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.

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