Friday, May 6, 2016

Soapbox: May 2016 Spartan Sprint

Experimenting with stealth antennas this evening but neither one must work because I didn’t hear many Sprinters. And then a big storm rolled in so ran out into the rain to take down the two antennas under test, put them all away, come back inside, dry off, and switch to indoor heavily loaded dipole.  Just amazed anyone could hear me. Much credit to those kind enough to dig me out of the noise this evening. With the storm raging and few stations heard, it was time to fold in earlier than usual but thanks for the fun. 72/73 … Don

In a nutshell, prop seemed to be awful. The prop numbers looked better than the airwaves sounded. Worked only 9 stations. All but one of those was weak or very weak. The noise did not seem to be as bad as I had expected given how close the storms were. Did not work fill time, had other things going on. Probably spent only about 45 min total. All but one of the contacts was on 40. Got no answers on 20 and only one on 80. Thanks go out to the few that could hear me. Hopefully things will be better next month!  73 de dave, ab9ca/4

Somewhere in my distant past, I recall reading an article in which the author stated that the waning years of a sunspot cycle have more solar storms than the other phases of the same cycle. I am beginning to think that author was on to something! The conditions last night were a good example; what a mess! With the recent sunspot numbers up for several days running and more sunlight on the northern hemisphere, I was thinking that the conditions on 20M would be wonderful. I think I could have heard more activity from a 50 ohm resistor last evening.  Of the five stations I could copy, I was able to work three: AB9CA,(AL), WB5BKL(TX) and K4ARQ(FL), all on 40M  Thanks guys for pulling me out of your local noise. Maybe things will quiet down a bit for June's SP. I sure hope so! 72's to all, Larry, KFØN

K3/10 @ 5W to a 20 wire delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. My worst performance since October. Ugh. One QSO each on 20 and 80 - the remainder on 40M.  Best signal of the evening was AB9CA. Always notable was N5GW's fine signal @ 1W. I hope it was just me and everyone else had big totals!  My thanks to all. Had fun.

 I was using a K1 with LiPO but had forgotten to recharge the battery from last outing. So I missed about half of the Sprint. On 20M I only heard/worked NK6A. On 40M only WB5BKL and K3RLL. Otherwise nothing heard in the way of Spartan Sprinters. I guessed that it was mostly poor participation, since band conditions didn't sound that bad.

Band conditions were the pits!  I was only on 20 for the first hour during my daylight and all I heard and saw on the scope was noise. Called CQ continuously and finally found a few stations.  N5GW with 1 watt.  Another station,N5EM, with just 3 Watts. I was greedy and using 5W. Still, know-one heard me. How come I didn't hear anyone. Checked my coax, my meter, my antenna.  OK, let's try 40. Nada. Did I have the wrong date or time? I know when to quit and after 1.5 hours it was time to pull the plug.
See you next month when I will try using my new light weight MTR-5B.

Egad! I thought that the winter Propagation doldrums were long gone after the good results experienced during the April 2016 Spartan Sprint. Not so, it seems after the band performances experienced May 3rd.  The N0NBH Propagation data showed an A = 031 and a K = 5.  I saw nor heard a single carrier on 20 meters and only one very weak signal from Alabama on 40 meters. Thank you Dave, AB9CA for my one contact for the evening. Joe, W5QLF, Helotes, TX

Still using the ATS-3a with two 170 mAh LiPo batteries, providing 3W out to my antique 18AVQ vertical and a final total of THREE QSOs this month. I got on about 20 minutes late and thought that my antenna or radio had quit. It was relatively quiet on 40M with few stations heard and noisy on 80M, also with few stations heard. What a mess! The ever-present WB5BKL was 579 on 80M - great signal from Austin. The batteries survived the abuse - again! 72 de Andy W5ACM - Houston, TX

Only had 1 Q on 40 with AB9CA. Fred, WA5BUC

Very strange Sprint. Worked NK6A solid S5 - S7 on 20M - and heard nobody else. Then went to 40M and worked AB9CA in AL - and heard nobody else. Using my KX3, internal batteries and attached keyer to the built-in speaker. Weird.

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