RaDAR – A practical approach

I was going through a little nostalgia tonight. The family went into town and will only be back tomorrow so I could choose the content I wanted to watch on TV and that is usually something on You Tube.

I’m an “all rounder” a “Jack of all trades” but certainly not a master at anything. I base a lot of my decisions in life on gut feel and common sense. I have a wide range of interests but ham radio has always been the center of everything. In my nostalgic mood tonight I was browsing for something to remind me of early army days. I was a signaler, a radio operator but never took part in the war. After many years of national service, citizen force and commandos I found myself at the Heidelburg Army Gymnasium, a basics training camp for signalers. I passed my training as a signals troop sergeant.

That discipline in the use of radios and communication via radio is what I regard highly among RaDAR operators. A different breed to your usual radio ham. One that can move quickly, deploy quickly and provide an efficient means of communications for whatever reason. An all rounder, able to handle any situation that may be encountered.

I wasn’t the best at mathematics, well until I learned Trigonometry because I could see it’s uses within amateur radio. My last thirty working years were spent in an IT environment of which thirteen were as technology manager and after that a contract programmer doing front and back end programming. The younger guys were better at it having grown up with the technology. Of course there is always someone more knowledgeable on any subject. I learnt a lot from those younger chaps!

During interviews with prospective candidates throughout the years I always regarded engineering drawing highly. Those doing well in it can usually see things from a different angle. I see a lot of value in that.

Now that I’m retired and being an “all rounder” I can usually take on any problem with a reasonable outcome. I can help myself but am I worth anything to anyone else, a company? Probably not and no one is interested in anyone over sixty so I’m basically on my own and need to survive and provide during the last years on earth, How many is not in our hands!

The world is facing COVID-19 and is affecting everyone of us. We can’t make dangerous choices or take too many chances and opportunities are less than they have ever been. What happens when the kitty dries up? The kitty has already felt the famine from the last three months of lock down! So, we’ve got to play our cards carefully.

My XYL already believes I have a new hobby and I think she feels safe in thinking so. That hobby was initially my RaDAR playground which was my dream ten years ago. That has become reality. Although the family enjoy walking there I’m left to do all the landscaping and maintenance by myself. I regard it as exercise and it certainly is a great RaDAR playground. Whatever I do there, the RaDAR playground idea is always at the back of my mind.

My RaDAR playground, alias the “E-Trail” (All our family’s first names start with an E), can be seen via this URL, a simple static website, http://www.radarops.co.za/FriendsOfTheETrail/index.html That is what keeps me busy and active most days. I’m still very young at heart.

I need to rethink how I do my movements and deployments now as I’m exclusively only active on the FM satellites and cubesats. I’ve always believed in the sats for reliable communications. Much more predictable than shortwave.

July 11th sees the winter RaDAR Challenge. Have fun and challenge yourself, compare results if you may.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

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