Monday, June 17, 2013

Results: July '13 ARS Spartan Sprint

(Please click on scoreboard for an enlarged view.)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Soapbox: July 2013 ARS Spartan Sprint

This was my first Spartan Sprint, and a bit of a learning experience. I didn’t get the portable antenna that I was making finished in time, so had to use the home station antenna. My station was a KX3 with built in paddle and was run off of its internal rechargeable batteries. I had a bit of a learning curve with the KX3, since I hadn’t had much opportunity to use it. I started 1/2 hour late, which appears to have been a serious mistake. Everyone seemed to give up on 20 meters before I had a chance to work them, even though the band was still open. I ended up on 40 meters, which didn’t really start to open until near the end of the contest. I could hear several east coast stations (very weakly) on 40, but they couldn’t hear me. Lots of room for improvement for next time. Thanks for running the contest,

Just assembled KX3 to G5RVjr here in PA tonight with a real, honest-to-goodness outside G5RV antenna. What fun QRP can be with a reasonable antenna. What a difference from my attic dipole in FL. Didn't hear much on 20 meters and 40 was slow to warm up, but it came on nicely.  Very happy with the 14 patient ops who came back to me tonight as I was learning how to use the new rig.  Thanks to all.

KX3 @ 5 watts to a  ground mounted 6BTV vertical.  Nice to work several stations on both 20 and 40.

FT-817ND and EFHW with counterpoise served well on 40 meters. Operated "in the field" - my back yard - fully off the grid. K4BAI and AB9CA heard and worked me an hour before sundown. Amazing. Other stations pulling me out of the din were K6XM, K7TQ, WB5BKL and W5ACM. Superb operators. Great to work old friends and make new ones. Many thanks to all.

Was a fun sprint as usual. The bands seemed to be in fair shape. Noise was not as bad as sometimes. Rig was FT-857 at 5w to 100' of wire. 9 Qs on 20, 16 on 40, and 3 on 80. Worked K6XM, WA5RML, W1PID, W5ACM, AE4TC, W0CH, NQ2W, (and maybe a couple of others I have overlooked) on 2 bands. Worked no one on all three. Got a late start and quit a bit early so only about an hour and half on the air. Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Some were tough to pull out, requiring several fills. But they are always worth it!! Hope to hear everyone next month.

It's been a while since participating in the sprints. It was good to hear some familiar calls and some new ones. Wasn't able to operate the whole event. Managed 11 QSO's, 6 on 20m and 5 on 40m. FT 817, 5w into an inverted vee @ 45 feet. Next month will operate battery with portable paddles and smaller tuner.

FlexRadio 1500 @5 wts to vertical (20M) and G5RV (80/40M); Weight of 13.7 lbs includes laptop, power supply, Vibroplex paddles, FlexControl knob.  My first Spartan Sprint in awhile -  Tough night to jump back in!  9 QSOs included: (a) 20M - NK6A, KI6J, (b) 40M - K4BAI, K4FB, AB9CA, W0CH, N5GW, and WA8REI (Hi Ken!  Tough QSO!), and (c) 80M - AB9CA (again).  Heard Randy, K7TQ on 20M at the start, but he couldn't pull me out.  Thanks to all how participated!

Stayed home this month, but used the light weight gear at 1.3 lbs. 20 m was the best band with 8 Qs.  I ran out of stations around 0140 so off to 40 m.  Not much cooking there with only 4 more.  Good signals on 20 from WB0WQS and on 40 from K4BAI and K6XM.  Nice to work Richard, KI6SN, who runs the show.  Catch you all next month.

Still using the ATS-3 with three 300 mAh LiPo batteries, providing 5W out and a final total of 11 QSOs this month. I only managed two contacts on 20M with W1PID in NH and NK6A in CA. The band was OPEN but QRP stations were very hard to find. Everyone had apparently migrated to 40M a bit too early, but noise conditions on the lower band were not bad and the contacts were solid. AB9CA in AL made a foray to 80M - nice signal - my only 80M QSO. 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. June was not up to the quality of the April event, but the season for higher band cooperation is not over yet! Hoping for more 20M ops next time!

Best DX W7OM in WA. Finally worked K7TQ. Great to hear Larry, W2LJ, and Ken WA8REI! 20 meters was the best producer. Nice to see activity picking up.

Nice write up on Spartan Sprint in WorldRadio Online Magazine.  Had hoped it would result in more activity this month, but activity was still down from the past. 20M was open, but not really good at the start, but kept returning to 20M and made 9 QSOs on that band.  27 QSOs on 40M, which was the money band this time.  Heard no activity and got no answers to CQs on 7030 kHz. All 40M QSOs were between 7040 and 7042 kHz.  Worked 3 CA stations to the west and as far as NH to the north. Best signals were from LA, TX, OK.  No skip zone noticed as made QSOs in FL, AL, and TN. Nice to work local newcomer KK4BNC on 20M.  Thanks for all QSOs.

K1 running 5W to a mini-beam at 25ft for 20m and an inverted vee at 40ft for 40m. I wasn't aware of the rule change for determining station weight until last month's posting of the SP results. I apologize for my oversight and have corrected my station weight to include my antenna tuner and associated I have an incentive to better adjust my mini-beam so I can forego using the tuner and get my weight back, where did that doggone time go? Signals seemed to either be strong or weak with few in the middle range. Regardless, I was able to log 13 Qs on 20m and 10 Qs on 40m. Two-banders included N5GW, K4BAI, AB9CA, and WB5BKL. Of the QRPers, K3RLL was loudest but two QRO stations, one from VA and one from PA, were ear-busting loud. As usual, very enjoyable. Looking forward to the BB and other upcoming QRP events this month.

Using KX3 with internal AA NiMH, running 5W to R7 vertical and dipoles.  Band seemed open; made 2 QSOs; worked NK6A on 20M and K4BAI on 40M.  Heard bits of others.

I was on vacation staying in a cabin on the Cumberland Plateau with the xyl. I had the K1 running at 3W with internal battery pack to a HB microtuner and CFZ in a big oak tree. The bands were not in great shape due to QRN from local T-storms, and also deep QSB at times. Most sigs were weak, except for a few including K4BAI who must have good antennas. Most Q's were on 40. 20 faded here after about 46 min. However it's always fun when the outside temp is 73 instead of 93 back home in MS.

K3/10 @ 5W to a wire delta loop, a dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  All QSOs were on 20 and 40M.  14 states this time with a lot of the usual suspects and a few new-to-me calls.  I sure would like to see more activity.  I try to publicize the sprint on the AQRP and QRPadillos mailing lists and will add my local club (Highland Lakes ARC) next month.  You might consider doing the same on your favorite local lists. Many thanks to all.  Had fun.

Thanks for a fun evening, glad to see 20 meters cooperating.  I've missed participating in the sprints and hope to be on more often.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Results: June 2013 Spartan Sprint

(For enlarged view, please click on scoreboard)

Soapbox: June 2013 Spartan Sprint

MTR to “Stealth Vertical”.  It was nice that 20 meters was open again tonight, but when it seemed to feel ‘worked out’, I stumbled on down to 40 meters but didn’t hear a single Sprinter there.  Must be time to turn off the radio and call the X-XYL?  Thanks to those who pulled me out tonight.  Best signal here tonight was WB5UDA.

It was fun to return to the Sprint after not having Played in quite some time. Ran my KD1JV AT Sprint II on a gel cell, feeding a Norcal Doublet through my Elecraft T1 tuner and BL1 balun. The Norcal Doublet was supported at the top of my 20-ft telescoping fiberglass pole in my back yard, and I operated from my patio. What a beautiful night here in Colorado! Worked only 12 stations this evening (apologies to N6GA for butchering his callsign). Heard good signals on 20 but almost everyone on 40 was down in the mud. W1AW code practice was loud and clear on 40, though. This was the first operation for the Norcal Doublet, and I have to say I was pleased with its performance. Thanks everyone for a great evening!

I had the "Sprite" (homebrew 20 meter SS rig) fired up to 1.2 watts into a CFZ at 40'. I had ordered a LiPO battery to keep the weight down, but it hadn't arrived, so an 8 cell AA alkaline pack was used. The battery weighs more than the xcvr (8 oz vs. 5 oz). Hope to see many of you next month with a 6 oz ( 0.375 lb) station!

The bands were quite noisy here in MD. While activity seemed a little sparse, I was able to make a few QSOs on 20, 40, and 80 - and enjoyed the event.

I ran an FT-817 at 2.5 watts to a 65 foot wire running out of a second story window. The antenna is pretty minimal . . . but I worked NK6A in California and OM5OA in the Slovak Republic. I tried 80 meters with it and worked AB1AV (Bill gave me a 539). Thanks guys for the QSOs.

All contacts on 20m and 80m. I couldn't raise any sprinters near 7030 or 7040.  Using ATS-3 to home antenna: an 88 ft doublet up about 50 feet.  Am I supposed to count 
the weight of my antenna tuner too (MFJ 949E this time)?  The rules used to say count up to RF connector of the rig; now they say everything but antenna and feedline. I could have used a lighter tuner. (NOTE: The weight of your tuner is included in your total station weight. The weight of your feedline and antenna are excluded from the station's weight - KI6SN)

Ran KX3, at 5W to OCF Dipole, Paddlette and IPad with Pigtail.  Breakdown by band: 1 on 10M (N1IX)  1 on 15M (N1IX), 8 on 20M (N4SX, NK6A, N1IX, WA8ZBT, K3RLL, NK9G, N5GW, WB5BKL) 2 on 40M (NQ2W, N1IX) and 1 on 80M (N1IX). Great 1 watt signals from N5GW and N4SX . . . very cool - you guys rock! As always, nice to get NK6A, the thrill of coast to coast QRP always has that big wow factor with me...thanks Don for hearing my signal! Rick, NK9G came booming in from WI . . . and always comforting to hear calls I'm familiar with. Thanks, N1IX, my neighbor and friend for the Qs on 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 . . . that makes it an offical Worked 5 Band, Newton, NH . . . Other contacts were with WA8ZBT in TX, K3RLL in FL, WB5BKL in TX all on 20M. 40M had a lot of noise last night so I didn't hear anyone besides NQ2W on 40M. Many thanks to the Adventure Radio Society . . . these are great chances each month to try out different setups, rigs etc.  This month I tried a new set up with the KX3, Paddelette, and Ipad and hand logging . . . I think it might be the set up I use for a couple outside QRP events later this year.

This is the first Spartan Sprint for me in years. Great to work the regulars. I had the K1 packed away but pulled it out and enjoying it once more. Good to work the boys out in California.  K6CSL, N6GA, NK6A and KA6GSC. I had a lot of fun. We will do it again!

K1 running 5W to a mini-beam at 25ft for 20m and an inverted V at 40ft for 40m. Started out on 20 and made 14 Qs before moving to 40 for 10 more. Things slowed down so I moved to 80 - which meant switching filter boards - to make 1 Q with W3KC. Probably should have moved back to 40 but I didn't want to switch the filter board, again. On 20, N4SX and N5GW were running kinda close to each other. I answered N4SX and both came back to me. After that Q, I tuned down just a little to work N5GW. Both were 
running 1W...FB. Thanks to WA4CHQ for sticking in there. We made it work! Doubles with only W9LR. Worked 3 NH SPers in row! Thanks to all. I hope to hear you all next month.

Tried 20, 15 and a bit on 40.  20 Qs and 15 different states. Conditions what they were, I was surprised to work NH (three different stations) and NY. I heard many new stations on.

For the June SP,I again went to the mountains east of Moscow, ID to set up my KX1 and SOTA Beams Band Hopper for a nice less than 2 lbs station.  Set up went well and 

I even made a QSO before the contest started.  The first contest QSO was with NK6A and it went poorly.  The paddles weren’t making good contact and I could barely get the exchange out.  The second QSO didn’t happen because I couldn’t get them to send W3KC.  I switched to the G4ZPY ones and did work W3KC.  Next the KX1 reported that the 10 cell NiMH battery pack voltage was only 7 V.  At that point I switched to Plan B, K2 and 7 AHr battery.  After 13 Qs on 20 m, I moved to 40 m at 0201Z and got 4 Qs before a nearly half hour long dry spell when I got WA8PGE with 2 minutes to spare.  Two band contacts were with KC7PM in UT, NK9G in WI, and WA8PGE in OH.  It was a good evening for being out in the woods and on the radio. On the way home, I ran the truck heater for a short while.  I suspect that not many others needed a heater after the Spartan Sprint.

K3/10 @ 5W to a wire delta loop, a dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. Not much heard this time - all QSOs except 3 were on 20 M.  Worked NQ2W, WA8MTI and NK9G again on 40M.  Removed two QRO QSOs from my total.  No contacts on 15 or 80M.  Lost of familiar calls missing in my log - hope it was just poor conditions  My thanks to all. Had fun.

I used my battery powered KX3 and laptop computer. Most of the activity was centered around the QRP frequency on 20 meters. Forty meters was very noisy here. I was only able to hear KQ2W in NY. The only station worked on multiple bands was Ann, K1QO. K4SX and N5GW both had very nice signals using just one watt. It was great  to work both Don, NK6A and  Rod, W7OM on the left coast. Other stations worked were WA8ZBT, WB5BKL, and WB5PG in Texas. Also, K3RLL in FL and Rick, NK9G in WI. I will try to stay awake for the entire sprint in July.

Electraft KX3 @ 5 watts, running on internal batteries. PAR Endfedz 10/20/40 dipole slung into backyard tree. Operated from roofdeck on garage.