RaDAR Group On Air Meet-up January 2015

Hi everyone,

in the past months I’ve found an interesting ham radio operators group on Google+ called RaDAR: Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio.

Let me first describe what RaDAR is using the information on the group page:

“Firstly, RaDAR is multi disciplined and promotes the use of all methods of communications available to radio amateurs from voice modes through to the digital modes including the use of satellite communications.

RaDAR promotes the use of basic survival methods that the operator is self sufficient and practiced.

RaDAR promotes the exchange of useful information other than the basic limited exchange that takes place during most contests. The quality and accuracy of information exchange is considered more important than a large QSO count. RaDAR promotes the use of navigation principles and grid locators to 10 character accuracy or even finer latitude / longitude detail.

What makes RaDAR totally different to other amateur radio activities is the requirement to move quickly from one point to another and to communicate from each deployment position. It is a prerequisite within the bi-annual contest to move after every 5 QSO’s before further contacts are allowed.

RaDAR is about moveable amateur radio stations be it fixed, mobile or on foot.”

I loved that as it is what I like most to do with the radio and I decided to be part of the group. Many use Elecraft KX3 like me, most the Yaesu 817. The information are great and I try to do my part and the WSPR Beacon app is particularly appreciated there.

Anyway… yesterday we organized an online meet-up and try some QSO among members.

Yesterday it was a warm (around 15° C) winter but rainy day.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to contact any of the RaDAR group. But had the chance to find a very nice place where to do some activity in the future. It’s an old (medieval) castle on top of a not so tall mountain dominating all the valley. Great panorama.

Here are a few pictures of the place and of my setup.

Thanks to Emiliano IZ4GAH and Simone IW4DWW that were with me (and are in some in the pictures) and to take me to this beautiful place with a lot of history in it. The castle is more than 1000 old!

For those curious, here’s the exact location where we where:

And here’s a video showing how the castle was 1000 years ago:

I wanted to test and compare (using WSPR and specifically my WSPR Beacon app) two antennas: the HyEndFed QRP attached to a 10m portable mast in sloping configuration and the Alexloop on a tripod about 1.5m high.

Well, they performed almost the same. I was really impressed by WSPR results and here are the results I had.


Both the antennas performed really well with a skip of more than 15000Km to Australia and even 16000Km to Tasmania in one case. SNR reports were very close.

I did just two WSPR transmission each and only on the 20m band so I’m far to come to a conclusion, but I’m sincerely surprised.

Next time I’ll try to compare them on multiple bands and see if performances will be so close in this case as well.

Thanks to all the people part of RaDAR group for being on air 🙂 too bad I wasn’t able to talk with any of you but it’ll be next time.

72/73 Andrea IU4APC


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