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

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

N4KGL RaDAR Challenge Report April 2019.

The first RaDAR Challenge this year was April 6th. For RaDAR, Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio, you make five contacts and move a prescribed distance to the next location. This is repeated as many times as possible during a four hour period. This year to try something new, Dennis and I used mountain bikes to move between locations. I had not been bike riding in many years. I rented a couple of mountain bikes for the challenge.We chose Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in part because it has nice paved trails around the park.

Our first location at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

I chose the Elecraft KX2 and the Alexloop magnetic loop to keep it light and minimize setup time. All the gear fit in our backpacks for the bike ride.I generally have good contacts with the Alexloop even on 40 meters. However, dismal band conditions made it a struggle to make the five contacts.

 At the first location I tried a AO-92 FM sat pass to no avail. This is not uncommon due to the congestion on the weekend passes. On HF, we picked up three Missouri stations, one on 20 CW and two on 40 CW. Fortunately, Glenn KD2JA was in the same park working the Florida State Parks On The Air Contest and gave us a local contact on 40 and 2 meters to finish out the five. Then, we did the two kilometer bike transition to the next location in the park. The bands were still poor. We got one QRP contact on 20 meters to Tennessee and two more contacts with Glenn KD2JA in the park. Our four hours ran out before we got five contacts. This is the first time we did not do at least three locations in the challenge  That's the way it goes.

To make the best of the day, Dennis and I took a ride after the challenge and went on an dirt trail. That was fun. Perhaps we will incorporate bikes in our RaDAR routine more often.

Click the image above for a panoramic view of the lake taken by Dennis.