18 December 2013

RaDAR-America Contest November 2013 - Results


here is the result for the RaDAR-America November 2013 Contest: The following logs were submitted:

Marcus NX5MK

No, I will never list my points since I believe that I cannot be considered objective, given that I am also the contest manager (...and no - I would not have won). I had fun nonetheless! Report on RaDAR deployment is posted on my blog.

Pete N0OY

He was so kind to send his log, but requested not to enter him in contest due to rules violations (he had just misread a few details in light of him having learnt about the contest just shortly before it took place), but I have to say that his log was very strong and a sure contender for the first place during the next contest! Here is his contest write up:

Friday night I put a battery pack on charge to make sure it was full. I use 12 volt NiMh battery packs and this is one reason I have not fully embraced using military gear because of the 24 volt requirement; it is easier to charge off of a my solar panel at 12 volts.
After topping off the battery and a quick power check of the Codan 2110 (25 watts) it was put into my large LC-1 Alice pack and frame. I keep it ready with the antenna mounted, cw keyer, handset, extra wire, a couple of tools, paper, and pencils stored in the various pouches. If I go out camping the pack is large enough to hold my tent, sleeping bag, food, water, stove, and any thing else I feel I can't live without and want to pack. It always sits by the door waiting for me to go play radio.

For my main antenna I use a 16 foot Jackite pole with a single wire that can wrap around for extra length and it re-winds into a fishing reel for easy storage when collapsed. I can set the pole to any height from 4 to 16 feet depending on bands used and the terrain I'm in. An odd length of wire wound on a chalk line reel is used for a varying length counterpoise when fixed and when in motion I use a Teflon drag wire . The fiberglass pole is mounted via compression clamps to the alice frame. The Codan has 2 antenna inputs, one for 50 ohms and no tuner and a single wire or whip antenna stud with an internal tuner that can handle just about anything I hook to it. I rarely use screw on whip antennas but instead prefer to use the 16 foot vertical.

I started out with a hike to a open field on my farm where I set up at my first location.  Off with the backpack, raise the antenna, and throw out the counterpoise wire. I have all the hf pak frequencies programmed in the radio and can scroll through them quickly with a front panel button and in this case I chose to start on 14.3425 and with a quick hit on the ptt and the tuner has the vertical matched in a couple of seconds. Total set up time is usually under 2 minutes.  First contact was with KK4DKT/p at 1415z pm usb, in fact I never did use the keyer today.

By 1440z I had worked 5 stations and then it was off to another pasture just over the required 1 km distance. Again off with the pack and raise the antenna to start the process over again and be on the air at 1515z, same frequency.  I bumped into a couple of friends on 20 meters and got to explain what I was doing roaming around in a pasture but they were good for 2 of 5 QSOs. Then I'm headed to another location that required climbing over fences and through tall grass to get to a road. 

(Even with the antenna collapsed to 4 feet I can still listen while walking to get a feel for band conditions and hear some stations that are on. If the area is easy to navigate and no obstructions, I'll leave the antenna up and if by chance make a contact while walking). 

From this road to another pasture with really tall grass for my 3rd operating location. Same drill, off with the pack......and this is where lack of simple preparation showed up. In my haste I had not read and understood the rules thoroughly before the contest, I read 'all amateur frequencies' and stopped there, that is what created an oops moment, duly noted in the log...... 20 meters was crowded and I wasn't having any luck finding a spot to call CQ so I tuned around on 17 meters, it was crowded too, so I checked 15 meters by calling a few CQs on the Hfpak frequency, no contacts and no signals heard. BUT 12 meters was open so I found a clear frequency, called CQ, and made 5 QSOs including Spain in about 30 minutes. Sitting and planning my next move I get a cell phone call from a neighbor who was having mechanical trouble and could possibly use my help. So I'm thinking about how this is the end of the outing and I'm going to help him if need be. In order to take a note I move the log sheet on my clip board and then I see the WARC bands not to be used note... I didn't read that earlier.........no excuse, my bad, all the QSOs do not count.... Later I learned about the camera rule too.........this has been a learning experience in reading the rules completely.

I decided to stay put and wait and see if my neighbor calls back for help.   So  back  to 14.3425 and try to make some contacts while wiping egg off my face and just enjoy the the last hour of the contest, the wx was great to be outside.  In retrospect I'm glad I did, I bumped into a milpak friend who was mobile and I got caught up with his travels and then Marcus showed up on frequency which allowed us to make a /pm to /pm qso, I always wanted to do that! 

In summation, I really enjoyed the outing / contest. I met people who enjoy the back packing / portable operation concept as much as I do. Caught up with some old friends on the bands. Enjoyed just rag chewing and not having to move on the next contact to make numbers. My equipment, after years of refining is playing well. I came up with more antenna ideas to try. Can't wait to do it again.....  So use my log as a check log and not as an entry and accept a BIG thanks for putting this outing / contest on.

73, Pete   NØOY /pm

BTW my neighbor did not need my help after all........

Next up is: Steve KF5RYI 

...with 48 points and he gave us a great write up on the RaDAR Google+ community, thank you Steve!

And now we come to the final entry and winner of the contest!

 (drum roll please...)

...and the winner is:

Greg N4KGL: 245 points!

Fantastic Greg! Your write up of the contest was also one of a kind and your continued rallying of RaDAR-America has made it grow in this first year beyond anything I had hoped for. RaDAR has become a vibrant community and I look forward to 2014.

It's high time now that I come up with an appropriate Certificate Design! Any help with it would be truly welcomed...!

Once more, congratulations Greg! But I and the others will give you more of a challenge next time around ;)

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