Friday, November 9, 2012

Soapbox: November 2012 Spartan Sprint

This was my second Spartan Sprint, and a huge improvement over last month. Amazing what a month of CW practice can do! Rig is an IC-7200 running 5W into an LDG IT-100 and 85 feet of wire, strung about 20 feet high. All QSOs on 40m. Got some WX noise around my QTH again this month, especially in the second hour of the sprint. Huge thanks to everyone in my log, and to a couple of you who tried at some length but whom I couldn't quite pick out of the noise. Great fun overall.

Thanks for a fun sprint. Wish I could have heard more stations. Maybe next time.

I operated for 20 minutes using a Dave Benson DSW with 2 watts on 40 meters. The antenna was an OCF dipole. What a lot of fun. Like the old sprints. Bands were down. Best DX was Larry KFØN in IA. Thanks to everyone for the QSOs.

Flex-1500 to 4-BTV: Soft band conditions here in FL tonight and therefore didn’t hear a lot of Sprinters.This was the first time EVER that K4ORD couldn’t hear me, despite numerous tries. Maybe old sol will be kinder to us next month. Thanks for the fun.

A better Sprint than many November ones I've had. I took K4BAI's suggestion of last month and stayed with it until the bitter end. First hour was 18 Qs then only 2 more the entire next hour. I was pleased that 20 stayed open as long as it did. 80 didn't show much activity which left 40 as the band to be on. Thanks to all who stopped by and catch you again next month.

This is the first Spartan Sprint with my new KX3. I ran the 8 foot magnetic loop with 1-Watt on internal Imedion batteries. Had a fun time on 40 and 80. Didn't try 20. Seemed a bit noisy tonight. The loop and info can be seen in more detail at < > Thanks guys, had fun.

Ran my K3 @5W antennas 160, 80 and 40M dipoles, Started on 40M had a good run at first then things slowed down, most signals were weak with very deep QSB and the band was very noisy, I heard several stations calling that I just couldn't pull out of the noise. Checked 20M several times but heard nothing and made 3 qso's on 80M which was also very noisy. Hope December has less QRN. Thanks to all.

This was my first Sprint. I guess I just stumbled onto it while listening for some QRPers on 40. It was still early in the contest, so I thought I would join in. I had a great time and made some QSOs: 7 Q's on 40 and 2 on 80. I'm getting back to CW more now and learning to use a keyer, too. Hopefully I'm getting the hang of it. The skip must have been long, because most of my contacts were to the Gulf Coast and SE, and I only heard a few stations in the Midwest. I used an Icom IC-703 at 5 watts and wire antennas. I see now that my 8 lb. gell cell battery is about half of my total gear weight. Next time I'll hunt around for a smaller one and shed some pounds. Thanks to all, it was fun.

Missed the first 30 minutes. 20M seemed dead. 40M was good except for long skip. No signals heard from W3, 4, 8, 9 or close in W5. Good signals from Northeast, West, and West Coast. Best signals were from TX and OK, followed by CO, and then MN. 80M had only spotty activity with a lot of QRN but worked stations from VA, TX, and MN. 6 QSOs on 80 and 18 on 40M. Hope to make the whole 2 hours next month.

I used my AT Sprint 3 and Whiterook MK-44 paddles; supplied with a 9.6v wall wart. All my QSO's were on 40m. I didn't hear a lot of activity. The QRN on 80m was deafening. Will submit my log to the ARRL's Logbook of the World.

Added NiMH internal battery pack to K1 to keep weight down and increase portability. Used the 80/40 filter board at 4 watts, but unfortunately both bands in bad shape due to QRN from local rain storms, generally weak sigs and QSB related to poor propagation. Didn't hear any new stations during the last 45 min--must have worked all available ops or they gave up. Only good sigs were K4ORD on 40M and K4BAI on 80M. Hoping for btr condx later this winter. Was fun anyway.

Rig was K2 at 5w to 100' wire. Ended up with 15 Qs. Nearly all were to the N or W. SPCs are CA, CO, TX, MN, MI, IA, NV, ID, and NM. Nothing at all to the NE and not much into the midwest. Started on 20. Heard K7TQ but he could not hear me. Did work NK6A, Don, in CA on 20 but that was it (and later again on 40). The others all on 40. Tried 80 but no one home when I was there. Had only an hour so was probably too early for 80. There was some deep QSB. Not as bad as it is sometimes. Lots of noise from the nearby storms. Thanks to all who stopped by. See everyone next month.

It's been a long time since I had the time to work the Spartan Sprint (9 years). I hope to make this a regular activity once again. There were a lot of signals out there on 40M but QSB on most. It would have helped if Ops were not on top of each other - need to spread out.

The backup rig - my HEAVY ATS-3 - continues to perform quite well with three LiPo batteries, providing 5W out and a final total of 10 QSOs. The batteries were fully charged this month, so there was some extra power for calling CQ. Conditions were bad on 20M, so I moved to 40M and worked 9 stations from NY to CA. I was using my backyard vertical. I finished up on 80M but with only one more contact with WB5BKL in TX.

Participation seemed good although it was spread out over the whole two hours. A low "A" index (2) and a K-index of zero made for some seemingly good conditions with the best coming later in the evening. Twenty meters was a wash here with only two stations worked: K7TQ (Idaho) and K5JHP (Texas). The work-horse band was good old 40M. I heard Jim, K4ORD (VA) early in the evening but was not able to work Jim until much later in the evening when he peaked 579 here. Two stations I would loved to have worked but missed were Don, NK6A (CA) and Dave, AL7LO in Anchorage, AK. Guess I need to upgrade to a full QRP gallon of 5-watts! Many thanks to all who stopped by and rang my door bell! Also thanks to those dedicated souls at Adventure Radio Society who sponsor these fun events.

K1 running 5W to a mini-beam at 25ft for 20m, an inverted V at 40 feet for 40m, and a ground mounted, near bottom-loaded vertical for 80m. Started on 20 and heard nothing. CQing didn't even show up on < >;. 40 was better but signals for the most part - except loud K4PHA and K4ORD - were down and QRN was high. Worked one station on 80 - K4ORD for a double - but it seemed like more skimmers were picking up my signal on 80 than on 40. Pretty noisy on 80. Always interesting...wish we had more participation. Thanks to all of the participants and thanks to the organizers.

It's been a while and thought this sprint is just what I need to shake down the new 160m inverted L. I fired up the K2 at 5 watts and got at it. Total of 24 contacts. 20 meters was not too hot, only 2 contacts. 80 was QRN city with only 3 contacts. The workhorse was 40 where I worked 19 q's. On my end it was up and down but with positive results. Good to hear so many familiar calls.

ATS3, 88' doublet up 60'. Only operated 1/2 hour, only 40 meters. Signals seemed weaker than usual. Thanks for those who called, and sorry I sometimes forgot which memory held the SP exchange! WB5BKL K3/10 @ 5W to a wire delta loop or a dipole. Worked stations on 20, 40 and 80M but most of my QSOs were on 40. Worked K4BAI and W7TQ on two bands. W7TQ was my best DX and WVØH had a nice signal into the Texas hill country at 1 watt. As always, thanks to all. Had fun.

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