RaDAR – A reality check


This was the lightest configuration I have used for RaDAR to date.

RaDAR is about rapid deployment and in the case of moving stations, rapid movements too. The distances for various methods of transport are different to more or less equal the playing field.

Successful rapid deployments come from practicing RaDAR on a regular basis. Doing too many things at once can slow down the process too. Planning is also an effective means of increasing the rapidness of deployments. Not only is the physical deployment important but successful communications too. They go hand in hand.

Julian OH8STN demonstrated the effectiveness of digital radio (PSK63) during the recent RaDAR Challenge using Android Apps interfaced to a low power radio, the FT-817. Sid ZS5AYC demonstrated the effectiveness of using the mobile to move from point to point but also the possibility of a team effort in getting an effective station deployed quickly and ready to make contacts.

On foot RaDAR operations seem to be the most challenging. The fact that the operator needs to move quickly means he / she needs to be relatively fit. The gear needs to be compact and also easily deployable. Physical activity requires a well fed and well hydrated radio operator.

Experience has shown that a lot of time can be saved with ready to use systems within the backpack. Antennas should be easily deployable and the use of reels to roll up antenna wire is essential for speed. The antenna also needs to be effective and the losses in UNUN fed end feds, although they are quick to deploy, make them not good enough for decent communications.

The on foot operator needs to travel as light as possible and that is a challenge in itself. By no means should a water bottle be left behind.

Back to the drawing board for me.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

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