Friday, November 7, 2014

November 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Soapbox

Just got back into ham radio after a five year absence. Got bucked off a horse three months ago and broke my leg. Decided to do something constructive besides lay around the house so I studied and up grade to Extra Class. Still not getting around to well so my antenna is very temporary, but still works. Horizontal vee 100X75 up about 15ft. Best I could do while holding onto my cane. Was running a K2 tonight at 5W and was able to connect with K7TQ in Idaho, WV0H in Colorado, K4BAI in Georgia, and W3KC in Maryland. Pretty diverse geography. Thanks guys. Not bad for a chunk of welding wire thrown up into a tree. Looking forward to next month's Sprint...

What a strange night! Propagation fell off. I didn't hear anyone on 20 meters, so I went to 40. John K4BAI was calling CQ. We made the exchange and I said he was the only station I could hear. He said he'd worked K7TQ and another station on 20 meters. So I went back and called CQ. Wow... Steve WG0AT answered from CO. He was 579. Never heard another station on 20 meters. So I went back to 40 and worked Don, K3RLL. I called it quits after that. Thanks all and 73.

Nothing heard on 20m and seemed pretty light on 40m but always nice to run into familiar calls from around the country. Nice tonight to work W1PID Jim and WGØAT Steve.  Been too long.  As always, Spartan Sprint is fun.I'm back in Florida with an attic antenna. 72 to all.

The time change really did us in tonight. No 20m activity but 40 seemed okay. I went down to 80 at 0240Z played there for about 10 minutes calling CQ but no takers, then back to 40. Maybe as winter gets closer 80 will be more productive. I managed to work K4BAI, John, right away and then K7TQ, he was there banging away as well as W5ACM and N5GW. Worked Don, NK6A twice but only counted him once, of course. Pretty fun with the MFJ-9296 rig and palm paddles with LGNokSung battery again.

Elecraft KX3 @5 wts to G5RV antenna; Vibroplex Vibrokeyer (new in 1973!)  Missed the 1st hour due to other commitments.  Thankfully I worked John, K4BAI on 40M; Did not hear anyone else on 40M or 80M for the whole 2nd hour.  Seems like this is becoming a 1 hr event.

Finished level 1 class for CWOPS.  Now Monday night off.  Rig ATS-3  weak audio on 40m, if anyone called that I could not hear. Worked 2 stations on 20m and then nothing. Went to 40 and immediately heard K4BAI  very strong. I heard K7TQ but could not pull out of noise. Called WVØH but I guess he could not hear me.

All contacts were on 40 meters. Band was noisy here this time, and not many stations were heard.

20 m produced only 5 Qs in 10 minutes and no one had a strong signal. Forty meters was better for a short while with 12 Qs from CA to MD.  NK6A had a 
strong 40 m signal.  I went to 80 m at 0300 after a long dry spell and 
N7LT in MT caught me for my only 80 m Q. Thanks to all and see you next 

N5GW in MS was the only station I heard on 20m. TNX to K7TQ up in ID for 
the QSO on 40m.

K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted vee at 40 ft for 40 m, and near bottom-loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Conditions weren't that great here in Albany and/or participation was way down. Six QSOs - 1 on 20, 4 on 40, and 1 on 80. Almost had another on 40 but QSB got the best of that one. Two bander with K4BAI. W7OM had a nice sig from WA on 20. Hoping for better conditions and/or a lot more activity next month. Thanks for the opportunity.

KX3 with internal batteries and ATU to CFZ. I didn't hear many QRPers tonight. Initial operation was on 20M to try and pick up some of the west coast ops before the band closed. There I found NK6A, K7TQ, N7LT and was finally able to drag K6CSL out of the noise. 40M was fair with a bit of QRN. Only got K4BAI and W5ACM on 80M. Maybe there will be more participation next month.

FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, zepp, dipole, inverted vee.  20M was very long.  Only two QSOs on 20: K7TQ and NK6A.  No one else heard on that band. 40M was also a bit long.  No QSOs in the fourth call area and didn't hear N5GW in MS either.  18 QSOs.  NK6A was very loud from CA on 40M. 80M: 4 QSOs from NY, TX and MS.  80M would be good for more QSOs if more sprinters would go there for the last part of each sprint.  Hope for more activity in December.  Between now and then (actually I will still be there during the December Spartan Sprint, but the rigs will have been packed for an early flight on Tuesday morning) I will be QRV from Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles as PJ4/K4BAI and during CQWW CW as PJ4A M/2. Hope to work many of you from there.

20M very noisy, open to the West at beginning of test. Moved quickly to 40M.  Worked only 2 more.  There were other weak signals, but unable to copy them.  Then there was K4BAI, what a signal, John - again. No one heard on 80M - I will have improved antenna on 80M for December.

The November Spartan Sprint was SOOO difficult! I got one contact on 20M, three on 40M and two on 80M. 20M sounded dead. 40M was difficult with serious fading, and 80M was just plain noisy. It’s always fun, but it was a lot of work. The only station with serious strength from my QTH was K4BAI in GA. The ATS-3a was working well. All daughter boards were up to spec and power out was 3W most of the time. I think it got down to 2.5W during the last 20 minutes of the event. The batteries are not “puffy” and I am hoping for some great ops in December!

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