Friday, August 11, 2017

SOAPBOX: August 2017 Spartan Sprint

Band in good shape. Relatively little activity. QSOs by 
band:  20M: 5; 40M: 14; 80M: 4. Thanks for all QSOs. 73/72, John, K4BAI

Four QSO, all on 40 meters. 5W and OCF dipole.

Rig: IC-746Pro @ 5W. Antenna: 20/40 - Hustler 6BTV Ground Mounted with 60 radials. 80 - 150 Ft. Random Wire. Key: J-38. Lots of fun. Worked John, K4BAI on 3 bands. Seemed to be lots of QSB. See everyone next month. 72, Mark, WB9HFK

I was using my K1 with micro key on an 800 mAh Tenergy LiPo battery pack. The internal ATU loaded up my CFZ at 2W. 20M was fair for the first half hour allowing 5 Q's including a good sig from K7TQ. 40M was less noisy than expected since local rainstorms were present. Best sig was WB5BKL in TX. Toughest QSO was with N3FCS, 339 both ways, but we made it.

20 meters only band available here - been away from the Sprints for quite awhile - fun to be back.  Got ATS-3 from Dick, WB6JDH intending to use it for SOTA activations - manual says 9 V battery gives about 2 watts and is good for a 2 hour Sprint so I decided to try it out. Packtenna mast on upper deck - 20 meter End-fed Half-wave antenna. I think K4BAI heard me trying last month from No. Dakota - Home in Utah now and this time I got him.  Nearly lost him in QSB. Kept calling heard nothing at all until K0ZK in Maine answered my CQ. Thanks to both of you for pulling me out of the noise. 72, 73, Del, KD6L

Pickings on 40m here in western NY were pretty slim; I was
running 3W from a homebrew rig to an inefficient loaded whip antenna. Fortunately I managed one contact with Larry, KF0N (also running 3W), 700 miles away in Iowa.

More participation than some of the previous months.  20 m good for half hour or so. Long dry spell until 40 m opened up, then some good action there.  N5GW, K4BAI, WB5BKL, and WB9HFK were two banders.

Contest activity seemed to be up from last month.  I was able to work the whole two hours with a fairly steady stream of QSOs, and  thanks to KF7WNS (OR),  both coasts were in the log. John, K4BAI, was the only entry on 20 meters and the only two-band contact. My RST reports from the east coast were consistently  poor with some stations unworkable at all. I thought for a while my antenna must be laying on the ground, but a check of the national radar composite revealed the real culprit; QRN from ugly thunderstorms all up and down the eastern seaboard states! Wow! The receive conditions for you fellas out east must have been brutal. The radar screen had more lights than a Christmas tree! I guess I had best check the radar before getting in the contest next month. It was a fun time though. Thanks to all who braved the fatal QRM and entered into the contest! Larry, KFØN

This is my first time entering Spartan Sprint. I operated from home in my backyard. All contacts were made on 40M using KX1 and Par end fed antenna. Had a great time but disappointed that nothing heard on 80M.

K2/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp (the K3 bit the dust during a lightning storm Sunday night - sigh). I admit to being distracted during this month's sprint by a septic system failure and a suddenly dead smartphone. I wondered what would be next - locusts?  Best signals:  20M - K7TQ; 40M - N5GW. My thanks to all. Had fun anyway.

20 and 80 were pretty dead here. Only managed to answer 4 CQs on 40. FT817 was at the trailer so used my FT2000 @ 5w into doublet at home. Been absent for too long so will try again next month (I hope). 72, Rich

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