14 May 2013

Thoughts on the definition of /PM for RaDAR

I have been a member of HFPack for several years as my major interest lies in pedestrian mobile operations with a backpack/ manpack radio.

During one of my hunts for information on the internet on pedestrian mobile operations, I came across the RaDAR concept as outlined by Eddie ZS6BNE.

What is surprisingly hard to find is a definition on what /PM operations really are. For some it seems to be limited to operating ones (HF) transceiver while actually walking, for others it seems to include any operation where the radio gear is transported repeatedly by foot to a different QTH within short time periods, or in other words: one may take the backpack/ manpack off for a rest, erect an antenna with whatever means, an operate.
One could argue that the latter in essence constitutes /P portable operation, but does /P operation (as during Field Day) not imply that I transport my gear by vehicle to a location, setting up a semi-temporary antenna and operate usually high power, possibly with the aid of a generator?
And what is with all /M mobile operators? Are they "only" portable operators when they are not in motion with their vehicles?

Given these thoughts, it might be worth a closer look at the definition of how someone defines for themselves what /PM is.

In the context of the RaDAR contest and the RaDAR program, a /PM portable mobile operator is any Amateur Radio operator who transports his radio gear by foot with frequent changes of his QTH.

This, depending on the climate and current weather conditions, can be a physical as well as mental challenge and also draws upon all of the operators technical knowledge and experience.

The SOTA program certainly brings this to an extreme and respect is certainly due for all those who operate from the highest mountains. For those who either live in a non-mountainous region, or who do not feel the desire to climb mountains and instead prefer to operate in the valleys, there is the RaDAR-Program.
For those who operate from valleys, there is certainly the added challenge of getting their signals across the mountains!

So, are you up to the RaDAR-Challenge?!

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