Friday, July 3, 2020

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 backcountry 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 distances. And they encourage the growth of a like-minded community of amateur radio operators 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 equipment 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

Monday, June 8, 2020

RESULTS: June 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: June 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

Just wasn't getting any answers or getting much attention from RBN for first half-hour and then all of the sudden, someone turned up the signals on 40 meters tonight! RBN started hearing me and great ops started calling. I actually had a mini-pileup once. Amazing! It was great!  It was like having a real, actual, working good antenna or something! (GRIN)  Thanks for the contacts, the good ears and patient ops.  72/73 ... Don

Fun sprint, ran 1W for 4 of the contacts, good to hear stations active. Thanks for the QSOs 72 de ab9bz

I caught this sprint on the air and looked it up to find it was QRP! I love operating QRP, so I jumped in to make as many contacts as I could. This was my first time. It was a lot of fun and I hope to catch it again. 73, Brent / KI4KZS

Something different this month: 40m Pixie II w/380mAH LiPo Battery Pack Running 0.250w - K0MBT 3D Printed Mini-Mini Key - 40m dipole.   But, being crystal controlled and sitting on 7.045, I seem to have worked more SKCC folks than Spartan Sprint participants.   Jody - K3JZD

It has been several years since my last Spartan Sprint.  The hiatus was due to the work schedule.  I use to be competitive in the top 10 of the skinny division but alas, I am out of practice,  Worked only S&P with my weak signal and crummy antenna.  Thanks to everyone who pulled me out of the static and QRM.  I had great fun.

Antenna was 40M dipole up 8 feet strung between 2 bean poles in the back yard. Weather on the patio was warm . . . no mosquitos yet. Won't be so lucky next month. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been in Spartan Sprint. A fun casual contest. Found my original ARS member certificate No.80 back when I was AE9K. Brian, K9WIS

What an exciting evening from out here on the Left Coast. Lots of signals on 40-meters. It was fun hearing the band get longer and longer from SoCal as the Sun went down. Many thanks to K7PD, K7TQ, NK6A and WB5BKL for pulling my signal from the QRN. Heard but not worked were WB9HFK, K4BAI and W5ACM. It was so nice to finally work Nick, WB5BKL, after so many years. Our first SP contact! Hope to see everyone next month – Monday evening, July 6. 73, 72, Richard, KI6SN, Riverside, CA

Ran the TS590 at 5 watts tonight. Vertical antennas and RX loop. All contacts on 20 and 40 meters. TS action so some QRN but 91 degs is a good trade off to snow! Had a VE call me with QRO, he had never run QRP and wasn't sure his rig would do it. So I told him what I was running and he came back and cranked it down to 5 watts. I was his first QRP contact ever! So the bug has bitten him and he's been directed to the web site and invited back to join in. Good fun all around!

K3 at 5w to Inv Vee. Started on 20 and was surprised to work 6 stns there - 4 TX plus CA and ID. Moved to 40 and picked up 11 from IL KY GA FL VA AL NH TN. Went to 80 and heard someone trying but could not get enough to copy. Sorry for that. Heard no one else there. I don't think there were any 2 banders tonight. Thanks for the Qs! Hope to hear everyone plus more next month. Dave ab9ca

It was so great to see so much activity and so many old friends. 20 meters was tops. NK6A in CA. K7TQ in ID. WVØH in CO. Thanks, guys, for all the QSOs. Jim W1PID

Band conditions were much improved this month.  I started calling CQ on 20M and received a call from ZL2IFB.He was QRO but I mention this because I worked him off the back of the beam at 5W. Worked into NH twice and the usual bunch of Texans.  40M was quiet here and grabbed a few more stations.  Don Minkoff, NK6A

Had completely forgot about Spartan Sprint until 9:15 PM , and then could not really get into it. 73, Walt, KB1M

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp.  Propagation at last! Made 27 contacts, but three did not count.  Biggest thrill: having a ZL2 answer my CQ on 20 (he was QRO, so not counted). Also worked Richard, KI6SN! Best signals:  20M - K7TQ, 40M - KJ5XF, 80M - W5ESE (also had a three-bander with Scott).  Some regulars missing - hope all is OK. Let's do it again next month. Had fun.

I operated the Sprint using my mobile rig sitting at the top of the Lewiston Grade in Nez Perce county Idaho.  There is a 2,500 foot drop to the east and south which makes for great terrain enhancement.  Two farthest QSOs were with W1PID in NH and XE1ZYZ in Mexico.  Twenty meters was productive for about half an hour then 40 was the band to be on.  Hope to catch many of you again next month.

I was late getting to the shack this month, so just fired up the big rig. Good participation this month and fair conditions. Was great to work neighbor WB5BKL on 3 wavelengths. Pleased to meet some new entrants; Welcome!

Finally dusted off the rig and got on the air again!  I was surprised how much activity I heard on 20m.  About 70% contacts on 20m, 30% on 40m and only one on 80m.  Battery was dead 10 minutes from the end. Time to replace it. The Sprint was a great time, just like I remember. Thanks to everyone.  de Drew.

It was fun to make some 20M contacts this month, but the QSB was difficult. All of my contacts were on 20M or 40M. There were the usual suspects, but a few new folks in there! I was glad to hear good ops on 20M. It looks like things will be improving for the summer months! Although my ATS-3A can’t do 15M, it is quite effective on 20M. I am getting a bit skeptical on the longevity of my elderly 130 mAh Lipo batteries.  I will watch them closely over the next few months. Sorry about the somewhat difficult CW on my end, but I tend to forget to burnish the copper contacts on the homebrew keyer paddles. 72, de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.


Saturday, May 9, 2020

RESULTS: May 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: May 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

QCX-40 & small LiPO: Not a lot of stations on, but I think the propagation "force" was active enough here in FL that most heard my peanut whistle.  "The Fourth Was With Me" tonight as even RBN heard me, for a change. (SMILE)  "Big Signal" was K4BAI who always hears me on the first call.  Thanks for the fun, and for so many good ears tonight.  72/73 ... Don

No signals heard on 20 meters. 40 meters was quite active here in South Texas. One contact was made on 80 meters. For such a slow beginning, I was surprised at the amount of activity that showed up at about 9:00 pm CDT. I enjoyed all the contacts. - Joe, W5QLF

Rig: Icom 7300 @ 5W, Antenna: OCF Dipole, Weight: 30 lbs. I only operated for first hour. The QRN here in IL was pretty bad this evening. I know I just could not pull out a few callers, unfortunately. 73/72, Mark - WB9HFK

14 Qs, 30 lbs. 3 on 20m, the 11 on 40m. Quit a little early. First time I've worked KI6SN! Thanks for the Qs.

QSOs on 20 tonight; 18 QSOs on 40 including KI6SN; 2 QSOs on 80. Heavy static on 80 and only worked two stations in FL from my GA
QTH.  72, John, K4BAI.

This was my first Spartan Sprint and I could only operate for the last 45 minutes. Running 4 watts my farthest QSO from Missouri was NY at 814 miles.  Pretty happy with that.  Running QCX with the micro switch keyer, small battery and a qrp kit tuner. Looking forward to the next Sprint. 72s 

Used my AT Sprint 3 (2 watts), whiterook MK-44 paddles and walkman type earphones. Had a couple of nice ragchews in the mix. 73 - Scott

40m Naked QCX - 2/3 AAA NiMH Pack - 3w - 40m dipole - KØMBT 3D Printed Mini Key. Jody - K3JZD

First time in the Sprint in quite awhile - I miss the days when it was crowded. One contact on 20 meters - XE2M in Mexico wasn't in the Sprint. 3 contacts on 40 
2 "Sprinters" KI6DS and AA6XA. One "Non-Sprinter". Used an N6HCN ATS-4 and 8 Rechargeable AAs - About 4 watts. 2-Band End-Fed Half Wave. 73, K7PD

20 seemed to die very quickly after the first 15 minutes, but was rewarded with 3 Q's and 40 yielded 5 QSOs, total of 5 states worked. Worked  K4BAI and AB9CA  on 2 bands, also heard NØTA on 2 bands but not worked. Thanks for the fun evening, stay well!  72/73 Walt

Brought out my 20+ year old K2 @ 5w into my multi-band EF antenna in the backyard trees. Fair conditions on 40. Nothing heard on 20. Nothing but static on 80 from approaching storm. Tnx for the QSOs!

It was fun to make some 20M contacts this month, but the QSB was difficult. All of my contacts were on 20M or 40M. I listened for a bit on 80M, but the noise level was very bad. After the first hour my two 170 mAh batteries in the ATS3a were still going strong. They are getting close to the end of life, but I will run them until they start puffing up. No complaints! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

Worked 40 meters and had a blast. TS-140 running 5 watts to an inverted V at 15 feet. Many thanks to John, NØTA; Delbert, K7PD; and John, K4BAI for pulling my signal out of the noise. We really appreciated K4BAI's May SP announcement on QRP-Lreminding ops about the first-Monday event. 73, Richard, KI6SN, Riverside, CA

Monday, April 20, 2020

RESULTS: April 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: April 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Worked 8 states.  20M - 4 QSOs, 40m - 5 and 80M -1.  Best signals were:  20M -NK6A, 40M - K5MUG, 80m - W5ESE.  Some familiar calls missing.  Hope it was merely scheduling or Propagation - nothing worse. 40M conditions seemed unusual - heard more Texas stations than normal.  My time was limited, but I had fun.

Rig was K3 at 5w to vertical. Started on 20 and found 5 of those pesky Texans - WB5BKL N5EM W5ACM W5QLF W5ESE. I heard nothing but TX on 20. Then went to 40 and picked up 13 more. No 80m tonight. Only 2 banders were W5QLF and N5EM. Best DX would be either K6YK or NK6A in CA or K7TQ in ID. Had only 45 min as I needed to get some other stuff done. Thanks to all for the Q's. Hope to hear everyone, plus more, next month . . . 73 de Dave AB9CA

It was great fun to make some 20M contacts this month, and work some new stations. WB5BKL sent an event reminder via the Houston QRP remailer. Thanks Nick! All of my contacts were on 20M or 40M. I couldn’t get on 80M because I have not tuned the 80M whip on my new vertical antenna (Hustler 5-BTV), but it really didn’t matter. After the first hour my two 170 mAh batteries in the ATS3a were drained! They may have reached end of life, but I will run them again next month to see what happens. I have two 200 mAh LiPo batteries ready to go, but they will be slightly heavier. This has been the longest run for a pair of the small LiPo batteries I have had… No complaints.

Pleased to see 20m open to TX, CA and NH at the start! Six contacts on 20m, two on 40m, zero on 80m. No luck after 1 hr. Forgot to pare down station weight before starting, so ran heavy. Mark, WB9HFK, once again had the strongest signal heard. Hope all stay well... 72, Evan - Huntsville, AL

Nice to see 20 was open at the start, and was able to get 3 QSO's, 40 was very noisy and was able to make 3 Q's between static crashes, for total of 5 states.  72/73, Walt

ICOM 7300 @ 5w. 40m - OCF dipole; 80m – vertical

Used an AT Sprint 3 from KD1JV I assembled about 15 years ago (2 watts).
Still a fun rig. Paddles were Whiterook MK-44 and used walkman type earphones. First entered Spartan Sprints in 2004, and glad that they're continuing! 73 – Scott

Hello to all, first time participating in the Spartan Sprint, nice event.  Thanks to Joe, W5QLF, for introducing me to the ARS Qrp group (and for tonight's local contact), and thanks to all for the fun tonight. Got a late start, made all contacts on 40m. Hope to have 80m antenna to work with soon to add to the pot. Thanks again to the group! – Cray, K5MUG

First SP in way too long a time. Good to contact several old friends. KX2 at 5W in my recently-completed mobile set-up which just sits waiting for when we can once again roam the countryside.

13 Q's on 40m, 3 on 80m. 7 of the Q's were with stations in Texas! Thanks for the Qs. K3, Doublet, GenLog.

DST and getting on 40m one hour earlier made a difference.

A reasonable day in the neighborhood. One Q on 20m and One on 80m plus and additional 8 on 40m.  Apologies to John, N0TA for wasting valuable air time making him a dupe before I'd confirmed his call.  He graciously worked me on 80m giving me a second valid contact.  Thanks John. Charles, AB9CA, was my first contact on 20m and was the only signal I heard on 14 MHz. He graced my log again on 40m for another QSO count. Charles, your 40m signal held up quite well into the second hour. Cray, K5MUG, came back to me for an across-town contact on 40m. We both live in the San Antonio area and I'm sure we’ll discuss this contact at the next club meeting. Joe, W5QLF

Running KX3 here on internal batteries. 2 Qs on 20M. Good signals, too. Hope to see more on 20 next month. Rest (6) were on 40M. I only had an hour, so cut it short. 72, Ed, N5EM