Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Results: January '15 ARS Spartan Sprint

Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.

Soapbox: January '15 ARS Spartan Sprint

Tried 20m then 40m. Didn’t hear much activity down here in FL this evening, but appreciate those who came back to me. See you next month.

I used 2 watts with a K1 on vertical 40/80 and KX3 on CFZ . Didn't hear as many sprinters as usual, even though the bands were pretty free of noise.

20, 40, and 80M all in good condition.  20M open to the north and northeast plus FL to the south with a short skip zone. Stations not in the sprint were heard from the West, but none in the sprint.  40M also had a short skip zone with nearby states FL, AL and MS worked. No 
stations west of TX heard.  80M was quiet with QSOs from TX to NH. Still difficult to stay the whole two hours due to lack of participation. Hope it will pick up next month. QSOs by band:  20M: 8; 40M: 12; 80M: 6.

I didn't get started until late, around 9:40 and worked for an hour or less.  I got 7 on 40, and 2 on 80.  Heard absolutely nothing on 20. I haven't worked a ARS Sprint in quite a few moons and it was good to participate again. 3 of the stations I got on 40 were in TX.

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp.  Only 40 and 80M this month.  40M was very noisy here and signals were weak. Best were from from Georgia (K4BAI and N4SX).  On 80M, WA5RML had an outstanding signal.  9 states this time with some of the usual suspects missing in action.  I hope for better conditions next month. My thanks to all. Had fun.

K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted V at 40 ft for 40 m, and near bottom-loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Conditions weren't that good here in Albany or activity was way down. Either way, the Spartan Sprint allowed me the privilege of 2 QSOs on 20; 6 on 40; and 1 on 80. The RBN showed the most promise on 80 but I didn't have any answers to my many CQs. Two banders with K4BAI and AB9CA. I hope that 2015 is off to a good start for everyone. Hope to hear you in February. Invite a friend to the Spartan Sprint - the more, the merrier.

Elecraft KX3 @5 wts to G5RV ant; Vibroplex bug; Active briefly (30 min) during 2nd hour. Heard and worked N5GW (40M) and WB5BKL (80M) - Gene and Nick, respectively. Otherwise, I didn't hear anyone! Band was dead.

A slow start. It was a good 20 minutes of listening and calling CQ before hearing any SP activity. Things improved around 0245Z with QSOs on 80, 40 and 20M. Best was WB5BKL in Texas on 40M.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

So, What's a Spartan Sprint, and How Do I Play?

Spartan Sprints are two-hour gatherings sponsored by the Adventure Radio Society, held the first Monday of every month. The Spartan Sprints have a unique, three-faceted focus. They encourage outdoor operation with back country radio gear (if outdoor operation isn't practical, home-based operation is fine). They gather fascinating information about the upper atmosphere, documenting how low power signals can travel long distancs. And they encourage the growth of a like-minded community of amateur radio operator who generously share their knowledge and experiences.

Which Bands?

Bands of operation are 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters, 15 meters and 10 meters. You may operate any number of bands - your choice. Many Spartan Sprint operators gravitate to the QRP CW calling frequencies on these bands.

Equipment and Antennas

Spartan Sprinters use 5 Watts or less. We encourage you to experiment with 1 Watt or less. You will be surprised at how effective these low levels can be, and how much fun QRPp really is. Similarly, we encourage you to experiment with simple wire antennas. And we encourage Sprinters to use equpment they built from "scratch" - that is, equipment built from schematics.


Exchange RST, SPC (state, province or country) and power output. If you choose to call CQ, use the format "CQ SP," or "CQ QRP TEST." You can give yourself credit for working the same station on a second, third, or fourth band.

What Is the Weight of My Station?

The weight of your station is determined by weighing everything at your operating position up to, but not including, your feedline and antenna. In other words, your rig, key, keyer, antenna tuning unit, battery, headphones and so on. 

Submit Your Spartan Sprint Log

Please send the following information in an email to: SpartanSprint@yahoo.com
  • Your call sign
  • Total number of contacts during Sprint
  • The weight of your station (in pounds - includes all gear except antenna and feedline)
  • Soapbox comments about your Sprint experience

Check Out the Spartan Sprint Results

The results of each month's contest appear on the Friday following each month's first-Monday Sprint. They are posted here on this website. You can find results from previous months here, as well.
- Richard Fisher, KI6SN

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Scoreboard

Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.

December 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Soapbox

The December Spartan Sprint was so much better than November! I got three contacts on 20M, three on 80M and six more on 40M. Band conditions were a lot better this month and the noise level on 40M was very low. I had some serious problems with the contacts on my homebrew paddle. I had to stop and clean them twice. Thanks to those of you that were patient with my operations! The batteries are a bit “puffy” but will likely be OK for a few more months.

As usual after a big DX contest, I think most of us were radioed-out so turnout may have been a little light tonight. However, many thanks to those with whom I had the pleasure of contacting and my sincere appreciation especially to K4ARQ and N3VKM for sticking with me to make valid contacts.

Elecraft KX3 @5 wts to G5RV antenna; Vibroplex Square Racer Deluxe.Enjoyable event. Ten (10) QSOs - including N5GW (Gene) twice (80 & 40). Happy Holidays to all!

Pretty slow evening in Colorado. Thanks for the Q's. Used a KD1JV Tri-Bander, Z-match tuner, & doublet.

KX3 with internal bats and ATU to CFZ. I was pleased to find activity on 20M this late in the year, and was able to work ten sprinters there. 40M was in fair shape, but not much activity heard on 80M.

From Pennsylvania, used my MTR 2 on 20 mtrs. single band. Tuned dipole at 28 feet. Whiterook paddle and 370 mah lipo. Band sounded ok. Got 8 contacts. 3 California, 3 Texas, and 1 Idaho and 1 Colorado. K6CSL was my last contact at 0248Z. Missed Don, K3RLL, in Florida. Not sure if he was on or not. Will try again in January.  Had Fun. Thanks for the contacts all.

Running an ATS-4 at 5 watts to an OCF dipole. Slim pickings. Best DX was Randy K7TQ. 4 Qs on 20 meters and 3 on 40. Thanks for the fun.

K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted vee at 40 ft for 40 m, and near bottom-loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. 6 QSOs on 20, 8 on 40, and 3 on 80. Almost had W5ACM on 20 but I couldn't hear his exchange - hopefully, next month. W3KC was strong on 40. Two-banders with AB9CA, WB5BKL, and NØTA on 20 and 40 and with W3KC on 40 and 80. Overall, signals weren't all that strong here in Albany but they were pretty consistent with little QSB. Happy holidays! Hope to see you all in 2015.

K3/10 @ 5W to various delta loops and wire antennas. Missed last month due to family obligations.  Most of the QSOs were on 20 this month.  Tried 15M with no success.  No three-banders this time but several doubles.  Worked 13 states.  Nice to hear some new calls. My thanks to all.  Had fun.

What fun and challenge tonight on 40 meters.  At first I couldn't find anyone calling CQ SP, just pile-ups and QSOs from 7.025 to 7.050.  My first sprint contact was AB9CA and I worked 10 more sprinters after that between 7.041 and 7.044, even calling CQ for a while. I burnt up my supply of NiMH AAs with a short circuit in an Arduino project, so my 1.25 lb rig played with a 4.5 lb battery tonight.  Thanks to all for the slow fills and repeats, especially WA5RML.
A good evening here in ID.  Went the entire time for a change. First hour was 20 Qs with second one 10 Qs.  Both bands by NK6A, W5ACM, WB5BKL, NØTA, N5GW, and K6CSL.  Tough time on 20 with W1PID, but we made it.  Catch you all next year.

K2 at 5w, 100' wire up 60 ft. Have re-arranged one end of this wire and raised it 30 ft or so. Not sure what effect that has, if any. Have been busy and missed last couple of sprints. Good to be back tonight. Condx seems OK. Not really good, but not bad either. Band breakdown for 20/40/80 was 5/18/5. Know I missed one on 20. Just could not pull you out. 40 was pretty productive. From NY to CA and FL to MN. The noise on 80 was not too bad. Worked NC, TX, MS, and MD there. Heard only those few. Dunno if others did not go there or if prop was not good. Those pesky Texans were out in force tonight, total of 7 out of the 28 Q's were TX. No 3-banders but had 2-banders with NØTA, NQ2W, W1PID, NK6A, W5ACM, N5GW, WJ4A, WB5BKL and W3KC.  Thanks to everyone who dropped by. Hope to hear all of you (plus more) next month.

Always fun. This time most contacts were on 40 and a few on 80.

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Scoreboard

(Please click the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.)

November 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Soapbox

Just got back into ham radio after a five year absence. Got bucked off a horse three months ago and broke my leg. Decided to do something constructive besides lay around the house so I studied and up grade to Extra Class. Still not getting around to well so my antenna is very temporary, but still works. Horizontal vee 100X75 up about 15ft. Best I could do while holding onto my cane. Was running a K2 tonight at 5W and was able to connect with K7TQ in Idaho, WV0H in Colorado, K4BAI in Georgia, and W3KC in Maryland. Pretty diverse geography. Thanks guys. Not bad for a chunk of welding wire thrown up into a tree. Looking forward to next month's Sprint...

What a strange night! Propagation fell off. I didn't hear anyone on 20 meters, so I went to 40. John K4BAI was calling CQ. We made the exchange and I said he was the only station I could hear. He said he'd worked K7TQ and another station on 20 meters. So I went back and called CQ. Wow... Steve WG0AT answered from CO. He was 579. Never heard another station on 20 meters. So I went back to 40 and worked Don, K3RLL. I called it quits after that. Thanks all and 73.

Nothing heard on 20m and seemed pretty light on 40m but always nice to run into familiar calls from around the country. Nice tonight to work W1PID Jim and WGØAT Steve.  Been too long.  As always, Spartan Sprint is fun.I'm back in Florida with an attic antenna. 72 to all.

The time change really did us in tonight. No 20m activity but 40 seemed okay. I went down to 80 at 0240Z played there for about 10 minutes calling CQ but no takers, then back to 40. Maybe as winter gets closer 80 will be more productive. I managed to work K4BAI, John, right away and then K7TQ, he was there banging away as well as W5ACM and N5GW. Worked Don, NK6A twice but only counted him once, of course. Pretty fun with the MFJ-9296 rig and palm paddles with LGNokSung battery again.

Elecraft KX3 @5 wts to G5RV antenna; Vibroplex Vibrokeyer (new in 1973!)  Missed the 1st hour due to other commitments.  Thankfully I worked John, K4BAI on 40M; Did not hear anyone else on 40M or 80M for the whole 2nd hour.  Seems like this is becoming a 1 hr event.

Finished level 1 class for CWOPS.  Now Monday night off.  Rig ATS-3  weak audio on 40m, if anyone called that I could not hear. Worked 2 stations on 20m and then nothing. Went to 40 and immediately heard K4BAI  very strong. I heard K7TQ but could not pull out of noise. Called WVØH but I guess he could not hear me.

All contacts were on 40 meters. Band was noisy here this time, and not many stations were heard.

20 m produced only 5 Qs in 10 minutes and no one had a strong signal. Forty meters was better for a short while with 12 Qs from CA to MD.  NK6A had a 
strong 40 m signal.  I went to 80 m at 0300 after a long dry spell and 
N7LT in MT caught me for my only 80 m Q. Thanks to all and see you next 

N5GW in MS was the only station I heard on 20m. TNX to K7TQ up in ID for 
the QSO on 40m.

K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted vee at 40 ft for 40 m, and near bottom-loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Conditions weren't that great here in Albany and/or participation was way down. Six QSOs - 1 on 20, 4 on 40, and 1 on 80. Almost had another on 40 but QSB got the best of that one. Two bander with K4BAI. W7OM had a nice sig from WA on 20. Hoping for better conditions and/or a lot more activity next month. Thanks for the opportunity.

KX3 with internal batteries and ATU to CFZ. I didn't hear many QRPers tonight. Initial operation was on 20M to try and pick up some of the west coast ops before the band closed. There I found NK6A, K7TQ, N7LT and was finally able to drag K6CSL out of the noise. 40M was fair with a bit of QRN. Only got K4BAI and W5ACM on 80M. Maybe there will be more participation next month.

FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, zepp, dipole, inverted vee.  20M was very long.  Only two QSOs on 20: K7TQ and NK6A.  No one else heard on that band. 40M was also a bit long.  No QSOs in the fourth call area and didn't hear N5GW in MS either.  18 QSOs.  NK6A was very loud from CA on 40M. 80M: 4 QSOs from NY, TX and MS.  80M would be good for more QSOs if more sprinters would go there for the last part of each sprint.  Hope for more activity in December.  Between now and then (actually I will still be there during the December Spartan Sprint, but the rigs will have been packed for an early flight on Tuesday morning) I will be QRV from Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles as PJ4/K4BAI and during CQWW CW as PJ4A M/2. Hope to work many of you from there.

20M very noisy, open to the West at beginning of test. Moved quickly to 40M.  Worked only 2 more.  There were other weak signals, but unable to copy them.  Then there was K4BAI, what a signal, John - again. No one heard on 80M - I will have improved antenna on 80M for December.

The November Spartan Sprint was SOOO difficult! I got one contact on 20M, three on 40M and two on 80M. 20M sounded dead. 40M was difficult with serious fading, and 80M was just plain noisy. It’s always fun, but it was a lot of work. The only station with serious strength from my QTH was K4BAI in GA. The ATS-3a was working well. All daughter boards were up to spec and power out was 3W most of the time. I think it got down to 2.5W during the last 20 minutes of the event. The batteries are not “puffy” and I am hoping for some great ops in December!