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.