Thursday, July 23, 2020

2020 Flight of the Bumblebees Has Been
Postponed Due to COVID-19

Given the unpredictability, inherent danger to health, and general disruption sweeping the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adventure Radio Society's 2020 Flight of the Bumblees is being postponed. It had been scheduled for July 26.

A new date for the event will be announced when risks to health and safety are diminished.

The first Flight of the Bumblebees was held on July 27, 1997 and has been an annual fixture on the last Sunday in July for 23 years.

This year's FOBB has not been canceled, it is merely being changed to another date.

ARS will announce broadly the new date of the Flight of the Bumblebees as soon as it is determined.

The upcoming monthly Spartan Sprint will go on as planned on the evening of August 3 - the first Monday of the month.

73/72 and TNX for your understanding.


Richard Fisher, KI6SN
Co-founder, the Adventure Radio Society, 1996

Monday, July 13, 2020

RESULTS: July 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: July 2020 ARS Spartan Sprint

Back in what was supposed to be ‘cooler’ rural Pennsylvania for the summer, but pretty hot in the northeast right now. But that’s okay, as the heat may get to the ham bands. It’s nice to be up here in the country at 1150 ASL with an actual outdoor antenna. QRP is a lot more fun here than in flat FL with HOA antenna restrictions. Happy for the few contacts made in my half hour this evening as everyone had good signals and I even got a couple good signal reports. Amazing!  See you next month and thanks to A.R.S. … 72, Don

3 QSOs on 20; 14 QSOs on 40.  CQed on 80, but heard not SP activity there.  Until next month, 73/72, John, K4BAI.

20m appeared open, just no activity. 40m a bit noisy due to static crashes. Quit after 45 minutes to save ears!

40m QCX w/500 mAH LiPo Battery Pack running 5w with K0MBT 3D Printed Mini-Mini Key and Earbuds to a 40m dipole.   Seemed like a low turnout this month.   But maybe it was just conditions.  Jody - K3JZD

Two contacts: one on 20m and one on 40m (WB5BKL and NØTA). Elecraft kx1 internal batteries and tuner, 1 watt measured output. I haven't participated in some time now.  I used an 80m inverted V, apex at 80 feet and fed with twinlead. I heard 3 or 4 others who could not copy my 1-watt signal.  I used the same rig during Field Day.  73, Will,  WJ9B

Thanks to all and see you next time. Ken, N4SO

Four contacts (K3RLL, K3JZD, K4BAI, WB9HFK). Another backyard activation for me using the KX3. It was also a 40 meter only operation. When 9pm (local) rolled around I moved up in the 7040-7045 space and started the chase. I managed to coax a few signals out of the aether fairly quickly then hung around until almost 10:30pm but never copied another station in the event. You can’t work ‘em if you can’t hear ‘em. Better luck (and results) next time. Thanks for the Qs and the fun!

Impressive QRN! 40m contacts: NØTA, WB9HFK, K3JZD. 80m contact: AB9CA. It seems the 40m Sprint segment is getting squeezed between digital activity on 7.040 and a net on 7.045 or 7.046. Thanks to all! 72, Evan - Huntsville, AL

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp.  One QRO contact removed. Seven states this time.  Best signals:  20m - K9DRP, 40M - N4SO.  No contacts on 80M.  Nowhere near as good as last month, but ... Had fun.

I started out with good intentions but the advancing TS activity was just too much. So Mark WB9HFK goes in the log as my one single contact on 40 meters. See you all next month! 73 Scott

A lot of atmospheric noise tonight, and 20m was in poor condition.

Ran the IC-7200 at 5w to the wires. Started on 20 and made only 1 QSO. Heard a couple who could not hear me. Moved to 40 and activity seemed sparse there as well. I concluded that prop was not cooperating. Went to 80 and made 1 Q there. Did work 1 QRO stn on 80 but not counting that one. Seemed that condx were rather punk. Hopefully condx will be better next month.  73 de dave ab9ca

Lots of signals on the bands tonight, but I didn't hear many SPers. 20 seemed to die early, but Texas scored me 2 contacts. Was trying to keep the weight down but the cootie was a lot of work for few contacts, so I had to add a couple of lbs switching over to the bug (I should learn to use a keyer). Sorry to the VA3 station I couldn't pull out. I'll work as long as there's any hope to log the contact.  I listened to John, K4BAI work an awful long time to get the power level of one station.

3 QSOs on 40 and 1 QSO on 20. Thanks for the fun guys. 73, Jim W1PID

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.