Saturday, December 26, 2015

RaDAR Roving at Conservation Park

I changed my original plan to visit Topsail State Park and decided to make a first visit to Conservation Park near Panama City Beach, Florida. Conservation Park has a extensive network of unpaved trails. They make for easy passage and are popular with bike riders. The scenery is mostly pine trees and low brush. I did encounter some small ponds.

This was an opportunity to take Suzy for the walk and use the dog stroller for the gear. The dog stroller can handle quite a load and the top makes for a table. The Alexloop was my only antenna. The loop was on a short piece of pvc conduit above the stroller. My nick name for this affair is the RaDAR Rover. I had the Icom 7100 inside the rover with a battery. I also had a new yaesu FTM-100DR radio that I put on the top of the stroller. I had a two meter ground plane for that radio. It just turns out the RaDAR Rover is very convenient to traverse the trails. There is no setup of antennas at stops. I made a couple of SSB contacts while in motion.

I made contact with Les W8YCM/6Y5 in Jamaica at the trail head on 18.157.5. Then we treked to a convenient spot with a bench. There I did have five contacts. First was Bob WB4BLX in Panama City on 10.113 CW. That was followed by WD8MHT Raul in North Carolina on 10.115 CW. Next I was called by Kelly K4UPG/P in Sanford Florida. That was great, I know Kelly and gave him a heads up I would be on 30 meters. Then on 17 meters SSB I worked 6Y9/100IARU and K9BHP in Chicago. Well that was my five contacts and time to hit the trail.

We made a big loop that returned us to the stop with the bench. On that trail I stopped for one QSO with Chris WD1W in Vermont. He was quite impressed I was using a dog stroller. At the stop I worked Gary KB1WY on 17 SSB. At that point I got a call that my wife needed me. I started out for the trailhead. Along the way and in Motion I had another QSO with Les W8YCM/6Y5. He put 6Y5CN on the mic for another contact. To put a cap on this I heard Budd W3FF tricycle mobile in California. He could hear me somewhat but I had no problem copying him.

Now a new twist on this outing. I used the Koomot app for the first time. I heard about it from RaDAR friend Pat Hopkins. It can record the path or "tour" on a map and show photos where they are taken. This is a interesting way to document a RaDAR outing. Try the link

Also, I have to say Suzy our one year old basset is a natural at RaDAR. She loves heading out on the trail. We put in almost four miles today. She is now taking a well deserved nap.