Friday, May 18, 2018

SCOREBOARD: May 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

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SOAPBOX: May 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

Nice... some activity. On 20M I worked K4BAI in GA and WB5BKL in TX. I couldn't scare up anyone on 80M, but I quit after 40 minutes. Thanks, guys for the Qs. 73, Jim W1PID

If it wasn’t for KB1M and K4BAI, this old Sprinter would have gone to bed empty-handed. Tuned around, listened and called.  Called, Tuned around and listened. "Where oh where did all the sunspots go? Far, far away.” My thanks to Walt and John for confirming that all the time spent erecting an even stealthier HOA-antenna was not totally in vain.  72/73 … Don K3RLL

Enjoyed - I am rockbound (crystal) to 14.058 but I heard Nick and made contact.  Not easy.  Think I will build a 40 meter and aN 80-meter Rockmite for fun. Thanks for the contest. 72, Ted

I needed 15 more NH stations to be participating since it was 599 both ways into NH on 40m tonight. Jody - K3JZD 

All three bands, 20, 40, and 80 were in good shape. QSOs by band: 20M: 7; 40M: 19; 80M: 4. Thanks for all QSOs. This is the best QSO total in some time. Hope we can do even better next month.  73/72, John, K4BAI

10 contacts (K4BAI x2, KB1M, AB9CA/7 x2, NK9G, KF0N, NW2K, WB5BKL x2). Last minute decision to operate from W5RRR for this month’s Spartan Sprint, but used my KX3 instead of the shacks rigs. Most contacts made on 40m even though 20m was in good shape. No one heard on 15m although strong FT8 signals heard up the band. A fun couple of hours! John, AB5SS

1 on 20; 13 on 40; and 4 on 80. 13 states. Dipoles on each band, up 40'.  Three Beverage antennas, without which I would likely have zero QSOs!  Kenwood 590s at 5w.  72, Dean

Started late, and quit early! Thanks for the Q's!

On the road for this event. Out in AZ land. Ant was vertical for 20 and Inv-L for 40. No antenna for 80. Ran the FT-857 at 5w. Started on 20 as it is full daylight here at the 6 p.m. start time. But made only 2 Q's and got only one RBN spot there. Then moved to 40 for the rest of the time. Ended up with 12 Q's total. W5RRR was the only 2-bander. SPC's were PA & TX on 20 and GA OR NY TX (3) CO AL CA (2) on 40. Thanks to everyone who heard my puny signal! Hope to see all plus more next month.  dave, ab9ca/7

Nothing on 20M, but 2 Qs on 40M. 72, Ed - N5EM

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop. 10 states this time. Best signals:  20M - WA7OJY, 40 and 80M - W5RRR. Toughest was K6CSL - Bert and I had to really work at 
it. John at W5RRR was super strong here in the Texas hill country. As always, my thanks to all. Had fun.

Things were rather slow this month. I almost went QRT in the first half hour but then activity picked up somewhat. 20 meters was pretty much a wash with only one contact with K4BAI. Thanks John!  For some reason, there didn’t seem to be much activity on 20 meters. I listened for the beacons on 14,100 kHz and 4U1UN was very loud, so I thought the band should be open to the east coast, but not a signal except KB1M who was very weak. I called but no joy! Sorry Walt, but glad we connected on 40. Forty meters was the best place to be but a line of heavy thunderstorms in North and South Dakota made for rough copy on this end. Thanks to all who participated. It was a fun evening in spite of the slow start. 72 and 73 to the gang, DE, Larry, KFØN

This was my very first Spartan Sprint and I had a blast! Even though I only made two contacts during my 75 minutes of operating I was pleased with my results. I was running 1 watt of power the entire time. I called CQ on both 20 and 40m for most of the evening and when I wasn't getting any takers I went out a found a couple stations to work. One in GA and the other in WI both came back to my call. Overall it was a fun night and the weather was perfect in Minnesota to spend an evening outside playing radio. I can't wait for June! 73, Eric, KØEAP

11 Qs for 8 states over a wide geographical area, generally low to fair signal strength, QRN, QSB. Any night working familiar and first-time worked QRP stations is a good night. Thanks for the QSOs. 72/73, Walt

Fun as always ... See everyone next month! 72, Mark WB9HFK

Friday, April 6, 2018

RESULTS: April 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

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SOAPBOX: April 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

For a while there, I thought it was only going to be KB1M and me on 40m, but things really picked up after the quarter hour mark. Nice to hear some strong and clear signals down here in FL tonight.  The band was changing around however with strong other signals quickly coming up on frequency and then suddenly gone.  But it was a good evening with lots of familiar calls and some not heard in a while.  Happy to meet my goal of ten contacts and still have time to go for a walk on this beautiful FL evening. Thanks for the enjoyable CW.   72/73 ... Don

I worked Jim W1PID. Jim answered my general CQ. I was unaware of the SP so I worked Jim running 12W. I then realized that the SP was in progress. This brought back many many memories of days gone by when I was an avid SPer. Such great memories. Condx were quite decent on 80m and I worked the last 40minutes of the contest. Ran a K2 into an inverted Vee doublet up 45Ft with 5Watts. I need to get skinny hi! Many thanks 72 de Dick N4HAY

20M was open at the start, but only QSO was with WB5BKL. Time to start listening to 20M as it will be staying open longer after dark. 40M was good, but skip was long and didn't find any pacific coast or northwest US stations.  14 QSOs on 40.  Could hear a weak AB9CA, but Dave couldn't hear me calling him.  80M was also fairly good.  6 QSOs with TX, IA, MN, NC.  WB5BKL worked on 3 bands.  Thanks for all QSOs. Look for the GA QSO Party the second weekend in April. KU8E and I will be in the GA and FL QSO Parties as W4AN/M.  73/72, John, K4BAI.

I was using a microkey with my K1 on an 800 mAH Lipo battery; the internal antenna tuner loaded a CFZ ant. I was thrilled to hear so many participants; in recent sprints I was becoming discouraged by the paucity of sprinters. Also 40M band condx were good. Couldn't get on 80M without having to change boards. Maybe 20M will open next month.

A slow start on 40M, not many sprinters heard, then the band seemed to pick up in the second half hour, weak signals except for the digital QRM. 8 QSO's for 7 states.  A fun evening thanks for the Q's. 72/73, Walt      

Nothing on 20M, but 5 Q's on 40M,  despite the very deep QSB.  No antenna yet for 80M. 72, Ed - N5EM

Thanks to NØAR, N5GW and N4HAY for QSOs. 72 Jim W1PID

I was happy to get 9 QSOs this month: 7 on 40M and 2 on 80M with K4BAI and WB5BKL. Conditions on 80M were typical for me, i.e. lots of QRN, so those two contacts were hard fought. Things were superb on 40M. The noise level was low, and at one point N5GW with 2W from Mississippi sounded like he was in my back yard. WOW! The bad news was the QSB on 40M. You could almost call it violent at times, but when it was good, it was very good. The ATS 3A transceiver running 3W to the ancient vertical did fine. Next time I swap batteries, I am thinking of adding one cell to up the power level a bit. 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

Was able to operate for 1 hour. Great little contest I haven't done it for over 10 years! Glad to see it still going on. KX2 Radio

An enjoyable evening indeed!  Things started a little slow here, but more activity picked up around 08:30 pm local time.  There were some weaker signals that I thought I heard calling, but I simply couldn’t  pull you out of my local line noise.  A leaky insulator consistently puts out an S-5 to S-7 racket about a block away from my QTH.  I apologize for this, but the little ATS-3 doesn’t have a noise blanker! My little toy poodle, Muffin, complained vehemently the whole time I was in the contest.  You see, her “Daddy” wasn’t in the living room watching TV so she could crawl up in the chair with me and go to sleep!   She raised no small amount of external QRM!  During the next contest, I think she will be temporarily locked in the bathroom! 80 meters was punctuated by a thunderstorm in progress in southern Illinois, but I made three more contacts there.  Thanks to K4BAI, WB5BKL and N4HAY whose operating skills pulled me out of their ambient noise. Many thanks to all who made the contest so much fun. 72’s and 73’s, Larry, KFØN

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop.  13 states this time - but nothing west of UT. Best signals:  20M - N5GW, 40M - N5EM, 80M - WA8ZBT. Got a 3-bander with John, K4BAI.  Nice to hear always strong N5GW again. This was my best outing since April of 2016. I don't know if it was better propagation, more participants, my refurbished (and higher) 40M edZ or enthusiasm about completing the antenna work - but I will take it! My thanks to all.  Look for me in the TSPOTA this Saturday. Had fun.

With the longer days the conditions seem to be getting better up here! Worked K4BAI and WØITT on both 40 & 80, that was nice. This is the third month in a row that the Sprint brought a winter storm to my qth. Unlike the past two there wasn't much lightning activity but we still ended up with 9" of ready to shovel snow! Any bets on the May run?   73 All - Scott N0AR  near St. Paul, MN

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

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:
  • 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

Monday, March 12, 2018

RESULTS: March 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard

SOAPBOX: March 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp.  5 states this time. One QRO station removed from score.  Best signals:  40M - NØTA, 80M - K4BAI. At least better than last month. Some of my problem is me - but at least a little is a damaged feed to the 40M edZ, my go-to antenna.  By May, perhaps April, the EDZ will be about 10 feet higher and will have a new and better routed feedline. Have your attenuator at the ready...  My thanks to all.  Had fun.

Just for fun, set up the QCX 40m 'wonder rig' with R/C LiPO and Palm Paddle this evening.  So there sat this little piggie, all set to run away with the big prize money, only to find but three others playing in the 40m barnyard.  (Sigh)  Thank you to KB1M, W5QLF and W5WIL for responding to my 4 watt signal from my compromised HoA antenna here in FL and saving the evening. Too bad we can't include pix, I have one of the "QCX station" setup tonight on the desk with the BIG rig as a backdrop. Sort of amusing. David and Goliath?  (Smile)  72/73 ... Don

Used a QRP Labs 40m QCX. I reported 5w, but probably closer to 3w. Thanks for the Q's! LiPo battery, Palm key, Vertical.

I made two contacts at five watts. My station weighed two pounds, four ounces (KX3 with batteries) Thanks. Richard, NS3C

First time with 20 QSOs in a while. 20M was dead. 4 QSOs on 40 and 16 on 80M. Missed some of the "regulars." Thanks for all QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI

Was only able to pull out 4 QSO's from the either on 40, nothing heard on 20, enjoyed the evening, thanks for the Q's. 72 Walt

Wow, this is the first contest I recall making only one QSO!  My goal was to use a small loop antenna and see how many contacts I might make in the Sprint with my little MFJ QRP loop tuner.  After getting everything assembled and tuned up, I couldn’t hear anything but power line noise on 20 or 40 meters!  Thinking there must be a problem with the setup, I turned on the QRO station (an IC-7200) using my 80 meter loop in the back yard and got the same result; line noise but no signals!  Propagation numbers looked ok but just no signals to be heard here.  A CQ SP brought Jim, W5QLF out of the woodwork for my only contact for the evening.  Thanks Jim!  Your exchange was much appreciated here.  I guess there just isn’t enough ultraviolet from our closest star to support the ionosphere, so hopefully April and a higher sun angle will perk things up a bit.  See everyone in April! 72’s and 73’s Larry, KF0N

Made 4 contacts in 45 minutes of 3-watt operation on 40m and 80m, thanks to the skill and patience of AB9CA, KB1M, K4BAI, and AK4ZV.  AB9CA and K4BAI had strong signals in North Alabama, serving as welcome beacons around which to hunt for more contacts.  Unfortunately, overall band conditions were not favorable here, but provided good practice in sifting through the noise for faint cw music.  Thank you, Richard (KI6SN), for creating and maintaining this QRP adventure!

Well, better than last month only had 2.  Conditions not so good again.  2 Qs on 40, (CO and TX) and 1 on 80, (GA) Heard several others but too weak to work.  FT2K 5W 80m doublet @60ft 72/73 Rich, WA8MTI

The sprint landed right in the middle of a big snow event. Lots of thunder snow and static crashes like it was Summer! Made it almost an hour before I folded up shop and grounded the antennas. Next month. 73 Scott