27 January 2013

RaDAR 2013 Contest Announcement and Rules

1. Aim

The RaDAR-America contest is an event aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations throughout North and South America. This contest is for all licensed radio amateurs. A choice is made prior to the contest to participate in one of the defined categories. The points system is so structured as to encourage portable operation, especially moveable stations. 
The rule structure is very close to that formulated by the founder of the contest idea: Eddie ZS6BNE
This contest will take place at the same time in South Africa (the Nation from which the idea originated), as it will here in the Americas.

2. Date and Time

First Saturday of April and first Saturday of November starting at 14:00 UTC and ending at 18:00 UTC  (4 hours).

3. Bands and Modes

All amateur bands, besides the WARC bands, are allowed including cross band contacts via amateur radio satellites.

All Amateur Radio operating rules within the country of operation are to be respected and followed at all times.

QSOs via terrestrial repeaters will NOT be allowed. You must make all of your contacts on Simplex only.

Modes – CW, SSB, AM, FM or any digital mode.

4. Suggested HF and VHF voice calling frequencies

The frequencies posted by HFPack http://hfpack.com/air/
are suggested as HF activity frequencies if not already in use. Please note to operate USB on all bands to achieve complete compatibility with a wide variety of commercial and Military portable HF radio systems that amateurs are using.

Suggested VHF frequency: 144.300. Always Transmit Tone PL=151.4 (Mil radios transmit Tone Squelch=150Hz).
Frequencies that have a potential conflict with repeater inputs (low end of 146 Simplex) and the National Calling Frequency have been omitted.

Contesters are requested to operate by The Amateur's Code
and with the request to keep in mind that HFpack has established methods for courteous operation on the suggested frequencies
[Please note that HFPack does not sanction contests and that this contest is not organised by a Founder or Moderator of the group.]

Contesters are also requested to respect all International Distress frequencies:
as well as 146.520 MHz - the National Simplex Calling Frequency. Fixed stations are however encouraged to monitor these frequencies, so that they may be able to assist HAMs in distress.

Please additionally respect the PSK window of 14070-14073 kHz and the NCDXF/IARU beacons operating on 14.100, 18.110, 21.150, 24.930 and 28.200 MHz.

5. Recommended digital modes frequencies

CW: HFPack frequencies.
Other: all legal digital frequencies at established activity centers for the respective mode.

6. Exchange

Call: "CQ RaDAR <your call sign> /portable /mobile /maritime mobile /pedestrian mobile" (as applicable).

Call sign, Name, Report (RST), QTH and USNG grid locator (at least 6 digits). Note the grid locator can change as RaDAR operators are allowed to move to the next destination  at any time.

Maidenhead grid LOC information may be submitted instead of USNG locator. The grid locator of 6 digits is acceptable but should preferably be accurate to 10 digits.

If the grid locator is not known, then some other information that could describe the location, e.g. Mabula Lodge, 40 km west of Warmbaths. Note that several SmartPhone HAM log apps support this feature (e.g. HamLog for the iPhone).

7. Scoring

1 point per QSO.
1 QSO per mode, per band / satellite, per call sign. You may work another call sign several times, but only once per mode and only once per band throughout the entire contest period (you may work several call signs per band and per mode).

8. Categories and multipliers

The following multipliers are applicable to determine the final score.

Category multiplier:

x 1 – RaDAR Fixed station (At home or in another building). These stations may NOT call QSO, allowed to monitor and reply to QSOs only.

x 2 – RaDAR Field station (Portable away from home). These stations are to call QSO & log themselves as /p ("portable"). At least one photo or video of the station MUST accompany the log.

x 3 – Moving RaDAR station, Car / Motorcycle / Bicycle / Maritime – Minimum 3 miles (approx. 5 km) per 5 QSOs. These stations are to call QSO & log themselves as /m ("mobile"). A photo or video of the station MUST accompany every log entry.

x 4 – Moving RaDAR station, on foot – Minimum 0.6 miles (approx. 1 km) per 5 QSOs. These stations are to call QSO and log themselves as /pm ("pedestrian mobile"). A photo or video of the station MUST accompany every log entry.


1) Moving RaDAR stations can move at any time but are required to move to the  next destination after five contacts have been made. The move needs to cover the required distance before further contacts are allowed to be made. 
2) Moving stations may also operate while in motion, but need to have covered the required distance for every 5 QSOs. Note: safety and all (traffic) laws take precedence at all times.

Power multiplier:

The power multiplier that applies is determined by the highest power output of any of the transmitters used during the contest.

5 watts or less the power multiplier is 6.

6 to 50 Watts, the power multiplier is 4.

51 watts or greater, the power multiplier is 2.

9. Bonus points  (All categories)

5 Points (Equivalent to five QSOs) for a minimum of one satellite or any digital mode QSO involving a computer. (For clarity: Thereafter 1 point per Satellite / Digital modes QSO)

Each NVIS QSO made in the 40 - 160m bands with a distance between operators of up to 400 miles (approx. 650km), receives 1 bonus point (circle or BOLD PRINT qualifying station worked in Log Sheet).

10. Notes: 

1) A photo or video of a "Field" or "Moving" station MUST accompany every log entry.
2) Images or videos may be posted on the contesters preferred website, preferred website service or else; links must however be listed within the log file. Photos may alternatively be copy/ pasted in to the log.
3) All logs and submitted photos will be published at http://RaDAR-America.blogspot.com  under the following copyright:
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
with all Copyrights to the contents otherwise remaining with the submitting Amateur Radio Operator.
4) Published logs and photos are to serve as a learning resource.

11. Log Sheets

QSOs are to be entered in the log sheets found at the following link: 
and be submitted within 14 days of the contest.

Completed log sheets are to be filled out either directly within WORD and emailed to:
radaramericacontest (AT) gmail.com
as a WORD or PDF file. 

Printed Log sheets may also be scanned or photographed and emailed.

ADIF files (for Home QTH stations without photos) may also be submitted.

If any operator prefers NOT to have his/her log posted on the RaDAR-America Blog, then please inform accordingly by writing this next to your signature on the last log page or within your email.

The winner will receive a feature Blog entry and a certificate by mail.

Please do share all your operating tips and comments on the log sheets - so that the contest logs may serve as a learning tool. 

vy 73 de Marcus KD0JKM
RaDAR-America Contest manager

< Rules updated Feb. 4th, 2013 >
< Rules updated Feb. 15th, 2013 > 
< Rules updated Mar. 03, 2013 (suggested VHF frequency) >
< Rules updated Mar. 07, 2013 (VHF squelch info) >
< The rules are now finalised, no further edits prior to this contest in April 2013 >
< March 21, 2013: Amendment: USNG grid locator information is preferred from US HAMs >


  1. Hi Marcus,

    Wow how time flies! The RaDAR contest is already next month.

    I think we are going to make history this year. Inter continental RaDAR comms would be an absolute bonus!

    73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

  2. Hi Eddie,

    Time sure does fly when you're having fun! I made a few minor edits to the original RaDAR-America rules and have even had feedback from some fellow HAMs in Canada, who recognized the value of this contest in emergency training. I agree with them that it is nice to be able to combine fun with a more serious background topic.

    Well, let us see what the 10m band has in store for us for intercontinental comms - that would sure be a blast!

    vy 73 de Marcus KD0JKM

  3. Hi Marcus,

    I was interviewed by Hans, ZS6AKV via our weekly Ämateur Radio Today program. An extract on RaDAR can be heard and mention is made of international participation, particularly America. Please see

    73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

  4. Great interview Eddie!
    Good to "hear" you! I am already watching my local weather forecast very closely and hope we will have no thunderstorms... I can deal with nearly all other weather, but playing Amateur lightening rod is not my intention :))
    73 de Marcus KD0JKM