RaDAR News – December 2019

The year is coming close to its end. The three RaDAR Challenges have been completed locally and internationally, the hotspots South Africa and the USA. Many thanks to Greg N4KGL for his consistent promotion of RaDAR in the USA through action, you tube videos and his daily RaDAR newsletter which always makes interesting reading and viewing.

During the recent contest, conditions were not good as they have been for most of the year. Eddie ZS6BNE was thinking that maybe the level for the RaDAR challenge was too high and needed to be looked at for future years. It is the time for changes to the “Blue book”, the SARL’s contest manual.

On mentioning of the possibility of changes, Sid ZS5AYC and his XYL Adele ZS5APT said they were quite happy with the levels required for the RaDAR Challenge. They even mixed their RaDAR Challenge with SOTA activations this November and did very well indeed.

Kobus ZS6BOS did exceptionally well again during this challenge even walking longer distances between activation points. This proved to Eddie that the levels required for the RaDAR Challenge are achievable and no changes need to be made.

The April 2020 date clashes with the SARL AGM but considering that the Rugby final game between South Africa and England played in Japan did not deter the few die hard’s that usually take on the challenge, the SARL AGM will be no less. The times are not fixed and choosing your four hour period within the twenty four hours available, anything can be fit in.

Publicizing the RaDAR Challenge a week or two before any RaDAR Challenge has been proven to be a waste of time. Eddie, as always, tried the satellites again seeing HF conditions were extremely difficult but could only make one contact per satellite pass. It’s quite sad that the majority of hams don’t make the effort to support those trying to make a difference. It may be different in other parts of the world but sadly that is the case in ZS.

Kobus ZS6BOS made use of two meter simplex at times and left early in the morning. He used 80 meters too. One thing that really starts to show is that QRP is becoming more and more difficult as high power stations are the norm amongst new radio amateurs. The very few CW operators in South Africa is also a contributing factor.

Possibly this post that is included in the monthly Radio ZS will fall on deaf ears as are the numerous advertisements made before each challenge. Apologies for the negative views but it needs to be said. We, as radio amateurs need to support each other. I’ve said that so many times – it makes no difference.

But, the level of RaDAR will remain as it is. It is achievable. The dates and times will remain. We will fit in. We look forward to the new challenges we will face in 2020.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE