Friday, October 8, 2010

Results: October '10 Spartan Sprint

Soapbox Comments: October '10 Spartan Sprint

K3 @ 5 watts. Near Cleveland, OH.

This was the black hole of Sprints! I heard ZERO activity on 20M and 40M was not a lot better here. The stations I did hear I could not raise, and QSB was significant. At first I thought I had radio or antenna issues, but I tried switching around all the gear and experienced the same results. Well... there's always next month!

This was the first time I have operated the Sprint for a couple years. All contacts were on 40 meters. The band was very noisEy here in Arizona.

Rig: Sierra 2W on 40 mtr, 1W on 80 mtr Antenna: Doublet. Power 11 AA cells. This was my first Spartan. I enjoyed the QRP to QRP contacts.

FT1-MP, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole, zepp, inverted vee.  I was determined to participate this month despite cataract surgery on my "good eye" Monday morning.  I have distoted vision in the other eye due to macular degeneration.   I set up the program early and failed to check the comuter keying.  When the contest period started, I discovered the computer wouldn't key the rig.  This has happened once before, but I don't know why.  After the first QSO, I rebooted the computer, but that didn't help, so I used my keyer and paddle for the entire two hours.  20M was open from CO west and north, but WG0AT was the only strong Sprinter heard.  K7TQ was solid copy.  I called a few other western stations without success and changed to 40M.  40M seemed very good, little noise, and little QRM.  But there didn't seem to be the usual activity level and the skip zone was out as far as VA.  West coast signals, particularly  W7OM, were strong.  I took off three minutes at 02Z for a state traffic net and tried 80M after the net.  80M w as also quiet with good signals out to TX, VA and IN, but noting from the ME.  See you next month.

Used the Big Rig tonight with the power turned down, to dipole @ 30ft. Had the K2 on the bench for recal. 20m was dead hr in Mich. at start of the sprint. 40m was vy noisy, es vy hard to pull some out of the mud. went to 80 es grabbed a couple Q's but didnt hr alot of activity. pulled the plug after an hr. see u all next time.

Wow, conditions were rough last night. I was receiving better signal reports then I was giving which makes me wonder if my QRN is locaL. 80m was my producing band but I was using a wire sloper cut for 20m and 40m to receive on and my windom, up 40 feet, to transmit on. Thanks to those who were persistent enough to stick with me.

Ft817 set at 1w into a G5RV up about 55ft. I had a geat time and thanks for the event.

Well, another sprint is in the books. I finally broke the 30 Q barrier tonight. I started out on 20M and picked up five before the band died. Moved to 40M at 0110 and stayed there until the end. 40M was pretty busy up until 0200 and then things slowed WAY down. Thanks to Randy, K7TQ, for the only Q on 80M. Got two band contacts with K7HBN, W5ACM and WA5BKL. Texas was very well represented. See y'all next month.

My first Sprint. Only managed two contacts in the short time I was able to play, but had a good time dragging out the PFR-3. I'll do better next month.

One more time with the heavily used pair of 3.7 VDC, 200 mAh LiPo batteries on my ATS-3A! They did well for the whole event, but that's probably due to fewer contacts and judicious "CQ-ing". I was hoping for some time on 20M, but conditions only allowed one QSO with NG7Z up there. The majority of the QSOs were on 40M with lots of familiar calls like N4BP, AB9CA, K4BAI and W5ESE. The noise on 80M was terrible, but I did manage three QSOs before I ran back to 40M for a final QSO with K3RLL. This was a tough one. I am hoping for better conditions in November. Perhaps the LiPo batteries will go yet another month. We'll give it a try! The old vertical is doing fine, and the rebuilt micro-thin-plywood keyer paddle is holding up well. The weight varies from month to month due to the number of bands I operate. Three bands means three daughter boards, thus more weight.

My station is Tubby, home station on commercial power. A Yaesu FT-450 running 5W output to 1 of 3 antennas. A Delta Loop, an Indoor- end-fed, coaxial dipole that is mounted on the center ceiling beam of my mobile home. An Indoor Horizontal Square Loop 12ft on each side, mounted in the ceiling of my radio room. I live in a mobile home park that allows no visible antennas.

Rig is Hendricks PFR-3A running 3W out with internal batteries. Antenna 180 ft horizontal delta loop at 30 ft. Worked 40 meters only. Experienced a lot of QSB, and band went long during last 30 min. Enjoyed the sprint and thanks to all who participated.

Conditions sounded better this evening so even though my time was limited, it was nice to make some contacts. Many thanks to those who pulled me out of the noise tonight.

Rig was K2 at 5w to OCF 80m dp. Condx didn't seem to be too bad but weren't all that good either. Made no contacts on 20. Stayed there only a short time. Thought 20 might be weak when I could barely hear W1AW's Kw signal. Made 26 contacts on 40 and 9 on 80. Was a good evening despite the QSB. The noise seemed to be down a bit. Maybe winter condx will soon be here. The QSB made for especially tough copy of a couple of Q's - KD1JV being one of those. Sorry, Steve, but parts of your call kept getting sucked out every time - but we eventually made it. Thanks to everyone who stopped by - and for all the fills - and especially to those who do the work to make these sprints possible. Hope to hear you next month!

Someone turned off 20 after 10 minutes. 40 and 80 were good except for the QSB and noise here on the coast. Let's hope for less noise next month!

I used a Ten Tec R4020 on alkaline batteries, and I sent 5 watts as my power, but I think it was actually between 3 and 4 watts.

In spite of working with our power company for months, my power line noise is about as bad as it's ever been.  Apologies to those I could not copy tonight who were lost in the noise. Rig: K3. Antennas: A4S, 40/80 Trap Dipole.

Went with my RockMight 20 tonight to keep the weight down. Heard some activity at the start. W5ESE. Guess the event starts too late for 20 to do much before it folds. Turned on my FT-817 to confirm the band was dead at about 0140Z. Let's see what next month brings.

AB9CA was the best signal. N4BP, K5JHP, W5SNI, K3RLL, and tried hard to get KD1JV!

K3/10 @ 5w to a 20M delta loop or a 40M extended double Zepp.  My QSOs were roughly evenly split between 20, 40 and 80M.  Nothing heard here on 15M.  I had hopes of working several on all three bands, but no joy.  Best signals:  on 20M - K7TQ, on 40M - AB9CA and on 80M - W5ESE (full disclosure:  Scott is pretty darn close).  It was nice to hear several 1W signals.  Had fun.

Had fun in the Spartan Sprint. First time back on the Sprint since June. Used an AT Sprint 3 and a 300' horizontal loop fed with open wire ladder line. 80m was the money band for me. Submitted my log to the ARRL's Logbook of the World.

Had a good time. Thanks to all who pulled me out of the noise. 20m was a disappointment, didn't hear a peep. Managed 13 contacts. 8 on 40m and 5 on 80m. Rig was a FT817, 5w into a ground mounted vertical.

Used my TenTec 1340 to the inverted vee at 40 feet. The band was in and out and short and long. N4BP and K4BAI were not as loud as usual. AB9CA was strong. Worked IN and TX. Heard W7OM - was loud - and then was gone. Thanks to everyone for the Q's and thanks to the organizers. Please listen for me during the NYQP - CU then or next month.

I got home late from work and operated for 8 minutes and worked 6 stations on 40 meters. I haven't missed a Spartan Sprint in at least 10 years! Thanks all.

FT-817nd @5wts + 80/40M dipole;  First Spartan Sprint in almost a year.  Could only get on for the last 30 minutes – probably the worst time slot!  Band conditions seemed to be very poor.  At first, I was wondering whether I’d missed the event completely.  I still managed to snag AB9CA (Dave), NG7Z (Paul), NQ2W (Tony?), and WB5BKL (Nick).  Alabama, Washington, New York, and Texas in that order – go figure.  Thanks, guys, for digging my signal out of the noise!