Friday, September 9, 2016

RESULTS: Sept. 2016 ARS Spartan Sprint

Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.

SOAPBOX: Sept. 2016 ARS Spartan Sprint

K3RLL
Nothing heard on 20m  this evening and feel very fortunate that some of our best ops were able to dig me out of the noise tonight to make a grand total of (let’s see, … add the first one to the second two, carry the last one) of FOUR contacts.  While our better ops strive and achieve ever higher scores, I think I’m working my way down the sunspot cycle. (SMILE)  72/37 … Don

K7TQ
I used my 1 Watter on 20 for the first 45 minutes. Six folks were able to work my 1 W in spite of what looked like poor solar numbers. Four were in TX, one in OK which was a two-way 1W, and one in IN.  Pretty good for 1 W from ID. Switched to the big rig and 5W, K3, for 40 m and made 14 Qs with several two band folks. Tried 80 m, but heard nothing.

K4BAI
FT1000MP, 5W, zepp, inverted V. Only operated the second hour this month. QSOs by band: 40: 8; 80: 4. Hope for more activity next month.  15M was dead here. 20M was almost dead and no answers to CQs and no sprinters heard on that band this month. 40 and 80 were both OK.  73/72, John, K4BAI.

WJ9B
Contacts: 20m: WB5BKL, WB4BKR, WA8ZBT; 40m: NK6A, K4BAI, WA8ZBT, K7TQ, WB5BKL, AF7M. Total weight of Station (KX1, internal tuner, light headset) was 1.5 pounds. Total number of contacts during Sprint: 9. I used the KX1ON on an AC power supply at just under 5 watts output. No 80 meters on it! The antenna was an 80m inverted V fed with ladder line, the apex at about 90 feet. I'm sure I would do better with a regular dipole; precious loss in just 5 watts with the inverted V ends at about 30 feet, HI. I was surprised that John, K4BAI, could hear me as he was very weak compared to the August SP. I called CQ often with only two replies. Four stations calling CQ didn't hear my call: N7DQ/KL7, W5ACM, K5OPB, and K9QV. It was fun to work fellow Idaho station K7TQ, Randy. He sent an email to me right after SP was over. For a second straight month I would  say participation in SP is down compared to what I recall from an increasingly distant past! Why the low participation in SP when there seems to be a resurgence of straight keys and qrp? See you next month!  73, Will, WJ9B

AB9CA
Icom 7200 to 100' wire. Things were kinda slow. Maybe that was due to it being the Labor Day holiday? But could stick around for only about an hour. Had to do some other stuff. Came back once or twice and found a quick new one. Condx did not seem to be very good. Very little was heard on 20m. I had started an hour earlier with the MI Labor Day QRP Sprint and had worked no one on 20 even then. I did get more spots during the SP than during the MI event. Maybe the band improved as the evening went along? 40m seemed to be in pretty good shape but had quite a bit of QRN. Heard only K4BAI on 80. Band breakdown is 1/14/2 on 80/40/20. Don't think I had any 2-banders. Thanks for the Q's and see everyone next month. 73 de Dave, AB9CA/4

WB9BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 20 wire delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. Got the K3 back in service. 9 states this time - and all signals seemed relatively weak with deep QSB. Best signals:  20M - WJ9B, 40M - NK6A, 80M - WA8ZBT. Also worked a Cuban, but did not include him in the total. I worked several Spartan Sprinters in the CWOpen on Saturday. My thanks to all. Had fun.

W5WIL
Used an MTR-3 with a 9V battery regulated to 6V gave me 1W QRPp. Used the palm paddle and ear buds to keep the weight down. Setup in the yard with a portable 40M dipole at 15'. Only two contacts; K7TQ and AB9CA as I had some confusion with a competing sprint and 40M had bad QRN. 73 and Thanks, Dennis, W5WIL

W5ACM
Wow! That was a serious strain! Can the bands get any worse? Although both 170 mAh LiPo batts were topped off, the bands were very difficult. I called CQ on 20 and 40M with marginal results. Let’s hope for better results next month! 72 de Andy W5ACM Houston, TX EL29eq

Thursday, September 1, 2016

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

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


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Results: August 2016 Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard

Soapbox: August 2016 Spartan Sprint

K3RLL
Tough going here for August's SP. Don’t know whether everyone got stung by bees during the FOBB or band conditions just continue to wane on us. Anyhow, happy for the ten skilled ops able to pull me out of weak conditions this evening on 20m and 40m. Two bander Andy W5ACM and the lone big signal tonight was Walt KB1M.  Thanks to all and the full and entire staff sponsoring this fun monthly event.  72/73 … Don K3RLL

WJ9B

I worked K4BAI and W5ACM on 20m and 40m.  I worked WB5BKL on 20m, and he was my only contact on 80m.  N5GW (MS) had a good  559 signal on 40m running only two watts.  There was a net on 3560 khz so I searched around 3562 kHz where I found WB5BKL. This is my first Spartan Sprint in quite awhile, and first Sprint since moving from FL to ID in 2011.  I need to use my Elecraft KX1 (20m/40m only), purchased and built years ago for use in Spartan Sprint....complete with batteries and internal antenna tuner.  It is very light but only about 3 watts output.

K4BAI
FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, zepp.  Very little activity tonight. Maybe everybody was worn out from the FOBB on Sunday. QSOs by band: 20M: 7.  40M: 14.  No signals heard on 10 or 20 or 80. Called CQ SP on 80 for a long time and only heard static crashes. We had had rain and thunderstorms earlier in the evening.  20 and 40 seemed to be in pretty good condition, but lack of activity was a big problem. No QSOs in the last 43 minutes despite calling CQ constantly. Went to sleep in the chair and the computer  was still calling "CQ SP" after the period was over. No answers then either. Let's try for more activity next month. 73/72, John, K4BAI

N5GW

I was using the KX3 with internal bats and ATU to a CFZ. 20M yielded only a few mostly weak sigs. 40M was QRNish as to be expected in midsummer. I didn't try 80M. Participation seemed to be down again, with only a few regular ops around. Maybe FOBB wore everyone out.

K7TQ
I went back into the mountains east of Moscow, ID where I had done FOBB the day before.  Same rig, K2, and 20 m dipole at 40 feet between the pine trees plus a 20/40 m inverted Vee on a Jacklite pole. Not a lot of activity, but I did get four of the usual suspects, K4BAI, AB9CA, WB5BKL, and W5ACM on both 20 and 40. All the 20 m Qs were far to the east or TX as were the ones on 40. Bert, K6CSL, was loud from CA on 40, but I never did hear his exchange. 20 m was still open near the end, 0250Z, when I could hear K4BAI calling CQ. Catch you all next month.

NK6A

I once again used my MTR-5B  with 9V battery and palm pico paddle. My battery after 2 sprints is barely 8V and might be time to retire it. Operating 3 W down to 2 W.  6 states. Thanks everyone for having good ears.

KB1M

20 m died in first 30 minutes here in N.H., but was rewarded with my first QRP Ca  with NK6A. Not much heard on 40, only 2 contacts through the QRN. 73, Walt

WB5BKL

Used a new-to-me K2 @ 5W to a 20 wire delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. I am still in 'newbie' mode with the K2 - and apologize for the fumbling. My score is worse than last month but better than the month before that. Nothing on 15M, 4 on 20M, 5 on 40M and 1 on 80M.  40% of my contacts were from Idaho!  Only 6 states this time.  Best signals:  20M - N3VKM, 40M - N5GW, 80M - WJ9B. I guess Gene had is 40M rotatable rhombic pointed toward the Texas hill country again this month. Nice to work several FOBB participants again Monday evening. My thanks to all (including the organizers). Had fun.

NF├śN
After my surprise win in July's Skinny division, it was good to see W5ACM back to reclaim the skinny crown! I did shave some weight by switching to three AA-size Three contacts on 20m and then 6 on 40m over about 80 minutes. It was coast-to-coast from IA to CA, PA, GA, MA and more. No two-band contacts, but lots of regulars. Let's hope we can keep promoting this fun event.

AB9CA
K3 at 5w to 100' wire. A bit of a late start. Ended up being active for only 45 min. 3 Q's on 20, 7 on 40. 20 was long - NH ID CA. 40 shorter - MS IL ID PA IA TX. Only 2-bander was K7TQ in ID. Most stations were weak, but prop has been rather strange lately. Hope to see everyone next month. 73 de dave  ab9ca/4

W5ACM
Conditions were much better than I expected on 20M and 40M. Great fun with the ATS3a at 3W! 72 de Andy W5ACM - Houston, TX






Sunday, July 10, 2016

ANNOUNCING: ARS 2016 FOBB




RULES:

Adventure Radio Society 2016 Flight of the Bumblebees, Sunday, July 31

            The Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees is a four-hour event held annually on the last Sunday of July. It is open to all radio amateurs.

2016 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 31
1700 to 2100 UTC

CONTEST PERIOD BY TIMEZONE (Local Time)
·                    1 p.m. to 5 p.m.   – Eastern
·                    12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Central
·                    11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Mountain
·                    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Pacific
·                    7 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Hawaii

The contest period accommodates multiple time zones simultaneously. No matter where you live, there will be time for Bumblebees to travel to a field operating site, set up their station, operate the contest, and travel home.

WHO CAN PLAY?
Both home-based and portable operations are encouraged.

WHAT QUALIFIES AS A BUMBLEBEE?
Participants who operate portable from field locations are designated as Bumblebees. They get to their operating site principally under their own power by walking, biking, boating, and so on. The distance traveled to the site is at the Bumblebee’s discretion. Bumblebees add /BB to their calls. (NOTE: Home-based stations do not add /BB to their callsign.)

IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE, GET A BUMBLEBEE NUMBER
If you plan to operate the 2016 FOBB portable – in other words, from a field location – you’re invited to request a Bumblebee identification number. Instructions for obtaining a Bumblebee number are in the next section, below, headlined "Apply for a 2016 Flight of the Bumblebees Number."

There is no limit to the number of Bumblebees. You may apply for, and receive, a Bee number at any time up to July 31 prior to the contest.

GROUP OPERATION
Group operation is welcome in the Flight of the Bumblebees. You may operate under a single call and report a single score, or under multiple calls and report multiple scores. In any event, you are limited to operating a single transmitter at a time.

POWER OUTPUT
To keep with its minimalist theme, maximum FOBB power output is 5 watts.

OPERATION
We operate CW on 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters, around standard QRP frequencies.
           
EXCHANGE
  • /BB: If you are a Bumblebee, your exchange is RST, state/province/country, and your Bumblebee number.
  • Home Stations: If you are home based, your exchange is RST, state/province/country, and your power.

Here are examples of exchanges:

Bumblebee NE6SW / BB (Bumblebee No. 73) sends:
579
CA
BB 73 or NR 73

Home-based station WN1DWL sends:
579
MA
5W

PLAYING IN 2016
 FOBB
Everyone in the contest can work anyone else in the contest. In other words:
·                    Home-based stations can work other home-based stations and Bumblebees.
·                    Bumblebees can work other Bumblebees and home-based stations.

SCORING
Here are the details:
·                    Each contact is worth one point.
·                    The same station can be worked on different bands for additional QSO points and multipliers.
·                    Contacts with Bumblebees generate a multiplier of three. NOTE: If you worked NE6SW/BB on two bands, it counts as two Bumblebee contacts.

Here’s an example of how your score will be calculated:
  • Say, you make 21 FOBB contacts on 40 meters.
  • You make 32 FOBB contacts on 20 meters.
  • In that combined total of QSOs, you contacted 14 Bumblebees. NOTE: If you worked KI6SN/BB on two bands, it counts as two Bumblebee contacts.
  • To determine your multiplier, multiply 14 Bumblebees times 3.

Using the FOBB Scoring Formuala:
  • Contacts: 21 + 32 = 53
  • BB Multiplier: 14 X 3 = 42
  • Total: 53 QSOs X 42 BB Multiplier = 2,226 Total points

COMMENDATIONS
Separate but equal commendations are awarded to the high scores for the home based and Bumblebee participants. We will also commend Bumblebees in the following categories:
  • Most interesting equipment
  • Most fascinating FOBB venture
  • Most beautiful site


SUBMITTING YOUR FOBB DATA:
Send your FOBB 2016 Reports via email to:


REPORT FORM:
Your:
  • Full name
  • Callsign
  • Location of FOBB operation
  • Total number of contacts (all bands)
  • Total number of Bumblebees (all bands)
  • Comments about your 2015 FOBB experience:
Photographs of your adventure are welcome and encouraged.

RESULTS:
Results and soapbox comments will be reported on the ARS Spartan Sprint and FOBB website. That posting will be announced on the QRP-L mailgroup.

SAFETY:
As with all ARS events, please keep safety in front of mind when conducting operations in the field. Such things as weather, power lines, terrain, dehydration and fatigue can be lethal. Above all, we want all participants to have a fabulous and safe experience.

– 73, Richard Fisher, KI6SN,
The Adventure Radio Society



*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *






FIELD STATIONS:

Apply for a 2016 Flight of the Bumblebees Number

            The Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees is a four-hour event held annually on the last Sunday of July. It is open to all radio amateurs.

2016 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 31
1700 to 2100 UTC

CONTEST PERIOD BY TIMEZONE (Local Time)
·                    1 p.m. to 5 p.m.   – Eastern
·                    12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Central
·                    11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Mountain
·                    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Pacific
·                    7 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Hawaii

The contest period accommodates multiple time zones simultaneously. No matter where you live, there will be time for Bumblebees to travel to a field operating site, set up their station, operate the contest, and travel home.

IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE, GET A BUMBLEBEE NUMBER
If you plan to operate the 2016 FOBB portable – in other words, from a field location – you’re invited to request a Bumblebee identification number. Here’s how:

1. CHECK THE DATABASE: An online database has been set up to show assigned Bumblebee numbers. Visit: http://bit.ly/15aGgN1

2. OFFER THREE OPTIONS: Check the database http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 for eligibility. Then send an email to:

ARSBumblebees@gmail.com with:

  • Your Callsign
  • Your First Name
  • The field location you anticipate to be operating from
  • Your Top 3 Choices for FOBB Number


3. YOUR FOBB NUMBER ASSIGNMENT: Check the database, http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 after submitting your top three choices to see which number you have been assigned. The number listed in the database is your official 2016 FOBB number.


– 73, Richard Fisher, KI6SN,
The Adventure Radio Society

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Scoreboard: July 2016 ARS Spartan Sprint


Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.