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Friday, November 15, 2013

RaDAR Contest QTH No. 2 I went on to my QTH No. 2.

I packed up my gear as detailed in my prior post, drove by car to the car park as detailed on the map and went on my 1+ km walk to QTH No. 2, which I actually overshot, since I did not read my map properly and do not have a dedicated GPS unit. I left most of my gear for QTH No. 1 in the car and just went with transceiver and a 10m long wire, in the hope to find a suitable tree to swing my wire into. That - as always - needed a lot of time... and the angle of the wire was likely around 30 degrees, certainly not what I had hoped for.

On my walk to QTH No. 2 I had gone with my whip attached to have a listen for where I might encounter traffic. I did hear some RaDAR (!) conversation on 20m, but the conversation was without any breaks, so no chance for me to throw my call sign in.

I then arrived at QTH No. 2 and launched the wire and went on hunting, called CQ multiple times on all HFPack bands (except for interrupting the above conversation) between 10m and 40m (except WARC), but no takers.

By now it was 1754Z so I thought to give the RaDAR stations on 14.3425 MHz another try - and yes - they were about to wrap up and I threw my call in :)    KM4V/M on the road and just arriving at Atlanta, GA. He then referred me to N0OY who was also on frequency - another RaDAR/PM HAM!

So 5 minutes before the end of the contest, I had my 3rd and 4th contact for the contest, these now with 30W.

Thinking back on my /PM outings, I always needed a lot of time setting up a long wire antenna if I did not make a contact via my whip. Going forwards, what antenna setup will I migrate to? I love my half wave dipole, but for the 10m pole I need a lot of space (and time) for the guy ropes. Will the Alexloop do the trick for me, given that Greg N4KGL has such good results with it (on CW...), or shall I invest in a 21 foot tripod  or else?

RaDAR sure challenges the operator in the fast QTH changes with (too much?) time lost in more "traditional" antenna set ups like dipoles.

73 de Marcus NX5MK

...and yes - I did send an APRS beacon.

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