Friday, January 11, 2013
Soapbox: January 2013 Spartan Sprint
This was my first Spartan Sprint ever, and I got here through the back door. I was following the HAMjitsu Club Spotter site for flying pigs to add to my WAP award soaring total of "1". Larry, W2LJ was spotted by one of the reporting station. I'm a big fan of Larry's blog, so I wasted no time heading down to 80 meters to hear him calling CQ. Larry, I appreciate the contact! I realized from his exchange I'd found the SP, and I heard a number of additional stations calling. Thanks to AA4GA, KB8U, and K4ORD for the contacts. Ok...I showed up with 18 pounds of gear, so I "missed the boat" here, but I plan to be back next month with an FT-817 and small key.
Sorry I haven't had a chance to get in on the Spartan Sprint in a while! I decided to use my Porta Paddle instead of the super-light touch keyer, thinking that my sending might be a little better with the PP due to the extra weight, but the paddle moved around more than I'd like causing some erratic sending - sorry folks! I was using a leg strap, but I can't get that tight enough around my leg to totally immobilize the paddle. I also used a 950 mAH LiPo that was not fully charged, and operated until I ran it as low as I dared! ATS-3B at 4 to 5 watts and 80m doublet. This is pretty close to what I would use on a SOTA activation, but will probably go a little lighter next time.
Tonight I used my 15+ year old Wilderness Radio 40A, earbuds, homebrew paddles, and 8 AA batteries. With the mighty 2 W I got 4 QSOs in the first 11 minutes, then no more. Heard WB5BKL and W1PID but I couldn't get their attention. W7IEX in nearby NV had a great signal. The 4 Qs spanned the US from NV to GA. I'll use the same setup in Feb and hope 40 m is more productive.
MTR xcvr with tiny LiPo battery and QRP paddle: Finally getting my station weight down, but not hearing many other Spartan Sprinters. 20 meters was dead here and 40 meters wasn’t that far behind tonight. Thanks for those who pulled me out of the noise tonight.
Tough night, lots of neighborhood QRN to deal with. N5GW, VE3XT, VE3EDX and K4BAI were only Q's on 40, the rest on 80. Whew, glad that's over.
I operated with an Icom 7000 and a Windom OCF on both 40 and 80 meters. made 4 QSOs on 40M and 5 QSOs on 80.
FT1000MP, 5W, dipole, inverted vee. 20M was dead. 6 QSOs on 40 M (NH, ID, CO, NJ, NY). 18 QSOs on 80: VA, MS, GA, CO, TX, PA, OK, MI, TN, MD, IL. 40M was OK. 80M
was quite good. Heard but did not work NQ2W on 80M. Heard a NV station on 40, but didn't hear his call. Too many QRPers must have been watching the BCS Championship. Hope for more stations on the air next month. Thanks for all QSOs. Happy New Year to all.
Running 5 watts to a ZS6BKW antenna. All contacts were on 80 meters.
K3, inverted V for 80. It was a night for 80 meters. Worked one station on 40 the remainder were on 80. Noise and QSB were plentiful. Till next month.
More QRN than SP stations on 40M. Interestingly, there was less QRN on 80M. I was using the CFZ hanging between two big oaks and the K1 with internal NiMH battery
pack, not fully charged. After the first hour, the voltage dropped to 8.6V, and the rig started chirping. So I dug out some alkaline AA cells for the second hour. I hope to be ready for FYBO and Feb. SP early next month.
K1 running 5W to a mini-beam at 25ft for 20m, an inverted vee at 40ft for 40m, and a ground mounted, near bottom-loaded vertical for 80m. Started out on 20m but heard
nothing and no one answered my CQs. Moved to 40m and made 8 Q's - 4 from TX, 1 each from CO, FL, GA, and MS. Changed the filter board out to move down to 80m where I
made 6 more Q's to MD, MI, MS, NH, TX, and VA. Had two banders with N5GW and WB5BKL. Thanks to all of the participants and thanks to the organizers. Always a pleasure . . . Happy New Year to everyone. Looking forward to next month.
K3/10 @ 5W to a dipole or a 40m extended double Zepp. Started very slow, but activity picked up as the evening wore on - I suspect that was BCS-Championship related. Nothing heard on 20m but 40 and 80m were OK. Worked 13 states but only NQ2W on two bands. Thanks to all. Had fun.
Still using the ATS-3. It is now eight years old and continues to perform quite well with three LiPo batteries, providing 5W out and a final total of 13 QSOs. 20M was absolutely dead. I made six contacts on 40M including VE3XT in Ontario, and worked seven on 80M. The noise level wasn't too bad on 80M. My backyard vertical uses a resonator at the top for any very narrow piece of 80M that you wish to work. Mine is peaked at 3560, and it's nice when conditions cooperate.