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Old April 5th 20, 08:18 AM posted to,
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Default [ZS6BNE] April 2020 RaDAR Challenge done and dusted

ZS6BNE's Blog

April 2020 RaDAR Challenge done and dusted

Posted: 04 Apr 2020 11:24 PM PDT

With the world in lock down over the COVID-19 virus outbreak it must have
been difficult for most radio amateurs to take part in yesterdays
challenge. For me it was one of my most successful RaDAR Challenges to date!

I used Facebook to record my activities in real time. I was limited to the
FM Satellites no longer having any working HF gear at my disposal. I do
however still have a Kenwood TH-D7A(g) handheld and Arrow dual band antenna
and they both work extremely well together.

My plan was simple and could be planned a few days ahead. I chose the
suitable pass times of the AO-92 and AO-91 Cubesats. They are so easy to
work and are popular with the locals.

To alert others for possible activity I posted on Facebook, Satellite pass
times today, I will be sharing an 8 character grid locator and my present
SARAH code. Id love to get yours too Presently 96% humidity here and
everything is wet.

The table and chair I have left in the field for my grandson to set up his
telescope at night to look at the planets. It was an ideal place to do my
first deployment.

First RaDAR SatComms deployment at KG34ac19fn. Worked Andre ZS2ZA, Sid
ZS5AYC grid KF59ee36na, Barney Fourie ZS5TU grid KF59, ZS5APT grid
KF59ee36na, heard Pravin ZS5LT and Christi ZS4CGR grid KG20kf75eg he also
gave me a SARAH code

I used HamGPS to determine my eight character grid square. A smartphone is
a very handy device to carry with you on the RaDAR Challenge. For satellite
predictions I use ISS detector with the amateur radio plugin. Both
excellent software for Android!

Because the satellite times were far apart I walked back to base for the
wait, doing my Facebook feedback during the quiet times. Facebook works
well for me and I have many amateur radio friends there.

For the second deployment, I took my folding chair with me. The TH-D7A is
mounted on the tripod and I use an external plug in mic and my headphones
plug into that. There is a lot of quick writing to do during fast exchanges
on a satellite pass, especially more than FIVE NINE !

RaDAR SatComms via the AO-91 Cubesat. Worked Tom ZS1TA grid JF95fx, Dave
ZS2DH grid KF26sb plus SARAH code , Andre ZS2ZA, Matthys ZS1TBP/m grid
KF06cc and Alan ZS1LS grid JF96fd

So I managed to achieve five QSOs on both passes via the satellites and
that is a first for me. It just proves it can be done! Later in the
afternoon I made contacts via SO-50 but that was outside the RaDAR
Challenge four hour time frame. It also went well!

The SO-50 amateur radio satellite was in good condition, worked Woody ZS3WL
and Alan ZS1LS.

73 de Eddie ZS6BNE

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