Friday, March 9, 2012

Soapbox Comments: March 2012 Spartan Sprint

Had fun, best DX California.

K1 running 5W to a mini-beam at 25 ft for 20 meters, an inverted vee at 40 ft for 40 meters, and ground mounted, near bottom-loaded vertical for 80 meters. Made 9 Q's on 20, 11 on 40, and 2 on 80. Seemed like there was more participation this month. It was great working the west coast on 20. Signals on 40 were up and down - WA8PGE started out down in the mud but then his 100mW came through loud and clear. Was hoping for more 80 meter activity this it...doubled the Q's there from 1 to 2...maybe next month 2 to 4...then 4 to on and so on. Thanks to all of the participants and thanks to the organizers. Hope to hear you all again and more next month.

This was my first QRP contest in over 3 years after being QRT all that time. I made a snap decision Monday morning to do the sprint. So when I got home from work I dragged out the ATS3 which I had not used for years, threw together as light a weight rig as could, and went at it. 20M was pretty dead, and I don't have an 80M antenna up right now, so I was mostly confined to 40M with 3W using my dipole antenna. I think my farthest contacts were to K4BAI in GA and AB9OA in AL. It was fun to work you all. I really enjoy sprints, especially the Spartan Sprint with it's minimalist philosophy.

First time at Spartan Sprint. Lots of FUN!  Got back on air 2 months ago.  Have been QRT since 1984. Lot's has changed but not my love of CW.  Many QRP , 2  and 4 hour sprints to try. Qrp K3, 7 amp hour battery and dipole @ 24 feet. Strongest signal was W1PID, on 40 meters.  Continue to be amazed what 5 watts and under can do.

Good outing for a change. Only got to work first 45 minutes. Looking fwd to next month.

FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole, inverted vee.  Had traffic net skeds and lost about 15 minutes of the sprint to them.  Much better participation on 40 and 20 than many recent sprints, but not much activity on 80 despite good conditions on that band.  20M was open from GA to W1 and VE3 to the north and W5/6/7 to the west.  10 QSOs on that band.  40M was open to VE3 and the west coast, but also as short as AL, NC, and FL.  37 QSOs on 40.  80M had good signals from PA and WI and closer in, but not many of them.  Was surprised by a call from V31YN in Belize with a great signal.  Only 5 QSOs on 80.  Thanks for all QSOs and let's keep up the high activity in future months.  Look for me as PJ4/K4BAI March 20-27 and we will use PJ4Z in CQ WPX SSB on that weekend.

I thought I had the problem with my My ATS-3a isolated, but NO! For this Spartan Sprint, I once again used the heavier ATS-3 in the Altoids box. I was experimenting with batteries and earbuds, so the weight ended up fractionally higher this month. Running only two LiPo's for more current, but less output power (3W) and longer operating time. I will likely go back to three smaller-capacity LiPos for the full 5W output. This coming weekend will be a good chance to check the results with the ARCI Grid-Square Sprint using the call W5MSQ - Houston QRP Club outing. I found 20M quite reasonable for the first half hour of the Spartan Sprint this month, but 40M gave a lot more contacts from GA to CA toVA to PA, and all points in between. Nice - 15 QSOs on two bands. Last month I was hoping for better conditions on 20M. I got them, but need more!

I started at 02:00UTC on 10M, found nothing on 10, went to 15, found nothing there, went to 20M and found nothing there, so went on to 40. There I found 4 QSO's. CU all for the next Spartan Sprint.

The turn out was much better this month made 36 on 40M, 4 on 20M & 3 on 80M for a total of 43 QSO'S  this was double last months. Conditions were good with 40M a bit noisy. Nice to work WA8PGE @ 100MW from OH. Rig K3@ 5W antennas were 40M dipole up 40' & 80M dipole up 35', used my Bencher paddle. Thanks for all the contacts.

Rig was the usual K2 at 5w to one of 2 100' wires. Activity was moderate this month. I got a late start - must finish dinner! Managed 8 on 20, 2 on 80, and 23 on 40. Best DX was WA and CA. I had hoped for more activity on 80 but it was rather lonely down there. Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Thanks to the organizers who do the work to make these possible. See everyone next month.

I was happy to come back after a year since my last Spartan Sprint.  It was a quick last 30 minutes.  I apologize to those who had to listen to be wrestle with my key as I was having technical difficulties.  Mike, K7RVX, I tried my best to get your full exchange, but the band dropped out at a bad time.  Gear:  K1@5W into a Butternut Vertical, American Morse Dirt Cheap Key, and Winkeyer USB.

Pretty good turnout tonight.  20 m was good for about 1/2 hour. Got 1 on 80, AA5B, who was very strong.  Lots of my CQs there went unanswered.  Special thanks to K6CSL for his persistence in getting his call across to me.  Several new calls for me.  See you all next month.

Decided to see what I could work with 100 milliwatts tonight. Started out on 20, heard a few stations but could not QSO anyone.  Went to 40 and found the band in very good condition. Worked 9 stations, first one was a VE3, probably best DX from OH was WA8ZBT in TX. Rig was Softfock 6.3 cranked down to 100 mw, Software was Rocky, Antenna was fan inverted vee for 40,20,10. I had fun, thanks everyone for picking me out of the mud!

Nice to see more participation. I only operated about 35 minutes.Best DX CA, WA and ID. 12 SPCs. HB-1B and OCF dipole 4 Watts. 7 QSOs on 20M and 7 on 40M. One on 80M. Thanks all for the contacts.

Both 20 and 40 sounded pretty good this evening and found the propagation interesting as I had the pleasure of working many of the same stations on both bands.  80 meters isn't really workable here in FL on my attic antenna so just happy to have had a good first hour.  Thanks to those patient ops who pulled me out of the noise tonight.

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