RaDAR – Stealth operations

Well, almost. Eduan drove around looking for me but could not find me. I must have been unseen!

RaDAR rules, right?


I had two really awesome rag chews with Bertie, ZS4WG and John, ZS6BNS. I sat under a tree in the bush, almost stealth like.

My shack window



….. and a selfie


The QRP amateur radio station.

I think from now on I’ll use the rig out of the pack. It makes it more accessible.



…. and the trip back home through a dry river bed!


…. and back “home”, for oranges



A bit overweight and under trained but RaDAR ready!



A video of the RaDAR ops and conversation with John, ZS6BNS can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/eddie.leighton.3/videos/10152942964262759/?l=6101326161173528926

RaDAR – It’s a moving thing

I was really in the mood to do some moving RaDAR tonight and get out on my feet. Wearing the bumble bee RaDAR pack (Weighed in at 7.8 kg) I walked / jogged down the road for around 1.3 km and set up a field station, the end fed hanging over some trees alongside the road. I made contacts with Rudi, ZS6DX and Pierre, ZS6A on SSB. Signals were good both ways. I was running my normal low power of 5 Watts. I packed up and did a further odd 2.4 km back home. It was FUN!!! When I got home, a surprise, home made Pizza!

Some numbers ….. I left work at 17:00, dressed by 17:10, got to this point by around 17:20/25, deployed and contacts made by 17:30. That’s moving RaDAR!

Deployed alongside the road around 1.3 km from home. Around 17:30 local time.


Fuchs home brew tuner and 21m long wire …. no counterpoise. Pointing EAST (end fire).


Doing a 2,4 km jog back home, pack weight around 7.8 kg. 


Backpack / radio (FT-817ND and LDG z817 ATU) shock testing done (During tonight’s RaDAR escapades) – success! No damage done even while running!

Back of the FT817ND Power, Control and Antenna coax.


LDG z817 ATU (Unused), Control, Rig to ATU coax, Antenna coax and safety in line DC power switch.


In a camera bag.


Antenna coax and power lead folded away.








RaDAR – The story of masts


Masts or sections thereof may have many uses, a painters pole got me off ZT/FS-002 once after tearing a calf muscle during ascent.


Of course they make EXCELLENT masts (around 4.5 m – two back to back, extended)


Joining the poles.


To keep the mast in the upright position, I use the antenna and a third guy rope. The antenna has a fixed point where I’ve cable tied a tiny carbiner.


Then it’s just a matter of tent pegging all three points. Very fast deployment times. The painters poles make EXCELLENT hiking sticks and are extremely lightweight … a few hundred grams each I’d imagine but still relatively strong for their weight.


The “Klaus mast” or 10m telescopic pole, has it’s place but much heavier in comparison! Around 3.2 kg. When Andries, ZS6VL the kids and I climbed ZT/FS-001 and 002 I carried the mast up the hill, thank goodness Andries carried it back home. It collapses sometimes too easily and most certainly we could only raise it half way maximum, about the height of the painters poles because of the wind. It needs a good base on which to secure it.. It has it’s place but next time I climb a mountain, it will be with the painters poles.


There is another mast that is really excellent and that is the “Eskom pole” but also a little heavy. I dedicate that mast now to field deployments of the ZS6BKW antenna. Here is Andries, ZS6VL with the BKW and Eskom pole on the background.


This is a RATTLE FREE method of storing the painters pole mast hardware in the pack.


…. and of course the painters poles would not be complete without the Fuchs tuner and 21m wire.


….. and so shall I find a new tree, to sit under, every time 🙂