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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

N4KGL's Journey for the RaDAR Challenge on April 4th

I have decided my journey for the April 4th RaDAR Challenge will be through St Andrews State Park near Panama City, Florida. I will arrive at 8 AM and will have until sundown to make the most of it. There are two piers, a gazebo at the jetties and best of all Sandy Point. I could trek on the sand between stops or I could chose an internal road. I know the Alexloop will be the lightest pack-up or I could bring a vertical. I'll be taking advantage of the salt water effect to the max and will be looking for local, US and DX RaDAR contacts.The weather forecast is for warm temps and gusty breezes.  I included some photos of past trips to St Andrews below. Click here for more info on RaDAR challenge and define your own journey!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

April 4th 2015 RaDAR Challenge: Define your Journey!

1. Aim
The RaDAR “Challenge” is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. This challenge is for all licensed radio amateurs not limited to South Africa. A RaDAR operator can take part in any of the three defined categories (see point 7) which 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. Moveable RaDAR stations rely on fixed and portable stations as a point of contact using channelised frequencies. “Search and pounce” techniques are also allowed.

2. Date and Time
From 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 4 April 2015 and from 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on Saturday 7 November 2015 - 24 hours will give equal opportunity to the international community of RaDAR operators. RaDAR operators can define their own operating time schedule or remain active for the full 24 hours.

3. Bands and Modes
All amateur bands are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites.
Modes – CW, SSB, AM, FM or any legal digital mode. QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will NOT be allowed.

4. Suggested HF calling frequencies
See for the latest international list of frequencies. The WARC bands can be used considering this is a RaDAR Challenge and not a contest as such. It provides better opportunities for RaDAR contacts during difficult propagation conditions. Recommended digital modes frequencies – Refer to the South African Radio League Contest Manual, General Rule 15.

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, QTH and grid locator. Note the grid locator can change as RaDAR operators are allowed to move position at any time. The grid locator of six characters is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 10 characters for higher
position accuracy. Smartphone applications are generally used to establish more than a 6-character grid locator. If working non-participating stations, call sign, name, RST and QTH is acceptable.

6. Scoring
1 point per QSO.
Individual QSOs – per mode, per band, per satellite, per call sign.
If the moving RaDAR station has moved the required distance (see point 7) contact can be made with a previously worked station, again.

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 (At home or in another building)
X 2 – RaDAR Field station (Portable – away from home)
X 3 – Moving RaDAR station – See modes of transport below.

Modes of transport and required movement distances (moving RaDAR stations only)
Vehicles, motorcycles and motorboats etc. (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: Moving RaDAR stations can move at any time but are required to move to the next destination after five contacts have been made from the present location. The move needs to cover the required distance before further contacts are allowed to be made. This requirement tests the ability to rapidly re-deploy your amateur radio field station.

9. Bonus points (All categories)
Five (5) points (The equivalent of five QSOs) for a minimum of one satellite or any digital modes QSO involving a computer, smartphone 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 (As may be confirmed by the extensive information exchange.
Five (5) points for the first intercontinental (DX) QSO
Ten (10) points for the first successful inter continental (DX) RaDAR to RaDAR QSO (As may be confirmed by the extensive information exchange).

10. Log Sheets
Log sheets must be submitted by 14 April 2015 and 17 November 2015 and sent by e-mail to

See for a log sheet specifically designed for the 2015 RaDAR contest.
Note: A photo of the station (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry. A photo is required for each new location that moveable stations visit. These photos are used to promote amateur radio and the RaDAR concept showing where amateur radio can be used to communicate from and in the many different ways.

The above is an excerpt from from

Visit zs6bne.wordpress.comand more info about RaDAR.

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

Greg N4KGL

Saturday, March 7, 2015

RaDAR Challenge: Have it Your Way!

The previous Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR) Contests were four hour events on the first Saturday of April and November. The contests were a specific four hour time slot which worked for me and I did enjoy working against the clock. However, for operators all around the globe a specific time slot does not work. Eddie ZS6BNE has evolved the RaDAR contest into the RaDAR Challenge which will be a 24 hour event on the same days. That will to give us the maximum flexibility to schedule our operations. Likewise RaDAR is about motion. Make five contacts and move! How you move is up to you. I will let the graphics below tell the story. Funny, I had thought about doing RaDAR ops for Field Day. Moving during Field day is non-traditional but not precluded by the rules. Now with the RaDAR Challenge being 24 hours I can have a Field day RaDAR style in April. I really would like to hit all my favorite spots in one day. Of course now the challenge is getting April 4th set aside.

If this idea appeals to you visit Eddie's Blog and the Google+ RaDAR Community.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Follow up on the QSO Today Podcast

In the podcast for QSO Today with Eric Guth I could not remember my "Elmer" Doug Snellgrove of Dothan's call from my Novice days in the late 60s. My Dad worked with Doug at the Post Office and my Dad went to Doug to get me started in ham radio. Doug gave me the Novice test and loaned me a HT-6 transmitter for my Novice station. My novice call was WN4JFW. When Forrest WB4SVX back then and now N4FRQ living in Mobile Alabama, heard the podcast he noted that Doug's call was K4DR. A google search brought up his QSL on a site of antique QSLs. Further searches came up with the info below.  Doug's other hobby was photography. I note there is a Doug Snellgrove Memorial B&W Photography Award given each year at the Dothan Peanut Festival.

Apr. 4, 1919
Geneva County
Alabama, USA
Sep. 7, 1990
Alabama, USA

Married to Cathlene Napier.
Son Stephen Dennis, daughter Jennifer.
Parents Thomas Abraham Snellgrove and Eula Stokes.

Information from the Wiregrass Archives in Dothan: (submited by Rachel Dobson)Joseph Douglas "Doug" Snellgrove was a semi-professional photographer who created a visual record of SE Alabama and SW Georgia in the 1960's through 1980's. He was particularly interested in color photography of flowers and black-and-white photography of rural lifeways. He made many photographs of rural tourist attractions, such as Westville in Georgia and Landmark Park near Dothan. Mr.Snellgrove was a World War II Army veteran, and worked for the US Postal Service from 1958 until his retirement in 1978. Born in Chancellor, Alabama, Snellgrove was a lifelong resident of Dothan, alabama, and a member of the Cloverdale United Methodist Church.
The "D. Snellgrove Collection" of his photographs is in the Wiregrass Archives at Troy University, Dothan Campus.