Monday, December 28, 2015

Soapbox: December 2015 ARS Spartan Sprint

NK6A
The A index was 26.  Conditions were dismal here in Southern California. I tried 20M on a lark and that was dead. Next I tried 40, I saw no signals on my P3. I kept tuning and watching when finally I heard a few very weak ESP-type signals. Dave, AB9CA, has great ears.  John, K4BAI, also has great ears. I was surprised that I was heard.  Four contacts and four different states.  All in the South.  MS, TX, GA and AL. Where was everyone?  I called it quits at 03:30Z.

K1QO
Conditions were a bit strange!  The best signal award (besides neighbor N1IX who lives a half mile away) goes to N5GW I didn't expect to hear MS coming through like gangbusters ... cool, and second place goes to AB9CA ... nice signal Dave!!!  Always a thrill to get "BAI" on multi bands I was so glad to get John on 40 and 80!  Good to hear WA1CZQ/1, friend and glue for NEQRP club!  I listened hard for local NH QRP'ers on 80 when I called but I didn't get any takers ... I'll try again next month. Thanks neighbor N1IX for triple bander and thanks to K3RLL for the contact on 40!  See everyone next month and happy holidays to all! 72/88 de Ann

K3RLL
Once again, 20 meters was as empty as my wallet but action slowly started to build again this evening on 40m. Despite the fair propagation numbers published today, signals sounded weak this evening with a couple of notable exceptions: K2YGM and N9WAY. Thanks to all for the contacts and for those whose efforts make this monthly event possible.

NQ2W
K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted V at 40 ft for 40 m, and a homebrewed, near-bottom loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Not much activity for this sprint ... low participation or less than optimal conditions...maybe both. K4BAI accounted for half of my contacts and my only QSOs on 20 and 80. Thanks to AB9CA, K3RLL, and N5GW for getting me in their logs. Have a great holiday season and I hope to hear a lot of SPers in 2016.  72, Will

N1IX
Great conditions on 40M for the first 10 minutes then they deteriorated rapidly. John, K4BAI was very loud, stronger than I’ve heard him in a long time. It was great to work Jim, W1PID on 80M and work my neighbor Ann, K1QO on 3 bands. Sorry I missed you Carl, WA1ZCQ/1 but great to hear you in the Sprint. Overall participation in this sprint seemed very low but that may have been the poor conditions. Also, we have a new Randy, KCĂ˜CCR in KS called me. Hope you all have a great holiday. See you in the sprints next year. 72 Dave – N1IX

N5GW
I was running the KX3 at 3 watts with internal ATU and internal batteries to the CFZ. On 40M the antenna was loaded like a center fed dipole, and on 80M like a "T" vertical with metal porch roof ground. I listened on 20M at first but heard nothing. 40M was the main band with 19 Q's. Only 5 Q's on 80M. It is interesting why one of the two bands (40 or 80) will be the best on a given date this time of year.

K4BAI
FT1000MP, 52, TH6DXX, dipole, inverted vee, zepp.  20M was open to New England, NY and TX at the start, but only two QSOs made there. 40M was pretty good all over with 14 QSOs from CA to MN to NH and ON.  Heard and called several stations who could not hear me. Skip was too long for near by QSOs. 80M was also good with 9 QSOs form TX to MN to NH and as close as AL.  Thanks for all QSOs.  Hope we can have more activity next month. 73/72, John, K4BAI

W5ACM
The December 2015 Spartan Sprint was noisy at my QTH, but not impossible. I found no stations on 20M, so went directly to 40M since I missed the first 30 minutes of the event. Work got in the way… There were a few stations on 40M, but the bulk of my operation ended up on 80M, with an interesting exception. While tuning to 7040 from 7030 (power-on default for the ATS 3a), I ran across VP5/W5CW on 7033. No pileup and reasonable conditions between Turks and Caicos and Houston, so I got that one in the log. From my location, the strongest signal of the night was WB5BKL on 80M. Nick was booming in. The antenna continues to be my antique 14AVQ vertical and power out was a maximum of 3W. The 170 mAh LiPo’s are certainly puffing up, but I will keep running them until they blow! C U in 2016 es 72 de Andy W5ACM (Houston, TX)

W5QLF
I made only two contacts and these were both on 40 meters. Twenty was dead to me. Thank you Gene, N5GW and Charles, AB9CA   I could copy other stations but the QSB took out critical characters voiding  valid contacts. The rig is a FlexRadio 6300 using a Butternut HF-9V vertical over 60 radials. It is very disheartening to see a CW trace on the waterfall but not be able to copy the audio.

N5EM
Nobody heard on 20M. Went straight to 40M.  Worked 3 there, and WB5BKL on 80M using my R7 (40 - 10). I have to get that 80M loop up before January!

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double 
Zepp.  Only 14 Qs and 8 states split between 40 and 80M.  Heard a couple of below ESP signals that I could not pull out of the mud - though both bands were unusually quiet here. Sorry about that. Only one contact in the last 30 minutes.  Best signals:  40M - K4BAI, 80M - AB9CA. Let's all hope for better propagation _and_ more participation next year. Happy Holidays to all and see you in 2016! Had fun.

WB8LZG
Hello sprinters, here's my SP Log. RAN HEAVY USING THE BIG RIG TURNED DOWN TO 5W. 30+ LBS. 73 Gregg

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