RaDAR – America

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Please see  http://radar-america.blogspot.com/2013/01/radar-2013-contest-announcement-and.html for a really excellent adaptation of the rules of RaDAR for America.

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RaDAR – In the year 2013

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RaDAR is in full blossom with the dawning of a new year – 2013. After many years RaDAR has finally become what it was meant to be. The concept has been refined and has become the guideline for ham radio communications throughout the various installations or deployments.

Right from the very beginning, RaDAR has catered for any station, be it fixed, portable stations in alternate buildings, field stations, various mobile stations and the ham radio operators on foot.

Much of the newer ideas, like the “one contact per kilometer moved” experiment done in 2012, combine with the RaDAR concept in whole to present a concept that not only provides excellent communication skills and knowledge but to enhance the fun aspect of RaDAR.

Much has been said about rapid re-deployment and movable stations and with the latest contest rules for 2013, RaDAR is even more so – exactly that. It would be really great seeing more mobile stations and also more operators moving around on foot. That makes RaDAR extra special.

Peter, ZS6IQ who did well during operations from his boat on the Vaal dam during November 2012’s RaDAR contest has now offered a prize to the winner of the April 2013 RaDAR contest. The prize is a 2m / 70cm base antenna. Many thanks to Peter for his kind gesture. On the announcement of the winner, Peter will be given the details and he will send it off to the well deserving contestant. May the best man / lady win!

Most certainly, whatever category is chosen on the day, each and every station will need to work hard to win the prize. The contest is only four hours but you will find yourself in the “twilight zone”, a very strange place to be but hang in there and watch the sunset as the earth rotates and the view of the sun disappears over the horizon.

At this time you may hear signals on the higher bands. Why not make contact with DX stations as a RaDAR station using your mode of choice. Certainly you will have a better chance using the digital modes or even CW.

Most important – Have fun!

RaDAR – QRP Contest

Like I said somewhere, my family and I went camping for the first time in my 32 plus years of marriage. It was really great fun.

After setting up camp it came close to 13:45 so I put on my new ultralight RaDAR kit and went for a walk carrying my Android smartphone running Endomondo tracking my position.

See http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/154556173/4173961

A few springbuck saw me coming towards them and they hastily made their way down the path, the same path that was the route to my destination. I walked until Endomondo cried … 1km in 11:… minutes and that’s where I stopped, put down the kit and quickly installed my 40m EFHWA hanging the wire over tree branches along the way at arms height ….

40mEFHWA

Once the antenna was ready and connected it was a little over 14:00. I noticed inactive ant holes and sat down with the RaDAR kit between my legs and started looking for contacts. Conditions on 40m were excellent and signals were so strong it was difficult to believe it was a QRP contest and a BUSY one too

ZS6BNE_Ultralight

After an hour, I thought, let me walk back to the campsite and operate for the rest of the time from there. When I got to the campsite I had already lost focus. The trail was a far better place to be. I spent time with the family, talking and had a really great supper.

I have a spare set of batteries just waiting to be used 

I found better way to orientate the radio gear inside to make it more practical and faster to operate.

RaDAR – Spreading the word

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You are most welcome to spread the idea of RaDAR.

It has been a concept that has matured over the past 4 odd years in South Africa but is not limited to South Africa.

You are also very welcome to write about RaDAR. The idea focusses a lot on rapid deployment of amateur radio stations but more so rapid re-deployment and moveable stations on foot, mobile, portable and fixed stations.

Please see the downloadable diagram at https://www.dropbox.com/s/inu0rcojjwdu093/RaDAR_November2012_LARGE.jpg

I’m very inspired by the Rhino unfortunately we have poachers killing many. I superimposed a Rhino on the South African flag and thought it looked quite pretty in the diagram. Of course it is not limited to one country.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

RaDAR – Stealth operations

Stealth

I looked on the Net for a suitable description.

“The act or characteristic of moving with extreme care and quietness, especially so as to avoid detection”

Not often practiced in amateur radio terms but could be a fun activity.

*** The Fox hunt ***

On Facebook, a friend asked me if he could contact me about DF hunting and then I got another idea.

Imagine we have an “on foot” stealth RaDAR operator moving through the bush but in communication with a central “fixed” station using point to point VHF or UHF frequencies.

Then we have trackers tracking the “on foot” RaDAR operator using DF (Direction finding) equipment. Imagine how much fun that could be!

With all this awesome fun we build skills and get better and better at it.

Wow, isn’t amateur radio great!

The trackers could be in contact with their own fixed station passing back coordinates and signal direction. Using APRS facilities, the tracked RaDAR operator’s positon could be easily found.

There could maybe be two (or more) teams competing against each other and a prize awarded to the winning team.

The area would need to be the size where effective handheld communication can take place say a maximum distance of 5km x 5km

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE