Friday, September 10, 2010

Soapbox Comments: September Spartan Sprint

K2 @ 5 watts to an 88-foot doublet.

Was limited to 20 meters tonight. Seemed like a lot of QRN. Glad for the 3 Q's.

Home tonight on the G5RV. I heard NK6A in CA from GA tonight, but he couldn't hear my 5W. I did get to connect with NG7Z in WA on 2 bands.

Using K3 to a TA33jr for 20 and a 20 meter EDZ for 40 and 80. 20 yielded good results for the first half hour, 11 ctcs, with 10 on 40 and 2 on 80. All in all a fair night.  Be back next month.

Rig was an old Icom IC-707 dialed back to 5w. Antenna was usual OCF 80m dp. Most of the activity seemed to be on 40. Tried 20 early but only 1 Q there. Did get 3 Q's on 80 late in the 'test - the rest were on 40. Lots of noise here with all the tropical activity. Know I missed a few that I just could not pull out. Total time was about a hour with a break or two in there. Thanks to all who stopped by and we'll look for you next month. Thanks to the guys who do the work to make it possible. Always a fun event!


Good conditions and great fun. A brief thunderstorm added to the adventure.

Yaesu Ft-817 @ various power levels - 1 QSO @ 500mw, 1 QSO @ 1 watt 3 QSO's @ 5 watts....Ant: 80 mtr Dipole laying on the roof...My 1st go at a Spartan Sprint, didnt even venture near 20 meters, 40 had most action that I could find although after some really great milliwatt success this past 2 weeks, I couldnt seem to buy at a contact at QRPp levels tonight (finally snagged W2SH/1 on 80 for my mw Q!)  now that I have one under my belt I'll be back to actually produce a score next time!

Labor Day, didn't expect a huge amount of activity, but was somewhat surprised. 9 states. KX1 [w/tuner and 30m] and paddle with Li-Poly 800 mAh battery, ear buds.  Half and half, 40 and 20.

Finally had a chance to do the sprint after many months. Started off SO2R on 20M and 40M but only one Q on 40. The rest were on 20M so stayed there for the first half hour then went to 40M. That yielded 16 contacts. CQ'd on 40 and 80 and picked up 2 on 80 until the end. Had several 2 band contacts and WA8ZBT on 3 bands. Didn't hear N4BP which was surprising. Usually Bob is an easy Q on 20 and 40. Nice to work familiar calls again. 80 should be better in October. CU next time.

Where to begin.  Certainly not my best Spartan Sprint effort.  I had a visitor in the shack, Ron - WT5RZ.  Ron is a relatively new ham, has a Yaesu FT-817, and has never tried a CW contest, or even tried CW for that matter.  Ron came by especially to watch me work the Spartan Sprint.  Why he asked me to show him CW I don't know ... We spent as much time chatting as we did anything else.  I did work 5 stations. I ran the whole contest at 2.5 watts.  Usually I swap batteries in the middle of the sprint.  I wanted to see if I could go the whole 2 hours on 1 battery.  I did, but I am not sure it was a real test with only 5 contacts and a few CQs. As 15m was dead here, I started on 20m.  First was N7TQ in Idaho, then KG7Z in Washington state, and last on 20m was AF4O who answered my CQ.  I tried several more CQs on 20m with no luck, so I jumped to 40m.  On 40m I worked W5HNS near San Antonio and WA8ZBT near Dallas, both Texans.  .  With about 30 minutes to go Ron and I looked at 80m, but didn't make any contacts.  It was just too noisy.  So we just chatted a little more. I either need to do this more often, or not at all.

I operated about a half hour with an IC-7000 at 5W and an OCF dipole. Best DX was NK6A on 20M. Thanks all.

All three bands seemed to be in good condition.  Activity was only fair on 20M, pretty good on 40, and almost NIL on 80. Did work K0NWT and K4ORD on 80.  Thanks for all QSOs.


This was my second Sprint and the bands were much better. Due to rain I setup a portable station on my porch and ran my Sierra to a 44" doublet with peak at 20 ft and ends at 16.5 ft thanks to new Black Widow Crappie poles. It tuned up well and I was amazed to be hearing Eu stations on 40m again! Great to hear the ionosphere still has some bounce left in it! Did not make too many contacts but had fun reading the mail and listening to the various qso's from MI and some other contest that seemed to be going on at the same time.  Worked 6 states last night but heard about  about 10 Eu stations, 4 VE's and some Latin American SSB activity too. Fun way to spend the night.

What a cool way to check out a new antenna.  I ran a K3 at 5 watts into a new 40 meter delta loop.  By plotting the sections worked, I could see where the main lobes were.

Started on 20M but the band seemed to go pretty quick here. 40M was defintely the best band for last night. Running a little less than 2W, I was amazed at the great ears of the OP's, particularly W7OM -Atlanta to Seattle on that power on 40M is amazing! Thanks also to the patience of several stations, including W5HNS. The noise that my dogs can generate can really be distracting and it always seems to happen when I am on the air.

ATS-3A at 5 W,  Vertical Loop and OCF Dipole. LiPo battery pack, KX1 paddle, and ear buds. 20m was in better shape this month.  40m was very active,  but not many SP stations heard. Only one Q on 80m,  lots of QRN here. Nice signals from WA, AB, and CA on 20m. Thanks to all.

Another fun sprint.  KX1 @ 3 watts, longwire antenna indoors.   Will try again next month.

The 200 mAh LiPo batteries in the ATS-3A are starting to fade! One cell was dropping fast just 20 minutes prior to the end of the event. I had to shut down completely 15 minutes early, but still had a great time. Twenty Meters tried to cooperate, and it was fun. However, 40M wasn’t bad and easily provided 10 of my 14 contacts. It was great to work W5HNS who recently moved out of Houston, and also WG0AT up in CO. There were lots of familiar callsigns and a few new ones – excellent! The old vertical is still doing well, but it looks like new batteries will be needed before next month.


Used my Ten Tec 1340 to an inverted vee at 40 feet. Seems to be working okay. Pretty happy with the results and some stations actually answered my CQ SP. Thanks to everyone that participated and thanks to the organizers. Hope to see you all next month.

Most fun was when NY then MN responded to my CQSP. Antenna: 40M Half SQ wire ~25 feet.

My nearby field site is nice except got another visit from PD. Not a bad thing just a tad unnerving. Evidentially this is a place on a routine patrol because it was about the same time as the last visit. No big deal though, after i explain the unusual nature of what I'm doing this one said "carry on." 20 was closing down but held long enough to make a few contacts. 40 was good but the usual crowding and summer crashes. My pneumatic launcher made from an old fire extinguisher, metal pipe fittings and a pvc barrel proved to work well especially spraying wd40 down the barrel. Cleared an approx 100' tree trailing the #20 wire directly into the tree. This made for a nice 100' vertical with 5 radials thrown on the ground. I use a pvc capsule for the ammo. Fun to hear everyone. Cooler months coming and im ready for them. Been a long hot summer here.

Using my new K3 at 5w into 80m inverted vee at 45'.  Only had 45 minutes, but enjoyed 40m with moderate noise level and got 10 contacts there, then 80m with high noise and weak signals for 3 more contacts.


K1 @ 5w with 40M EDZepp + 20m delta loop.  All but three of my Qs were on 20M.  The K1 does not match the 40M extended double Zepp well.  However, even with the big miss-match, I did get W0LGU, K4BAI and WA7OJY on both bands.  This is also my first non-tubby submission.  Note to self:  Motorcycle batteries are heavy!  Had fun.


Activity was much better than August made 9 qso's on 20M, 27 on 40M and 2 on 80M. 20M was pretty good, 40M had lots of qrn up to S9,   80M had heavy qrn. Rig K2@ 5W ant's were 40M and 160M dipoles and 20M wire vee. Hope to see everyone next month.

20 m was good for most of the time, even late, but few takers after 0130 Z.  I even got an 80 m QSO.

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