Friday, February 16, 2018

SOAPBOX: ARS February 2018 Spartan Sprint

Worked AB9CA and K4BAI on 80 meters. 40 was dead. Operated 5 minutes. Thanks guys. 73 Jim W1PID

Between high noise level here tonight and seemingly dismal band conditions, at least here in Florida, it was a night to go read a book.  Thanks to those who pulled me out of the noise tonight.  72/73 … Don

Thank heaven for 80m and WB9HFK, AB9CA, K4BAI, and WA4ZOF! Called K3RLL, but he couldn't copy me. No luck on 1.810 MHz.  20m sounded dead here in Alabama, and 40m was weird: huge intermittent carriers around 7040, and not a lot else.  Heard no Spartan Sprinters on any band except 80m. Gave up after 45 minutes, but had fun just the same.  Ran 3W to CF Zepp. 72 to all!

Forty and 80 meters were both a bit noisy and the scirn call of the CQ SP was nary to be heard.  Worked Don, NK6A in California on 40 and Mark, WB9HFK Illinois on 80 meters.  That was it. 72, Joe, W5QLF

Pretty tough conditions in Colorado. Worked 1h15m: 1 Q on 40m, 5 on 80m. Signals pretty weak. Kx2, Palm key, vertical antenna.

New antenna on 80M for this Sprint.  Working OK, but still a work in progress.  Both Q's on 80M! 72, Ed - N5EM

20M dead.  40M very long.  Only QSO in AZ.  Heard KK4BNC working the AZ station,, but guess he couldn't hear me.  80M was very good.  Could not get N0TA to copy me, although he called me once and then didn't reply. Everyone else heard was worked for a total of 16 on 80M.  73/72, John, K4BAI

This was my First Spartan Sprint and as an alumnus of the Michigan State University Spartans I felt I had to compete when I first learned about it. My buddy and I (KK6EMU) were in a ham radio club in graduate school at Cal Poly SLO and have been getting back into it recently. He helped log for me and we did digital mode contacts using FT8 at 3W on a KX3 into an end fed wire antenna on 80 and 40M. It was a lot of fun and we are looking forward to doing it again. Each time on the radio I learn something new. 73s, Michael Harriman, NT6H, and Jon Fish, KK6EMU

All Q's on 80M. Lots of fun - we need more activity! See everyone next month! 72, Mark, WB9HFK

Has been a while since Spartan Sprint. KD1JV TRI-BAND @5w 80 mtr inverted V. Tnx to ALL. Tom, WA4ZOF

Another one band event. Started on 20 but got no responses. Then to 40 where I got no response but did hear, I think, N6KA calling. But he was sending too fast to be really copyable through the noise. Then down to 80 where all of the activity was. Second month for that to be the case. Only 8 contacts - in MN GA MN NH CO GA AL TX. Nothing much west of the Mississippi. Went back to 40 and called for about 20 min but got no RBN spots nor any replies. Would be good to have more activity. But fun none the less. Hope to hear everyone, plus more, next month. Rig was FT-857 at 5w to 100' wire. 73 de dave, AB9CA

Heard only one cw signal on 40 at the low end. Half my contacts were with GA, what's with that? 80 was the band to be on. Using the 80m loop up 20' and the 43' vertical. Maybe things will improve when the snow starts melting!  73 Scott NØAR

This month I got on the road and went to the Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club (W5RRR) for the Spartan Sprint. I had my ultra-light ATS-3A (~2 oz) transceiver with the older and heavier ATS-3 (~4 oz) rig as a backup. I always weigh the rig with used band modules on a postal scale after the event. The antennas at NASA are a bit better than my old vertical at home… For 10, 15 and 20M they have a TH7DX Yagi at 80 feet. Unfortunately 20M was dead at the start of the event. However, on 40M they have a full-size rotatable dipole at 75 feet. It was good for five contacts from California to Vermont. The JSCARC 80M antenna is a G5RV. It did very well for five more contacts, one with the ever-present John K4BAI. Thanks John! I had help with the event logistics and setup from John AB5SS and I almost killed the two 170 mAh LiPo batteries in the ATS-3A. We operated for 1 hour, 45 minutes, until the voltage was seriously sagging. The power out had dropped to just below 2 Watts. Hoping for better conditions on 20M soon!

I had a slow start on 40 Mtrs, taking 26 minutes for first QSO, the band seemed to improve and I made 4 more Q's in the next half hour. States worked TX(2), Ga, FL, La. Was very surprised to work W5RRR  Johnson Space Center ARC. As bad as conditions seemed, I made more contacts than in the December and January sprints combined. My thanks to all.  72/73 Walt 

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. 5 states this time.  Best signals:  40M - NK6A, 80M - K4BAI. Not a good outing.  Hoping for better propagation.  My thanks to all.  Had fun.

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