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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Planning for the November 5th RaDAR Challenge

The upcoming RaDAR Challenge is November 5th 2016 UTC. My plans are to operate at the Santa Rosa Day Use Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. I will have an azimuthal path over salt water to just about all locations including the US, South Africa and the UK. I can use a vertical antenna to take advantage of the low angle propagation. I will be on foot making five contacts and moving at least one kilometer before making more contacts. I could go with the KX2 and a whip or a plethora of other possibilities. I may get some help from NPOTA chasers. This site is SS08 for National parks On The Air. I will need to pick a four hour window to operate per the RaDAR Challenge rules.

I am hoping for some RaDAR to RaDAR QSOs especially DX. I may do a satellite pass and also PSK 31 for bonus points. I appreciate all contacts to help me work five and move. Thanks to Eddie ZS6BNE for the Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio concept. Please visit and for more info about RaDAR.

You are also encouraged to enter your RaDAR Op Plan at

Greg N4KGL

Get Ready for the November 5th 2016 RaDAR Challenge

RaDAR Is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio

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 5 November 2016. 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 12 April 2016  and sent by e-mail to

See for a log sheet specifically designed for the 2016 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 and for more info about RaDAR.

You are also encouraged to enter your RaDAR Op Plan at

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

Greg N4KGL

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kansas and Oklahoma Operations

On a family trip last week, I was able to work in some ham radio. I activated the Santa Fe Trail TR11 for National Parks On the Air on October 18th. This was my first try at operating from he center of the USA. I had 25 contacts. The cool thing was I worked my friends Bob WB4BLX and Vic K4GXV in Panama City, Florida and Tom WD0HBR in Dothan, Alabama. I used the KX2 at 10 watts and the Bravo 7K vertical. The Santa Fe Trail site was three miles East of Baldwin City, Kansas. The site still has wagon ruts there from the eighteen hundreds.

On October 19th I was able to work Bob KK4DIV from Lawrence Kansas via the SO-50 Satellite. Bob was in Lynn Haven, Florida. Last, I made a couple of contacts pedestrian mobile on 20 meters with the KX2 and the whip antenna from my Aunt's backyard in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They came pretty easy. The weather was mostly sunny the whole trip and I got some good visiting in with the relatives out there. Suzy enjoyed the prairie!

Greg N4KGL

Monday, October 10, 2016

October Second Saturday Sprint with the KX2 Pedestrian Mobile

The Second Saturday Sprints (SSS) run May through October. They are sponsored by the QRP Field Operators Google+ Community. I have enjoyed each one this year. They are 2 to 4 PM your local time. Of course, you get the most credit to work other QFO ops but you may or may not find them. There are no worries. The SSS gives credit for working other events and even casual contacts. This is the same strategy I use for Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR). You are looking for other RaDAR ops but you will take anything you can find to get five contacts and then move to the next location. By the way the next RaDAR Challenge in November 5th.

The view of the bay from Kinsaul Park
I have been having lots of fun using the Elecraft KX2 with the MFJ loaded whips for 20 and 40 meters. The whips are around four feet long. I use a 13 foot counterpoise wire dragging on the ground. Expectations would be low for such an antenna but you may be surprised. I used this arrangement for the October SSS at Kinsaul Park in Lynn Haven, Florida. I got 4 contacts on 20 meters CW and six on 20 meters SSB. I was running 10 watts. This was over the course of an hour and a half. I was free to move holding the KX2 in my hand. I gave Suzy a walk or did she walk me? I also sat on a park bench for a few of the contacts.  It helped that the SKCC Weekend Sprint, a FISTS Sprint and the Pennsylvania QSO Party were concurrent with the SSS.  Thanks to a local, Phil N4STC, for one of the 20 meter SSB contacts. I also worked Don KK4DWC and Ron KK4DWE via 2 meter FM simplex.

The KX2 with the MFJ loaded whip

It will be a while before the SSS start again in May of next year. Jim K0RGI says he will advertise it more widely. His infrastructure for collecting the scores is nicely done. I do have the November and April RaDAR Challenges coming up. I may just go pedestrian mobile for the November Challenge. The KX2 and the whip antenna are certainly minimal gear to carry.