RaDAR – The April 2015 RaDAR Challenge

I woke up at around 01:30 local time and found little Eduan was no longer in his original sleeping position, he had shifted all around the tent floor. There was a slight downhill. I helped him get comfortable and back onto the blanket protecting him from the cold. It was overcast outside so it wasn’t too cold.

I powered up the FT-847, activated my smartphone hotspot using the Android app, Airdroid. The netbook was connected to the Internet and I logged into Facebook,  Google+ and the RaDAR spotting website at http://www.cwfun.org/funspots/kx3/frames.html

Forty meters was not good for local contacts that time of morning and I went to 80m and loaded the ZS6BKW open wire fed multiband antenna. The FC-20 automatic ATU battled to get a low SWR. It wasn’t good but I was able to transmit at full power, 100W. I had been using the spotting site and Facebook to arrange skeds with Jaco, ZR6CMG and Kevin, ZS6KMD. We could make contact on 80m, Jaco was 59+ 20 and he gave me a 59+ 40 not too bad for a high SWR antenna! Kevin’s signals were not quite as strong, I gave him a 51 and he gave me a 53. We exchanged grid locators and all the required information between RaDAR stations.

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No one else was active anywhere so Kevin and I agreed to get some sleep and try again at sunrise. The sleep was welcome! I woke up again just after sunrise and looked for more contacts. I found Theo, ZS6TVB and Rudi, ZS6DX on 7.090 MHz and we exhanged contact information. All signals were 59. The BKW was performing well!

Theo and I tried PSK31 on 7.040 MHz and we both made our first digital RaDAR contact and “scored” bonus points. That was it as far as local QSO’s were concerned.

Just after eight o’ clock I tried JT65 on 10m and made contact with FR1GV. I forgot to save the WSJT-X contact log! What’s nice about JT65 operations is that you get just about an instantaneous QSL via e-QSL. Awesome!

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That was pretty much it and it was time to do real RaDAR and Eduan and I packed our bags and did a quick kit check before moving out.

To be continued ….. “The RaDAR Challenge True RaDAR”

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