RaDAR Challenge @ 65°North Review, Lessons Learned

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, May 15, 2017.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Operators.
    In this week's video, we go back and review the RaDAR Challenge from 01 April 2017. This was an exceptionally tough video to make, as it forced me to accept the realities of operating man-portable, at 65 degrees North. Even though the challenge arrived at the tail end of winter, the reality this far north is still very different from our neighbors operating in the South.
    if nothing else, I hope this video gives you ideas helping you improve your own man-portable Amateur Radio Adventures in poor weather.

    Watch on YouTube:

    Read the After Action Report here: http://oh8stn.org/blog/2017/04/02/radar-challenge-after-action-report-april-2017/

    de oh8stn
    KE4YMX, K4ECD, W0PV and 1 other person like this.
  2. K4ECD

    K4ECD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pure quality.
    So enjoyable to see you balance adventure, deployment, experimentation and finally contact against the challenge of the elements!
    A large part of this hobby has nothing to do with the QSO - and in these times of poor propagation, it is niche aspects like the "RaDAR Challenge" that keep things interesting and encourages growth.

    Thank you Julian.
    OH8STN likes this.
  3. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Balance! Well said.
    Trying to grow, become a better operator, and share the adventure, forces us to balance. It wasn't that long ago that I had unrealistic expectations about these type of niche deployments.
    What we learn (and share) makes them well worth the effort.
    Thanks for the kindness.
  4. KB9AZZ

    KB9AZZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wish I had found your channel before I attempted a man portable operation of NPOTA in northern Wisconsin. I attempted to haul to much stuff and the weather was brutal with high winds/hail/lighting/heavy rain. I could have done the job with far less gear. I look forward to watching more of your channel.
    OH8STN likes this.
  5. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your kindness and for the comments.
    One thing you absolutely shouldn't do, is consider your first try a fail! We all need to suffer that one time where we absolutely screw things up. Usually it's a combination of too much gear, too much optimism, or thinking we're still the same old Hard Charging ground pounders we were a couple of decades ago.
    Let's look at how I divide things up.
    First I think about what type of operation I'm going to do.
    • Short outings 4hr or less hiking/skiing/snowshoeing
      • FT-817 with internal batteries (Windcamp, eneloop, hobbyking,...)
      • and/or my small external battery pack (search youtube qrp battery pack oh8stn)
      • Antenna self supporting (depends on what kind of ops I'm planning)
      • Snack, 1ltr water, jetboil
    • Day trip (All of the above plus)
      • Powerfilm (or other) solar panel
      • Solar charge controller and powerpole distribution box
      • 7-10ah battery
      • Tarp shelter
      • Skipulk or hiking trailer
      • Food
    • Overnight or Multiday all above plus
      • Sleep system (Finnish Army Issue)
      • Tent (working on a Tentipi system)
      • Water filtration (don't let it freeze)
      • Fire-kit, ...
    The core of the kit always remains the same. Only add to the kit to match how long we are in the field or how much power to run. Running QRO (20w) I'll add a second panel, and add 20ah battery. Running QRP, I can stay out longer with less Ah, but am limited to ~2-3k distance average phone comms on 20m (a little more with digital modes) using a bad antenna and poor propagation.

    The next big outing for me will be field day 2017. We have 24 hours of sunlight this far North at that time of year, so fewer batteries to carry
    I hope this helps.
  6. KB9AZZ

    KB9AZZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was not a fail :) I got soaking wet but had a great time. I went on to have some other great remote NPOTA activations. The heavy but very rugged Pelican cases are a must for protecting our gear. Like you I'm planning for field day 2017. I will be hosting my local club W9EAU at my QTH.
    OH8STN likes this.
  7. K3FHP

    K3FHP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No Thanks, 65N does not seem appealing, I'll stick with 27N. The water and Beer doesn't freeze here when deployed in the field. On the other and, alligators and mosquitoes can be a hazard.
    OH8STN likes this.

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