RaDAR – QRP Satcomms and a road through the twilight zone

Saturday was a special day.

It started with portable QRP communications from the stadium in a nearby town called Ottosdal, famous for the one and only night marathon in South Africa.

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Conditions were not good on 40m but I managed a few QSO’s, three of them morse code, my favourite mode. Ottosdal lies on the border between grids KG33 and KG23 and part of my plan was to activate KG23 via satellite, a grid my friend Andre, ZS2BK needed.

I’d done a recce beforehand to find a safe spot to deploy for RaDAR SatComms and packed up and left, planning to return after the QSO’s.

It was next to some grain silos with an awesome dam across the road. Strangely there was no one there unlike the rest of the town. As per usual, finding true north is a requirement before any satellite communications are possible. You need to know where to point the antennas!

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I had a successful QSO with Andre, Christi ZS4CGR and Rickus ZS4A who was demonstrating RaDAR SatComms to two other hams in Bethlehem in the Free state.

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I returned to the stadium, I’d already entered for the night’s half marathon. 18:30 local time is when the gun is fired.

Here are a few pictures I took en route, a most awesome run / jog / walk on a road with miles and miles of diesel filled lanterns.

The starting line.

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As darkness set in.

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Almost halfway for the half marathoners and almost a quarter of the way for the marathoners, an out and back route.

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The half marathon turning point. 10.5 km back to the stadium from here. A spectacular race!!!

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Good training for RaDAR.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

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