from home)
X 2 – RaDAR Field station (camping)
X 3 – Moving RaDAR station – see modes of transport below.
8. Moving RaDAR stations
Modes of transport and required movement distances (moving RaDAR stations only)
Vehicles, motorcycles and motorboats (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 (Changes for 2018) : Moving RaDAR stations need to make five QSO’s before moving to the next deployment point, thereafter they are required to move to their next destination. The move needs to cover the required distance before further contacts can be made. This requirement tests the ability to rapidly and successfully re-deploy your amateur radio station. If it be gentlemanly to make further QSOs before moving then please feel free to do so but the QSOs in excess of five per deployment point can not be counted for points.
9. Bonus points (All categories)
Five (5) points for a minimum of one satellite OR digital modes QSO involving a computer, smart phone 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.
Five (5) points for the first intercontinental (DX) QSO
Ten (10) points for the first successful inter-continental (DX) RaDAR to RaDAR QSO.
10. Log Sheets
Log sheets must be submitted by 14 April 2018, 28 July 2018 and 10 November 2018 and sent by e-mail to edleighton@gmail.com Note: A photo of the station should accompany every log entry including each new location that moveable RaDAR stations visit. The results and photos are used to promote RaDAR and amateur radio.
Please visit http://radarops.co.za/ zs6bne.wordpress.com and Google+ RaDAR Community for more info about RaDAR.


I encourage all hams to participate  Let us know your plans and results. Good luck and be safe!

Greg N4KGL
www.N4KGL.info