RaDAR Contest – Rule changes for 2013

1. Aim

The RaDAR contest is an event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio  stations. This contest is for all licensed radio amateurs. A choice is made prior to the contest to participate in one of the defined categories. The points system is so structured as to encourage portable operation especially moveable stations.

2. Date and Time

First Saturday of April and first Saturday of November starting at 14:00 UTC and ending at 18:00 UTC (16:00 SAST to 20:00 SAST (4 hours = Approximately 2 during the day and 2 at night)

3. Bands and Modes

All amateur bands, besides the WARC bands, are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites.

QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will NOT be allowed.

Modes – CW, SSB, AM, FM or any digital mode.

4. Suggested HF Calling frequencies

Band CW Phone
160m 1836 kHz 1845 kHz
80m 3560 kHz 3690 kHz
40m 7030 kHz 7090 kHz
20m 14080 kHz 14240 kHz
15m 21080 kHz 21350 kHz
10m 28060 kHz 28360 kHz


5. Recommended digital modes frequencies

Refer to the SARL contest manual (GR 16)

6. Exchange

Call sign, Name, Report (RST), 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 6 digits is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 10 digits. If the grid locator is not known, then some other information that could describe the location, e.g. Mabula Lodge, 40 km west of Warmbaths

7. Scoring

1 point per QSO

1 QSO per mode, per band / satellite, per call sign.

8. Categories and multipliers

The following multipliers are applicable to determine the final score.

Category multiplier:

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, Car / Motorcycle / Bicycle – Minimum 5km

X 4 – Moving RaDAR station, on foot – Minimum 1km

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.

Power multiplier:

The power multiplier that applies is determined by the highest power output of any of the transmitters used during the contest.

5 watts or less the power multiplier is 6.

6 to 50 Watts, the power multiplier is 4.

51 watts or greater, the power multiplier is 2.

9. Bonus points  (All categories)

5 Points (Equivalent to five QSOs) for a minimum of one satellite or any digital mode QSO involving a computer. (For clarity: Thereafter 1 point per Satellite / Digital modes QSO)

10. Log Sheets

The SARL RaDAR Contest manager – Eddie ZS6BNE

E-mail entries – edleighton@gmail.com

The closing date for logs is two weeks after the contest date.

Note: A photo of the station (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry.

RaDAR – It is something special

RaDAR needs to be a little different to the normal way of practicing amateur radio. It needs to generate an excitement of mixing the outdoors , amateur radio and survival.

The RaDAR operator, through his experience and practice, operates in such a way that he / she feels comfortable communicating under conditions that would otherwise be seen as unacceptable to the normal field day station or adventure radio operator.

I participated as a field day station this contest to experience once again what it is like to take part the same way most field day contests are done.

After doing the “One Contact per Kilometer Moved” excercise the other day, which I consider to be closer to the real RaDAR concept, I found operating as a normal field station to be rather boring in comparison.

There is something special about carrying your equipment in a backpack and being able to communicate on shortwave after a quick deployment and moving on to the next position.

Doing RaDAR this way was extremely satisfying and all I can do is try to promote the idea. It’s worth it to take on the challenge.

Using calling frequencies and knowing someone is out there monitoring makes success of the “mission” all that more possible.

RaDAR operates within the framework of known, active, fixed or other category RaDAR stations.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio

RaDAR – Contest feedback

It’s a week later and three logs have been received from Peter ZS6IQ, Tienie ZS6MHH and Eddie ZS6BNE.

All stations worked under the RaDAR mobile / field station category.

Tienie made 20 contacts, Peter 18 contacts and Eddie 16 contacts. Both Tienie and Eddie worked 5 Watts QRP whereas Peter ran 25 Watts from his boat on the Vaal dam. What a beautiful radio he used!

Tienie worked portable from his own back yard and had a lot of fun making contacts using very low power. Most of his contacts took place during the first hour of the contest. Weather conditions were unpleasant and there was not much activity later on in the afternoon and none towards the evening.

Tienie and Peter’s contacts were all on SSB only on the 40  meter band whereas Eddie made contacts using SSB, CW and PSK. Eddie used the 40, 20 and 10 meter bands. The fact that Eddie used the digital modes from the field earned him 5 bonus points equivalent to 5 contacts. The bonus points are there to promote digital or satellite activity from the field.

No one took on the challenge as a “True RaDAR” operator except that Eddie went for a two kilometer walk prior to the contest but did not carry his kit.

Contest results

True RaDAR


Field / Mobile station

Tienie ZS6MHH – 276 points
Eddie ZS6BNE – 192 points
Peter ZS6IQ (Maritime mobile) – 144 points

Fixed station


Despite the relatively few participants, the general feeling is that the RaDAR contest should still be hosted biannually.