An extract from Amateur Radio Today 24th March 2013
Satellite activity was noted during past RaDAR contests but there was no activity during the recent April 2013 contest.
An advantage in using this technology is that some planning ahead can be done knowing pass times and passes relative to position. All that is required is someone also active via a satellite link. Five bonus points are also awarded for the first contact!
Satellites that are still active are the old faithful AO-7, FO-29, SO-50 and VO-52. Satellite communications should be constantly promoted and newcomers introduced to this wonderful scientific way of communicating via amateur radio.
The RaDAR contest promotes the use of a 10 digit maidenhead locator. It certainly has it’s use in tactical communications and as close to APRS as you can get without the need for an APRS infrastructure.
The recent contest showed that not many stations are ready for this technology, in fact the only station in South Africa that passed 10 digit grid location information was Eddie, ZS6BNE.
Unlike other contests, the RaDAR contest requires a little more than passing the absolute minimum, sometime predictable, information. The purpose of the RaDAR contest is to go a little further in training operators to pass important information ACCURATELY.
It is far too easy to operate from a known 6 digit location. Measuring location while communicating is also part of the challenge.
10 Digit grid locations can be obtained by using GPS enabled smartphone technology running software like HamGPS for Android. Often we point out the fact that the youth are involved in the latest technologies and amateur radio looks boring in comparison. New and “old” technologies can be combined to provide a really effective emergency / tactical communications infrastructure.