Friday, February 5, 2016

Results: February 2016 Spartan Sprint

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Soapbox: February 2016 Spartan Sprint

Conditions were challenging. 40M was 'long'... and noisy, working GA, MS and TX from here in NH. Static crashes were a steady S-9 on 80M, reminiscent of summer conditions. No contacts there despite listening and CQ'ing at intervals. 'There's always next month!'


Seemed very lightly attended this month.  Again, nothing on 20M, so concentrated on 40M and made one QSO on 80M with my 40/30M Fan Dipole, tuned by the KX3.  Until next month . . . 72, Ed - N5EM

eemed like lots of Sprinters on 40m when the starting gun went off this evening but not sure where everyone went after 45 minutes. But still enjoyed the fun tonight and was able to make my ten contacts in time for an old man to go to bed early. 72 de Don

Still using the ATS-3a with two 170 mAh LiPo batteries, providing 3W out to my antique 18AVQ vertical and a final total of TEN QSOs this month. I had ZERO contacts on 20M but 40M was good for SEVEN. The bands were difficult but not impossible. I tuned all over the best spots on 40M and then went to 80M for the second hour. Many thanks to K4BAI, AB9CA, and WB5BKL for the THREE contacts on 80M. I had to do a little super-glue work on one of the earbuds this month, but my CW was better than usual thanks to the paddle contact cleaning in January. My keyer paddle is a handcrafted 1/32" plywood thing integrated into the radio with a small metal brass paddle screw that contacts the copper stationary pads for dots and dashes. The batteries survived the abuse - just barely, but it was close. Always hoping for more 20M ops!! 72 de Andy W5ACM - Houston, TX

K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted V at 40 ft for 40 m, and a homebrewed, near-bottom loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Nothing on 20...6 QSOs on 40...1 on 80. Quite a bit of QRN on 80. Thanks for the contacts and hope to hear you next month. 72, Will

20M was dead at the start of the Sprint. 40 and 80 were both pretty good, but QRN from approaching storms was building up toward the end.  Had several two banders:  N0AR, W5ACM, WB5BKL, WA8ZBT. Skip was fairly long on 40. Best DX there were K1SWL in NH, W7OM in WA, and N7ON in AZ. Best DX and biggest surprise on 80M was to be called by PJ2/W8WTS.  Thanks for all QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI

Thank you, ARS, for the reminder - it helps me to remember. I managed 10 QSOs above 7040 using the KX3 @ 5w with the 23' vertical. Does anyone QSY to 80m? I listened between 3550 and 3570.  Heard QSOs, but no SP. I don't know the exact weight, but I'll say Tubby? (KX3, BY-1, Pro-Audio Engineering 12v mini AC supply, K0IBK Low Loss PwrGate) This could become habit forming.  Thanks to all.

Worked the only station I heard calling for SP.  Could not remember what it was at the time but worked him anyway. I'll have to pay more attention and remember the next one. OK, back in my hole. Ron, KU7Y

KX3 at 2 watts to cfz. 20M was dead at this QTH. 40M sounded good. 80M was fair with QRN from approaching wx front. I had to quit after the first hour because I had forgotten to recharge the internal batteries.

Rig ICOM 703 at 5W, Ant.: vertical endfed wire, Batt: P-Box 12.5 Ah, Key: Palm Radio. At my location the high bands had already closed. The 40m QRP calling QRGs were useless with a VP8 station calling split at 7.023 MHz and many QRO stations sending crazily way into the mid 7.040s. I tried 80m: nil heard, but then I decided to call CQ SP. I was about to quit when I heard a faint call. I sent my 55N ON 5W and heard his reply 55N MN 5W!Thank you, Scott, N0AR, for saving the night! 73 de Jose VA3PCJ/VE3DTI

I stayed exclusively on 40M. Conditions were good and I was surprised to hear and work AZ. Haven't been in a Sprint for a few years and was a little rusty. The most confusion was remembering how to operate my ATS III. Got the hang of it and it played well on a single 9V battery. Hope to be in there next month.  72, Forrest

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  9 states this month split between 40 and 80M. Best signals: 40M, AB9CA. 80M, WA8ZBT. Several of the usual suspects are missing from my log this month - hope it was just propagation . . . My thanks to all.  Had fun.

40 was the most active band with just a few on 80. IC703 (5 watts) to a 90 ft doublet via a homebrew link tuner. 72 - Chas, W3KC

Either participation was extra thin or condx were not very good at all. Heard only a few. QRN was bad here. Made it tough to copy most. Thanks to WA3FAE for sticking with me. He must have sent is call 8 or 10 times before I could pick it out of the noise. As usually happens with that, I could hear the 'WA3' but the noise repeatedly wiped out the suffix. Rig was K3 at 5w to 100' wire. No activity on 20 at all. Only 8 Q's on 40 and 3 on 80. SPC's on 40 were CA NY MD(2) PA(2) TX(2) and on 80 were MN GA TX. Looks like both bands were long. No two banders. Thanks to all who braved the noise. Hope to see lots more next month (maybe the noise will not be so bad) 73, de Dave,  AB9CA/4

Started out on time, heard no stations on any bands. An hour later started working on 80. The local TS QRN was +20 on the rig, just like summer! Next day we had a foot of snow. Did work K4BAI on 40, the only signal I heard there. Rig: K2 and 43' vertical. 72's Scott