Friday, January 7, 2022

SCOREBOARD: January 2022 Spartan Sprint

 For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: January 2022 Spartan Sprint


Only worked 5: WB5BKL and WB8ZBT on both 40 and 80M, and K9DRP once on 40M. Hardly even heard much other activity - not even John K4BAI. Heard neighbor and friend Mike KD5KC in El Paso briefly on 80M, but no luck. January is the annual SKCC Straight Key Month to work the host of special K3Y stations. This is a big deal trying to get a clean sweep of worldwide K3Y stations. I've heard some of our QRP friends working the K3Y stations. So between SKCC and the holidays, should have more activity next month. Did I mention band conditions were also awful?


Pretty wicked QSB tonight on 40m, but nice level of activity. Thanks for the contacts.  72/73 ... Don


Band conditions were miserable here.  I hope we get some propagation next month.


Thanks again for a fun evening. I worked 2 guys on 40m with a weight of 0.680 pounds. - WVØH Myron


20M dead at the start. 40M OK for 7 QSOs from FL to IL to CA. 80M OK for QSOs from NY to IL to TX. Thanks for all QSOs and Happy New Year to all. 73/72, John, K4BAI.


FTDX-1200@5W. EFHW@15ft, home QTH. First timer for the Spartan Sprint. Will lose some weight for the next try. 73, Nate


It’s been a while.  I just retired a couple of months ago.  I decided I would make the Spartan Sprint for Jan-2022.  I went and dug out my record-holding Spartan Sprint radio (see July 2014 scores).  Several years ago my Great Dane stepped on it.  I had finally repaired it, but all three batteries were dead-dead-dead.  RATZ!  So I cranked down the home station to 5-watts.  Better to get on as a tubby than not at all. Heard some weak activity on 20m, but no contacts after 30 minutes of tuning and calling CQ.  Jumped to 40m and worked WB9HFK in IL, WB5BKL in TX, WA8ZBT in TX, and K9DRP in IL.  Called CQ for about 10 minutes with no further luck.  Jumped to 80m, and worked WA8ZBT in TX again, K9DRP in IL again, caught K4BAI in GA, and WB5BKL in TX again.  Spent the last 20 minutes between 40m and 80m calling CQ with no luck. Really nice to hear some old friends again.  Hey guys, like Arnold says . . . I’m BACK !  I’ve been eying my Spartan Sprint radio some more. Now that I’m retired, I need to get new batteries for it, and I think I can shave the weight down a little more. Last time I weighed it, it was 0.1157 pounds according to my gun powder scale, which is good to 1/70,000th of a pound (1/10th grain). Can I get it down to 0.1000 pounds?  Gunna try.  Stay tuned for Feb-2022. - Vy73  –  Mike  –  KD5KC – WRFF851 –  El Paso – Texas  –  DM6


12 contacts, 1.7 lbs. station weight. Took my rig (HB-1B), cans, cootie, and battery pack to the Post Office today for an official weighing.  Logged 6 contacts on 40, and 6 on 80. Half of my QSOs were from Texas again. Also got Paul, NA5N from NM. WB5BKL made a near impossible exchange with my 3 watt station, but I worked him, K4BAI, WA8ZBT, and KD5KC on both bands. Thanks for the fun! 72, Don, K9DRP


Patience...1 QSO on 20m, 2 on 40m, and 5 on 80m. The first 4 came within the first half-hour of the sprint, the last 4 came within the last half-hour of the sprint. That's a lot of calling and tuning with no results for the middle hour. 20m could have supported more QSOs...I was spotted on RBN around the 0300Z hour. 40m continues to puzzle me but I do have a new antenna planned. 80m has been the "go to" band. Had a two-bander (40 & 80) with WB9HFK, tu, Mark. Thanks to all for the Qs and the opportunity. I appreciate your patience and perseverance. Happy New Year! 72, WIll, NQ2W


What happend to all the people? I was trying my new radio and watching the band scope and only found 2 stations on 40M calling CQ. Thank You  Nick, WB5BKL and John, K4BAI. I saw no other activity on my scope.  After 1 Hr and 15 min and had enough and bailed.


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 40M dipole. 8 states this time. Best signals: 20M - NQ2W, 40 and 80M - WA8ZBT. Heard but not worked: AB9CA & W5QLF. Doubles with K4BAI, WA8ZBT, NA5N, K9DRP, KD5KC. Terrible noise problem on 80M might be local. Gave up after about 90 minutes. Had fun.


Conditions have been better. My four contacts were on 40m. Calling CQ on 80m did not stir up any activity there. KX3 with a 18650 LiIon battery pack and Whiterook key. 73 - Jody - K3JZD


I was using my RS-918, 6800ma Lithium-ion battery, Antenna 40~10 Mtr EFHW wire. All contacts were made using 2 watts RF out on 40 meters. My 5 contacts were made within the first hour of the contest. Just couldn’t seem to get anymore the second hour. Donnie / WA9TGT

Sunday, January 2, 2022

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

Friday, December 10, 2021

RESULTS: December 2021 ARS Spartan Sprint


For an enlarged view, please click on the image.

SOAPBOX: December 2021 ARS Spartan Sprint


RIG: Ten Tec Scout at 5W, no tuner (5 lb.)
KEY: 1938 McElroy bug (8 lb.)
QSOs: 3 (40M) K4BAI, K9DRP, N9OHW

Heard a few others on 40M, but they couldn't hear me. Running S5-6 noise here for some reason. Couldn't raise anyone on 80M. 72, Paul NA5N (Editor's note: The Adventure Radio Society is a staunch supporter of NA5N's annual Zombie Shuffle. Details: )


Signals were weak tonight on 40m but at least the noise level seemed almost absent.  Hmm, did I hook up my antenna? RBN spots were weak too.  Yes, I'm sure I reconnected my wet string HOA antenna. Nice mix of long time radio friends and some new good ops this evening. Sure made for a nice hour on the December Spartan Sprint - 72, Don, K3RLL


This is my first SP entry.  I have played in the event several times, but never sent in an entry.  Feels good to finally complete the paperwork.  We operate a small net on Monday nights at 8:00 PM local time called the Slow Speed QSO Net.  It is intended to encourage CW operations for those that are a bit on the rusty side.  We have used the Spartan Sprint as a way to give them experience with a CW contest format.  So if the entrants have seen WI entrants more than usual, that might be the reason.  Regardless, I've enjoyed the event and look forward to the first Monday every month. Vy 72, MJ, WO9B


Operated about 1 hour and 20 mins.  No signals on 20M. 40M was long and signals were weaker than usual. 80M wasn't long, but signals were weaker than usual. Made 6 QSOs on 40M and 6 QSOs on 80M. Thanks for the QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI.


Bands were long tonight!  Hooked up the HB-1B for a lite weight station.  The mini key caused me some trouble; RBN listed me as K9DAEP a couple times!  Not a lot of activity this evening, but I was able to work both coasts. It helps when you and the calling station (NK6A) know what the other's exchange will be. Yet I couldn't get thru to my neighbor, WB9HFK. Gud to work some new calls tonight!  72, Don


Kx3 @ 5w into a ZS6BKW inverted Vee oriented N/S at 40 feet. My struggle this evening, so very special thanks to Dave/AB9CA, on/K9DRP, onnie/W9TGT, and Don/K3RLL for tonight's log. 20m was totally dead for the sprint on my end tonight - not really surprised. 40m was nothing to brag about, and it just died out after I worked Dave at 0256 UTC. In the next 15 minutes I heard four or five stations calling that were trying to get thru but couldn't pull them out. Thanks to all, take care and stay safe,  72, Cray / K5MUG / San Antonio, TX


This one was a challenge...Started on 20 meters, nothing. Only 1 completed QSO on 40 meters. WO9B and WA9TGT answered my CQ but I couldn't hear them after my exchange. After the Sprint, I did spot searches on fellow Spartan Sprinters on the RBN. From those searches, I have concluded that 40 meter propagation wasn't that great during the Sprint AND I have to make improvements in my 40 meter antenna system - the delta loops just aren't performing, as expected. My 40 meter RBN spots are fewer and weaker than other Spartan Sprinters - Excelsior! 80 meters was a little noisy but was good for 6 QSOs. I'm happy to say that I was able to put WO9B and WA9TGT in the log. Thank you all for the opportunity. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope to hear you in 2022, Will, NQ2W


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 40M dipole. 7 states this month. Best signals:  40M - WB1LLY, 80M - WB9HFK. Heard AA9RK but could never pull him out of the noise (S4 on 40M and S5 on 80). It seemed that every other contact was named 'Don'. Quit after Mark and Don on 80M. Had fun.


Only activity was on 80M although there was some propagation on 40M. Tried a few CQs there but no response. Good to see some of the usual suspects. - 72.


Slim pickin's. I'm out in AZ. Worked only 2, both in TX. Heard NK6A but did not complete. Maybe next month will be better. 73, Dave


This was my first attempt at operating QRP. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of stations that I heard. WB9HFK was the only station I heard calling CQ near the QRP frequencies on 80 meters. I also listened on 40 meters near 7030 and 7112 kHz. No on heard there. I tried calling CQ on 80 for about 10 minutes, but no call backs. I'll try another one, but this one was too quiet for me. 73, Kevin Alt

Thursday, November 11, 2021

SCOREBOARD: November 2021 Spartan Sprint

 For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: November 2021 Spartan Sprint

HISTORY MAKING SPRINT: Michael Falk, AA9RK, and his son, Max, KD9NZB, made ARS history in November when they operated as separate competitors in the Spartan Sprint - the first-ever father-son Sprint participants. In addition, Max, 10, is the youngest participant ever. "I have enjoyed getting back into CW this past year or two," Michael said, "and Max is having fun with it too. His interests in ham radio are very different from mine, but that's fine.  I'm glad he has interests in ham radio at all. He works on his CW occasionally, and he's also very casually working on his General exam pool." (Photograph courtesy of AA9RK)


I am a 10 year old Technician class operator and I am learning CW.  72! Max, KD9NZB


Ten-Tec Jupiter to a mini-beam at 25ft for 20m, a full-wave delta loop at about 50ft for 40m, and a dipole at about 50ft for 80m. 1 QSO on 20m, 9 on 40m, and 8 on 80m. My 80m dipole is performing a lot better up here in the Adirondacks than my 80m near bottom-loaded vertical did in Albany. It's nice to have some space both horizontally and vertically. Two-banders with  K4BAI, WB5BKL, K7TQ, K9DRP, WB9HFK, and NØTA. I said it last month but it's worth repeating - it's great to be back. Thanks for the QSOs and thanks to Richard, KI6SN, for the opportunity created by the Spartan Sprints. Looking forward to next month...Will, NQ2W


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 40M dipole.  7 states this month (worked IL 5 times!).  Nada on 20M.  Best signals:  40M - NK6A, 80M - W5ESE.  Doubles with WB9HFK, K9DRP, and NQ2W.  Had fun.


Got 4 QSO quickly then things petered out on 40M. NØTA remained strong for a while. Ops limited to a 40M dipole. 73/72, Andy


Just used 40m. Conditions have been better.  Perhaps seeing some after affects from the recent solar storm.  Used my backup SOTA kit: FT-817 with a 21700 Li-Ion battery pack that I have been testing.  Has more capacity than my 18650 Li-Ion pack, but is a little heavier. 73 - Jody - K3JZD


As I did in October, I operated using my mobile setup, KX2 and Scorpion 680 antenna, from the top of the Lewiston, ID grade which has a 2,500 foot drop off favoring the east and south.  Below are the cities of Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers. Catching KI6SN was a treat.  We haven't had a QSO in quite a while. 40 m was good all the way to the east coast and 80 m yielded a Q to CO and one to NY. A fun evening.


Conditions seemed pretty decent; No contacts on 20m. 40m was the money band, but 80m was pretty good, also. Used the Omni VI and a 300' Horizontal Loop.


MTR-3B putting out 2 Watts from a 9 volt battery, with a light 3D-printed plastic paddle and earbuds for 9.8 oz.  6 QSOs: one on 20m and the rest on 40m. Antenna was a Buddipole in horizontal configuration.  QTH was in the San Francisco bay area. Good to hear and work KI6SN for the first time, as well as NØTA, K7TQ, NK6A, and two QRO stations who came by to give out points, KI5AL and W0CCA. 73, Mike N9OHW.


I started out on 40 meters and didn't hear any stations so I picked a spot and made a run for it. I only worked 4 stations on 7041 W5ESE, NQ2W W5QLF and WB5BKL. After calling CQ I noticed that my receive signals were intermittent and had some trouble copying. I thought at first there was quite a bit of QSB so after I didn't hear any more stations I swapped filters and went to 80 meters and immediately found John - K4BAI but right after I found out what the problem was: when I took the ATS- 3b out of the case I should have reinforced the antenna connector. The SMB connector broke loose from the PCB. I stopped for almost a half hour soldering the connector. About 0250z I was back on the air and then found KB9LLD. My LiPo battery had had a rest and was almost putting out 3 watts again. Even with a problem this sprint is still lots of Fun. 72 to everyone for the QSOs, see you next month, Phil.


I obviously haven't operated the Spartan Sprint in a long time, but decided to get in for a bit this time around.  Unfortunately, I needed a tuner, so instead of using one of the lightweight rigs, I used the KX3 to take advantage of the built-in tuner. Power by Eneloops, paddle was a Te-Ne-Ke Micro. I checked out 20 meters just before the start, heard nothing and got no Reverse Beacon action, so I headed to 40 meters. Pretty good reports on RBB initially, with noticeable reduction in signal strength after about a half hour. I gave up after an hour or so and listened for a few minutes on 80, but heard no Sprinters. I look forward to the next time I operate being able to go tuner-free and use one of the KD1JV rigs. Thanks to all for the QSOs - good to hear some familiar calls I haven't heard in a while.  And thanks to KI6SN for keeping the Sprint going! 73 de Lee, AA4GA


No stations heard on 20M. Band seemed dead. 8 QSOs on 40. Skip was pretty long - worked CA 2 way 5W QRO with NK6A.  3 QSOs with stations in WI.  13 QSOs on 80M. Best "DX" was NØTA, worked on both bands. Thanks for all QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI.


First time participating in Spartan Sprint. Operated for one hour on 80m only with full 80m loop antenna up 25-30 ft. 73, Tony, KB9LLD


Had to quit early tonight but still had a fun run. Lots of 2 band contacts tonight. Got to work Richard, KI6SN on 40! Good to hear NQ2W on 80 this evening. Ran the Argo VI getting ready for tomorrow's fox hunt.  Let's do it again next month. 72, Don, K9DRP


40m = 17, 80m = 8. 1.25 hrs. Nice evening. K3 @ 5w, doublet at 25 ft. Thanks for the Q's.


Back in Florida for the winter and life under the tyranny of my HOA and their Draconian antenna restrictions. So very happy for the contacts tonight, and they were good ones! My wet string antenna somehow improved over that half-hour. Big signal was K3JZD in PA. The Spartan Sprint has provided a lot of fun for quite some number of years now. My thanks and appreciation to ARS staff and management. 72/73, Don K3RLL


Contacts: 2. Weight: 13 lbs (IC-7300 and accoutrements - did not set up the QRP gear tonight). Great contacts with great operators. 5 watts into a dipole. 73 de AA9RK