Friday, December 10, 2010

Soapbox Comments: December '10 Spartan Sprint

Rig was K2 at 5w to the OCF 80m dipole. Condx seemed to be fairly good. Worked 11 stations and 8 SPC's on 40 then 18 stations and 11 SPC's 80. Had only an hour and spent about 30 minutes on each band. On 40 worked from CA to NH and on 80 managed to work K7TQ in ID for the best DX there. Thanks to everyone that stopped by. Was a fun hour. Hope to hear ya'all next month!

My third sprint.  This time @ 2.5 watts with the internal batteries on the FT-817nd.  Still had over 9V after the two hours.  20 was dead and 40 was pretty quiet here so only worked 80.  Tried a couple times on 40 but no results.  Thanks to those good ears who picked me out of the noise. Thanks ARS for putting this on.

Not a lot of stations heard. I operated for five minutes. Ran 5 watts to an OCF dipole. Stations worked: K4ORD, AB9CA, C6AKQ (all on 40) and W4VVH (on 80). Thanks, guys.

What a wild ride!  40M was hot to Europe.  With 5W worked UR, UA, DL, EI, F, SP, OE, 9A, and UA2 in that order.  Also worked a handful of regular Spartan Sprinters with super signals. When I went to 80M at 10:15 local, worked three stations in short order and then nothing for fifteen minutes.  Wrapped it up at 10:30.Rig: K3 @ 5W. Antennas: 40M dipole @ 80ft, 80M dipole @ 100ft.

As always it was very enjoyable and loved the challenge. Station was Ten Tec Paragon II  @ 5W with GAP Titan Vertical. Contacts on 40 and 80m only.

40m was long, but 80m was excellent. Good participation this month. AT Sprint 3 and a 300' horizontal loop fed with open wire ladder line. Will submit my log to the ARRL's Logbook of the World. Merry Christmas and all the best in 2011 to all the Adventure Radio folks.

Used my Ten Tec 1340 to the inverted vee at 40 feet. C6AKQ was loud for long time. Worked three TX stations, one each in LA and NC. Not a lot of activity on 40 meters. Used my new homebrew paddle and CMOS-4 keyer that I built a few weeks ago. Everything, except the power supply, I'm using for the Spartan Sprint is homebrew from scratch (paddle, antenna, and antenna supports) or from a kit (transceiver and keyer). Quite a reward to QSO with stations on homebrewed equipment. Thanks to everyone that heard me and thanks to the organizers. Happy holidays and hope to see you all next year!

Hard to find the link for log submission this month.  20 seemed dead at the beginning, so started on 40.  It seemed long.  NG7Z in WA was rocking there.  Surprised to work W4VHH in NC and N5GW in MS and KD9KC in TX.  Heard several more on 40 that I couldn't work including stations in TX, NQ2W, and K4ORD.  Somebody within my skip zone was getting a lot of calls, but I didn't get many answers to CQs.  After about 24 minutes, I went to 80.  80 conditions were pretty good, but activity was low.  Was able to work NV1B in ME and NG7Z in WA on 80, as well as WI, MI, OH, NY, MO, many in TX and stations in the Southeast.  Thanks for all QSOs and let's get out more activity next month!  Happy Holidays to all.

A 4x improvement over last time. See, it pays to start off poorly!

I was dismayed by conditions on 20M and 40M. Yes, there were a few stations on 40M that I noted prior to the event, but it looked like 80M was going to be the band of preference. It was. My ears hurt. My seriously depressed LiPo batteries hurt. However, December was a LOT better than November! Thanks to AB9CA, K4BAI, W4VHH, AE8M, W5ESE, N5GW and W0CH, I survived then QRN and at least got 7 on 80! I really need to do a little tuning on the dot side of the key paddle though. My "fist" was terrible for the duration. I operated in the ARRL 160M contest last weekend running 3W as W5MSQ (one of several operators). I was amazed at what a full-size, resonant antenna can do, even with QRP, but we were in a rural area with plenty of space. That would be SOOOO nice on 80M at my house!! C U next month! Gear: ATS-3A and antique vertical.

One contact on 40 and five on 80. Rig was the Sierra 2w on 40 and 1w on 80 to doublet. Batteries were AAAs. I worked PA on 80 for 842 miles per watt.  I could have been better on 40!

Yaesu FT-817nd @ 5 watts 80 meter dipole @ 25' - Lower bands here have been terrible the last couple of weeks...40 has been sounding more like 10 meters! Weird conditions tonight, heard some very light CQ SP's on 40 but by the time I would attempt to zero beat they were lost in the noise!  C6AKQ was the exception...Wow! the "Baked Potato" was slamming in here a solid 599! Tnx Bob for the contact! went to 80 and same kind of strange conditions K4ORD was solid 599 when I called but when he gave his info it was all I could do to copy him in the noise..I called John K4BAI and heard nothing in response, waited then tuned away and as I passed back I swore I heard my call and was surprised to hear it was John calling! No big numbers but was happy to work all my 3 contacts and was fun to snag the Bahamas on 40!

Boy that was tuff going tonight. Not nearly as good conditions as last month. Only nine Q's on 40 and nine on 80. Exited 40M around 0230Z. First Q on 80M was at 0245 with K4ORD with a nice signal. Only three contacts during 0300Z to 0400Z. Searched and CQ'd the whole time. Very slim pickings. Best DX was NV1B in ME on 80M. Loudest signal was AE8M in OH also on 80M. K4BAI took me by surprise right at the start. I didn't expect a call on my first CQ! 72 all and thanks for the Q's.

Conditions were poor on both 40 & 80, some signals were strong and others were very weak. Made 6 qso's on 40M and 14 on 80M. Best dx was NG7Z  WA on 80M, heard Randy K7TQ but unable to get him to hear me. Rig K2@5W ants were 40 & 160M dipoles. Thanks for all the QSOs.

Really bad condx tonight. QSB really bad.  CU next year.

40m started off OK, but kind of ran out within 30 minutes.  80m was a struggle from the start.  Thanks to those who slowed down for me, it really helped in the noise.  Worked Ron - WT5RZ, he was the new ham that sat at my station a few months ago and watched me work the sprint. I picked up a tiny little straight key on the E-place, hope to shave a few more ounces off the weight.  We will see.

Changed out my antenna. Now using a 100' end-fed wire. C6AKQ on 40. N5GW, AB9CA, and W5ESE on 80. Will be glad when the website is finished. Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for 2011.

Disappointing turnout when 40 and 80 are really getting good.  Did work Jim at C6.  The QRP crowd really needs to settle on a frequency center on each band.  7030 and/or 7040,  and likewise on 80 is not great.  There's a lot of newer digital stuff just above 7030, strong here on the frontier.  Calling CQ "SS", I had one guy tell me "Sweeps was last month."  Is it SS or SP? (It's SP - Editor)

Where was everyone tonight?  After a little flurry of activity on 40, it went empty as all the power ops went to 80. But even down on 80, I only heard a few participants.  Must be all this cold weather here in FL. My antenna must be frozen.

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