Friday, April 6, 2018

SOAPBOX: April 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

K3RLL
For a while there, I thought it was only going to be KB1M and me on 40m, but things really picked up after the quarter hour mark. Nice to hear some strong and clear signals down here in FL tonight.  The band was changing around however with strong other signals quickly coming up on frequency and then suddenly gone.  But it was a good evening with lots of familiar calls and some not heard in a while.  Happy to meet my goal of ten contacts and still have time to go for a walk on this beautiful FL evening. Thanks for the enjoyable CW.   72/73 ... Don

N4HAY
I worked Jim W1PID. Jim answered my general CQ. I was unaware of the SP so I worked Jim running 12W. I then realized that the SP was in progress. This brought back many many memories of days gone by when I was an avid SPer. Such great memories. Condx were quite decent on 80m and I worked the last 40minutes of the contest. Ran a K2 into an inverted Vee doublet up 45Ft with 5Watts. I need to get skinny hi! Many thanks 72 de Dick N4HAY

K4BAI
20M was open at the start, but only QSO was with WB5BKL. Time to start listening to 20M as it will be staying open longer after dark. 40M was good, but skip was long and didn't find any pacific coast or northwest US stations.  14 QSOs on 40.  Could hear a weak AB9CA, but Dave couldn't hear me calling him.  80M was also fairly good.  6 QSOs with TX, IA, MN, NC.  WB5BKL worked on 3 bands.  Thanks for all QSOs. Look for the GA QSO Party the second weekend in April. KU8E and I will be in the GA and FL QSO Parties as W4AN/M.  73/72, John, K4BAI.

N5GW
I was using a microkey with my K1 on an 800 mAH Lipo battery; the internal antenna tuner loaded a CFZ ant. I was thrilled to hear so many participants; in recent sprints I was becoming discouraged by the paucity of sprinters. Also 40M band condx were good. Couldn't get on 80M without having to change boards. Maybe 20M will open next month.

KB1M
A slow start on 40M, not many sprinters heard, then the band seemed to pick up in the second half hour, weak signals except for the digital QRM. 8 QSO's for 7 states.  A fun evening thanks for the Q's. 72/73, Walt      

N5EM
Nothing on 20M, but 5 Q's on 40M,  despite the very deep QSB.  No antenna yet for 80M. 72, Ed - N5EM

W1PID
Thanks to NØAR, N5GW and N4HAY for QSOs. 72 Jim W1PID

W5ACM
I was happy to get 9 QSOs this month: 7 on 40M and 2 on 80M with K4BAI and WB5BKL. Conditions on 80M were typical for me, i.e. lots of QRN, so those two contacts were hard fought. Things were superb on 40M. The noise level was low, and at one point N5GW with 2W from Mississippi sounded like he was in my back yard. WOW! The bad news was the QSB on 40M. You could almost call it violent at times, but when it was good, it was very good. The ATS 3A transceiver running 3W to the ancient vertical did fine. Next time I swap batteries, I am thinking of adding one cell to up the power level a bit. 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

N9YO
Was able to operate for 1 hour. Great little contest I haven't done it for over 10 years! Glad to see it still going on. KX2 Radio

KFØN
An enjoyable evening indeed!  Things started a little slow here, but more activity picked up around 08:30 pm local time.  There were some weaker signals that I thought I heard calling, but I simply couldn’t  pull you out of my local line noise.  A leaky insulator consistently puts out an S-5 to S-7 racket about a block away from my QTH.  I apologize for this, but the little ATS-3 doesn’t have a noise blanker! My little toy poodle, Muffin, complained vehemently the whole time I was in the contest.  You see, her “Daddy” wasn’t in the living room watching TV so she could crawl up in the chair with me and go to sleep!   She raised no small amount of external QRM!  During the next contest, I think she will be temporarily locked in the bathroom! 80 meters was punctuated by a thunderstorm in progress in southern Illinois, but I made three more contacts there.  Thanks to K4BAI, WB5BKL and N4HAY whose operating skills pulled me out of their ambient noise. Many thanks to all who made the contest so much fun. 72’s and 73’s, Larry, KFØN

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop.  13 states this time - but nothing west of UT. Best signals:  20M - N5GW, 40M - N5EM, 80M - WA8ZBT. Got a 3-bander with John, K4BAI.  Nice to hear always strong N5GW again. This was my best outing since April of 2016. I don't know if it was better propagation, more participants, my refurbished (and higher) 40M edZ or enthusiasm about completing the antenna work - but I will take it! My thanks to all.  Look for me in the TSPOTA this Saturday. Had fun.

NØAR
With the longer days the conditions seem to be getting better up here! Worked K4BAI and WØITT on both 40 & 80, that was nice. This is the third month in a row that the Sprint brought a winter storm to my qth. Unlike the past two there wasn't much lightning activity but we still ended up with 9" of ready to shovel snow! Any bets on the May run?   73 All - Scott N0AR  near St. Paul, MN

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