Dennis WA6QKN and I got in three stops and 15 contacts under some toasty sunshine at Opal Beach on Santa Rosa Island. Thirteen of those contacts were on 17 meters. Hearing 17 open and making contacts with ten watts and a magnetic loop was fun. It helped to spot ourselves on the Parks On The Air Site.
The rig was an Icom 703, and the antenna was the Alexloop. That meant we had a light pack up for our one-kilometer walk between stops. There were a fair number of folks having fun on the Santa Rosa Sound beach. They were curious about our operations and seemed impressed.
We worked Bud W3FF, a notable ham in California. Our best contact was stumbling upon Chris VA3ECO. He was doing RaDAR from his motorboat on the big lake where he lives on an island in Ontario. Chris winters here in Panama City Beach and is a member of Panama City ARC.
So RaDAR outings are still a blast, and my bet that we could get by with lighter gear paid off even at the solar cycle minimum. This could be a sign the higher HF bands are on their way back