Thursday, February 14, 2019

SCOREBOARD: February 2019 Spartan Sprint

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SOAPBOX: February 2019 Spartan Sprint

QCX-40 and LiPO to after-dark only black vertical (HOA): Despite high local line noise here and what seemed like really poor conditions this evening, I appreciate the four patient and skilled ops who kept the evening from being a washout here in Florida. RBN Spots were up and down dramatically and showed skip to be long tonight. Time to practice on the Sunspot Dance around the vertical for better conditions.  72 ... Don

Much better propagation this month into South Texas.   Thanks to Mark, WB9HFK and John, K4BAI for Qs on 40 and 80.  Thank you also Larry, KFØN, Jeff, KE9V, John, NØTA, Don, K3RLL and Evan, WA4AAK for contacts on 40.  Things are looking up in 2019. 72, Joe, W5QLF

40 was poor: 4 QSOs. 80 was great: 9 QSOs from AL, CO, TX, IL, IA, MN. Just needed more activity.  73/72, John, K4BAI.

Two contacts on 40m, and six on 80m, running 3W to 5W. Local noise levels were very high as usual, keeping me from giving decent signal reports. As always, the Spartan Sprint operators did an outstanding job.  Thanks to all, and especially Richard, KI6SN, for creating and sponsoring this event! 72!

40 meter effort yielded a few SP contacts this evening. Operated from the shack using a KX3 into a dipole at 30 feet. Heard a couple other stations calling but couldn’t work them. Propagation wasn’t great but the band seemed quiet here. Thanks for the Qs hope for more next month.

Another slow Spartan Sprint. Thanks for the Q's. Kx2, vertical, Gen Log.

Icom 7300 @ 5W. Antenna: 40M - Gnd Mtd Vertical with 60 radials. 80M - 150 Ft. Random Wire

Cndx seemed to be better this month! Thanks for doing this. The first half hour I didn't hear a single station in the sprint! Suddenly the "cone of silence" lifted and the fun started. Always fun to work familiar stations. Took W5ACM and me at least 3 attempts to complete an exchange, thanks for hanging in there Andy. Rig was my ol' trusty K2, boy that still sounds sweet, a 43' vertical, 80-meter loop and RX loop. The only band of use was 80 meters. Nothing on the higher freqs. this month. 73 Scott, near St. Paul

I was able to work two of the three stations heard on 40. I thought 40 might come alive when K4BAI peaked at S8 here, but that was very short lived. QRN was very quiet so not an excuse tonight. States worked GA and MS.  73 Walt

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. QSOs evenly split between 40 and 80M. 9 states this time - nothing west of Colorado.  Best signals:  40M - K4BAI and KFØN, 80M - K4BAI and WB9HFK. QSB was at times brutal - my thanks to all that persevered.  Had fun.

The ATS-3a was doing quite well this month. My CW was “OK” with no additional burnishing on the paddle contacts. The batteries appear to be running well. I use a pair of 170 mAh LiPo cells. The radio makes 3W out, and this is the longest service I have had from this type of LiPo cells in this rig. Conditions were nothing special, but 80M was a bit better than last month, and participation was UP! I got 3 QSOs on 40M, but a surprising 5 QSOs on 80M. Thanks to all! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

Friday, February 1, 2019

So, What's a Spartan Sprint, and How Do I Play?

Spartan Sprints are two-hour gatherings sponsored by the Adventure Radio Society, held the first Monday of every month. The Spartan Sprints have a unique, three-faceted focus. They encourage outdoor operation with back country radio gear (if outdoor operation isn't practical, home-based operation is fine). They gather fascinating information about the upper atmosphere, documenting how low power signals can travel long distancs. And they encourage the growth of a like-minded community of amateur radio operator who generously share their knowledge and experiences.

Which Bands?

Bands of operation are 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters, 15 meters and 10 meters. You may operate any number of bands - your choice. Many Spartan Sprint operators gravitate to the QRP CW calling frequencies on these bands.

Equipment and Antennas

Spartan Sprinters use 5 Watts or less. We encourage you to experiment with 1 Watt or less. You will be surprised at how effective these low levels can be, and how much fun QRPp really is. Similarly, we encourage you to experiment with simple wire antennas. And we encourage Sprinters to use equpment they built from "scratch" - that is, equipment built from schematics.


Exchange RST, SPC (state, province or country) and power output. If you choose to call CQ, use the format "CQ SP," or "CQ QRP TEST." You can give yourself credit for working the same station on a second, third, or fourth band.

What Is the Weight of My Station?

The weight of your station is determined by weighing everything at your operating position up to, but not including, your feedline and antenna. In other words, your rig, key, keyer, antenna tuning unit, battery, headphones and so on. 

Submit Your Spartan Sprint Log

Please send the following information in an email to:
  • Your call sign
  • Total number of contacts during Sprint
  • The weight of your station (in pounds - includes all gear except antenna and feedline)
  • Soapbox comments about your Sprint experience

Check Out the Spartan Sprint Results

The results of each month's contest appear on the Friday following each month's first-Monday Sprint. They are posted here on this website. You can find results from previous months here, as well.
- Richard Fisher, KI6SN

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

RESULTS: January 2019 ARS Spartan Sprint

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SOAPBOX: January 2019 ARS Spartan Sprint

QCX-40 to 33' Unun wire up and over the garage.  Tough sledding tonight with very high noise level and very low signal levels. I think I was getting out better than I was hearing as a couple of stations were kind enough to answer my CQ but I just couldn't copy them. My apologies. Anyone else feel they are too old to ever see the return of our long lost sunspots? 72, Don K3RLL FL

Running KX3 here on internal batteries and an external small Li-Ion pack at 3W.  One QSO.  With 20M seemingly dead, it's all 40M here. 72, Ed, N5EM

Guess most everyone was watching football.  6 QSOs on 80M and 7 QSOs on 40M. W1AW was very strong here on 20M, but got no answers to CQs and heard no other stations on the band. Should have been able to work New England when W1AW is so strong. Thanks for the QSOs and Happy New Year.  73/72, John, K4BAI

I am taking a CW Academy Level 2 class and our Monday session finished just after the Spartan Sprint started. I’ve been wanting to try this for some time and tonight was that night. I only made one contact, but that is enough for me tonight. That contact was W2JEK , Don in NJ, we were both running 5W and gave each other a generous 599.  He actually was 599 at the peak and tailed off to about 539 with some QSB. I am running a KX2 with the internal ATU so I can tune up basically anything.  My current “anything” is a 107’ length of “random wire” in my backyard fed through a 9:1 unun I made in a custom 3D printed enclosure that has been outside for 9 months (after being told the PLA I used shouldnt be used outside, it is currently in experiment mode). I don’t have a run of permanent coax into my “Man Nook” (its not really a shack, per se), so I run a 25’ length of RG-174 out through a window (using a cut up pool noodle to keep the 17 degree temps outside) when I want to get on the air. For my first time in the Spartan Sprint, I think I have stood on my soapbox and monopolized enough of your time. Thanks, 73, Glen, N1XF

I worked every SP station I heard (both of them). I saw several stations listed on RBN, but I couldn't hear them. Propagation just has to be better next month. TNX K4BAI and WB9HFK. 73, Don, K9DRP

Couldn't get on the air until 9:30 so just used the big rig and went straight to 80M.  

The ATS-3a was remarkably cooperative this month, even after missing two Sprints. My CW was “OK”. The keyer contacts could use some burnishing… The batteries appear to be running well. I use a pair of 170 mAh LiPo cells. It makes 3W out, so it is good to go! I am hoping for good 20M CNDX next month(wishful thinking?). VY FB to work W4VHH on 40M and WB9HFK and K4BAI on 80M! 
72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

RIG: ICOM 7300 @ 5W; ANTENNA: 40M Hustler 6BTV GND MTD with 60 radials; 80M 150 FT. Random wire

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. 7 contacts and 7 states this time. Only 1 contact on 40M, though WB9HFK, K4BAI, K3RLL and KF0N were heard. Best signals:  40M - W4VHH, 80M - AB5SS. 
Worked N4FP at 1W so encouraging propagation on 80!  My thanks to all. Had fun.

Very little heard, felt lucky to complete two QSO's on 40. Weak signals with QSB. 73 Walt

Good grief. Put in an hour and worked everyone I heard. 72's to all. Scott NØAR nr. St.Paul, MN