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

Sunday, October 5, 2014

RaDAR & Rockets in Southeast Alabama

The RaDAR Community On-The-Air Meetup coincided with the Southeast Alabama Rocketry Society Launch on Saturday October 4th in Samson, Alabama.  I have to be on my game to participate both events. RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio.

I used my Icom 7100 and the Bravo 7K vertical for the two hour meetup. I had a RaDAR to RaDAR QSO with Don KK4QAM on 40 meters SSB. It was S2 on both sides.  I could hear John VA3KOT on 40 meters. It was better on 20 meters CW and we claimed a RaDAR to RaDAR contact. I copied his grid as EN93XX66, I also worked Jason N4JTC in Panama City, FL on 40 meters SSB. Jason was about S4. He copied me well at first but there was some QSB. I did not have big expectations with the Bravo 7K on 40 meters. So it was a surprise I got through to Panama City 85 miles away on a non NVIS antenna. I had a few other contacts including AE7AP operating SOTA at W7M/CL114. My best report was a 589 from W0CMLon 20 CW.

N6BT Bravo 7K on the rocket launch field

The Icom 7100 is a fixed portable rig for RaDAR.
It was a pleasant surprise when Bob WB8PAF from Panama City arrived at the launch site. He brought a brand new FT 817. It is nice to have another Panama City ham doing portable ops. Bob pulled off a good one when he put his MFJ portable antenna  (see photo) out on the dirt. He worked California on 10 meters CW with the short whip on the box. He says he has done pretty well with the box in his early ham days running 100 watts. I launched one of my more unusual rockets for Bob, It was a 18 inch diameter saucer. Bob caught the launch on his cell phone camera. See below.

Bob WB8PAF operating his FT 817

Bob's MFJ portable antenna.

The 18 inch saucer launch on a J sparky motor
I spent Saturday night in Dothan with my parents. Sunday afternoon I invited Tom WD0HBR over. I We did test drive of the X1M rig Marv KK4DKT has for sale. We used the Bravo 7K vertical on the driveway.  It was tough going initially on 20 CW but switched to 20 SSB and worked New Jersey and Canada. Then we went back to 20 CW and worked Massachusetts.

Tom WB0HBR and my Dad.

The X1M QRP rig
So it was nice to spend time outdoors with my rocket and ham friends. The weather was awesome in Southeast Alabama this weekend.