Friday, October 10, 2014

October 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Scoreboard


For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard

October 2014 ARS Spartan Sprint - Soapbox

NF1R
My first Spartan Sprint entry. Decided to follow the rules to the letter, if not completely embracing the "Spartan" spirit.  I managed to keep the equipment weight under 1 lb, making the first QSOs on the Elecraft KX1 @4W that I just purchased from Cap, W0CCA.  With a pico paddle, a small model aircraft LiPo battery, and Sony earbud headphones, the total station weight was 0.84 lbs.  The big advantage, though, was using the monoband Yagi antennas at W6YX, the Stanford club station.  On 20M, I used a 6-element Yagi at 60'.  On 40M, I used our 4-element Yagi also at about 60'.  For the few QSOs on 80M, I used an inverted vee at 50', which has an extremely favorable slope to the US.  If you worked W1AW/6 during the Cal QSO Party, these were the antennas putting out the big signals.  I had to deal with a shack maintenance issue when I arrived, and didn't start working stations around 0123. I continued until 0251 before stations seemed to run out on 40 and 80, and I had to go home to finish the next day's lecture slides.  This was an excellent dry run for my upcoming SOTA expedition with NK6A.  Hope to hear you again in future contests and during SOTA activations.

KDØUKC
7 contacts ties my all-time record for one hour of my Novice-level CW.  Radio was the HB-1A with a homebrew paddle and old Sony headphones. The homebrew paddle is much lighter than the J-38 that it replaced, but I used 10 AAs instead of 8 since they were a bit flat, so the weight was about the same.  Thanks to everyone for slowing down and offering many repeats.  I had 3 busted contacts, so maybe next month I can break into the double digits.

W5ACM
The October Spartan Sprint seemed to be lightly attended. I got six contacts on 20M, and four on 40M. Conditions were reasonable on both bands. Although I listened on 80M, the noise level was covering most of the discernable signals and I was down to the last 15 minutes of the event – not worth it for possibly one QSO. I had to do some repair on the 40M daughter board this month. I had noticed that the ATS-3A was not quite up to par on 40M since the recent repair job on the receiver, but just saw the broken wire on one toroid when I was getting ready to move from 20M to 40M. Fortunately it only took about 15 minutes to remount and re-solder the toroid. Hoping for more participants next month!

K3RLL
Activity seemed to start out slowly and signals sounded weaker tonight particularly on 20 m but skip was fairly good.  Big signal into rural PA tonight was NQ2W who is always strong whether I’m operating from PA or FL.  Thanks for the contacts. The Spartan Sprint is always fun.

K7TQ
October is the last month that the Spartan Sprint starts before sunset, so I went into the forest east of Moscow, ID for this month's contest. A K2, 7 AHr gel cell, a 31 foot long Jacklite pole supporting a SOTAbeams Band Hopper 20 and 40 m inverted V, and a netbook running N1MM was the station. For creature comfort I also took along a roll up table and a lawn chair. I started on 20 m as the sun was setting behind pine trees. Twenty was good for about 1/2 an hour with 14 Qs from coast to coast. That was also about the latest that I had enough daylight left to see to change bands. To change bands, you have to lower the Band Hopper and reset the shorting clips for 40 m which didn't take too long. I spent the rest of the contest on 40 with 12 Qs again from coast to coast. Around 0240Z the moon came out from behind the trees and made for a nice view without the headlamp. Three folks, K4BAI, N5GW, and NK6A, were able to find me on both bands. Thanks to all who stopped by for a QSO.

NØTA
Slow evening. 16 Qs on 20m, 3 on 40m. Quit at 0230z.  MTR, BLT, doublet, Palm key, GenLog.

WVØH
What fun it was again. I netted 11 QSOs on 20m and then 8 Qs on 40. Tried the homebrew 3S1P cell phone lithium battery, the LG-Nok-sung. 1006mAh measured and lasted the whole 2 hours. Tried out the new rig the MFJ-9200, it worked well considering. Worked a nice run of people on 20 and then went long. Hopped down to 40 and stayed there until 0230Z. I then went to 80 but nobody was there so went back to 40. Here are the stats from the RBN: 20m yielded 26 spots, Avg SNR = 11.73dB and std dev of 8.57dB; 40m yielded 45 spots, Avg SNR = 15.38dB with a std dev of 5.96dB. I just manually crunched the numbers. My total was 19 QSOs With a weight of 1.1314 pounds. Thanks again for doing this.

AB5SS
All contacts on 20m and 40m.  I made fewer contacts than my last sprint, but at least I got my station weight down this time. Looking forward to the next one.

AE7CG
Thanks for 20M contacts with: K4BAI, N5GW, WA8ZBT, WB5BKL, KDØUKC, and NF1R. Regards to all from Arizona.

K4BAI
FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole, zepp, inverted vee.  20M was quite long at the start with all six QSOs in the W6 and W7 areas plus CO, but their signals were strong.  40M was a bit noisy, but 19 QSOs were made as far away as CA and NJ (with a lot in TX) and as close as NC and MS.  80M was quite good, but there was almost no activity there.  Thanks to K2YGM and N5GW for the two QSOs on 80.  Activity was way down, maybe because of conditions. But, no matter what the conditions, if we hang in there and keep trying QRP to QRP QSOs can be obtained. Hope for more participants next month.

N5GW
KX3 at 3W with internal ATU, external balun and NiMH batteries to CFZ. 20 and 40 were both in good shape, but 80 was very QRN at this QTH. Only worked K4BAI and WA8ZBT on 80. Next month 20 may close early as CDST ends, and days will also be shorter. So I may put up a better antenna for 80.

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to various delta loops and wire antennas. All QSOs were on 20 and 40M - nada on 80M.  Conditions poor here.  Best signals:  20M - W7OM, 40M - K4BAI, though N5GW was almost as good with 3W. Only 10 states worked and no QSOs in the last half-hour.Anyway, had fun.

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 near bottom-loaded, ground mounted vertical for 80 m. Seemed like activity was down. Pretty even split between 20 and 40 m contacts. I called on 80 for a while and never heard a response. Two bander with WA8ZBT. Thanks for the contacts and thanks to the organizers. Tell a friend about the Spartan Sprints . . . the more, the merrier!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Results: September 2014 Spartan Sprint



(For an enlarged view, please click the Scoreboard)

Soapbox: September 2014 Spartan Sprint


K6CSL
Wow! Twenty was great. I ran the first 4 QSOs. Bands very quiet and nice.

WVØH
Signals were up and down from the Denver area. Mostly QSB but did manage to 
squeak out 15 Qs on 20m and 1 on 40m. Very noisy here on 40 though.

K3RLL
Many really strong signals on 20 meters this Labor Day holiday evening. Biggest signals into rural PA tonight were NQ2W and NK6A. Thanks for the fun and nice contacts.

KK4TE
I had a much better performance in this month's sprint!I worked as long as I could before the storms just got too close. I had 19 contacts with 12 different states and 2 different Canadian provinces. My station still weighs 25 pounds until I get my mobile back. Twenty meters had a lot of great signals but had QRN and 40 was really tough. Thanks for all of the calls and 
hopefully we will get to see everyone and some new ones next month!

W5QLF
Fifteen contacts in 10 states. I was trying to top Henry, W5HNS's numbers from the August Sprint but as usual I couldn’t even come close.  Nice going Henry with 29 Qs last month.  I must have worked K4BAI every time I’ve played on ARS Sprint.  He’s in my log 13 times at a 5 watt level.  Thank you, John for always being there. I actually worked two Texas stations on my Butternut HF-9V.  That antenna usually doesn’t work well locally.  WB5BKL and WA8ZBT both were kind enough to make contact on 40 and 80 meters giving me 4 Texas 
QSOs in the Spring.  Thanks fellows. A special thanks to Bob, KE7GKM for sticking with me to complete a QSO to Idaho this evening.  Nice work, Bob.

KG3W
Only had 10 contacts tonight. Things dried up on 20 mtrs. for me about 0238Z. Running single band with my MTR2 at 4 watts to a tuned dipole at 28 feet. Whiterook paddle , earbuds and 370 mah lipo. Got out to California this time. Nice signal from NK6A. Last station worked was W1AW/7 in Arizona at 0238. Thanks for a fun evening everyone. See ya next month.

AE7CG
Thanks to WB5BKL, K4BAI, NK6A, and KØFL for this month's 20M Sprint QSOs. 72 from Arizona.

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. 20 meters was the money band with 15 QSOs. 40 meters was quiet with only 3 QSOs - all from NC. Two bander with W4VHH. Thanks for the contacts and thanks to the organizers.

K4BAI
Good activity on 20 and 40.  No answers to CQs and no sprinters heard on 80.  40 was noisy, particularly toward the end.  QSOs by band:  20M:  35.  40M:  9.  20M was still open for QSOs with KE7GKM in ID and WA8REI at the end of the Sprint period.  Thanks for all QSOs.

WA5BUC
Twenty died just before start time. Went to 40 for the night. Band was quiet. Too quiet. No QRM. No QRN. No sigs almost. Tnx to stalwarts WB5BKL and K4BAI. Wouldn't be a sprint without them in the log. Had a call from WA5FAT in Alabama to round out the night. He called to get my SKCC number. Still a fun night. Bring on October! 72 from Houston.

W5ACM
It was a strange event. I got three contacts on 20M, three on 40M, and only one on 80M. Conditions were not the best and it sounded like a fair number of usual participants just were not there for the Labor Day event. Thanks to WB5BKL for 40M and 80M contacts – always a great signal. I barely got the ATS-3A charged up in time for the event, but it wasn’t enough of a charge to allow any CQ ops, just calls to others already calling CQ. Hoping for better conditions and more participants next month! 72 from Houston, TX.

Monday, August 18, 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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

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

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


Friday, August 8, 2014

Scoreboard: August 2014 Spartan Sprint


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