Tuesday, January 9, 2018

RESULTS: January 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

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Monday, January 8, 2018

SOAPBOX: January 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

My first SP, greetings to everyone and thanks for the contacts. I heard only 6 SP stations, but I was able to work everyone I heard. I’m looking forward to next time.  72 DE WØITT

The pick’ins were pretty slim tonight. Worked 5 on 40 meters. Tuned down to 80 and made a SKCC contact but no Spartans heard.
Joe, W5QLF

All four contacts made in the first ten minutes on 40m. Stuck around for another hour, heard a few stations, but none returned my call. Thanks for the Qs. KX2, Palm Paddle, earbuds, vertical antenna.

20M was dead here and 40M was long.  Heard NK6A working NØTA, but no QSO. 2 QSOs on 40 (CO and NH). 80M seemed pretty good, but not much activity.  8 QSOs on 80 including TX, IL, IN, MS and GA. Thanks for all QSOs.  Happy New Year to all.  73/72. John, K4BAI. (QRT after 1 1/2 hours to watch bowl game.)

Limited to 40 meters. 1 Q with WB5BKL. 5W to EFHWA. Happy New Year to all. 73's de Fred - WA5BUC

All QSO's on 80M. Rig: ICOM 7300 @ 5W. Antenna: 150 ft. Random WIre. Key: J38 - 72,  Mark Prather, WB9HFK

I was only able to work one station on 40, K4BAI, also heard WB5BKL weakly under digital QRM. I hope others had better luck. 72/73 Walt

I am suffering from a S7 noise level on 40M.  I can turn my antenna and get it down to S3 but then I am pointing Southeast.  I have been searching for the noise source for two weeks without any luck. Operated for only an hour when I gave up because of the noise and not hearing anyone else. - Don Minkoff, NK6A

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. 7 states this time. Best signals: 40M - WA5BUC, 80M - K4BAI. Heard a signal on 20M briefly - NØ ??. Some new-to-me calls this time - very nice. My thanks to all. Had fun.

Déjà vu all over again… Conditions on 40M were quiet, but there were very few stations out there for the Spartan Sprint! I almost killed the two 170 mAh LiPo batteries in the ATS-3A calling CQ on 40M. I did get two CA stations on 40M and the ever-present K4BAI on 80M. I was running 3W to my antique ground-mounted vertical. By the time I worked K4BAI, actual power output was declining to about 2W. The 20M daughter board is currently MIA – somewhere in the station… It didn’t matter this month, but hoping to find it for more 20M action soon. I am planning on using the antennas at a different QTH next month. I hope for BIG things from my 3 Watts then! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas

Sunday, January 7, 2018

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 back country 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 distancs. And they encourage the growth of a like-minded community of amateur radio operator 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 equpment 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: SpartanSprint@yahoo.com
  • 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

Monday, December 11, 2017

RESULTS: ARS December 2017 Spartan Sprint

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SOAPBOX: ARS December 2017 Spartan Sprint

Complete bust in Colorado. Only worked K3RLL in FL. Only station I heard on 40 and 80m. Quit after 30 minutes. Kx2, NØSA mini-paddles, GenLog.

Finally got the chance to try out the new little QRP Labs QCX-40 mini-rig this evening on the Sprint. Amazing what $49 can buy these days: Memory keyer, CW readout, RIT, and the list goes on. Now, if this old man could just learn how to work all those multi-function buttons to make everything work!  The printed manual weights A LOT more than the radio. (We don't count the weight of the manual for the Sprint; do we?) Big signal tonight was AA5B booming out of NM.  Otherwise, 40m was a bit challenging. Thanks for the contacts.

3 Q's on 40M. Nothing on 20M again this month.  Still no antenna for 80M.  Got to fix that for January.  OCF loaded wire, maybe? 72, Ed, N5EM

40 and 80M in pretty good condition, but very little activity this month.  QSOs by band: 80M:  5.  40M: 7. Thanks for the QSOs. Seasons Greetings to all.  73, John, K4BAI.

Not the best of conditions up here tonight, but a good nite to be on the radio. Winter snowstorm moving in and bands were pretty poor. Best signal went to Dave AB9CA from IN. Worked him on 20 and 40. On 40 also worked KFØN and K4BAI. Heard a couple of other stations but they were mostly ghostly LDE from another hunt. Happy Holidays to all. 73 Scott N0AR

Conditions on 40M were quiet, but there were very few stations out there for the Spartan Sprint! I almost killed the two 170 mAh LiPo batteries in the ATS-3A calling CQ on 40M. I did get two CA stations on 40M and the ever-present K4BAI on 80M. I was running 3W to my antique ground-mounted vertical. By the time I worked K4BAI, actual power output was declining to about 2W. The 20M daughter board is currently MIA – somewhere in the station… It didn’t matter this month, but hoping to find it for more 20M action soon! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

I only found three stations and they were all in Texas and all on 40. Suffering with a S3-S5 noise level. Heard very briefly K4BAI but heavy QSB made copy impossible. After 1.5 hours decided to call it quits and give my ears a rest. Don Minkoff, NK6A

Lots of Q's last night... QSB, QRN, QRM unfortunately only 3 QSOs. Heard no CW or SSB signals on 20 but 14.074 had S9+10 FT8!  Go figure.  Heard AB9CA early on 40 but couldn't work him. Later worked K4BAI on 40 then 80 and then AB9CA on 80. Those were the only two SP stations I heard. Always next month... 72/73 Rich WA8MTI

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  6 states this time. Best signals: 20M - AB9CA, 40M - K3RLL, 80M - K4BAI. Gave up after 90 minutes - tired.  Thanks to all from the Texas hill country and all the best for the season.  Also many thanks to the Adventure Radio Society and KI6SN for all the fun this year!

Three QSO's, none were easy copy, states worked were FL,TX,IN. Conditions seemed worse than last month from my QTH in NH, very weak signals with QRN . 72/73, Walt 

I ran an RBN check prior to the start of the Sprint. The results did not look promising. Not many spots. This turned out to be prophetic. The bands were not in good shape. Worked a few guys quickly but then ran out of stations that could hear me. Total of 9 contacts: 4/3/2 on 20/40/80, respectively. Only 2 bander was N0AR on 20 and 40. SPCs were TX MN MN NH on 20, FL MN IA on 40, and GA MI on 80. Hopefully condx will be better next month. Thanks for the Q's and look for you next time... 73 de dave, AB9CA

Pickings were pretty sparse this month!  I was able to copy only three stations: K3RLL, NØAR and AB9CA.  I gave up in the first half hour of the Sprint!  You fellas were the only ones that poked above my massive line noise here in Iowa;  thanks for the points guys.  Maybe there will be more participation next month. Holidays always seem to take their toll on the contests.  Also, another mitigating factor was the thunderstorm that rolled through here about an hour before the contest started; very unusual for us here in Iowa for December.  The QRN was almost as bad as July or August! I hope things improve next year. 72s and Merry Christmas to all, Larry, KFØN

Saturday, November 11, 2017

RESULTS: November 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

SOAPBOX: November 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

Stuck with 40 meters this evening with highly compromised antenna situation back down here in Florida. Sure miss my PA “high and in the clear” wire antenna. (Sigh) It didn’t take long to work all those I heard working and calling throughout the first hour. Thanks for the the skill and patience shown by the capable ops who pulled me out of the noise this evening. Big signal tonight? I’m sorry but if there was one, I missed it. Conditions not the best. Maybe better next month. See you then.  72/73 … Don

Hi Guys - Talk about the "cone of silence" being lowered! One contact and heard someone with a BAI in his call fade off never to be heard again. Maybe a deep coating of snow will help... 73 Scott Nr. St.Paul

Conditions were about as bad as I have ever heard them in a Spartan Sprint.  No signals on 20 M and no answers to CQs. Only two QSOs on 40 (ME and TX) and both were about 449 both ways.  80M seemed to be in good condition, but not much activity. Two QSOs on 80M (KS and TX). Total QRV time was 1:15.  Heard on 40, but he couldn't hear me:  NK6A. Heard on 80M but they couldn't hear me:  NØAR and W5ACM. Seemed I might have heard KA2KGP on 40M, but signal was too weak to be sure. Better luck next month. Note that the new season of QRP Fox Hunts starts on Nov. 7. Hope many will join in these fun QRP events.

Only 1 QSO on 40M.  Heard zip on 20M. No antenna for 80M at the moment. I was hearing W1AW on 40M, but then they're not exactly QRP.

Thanks to AB9CA and K3RLL for Qs on 40 meters. 73 Jim W1PID

K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp.  5 states this time. Difficult evening. K7TQ and K3RLL were weak when I worked them but much stronger later. Hear KB1M, but could never connect. Best signals: K4BAI on both 40 and 80M. Had fun.

I was only able to get on for the last thirty minutes but I had a great contact with KØZK who was located in Maine – my only Q. Used a homebrew tube power supply and crystal-controlled 6L6 transmitter, Realistic DX-160 receiver, homebrew 6AH6 T-R switch from a 1961 QST article, homebrew antenna tuner, homebrew field strength meter. There was 200 volts on the plate of the 6L6, 5 watts output. Thanks for holding this sprint. Family demands prevented me from being on the whole time but I made one fantastic contact so it was worth it. I plan on using my Michigan Mighty Mite 1 watter next time. 72s, Randy

No luck this time - only able to get 20 meter end-fed antenna deployed and nothing heard across the entire band. Hoping for better luck next month. 72, 73 - KD6L

I used my Wilderness Radio NC40A at 2 W tonight. Very tough going from northern Idaho. Called CQ most of the time without any luck. Caught Nick in TX and a local ham about a mile away for the only contacts.

Five QSOs for four states, worked AB9CA on 20 and 40 meters. Best signal was KI4IO, (2 watts) from VA on 40 M. Propagation seemed to be north/south only for me. Thanks for the QSOs. Sprints are not always easy but always a lot of fun!  72/73 Walt

Long night. Prop was very poor. Worked only 6 total. 3 of  those in NH. One 2-bander, KB1M, on 20 and 40. Qs by band 20/40/80, were 1/4/1. RBN spots for the same band sequence were 1/15/24. Interesting that I had more spots on 80 than the others even though I spent less time there. But I am in a new locale, IN instead of AL. Not sure of the effect of that. Called CQ for the entire 2 hours and garnered only 40 spots total. Sometimes get that many with 2 calls. Hope others had better success than did I. Thanks to those that put forth the effort and made some Qs!! Maybe better prop next month . . . 73 de dave