Monday, November 16, 2015

RESULTS: November 2015 Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: November 2015 Spartan Sprint

Very Spartan tonight.  Worked N4BP in Florida, NK0E in Colorado and W5HNS about 5 miles away all on 40 meters.  Twenty was totally dead. That’s it!  Phooey.


Happy to be on the air again after a year hiatus due to selling a house, buying another, and moving. Ran the KX3 at 5W into a half-size G5RV. Didn't hear a ton of signals but happy to work the usual suspects. Thanks all!

Back in warmer FL for the winter and living again under the tyranny of antenna restrictions, but my highly compromised stealth antenna managed to find eight great Spartan Sprinters out there tonight on 40 meters.  Didn’t hear a peep on 20m again tonight, even though the propagation numbers looked okay.  Hot spots into FL this evening were TX and MD. Anyhow, thanks for the fun and appreciate each one of my pleasant eight contacts this evening. 72 de K3RLL


Still new to Spartan Sprints.  Sat on my deck with an HB-1B, a gel cell, and a small homebrew paddle.  Antenna is a 40m OCF dipole. Thanks for all the returned calls - another fun sprint.

Contacts were sparse on 40 and 80 and nothing was heard on 20.
Rig was the venerable IC703 (5 watts) to a 90 ft doublet via a homebrew link tuner. 72 Chas W3KC

20 meters was problematic again.  I switched over to 20 a few times, and called CQ a bit but heard no activity.  After about an hour of calling CQ and making only 3 qsos on 40m, I returned to the Panthers game ;-).  My rig:  K1, LiPo battery with diodes to drop the voltage, ear buds, Vizkey:  1,426 grams.
72 de NC4RT

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 a homebrewed, near-bottom loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Nothing happening on 20 meters. 12 QSOs on 40 but there was quite a bit of QSB and sometimes, digital QRM. I received a lot of RBN spots on 80 but only 1 reply to my CQs. Looking forward to next month's SP. 72, Will

An all 40 meter sprint for me this month.  Heard very few signals but those stations were working folks I could not hear.  So I knew there was more activity.  My antenna for this event was an end fed 40/20 strung as an inv vee with apex at about 25 feet. Henry W5HNS

2 QSOs on 40 meters. Operated just a few minutes. Not much activity.

This was my first Spartan sprint; I’m new QRP op.  Enjoying the new challenge.  I managed to find 5 SP stations – but only played for an hour.

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  Well, that was better than last month - but not by much. I apologize to those stations I could not pull out of the noise. Though I operated the whole time, all of my QSOs except one were in the first hour. Several regulars were missing from my log.  Best signals:  40M - NK0E, 80M - AB9CA (and Dave was my only QSO on 80).  I sincerely hope you did better than I did.  Happy Thanksgiving to all and see you in December. Had fun.

The November 2015 Spartan Sprint was noisy at my QTH, but not quite as BAD as October! In fact it was greatly improved, although I found no stations on 20M. There were a few stations on 40M, like W4VHH and NQ2W. A quick look at 80M found N5GW, and then back to 40M. NC4R and N9WAY finished that band for me. Back down on 80M found a strong AB9CA over in Alabama for contact number 6 on the night. The antenna continues to be my antique 14AVQ vertical and power out was a maximum of 3W. I had to do a few minor repairs on the ATS 3a prior to the event, and noted that the LiPo’s are certainly puffing up, but it all worked! C U in December es 72 de Andy W5ACM (Houston, TX)

Conditions seemed OK on 40.  Heard no QRP stations on 20M. Worked two on 40M  with the dipole lying on the roof after storm took down a tree branch.  Lost the 80M antenna (such as it was) completely.  Got to be better in December!  Usually run the KX3 at 3W but all the way to 5W this time! 72, Ed - N5EM


Used my newest portable Tx/Rx... Advantages: built-in key & tuner to save weight & clutter.  Disadvantages: xtal-controlled Tx limits flexibility; regen Rx hears many stations at once; oak enclosure and 300v power-supply add to the weight!  But I had fun with the Paraset making one contact each on 40 & 80 meters.

2 watts - K1 on 800 mAh LiPO at 2W to CFZ. 20M was dead at this QTH. 40M in fair shape except sprinters few and far between. Very little heard on 80M. Don't know how much was band condx vs. poor participation.

Sunday, November 15, 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:
  • 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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Scoreboard: ARS October 2015 Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard

Soapbox: ARS October 2015 Spartan Sprint

K3/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. (Tap-tap-tap...  "Is this thing on?") This may be my worst score ever. Spartan Sprinters I could find were mostly at the noise level here in the Texas hill country.  NQ2W found me - but I lost Will in the noise.  We did connect successfully later. I heard a consistently strong NC4RT calling most of the evening (with few takers), but not much else.  7 QSOs and 7 states. Best signals:  20M - K7TQ, 40M - NC4RT, 80M - K4BAI (and John was my only QSO on 80).  I sincerely hope you did better than I did.  Looking forward to a better November sprint. Had fun.

A terrible dark cloud of invisible RF-blocking dust must have descended upon little Redbank Valley PA for the October Spartan Sprint as nobody was heard on 20m and only managed four contacts on 40m – and I feel very fortunate for the patience of those four ops. Thank you. Maybe conditions will be better next month back in FL. (It’s getting cold up here!)

Super slow in Colorado - quit after the first hour with 1 Q on 20, and 6 on 40. Testing MTR 5B, which appears to work just fine. John, N0TA.

All but one contact on the noisy 40m band.  QRP is always amazing.

Well I made two contacts.  The bands were very noisy here in North Texas, but I managed to contact one on 20 and one on 40.  I heard  in the sprint.  But it was a nice (although cool) evening in the yard at the picnic table.


Started on 20. Could hear K7TQ, but Randy couldn't hear me calling. Went to 40 and W7OM called and suggested we QSY to 20, so I did. Didn't hear W7OM on 20, but called and worked K7TQ and NQ2W. Heard KK4BNC working NQ2W, but he didn't answer my CQs.  NK6A as calling CQ, but Don couldn't hear me calling him. Back to 40 where there was very little activity. In next 50 minutes, worked WA8MTI, NQ2W, K2YGM, N0TA (on 7033), K3RLL, N9WAY, and AD0HQ all with good signals. Then to 80 for K2YGM with a good signal.  Since no one else was calling, I went to 3549 kHz and was NCS for the late GA State Net (GSN) and had a short chat with my college roommate from 55 years ago, K4QPL.  Then back to 5W on 80 and worked N4SX and WB5BKL. Tried to QSY to 40 with WB5BKL, but no signals from him on that band. Back to 80 for the end with a QSO with W5ACM. Conditions weren't too good, but we could surely use some more activity next month!  73/72, John, K4BAI.

I made 0.00 qsos on 20 meters.  I tried calling CQ several times during the Sprint on 20, but never heard anyone, and never heard a reply.  Apologies to Don NK6A: my key chose the moment of your call to me to gunk up.  It took 5 minutes and some Flitz to put it back in service.  Your signal was good and strong here; I was sorry to lose you ;-) I made a total of 6 QSOs:  4 to TX, 1 each to WA and WI. I made 2 QSOs during the 1st hour, 4 during the 2nd hour.  Maybe next month!

A tough night for 1 W on 20 m only.  I was trying to add to my worked 30 states total with 1 Watt. Band was good for about 1/2 hour and open for another 1/2 hour, but by then most had moved to 40m. Thanks to all who stopped by. Catch you all next month.

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 a homebrewed, near-bottom loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Conditions weren't that great and I think activity was down...Two banders with K4BAI and KK4BNC. I had the best RBN spots on 80 but had no contacts there...I think I heard K4BAI but he was way down in the QRN. Tnx for the Qs and hope to hear you all next month, hopefully, with better conditions. 72, Will

Friday, September 11, 2015

Results: September 2015 Spartan Sprint

Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.

Soapbox: September 2015 Spartan Sprint

My first Spartan Sprint. Propagation was poor so I didn’t expect to hear anyone, but listened during a break and was surprised to hear about three. I only had about 15 minutes left to play, and only one was strong enough to work in that time. Thanks to WA7LNW for sticking with me to get my call sign and exchange! My KX3 is about as light as I can get it, but next time I’ll use ear buds instead of headphones and knock a bit more off my total weight.

My first time submitting a log for the Spartan Sprint. My station weight included a car battery. Was impressed with the 1-watt stations!

Ran MTR 3 W to OCF dipole. Worked Calif. NK6A and NM AA5B for best DX. Thanks all for the contacts. 73 Jim W1PID.

Struggled along on 20 meters for too long as it seemed like only three of us were up there: NK6A, WA8ZBT and myself.  So gave up and slid down to 40 where lots of Spartan Sprinters were apparently lurking as conditions seemed to pick up quickly in spite of the dire propagation report on QRZ.Com this evening.  Thanks for the nice contacts this evening and for the continued monthly fun of the A.R.S. Spartan Sprint.  72 … Don

I had a fun time and glad to hear the folks running 1 or 2 watts.  I was inside at the big rig tonight. Only  20 and 40 meters contacts tonight, nothing heard on the other bands. Alan AC8AP

For this Spartan Sprint I dusted off the KX1, charged the Novuscell "Fredom E" tiny battery and  added a pair or cheap Sonny earphones and the small and light Palm-Radio mini single paddle, for a total weight of 1.5 Lbs. The antenna was the endfed 43' vertical with single 1/4 WL elevated counterpoise wire. The power was reported at 2W (actually, for 20m the Elecraft Wattmeter was indicating 1.8W). In the few initial minutes I completed exchanges with Dennis WA8ZBT in TX, Gene N5GW in MS and John K4BAI in GA, but then at mid-time the band seemed to shut off completely. I switched to 40m (the other alive band in the KX1) but did not hear station calling CQ SP. Nevertheless, a QSO/Weight score of 2 is likely my highest ever in a Spartan Sprint... 72 to all, Jose VE3DTI.

Delighted to hear all the activity on 40M.  Heard nothing on 20M.  Rig was LNR Mt. Topper, 6 AAA NiMH batteries, Whiterook paddle, approx. 3 watts.  Some weaker signals had strange fast QSB flutter.  'Thank You' to KI6SN and all participants!

20 meters seemed to evaporate at 02:00z.  Lots of strong signals on 40m though, from ME to TX.   Special congrats to 1w stations WA4ZOF, K7TQ, K7KO, N4SX, and to several others at 2w and 3w.   For a night of such lousy propagation, it was an active night. 72 de NC4RT

Well ding dangeys, I would not have bet you a plug nickel that I'd make 15 contacts the way the night started out.  It was s-l-o-w, yeah that means really slow.  The first station I tried on 20 was NK6A, but he could not copy me at all(I got him later), then I started calling CQ and the first station that called me, I could not copy . . . payback right? Hi Hi  Things picked up a bit after 20  minutes or so, and by switching back and forth between 20 and 40, I had 20 QSO's by 0210Z.  I wound up with 7/20, 20/40, and 3/80.  I was wondering what in the heck was going and thought maybe there has been Ham kidnapping in New Hampshire.  I usually get 3 or 4 QSOs from there, but I did finally get 1 . . . but no K1QO.  I worked K7QO and WA4ZOF, both running 1KMW (thousand milliwatts) and N5GW and K7TD (two banger), both running 2W, along with several 3W stations.  Lots and lots of fun tonight . . . and for the two or three station whom I absolutely could not copy . . . thank you for trying!  It is always a pleasure folks.  See y'all next month.  Randy N4SX

I had the K1 on the 800 mAh LiPO at 2W to the CFZ. Both 20 and 40 were pretty good. The K1 doesn't cover 80 which is probably still noisy this time of year. I was tickled to work WA2FBN who was running only 700 mW. Also I worked W2SH who was in both the SS and the overlapping MI QRP contest, so I gave him my old MI QRP #. Lots of familiar calls also heard and worked. It was fun. Maybe I'll try 80M next month.

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 a homebrewed, near-bottom loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. 9 QSOs on 20, 8 on 40, and 2 on 80. Better than expected results considering the posted solar-terrestrial data/predictions. Two banders with AB9CA, N5GW, WB5BKL, WA8ZBT, and K4BAI. Tnx for the Qs and hope to hear you all next month. 72, Will

K3/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. QSOs on 20, 40 and 80M - 18 S/P/Cs total. 40M was very noisy here - sorry if I had difficulty copying you. Worked 9 stations using less than 5W - and two QSOs were at the 1 Watt level. Gudanya!  (VK-speak for nice job)  Best signals overall:  20M - WC7Q, 40M - N5GW and 80M - K4BAI. This is always an enjoyable evening.  My thanks to all.  Had fun.

Tonight was a 20 m effort with a meager 1 Watt.  Added 5 states to my Worked Fifty States QRPp total.  Thanks to all who stopped by.

ATS-3 and homebrew Z-match to 88' doublet.  Late start after traffic nets, got 2 on 20m, 6 on 40m, 3 on 80m. Conditions seemed fair to poor, but fun as always.

Operated for only about 15 minutes in the second hour of the contest, using my KX3 at 4W operating on internal batteries.  Pulled in 5 regional contacts on 40M, and never heard anything on 20M or higher.  My antenna was a stealth LNR end-fed wire at 18', fed from the condo balcony.  Sorry to everyone for the poor sending.  I used the sprint to practice sending with the special portable key that WGØAT graciously sent me as a memento of our recent SOTA activation.  I am sure my keying will improve as I get used to it.