I have been doing Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio for a decade now. Thanks to Eddie ZS6BNE for coming up with the concept. It is portable amateur radio on steroids. I have introduced RaDAR Rally. This is just some fine-tuning of Eddie's RaDAR Challenge Rules. The RaDAR Rally is the first Saturday of April and November, but I revised the rules to allow the following Sunday as an alternative date.
|This waterfall is the Falling Waters' namesake.
On Sunday, April 2nd, Chris VA3ECO and I did the RaDAR Rally. Chris was in Ontario. I chose Falling Waters State Park in Northwest Florida. Choosing a park on the POTA list is very helpful for RaDAR. Falling Waters State Park is reference K-1864.
RaDAR Rally allows all bands and modes, including a digital mode FT-8. Chris and I tried out FT-8 at our first deployment at 10 am. We found each other right away. We used a trick Chris discovered using the TX-5 message to exchange an eight-digit grid square for making it a RaDAR to RaDAR contact.
|Suzy is always game for RaDAR.
My basset hound Suzy has been my companion on most of my RaDAR adventures. She loves to take to a trail on the transitions. She likes even more to meet and greet the parkgoers. After five contacts, we move to the next deployment. On foot, the required distance is one kilometer. This time I did four deployments and three transitions.
|The HamPack packs up the Icom 705, Alexloop, and a laptop.
I have used my Icom 705 and the Alexloop for my portable operations lately. All the gear fits into the HamPack backpack Alex PY1AHD bundles with the latest Alexloop. The magnetic loop deploys fast and can quickly change bands as needed. This time, all my contacts were in the 20 meters band.
|This Alexloop is my go-to antenna for RaDAR and POTA.
I used three different modes FT-8, SSB, and CW. I am a novice on FT-8, and the 20-meter band was congested. I spent over an hour making my five contacts. I had better luck at other times. At a second stop, I jumped on 20 meters SSB. I did hunt and pounce between POTA and Missouri QSO party stations. I had one reply to my CQ. I got five in ten minutes. At a third stop, I spotted myself on the POTA app; I had five contacts in six minutes. In the RaDAR Rally, you are working against the four-hour clock. After the third walk, I had a short time left. I got the last contact on SSB at the last minute. Even one contact at the last stop helps your score.
Contacts are one point except RaDAR to RaDAR which are three. Stop one was seven points with the RaDAR to RaDAR with Chris. Stop two was five, stop three was five, and stop four was one for eighteen total.. I did a total of four stops which is a multiplier. Therefore the score was seventy-two. I was surprised to learn Chris had the same score as I did.
|Chris VA3ECO does RaDAR Rally in Ontario
Suzy and I went home thinking what a great day we had at the park. Par for the course, as they say.