Friday, May 22, 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

Saturday, May 9, 2020

RESULTS: May 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: May 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

QCX-40 & small LiPO: Not a lot of stations on, but I think the propagation "force" was active enough here in FL that most heard my peanut whistle.  "The Fourth Was With Me" tonight as even RBN heard me, for a change. (SMILE)  "Big Signal" was K4BAI who always hears me on the first call.  Thanks for the fun, and for so many good ears tonight.  72/73 ... Don

No signals heard on 20 meters. 40 meters was quite active here in South Texas. One contact was made on 80 meters. For such a slow beginning, I was surprised at the amount of activity that showed up at about 9:00 pm CDT. I enjoyed all the contacts. - Joe, W5QLF

Rig: Icom 7300 @ 5W, Antenna: OCF Dipole, Weight: 30 lbs. I only operated for first hour. The QRN here in IL was pretty bad this evening. I know I just could not pull out a few callers, unfortunately. 73/72, Mark - WB9HFK

14 Qs, 30 lbs. 3 on 20m, the 11 on 40m. Quit a little early. First time I've worked KI6SN! Thanks for the Qs.

QSOs on 20 tonight; 18 QSOs on 40 including KI6SN; 2 QSOs on 80. Heavy static on 80 and only worked two stations in FL from my GA
QTH.  72, John, K4BAI.

This was my first Spartan Sprint and I could only operate for the last 45 minutes. Running 4 watts my farthest QSO from Missouri was NY at 814 miles.  Pretty happy with that.  Running QCX with the micro switch keyer, small battery and a qrp kit tuner. Looking forward to the next Sprint. 72s 

Used my AT Sprint 3 (2 watts), whiterook MK-44 paddles and walkman type earphones. Had a couple of nice ragchews in the mix. 73 - Scott

40m Naked QCX - 2/3 AAA NiMH Pack - 3w - 40m dipole - KØMBT 3D Printed Mini Key. Jody - K3JZD

First time in the Sprint in quite awhile - I miss the days when it was crowded. One contact on 20 meters - XE2M in Mexico wasn't in the Sprint. 3 contacts on 40 
2 "Sprinters" KI6DS and AA6XA. One "Non-Sprinter". Used an N6HCN ATS-4 and 8 Rechargeable AAs - About 4 watts. 2-Band End-Fed Half Wave. 73, K7PD

20 seemed to die very quickly after the first 15 minutes, but was rewarded with 3 Q's and 40 yielded 5 QSOs, total of 5 states worked. Worked  K4BAI and AB9CA  on 2 bands, also heard NØTA on 2 bands but not worked. Thanks for the fun evening, stay well!  72/73 Walt

Brought out my 20+ year old K2 @ 5w into my multi-band EF antenna in the backyard trees. Fair conditions on 40. Nothing heard on 20. Nothing but static on 80 from approaching storm. Tnx for the QSOs!

It was fun to make some 20M contacts this month, but the QSB was difficult. All of my contacts were on 20M or 40M. I listened for a bit on 80M, but the noise level was very bad. After the first hour my two 170 mAh batteries in the ATS3a were still going strong. They are getting close to the end of life, but I will run them until they start puffing up. No complaints! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

Worked 40 meters and had a blast. TS-140 running 5 watts to an inverted V at 15 feet. Many thanks to John, NØTA; Delbert, K7PD; and John, K4BAI for pulling my signal out of the noise. We really appreciated K4BAI's May SP announcement on QRP-Lreminding ops about the first-Monday event. 73, Richard, KI6SN, Riverside, CA

Monday, April 20, 2020

RESULTS: April 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: April 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Worked 8 states.  20M - 4 QSOs, 40m - 5 and 80M -1.  Best signals were:  20M -NK6A, 40M - K5MUG, 80m - W5ESE.  Some familiar calls missing.  Hope it was merely scheduling or Propagation - nothing worse. 40M conditions seemed unusual - heard more Texas stations than normal.  My time was limited, but I had fun.

Rig was K3 at 5w to vertical. Started on 20 and found 5 of those pesky Texans - WB5BKL N5EM W5ACM W5QLF W5ESE. I heard nothing but TX on 20. Then went to 40 and picked up 13 more. No 80m tonight. Only 2 banders were W5QLF and N5EM. Best DX would be either K6YK or NK6A in CA or K7TQ in ID. Had only 45 min as I needed to get some other stuff done. Thanks to all for the Q's. Hope to hear everyone, plus more, next month . . . 73 de Dave AB9CA

It was great fun to make some 20M contacts this month, and work some new stations. WB5BKL sent an event reminder via the Houston QRP remailer. Thanks Nick! All of my contacts were on 20M or 40M. I couldn’t get on 80M because I have not tuned the 80M whip on my new vertical antenna (Hustler 5-BTV), but it really didn’t matter. After the first hour my two 170 mAh batteries in the ATS3a were drained! They may have reached end of life, but I will run them again next month to see what happens. I have two 200 mAh LiPo batteries ready to go, but they will be slightly heavier. This has been the longest run for a pair of the small LiPo batteries I have had… No complaints.

Pleased to see 20m open to TX, CA and NH at the start! Six contacts on 20m, two on 40m, zero on 80m. No luck after 1 hr. Forgot to pare down station weight before starting, so ran heavy. Mark, WB9HFK, once again had the strongest signal heard. Hope all stay well... 72, Evan - Huntsville, AL

Nice to see 20 was open at the start, and was able to get 3 QSO's, 40 was very noisy and was able to make 3 Q's between static crashes, for total of 5 states.  72/73, Walt

ICOM 7300 @ 5w. 40m - OCF dipole; 80m – vertical

Used an AT Sprint 3 from KD1JV I assembled about 15 years ago (2 watts).
Still a fun rig. Paddles were Whiterook MK-44 and used walkman type earphones. First entered Spartan Sprints in 2004, and glad that they're continuing! 73 – Scott

Hello to all, first time participating in the Spartan Sprint, nice event.  Thanks to Joe, W5QLF, for introducing me to the ARS Qrp group (and for tonight's local contact), and thanks to all for the fun tonight. Got a late start, made all contacts on 40m. Hope to have 80m antenna to work with soon to add to the pot. Thanks again to the group! – Cray, K5MUG

First SP in way too long a time. Good to contact several old friends. KX2 at 5W in my recently-completed mobile set-up which just sits waiting for when we can once again roam the countryside.

13 Q's on 40m, 3 on 80m. 7 of the Q's were with stations in Texas! Thanks for the Qs. K3, Doublet, GenLog.

DST and getting on 40m one hour earlier made a difference.

A reasonable day in the neighborhood. One Q on 20m and One on 80m plus and additional 8 on 40m.  Apologies to John, N0TA for wasting valuable air time making him a dupe before I'd confirmed his call.  He graciously worked me on 80m giving me a second valid contact.  Thanks John. Charles, AB9CA, was my first contact on 20m and was the only signal I heard on 14 MHz. He graced my log again on 40m for another QSO count. Charles, your 40m signal held up quite well into the second hour. Cray, K5MUG, came back to me for an across-town contact on 40m. We both live in the San Antonio area and I'm sure we’ll discuss this contact at the next club meeting. Joe, W5QLF

Running KX3 here on internal batteries. 2 Qs on 20M. Good signals, too. Hope to see more on 20 next month. Rest (6) were on 40M. I only had an hour, so cut it short. 72, Ed, N5EM

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

RESUTS: March 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: March 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

Heard very few Sprint stations and was fortunate to contact two: NØTA, and KB1M. Thanks, everyone! Evan WA4AAK, Huntsville, AL

40 was noisy with QRN, QSB  and generally weak signals, WB9HFK had a consistently good signal. Six stations worked were all between 911 miles to 1136 miles with an average distance of 1057 miles. Thanks for QSO's, 72/73, Walt

Rig was FT-857 at 5w to Inv vee up about 35 ft. 40m only for me. My S8 noise was there at first but N0TA and W5QLF were able to punch through. It then went away for a few min. I called and logged W0ITT KFØN N4SO. Then it returned. Someone was answering a CQ when it came back and I could not copy through the noise. Sorry I could not pull you out. After that I shut down. No fun with all that noise. Thanks for the Q's! Next month I should be at another site and hopefully will be without the noise. 73 de dave, ab9ca/7

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Nothing heard on 20 - 4 QSOs each on 40 and 80M.  40M seemed long. Best signals:  40M - WB9HFK, 80M - NØTA. Quit early but had fun.

Lots of work to get 80m module for ATS3 TO WORK and ONLY made 1 Q (on that band). TUNED up and down but did not find many stations. Maybe in June things will be better -  next Monday night available. Mark

First try. Not too good but still had fun. Will try again.

Good to work so many station on 40 (six total). 80 was pretty bad in my neck of the woods, only one contact. Lots of TS crashes. Sure sign spring is on the way! 72's Scott

Six on 40m, 4 on 80m. Thanks for the Q's.

Next Sprint, looking forward to DST and getting on 40m one hour earlier. 40m QCX - 3w - 40m dipole. Jody - K3JZD

QCX-40 and LiPO battery to black, after-dark-only 4-BTV: We certainly had a nice evening on 40 meters without the wicked QSB tonight. Signals were good (that is, except mine) and ran into a few ops I've not heard in a long time. Big signal heard here in FL this evening was KA4FDM in MD who was booming in as if he was next door.  Nice to hear N3FCS again.  Always fun to connect with K3JZD & KB1M. What a great hobby and a fun 40 minutes.  72 ... Don