Friday, October 9, 2009

Soapbox comments: October '09 Spartan Sprint

20 meters went out early. 40 was heavy with QRM. Bad night here on the Texas coast. Tried the Spartan Sprint computer logging program for the first time. Works A-OK. Will try to use it again. Be back next month.

EFHW on 40 meters.


Activity on 40M was slow, with more noise than last month. 80M was worse. The AT-Sprint 3a did well, especially with the new pair of 200 mAh LiPo batteries. The antique multi-band vertical continues to perform. It was challenging, but enjoyable. Thanks to all I contacted!

I operated 40 meters with the little Chinese HB-1A. I only operated for about 20 minutes. 20 meters was dead. I switched to an FT-817 and worked 4 more QSOs on 80, but I didn't count them because of the heavier rig. Wish the HB-1A had 80 meters. Thanks for the fun.

Got off to a quick start but it didn't last long on 40M. The band was kind of crappy. After too long I finally went to 80M where I made most of my QSOs. Packed it in after a bit less than an hour.

K3/10 @ 5w + 40M EDZepp. Most of my contacts were on 40M - John (K4BAI) was tough on 80M. Propagation seemed a little odd. Nice to hear some new (to me) calls, though. Had fun.

Nothing heard on 20M here in CA and although 80M was open could not raise anyone. 40 M seemed good and heard several more stations but no QSO (e.g. KI6HJN). Hopefully almost there with the bands.

Horrible condx. 20M was dead at the start, no big surprise. But 40M also sounded near dead, just a few ESP level signals to be worked. Fortunately the noise level on 80M is beginning to slightly abate and was able to pull four Q's from the noise. Gave up at the end of the first hour, hopefully next month will be better.

Slim pickin's over this way. Started on 20 and heard no one. Went to 40 and thought it was going to be the same. But eventually 6 guys heard me. Then went to 80 (which is getting a lot quieter) and added 5 more. Went back and forth between 40 and 80 but heard no one else. Hung it up at 0215z. Rig was K2 to either 80m inv vee at 36 ft or 1/2 size G5RV as inv vee at 30'. Both seemed to work equally poorly . . . Maybe next month? Thanks to all who stopped by.

20M was open to the west, but no Sprinters were audible and my CQs were unanswered. 40M was very long, but sigs from NH, MN, WA were quite good. Anything closer was within the skip zone. I missed W7OM on 40. Went to 80M very early and it was in good shape here. Some QRN, but not bad. Other stations seemed to have much higher QRN levels. Worked everyone I heard on 80M. Activity was light. We need more publicity to the general QRP operator population. 40M: 4 QSOs. 80M: 13 QSOs. Thanks for every QSO and I look forward to next month.

That was a blast. I managed 18 Qs the first hour on 40 meters working from Minneapolis, MN. On the first Q, I goofed and had the K2's power knob turned all the way down (What's that? 50 mw? 100 mw?). K4BAI pulled out my signal on the very first call. Amazing. The antenna is a dinky screwdriver on a RV ladder. I worked a bunch of the regular QRPers. Then, I slowed my code way down and worked a whole bunch of new folks. I don't know if I worked the new folks due to this QTH instead of Seattle, or because my CQs were slower than the others running stations? I gave everybody a 55n report. However, the low signal report of the month goes to Randy K7TQ - way down in the noise. An "honest" RST would have been 2-1-9. This was a lot of fun.

Only got on for a short time. Two contacts on 20M, 1 on 40M. Rig was K3 at 5 watts and antenna EDZ at 55.

I had a lot of power line noise, sorry to those I couldn't pull through. Thanks to K8DD for QSOs on 5 bands.

Slim pickings tonight. 20M had almost expired at 0100Z but got three Texans. Thanks WB5BKL, WA8ZBT and K5JHP. Jumped to 40M at 0114 and snagged nine more until the XYL got home so had to fix a quick dinner. Got back at 0211 on 40M and once again met up with Nick WB5BKL. But 10 mins of CQing produced no more on that band. Switched to 80M and found two nets operating on 3560 and 3562. Started CQing on 3563 but no takers. Heard K8DD CQ'ing away on 3560.37 just above the net and worked Hank. Got yanked out of the chair for another half hour and made one last Q with Ian, K8MM at 0249. I heard NF0R but he could not hear me. I was momentarily tempted to switch on the amp but was successful in restraining that foolish inclination. If not for the interruptions, I may have had a few more on 40M but the band did not sound very good so maybe I didn't miss much. Equipment used was an Icom 756P3 at 5 watts, Force12 C3, Cushcraft 40-2CD and an 80M full wave loop which faces east. Thanks for the contacts and hoping the fall brings better conditions on the low bands for the SS.

Yaesu FT-450 running 5W to "Stealth" Antennas. 20 appeared dead from the start tonight and 40 was very noisey here in Central CA. Thanks to Elwood WB0OEW for the QSO.

It was an 80 and 40 Sprint!

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