Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Soapbox: August 2016 Spartan Sprint

Tough going here for August's SP. Don’t know whether everyone got stung by bees during the FOBB or band conditions just continue to wane on us. Anyhow, happy for the ten skilled ops able to pull me out of weak conditions this evening on 20m and 40m. Two bander Andy W5ACM and the lone big signal tonight was Walt KB1M.  Thanks to all and the full and entire staff sponsoring this fun monthly event.  72/73 … Don K3RLL


I worked K4BAI and W5ACM on 20m and 40m.  I worked WB5BKL on 20m, and he was my only contact on 80m.  N5GW (MS) had a good  559 signal on 40m running only two watts.  There was a net on 3560 khz so I searched around 3562 kHz where I found WB5BKL. This is my first Spartan Sprint in quite awhile, and first Sprint since moving from FL to ID in 2011.  I need to use my Elecraft KX1 (20m/40m only), purchased and built years ago for use in Spartan Sprint....complete with batteries and internal antenna tuner.  It is very light but only about 3 watts output.

FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, zepp.  Very little activity tonight. Maybe everybody was worn out from the FOBB on Sunday. QSOs by band: 20M: 7.  40M: 14.  No signals heard on 10 or 20 or 80. Called CQ SP on 80 for a long time and only heard static crashes. We had had rain and thunderstorms earlier in the evening.  20 and 40 seemed to be in pretty good condition, but lack of activity was a big problem. No QSOs in the last 43 minutes despite calling CQ constantly. Went to sleep in the chair and the computer  was still calling "CQ SP" after the period was over. No answers then either. Let's try for more activity next month. 73/72, John, K4BAI


I was using the KX3 with internal bats and ATU to a CFZ. 20M yielded only a few mostly weak sigs. 40M was QRNish as to be expected in midsummer. I didn't try 80M. Participation seemed to be down again, with only a few regular ops around. Maybe FOBB wore everyone out.

I went back into the mountains east of Moscow, ID where I had done FOBB the day before.  Same rig, K2, and 20 m dipole at 40 feet between the pine trees plus a 20/40 m inverted Vee on a Jacklite pole. Not a lot of activity, but I did get four of the usual suspects, K4BAI, AB9CA, WB5BKL, and W5ACM on both 20 and 40. All the 20 m Qs were far to the east or TX as were the ones on 40. Bert, K6CSL, was loud from CA on 40, but I never did hear his exchange. 20 m was still open near the end, 0250Z, when I could hear K4BAI calling CQ. Catch you all next month.


I once again used my MTR-5B  with 9V battery and palm pico paddle. My battery after 2 sprints is barely 8V and might be time to retire it. Operating 3 W down to 2 W.  6 states. Thanks everyone for having good ears.


20 m died in first 30 minutes here in N.H., but was rewarded with my first QRP Ca  with NK6A. Not much heard on 40, only 2 contacts through the QRN. 73, Walt


Used a new-to-me K2 @ 5W to a 20 wire delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. I am still in 'newbie' mode with the K2 - and apologize for the fumbling. My score is worse than last month but better than the month before that. Nothing on 15M, 4 on 20M, 5 on 40M and 1 on 80M.  40% of my contacts were from Idaho!  Only 6 states this time.  Best signals:  20M - N3VKM, 40M - N5GW, 80M - WJ9B. I guess Gene had is 40M rotatable rhombic pointed toward the Texas hill country again this month. Nice to work several FOBB participants again Monday evening. My thanks to all (including the organizers). Had fun.

After my surprise win in July's Skinny division, it was good to see W5ACM back to reclaim the skinny crown! I did shave some weight by switching to three AA-size Three contacts on 20m and then 6 on 40m over about 80 minutes. It was coast-to-coast from IA to CA, PA, GA, MA and more. No two-band contacts, but lots of regulars. Let's hope we can keep promoting this fun event.

K3 at 5w to 100' wire. A bit of a late start. Ended up being active for only 45 min. 3 Q's on 20, 7 on 40. 20 was long - NH ID CA. 40 shorter - MS IL ID PA IA TX. Only 2-bander was K7TQ in ID. Most stations were weak, but prop has been rather strange lately. Hope to see everyone next month. 73 de dave  ab9ca/4

Conditions were much better than I expected on 20M and 40M. Great fun with the ATS3a at 3W! 72 de Andy W5ACM - Houston, TX

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