Friday, November 13, 2020

RESULTS: ARS November 2020 Spartan Sprint

 For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: ARS November 2020 Spartan Sprint


It was all 40M or 80M for me, but the QSB was difficult. There were a few new folks in there! I was glad to hear good ops on 40M. Although my ATS-3A can’t do 15M, it is quite effective on 20M, so I hope upper band conditions will improve. I am really getting a bit skeptical about the longevity of my elderly 130 mAh Lipo batteries,  I will watch them closely over the next few months. They are not puffing up, but I could not do the complete two-hour event without serious power drops. I was actually down to less than 2 Wats for the 80M contacts with AB9CA and WB5BKL. 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Eight QSOs on 40 and four on 80M. K4BAI had the best signals on both. Nine states this time. Pooped out after about an hour and a half. But - had fun.


Didn't hear many SP stations, but had fun anyway. 72, Evan WA4AAK


Windstorm damaged the antenna but still had a fun time. 73, Walt


Conditions bad - lousy.


Used 40m only - I do not have a lightweight rig for any other band. I might have to go to something heavier to be able to use 80m during the Winter months as 40m seems to be longer (to somewhere) at 0200 Zulu than it has been for me at 0100 Zulu. Lots of people I normally hear and work could not be heard. I only got one RBN Spot in 90 minutes of calling CQ  . . .  Naked 40m QCX w/500 mAH LiPo Battery Pack running 4w with K0MBT 3D Printed Mini-Mini Key and Earbuds to a 40m dipole. 73 - Jody - K3JZD


Earlier this month hurricane Zeta came roaring through GA heading toward the Carolinas. I didn't notice that some branches that were holding up my loop had broken but the antenna was still up. During the afternoon of the Sprint the antenna fell partway to the ground.  There wasn't enough time or light left to reinstall the loop so I operated anyway with wire wrapped around several branches. The most active station heard was Arn - K0ZK with an exceptionally strong signal from  Maine. 72 de Phil - K4PQC


Thanks to SP contacts N0TA, WB9HFK, K3JZD, N0AR, KA2DDI and K0ZD. Propagation after 0200Z has a geographic focus to CO, IL, PA, MN, NJ and ME. Dial frequencies were closely centered between 7040.6-7042.7 KHZ. Rig at this time is a Kenwood TS-530S and 40 meter half square. Ken, N4SO


Used the Omni VI and a 300' Horizontal Loop. Nothing heard or worked on 20m. 40m was in pretty fair shape, though.


Conditions were all over the place. Good to work familiar calls. Bands of choice 40 and 80. Rig was KX3 @ 5 watts, 43-foot vertical antenna did the work. 73, Scott


Only spent one hour this month. Fun time, however.


Another enjoyable sprint! Started on 40 and stayed for 30 min. Seemed to have worked everyone who could hear me. Logged 8 Qs, 5 of which were from TX. Also CO, ME, ID. Then moved to 80 and logged 4 of the pesky Texans again along with GA VA PA IL MN. Thanks to everyone for the fun evening! Hope to hear y'all again next month! 73 de Dave, AB9CA


New to me basic K1 feeding my after dark only stealth 4-BTV. (Darned HOA) 40m seemed to have a fair selection of participants this evening but most weren't hearing my booming signal but then who knows I how many I couldn't hear.  Reverse Beacon was not my friend this evening with low single digit SNR reports. So, I greatly appreciate those seven skilled and patient A.R.S. Ops with the good ears.  72/73 ... Don K3RLL


Conditions on 40 meters were practically non-existent, making chances for a Spartan Sprint contact Slim to None. And Slim just left town. It turned out to be a couple of hours of serious listening. Could barely hear a few stations in Texas, but couldn't catch their callsigns. Just the same, it was a lot of fun listening to band conditions vacillate between "I can barely hear anyone" and "ESP." Look for everyone in December! - 73, Richard


Started on 40 m with a nice SK chat with a BC ham then only two more Qs over the next 45 minutes.  November SPs have always been challenging.


Strange evening: 2 contacts in the first hour, 12 in the second hour. All on 40m. QCX Plus, Doublet, and GenLog.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

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 backcountry 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 distances. And they encourage the growth of a like-minded community of amateur radio operators 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 equipment 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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

SCOREBOARD: ARS October 2020 Spartan Sprint

 For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

SOAPBOX: October 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint


Trying out my new/old early s/n bare bones K1, so fortunately found after foolishly letting the fully equipped one I built get away from me some years ago. Why don't we get smarter when we get older?  40m was fun this evening with LOTS of good signals. Some problems with my paddle and then the digital guys seeming to need the frequency I pay dues for (GRIN), but it was a great half-hour running into well-known calls that have become old friends over the years. Many thanks to entire staff of A.R.S. for continuing to host the Spartan Sprint.  72/73 ... Don, K3RLL


One contact on 20 meters but 40 meters was hopping. Lots of familiar calls this evening plus some new ones that I hadn't worked before. Even a 1 x 1 station left over from the California QSO Party.  Thanks for the enjoyable CQP weekend. 72, Joe, W5QLF


First time I tried a Spartan Sprint. Only had 30 minutes, but enjoyed the contacts and format. I will participate again. Thanks


Good evening. Trying out a QRP Labs QCX+ -> 40m. Think I was running a little over 4w into a doublet. Thanks for the Q's! - John, NØTA


After finding and working Don-K3RLL and John-K4BAI on 40m, the band was pretty darned quiet here in WPA. So, I called CQ SP for a while. Whenever I saw that I was getting RBN Spots from UT, WA, AZ, and EA8 I began to understand why the band was so quiet. Mike-KD5KC popped in there very briefly for me. After doing a lot of listening to a CQ SP with heavy QSB, John-NØTA became copyable long enough for me to work him. And I give Charles-N4SO my chaser of the evening award. I could almost hear Charles replying to my CQs several times during the event before he eventually came up to where I could copy his call sign and work him.  For nights like tonight, I could have used some Spartan Sprint players from out on the West Coast! Naked 40m QCX w/500 mAH LiPo Battery Pack running 4w with KØMBT 3D Printed Mini-Mini Key and Earbuds to a 40m dipole. 73 - Jody - K3JZD


20M almost dead at the start. No Sprint signals heard and no answer to a few CQs. 40 and 80M were quite good. QSOs by band: 40M: 12. 80M: 10. On 40 worked from ME to CA and as close as TN. But could not hear N4SO in AL. On 80M worked MD to TX. Hope for more activity next month. Thanks for the QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI.


Okay, so the signal was 'spartan' at 1W, but not so much the station this time. Used a Collins R390 receiver and a homebrewed Ameco AC-1 transmitter for operation on 40 (so-so condx) and 80 (hot but sparce). Fun connecting with medium skip on 80m here from TN to MD, NJ, TX, IL, GA and TN. Just love using the boatanchors - even took them out on FD once (and only once). Hope my signal didn't drift too much. No bad reports, so TNX guys! - 72, George, N2APB


Just acquired an older HB-1B (with 80 meters) that I used tonight. Really cut my station weight. Things seemed lively the first hour on 40, but the action died off after that. 7 contacts on 40 and 4 on 80. TNX to WB5BKL fer 2 bands. A third of my QSO's with Texas, thanks guys. 72, Don, K9DRP


I made a total of eight contacts, one on 20m and seven on 40m. I worked KØZK in Maine on 40 meters. Also worked xtations in Ga, Tx, Co, In, and Ca. Elecraft KX1 internal batteries and tuner, 1 watt measured output. Weight: one pound with batteries, ear buds, palm key. I used an 80m inverted V, apex at 80 feet  and fed with twinlead. Lots of signals heard on 40m. On 40m: I got a 229 RST from WB5BKL and 339 RST from NK6A; finally worked John, K4BAI, after several tries. 73, Will,  WJ9B


Lousy night, but it was still fun! I came home from a long day running the power grid. Just 45 min before the start-time I was getting good RBN hits on 15m. At the start-time I got no RBN hits on 15m and only 1 weak hit on 20m. CQ-ing for 20 min on 20m got zero contacts. Moved to 40m and that got me 9 contacts, AL, CA (twice), ID, ME, Tx (three times), UT. 80m got me two, GA and TX. I was lucky to get Alabama-N4SO, he was calling right on the edge of my CW-filter passband and I could barely tell something was out there. Once I got him tuned in we made a QSO of it. There may have been a few more that were just outside my filter. I got a whisper now and then, but wasn’t sure of I was being called or if it was just a nearby station on the scope. Perfect zero-beat isn’t necessary, but you need to get inside the filter passband to be heard . . . just a suggestion.  K0ZK – you earned that one. Wow, it was tough, but we hung in and didn’t give up. THANK YOU! Nice to hear some old friends again. I am not scheduled to work shift for the November Sprint, so maybe we try it again. I’ve repaired the sub-1-pound radio my Great Dane ate. I’m working on a new antenna for portable. Perhaps in the coming months I’ll climb a local SOTA summit and see if I can beat the all-time record I set way back in July of 2014. Mike, KD5KC, El Paso


Used the Omni VI and a 300' Horizontal Loop. Conditions on 20m were very tough. 80m was nice and quiet; good condx. All bands were "long".


What a difference a month makes....not many stations were heard on 40 meters as compared to last month's Spartan Sprint.  Most of my contacts were made on 80 meters this month.  The only Georgia station I heard or worked on either 40 or 80 was John, K4BAI, Usually when John calls CQ he has lots of stations answering his CQs but I kept hearing him calling CQ without a lot of answers.  Lots of QSB.  Stations heard one moment and then poof they disappeared. It is hard for me to call CQ for long periods... my small battery will run out of juice. Even without many contacts this Sprint is about as fun as it can be without laughing.


I had fun evening working 9 QSO's for 7 states, very little heard on 20, 40 seemed good with some surprisingly strong sigs. 72, Walt


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp.  Nice activity this month with some new-to-me calls. 11 states this time. 11 QSOs on 40M and 6 on 80 - did not try 20M.  Almost 1/3 of those worked were using less than 5W - notably WJ9B and N2APB at 1W! My thanks to all. Had fun.


First time reporting. Rig Icom 7300 @ 5% + PS and a heavy Brown Brothers Paddle ~ 16 lbs. total. Definitely a Tubby. Will shed some weight for next time.  Antenna: Home brew EFHW's 40-10 and 80-10 @ 30 Ft. - Sperry, N4SD


All QSOs were 80 meters which was in quite good shape. Been a while since I have done an SP and it was fun. - 72, Chas, W3KC


Just 4 contacts, all on 40m: K3RLL, N0TA, W5ESE, and W5QLF. Thanks for pulling my signal through the QSB! Hope to contact these Sprinters and more next time. 72, Evan - Huntsville, AL

Friday, September 11, 2020

SCOREBOARD: September 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

 For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: September 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint


20 meters was good to start ... NØTA in Colorado and WB5BKL from TX. I just didn't hear anyone else there. 40M was more active. It's always a Pleasure to work John. K4BAI in GA. He's a good operator and a real gentleman! Thanks all for the Qs. 73, Jim W1PID.
Nice to hear 40m alive and jumping this evening. Too bad there was this terrible QRN. (Half-hour passes...) Oh, that's the battery charger on my H-D. Duh!  Ran out and unplugged it and lost my frequency. Oh well, 9 nice contacts and almost a couple more.  Big signal tonight into FL was KE5JP - booming in.  Great fun and lots of familiar calls. Best hearing award goes to NØTA tonight. How he heard me, I'll never know.  72/73 ... Don
Only worked about the first hour this month. See everyone next month! 73, Mark, WB9HFK
Worked for an hour - most Q's in a long time. 13 States! Thanks! K3 @5w and a Doublet.
Used the Argo V tonight with a bug (bug really adds to station weight). 40 was the only game in town!  John, K4BAI did net me one contact on 80. KØZK had a great sig into ILL. TNX to K2PQ for sticking with me until I got his call right. Let's do it again next
month! 72  Don, K9DRP
11 contacts total, worked 9 on 40m, 2 on 80m, I could hear sigs on 20m, but no one calling CQ-SP.  CO-GA-IL-KS-ME-PA-TX all logged.  Condx were very noisy on 40m and 80m. This is a far cry from the undefeated record I set in July of 2014 with 206.1 QSOs per pound … but a career move takes a lot of nights away. Retirement is on the horizon. Perhaps I’ll be able to participate more soon. 11 QSOs / 30 pounds = 0.3667 QSOs per pound. I need to take out the little portable radio again. I did get it fixed after the Great Dane puppy ate the super-light-weight case. It is even lighter now, certainly competitive.
This month's conditions were much better than last month. Weather was clear and no storms so 40 meters was fairly quiet. My new 200 mah LiPo battery arrived in time for this month's Sprint so my rig is a little lighter by over 0.4 oz! I might be able to shave a little more weight by removing some wire and little used components and excess solder. I am using my trusty 160 meter loop or rather a modified rhombic without the terminating resistor @ 25'. Interesting that I didn't hear another station from GA. The picture is my rig with the cover removed.
Little better today, doubled my tally from last month. Signals still very weak tonight, had to work a little longer and dig a little harder. Dropped a few ounces for this month, my Elecraft Kx3/paddle started losing ground connection just before the August Sprint and I had to use an external paddle. A short tedious repair last week and it's in proper order and working well this month. Great group of folks tonight, thanks to all. Take care and stay well! Cray / K5MUG / San Antonio, TX
Total contacts from Alabama: 10, all on 40 meters, with the best DX KØZK, Lebanon, Maine. Ken N4SO
Used the Omni VI and a 300' Horizontal Loop. Only made one contact on 20m, but 40m and 80m were in pretty good shape.
QSOs by band: 80M: 4.  40M: 21.  Total: 25. Thanks for all QSOs.
Contacts: 8, Weight: 0.5 LBS, Power: 5 W, QTH: Arkansas. First time I've tried the Spartan Sprint in a long while. I wanted to get out the good old ATS3 again. Seemed like lots of activity. I stuck to 40 meters and used a 134' inverted-L. TU/73 - Nick, WA5BDU
I made a total of five contacts, one on 20m and four on 40m. Elecraft KX1 internal batteries and tuner, 1 watt measured output. Weight: one pound with batteries, ear buds, palm key. I used an 80m inverted V, apex at 80 feet and fed with twin lead. Lots of signals heard on 40m but few could hear my 1 watt signal. On 40m: I got a 229 RST from NK6A and 339 RST from KFØXV. Finally worked John, K4BAI, after many tries; NØTA had a strong signal and gave me RST 559. Three first-Mondays in a row, I am on a roll. 73, Will, WJ9B
Naked 40m QCX w/500 mAH LiPo Battery Pack running 4w with KØMBT 3D Printed Mini-Mini Key and Earbuds to a 40m dipole. Did anyone notice that there was a little QSB on 40m? Jody - K3JZD
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Wow - propagation on 40M! One QSO on 20M, 3 on 80M and the rest on 40M.  Best signals: 20M - W1PID, 40M - KE5JP, 80M - W5ESE. Seemed like every other Op was named either John or Don! Had fun.
This was my very first Spartan Sprint. I work the 3pm to 11pm shift so I don’t get to Do many thing like this.This one happened to be on a holiday and I was off. I was able to get 9 states and 1 Canada, ONT. Hopefully I’ll get to do it again. I was able to work the full 2 hrs. KX2 @ 5 watts,  40/80 mtr Dipole. Joe/KFØXV