RaDAR – Fair competition

There is nothing wrong with the idea that categories compete among themselves. Multipliers were built in to cater for difficulty but I see no problem that the contest results are published with individual categories in mind.
Much like my running sport I’ve been practicing for close on two decades, there are juniors, seniors, veterans, masters and great masters. They certainly would not be able to compete against each other. Prize giving is per group – 1st, 2nd and 3rd. etc. It gets more difficult with age, I know, I’m moving to the great master category – fast!

73 de Eddie
Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio

Daring to be different

RaDAR – Being different


What makes the RaDAR contest different to any other. The requirement to move.

Sure it’s more difficult for some than others. Most field type contests allow set up 24 hours before the event.

I looked at this and thought there must be some other way of making amateur radio a little more exciting.

I started with one contact per kilometer moved proving the concept. See https://zs6bne.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/radar-one-contact-per-kilometer-moved/

Then it had to be made achievable by most hams and made it 5 contacts per distance moved depending on the medium.

RaDAR categories were defined to suit many different ways of practising RaDAR.

As we’ve mentioned, contests are only really measurements of our ability to take on whatever challenge and have fun at the same time.

Too many contests are the same, RaDAR needs to be and is different – RaDAR, daring to be different.

RaDAR – New horizons

Some very valid questions were asked in a recent mail sent to me and I will try to answer it as best I can.

When I think of RaDAR, I think outdoors, parks, nature, trails, low-carbon emissions, even SOTA.  Not to be too exclusionary, but I also think these events are designed to get people moving (for those that can).  

Absolutely, that is the essence of RaDAR and it’s good to see that the idea has been promoted worldwide the same way as it was originally intended. RaDAR does evolve though, getting better, changing through personal experiences and the sharing of ideas.

With that said, I don’t really understand lumping bikes in with cars and motorcycles.  I would think RaDAR would be encouraging self-propelled transitions in any way.

RaDAR is about movable amateur radio stations and includes any means that makes this possible. The general idea at the time was any station on wheels.

Perhaps a separate multiplier for bikes, or at minimum, a shorter transition distance may be in order (hit some of the mountain bike trails in your area and you’ll see what I mean).

When the various categories were originally introduced two years ago mobile stations needed to move 5 km. It has been reduced to 3km for 2014. Stations moving on foot remained the same at 1 km minimum. A comparison needs to be made at least between on foot operations and bicycles. A 3:1 ratio sounds fair. There are varying degrees of difficulty on any trail.


You don’t have a rule for sailboats, sea kayaks, canoes, or rafts, but I would think you would find those extraordinary transitions.

Such a special category can be introduced into the contest rules in 2015. Participation in this regard is welcomed. RaDAR has always recognized on water deployments and is built into the RaDAR concept diagram (See above).

Given how you classify bikes, those transitions would surely have to be in the same category as a bike, right?

Some thought needs to be given to deployments on rivers, dams and the sea. Only the sea is classified as maritime mobile by definition.


Wheel chairs (I’m being ridiculous here to prove a point)?  It’s a stretch, but the rules almost discourage anything other than pedestrian transitions by giving that mode the biggest multiplier and lumping everything else, even zero-carbon and self-propelled transitions, into the same carbon footprint as an SUV or FWD.

The above RaDAR concept diagram was one of the original designs. There the wheelchair features in the on foot category. Roger ZR3RC who is confined to a wheelchair was also part of the RaDAR discussion group. He insisted that wheelchair operators not be discriminated against and are just as useful as an on foot operator. It was accepted as such.

When the idea evolved with the requirement to move after a certain number of contacts, wheelchairs would never be able to compete in the on foot category and I moved wheelchairs to the mobile category. Antennas could be fixed to the wheelchair and operators with this disability would not feel excluded from RaDAR. Wheelchairs can also be motorized although somewhat slower. RaDAR is for everyone.

A 3km mountain bike ride (or, make it easy, a 3km street ride) is the same as 3km transition in a Hummer.  That just seems to go against the spirit of RaDAR to me.  I would encourage you to review how bikes are used for RaDAR.

The RaDAR categories were designed with accessibility in mind. The on foot operator can certainly access many more areas than an off road vehicle for example. A bike is in the middle but can be carried if need be for example moving through a stream or river. Taking the bike to the top of a mountain would be an overkill of course. Bikes can be very useful for RADAR but it does have numerous advantages over an on foot operator for carrying of equipment, antenna deployments and speed.

On another note, a SOTA element may attract some attention (if that is the goal).  I know mountain topping doesn’t lend itself well to RaDAR, but certainly reaching the summit offers opportunities for RaDAR-coordinated activities, and a special multiplier for a SOTA to RaDAR contact would be almost as special as SOTA to SOTA or field RaDAR to field RaDAR.

Climbing mountains is certainly part of RaDAR. There was a discussion recently on this topic. The summit is the goal of the SOTA operator. The journey to the summit and the summit itself are RaDAR.

On a different note, one of my goals is to include a difficult climb to the top of a mountain deploying and re-deploying along the way with the summit being the ideal DX position for inter continental RaDAR to RaDAR opportunities before coming back down again. Unfortunately I live far away from any decent mountain and will need to travel huge distances to get there.

One day RaDAR events may be pileup events, just as SOTA and FYBO have become.

That would really be awesome! RaDAR is quite unique in that there is the requirement to move quickly and easily. Rapid redeployment with practice can be quite satisfying and useful too!