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.