Thursday, September 3, 2015

Soapbox: August '15 ARS Spartan Sprint

Nice to hear more activity this month. I used the MTR with 8 AA cells at 3W. Best DX was N7IGK in WA and K7TQ in Idaho. I only operated for about 20 minutes. Thanks all for the contacts.

KX1 to G5RVjr @ 40 feet – Didn’t hear that much activity on 20 meters tonight but then I got a late start.  Was afraid I missed all the action until I moved down to 40m and had the good fortune of running into a number of familiar calls including one famous one from NH.  I have all my SWL kits and have derived great enjoyment from them over the years. So nice to work Dave. Thank you for the fun each month and the patience of the other Spartan Sprinters.

I have, essentially, been off the air for about 10 years.  Thanks to the 4 folks who worked me tonight for putting up with my rusty fist.  I had a blast, sitting in the yard... being eaten by mosquitos... using a K2 and a homebrew OCF dipole to make contacts on CW at QRP levels.  And apologies to N1IX.  I don't know if you finally got my exchange, but it was fun trying.

Good conditions on 20 and 40.  My beam failed at the start of the contest and used the 88' center fed zepp on all bands, supplemented by the 40M dipole and the 80M inverted vee. QSOs by band:  20M 21.  40M 25.  80M 1.  No QSOs in the last 20 minutes despite many calls.  Hope for more activity next month. We should all start going to 80M for at least the last half hour.

This was my first Sprint in several years… It was good to hear and contact some old friends (well, they aren’t old, but I’ve known them for a while).

I made contacts with lots of old friends from previous Spartan Sprints on 20 and 40 meters.  The bands were pretty typical for the Sprint as 20 meters went out predictably at 0200Z and forty meters was typically noisy and I really had to scrape for most contacts on that band.  K4BAI was my first contact on 20 meters and was also worked on 40; that makes QSOs NR 36 and 37 with John since 2004!  Henry, W5HNS broke away from his visiting family to give me two contacts from just North of me in Bexar County, TX.  Thanks Ann, K1QO for our third SP contact and to N1IX, your Elmer David for the contact on 40M.  Forty meters was annoyingly noisy as I was trying to top my best Spartan Sprint score and I had to work this band right down to the 0300Z wire.  Thanks for the fun Sprint tonight!

Great fun was had in the Spartan Sprint Contest last night Monday evening. I operated my old trusty ATS3 rig into a BLTuner feeding an inverted Vee 80m doublet up about 55ft at the apex. Power output at the beginning of the contest was 2Watts on 40m and 20m. The battery was a 750mAH Li Po battery as the power with a set of mini paddles and earbuds. The total weight for this setup was 13.4oz (0.838lbs) of which 7oz was attributed to the ATU! There is definitely room for improvement and weight loss with my station.

Inspired by the flight of the bumblebees, I made it for one hour of the SS.  I was on 40 only as I was too late for 20 and 80 was too noisy. Just got up a 40 dipole at 60 feet and it works great.  Also a non-switching power supply that makes no hash so it was a pleasure to get on.  Thanks for having the test.

I had my mini iambic paddles attached to the K1 on an 800 mAh LiPo battery at two watts through its internal ATU into a CFZ. Nothing heard on 15M. 20M was the band to be on for the first hour and was in decent shape. 40M was full of summer static but yielded 11 QSO's, almost as many as 20M. Two banders with K7TQ, N1IX, NQ2W and K1QO. Highlight was being called by S58AL, Albert, who was running 100W into a five element yagi on 20M. His big antenna must have  been the reason he could hear my puny signal from a dipole into Europe in mid summer. CU all next month.

Conditions were OK.  Got MI and NH for DX.  No 6's or 7's this time. Fighting some local QRN as well.

My first Sprint.  My rig was a new LNR Mountain Topper at 3 watts. Antenna was an LNR 40/20/10 trail friendly EFHW, and my key was an American Morse portapaddle.  Battery was an LiFe.  So the whole weight is either 1.9 lbs or 2.1 lbs if you count the transformer on the end of the EFHW as a `tuner` rather than part of the antenna.  Since it was threatening to rain, I operated from inside the cabin in the Adirondacks where we have been vacationing. I was amazed what less than 5 watts can do, even on a night with a fair amount of QRN. People were very nice to a newbie, especially a rather slow fisted one. Next month hopefully back at the ranch in TX.

All my "light-weight" equipment is packed for the Skeeter so I used my Jupiter. WB5BKL had a super signal on 15 meters. Nick was my only contact there. We QSO'd on 20 and 40, too. 20 meters netted 10 QSOs and 40 offered 11 more. Two-banders with N5GW and K4BAI. 40 was a little noisy but, in general, the bands were in pretty good shape. Nothing happening when I visited 80, however. Great to work some new SPers and always a pleasure to QSO with some "old" friends. Thanks for the opportunity and hope to hear you all next month.

20 meters: 2. 40 meters: 1 3 pounds +. utility power, 40 was a bit quieter than normal, but still 20 was easier until everyone went away.

Wow!!!  2B WAR (2 Band Worked all Randy), yes, a very exciting evening for this YL from NH!!!! NC4RT, (4W) N4SX (1W) and K7TQ , all named Randy on 20 and 40 meters!!!! FB signal with that 1Watt N4SX!!!  Great to hear local QRP Hall of Fame, and Small Wonders Lab guru, K1SWL on 40 and 80, and neighbor Dave, N1IX on 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80.  Thrilling to get NK6A, on 15M recently back from his cross country adventure....CA is always cool in the log!!!!  N5GW, with 2W, 2 bands, 20 and 40.  Lots of assorted great states, conditions seemed good considering we were dodging a line of thunderstorms north and south of us....NH, NY, CA, TX, NC, GA, MS, OR, MO, ID, CO, & MD, 1 q on 10M, 3 q's on 15M, 12 q's on 20M, 10 q's on 40M,  2 q's on 80M. Also, many thanks to K4BAI, the call sign that is most easily recognizable to me, since he is such a great supporter of our hobby and I hear him everywhere!!!! A very nice evening to be on the air.  Thank you all and  especially KI6SN for supporting this type of contest that allows us to experiment!!!  72/88 de Ann

The August 2015 Spartan Sprint was noisy at my QTH. At least I got the internal keyer paddle repaired. Much better! I made five contacts on 20M, but only three on 40M. I did have a 40M contact with N5EM (also in Houston). He was apparently not experiencing the noise level I had, but these things happen. I had to give up on the QRN-loaded op about half an hour early – rare for me. The 170 mAh LiPo batteries in the ATS-3a are still topping off nicely, so we will continue to use them until they fail – probably in the middle of a Spartan Sprint! The antenna is my antique 14AVQ vertical and power out was a maximum of 3W, It was good to hear and work some of the 2W and 1W stations out there this month.  C U in September es 72 de Andy W5ACM (Houston, TX)


K3/10 @ 5W to 15 and 20M delta loops, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  QSOs on 15, 20, 40 and 80M - 15 S/P/Cs total. Nice to work 3 countries in the sprint. Worked 7 stations using less than 5 watts - with the usual excellent signal from N5GW.  Best signals overall:  15M - NQ2W, 20M - N0TA, 40M - K9FO and 80M - WA8ZBT. My thanks to all.  Had fun.

Quite a bit of activity on 20 meters. 40 meters was very disappointing here lots of noise. I doubled my usual 80 meter count. Worked K1SWL and K1QO on 80 meters using my 40 meter antenna and a tuner.  Next month I will have my 80 meter OCF dipole. Thanks to my neighbor, K1QO for five bands! K4BAI, WB5BKL NK6A, N4SX, N5GW for two bands. Also, great to work Bert K6CSL! K4SX has an amazing signal for 1 watt but think I missed out on the WAR award.

Only 20m and 40m were open from FN25ej. However, it was nice to make 6 2-QRP QSOs in 5 states in less than one hour (MO, TX(2), NY, MD and NC). The reported weight accounts for the ICOM-703, the P-Box 12Ah battery and the Elecraft T1 tuner (at the base of a quasi-vertical wire at 43 Ft).


Another fun Sprint for the month of August guys and gals.  A total of 30 contacts this month and still running 1 watt.  I got 15 on 20, 14 on 40, and 1 little ole K4BAI on 80.  I still get somewhat perplexed at the geographical distribution of my contacts.  Of the 30 qso's logged, 8 of them were TX stations(6 on 20, and 2 on 40), and 6 were from NH(4 on 20, and 2 on 40).  That is half of my log from those two states!  I also had WA, ID, CO, ON scattered around which were my most distant contacts.  As always a pleasure to see K1QO, on 20 and 40 by the way.  I noticed more stations this month running less that 5 watts.  Several 2/3/4 watt stations and the top of the list was AD5CV with 1/2 watt.  Good job by all and thanks for your patience.  Total air time for me was about an hour and a half with conditions just going to pot the last half hour.


Good conditions on 20 and 40.  My beam failed at the start of the contest and used the 88' center fed zepp on all bands, supplemented by the 40M dipole and the 80M inverted vee. QSOs by band:  20M 21.  40M 25.  80M 1.  No QSOs in the last 20 minutes despite many calls.  Hope for more activity next month. We should all start going to 80M for at least the last half hour.

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