Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Mile RaDAR Packup

During October, I experimented with end fed antennas supported by 31 ft poles. I even acquired a cart to carry the poles and spikes. I was betting on the performance of larger signature antennas to make up for their weight and bulk. In RaDAR the focus on setup, make five contacts and move at least 1 kilometer will lead you to think hard about just how large a pack-up and antenna setup to use. In the November 2nd RaDAR contest I did use the 31 foot poles but I paid a price pulling my cart through the loose sand at St Andrews State park. With a four hour time constraint of the contest, you want to minimize the time between locations.

My first outing since the RaDAR contest was by foot to a walking park one mile from my home QTH. So I reverted to my smaller pack-up based on the Alexloop that fits in my backpack and the tripod also attaches to the backpack. I included some luxuries including a light table and hunter's chair. I also could not resist taking a fiberglass pole just in case. (did not need it) There could be lighter packups but this is light enough for a one mile trip.

I deployed the Alexloop at the park location EM70DF90RB. My 1st QSO was 45 min long with Al W0ERE in MO on 18.125. Then I worked KD2JC in NJ on 21.050 and 14.052. This was followed by XE3ARV on 10.108. Now the real test of the Alexloop is 40 meters. I got a 599 from KC4HCH near Mobile AL on 7.050. To top it off I met up with a RaDAR op Pat N5VMO in TX also on 7.050.

The performance of the Alexloop would be hard to beat on four bands including 40 meters for such a small setup. The time to make the contacts seems to be more a function of opportunity than the antenna itself. It may be that when the solar cycle declines that it will be a different game. It seems that most of the creatures in the animal kingdom depend on speed and simply carry themselves.. This is not a bad lesson for RaDAR ops. So consider this carefully for your pack-up and antennas. Less is often better despite the lure to take more.

Melissa KK4SYL and Marv KK4DKT came by for a visit.