Monday, December 11, 2017

SOAPBOX: ARS December 2017 Spartan Sprint

NØTA
Complete bust in Colorado. Only worked K3RLL in FL. Only station I heard on 40 and 80m. Quit after 30 minutes. Kx2, NØSA mini-paddles, GenLog.

K3RLL
Finally got the chance to try out the new little QRP Labs QCX-40 mini-rig this evening on the Sprint. Amazing what $49 can buy these days: Memory keyer, CW readout, RIT, and the list goes on. Now, if this old man could just learn how to work all those multi-function buttons to make everything work!  The printed manual weights A LOT more than the radio. (We don't count the weight of the manual for the Sprint; do we?) Big signal tonight was AA5B booming out of NM.  Otherwise, 40m was a bit challenging. Thanks for the contacts.

N5EM
3 Q's on 40M. Nothing on 20M again this month.  Still no antenna for 80M.  Got to fix that for January.  OCF loaded wire, maybe? 72, Ed, N5EM

K4BAI
40 and 80M in pretty good condition, but very little activity this month.  QSOs by band: 80M:  5.  40M: 7. Thanks for the QSOs. Seasons Greetings to all.  73, John, K4BAI.

NØAR
Not the best of conditions up here tonight, but a good nite to be on the radio. Winter snowstorm moving in and bands were pretty poor. Best signal went to Dave AB9CA from IN. Worked him on 20 and 40. On 40 also worked KFØN and K4BAI. Heard a couple of other stations but they were mostly ghostly LDE from another hunt. Happy Holidays to all. 73 Scott N0AR

W5ACM
Conditions on 40M were quiet, but there were very few stations out there for the Spartan Sprint! I almost killed the two 170 mAh LiPo batteries in the ATS-3A calling CQ on 40M. I did get two CA stations on 40M and the ever-present K4BAI on 80M. I was running 3W to my antique ground-mounted vertical. By the time I worked K4BAI, actual power output was declining to about 2W. The 20M daughter board is currently MIA – somewhere in the station… It didn’t matter this month, but hoping to find it for more 20M action soon! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

NK6A
I only found three stations and they were all in Texas and all on 40. Suffering with a S3-S5 noise level. Heard very briefly K4BAI but heavy QSB made copy impossible. After 1.5 hours decided to call it quits and give my ears a rest. Don Minkoff, NK6A

WA8MTI
Lots of Q's last night... QSB, QRN, QRM unfortunately only 3 QSOs. Heard no CW or SSB signals on 20 but 14.074 had S9+10 FT8!  Go figure.  Heard AB9CA early on 40 but couldn't work him. Later worked K4BAI on 40 then 80 and then AB9CA on 80. Those were the only two SP stations I heard. Always next month... 72/73 Rich WA8MTI

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  6 states this time. Best signals: 20M - AB9CA, 40M - K3RLL, 80M - K4BAI. Gave up after 90 minutes - tired.  Thanks to all from the Texas hill country and all the best for the season.  Also many thanks to the Adventure Radio Society and KI6SN for all the fun this year!

KB1M
Three QSO's, none were easy copy, states worked were FL,TX,IN. Conditions seemed worse than last month from my QTH in NH, very weak signals with QRN . 72/73, Walt 

AB9CA
I ran an RBN check prior to the start of the Sprint. The results did not look promising. Not many spots. This turned out to be prophetic. The bands were not in good shape. Worked a few guys quickly but then ran out of stations that could hear me. Total of 9 contacts: 4/3/2 on 20/40/80, respectively. Only 2 bander was N0AR on 20 and 40. SPCs were TX MN MN NH on 20, FL MN IA on 40, and GA MI on 80. Hopefully condx will be better next month. Thanks for the Q's and look for you next time... 73 de dave, AB9CA

KFØN
Pickings were pretty sparse this month!  I was able to copy only three stations: K3RLL, NØAR and AB9CA.  I gave up in the first half hour of the Sprint!  You fellas were the only ones that poked above my massive line noise here in Iowa;  thanks for the points guys.  Maybe there will be more participation next month. Holidays always seem to take their toll on the contests.  Also, another mitigating factor was the thunderstorm that rolled through here about an hour before the contest started; very unusual for us here in Iowa for December.  The QRN was almost as bad as July or August! I hope things improve next year. 72s and Merry Christmas to all, Larry, KFØN


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