Friday, September 11, 2009

Soapbox comments: Sept. '09 Spartan Sprint

I'm a tubby, lots of reasons for not going out on the deck, very low activity, all on 40, it was Labor Day after all. I will likely miss the Oct, I'll have just returned from N6A for the CQP.

Noise levels were reasonable in South Texas, and 20 Meters was open and quite usable. Fifty percent of my contacts this month were via 20 Meters. The vertical once again was the antenna of choice. The current pair of 200 mAh Li-Po batteries are just about dead. I will need to change them out for next month since operation was curtailed by the premature battery failure. The power level was announced as 3W, but ranged from 2.5W at the beginning of the event to as low as 0.5W near the end. However, this was an excellent sprint!

Glad to see some of the regulars. Worked John, K4BAI, on 20 and 40; Paul, NG7Z on 40 only this go around. 20 was good for 8 QSOs and 40 offered up 12 and all of the 40 meter QSOs were to the East Coast and Washington State; not a local soul heard. Sure will be glad to see winter months arrive with a little more stability on 40 and 80. One of the better "Sprint evenings," lately, on 40 meters for me out here in the communications outback of s/w Utah. Good to hear old friends like John, K4BAI on both bands and Paul, NG7Z, on 40. Never heard any one from the midwest, mountain states or California and that's been the standard this summer - tuff to hear what I call "north/south locals" in the evening hours. Rig: Wilderness Sierra, 10 AA battery pack, lightweight key and ear buds.

I was short on time and the bands seemed marginal. At least I gave out a couple of Q's from the K3 and 80 meter loop. Thanks for the sprint.

K3/10 @ 5w + 40M EDZepp. Most of my QSOs were on 40M. My apologies to those who called me on 20M that I had trouble hearing. I had a S8-S9+ intermittent noise level (that's my excuse anyway). Had fun!

KK4R (best RST of the Sprint), N4BP and K5GQ. All 40 mtr.

40 meters only this time. Rig - Tentec Orion @ 5W, Antenna, Dipole.
One hour to operate but finished strong. Thanks for having the sprint.

AT Sprint 3 at 3 watts; Whiterook MK-44 iambic paddles; 300' horizontal loop on 20m, 40m inverted V on 40m. Wow; I haven't made 30 contacts in the Spartan Sprint since 2006! Think we benefitted from favorable propagation and also increased interest and participation. I was surprised to work Texas and Louisiana on 20 meters. It's not often I experience sporadic E on 20. Kudos to the leadership of ARS for patiently rebuilding participation in this event.

Heard N4BP 0100 - 0130 14.060 RST 229 and building to about 339. I decided to call but the band changed. Heard a zero RST 339 but didn't get the call. This was about 0140-0145. Nothing
more heard when stopped listening at 0230.

This was my first Spartan Sprint. I'm looking forward to the next one!

20M, which had seemed dead earlier, came back to life at the beginning of the SS and QSOs were possible from GA to FL, VA, LA, TX, UT, ID, WA, MI and a very surprising one with AB9CA in AL. I was unable to raise WA7OJY in CA, but worked him on 40 later. 40 was very good to most areas of the country, but seemed a bit weak to the North East. There seemed to be no long skip on 40. 80M was noisy here, but I managed QSOs with N4BP and W2SH. WA8ZBT in TX couldn't hear me on 80. Thanks for all the QSOs and look forward to next month.

5W from Elecraft K3, Cushcraft A4S, Sewper Armadillo 40/80 dipole. Good opening on 20M that extended just past a half hour. 40M was reasonably quiet for a change. Lots of activity.

Ten Tec Omni VI @ 5wts; 20M vertical, G5RV 40M; Great fun! Lots of activity on 20M & 40M; Nice to work Doc, K0EVZ. See everyone next month!

Remarkable Spartan Sprint. I ran a new (to me) K2 at 5 watts with a Windom OCF dipole.
Best DX was on 40M with W7OM in WA. I worked K7TQ in ID on 2 bands, 20m and 40m. I worked N4BP on 2 bands, 20m and 40m. I worked Hank K8DD on 2 bands, 40m and 80m.
I worked Mike AA1TJ in VT. Mike was running 85mw! I operated for a little more than an hour
and had a great time. Thanks to all.

Conditions not the best. The most surprizing contact was AA4XX with 1/4 watt. Nicely done!
It is somewhat sad that some digital stations are "parking" around 7.040 now. Quite a bit of QRM made it hard to hear everyone.

Used HW-8 at home with 160' end-fed wire. The only station I heard calling CQ SP on 80 was W1PID, who came right back. Heard several calling CQ SP on 40 but they didn't hear me.

Not a bad night in the 'ol town tonight. 20M was good until 0143Z at which time I took a 5 min break. 40M was hopping and spent the rest of the time there. Most surprising contact was VE2EMZ in Quebec. Several east coast stations got in the log this month unlike last month. I
think I should have at least took a listen on 80M but just forgot. Congrats to Doug AC7T for jumping in the fray. His first time at the SP. See you next month. Equipment was an Icom 756P3 at 5W, a Force12 C3 on 20M and a 2 element shorty forty on 40.

Only ran on 40 meters and suffered through the QRN. Lots of familiar calls in the log. Rig was a K2 antenna was a 1 wavelength wire up 35 feet, my 80 m EFHW. Heard two contacts that had me rolling, one at 500w and the other at 20w.

First use of my new K3! Finished assembly on Saturday and on the air for SP. 20 m good for 1st half hour. Most states were east of MS river. 40 m open from CA to NH. Lots of Texans out in force tonight. Tried 80 m, but no SP heard. At 0259 got a call from AA4XX, Paul, running 200 mW. He was one of the louder stations of the evening.

Ran a Sierra at 3w's to a short doublet up 25ft, casual S/P'ing between other chores. Fun as always, c'ya next month.

Station was K2 to OCF 80m Inv Vee. Thanks to all who stopped by. Was a fun evening despite the difficulties getting used to a different set of paddles. Am something of a klutz so always mess up some sending, but tonight, with a different set of paddles, was worse than normal. Thanks to all who tolerated the errors! The activity was about evenly split, 17 Q's on 20 and 15 on 40. Worked as close as about 200 miles (K4BAI) and as far away as about 2000 (NG7Z) on both bands. Haven't done that in some time. Listened on 80 but heard no one and there was quite a bit of noise so no contacts there. Maybe the wintertime prop is beginning to appear? See ya'all next month!

Running with the K-1 this time with small paddles and NMH batteries. 20 was hot while it lasted. 40 was Ok but some QRM from slow CW. I would like to see some of the stations on 20 meters spread out more. Seems like they were all in the first 2KC of "60" and QRM'd each other. 40 was some better but still on top of each other. Be back next month.

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