Written By Travis Cox (K4RCK) for the DDXG site.
The DDXG was very proud to support the 65th Anniversary of the International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Competition between the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary from November 4 – 6, 2004. This event is held each year between the two countries with the hosting country alternating years. In November 2004, Portsmouth Virginia played host to the event with competitors from all over the US and Canada participating.
During the competition, the N4I amateur radio special event station was set up to celebrate the competition. The DDXG played a part by providing technical and operational support to the event station. Our host and station trustee was Richard Cook (AB4U) who is an active member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary (Division Captain 3 ISAR Communications Coordinator) and an accomplished “Ham”. The event station team lead, Travis Cox (K4RCK) met up with Rick on the afternoon of Thursday, November 4 to set up the station in a travel trailer next to the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth. After a few logistical delays and fighting wind and rain to set up antennas, N4I went on the air at 2330 UTC. For the next two days following it was nothing short of exciting fun with “Ham” radio and Coast Guard events. The N4I station’s official on air time was scheduled for Friday and Saturday during the ISAR events. During the special event time, N4I was the primary event station with 23 other Coast Guard special event stations operating across the US and Canada.
N4I was a fun and interesting station. We were situated on the Elizabeth River with a picture perfect view of the competition activities and ships. The station it self was set up in a 24 foot travel trailer (also Travis’ K4RCK’s home for 3 days). Our primary station was an Yaesu FT-900 connected to a 135 foot Buck Master 6 band antenna about 25 feet in the air. We also ran a back-up multiband/multimode FT-897 that was used with a J-Pole for 2M operations. In addition to amateur radio, Richard Cook set up a VHF marine radio that was used to monitor ship traffic and demonstrate marine radio operations.
Our team of operators was Jim Kelly (K4PUA) who joined the operation on Friday and later Tony Day (KC4AUF) and his wife Becky Day (KS4RX) joined us on Saturday to help complete the operations. When all was completed and operations shut down on Saturday, November 6 at 2300Z, we had recorded 325 QSO’s.
If you would like to learn more about the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the ISAR event you can visit the links below: