RaDAR – 1st November 2014


1. Aim

The RaDAR contest is a unique event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations. This contest is for all licensed radio amateurs not limited to South Africa. A choice is made prior to the contest to participate in one of the defined categories but may be changed at any time during the contest. The points system is so structured as to encourage portable operations especially moveable RaDAR stations.

2. Date and Time

First Saturday of April and first Saturday of November (5 April 2014 and 1 November 2014), starting at 14:00 UTC and ending at 18:00 UTC (16:00 to 20:00 CAT) – Approximately two hours during the day and two hours at night within the South African time zone.

3. Bands and Modes

All amateur bands, besides the WARC bands, are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites. Modes – CW, SSB, AM, FM or any digital mode. QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will NOT be allowed.

4. Suggested HF Calling frequencies

https://zs6bne.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/radar-calling-frequencies/ for the latest international list of frequencies.

Recommended digital modes frequencies – Refer to the SARL Contest Manual, General Rule 15.

5. Exchange

The RaDAR contest requires more than a minimalistic information exchange. Accurate information exchange is considered more important than a large QSO count.

Call sign, Name, RS(T) Report, 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 six characters is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 10 characters for higher position accuracy.

6. Scoring

1 point per QSO.
Individual QSOs – per mode, per band, per satellite, per call sign.

7. Categories and multipliers.

The following multipliers are applicable to determine the
final score. If category changes were made during the contest than calculate accordingly.

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 / etc., minimum 3 km
x 4 – Moving RaDAR station – On foot – minimum 1 km

Refinements will be done in 2015. The proposal will be that all moving stations will have a multiplier of 3 the only difference is the distance required to move.

Vehicles, motorcycles and motorboats etc. (Motorized transport) – 5km
Bicycles – 2km
On foot and paddle canoes – 1km
Wheelchairs – 500m

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. This requirement tests the ability to rapidly re-deploy your amateur radio field station.

Power multiplier: The power multiplier that applies is determined by the highest power output of any of the transmitters used during the contest at any point in time.

x 6 – 5 Watts or less
x 4 – 6 to 50 Watts
x 2 – 51 watts or greater

9. Bonus points (All categories).

5 Points (The equivalent of five QSO’s) for a minimum of one satellite or any digital modes QSO involving a computer, smartphone or digital modes device. (For clarity thereafter 1 point per Satellite / Digital modes QSO)
5 Points for the first inter continental DX QSO – 10 Points if that QSO is between two participating RaDAR stations.

10. Log Sheets

The SARL RaDAR Contest manager – Eddie, ZS6BNE. Send email entries to edleighton (at) gmail.com. The closing date for logs is 19 April 2014 and 15 November 2014.

See https://www.dropbox.com/s/trkir582qf0fmh3/ZS6BNE-RaDAR-GenericContestLog2014.pdf for a log sheet specifically designed for the RaDAR contest.

Note: A photo of the station (JPG format) MUST accompany every log entry. A photo is required for each new location that moveable stations move to. These photos are used to promote amateur radio and the RaDAR concept showing where amateur radio can be used to communicate from and in the many different ways.

73 de Eddie
Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio

Daring to be different

RaDAR – An article by Greg Lane N4KGL in CQ Magazine


An excellent article written by Greg Lane, N4KGL written for CQ Magazine. Greg sums it up quite well, he says that since he has been practicing RaDAR, it’s the most fun he has had with ham radio. It is certainly fun and different!

Greg’s article will bring RaDAR into the limelight world wide and it is important now that the ground rules be refined especially when considering RaDAR as a contest which is really only a way of testing your own deployment methods and it’s effectiveness.

I’d been lying awake for some time this morning (it is 3 o’clock). No matter what methods of transport are used during the contest, the first communications point is really the same for everyone. Only after the first five QSO’s do things really start to look interesting, for each operator will start to move to the next position using his chosen mode of transportation. To make things even more interesting, these modes of transport can change with each deployment. It is therefore fair that the points allocation for each mode be refined. The basis being on foot – move one kilometer after every five QSO’s. For bicycles, I’d suggest two kilometers. Motorcycles and SUV’s have a motorized and speed advantage so the distance that needs to be traveled has to be further. The suggestion for these modes of transport is five kilometers. I want to do a few tests using a canoe to see where it fits into the bigger picture.

Terrain is of course very variable and a kilometer on foot could very well take much longer than 10 minutes – it could even take an hour! The operator should take this into consideration balancing the fun and competitiveness of the deployment – at least for contest purposes.

The first Saturday of November  is when the next RaDAR contest takes place. From 14:00 to 18:00 UTC. The South African time zone will introduce an interesting transition from day to night.