Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Monday, September 12, 2022

SCOREBOARD: September 2022 ARS Spartan Sprint


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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