Saturday, September 15, 2018

SCOREBOARD: September 2018 Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard 

SOAPBOX: September 2018 Spartan Sprint

This is my first Spartan Sprint, and in spite of the Storms and static crashes, I still managed to snag a few contacts.  I wanted to work outside with a homemade SW-40 transceiver, (check out QRZ for picture), but the weather would not permit. 3 contacts from 3 different states. Station weight is 8.8 lbs. Power is 5 watts. I really wanted to try out a few antennas I built outside, but as I said weather did not cooperate. Looking forward to the next sprint. Take care and thank you for sponsoring this event. 73, John N8RVE

My first Sprint and could only devote about 50 minutes tonight.  QRN was bad with storms nearby.  Lots of QSB meant I worked a station who was 339 (barely) and a few minutes later he was a solid 569.  Lots of fun and I will be back for more. 73, Dave N3CI

4 contacts, 30 lbs. of station. My first Sprint with you guys!  All contacts on 40. I worked NK6A the other night (I got my first Fox Hunt pelt from him) but he disappeared before I could work him tonight. I'm hooked. See you next month.

Started off with a bang this evening, making most of my whopping 8 contacts in the first few minutes. But then something good must have come on TV because, not hearing many replies at this point, I tuned around and found that everyone else left the party and left me sitting there in the corner. (Sigh)  Don’t you just hate that?  Thanks for the contacts, both new and old, and will look forward to October. The effort expended by the army of dedicated people who put on this monthly event is greatly appreciated. Thank you. 72 … Don K3RLL

Short SP tonight. Had other things I needed to get done for POTA activation tomorrow. Ran the K3 at 5w to 56 ft vee, peak at 40 ft. All Q's on 40. Got no responses to calls on 20. Ant will not work on 80. SPC's were GA AL MN NH VA NJ MD NH MA TX PA. All pretty close. The band did not seem long yet I got one 40m RBN spot from ON5KQ . . . go figure. Thanks for the Q's. Hope to hear everyone next month. 73 de dave ab9ca

No sprinters heard and no answers to CQs on 20M, although there was some propagation.  40M was pretty good with 19 QSOs. Almost gave up, but got 2 more on 80M near the end.  They were WB5BKL in TX (Thanks for two bands, Nick) and W4QO, about 100 miles away also in GA. Hope for more activity next month.  73/72, John, K4BAI

QRM on 40? But a fun QRP hour; could only get on for Hr #2. 72, ABØCD

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop. Very noisy here as several lines of very welcome t-storms passed. It was occasionally very difficult to hear callers - notably John, my only contact on 80M. One QRO contact removed.  9 states this time.  Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - N3CI,  80M - K4BAI. Even with what seemed to be continuous static crashes, I had fun.

Rig: Icom 7300 @ 5W; Antenna: OCF Dipole at 25 Ft.; Weight: ~ 25 lbs. 40M only. Limited time with phone calls etc. Loads of fun - look forward to seeing everyone next month! 72, Mark WB9HFK

Nothing workable on 20, 40 had strong signals out of western PA, OH, IN, IL. Only other state worked was GA, K4BAI who almost always is heard here in NH. Thanks for the QSO's. 72/73, Walt

Do not have 80m on my KX1 so only used 40M. I only heard 3 stations and worked all 3. KX1  2Watts  into G5RV  at 20 feet.

Nothing on 20M, but 3 Q's on 40M. Seems to be the same 'ole same Oh. Thanks to K4BAI, N3CI and NK6A.  We've got to keep meeting like this. 72, Ed - N5EM

Another day and night of local TS activity kept me tied to 40 meters. Thank goodness for dsp! Conditions were up and down. Worked most everyone I heard though. 72s Scott NØAR St.Paul, MN

The ATS-3a was remarkably cooperative this month. My CW was pretty good thanks to the keyer contacts. 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! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

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

Thursday, August 16, 2018

SCOREBOARD: August 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: August 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

Had only a half hour tonight. But it was a fun half hour. Used the K3 at 5w to a 56' Inv V, peak at 40'. This wire is not optimum in that it runs E/W. Would be better from my locale if N/S. 20 was not very productive, only 2 Q's there, CA and ID. The remaining 9 Qs were on 40: PA MN TX GA IA NH ID TX CO. Only 2 bander as Randy, K7TQ, out in ID. Thanks for the Qs. Maybe I'll have more time next month. 73 de dave, ab9ca

7 Qs for 5 states only one was on 20m. Reverse Beacon only showed two spots on 40 meters for my call, sprinters seem to have some very good ears! Thanks for the QSOs. 72/73 Walt

I was late to the party this month, but still found some good folks on 40 Meters and reasonable conditions. I made contact with K4BAI, NØTA and WA9TGT. The ATS-3a was remarkably cooperative. My CW was much better thanks to some attention to the brass key contacts. The batteries appear to be running well also. I use a pair of 170 mAh LiPo cells. It makes 3W out, so it is good to go! I promise to be on time next month.

Thunderstorms along the Iowa/Missouri border and South American SSB QRM made the contest a challenge tonight.   I heard no signals on 20 meters and QRN from the storms rendered 80 meters unusable so it was a single band night.  It was a pleasure to work the usual gang though.  It is helpful to have many of the calls memorized; it makes it easier to pull everyone out of these high noise levels!  As some of you have stated in your comments previously, it would be nice to see greater contest participation.  Many thanks to all who answered my “CQ SP”.  I hope we meet again in September. Larry, KFØN

Part-time this month as the nearby thunderstorms were producing a lot of QRN. Don, K3RLL had a booming signal into E. Central IL. Thanks for the Qs and sorry to those I just could not pull out of the QRN. 
72, Mark Prather - WB9HFK

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop. Back to the repaired K3 (bad chip on I/O board). RBN could hear me on 15M but no one else. Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - K5GQ, 80M - K4BAI. I think I stayed on 20M too long. The QSO with John on 80M was almost a miracle as I had an S8 noise level. Not my best showing, but had fun.

I operated from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest east of Moscow, ID using a KX2 at 5 W feeding a SOTABEAMS 20-40 m trap dipole suspended at 40 feet between two pine trees. For other Spartan Sprints I have had this trap dipole supported by a 28-foot Jacklite telescoping kite pole which does well for 20 m one hop paths, but not so good for two hops. I wanted to see how much better the trap dipole would work higher up. The result was better performance for the 20 m two-hop paths to the east coast, as one would expect. Worked K4BAI in GA on both 20 and 40. A good first hour on 20, then slow the second hour on 40.  Thanks to all who stopped by.

Once again I had a great time. I made my first contact using 5W and then turned the power down to 2W. I was calling CQ using 2W and had no takers. So I went on the hunt and pounce method. I worked stations in AL, CA, TX and IL, not to bad on 2 watts from Minnesota, I was really happy to finally make more than two contacts like I had done in the last few sprints. I thought the bands were a little tough last night. 40m was very noisy for me, which was a bummer because that seemed to be where most of the action was. Can't wait for next month. Thanks for the fun event. 73, de KØEAP

Two contacts on 20m, then 14 on 40m. 40m was a bit noisy but usable. Twofer with K4BAI and K7TQ. Thanks for the Qs! Kx2, Palm key, Gen Log.

Only able to operate for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. 5 QSOs on 20, 16 QSOs on 40, and 1 QSO on 80 (WB5BKL). Thanks for all QSOs and see you next month. 73/72, John, K4BAI

I could not find all the parts for my ATS-3. Static crashes peaking S6, 7. I had a couple of stations call me but could not copy all of the calls.

Started out pretty strong on 40m this evening but then the contacts started spacing out a bit, then a bit more, then a lot more. (Smile)  Really need to get something to operate 80m cuz I think that’s where the party goes when 40m works out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

SCOREBOARD: 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees

The word "fun" was mentioned no less than 25 times in the SOAPBOX for the 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees on July 29. Participation was the best in years, thanks to some good propagation - especially on 20 meters. Operators, both Bumblebees in the field and home stations were out in force around North America.

Scores were really, really good. And even the most challenged operators managed to have a great time. You can see a complete rundown of scores for 2018 FOBB:

Scroll down and you'll see dozens of photographs sent in by Bumblebees, showing the diversity of locations from which they operated. Shown too, is the ingenuity of radio amateurs who love to go Trail-Friendly. Please click on the images, like the one just below, for an enlarged view.

2018 FOBB is a real space eater on the ARS Homepage. When you get to the bottom of your scroll-down, click on OLDER POSTS to see our extended contest coverage. Please note the INDEX to directly to the right of this paragraph for direct links to charts, narratives, and individual operator pictures.

Many thanks to all who participated in this year's event. You all made it one of the best FOBB's ever.


Richard Fisher, KI6SN
Co-founder, The Adventure Radio Society

2018 Flight of the Bumblebees Picture Gallery

Here are almost 40 photographs from the 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees held July 29. A truly diverse body of images from across the United States and Canada.

For an enlarged view, please click on each picture.

Many thanks to all of the operators who took the time and energy to snap a shot of their 2018 FOBB station site.


Richard Fisher, KI6SN
Co-founder, The Adventure Radio Society