Back in Dec/2020 Roman RA3R started to send spam like emails about RDA (Russian District Award). These mails were not interfering, just enough to make me visit the attached link after couple of occasions. Had not much previous knowledge about RDA not even knew the rules just seen that I have 484 confirmed areas out of 2642. OK, that seemed a lot but at that time I had not much interest to make the next step.
Around mid March/2021 one afternoon I scanned the bands and happened to come across with R7AB/P on 20m CW who (considering the callsign) had surprisingly large pile-up. Saw in the cluster that several spots were sent with some tag of “RDA ST-26/ST-35″. Remembered to the RDA mail and checked mydx.eu again. Found an other page with “Station online” tag where a really long list was available with currently active stations from different areas. Gave a try to R7AB/P to see if I can get through and he came back immediately with extremely good technique which you can only meet from top operators in major contests. Wow, sounded very interesting…
This was the point when I got infected…
Competitive challenge with hunting for the numerous areas, great operators, continuous expeditions for new areas is something I like. It’s really motivating to get myself logged from as many areas as possible. This especially true for the “100+” style expeditions where due to the tight schedule the stn stops operating after 100+ QSOs and runs for the next stop. With my small setup I can say that my turn usually arrives at around QSO #60-70 when my signal is strong enough to get through.
Out of an other cluster spot tnxqso.com was found too where even more details and fun is available. Activity plan, map, live(!) online log, stats and even a chat room where you can meet other hunters and even with the activators as well. Huge number of people really taking seriously to follow the RDA expeditions and collecting RDA credits. The only handicap I have that I not used to listen carefully enough during the Russian language classes in my grammar school time decades ago therefore the chatting causes some headache but as usually, google (translate) is my friend.
Considering that Russia is big there are lot of space for activators. I can tell that during the summer time there were several weekends when 3-5 activator expeditions have been available in parallel.
As I have a small home station with 100W into a 3band roof top vertical and a W3DZZ with apex @7m I can say that I’m very little pistol in this game. No question, my vertical really shouts out for SSN to be capable to reach far areas but the painful experience is that the RDA stations usually with even small mobile antennas can hear me better than I can hear them. Of course, the stressful urban noise level does not help in my reception capabilities. My special favorite is the continuously migrating solar noise comes from all around…
Now (8/Nov) I have 1550 confirmed RDA areas. Considering that I can count only on 40m/20m as primary bands I think the progress is not bad. Mainly CW, some SSB but no WARC, no FT8 or other digital modes. Clear, this significantly limits my velocity but this is principle. Not running for 9BAND challenge as my stn is not ready for this and the distance does not support either.
Seeing that the far Eastern RA is out of reach I hope I can reach 2000 one day. Fortunately the higher RDA density is at the western corner so I can fill the gaps for this figure above. My absolute favorite is the “on the move” style when the operator is working while the vehicle is on the move. You can reach “n x 10″ RDAs in very short time.
RDA can be addictive.
Now I reached the point when I schedule my day precisely planned with the “private” activities which need to fall into the slot between two stops of the expedition. :-DDD
Fortunately RA is ahead of East-EU with 1-2 hours (depending the daylight saving) and activation’s do stop latest around ~18-19 UT so at least I can sleep.