Friday, March 11, 2016

Scoreboard: March 2016 ARS Spartan Sprint

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Soapbox: March 2016 ARS Spartan Sprint

Great fun as always! The bands seemed to be in pretty good shape. Highlights were, wGØAT on 20m running 2w...FB Steve. The tenacious award goes to WB5BKL who hung in there and copied my weak signal on 20m into TX!!! Also, on 20m, very nice making a Q with Don, NK6A in CA, and John, K4BAI on 3 bands (20/40/80)!!! A couple of 2 banders (40 and 80) with N5GW, and Dave, AB9CA who always has a nice signal.  Wow Will, NQ2W was strong into NH on 80m. Total band breakdown: 4 on 20, 5 on 40 and 5 on 80. See everyone next month!!! And many thanks to KI6SN and for supporting ARS!!!! 72/88 Ann

I only had an hour to play in this SP! …I must say it was a lot more productive than during the special Leap Day Sprint last week, netting 21-Qs this time in total! …and no major mishaps this time!  20m had some loud sigs before closing: K7TQ, K1QO, W7OM, NK6A, K6EU, NA7US, N4SX plus NA4SO. 40 was good: AB9CA, N5GW, KS4L, NK6A, NØAR, K4BAI, KFØR, K7TQ, and W5ACM. 80m was pretty noisy: K4BAI, KS4L, AB9CA and returned to 40m to finish with NQ2W! Fun SP never a dull moment hour to play zipped past before I knew it. Thank you all for a great SP!! My rig was ATS4a with old 9v/PP3 battery(7.5vdc=2w) + paddles w/cable total weight = 9oz! Antenna: 4BTV with 80m inverted-L wire, BullDog paddles and HamLog app on my iPhone for logging. Props: SFI=94 SN=61 A=24 (high=noisy!) K=2. CU in April (no fooling!) …73,Steve/wGØATs

Was really fired up for the Sprint tonight after receiving the full-color, special edition certificate for participating in the 2016 Leap Day Special Spartan Sprint.  And both the turnout and band conditions seemed vastly improved this evening but we just stuck on 40 meters and enjoyed the ride, S.T.S.  Enjoyed hearing from so many familiar Sprinters.  Big booming signal here was K4BAI. See you next month.  72 .. Don

Conditions were pretty good. Only worked Randy K7TQ on 20 meters, seems the ID/MN path was open. 40 was good, 80 OK but TS qrn. Good fun, thanks to those that stuck it out with some deep qsb. Rig KX3 5W  43' Vert and 80 m. loop. 72's Scott NØAR nr. St.Paul MN

Fun Times! I managed to work K7TQ and NK6A on 20M before migrating to 40M. Most contacts were on 40M, but had four really good QSOs on 80M with K4BAI, AB9CA, WB5BKL and N5GW. Still using the ATS-3a with two 170 mAh LiPo batteries, providing 3W out to my antique 18AVQ vertical. The LiPo batteries are really getting bloated, but I will run them until they blow! Always hoping for more 20M ops! 72 de Andy W5ACM - Houston, TX

Used the Jupiter this time around. Bands were in better shape than I predicted before the sprint. 5 Qs on 20, 9 on 40 and 4 on 80. Two banders on 40 & 80 with N5GW, NØAR, and K4BAI. Thanks for the opportunity. I hope to hear you all next month. 72, Will

Great time. Used RockMite 20 (.9562 lbs with 8 AA batts, key and earbuds). It is rockbound on 20 m but Steve WGØAT heard me – thanks for picking me up. Great fun. 400 mW.

FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole, zepp, inverted vee.  20M was open at the start, but only made 3 QSOs there, NH, CA, WA. Heard, but could not work, NQ2W, K7TQ, and NK6A. Heard AB9CA in nearby AL, but didn't try to call him.  40M seemed quite good, but not too many stations QRV. Skip was long, but not too long as K3RLL in FL was strong.  N5GW in MS started out strong, but skip soon dropped his signals down (after our QSO). 13 QSOs on 40M. 80M had some static crashes from the storms to our west, but QSOs were possible as far as K1QO in NH, NØAR in MN, and wGØAT in CO. Again, we could use some more activity and it would be more fun for everyone.  12 QSOs on 80.  Thanks for all QSOs. 73/72, John, K4BAI.

I fired up the KX3 with internal bats to 2 watts. The internal ATU was used to load up the CFZ at 50'. I was hoping 20M would open up this time of year, but I only heard/worked K7TQ and NK6A. 40M was a bit noisy from approaching storms, but fairly good. 80M was much noisier but yielded eight Q's including K1QO up in NH. Two banders with K7TQ, NK6A, K4BAI, K1QO, KS4L, NØAR, NQ2W, and WB5BKL.

You know, I really ought to weigh my gear one of these days. Used the K3 at 5w to 100' wire. Found out later that one side of the wire had opened up. Solder joint broke at the feed point. Did not know that that the time. But the tuner required different than usual settings so was suspicious of something, but ran anyway. Did no harm at 5w. But I was about 3 dB down. At first I thought I was the only one on the air. Got no responses on 20. Went to 40 and still nothing. Scanned the band and heard no one else calling. Thought maybe I had the wrong night. But about 0220 began to get some responses. Worked 15 on 40 and 10 on 80. 40m SPC's were OK NC MN CA(2) NH(2) CO IA TX(4) ID NY. Down on 80 worked CO GA AL FL NH MS MN VA TX(2). Two banders were WG0AT, K1QO, NØAR, W5ACM, and WB5BKL. Good to hear some new calls. Everyone be sure and join in again next month!  73 de dave, ab9ca/4

I was good to be back after over a year hiatus.  I don’t think I have ever worked so hard for the sixteen contacts!  Our fraternity of ARS participants seems to have dwindled significantly.  Band conditions were a little soft here;  A index=17 and K index of 3, but never the less, 20M yielded two QSO’s .  Next month should be better for 20 with more sunlight on ye old Heavyside layer.  I was able to work both east and west coast with contacts with NY and CA.  I dropped down to 80M after 40 quit yielding any more QSO’s but 80 seemed to be plagued with high absorption pluss high QRN from the thunderstorms down south.     WB5BKL, Nick, had a 559 signal here but I just couldn’t break through the QRN on his end which I knew must have been high due to the storms down his way.  At about 2045 CST, my little LiPo battery grunted out it’s last milliwatt and died, so it was time to call it an evening! Thanks to all who participated. 72’s Larry, KFØN

First SP in a long time.  Worked some old friends again and several new ones.  QSOs break down as: 20m - 2, 40m - 11, 80m - 5, Only worked the first hour.  Thanks for all!

K3/10 @ 5W to a 20 wire delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  One QRO contact omitted.  15 states this time.  Best signals:  20M - K6EU, 40M - AD8Y, 80M - K4BAI.  No triples this time but multiple 2-banders.  One station on 80M was not readable here with my S7 noise level.  My apologies...  My thanks to all.  Had fun.

7 contacts on 20 and the rest were on 40M.  Nice to have the bands cooperating a bit more than the last two months and the Leap day event. Managed to get K1QO on 20 before the band closed down. My antennas were down quite low that night because of a bad storm in the mourning. I hadn't raised them up yet but decided to just have a go at it. 14 different states.  Not bad.

Conditions and participation much better than a week ago.  Started out on 20 m with CQ answered by WG0AT.  Great way to begin.  20 m was good for 10 more Qs until 20 minutes after when I switched to 40 m.  Good turnout there too with another 15 Qs until I called it quits at 0320 Z with no more Qs for 15 minutes.  Two band folks were wG0AT, N5GW, NK6A, KF0N, KS4L, W5ACM, NØAR, and WB5BKL. Hopefully for April's SP I can get up into the mountains.


All Q's were on 40 - AA5B Steve NM & AB9CA Dave AL.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The 89-cent Homebrew Metal Project Box

Here is what your finished 89-cent chassis will look like.
It is quite possible to homebrew your own project boxes, starting with a flat piece of aluminum. An 8x12-inch piece of aluminum at The Home Depot is less than a dollar and can be easily transformed into a project chassis 8-inches wide, 4-inches deep and 1 and 3/4-inches tall. Fancy metal-working tools needed? Absolutely not. This one was made in the 73 Radio Row workshop with a hand drill, awl, hacksaw, vise and a straight edge of metal or wood. It is really easy to do if you are willing to invest an hour-or-so. When was the last time you've said "Rig here is homebrew, including the chassis"? The photographs below tell the story of how it is done.Try it. You have less than a dollar and an hour-or-so to lose.
- Richard Fisher, KI6SN
Founder, 73 Radio Row

NOTE: is proud underwriter of the Adventure Radio Society. Please click on the images for a larger view.

A 1/4-inch hole is drilled into the metal prior to making the cut-outs, shown in RED.

Simple tools are all that are needed to sketch out the pattern.

Etch the pencil pattern with an awl.

Stress-reduction holes are drilled into the pattern before making the cut-outs with a hacksaw.
Prior to folding the metal, here is what the completed pattern looks like.
Held in a vise, the next step is to form the box following the lines you earlier sketched.
The 1/4-inch wide folds along the edge form the bottom of the box. A small piece of wood was slid under the edge for support in preparation for drilling.
Small machine screws hold the box together. Once they are in place, flip over the box and admire the great work you have done.

FOOTNOTE: In the vise, there are actually two bending edges. Again, they can be metal or wood. I used a piece of aluminum stock from the Home Depot that was cut in two with the hacksaw: They are much longer than the vise is wide. So for the smaller folds - indeed *all* of the folds if you'd like - the box is bent to the side of the vise. The metal "bend bars" are squeezed in the vise. Then the aluminum box is squeezed between the two bend bars - to the left or right of the vise. So your bends are not necessarily *in* the vise, but beside it. I used a couple of clamps on the outer end of the bend bars to keep things as tight there as they would be in the vise itself.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Participants Awarded Historic 2016 Leap Day Sprint Certificates

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73 Radio Row,, in its partnership with the Adventure Radio Society, generously provided the certificates for the historic 2016 Leap Day Spartan Sprint. Every operator submitting SP data was awarded this commemorative document. 73 Radio Row is an underwriter of ARS activities.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Scoreboard: Historic 2016 Leap Day ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

Soapbox: Historic 2016 Leap Day ARS Spartan Sprint

I only made 4-QSOs before the wind blew over the tipi! Click here to see a little video I made from Monday’s adventure!

Having an extra Spartan Sprint on Leap Year day sounded like a pretty neat idea to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear many Sprinters on tonight. 20m was dead here. 40m was pretty sparse.  Look for you all next week for the March Spartan Sprint.  Thanks … Don K3RLL

I only had half an hour to operate.  20 m was open for the first 20 minutes, at least, but I heard and worked only WB5BKL. Thanks to all who stopped by.

NE6SW (ARS Club Call)
Conditions on 40-meters Monday night were pretty challenging. Out of the noise I copied WB5BKL. He could hardly hear me, but stuck with it to complete the QSO. Thank you, Nick! Will look for everyone on March 7. Vy 73, Richard Fisher, KI6SN, 73 Radio Row,


Was a quiet night on the 'ol SP front . . . . Not much activity. A lot of the usuals were MIA. Maybe word did not get out? And prop did not seem to be so good either. Ran the K3 at 5w to 100' wire. Called on 20 for the first few min but got no takers and only one single spot on RBN. Moved to 40 and worked 8. SPC's were ID VA NC CA MN MD TX WA. But nearly all were quite weak. Then tried 80 but may have been a bit early for that band. Worked only 3. SPC's were GA MN FL. Only one two-bander and that was N0AR. Needed to go do something else for about 30 min. When I came back about 0330z called some on 40 and 80 but got no takers. More RBN spots on 80 than on 40. 80 seemed like it was the best band but few guys on there. Still an enjoyable evening, if a bit slow. 73 de dave ab9ca/4

Again, nothing on 20M, so concentrated on 40M. All Q’s with 40/30M Fan Dipole, tuned by the KX3.  Hopefully, next month will get 20M going.

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole,40M extended double Zepp
or a 20M wire delta loop. 9 states on this Leap Year Monday Special. Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - AB9CA, 80M - N5GW. Hope to hear all of you next week! ...  My thanks to all. Had fun.

Conditions were down right awful up here! One distant qso with NK6A on 20 meters. 40 meters was the work horse. Best signal went to WG0AT with a solid 579. Pretty good for 2 watts Steve. Rig KX3 using 43' vertical and 80 m loop. 72's Scott N0AR St. Paul, MN

Still using the ATS-3a with two 170 mAh LiPo batteries, providing 3W out to my antique 18AVQ vertical and a final total of FOUR QSOs for the Leap Day Event. For me, 20M was DEAD and 80M was way too noisy. Everything happened on 40M from my QTH. Many thanks to K7TQ, KK4BNC, N0AR and WA4ZOF for the contacts. Looking forward to the March Spartan Sprint – only days away! 72 de Andy W5ACM - Houston, Texas