Friday, July 11, 2014

ANNOUNCING: ARS 2014 FOBB




RULES:
Adventure Radio Society 2014 Flight of the Bumblebees, Sunday, July 27


            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.

2014 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 27
1700 to 2100 UTC

CONTEST PERIOD BY TIMEZONE (Local Time)
·                    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.

WHO CAN PLAY?
Both home-based and portable operations are encouraged.

WHAT QUALIFIES AS A BUMBLEBEE?
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’RE ELIGIBLE, GET A BUMBLEBEE NUMBER
If you plan to operate the 2014 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 2014 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 27 prior to the contest.

GROUP OPERATION
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.

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

OPERATION
We operate CW on 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters, around standard QRP frequencies.
           
EXCHANGE
  • /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:
579
CA
BB 73 or NR 73

Home-based station WN1DWL sends:
579
MA
5W

PLAYING IN 2014
 FOBB
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.

SCORING
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 KI6SN/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 Formuala:
  • Contacts: 21 + 32 = 53
  • BB Multiplier: 14 X 3 = 42
  • Total: 53 QSOs X 42 BB Multiplier = 2,226 Total points

COMMENDATIONS
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


SUBMITTING YOUR FOBB DATA:
Send your FOBB 2014 Reports via email to:


REPORT FORM:
Your:
  • Full name
  • Callsign
  • Location of FOBB operation:
  • Total number of contacts (all bands):
  • Total number of Bumblebees (all bands):
  • Comments about your 2014 FOBB experience:
Photographs of your adventure are welcome and encouraged.

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

SAFETY:
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.

– 73, Richard Fisher, KI6SN,
The Adventure Radio Society



*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *





FIELD STATIONS:
Apply for a 2014 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.

2014 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 27
1700 to 2100 UTC

CONTEST PERIOD BY TIMEZONE (Local Time)
·                    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’RE ELIGIBLE, GET A BUMBLEBEE NUMBER
If you plan to operate the 2014 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: < http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 >.

2. OFFER THREE OPTIONS: Check the database  < http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 >  for eligibility. Then send an email to:

 < ARSBumblebees@gmail.com > 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, < http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 >,after submitting your top three choices to see which number you have been assigned. The number listed in the database is your official 2014 FOBB number.


– 73, Richard Fisher, KI6SN,
The Adventure Radio Society

Results: July 2014 Spartan Sprint


(Please click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view.)

Soapbox: July 2014 Spartan Sprint

KD5KC
WOW - what a blast!!!  THANK YOU everyone for the contacts!  Due to home remodeling, I currently can't operate from home.  So I decided to take my little radio out portable.  I climbed a near-by SOTA summit, and played Spartan Sprint and SOTA at the same time.  It was quite a success. I started the hike up at about 1715 local time, the skies were mostly cloudy and the temp was a pleasant 93º F.  I hiked up slow and easy, no reason to hurry.  Arrived on the summit with 15 minutes to spare.  I set up on the west slope of the summit, hoping for a good take-off angle to the Pacific (hoping for some VK action on 15m). I started out on 15m calling CQ.  My first contact was at 0103 from NK6A in CA.  15m got me CA, NJ, KS, OR, TX, AZ, TX and AZ for 8 total.  With no more takers on 15m, at 0130 I switched to 20m.  There I got AZ, TN, CA, TX, OR, CA and TX for 7 total on 20m.  With no more takers on 20m, at 0200 I switched to 40m.  It was still light out, but 40m got me 4 more with TX, TX, CA and TX in the log.  I was disappointed with 40m, and after much more CQing on 40m, I gave up and switched to 80m.  If 40m was poor, 80m was a disaster, and I only got 1 local in Texas.  The antenna wasn't playing nice, and I had no tuner.  The antenna worked at home, but not on the mountain. Well, (bad things) happen.  I quickly gave up on 80m and went back to 20m.  There I made more contacts as the band had shifted.  I worked OR, QC-CAN, TX, TX, CA, CA, and with just 4 minutes to go KX7L in WA got in the log for 7 more on 20m. So 8 + 7 + 4 + 1 + 7 = 27 contacts.  This was by far the best Spartan Sprint score I have ever done.  20m was my money  band with 14 contacts, 15m with 8 contacts, 40m with 4 contacts, and 80m with just one lonely contact.  I do not want the weight penalty of a tuner at the radio, so I need to work on the 80 antenna or just not use 80m portable again. It was a cool 84º F with a nice cool desert breeze when I started down. The
hike to the car was only 45 minutes, and a 10 minute drive to home.  Thanks again to all the contacts.  Looking forward to next month, work schedule permitting.


K7TQ
I operated from the forest east of Moscow, ID using a K2, 7 AHr gel cell, headphones, and a G4ZPY paddle. 20 meters was in good shape so I stayed there the entire time. The antenna was a SOTA Beams Band Hopper II.  As is usually the case, the first QSO was with Jim, W1PID. Contacts ranged from nearby OR to distant FL. It was a pleasant evening sitting in the shade of the pine trees and looking out over the forest. The non-radio highlight was a Goshawk flying through the tree canopy.

AB5SS
This was my first Spartan Sprint and a chance to try QRP with my new KX3. I started out on 15m and made 2 contacts before the band faded out. 20m was by far the best band for me and I had little trouble making contacts with only 5W.  Next time, I might have to drop down to 3W and give that a try. Switched to 40m for the last 15 minutes of the contest and made one contact. I had fun working everyone and look forward to doing this again and getting the weight down on my station.

N7UN
Horrible QRN (S7-S8) on 20m.  Surprised and it was fun that 15m was open a bit. I need to do more of these sprints!

W9JFK
This was my first Spartan Sprint ever - or in a very long time. I may have done a few 10 years or so ago . . . I can't recall for sure. Rig was a KX3 with internal batteries, tuner and integrated keyer. Antenna was a 135' long inverted-L favoring the east. The QSO's seemed very challenging to get. With so many stations out west and me in Pennsylvania, I may need to go in the field and put up west favoring antenna next month. I need to take the KX3 in the field to initiate it in it's proper use!

K8CN
I can't recall if I'd ever participated in a Spartan Sprint before. I enjoyed the chase and it helps me appreciate what I sound like to DX stations in the big contests. All contacts were made on 20 meters at 1 Watt transmit power, and I did check 40 and 15 meters, but to no avail. Operation here was cut short at 0130Z by nasty lightning storms, so I disconnected everything and didn't come back to the rig before 0300Z. I need to go on a (radio) diet - when my linear regulated power supply weighs more than all the rest of the gear combined, it's time to look into some small batteries.  I suppose there's incentive to dig out my NorCal-40 rig and my homebrew 20 meter CW rig - together they weigh less than a pound, I suspect. Hope to put in a full effort next month!

N1DN
There was just a little time to operate tonight between thunderstorms. I used my Yaesu FT-817 at 0.5 watts to a ladder line fed dipole, and made 4 contacts pretty quickly.  This included new 1,000 MPW contacts with K7TQ in Idaho and WVØH in Colorado.  Thanks to all for a great time.

W7PUA
I've been away from this for a while. It was good to get back and work some stations on 40 and 20. I tried 15, but did not find anyone - maybe my timing was poor. I'm experimenting with a home-built DC-DC converter to power a K-1. This used an LM2586 to supply 13 Volts. The input range went down to 3.5 Volts, so I operated at 2 W RF power using 4 Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries. The DC-DC converter weighs 2.4 oz, which seems reasonable. The plan is to take this all backpacking next month.

W7QQ
My first Spartan Sprint and first CW contest. Pretty fun!

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop or a 40M dipole. My thanks to WA8ZBT, K5JHP, W5ACM, KG3W and K6LEN for QSOs in the final 10 minutes of the sprint. We had supper guests who arrived 3 hours late (it was not their fault). I did not get to the rig until 0250Z. Too bad I
can't maintain that QSO rate for the entire sprint! Oh well, had fun anyway. . .    

WVØH
That was a blast! While on holiday in Minnesota I got a chance to see what the Northlanders experience in HF QRP ops. Well, that little bit of latitude further north is considerable! The signals are just a bit weaker, the fades a bit deeper and you really have to work at getting an antenna up proper. I put up my WVØH Park Portable Doublet at 20 feet and left off my coil and cap tuner and just used the MiniBalun in the 4:1 position. It resulted in a 2.8:1 VSWR. My KX3 antenna tuner adjusted for a mostly efficient match. I started out working K5GQ then K7TQ. NQ2W and N5EM joined in. Then of course an old time favorite of yours and mine W1PID from NH came bursting onto the scene. Back and forth, TX then the northeast, TX, Northeast back and forth. W5ACM of course probably running a 1-ounce rig running 30 Qs an hour will no doubt place. Then the usuals, N1DN, AB9CA, and WA8ZBT were strong contenders. 1 watt signals from K8CN, K4JPN, and N1DN were impressive. My sister in law was standing over my shoulder at the time truly impressed by the beep strength as she put it. Nineteen QSOs were had on 20m and none on 40. 40 just seemed dead and noisy, so no joy there. Next month, I will be back home and hopefully won't forget the event. Thanks everybody for a great vacation break from "up north" where beep strength matters, the women are strong and the children are all above average. Keep your stick on the ice.

AB1LT
Tough night for the bands in New England.  Only made contacts on 20 meters.  Also had to quit early due to t-storm.  Still, fun as usual.  KX1 on internal batteries (3W at best) to a 63' end fed that's resonant on 40/20/15/10.

W1PID
20 meters was the only active band. Best DX: RX9JX, NK6A. K5GQ worked the hardest to pull me out! Thanks! Operated about a half an hour. K2 OCF dipole. Thanks all.

AB9CA
A good sprint! Ran the K2 at 5w to 100' wire. Got another late start by about 20 min. Started on 20 as it is Staying open later. Logged 22 there, including a couple of EU stations, before moving to 40. Logged 15 there. Finished with the last 10 min on 80 and logged 2 there. QRN was pretty bad, even on 20. Only the loudest were able to get through on 80. WA8ZBT, N5EM, NK6A and NQ2W were two-banders. No three banders. My RBN spots say that 20m was open and long. Quite a few 5w spots from the EU. Thanks to everyone that stopped by and to KI6SN for doing all the work! See everyone next month.  

K3RLL
Back in PA for the summer and enjoying the ‘power’ of an outside antenna and no HOA Restrictions up here in the sticks.  Hi Hi. Sprint seemed to start slowly and build. Big signals heard tonight included NQ2W & WA8ZBT. Dennis, followed you to 15m, but no go. Thanks for the fun and nice contacts. See you next month.

WB9G
Thanks for the QSOs, and 72.

K5GQ
Having trouble with ATS-3  audio  very weak on 20M but OK on 40M. N4BP called me on 20M and had trouble hearing the signal. The audio is very low.

K5JHP
Bands were in reasonable shape.  Worked 3 stations on 2 bands and one station on 3 bands. Be back next month. Hope for more stations on the air next month.

KG3W
I had a brand new set up for July's SP. I built the latest Mountain topper radio from Steve; KD1JV. It's a 3 band version for 30,20,and 17 mtrs. So I went single band - 20 meters. It's the size of a deck of cards but weighs less. Key is a whiterook paddle and used a 370 mah lipo. Put up my temporary backyard full wave delta loop for 20 meters and it tunes 1.1 to 1 on cw. So I can now ditch my T1 tuner for the evening.  Radio is a real battery miser.  Lipo 3s starts out at 12.4 volts and after 2 hours I still had 11.2 volts showing, which is the lipo's sweet spot. Still running 4.6 watts at contest end. LOVE this radio! Weight breakdown: Radio 4.32 oz; Key 1.44 oz; Battery 1.44 oz; Total weight is 7.2 oz or .45 lbs. I made 14 contacts. Best DX was NK6A in CA. Heard a 9A station but he was hit and run. Propagation was nice into Florida. Worked Art,  WB4MNK, @ 4w and KG4GVL, GB, @ 1 watt. Thanks again for a FUN evening.  Think I'm going to look for a smaller battery. Hi!

WB4MNK
Sure enjoyed using the little KX1, ear buds, ZM-2, Lipo battery and the tiny Dirt Cheap paddle. Fun event and thanks to all I made contact with. 

N5GW
I had the KX3 running on internal batteries. The rig's wide range internal ATU works very well on my CFZ antenna. Almost all activity was on 20M. Only heard a couple of stations on 40M which was filled with moderate QRN. After the sprint was half over, I didn't hear many stations, so I suppose most ops had given up. Also my cat was sitting on my logbook, staring me in the face, so I quit.

W5ACM
It was really great to spend some time on 20M this month. The locations I worked from Houston were as far NE as N7UN in NJ and SW to NK6A in CA. I still have a small issue with 40M reception and the contacts on the keyer paddle. Only five QSOs on 40M, but FOUR of the FIVE were in Texas! Lots of activity down here! I will keep working on the paddle contacts. I cleaned them twice during the event, but there were still problems. The two 170 mAh LiPo batteries did quite well, but the power output with a nominal 7.4 VDC is 3 Watts, and once again started dropping just after the first hour. I was probably around 2 Watts toward the end.

K6DGW
QSOs: 13; States/Provinces: 7; Weight: 0.61 lb. Radio: KX1 [40/30/20] with ATU and paddle; Ear buds; 750 mAh Li-Poly battery. Antenna: Alexloop. Location: On our deck, Auburn CA.

NQ2W
K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters and an inverted V at 40 ft for 40 m. I started out on 15 m and was able to work NK6A. I moved to 20 and was privileged to make 8 QSOs. Then to 40 for 9 more. The QRN on 40 was problematic. Thanks for the repeats. Doubles with NK6A (15 & 20) and WB4MNK and AB9CA (20 & 40). Good to work K3RLL in PA! Thanks for the contacts and thanks to the organizers.

N5EM
20M was not as good as June, but still managed 5 Qs.  It seemed activity was down this month, but that might just be conditions here. Thanks to AB9CA for pulling me out on 80M near the end.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Results: June 2014 Spartan Sprint

For enlarged view, please click on the scoreboard.

Soapbox: June 2014 Spartan Sprint

KG4GVL
Got QRV in the work parking lot. Set up a homebrew end fed half wave antenna, for 20m and managed one contact. Had to get back to work, so I was happy.

N6XG
This was my first entry in about 5 years.  I wanted to exercise my KX3 somewhat.  The only active band was 20M,  only 1 Q on 40M. There is a big opportunity for weight reduction. Thanks to all for the contacts.

KIØII
Haven't been on for the SP in quite a while. Decent band conditions on 20. Was fun!

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to 15 and 20M delta loops, a 40M dipole or a 40M EDZepp.  14 states this month - including all four corners of the lower 48.  NQ2W was rolling in on 15M but that was it.  Had 1 on 15M, 14 on 20M, 8 on 40M and 2 on 80M.  This was my first time to work sprinters with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5W.  Some new calls too!  My thanks to all. Had fun . . .

N5EM
Very good conditions on 20M and 40M.  Some very strong signals on 40M.

KG3W
Usual set up. HB1B @ 4 watts;  T1 tuner ; 850mah lipo and palm paddle. Only ran about 1 hour.  Had 13 contacts.  Only had 2 from MD. for the New England area. Worked MO, TX, FL, GA,  CA, MS, and Washington State. Worked Don ,K3RLL, in FL. with his Mountain Top radio @ 3 watts. Nice signal ! I should have mine ready to go for the next SP. TINY radio. Talk about soldering small parts! Also very nice work for Gene, N5GW, from Mississippi with his BIG 1 watt. All the best to everyone.  Had alot of fun!

NQ2W
K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters and an inverted V at 40 ft for 40m. My homebrew paddle reverted back to its old, even though it's only a few months new, self ... perhaps I need to use it more than once a month! I apologize for the rough sending. I started out on 15 m and was able work NIck, WB5BKL, with a strong signal. Moved to 20 for 15 more including one with WB5BKL. Then on to 40 for 7 more. For the most part, signals were FB. Have fun during FD. Hopefully, see you all next month.

K3RLL
K1 to stealth vertical: How nice to see 20 meters stay open so late. Many thanks to those who came back to my steadily diminishing signal tonight as my small battery continued a slow and painful death. Appreciate the contacts with both new and very familiar calls.

K5GQ
ATS-3. 20M: Audio very low hard to hear some stations. N6XG loud.40M: Could not pull out a couple of stations.
9 states.

WA4ZOF
Ran the KD1JV TRI-BANDER. All the weight in the SLA battery. GREAT FUN.

W5ACM
It was really great to spend some time on 20M this month. QSOs on 20 were as close as N5EM in West Houston to W1PID in NH, N6XG and AA6GI in CA and W7OM in WA. I still have a small issue with 40M reception and the contacts on the keyer paddle. I will keep working on the paddle contacts. The two 200 mAh LiPo batteries did quite well, but the power output with a nominal 7.4 VDC is 3 Watts, and started dropping just after the first hour. I was probably around 2 Watts while working W3KC, WA3FAE, NQ2W and WB5BKL on 40M. Congrats to them and their receivers!

WA5BUC
Better results this month. 20 and 40 were productive tonight. Got to put new stations in the log along with old friends - always a good thing.

AB9CA
Where did everyone go? I was a few min late getting started but 20 seemed fairly active, 10 Q's in about 20 min. It got slow after that so went to 40. No one seemed to be there. Worked 2 contacts in about 25 min. I had only an hour so had to drop out after that. Hope others found more activity than I was able to scare up. Rig was K2 at 5w to 100' wire. Hope to see everyone (and a few more) next month!

W3KC
Enjoyed the Sprint - band conditions were favorable. Got a big grin when QRP'er Rumi LZ2RS answered my CQ SP on 20m.  Used the IC703 and a 90 ft doublet at 24 ft.

K6CSL
As usual I started on 10m and found nothing there. I heard a couple if stations on 15m, but couldn't get them. Went to 20m where found KI0II(tnx). Before I left 20 for 40m I tuned down caught W1AW/0 in MO. He was QRO but heard my 5W on the 1st call. I moved to 40m at 02:30Z. 40 was quite noisy from lightning storms up near the CA/OR border. I heard several QRP stations there, but couldn't seem to work them. I settled for a brief QSO with KB6VSE, Steve, in Benbow, CA up in Humboldt County, CA just south of Eureka, CA, near where the evening Thunder Storms were occurring. H e was also QRO but answered my 5 watts on the 1st call. So that's the story from the northern San Joaquin Valley.

N5GW
I was using my 1.5 watt homebrew 20M xcvr, the "Sprite" on an 800 mAh LIPO to a homebrew tuner and CFZ. The rig and tuner are built into a clear plastic cas, with a microkey on the side, containing an N0XAS picokeyer. Looks like a rat nest but works OK. TX is rockbound, but I have three rocks. The DC RX is not the best, as it is not a single signal type, but if the overload from nearby AM stations is not too bad, I can work a few of you QRPers.

K4BAI
Got home and got the antennas and rig hooked up with just eight minutes left in the Sprint.  A quick look at 20M showed no signals near 14060. Only one ragchew evident near 7040, but CQs brought six quick QSOs (MD, PA, TX, NY).  QSY to 3560 with one minute to go and worked a strong WB5BKL in TX.  Sorry to miss many of you, but glad to get on for the end.  Looking forward to full participation next month.

Friday, May 9, 2014

RESULTS: May 2014 Spartan Sprint



For an enlarged view, click on the scoreboard

SOAPBOX: May 2014 Spartan Sprint

K3RLL
Many thanks to those who so diligently dug my 850 mW signal out of the din this evening. It was an evening for experimenting, but then isn’t that what Ham Radio is all about? This was the debut of my little 3 ounce SoftRock Ensemble SDR PCB which won’t quite make a full watt of power output. Just finished building a little 5 watt 40 meter amplifier for it, but my little LiPO won’t power it so “the linear” stayed on the shelf tonight. The thing is, do we count the laptop?  Yes, probably so but since my score is so low anyway, it doesn’t make much difference.  Most of us all probably have our computer on during Sprints for logging or checking names and tonight was really just a lark anyhow. So thank you for your help tonight trying something new (for me).

K5JHP
K-2, 20 Meter EDZ, SW P/S.  Lots of QRM on 40 until 02:00UTC.

W3KC
Fun event with contacts on 20, 40 and 80. Station : IC703, 90 ft doublet.

WA5BUC
Well, I doubled last month's Q-production. 40 was the workhorse band. Tnx to stalwarts: K4BAI, K5JHP, and WB5BKL. It's been a while for N5GW and WA8ZBT to go into the log. And tnx to W3KC for a new entry into the log. I could barely hear W5ACM. Not good enough for a Q. Andy, you need to point your vertical more in my direction. The FT-817 and the new 40 meter EFHWA worked well tonight.

N5GW
I had the KX3 with internal NiMH battery at 3W to the CFZ. The bands seemed to be in bad shape including few and weak signals generally. Especially 20M was disappointing.  A check of the solar report revealed a high A index and an R1 blackout. I suppose at least a few ops stayed away because of anticipated poor conditions. However, doubles with WB4MNK, NK6A, NQ2W, W3KC and K4BAI helped. Anyway I was glad to be back after missing last month's outing.

K4BAI
FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole, inverted vee.  QSOs by band:  20M: 7; 40M: 15; 80M: 5. Good condiitons on three bands, but participating was way down from last month.  20M was open from GA to NY, IL, WI, TX, and FL, best DX was NK6A in CA.  40M had no skip zone and QSOs were made in GA, AL, and FL and out as far as NK6A in CA.  80M was in good shape with easy QSOs with the few who tried the band including W3KC in MD and two TX stations.  I heard NK9G on 80M but no QSO.  I heard WA5RML on 80 in QSO with WA8ZBT, but Andy was under my noise level. Fortunately, I went back to 40 near the end and worked Andy on that band.  Thanks for all QSOs and let's have a big turn out for June's Spartan Sprint.

W5ACM
Thanks to long-distance technical assistance from KD1JV, my ATS3A has been repaired. I feel that I spent the whole event just getting reaquainted with the radio. I still have a small issue with 40M reception and the contacts on the keyer paddle (super-thin spruce plywood with copper contact points). The two 200 mAh LiPo batteries did quite well, but the power output with a nominal 7.4 VDC is 3 Watts. More or bigger batteries would mean more weight. I only had three QSOs on 20M (NK6A, WB4MNK and NK9G) and only two on 80M (WB5BKL and WA8ZBT). The other six contacts were all on 40M - four with Texas stations, but no luck hearing WA5BUC. It was an excellent event with my favorite ATS rig back on the air again!

WB4MNK
Thanks to all for a fun event.

NQ2W
K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini-beam at 25 ft for 10, 15, and 20 meters, an inverted vee at 40 ft for 40 m, and a homebrewed, near-bottom loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. My homebrew paddle behaved a little better this month. 20 meters netted 11 QSOs, 40 allowed 7 QSOs, and 80 provided 3. Not a bad way to spend an evening. Two banders with K4BAI, WB4MNK, N5GW, and W3KC. Three banders with WB5BKL and WA8ZBT. The 20-40-80 pipeline from NY to TX was open - 8 contacts with TX sprinters - FB! I hope to hear you all and more next month.

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M
EDZepp.  Only 9 states this time.  Tried 15M and though RBN said I was getting out well, nothing heard.  Worked NQ2W and K4BAI on 20, 40 and 80M.  Made more QSOs in the second hour - how unusual.  My thanks to all.  Had fun.