Friday, April 5, 2013

Soapbox: April '13 Spartan Sprint

Getting to appreciate the little MTR and tiny LiPo battery but the light paddle leaves much to be desired. At least that is my story and I’m sticking to it.  Nice signals tonight on 20 meters and nice to work WB5BKL on both 20 and 40 tonight. Big signal tonight down into FL was K4ORD.  72 es tnx to those who make this fun possible.

Well another one come and gone, and still 30 minutes left as I write this report.  My K2 internal battery gave out again at the 1 hour 20 minute mark.  That will be remedied before next month.  I ran the Sprint again this month at 1 watt the whole way. 8 contacts on 20, 7 on 40, and 1 on 80 meters.  Just at the very end as my battery was giving up the ghost I may have been doing 50mw or so as AB9CA could not pull me out of the mud next door in Alabama, but the qrn was sure heavy on 80 and still not good on 40.  Contacts all the way from CA to WA to NH and even FL, so I got the corners covered!  Lots of fun again guys and thanks for all the contacts and pulling out my 1 watt.

Been working on sprint nights.  Finally got one off, used the KX3 to a wire dipole for two contacts then it was family time.  Bands have been rough the past few days.  Good to be back on a sprint.

Started on 20M, band seemed in good shape a few S9 signals, made 8 qso's on 20M, 16 on 40M and 6 on 80M. Qrn was heavy on both 40 & 80 some signals strong some weak. Nice to work WB5BKL on three bands. Ran my K2 @ 5W  to dipoles.  Thanks for all the contacts.

It has been a long time since I participated in a Spartan Sprint due to other commitments on Monday evenings.  This month found me in Houston, TX on business so I gave it a go.  Found my key a bit mangled when I took it out of its case so the first couple of contacts were a struggle until I got it readjusted - sorry John & Dave.  Guess I need a more substantial case.  Used my KX1 with the BuddiStick mounted on the rental car rear window.  Did not hear any activity on 20m but, was able to make 4 Qs on 40m - basically the Gulf Coast - East to West: K4BAI in GA, AB9CA in AL, N5GW in MS, and W5ACM in TX.  In between Spartan Sprint contacts I worked two Cuban stations on the low end of 40 - not bad at all!!  Hope to be back soon.

Good Sprint I operated for an hour with an ICOM 7K at 5W to an OCF dipole. I worked W7OM in WA on both 20 and 40. Worked NK6A and N6GA in CA on 20. Took a piece of traffic on 80! Really. I worked my pal Bill AB1AV. Then he sent QTC 1. I sent QRV and there was a message from fellow QRPer N3AO. What a hoot. Thanks all for the contacts.

Good conditions.  20M had very strong signals, but only a few of them.  40M was good almost everywhere.  80M had a lot of QRN, but strong signals from TX to PA.  Thanks for all QSOs. Breakdown of QSOs per band:  20M: 9.  40M: 25.  80M: 8.  FT1000MP, WM-2 QRP Watt Meter, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole, inverted V.

20 was open for the first half hour; then only a few west coast stations heard. 40 was noisy with QRN from approaching wx front, but not too bad for my K1 at 3 watts.

Bands were pretty noisy. I had only the wide filter in the Icom 703 (neat little rig), I really need to get a cw filter installed. Running 5 watts to the zs6bkw, I made the most Q's on 40 but several on 20 and 80.  As always, lots of fun and good operators.

Station was the K2 @ 5w to 100' wire. Condx seemed to be pretty good. Not much noise. On 20 worked from CA to NY from the Gulf Coast. 40 was not quite so long but still good. 8 Q's on 20, 13 on 40 and 1 on 80. John, K4BAI, over in GA was booming in on 40. That sounds good for the 40m fox hunt! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and see ya'all next month!

K1 running 5W to a mini-beam at 25ft for 20m and an inverted V at 40ft for 40m. Ten Qs on 20 and eight on 40. Never tried 80 - thought there would be too much QRN from the snow in the air! Had doubles with K4BAI, WA8ZBT, AB9CA, and N5GW. Overall, signals were pretty good with only an occasional lost dit or dah due to a static crash. Thanks for the repeats. Good to work a few new calls during the SP - welcome, and I hope to hear you again. Always good to hear the "regulars" and I hope to hear you again, as well. Always a pleasure and a privilege to be added to your log. Hope to be back next month.

K3/10 @ 5W to a wire delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. No contacts on 15M, but worked K4ORD and K4BAI  on 20, 40 and 80M.  Worked 15 states with N1WPU as the best DX.  28 Qs is a personal best for the Spartan Sprint.  Thanks to all, including the organizers!  Had fun.

Was tuning around on 40m and heard someone sending "CQ QRP TEST K4BAI" so finally figured out there is a 2hr contest on the first Monday of each month, read the short list of rules and exchange format,   turned the K3 down to 5w and sent a reply.  That worked pretty well, so ran across another caller.   Moved up the band a bit and started calling CQ.  Two stations came back to me fairly quickly and after that, no takers.  Figured everybody moved to 80m since it was fairly late in the contest. 
Hopefully, can improve my QSO/Weight ratio next month.

Still using the ATS-3 with three 300 mAh LiPo batteries, providing 5W out and a final total of 19 QSOs this month. However, I spent far too much time calling "CQ". The batteries were drained about 30 minutes before the end of the event. 20M was NOT DEAD! Last month 20M was a tragedy. This month it was a delight! The majority of my contacts were on 20M from NH to CA and FL. Nice! On 40M I had fun, but nothing like 20M. 80M was typical with only a few contacts. I got K4BAI on all of the bands that I pursued. My backyard vertical uses a resonator at the top for any very narrow piece of 80M that you wish to work. Mine is peaked at 3560, and it's nice when conditions cooperate. Hoping for some more fantastic 20M ops next time! It was the best SS in quite a while!

ATS-3, touch keyer, LiPo, 88' doublet up 55.'Didn't start until after a 9:30pm traffic net, staying on 80 meters where the net was.  Ran into W1PID, for whom I had just picked up traffic, and relayed it to him!  By the time I tried 40 and 20 meters there we're no sigs to be heard.

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