Monday, September 12, 2022

SCOREBOARD: September 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.

SOAPBOX: September 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


Considering the dismal propagation forecast on QRZ, just stuck with 40m this evening. Signals were good but just not many heard (and fewer heard me).  Something on TV tonight?  Big signal heard tonight was from K4PQC.

Thanks for the fun and nice SP contacts.  72/73 … Don


Nothing heard on 20m.  I CQ'd on 20 several times, but no joy.  40m seemed to be doing OK though.  My K-1 had not been on the air in a few years; it felt good to stretch its legs.


The solar indices were SSN:62, SF:130, A:32, K:4 and had some pretty deep QSB due to the solar storms and some great Aurora photos on the internet coming out of the north country. Didn’t help HF propagation though. Outside of SP, I could only muster 1 QSO on 30m this weekend with W9EBE.ARS: Thanks for putting up with us and poor conditions each and every month!


We need some rain in NM, but only got a dry thunderstorm for some close QRN during the Sprint. Sigs varied from 229 to 589. Got one station to go from 100W to 5W. Always neat when they do that. Fun as always working old friends and a couple new ones. 72, Paul NA5N


40 and 80M in excellent condition. Good activity, probably aided by simultaneous running of the MiQRP Club Labor Day Sprint. No signals on 20M. Thanks for all QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI


Nothing on 20m at the start. QSY'd to 40 where the signals for the most part were way down just above the noise. 80m wasn't too bad and allowed for 3 of the 13 QSOs. Thanks for the contacts and thanks to KI6SN, for bringing us together. 72, Will, NQ2W


Rig: Icom 7300 @ 5W. Antenna: Hustler 6BTV Gnd Mtd with 60 Radials. Weight: 30 Lbs.


An interesting experiment to find the lightest possible rig. Especially after last month's journey to Asheville, NC.  I was trying to operate from a vacation home in the mountains. In the early evening I ran an End Fed Halfwave antenna out of a second story window and heard a few stations calling CQ SP but I could never make contact nor even when I called CQ SP. In the morning I found my antenna had pulled loose from a tree and was laying on the ground and when I looked around I saw that I was in a deep valley. I made Zero contacts for August. So, this month I was on another adventure. Looking for a lighter source of power.  I think I am on the right track. In the May issue of QST there is an article on Pg. 36, about power measurements. Although the article doesn't describe Lithium chemistry, I am using this technology to make my own tests.  I found a 9 volt rechargeable battery that is sold by Amazon called a ANVOW 9V 1000 mAh (3.7V Lithuim (Sic) Cell. Hmm, I noticed that not only is the spelling wrong but there isn't an 's' in cell. How could this be?  The batteries cost about $5.75 each for these magical batteries. When I ran a test I found that, just like almost all previous measurements, this battery doesn't live up to the manufacturer's specification. It says it is "true" 9 volts and it is. I measured just under 500 mAh which is much better than most. (Most of the batteries that I have measured are much less than half of what is advertised.) The curious thing is that there is no power curve in the discharge! What? I am using Steve Weber's AT Sprint III that he says will work down to 7 volts.  Although this battery started out weighting a little more than the "250" mAh LiPo battery I was using, when I shed the case and connectors off of the ANVOW battery it is lighter by 1.5 grams and has a little more measured capacity than most. In September's Sprint, I ran the contest on one band and divided my time with more 'run' than 'S&P' so that I would use more mAhs. The battery died at 0140z. Although, the power is now down to 1 watt and I made fewer contacts but I am satisfied that I am getting closer to Zero gravity (HI). The temperature is 78 degrees F, light mist after raining all day and there are some nearby storms causing lots of static crashes. The Rig is a modified Steve Weber - KD1JV  AT Sprint III,  lightened earphone, homemade paddles and a ANVOW one cell Li-Ion battery with a power boost and charging module. The antenna is a 160 meter horizontal loop @ 35 feet. 72/73 to all and thanks for the QSOs, see you next month. I hope this gives you some insight as to what I am doing and will encourage more experimentation. - Phil, K4PQC


Conditions! 20M was quite dead for me on the left coast. One station is all I heard. Thanks Dave, AB9CA. Decided to try 40 early. Still light here at 6:30 p.m. but gave a listen and found only two other stations. The heat and the poor conditions had me call it quits after an hour. = Don, NK6A


This was my first Spartan Sprint. Really enjoyed it! Stuck with 40m as no activity on 20m and too late for 15 and 10m, too early for 80m here on the east coast. Rig was MTR5B at 4w to an 80-10 EFHW up about 35 ft. Key was a Palm Pico. Battery was a 6-year-old Bioenno 12v/3AH. I operated from the pool deck in my backyard on the Atlantic coast of Florida with no lights, just the dim glow from the tiny MTR5B display and my iPhone mini used for logging (HAMRS logging app worked great). Furthest contact was NA5N in New Mexico who was running 5w. Ran S&P for hour 1, then switched to calling CQ during hour 2. - Jim, N7RCS


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a dipole. 9 states this time. Tried 20M with zip results. Best signals:  40M - N7RSC, 80M - K4BAI. Only one double - with John.  Two QRO QSOs removed from score. Pooped out after a little over an hour, but - as always - had fun. - Nick, WB5BKL


Worked the Michigan QRP event before the Spartan Sprint and worked several of the faithful QRPers in both events. Most QSOs on 40M and one on 80M. Best distance was Paul, NA5N. Thanks for the QSOs. 72/73 Andy


Once again I stayed on 40 meters the entire night. The band seemed to be in decent shape but was long by contest time. My contacts started off slow and stayed that way all 2 hours. Seemed like there were fewer participating this month. Station setup was the same as my prior Spartan Sprint contests: Light-weight transceiver,  Antenna 80~10 meter EFHW, 12v 2000mAh Li-ion, Apple Earbuds. - Donnie, WA9TGT


All of my QSOs were on 40m. Band was pretty long with QSB, limiting my QSO count. Purpose built 40m QCX Mini, small 500mAH LiPo battery pack, small 3D printed key, and ear buds. 40m Dipole at 25'. 73, Jody - K3JZD


Had another enjoyable Sprint experience. Band conditions were poor and quite different than in the past with 40 meters long path to the west and nothing heard east/northeast. Worked a couple of new stations, but didn’t hear folks that I have in the past. Look forward to contacting you all next month. 73, Steve, WA9CWE


Contacts: 5. Conditions were pretty good on 40 meters for the Spartan Sprint this month.  I went to the neighborhood park again and put my Spark Plug EFHW about 35 feet up into a tree, running to my QCX mini.  Max, KD9NZB couldn't join me this month - it was a school night - but I went from about 8 until 8:45 local time, and made 5 contacts. - Mike, AA9RK

Thursday, September 1, 2022

So, What's a Spartan Sprint, and How Do I Play?

Spartan Sprints are two-hour gatherings sponsored by the Adventure Radio Society, held the first Monday of every month. The Spartan Sprints have a unique, three-faceted focus. They encourage outdoor operation with backcountry radio gear (if outdoor operation isn't practical, home-based operation is fine). They gather fascinating information about the upper atmosphere, documenting how low power signals can travel long distances. And they encourage the growth of a like-minded community of amateur radio operators who generously share their knowledge and experiences.

Which Bands?

Bands of operation are 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters, 15 meters and 10 meters. You may operate any number of bands - your choice. Many Spartan Sprint operators gravitate to the QRP CW calling frequencies on these bands.

Equipment and Antennas

Spartan Sprinters use 5 Watts or less. We encourage you to experiment with 1 Watt or less. You will be surprised at how effective these low levels can be, and how much fun QRPp really is. Similarly, we encourage you to experiment with simple wire antennas. And we encourage Sprinters to use equipment they built from "scratch" - that is, equipment built from schematics.


Exchange RST, SPC (state, province or country) and power output. If you choose to call CQ, use the format "CQ SP," or "CQ QRP TEST." You can give yourself credit for working the same station on a second, third, or fourth band.

What Is the Weight of My Station?

The weight of your station is determined by weighing everything at your operating position up to, but not including, your feedline and antenna. In other words, your rig, key, keyer, antenna tuning unit, battery, headphones, and so on. 

Submit Your Spartan Sprint Log

Please send the following information in an email to:
  • Your call sign
  • Total number of contacts during Sprint
  • The weight of your station (in pounds - includes all gear except antenna and feedline)
  • Soapbox comments about your Sprint experience

Check Out the Spartan Sprint Results

The results of each month's contest appear on the Friday following each month's first-Monday Sprint. They are posted here on this website. You can find results from previous months here, as well.
- Richard Fisher, KI6SN

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Friday, August 5, 2022

Thursday, August 4, 2022

SOAPBOX: August 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint

Didn't expect much activity after such a nice FOBB yesterday so started out on 40m and waited until the crowd moved down from 20m. Yes, a smarter op would have started on 20m but ..., well you know.  Anyhow, 40m turned out well and picked up far more quickly than expected. Was running one a minute until the QRM got to me. But it was a great night with RBN and Signal Reports that gladden the heart. Now, if I only had a tower. 72/73 and thanks for the fun. - Don, K3RLL

Just stopped working on rewiring the antenna grounding system and heard a CQ SP. Looked up the meaning and decided to try 5 watt operation. Made one contact using an R7 vertical and one using a dipole at 35 feet both on 40m. OPs were patient and I was able to make a couple contacts. I may try again next month. - Dave, WA0YDO

Icom 7300 @ 5W. Hustler 6BTV Gnd Mtd with 60 Radials. Weight: 30 lbs.

Thunderstorm took out our power and was almost an hour late getting started.  No activity on 20 by that time. 40 was quite good with the best QSO distance to Don, NK6A in CA. 80M was pretty noisy, but worked WA8ZBT there for our second band. QSOs by band:  40M: 14, 80M: 1. 73 /72, John, K4BAI.

I started out on 20 meters which was open to TX and IL of all places. Best signal came from El Paso KD5KC on 20 meters! 40 meters proved to be the workhorse band tonight. Ran the KX3, vertical on 20 and dipole on 40. Lots of good signals to go along with the TS QRN. 72s, Scott N0AR nr. St.Paul

WOW.  Two contests in two days?  First the FOBB, and now the Spartan Sprint. I said when I retired I’d try to work this more. The little Icom IC-705 with the smallest battery and a µ-key just makes 2.5 pounds. The key is pretty small, and my sometimes erratic sending shows it. Just before the start I checked the FT8 freqs on 10m and 15m.  10m was dead, 15m was weak.  So at 0100 UTC I started on 20m and had 7 in 25 minutes.  I called CQ on 20m for the rest of the hour with no further takers. At 0200 UTC I went to 40m where I got 4 more in 30 minutes.  At 0230 I went to 80m and only got one taker. So at 0250 I went back to 40m hoping the gray-line had moved a little. And I got one more. Static crashes were the most disturbing on 40m and 80m. There were a couple that I just could not pull out. Sorry. 20m = 7.  40m = 5.  80m = 1.  Total = 13.  States = CA, CO, ID, IL, IN, MN, NC, TX,VA, WI. I should plan a 4X4 expedition for the sprint one month. I’ll bet if I can get the JEEP and Trailer about 10 miles from the nearest pavement I can do a lot better. My portable 44-ft vertical works really well when camping. - Mike, KD5KC


Late start but one QSO in ten minutes. Thanks! Mtr4B with 9v battery and headphones. EFHW up 15 ft. - Nathan, N8HWV


Made all my contacts on 40. Didn't find anyone on 20 and the dual band HB-1A doesn't work 80. I also didn't realize it only puts out 3 watts, but it didn't seem to make much difference. I did dig out the SCAF-1 filter as the QRN went from bad to awful. My first time to work W3KC in the Sprint, and WA8ZBT for the first time in a long time. TNX all fer the contacts. -
72, Don, K9DRP

Good to participate again. All contacts on 40m except for a couple on 80m. Lots of storm-induced QRN and had to quit when strikes were threatening. -
72, Chas, W3KC


Used my KD1JV AT Sprint 3, Whiterook MK-44 iambic paddles, wall-wart, and walk-man type earphones. Pretty good conditions on 40m. 80m noise was deafening. - 73, Scott, W5ESE

Long time, forgot what fun. 1W with KX, EFHW, AA batteries. - 72, Bob, KI0G

40M was the work horse tonight. Couple of early QSOs on 20M and one later on 80M. Thanks for the QSOs.- 72, Andy, W4NLT


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a dipole.  Only 6 states
this time.  Best signals:  20M - N0AR, 40M - K4BAI.  Doubles with
WB9HFK, N0AR, NK6A.  Might have heard Don - K3RLL - very, very faintly.
Tried 15M - nil.  80M was hopeless.  Fun to work K9DRP @ 3W and W5ESE @
2W.  Finally got my edZepp repaired! Woo-hoo! Thanks to all.  Had fun. - Nick, WB5BKL


Activity seemed to be a bit higher. Found only two stations on 20, but 20 stations on 40. Other obligations limited me to an hour, but it was a fairly busy hour. Only 2-bander was W5ESE. Thanks to everyone for the Qs! See you next month. - 73, Dave, AB9CA

Had another good evening. At my location in central Indiana the band
conditions were poor with an S9 noise level on 40.  In any case I was able
to make 7 contacts in 7 States.  80 and 20 were dead, so I stuck it out on
40 and I appreciate some of you slowing down to exchange info with me.  The other observation was that I worked a number of stations that I had not worked in my 3 prior events. As always, I look forward to next month. BTW, the rig is a Xiegu X5105, straight key and G5RV at 20 feet. It actually has a really good receiver and gives a full 5 watts out. The internal battery lasts the 2 hours of my operation, loosing only about 10 percent of capacity. - 73, Steve, WA9CWE

My third Spartan Sprint. Moved from all tube rig at 28 lbs. to solid state MFJ Cub transceiver plus peripherals at 7.7 lb. Think I can reduce weight with a battery, no matching network and lighter earphone next month. The MFJ Cub VFO feature was useful even though 2.5 watts versus the 5 watt crystal tube transmitter used last month yielded fewer contacts. I heard a number of stations calling CQ SP on 40M - encouraging to hear - but most couldn't hear me. Fun 2 hours. See you next month. - Dick Barnett, K4GUJ, Spotsylvania, Va.

This was the first time we were able to do backcountry operation for the Spartan Sprint - or at least, operate from a picnic table at our neighborhood park. Unfortunately, it gets dark early in the contest, so we operated for about 35 minutes until we couldn't see anymore. We used the QCX mini (40 meters) and a Spark Plug EFHW and had really positive results. I was surprised at the strong signals and easy copy. - Mike, AA9RK

For the first Spartan Sprint this summer, we got to operate portable, and it was a great experience. Thanks for slowing down for me, as I am only 11 and still working on my CW. Also, thanks to my dad, AA9RK, for helping me copy. - Max, KD9NZB

Eleven-year-old Max Falk, KD9NZB, operated the August Spartan Sprint in a local park.

Monday, July 11, 2022



Adventure Radio Society 2022 Flight of the Bumblebees, Sunday, July 31

The Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees is a four-hour event held annually on the last Sunday of July. It is open to all radio amateurs.

2022 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 31
1700 to 2100 UTC

·                    1 p.m. to 5 p.m.   – Eastern
·                    12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Central
·                    11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Mountain
·                    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Pacific
·                    7 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Hawaii

The contest period accommodates multiple time zones simultaneously. No matter where you live, there will be time for Bumblebees to travel to a field operating site, set up their station, operate the contest, and travel home.

Both home-based and portable operations are encouraged.

Participants who operate portable from field locations are designated as Bumblebees. They get to their operating site principally under their own power by walking, biking, boating, and so on. The distance traveled to the site is at the Bumblebee’s discretion. Bumblebees add /BB to their calls. (NOTE: Home-based stations do not add /BB to their callsign.)

If you plan to operate the 2022 FOBB portable – in other words, from a field location – you’re invited to request a Bumblebee identification number. Instructions for obtaining a Bumblebee number are in the next section, below, headlined "Apply for a 2022 Flight of the Bumblebees Number."

There is no limit to the number of Bumblebees. You may apply for, and receive, a Bee number at any time up to July 31 prior to the contest.

Group operation is welcome in the Flight of the Bumblebees. You may operate under a single call and report a single score, or under multiple calls and report multiple scores. In any event, you are limited to operating a single transmitter at a time.

To keep with its minimalist theme, maximum FOBB power output is 5 watts.

We operate CW on 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters, around standard QRP frequencies.
  • /BB: If you are a Bumblebee, your exchange is RST, state/province/country, and your Bumblebee number.
  • Home Stations: If you are home-based, your exchange is RST, state/province/country, and your power.
Here are examples of exchanges:

Bumblebee NE6SW / BB (Bumblebee No. 73) sends:
BB 73 or NR 73

Home-based station WN1DWL sends:

Everyone in the contest can work anyone else in the contest. In other words:
·                    Home-based stations can work other home-based stations and Bumblebees.
·                    Bumblebees can work other Bumblebees and home-based stations.

Here are the details:
·                    Each contact is worth one point.
·                    The same station can be worked on different bands for additional QSO points and multipliers.
·                    Contacts with Bumblebees generate a multiplier of three. NOTE: If you worked NE6SW/BB on two bands, it counts as two Bumblebee contacts.

Here’s an example of how your score will be calculated:
  • Say, you make 21 FOBB contacts on 40 meters.
  • You make 32 FOBB contacts on 20 meters.
  • In that combined total of QSOs, you contacted 14 Bumblebees. NOTE: If you worked KI6SN/BB on two bands, it counts as two Bumblebee contacts.
  • To determine your multiplier, multiply 14 Bumblebees times 3.

Using the FOBB Scoring Formula:
  • Contacts: 21 + 32 = 53
  • BB Multiplier: 14 X 3 = 42
  • Total: 53 QSOs X 42 BB Multiplier = 2,226 Total points

Separate but equal commendations are awarded to the high scores for the home-based and Bumblebee participants. We will also commend Bumblebees in the following categories:
  • Most interesting equipment
  • Most fascinating FOBB venture
  • Most beautiful site
Send your FOBB 2022 Reports via email to:

  • Full name
  • Callsign
  • Location of FOBB operation
  • Total number of contacts (all bands)
  • Total number of Bumblebees (all bands)
  • Comments about your 2022 FOBB experience:
Photographs of your adventure are welcome and encouraged.

Results and soapbox comments will be reported on the ARS Spartan Sprint and FOBB website. That posting will be announced on the QRP-L email group.

As with all ARS events, please keep safety in front of mind when conducting operations in the field. Such things as weather, power lines, terrain, dehydration, and fatigue can be lethal. Above all, we want all participants to have a fabulous and safe experience.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


Apply for a 2022 Flight of the Bumblebees Number

            The Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees is a four-hour event held annually on the last Sunday of July. It is open to all radio amateurs.

2022 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 31
1700 to 2100 UTC

·                    1 p.m. to 5 p.m.   – Eastern
·                    12 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Central
·                    11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Mountain
·                    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Pacific
·                    7 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Hawaii

The contest period accommodates multiple time zones simultaneously. No matter where you live, there will be time for Bumblebees to travel to a field operating site, set up their station, operate the contest, and travel home.

If you plan to operate the 2022 FOBB portable – in other words, from a field location – you’re invited to request a Bumblebee identification number. Here’s how:

1. CHECK THE DATABASE: An online database has been set up to show assigned Bumblebee numbers. Visit:

2. OFFER THREE NUMBER OPTIONS: Check the database for eligibility,  Then send an email to: with:
  • Your Callsign
  • Your First Name
  • The field location you anticipate to be operating from
  • Your Top 3 Choices for FOBB Number

3. YOUR FOBB NUMBER ASSIGNMENT: Check the database, after submitting your top three choices to see which number you have been assigned. The number listed in the database is your official 2022 FOBB number.
– 73, Richard Fisher, KI6SN,
The Adventure Radio Society

Sunday, July 10, 2022

SCOREBOARD: July 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: July 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


signals seemed good on both 20m and 40m this evening but something really good must have come on TV about 01:30z as the party moved somewhere and I didn't get my invitation.  ;-)   Big signals tonight into rural PA were AK3X and K3JZD but NK6A was stronger than I've ever heard him. While it seems like things dried up a little early tonight, it was fun!  Happy to be operating from PA again with a modest but actual, real, outdoor antenna up in the clear!  No HOA here!  72 .. Don


There were spartan pickings in my very first Spartan Sprint. Was giving it my all with SW40+ rig running 2W from LifePO4 battery amplified audio through my Oontz powered speaker. Antenna was dipole up about 45'. I searched but did not find a logging program dedicated to the SP. Is there one?  Like a logging program was even needed for 3 contacts. 72 all!


I was surprised to hear so many sigs on the band during the fireworks!  I worked several "new" calls; glad to see folks joining us. All my contacts were on 40 using my Argo V. There was one station, who really tried, I just couldn't pull out. If K2C had been spotted, on one of his rather infrequent appearances, I would have gone off chasing him. But no worries there. Hope everyone had a great 4th. 72, Don, K9DRP 


Icom 7300 to a Hustler 6BTV ground mounted with 60 radials. Thanks for administering ARS events. 72, Mark, WB9HFK


I was in Germany and missed June, so I was determined to run the sprint for July. In a word, it was terrible Monday night. I took my IC-705 up on the overlook in Franklin Mountain State Park. I started calling on 15m.  There were no RBN hits on 15m, but a local guy worked me. On 20m I got several stations, TX-PR-ID-NY-MO-GA. RBN hits showed coast to coast and Hawaii, but the noise was S-7+ and static crashes! There were others calling that I could just not pull out. SORRY. Only contact on 40m and 80m was the local guy. RBN said 40m was getting out. Something was up on 80m cause the 75-ft long-wire would not stay tuned. There were storms in the area. All was well as I set up. But the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico got an outflow from the south and set that wind going vertical on the southern slopes. That up-draft quickly turned into a near-by T-storm. I was watching it closely, but as it hit the southern tip of the Franklins in downtown El Paso the mountains deflected it to the east side. I was safe about 10 miles north on the western slope. I never felt a drop. The winds did pick up and cool me off some, that was nice. A lightning strike hit putting a portion of the city in the dark, but I'm retired so not my problem anymore. IC-705 with little battery and µ-key = 2.5 pounds. 10 contacts.  Score = 4 QSOs per pound. Vy 73, Mike, KD5KC


Hunted for a bit and got 3 on 40m. Then called CQ SP for 20 minutes on 7.0315 with no takers. Went to bed. Call me tubby with the KX3 this time. Maybe I'll break out the ATS-3 next time. Mike, W1MT


I stayed on 40 meters the entire night. The band seemed to be in decent shape. My contacts started off slow but activity seemed to increase about 30 minutes into the contest. Station setup was the same as my prior Spartan Sprint contests except for a lighter weight transceiver this month. Antenna 80~10 meter EFHW, 12v 2.6mAh Li-ion, Apple Earbuds. Donnie / WA9TGT / Muncie, IN


Total No. Contacts: 7 (IN, NJ, VA, MA, IN, IL, NH, FL) My second Spartan Sprint. 14,060 was really quiet here in VA. Was on 7030 QRP calling frequency for two whole hours. Did great for an hour - CQ SP and almost all responses were Spartan Sprint QRP folks.The second hour was a surprise - no responses at all. The band was open and active, but no 7030 SP calls heard. I'll have to give some thought to my operating technique. Being rock bound, I thought calling CQ was the way to go and it worked for the first hour, but then nothing. Perhaps more tuning around, less calling.  Hopefully my 3560 xtal will arrive in time for next month's Sprint and I will be able to band hop some as well. See you next month. Dick, K4GUJ, Spotsylvania, VA


Low activity due to the holiday I guess.  I had to soothe a dog that did not like the fireworks with one hand while keying with the other hand.  All of my QSOs were on 40m.  Purpose built 40m QCX Mini, small 500mAH LiPo battery pack, small 3D printed key, and ear buds.  40m Dipole at 25'.    73 - Jody - K3JZD

Max, KD9NZB and Michael, AA9RK

Our QCX mini arrived a couple weeks ago and we were eager to try it out portable.  Unfortunately, thunderstorms changed our plan to operating portable in our backyard, and eventually drove us into the shack entirely, but with our portable setup. Along with the 40-meter QCX mini, we used a Talentcell battery, a travel double paddle, and the earbuds from my old iRiver mp3 player. Conditions were decent and the operators were all top-notch. Michael, AA9RK


I had fun on this Sprint and thanks for slowing down for me. I am only 10 years old and still working on my sending, so thanks to my dad AA9RK for helping me copy. "TU" and 72! Max, KD9NZB


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a dipole.  Only 5 states this month.  Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - WB9HFK.  One QRO QSO not counted. Only one double (NK6A).  Fun to work K9DRP @ 3W.  Never tried 80M.  Having some antenna issues with the 40M edZ.  Hope to have them repaired by next month.  Had fun.


Limited time this month due to the 13 Colonies Special Event station (K2G). Nice to catch 3 of the sprinters at the end of the period. All QSOs on 40M. 73/72, John, K4BAI


Nearby fireworks distracted me from starting almost 3/4 of an hour late.  I decided to stick with only 40 meters to shave weight from adding additional band filters.  A little slow at first and then contacts picked up and I started calling CW. I didn't hear too many nearby stations and those I heard didn't return my calls. The weather is warm and there are some nearby storms causing static crashes. The Rig is a modified Steve Weber - KD1JV  AT Sprint III, lightened earphone, paddles and a 250 ma 3 cell LiPo battery. 72/73 to all and thanks for the QSOs, see you next month.

W9TCR operated crystal controlled with his Bayou Jumper.


Stuck with the Bayou Jumper this month for the 4th of July. Xtal control is more of a challenge. Did not hear any SP calling this month. Be back in August. See you them.


Had another great time in the Sprint this month although band conditions weren’t too favorable. Made all of my contacts on 40 Meters. I appreciate the old-timers who slow down to exchange reports with me, as I’m still working on improving my skills. My 8 contacts were in 7 States, so I was pleased. I look forward to next month’s event. 73, Steve, WA9CWE

Friday, June 24, 2022

SCOREBOARD: June 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint

 For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: June 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


6 states: (GA, NJ, NH, GA, NY, IL). All Tube HB Tx: 15.8 lb; R-75 Rx: 6.8 lb; Peripherals (matcher, key, antenna switch):5.4 lb) = 28 lbs. My first Spartan Sprint. Was on 7030 QRP calling frequency for two hours. Did great for an hour - CQ SP and all responses were Spartan Sprint QRP folks. Frustrated by a 45 minute reg chew by two powerhouses on nearby frequency who saturated my receiver during the second hour. Ordered a 3560 Khz FT 243 crystal last night so next month I can band hop 80 to 40 to 20.  My all tube home brew is a 6AG7 xtal oscillator driving a 6L6 final. The xtal oscillator output is resistor loaded and the final grid bias is adjusted so that a 3 db pad on the tx output makes me fully QRP at just under 5 watts. Lots of fun for this old-timer. See you next month. Dick Barnett, K4GUJ, Spotsylvania, VA


So nice to have 20m open this evening and some nice signals rolling in. First call came from NK6A Don in CA! Even RBN gave occasional good reports. The party seemed to wrap up about 01:30z so tried to follow the crowd down to 40m but few showed up. Got only one double as 40m was a muddy field, at least from here. How bad was it?  Well on 40m, RBN never heard my whopping 4 watts. Hats off to VE3NRT with good signal from ONT with ONE WATT! That's impressive. This was one of the more enjoyable SPs with conditions that made contacts a lot easier to make tonight.  ARS must have made a $ contribution to the ionosphere.  Thank you.  ... 72/73 ... Don


Another fine Spartan Sprint. 1 QSO on 15, 10 on 20, and 9 on 40. Tried 80m but received no replies to my CQs. WB5BKL on 3 bands...the 40m QSO was almost ESP but I believe we made the exchange! K3RLL and K9DRP on 2 bands. Signals were pretty good on 20m, not so much on 40m. Thanks to everyone for the contacts...thanks to KI6SN for putting this all together for us. Hope to see you next month! 72, Will, NQ2W


20, 40, and 80 pretty good here. Some QRN on 80. Worked per bands: 20M:  4. 40M: 16. 80M: 1.Thanks for the QSOs. Time of operation 1.5 hours. 73/72, John, K4BAI.


Lots of static on my efhw in WI. Went with the MTR4B again with the 8 AA’s and an Adventure Paddle. Nice light weight combo. K4BAI- I didn’t count our 40m dupe. Was really getting hard to hear by that time. Always Fun. 73, Nate


Rig: Icom 7300 @ 5W Antenna: Gnd Mtd Hustler 6BTV with 60 Radials Weight: 30 Lbs


Not sure if I've done an SP before; if so, it's been quite a while since ... stumbled on a CQ SP while looking for Lewis and Clark Trail stations! Looked it up on WA7BNM Contest Calendar, and caught the last 45 minutes or so ... Recognized a few callsigns including WB9HFK and K4BAI, although I was a little too late to work John (K4BAI) ... Got distracted in final minutes checking 20m for SP activity ... worked ES3AX (Estonia) on 20m (first call using 5w; he heard me better than most stateside SP stations did!), and got back to 40m right at 11pm to just miss John's final CQ.  Bummer. But fun!  I'll try to do this more often!  Rig:  Hermes Lite 2 (rig-in-a-box at base of antenna controlled via WiFi), Quisk s/w transceiver, 1/4-wave fan vertical with 32 radials. Thanks! - Ben, AC2YD


I engaged my SW-3B for the sprint, so no 80 meters for me (after last month I wasn't too concerned). 4 QSOs on 20 and 8 on 40. I worked WB5BKL on both bands; Nick has the ears and patience to dig out the sigs from the noise.  I think I worked AC2YD and N8HWV for the first time tonight; thanks guys!  And thanks to all for the QSOs. 73, Don, K9DRP


Another month with zero contacts but I was there pounding the Key .  Yesterday was the 87 Anniversary of D-Day so I fired up the 4SQRP Group "Bayou Jumper" I built. It is their recreation of the WW2 "Paraset" that helped win the war.    This was the first time with it on the air so maybe next time there will be fewer operator problems but had fun regardless...  Will see you next month, 73 Tim W9TCR


K3/10 @ 5W to a 2-element 15M delta loop or a 40M extended double Zepp. Only 5 states this month.  Best signals:  15M - NQ2W, 20M - K9DRP, 40M - WA8ZBT. One QRO QSO not counted. A triple with NQ2W and doubles with NK6A and K9DRP. Never tried 80M.  Took numerous breaks to check on UT in the WCWS. They had fun and so did I...


Started with a bang on 20M then drifted down to 40M. Worked the crowd around 7040-7044 then tried for a three-fer with John K4BAI but no joy. Only one QSO on 80M. 72/73, Andy


I started a few minutes late and didn't hear anything on 40 meters and then changed the band filter to 80 meters and looked up and down the band...  then looked at the calendar to make sure that the date was correct. Then went to 20 meters and found the water hole. The weather is warm here at 80-degrees F, clear and found fairly quiet band conditions... too quiet. The Rig is a modified Steve Weber - KD1JV  AT Sprint III,  lightened earphone, paddles and a 200 ma 3 cell LiPo battery. 72/73 to all and thanks for the QSOs, see you next month.

Friday, May 6, 2022

SCOREBOARD: May 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: May 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint

KD5KC's "wrist key," from American Morse Equipment. (Courtesy of KD5KC)



Tough to copy with the lightning crashes - Thanks for the Q's. QCX, Doublet, GenLog.


Nice to see 20m open this evening but the grey line seemed to shift west pretty quickly.  So, it was back to the workhorse 40m where only two stations could hear the booming signal from my wet string antenna. But it was still fun and look forward to next month. My thanks to the entire staff of A.R.S.   72/73 ... Don


Operated about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Had several long QSOs with non Sprinters. 20M was OK to NY and fair to CA. 40M was pretty good over the east part of the country but QRN was quite heavy from nearby thunderstorms. Did work NK6A in CA on 20 and 40 and NA5N in NM on 40. Only worked AL and FL on 80M, but QRN was not any worse than it had been on 80M. Thanks for all QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI.


Very interesting evening on the radio...Started out on 15m and worked Nick, WB5BKL...he was loud. Nothing else was heard there. Moved to 20 and made 14 QSOs. Only one station called that I couldn't pull out...I heard an N and an O...right down in the noise. I'm sorry I couldn't make it out. Moved to 40 and made 13 contacts...quite a bit of QRN on 40. Moved to 80 for 1 QSO...back to 40 for none...then back to 20m for 1 final QSO at.0258UTC. That adds up to 30, not 26...4 QSOs were with QRO stations so I'm not counting them in the SP. (Not sure how that works, so I'm playing it safe.) Two-banders with WB5BKL (15, 20), K4BAI (20, 40), and WA4AAK (20, 40). It was a pleasure hearing everyone and I appreciate the opportunity to participate. Thanks, Richard, KI6SN, for putting this together for us. Looking forward to the next one...72, Will, NQ2W


Weight of radio with battery and key = 2.85 pounds.  Number of contacts made = 13.  Score = 4.56s QSOs/Pound.  5-watts.

I promised myself when I retired I would try to do the sprint more often.  This time I wanted to try out the new Icom IC-705.  So I started planning on it Sunday afternoon.  I wanted to really use it “portable”.  I was out in the garden, radio on the stock battery, my usual Wrist-Key.  Antenna was a 75-ft Random wire with 2 X 33-ft counterpoise wires laid on the roof, and the wire was stretched over to the mast that supports my dipole. This is not a normal antenna here.  Tuner was the Icom AH-705 remote tuner laid up on the roof at the antenna base, and coax to the table in the garden. I started on 15m calling CQ.  I got one contact.  Believe it or not, Texas.  After 10 minutes calling and only one contact, I ran the VFO up and down a bit, and there was nothing else out there.  So about 15 min into the sprint I went to 20m.  20m was the money-band.  I caught NK6A with a crushing signal out of CA.  And that was the majority of contacts, 6 CA and 4 TX.  I tried 40m, then I did something different, I went back to 20m, then 80m, then back to 40m and I ended the last 5 minutes back on 20m.  With just seconds left I catch a weak CQ-SP out of NY for lucky 13.

15m – 1 x TX.

20m – 5 x CA, 1 x OR, 1 x NY, 1 x TX.

40m – 1 x NM, 1 x CA, 1 x TX.

80m – 1 x TX.

I heard a couple calling that I was not able to copy.  Sorry.  Not sure if it was conditions or my choice of antenna/equipment. Not bad on a new radio. Nice to catch some remembered calls.  Thanks for a fun two hours. Next month I’ll be DL/KD5KC, watch for me on SOTA or POTA.


QSOs: 14, Weight: 3.71 lbs. Most action on 40M but got one on 15M and three on 20M before they shut down. TNX for the QSOs. 72 Andy


Started a little slow on 20 meters and made 2 contacts with DX with NK6A in CA.  This is the first time in a long time that I put the rig on 20 meters.  Not too many signals on 20 meters so I went to 40 and worked 9 more.  After 0200z the band started to dry up and I called CQ and worked my last contact with WA9CWE in IN.  The lowest station by far was John - K4BAI in Columbus, GA. The weather is warm here at 75*F with storms close enough to cause static crashes. The Rig is a modified Steve Weber - KD1JV  AT Sprint III,  lightened earphone, paddles and a 200 ma 3 cell LiPo battery. 72/73 to all and thanks for the QSOs, see you next month.


Had a half hour to play in the sprint tonight so I fired up the K2. I forget how nice an analog rig can sound. Spent some time on 20 meters and then it went away, moved up to 40 and worked another handful of stations. Best signal report goes to N5GW, the pipeline was sure open to MN! Sure is nice to have propagation again. 72 Scott NØAR


Great conditions on 40.  Stations were booming in S8 and S9. I only had an hour but it was a great time.


Rechecked my stations weight once again, and it’s total weight is accurate at 23.8 oz, including KX2, battery, key, key cable and earbuds. Again I used KX2, and my 80~10 meter EFHW wire antenna. Band conditions tonight were very noisy with storms looming about 100+ miles west of my location. I stayed on for the full 2 hours tonight despite the higher QRN background noise. Stayed on 40 meters biggest part of first hour, then switched to 80 meters, found virtually no activity on 80 meters, that seemed strange! Changed to 20 meters, made one contact on 20 meters and then returned back to 40 meters. 40 meters seemed like where most of the activity was for this months sprint. Donnie Garrett / WA9TGT


Nice to log some 20 meter contacts this month, but 80 meters was unworkable.  I witnessed an Indiana station working the SP take over the frequency from 3 different OPS after answering their CQ. After getting over my aggravation at his rude behavior, I realized that many sprints operate in such a manner whereas the answering station is awarded the frequency.  Perhaps he wasn't rude but just unaware of the modus operandi for SP. 73, Don, K9DRP


40m Only.  Extremely active evening.  It ate my small battery in an hour and shut me down - must have used too many milliamp hours sending pleasantries - will skip them next time in order to conserve my small battery - so don't be offended !!  Used my new purpose built 40m QCX Mini, small 500mAH LiPo battery pack, small 3D printed straight key, and ear buds.   73 - Jody - K3JZD


No shortage of QRN here in the sunny south! Thanks for pulling me out of the noise! 72, Evan WA4AAK Alabama


K3/10 @ 5W to a 2-element 15M delta loop or a 40M extended double Zepp. 8 states this month. Best signals:  20M - NQ2W, 40M - XE2AAW. Two QRO QSOs removed from score.  One double with NQ2W. Several 1 and 2W QSOS - as my VK friends would say, 'Gudanya!' Quit after about 60 minutes - had a long day.  Had fun.


Local storms brought really loud QRN here, especially at the beginning of the Sprint.  I had to try 3 different radios to get one that let me make QSO’s.  I settled on a QCX to an inverted vee at 32 feet. Thanks to everyone who worked me: great fun and great ops! 72 de Gary WØITT


Worked 3 on 20M and 6 on 40M in the last hour.  Good to work fellow NM Bruce AA5B, about 75 mi. north of me.  Usually a dead zone. Worked NM, GA, CA, OR, IN, IL, OH and MO, pretty much coast-to-coast coverage. Used Ten Tec Scout and McElroy bug (heaviest part of the station). Signals fairly decent for the most part.  Always fun as usual. 

72, Paul NA5N


After being shut out with zero contacts last month due to self inflected equipment and operator problems; I had a better plan this month.  I started out with the 4SQRP Cricket  40 at .8 watts and after 30 minutes of no luck I went to the backup plan.  Powered up the QRP Labs QCX - Mini, 5 watts @ .7 lbs and ended up with seven contacts. Still had some self-inflicted problems this month; so next month I'm bringing back the 4SQRP 40.  Going with a higher voltage lipo battery pack to bring power up to 1.5 watts @ .3 lbs. will see how it goes..  The Spartan Sprint is great fun and only takes a few hours; it is a lot of fun, see you next month...... 73  Tim W9TCR


MTR-3B with N6ARA TinyPaddle Jack (highly recommended) and a NiMH 280 mAH 9V battery for about 2 Watts out.  Antenna was a Buddipole without the need for any further antenna tuner.  QTH was Mountain View, CA, in Silicon Valley. Made all 7 QSOs on 20m: NQ2W, KD5KC, W6LD,  N5EM, WB5BLK, NA5N, and VE6WMS.  Heard N7CQR and NA5N on 40m, but they didn't hear me.  My RBN spots on 40m were all local, so 40m hadn't really gone long from California by contest end.  Strongest signal was W6LD (a local running 1 Watt, up the road a piece) and NQ2W running 5W in New York.  Good to see the bands improving, even if today's event was in a bit of a trough.  Looking forward to making SP QSOs on 15m in the coming months.  73 de N9OHW


MTR4B, 8 AA NiMh, ~5 W into 100 ft RG-8x and 135 ft EFHW up 15 ft. Lots of noise and static on 40. Heard some folks on 20 but after my one qso it went quiet.


Had a great time again (my second Sprint).  Made more contacts than last month, so that’s a good thing.  80 meters was completely dead here, so I depended upon 40, and a number of you helped me out.  I actually made 9 contacts in 9 States!  I look forward to next month.  73, Steve, WA9CWE

W5TCR "powered up the QRP Labs QCX - Mini, 5 watts @ .7 lbs and ended up with seven contacts. (Courtesy of W5TCR)

Monday, April 11, 2022

RESULTS: April '22 ARS Spartan Sprint


For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: April '22 ARS Spartan Sprint

After years away from CW, WA9CWE pulled out his straight key, and with his minimalist station, tipped the scale at 1140.62 grams in April's Sprint. (Courtesy of WA9CWE)


This is my first Sprint event and I enjoyed it a great deal. Having not operated CW since my Novice license expired in 1963, the 59 years since has taken a toll on my skills but I’m dedicated to improving. Thanks to the stations who tolerated my slow “need to improve” fist and for not replying “QLF”. Thanks also to WA9TGT who has encouraged me to get back into CW operation. My QRP radio (X5105) for this event reinforces how little power is required to communicate. Antenna is G5RV @ 20’. Hope to contact you next month.  73,  Steve, WA9CWE


Thanks for the Qs. 40m QCX, Doublet, GenLog.


5W, 23 QSOs, Tubby (30# +) Better activity in April than in recent months. Had to take about a half hour out for some CW traffic nets when I actually took and passed some messages. QSOs by band: 20M 1 (NK6A very loud).  40M: 17 (best DX NK6A and N9OHW, both in CA). Heard NV1D in ME, but no QSO. 80M: 5 QSOs, furthest away being NQ2W. Thanks for all QSOs.  73/72, John, K4BAI




Trimmed some weight by taking the cage off the IC-705. One lone QSO on 20M - NK6A. Rest of contacts on 40M and 80M with Mark - WB9HFK - a two bander. Good to work many of the usual suspects. Thanks for the QSOs. 73/72 Andy


Finally lost some weight by using the MTR4B. I also lost 80m though. Thankful for the 3 QSOs on 40. 73, Nathan


Started a little late but earlier in the evening. Listened on the bands and 80 meters was very noisy with lots of lightning crashes. 40 meters seemed to be the best choice. A little slow at first and the band seemed to be going long. I didn't hear any stations from GA or surrounding states. I did hear stations in QSO with K4BAI but I couldn't hear John who is only 125 miles away and he is usually S9 or 40. My first 2 contacts were N0TA, John in CO; and N0AR, Scott in MN - both very good signals. I went up and down the band and nothing was heard so I decided to call CQ SP. Other stations worked were in NY, NJ, TX, and WI,  I'm sorry if you called and I didn't respond. The rig has good ears but I don't. The weather here in N. Georgia is a little cloudy and cool @ 55*F. The Rig is a modified Steve Weber - KD1JV  AT Sprint III,  lightened earphone, paddles and a 200 ma three-cell LiPo battery. 72/73 to all and thanks for the QSOs, see you next month. - Phil, K4PQC


I only participated before (NCAA basketball championship) tipoff and during the halftime break. Both events were entertaining! 15m at the start was a no show. 20m was good for 2 Qs. 40m was good for 5 Qs before the game. During halftime 40m allowed for 3 more Qs and 80m netted me 6 Qs. Two banders with WB9HFK and K4BAI. AA9RK was tough copy but we made the QSO. Thank you for all of the repeats. Thanks for all the contacts and thanks to KI6SN for putting this all together. 72, Will, NQ2W


Once again I used my KX2, and a EFHW wire antenna. Band conditions seemed noisier than last month contest. Stayed on 40 meters better part of the first hour, then switched to 80 meters. All contacts were on 80 and 40 meters. Donnie Garrett / WA9TGT


40m was very noisy. Hope to give this another try next month. Thanks for the Qs and patience with my fumbling operation.


20 was just noisy, 40 was long and noisy, and 80 was very noisy! Used a SCAF filter with my RGO One to contend with all the QRN. 2 QSOs on 40 and 7 on 80. W4NLT had to send me his call about a dozen times, for each time a static crash would take out his "W". It would have been comical if not so aggravating. I think the QRN hurt participation this month. Let's do it again next month! 72, Don, K9DRP


80m Only. Single Band Radios are not really the best to use. Wasn't any activity during the first hour. Purpose built 80m QCX Mini, small 500mAH LiPo battery pack, small 3D printed key, and ear buds. 73 - Jody - K3JZD


This is my first Sprint event and I enjoyed it a great deal. Having not operated CW since my Novice license expired in 1963, the 59 years since has taken a toll on my skills but I’m dedicated to improving. Thanks to the stations who tolerated my slow “need to improve” fist and for not replying “QLF”. Thanks also to WA9TGT who has encouraged me to get back into CW operation. My QRP radio (X5105) for this event reinforces how little power is required to communicate. Antenna is G5RV @ 20’. Hope to contact you next month.  73,  Steve, WA9CWE


K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 40M dipole. 6 states this month.  Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - K4BAI.  One QRO QSO removed from score.  One double with NK6A.  Looked at 80M briefly. Quit after about 60 minutes - was worried about predicted storms (which never 
appeared). Had fun.


Spent the night on 40 meters. Lots of QRN from the approaching Thunderstorms. Band conditions were better than they have been in months! Best signal went to KØEMT. Apologies to those I couldn't pull out of the noise. 72 Scott N0AR


Started on 15m and got many RBN spots, but no sprinters were heard.  Moved to 20m and found NA5N in NM.  Moved to 40m for the rest of the time and worked N0TA, NK6A, and K4BAI.  Thanks to K4BAI for sticking with me for many repeats of my information to make the QSO in the last minute of the sprint.  Heard some others on 40m, NA5N and N0AR, but conditions were too rough to make the contacts. Station was an MTR-5B with a 9 volt battery for 2 Watts out. I used the N6ARA Tiny Paddle Plug which has become my favorite portable paddle. Lightweight and accurate. Antenna was a Buddipole. 73 de N9OHW


Better conditions this month than the previous time. I couldn't hear anyone on 80 meters, but 40 meters played nicely. I used my usual home station: IC-7300, keyer, tuner, and power supply, putting 5 watts into my doublet. I am looking forward to trying the Spartan Sprint portable with my slimmed down travel kit this summer. When school is out, Max would like to participate again, too.