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NA Sprint SSB Contest   2009   February   Comment Summary

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VE3RCN   Single Op LP   1,7552009-02-14 20:06:20
It might be 28 mults. N3FJP software wont accept the Hawaii mult. I will have to
check and see if there is an updated version. might be 1820.
KØUK   Single Op HP   8,0342009-02-14 20:11:35
Computer and rig problems, some noise, prop was drop, low turn out, pig farmers,
plus the squeeze of stations on 40 and 80mtrs. But it was fun and a honor to be
on the K0ZL on 80mtrs. Big thanks to Rick W0RIC and Mike W0MU for working me.
K07X Alan and W0ETT Ken. Heard Ken on 40mtrs but he couldnt hear me with my
little dipole at 50 ft..Oh worked K07X on 20mtrs and Mike MU also..big fun. PTL
bill UK
IN Memory of K0ZL Bill Leahy
VA3NR   Single Op HP   3,0802009-02-14 20:11:35
Lousy condx here. Sweeped 3600-3800 many times - lots of space down there but
no sprinters. The qrm from all of us squeezed into 3815-3850, along with the
regulars in that area plus the DX callers was pretty brutal.

73, Chris VA3NR.
KØOU   Single Op HP   7,7082009-02-14 20:23:54
Didn't think I would get the full 4 hours in, but I did. Can't figure out why.
WI9WI   Single Op HP   1,4402009-02-14 20:24:03
I guess that if I liked beating my head against a wall that would have been a
lot of fun. I worked everyone I could hear (15 QSOs) in 15 minutes on 20, than
about 5 more in the next 15 minutes. Then off to 40 and S9 noise levels and
weak signals. After 20 there off to 80 with S9 noise levels, but a bit better
signal strength. Took 2 long breaks to eat Valentines Day dinner with my wife,
number one daughter and a visiting niece, and later to walk the dog. They were
a lot more fun thanthe contest.

Hope others had a much better time. At least I may have helped out a few with
some QSOs.


N6WM   Single Op HP   1,8042009-02-14 20:24:32
My first sprint effort..
First real effort from QTH station..

Was err.. fun. and humbling. lots of amazing ops out there, thanks for the
KT4ZB   Single Op HP   3,5382009-02-14 20:27:04
Valentine's day made it a late start - lots of fun. Thanks for the QSOs.

WØMU   Single Op HP   8,8402009-02-14 20:29:56
Brutal is about all I can say.
W4SVO   Single Op HP   6,6882009-02-14 20:33:00
This contest should be held earlier or instead of 20, replace with 160 mtrs. At
this time of year you can not work many stations on 20, too late in time.
Anyway activity was not too good. Last hour really slow. Mark W4SVO
W7WHY   Single Op HP   1,3752009-02-14 20:34:21
Saturday was a work day, plus being Valentines Day, not much time on the radio.

SSB contests make my head hurt :-) 73 and thanks for the Q's.
KJ4CUJ(1)   Single Op LP   42009-02-14 20:48:38
New FT-897D installed in the past week, no amp, G5RV, trouble reaching out but
could hear well coast to coast on 40m.
W4EF   Single Op HP   4962009-02-14 20:54:27
My afternoon nap lasted longer than expected, so I was only able to squeeze in
27 minutes on 80 meters. Lots of fun while it lasted.

73, Mike W4EF.........
WØRIC   Single Op HP   4202009-02-14 20:57:01
Only had a short time to operate. XYL not feeling well. Used "Bill" in honor of
KØZL(SK) for the exchange. Nice to see some other GMCC members. Worked Bill
WØMU, WØETT Bill, and W0UK Bill. <R.I.P. KØZL>
K6CSL   Single Op LP   3512009-02-14 21:33:12
This was an improvement over the terrible score I had on CW by a factor of 5. My
score in the Feb. 2007 SSB Sprint was 112, and 2008 was only 98. I have noticed
however that my scores in the Summer SSB Sprints are better than this. TNX to
all the KB'ers who gave me points. Bert, K6CSL
K6LL   Single Op HP   11,2802009-02-14 21:41:40
A good way to spend four hours on Saturday night, then
Valentine party with XYL.

It doesn't get any better!

Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ
NI6T   Single Op HP   5,8682009-02-14 21:46:54
This one sucked so bad I was afraid my shack windows would implode.
My worst-ever Sprint, exacerbated my the dawning realization that something is
very wrong in my radio. I was never so grateful to see the last minute arrive.
KA9FOX   Single Op HP   10,2482009-02-14 22:43:00
Seems like SSB Sprint participation has been down the last couple years, and
this contest was no exception. Compounding the problem, this contest was
directly conflicting with:

1) Valentine's Day (XYL let me move our night to Friday!)
2) CQ WPX RTTY Contest
3) K5D DXpedition activity

And conditions were stinky to boot. If this sounds like I'm complaining...
well, maybe a little. But Sprint is still my favorite contest. :-)

Lots of great scores out there... Congrats to KH7XS, K7SS, N6KT@W6NL (his first
Sprint??) and W9RE. Was neat to hear all the Bills to honor recent sk K0ZL.

Missed a lot of mults: AK, AR, IA, KY, ME, MI, MS, ND, NH, RI, SD, VT, WV,

DX mults worked: CO, C6, VP2E, KP5 (K5D op WB9Z, who was happy to give me
Sprint QSO #1 -- how many other future Sprints will I work a KP5?? LOL)

Oh, here's a nice bonehead move during the contest... When I moved to 40, I
sensed something was not right... signals were way down, but people were
hearing me fine, and SWR was OK. Figured out eventually that I was listening
on my pseudo-beverage I have in a tree line here. Oops! Not sure how many Qs
that cost me.

KA9FOX Station (SO1R):

Rig: FT-1000MP
Amp: AL-1200
20m & 40m Ant: C4XL @ 95' (+ multi-band fan dipole @ 40')
80m Ant: F12 EF-180C @ 105' (also used this on 20 a few times)

I'm helping K4MA with the NCJ write-up of this contest, so if you have anything
to share, drop me a note!

73 - Scott KA9FOX
K9NW(@K9UWA)   Single Op HP   1,0002009-02-15 00:16:48
Hit 1K - seemed like a nice place to stop.

73, Mike K9NW
KO7X   Single Op HP   5,6982009-02-15 05:06:13
RIP Bill. Worked a bunch of GMCC team members this time. No Wyoming heard, as
VP2E(N5AU)   Single Op HP   5,0662009-02-15 07:42:03
We got up a triangle loop for 40M broadside to the US with the top about 80
feet. It appeared to be working OK, but it's hard to tell if it will be good
enough for the ARRL CW. I guess we will find out next weekend. The 3L 40
won't be operational again for several more months. It's on the ground for
maintenance and a rotor / mast / bearing change-out. We also need to keep it
down for a while to allow trolleying of antennas from the main tower to a new
"landing zone". The power company has run HV lines up the roads close behind
us so our former landing zone for trolleyed antennas is now off-limits.

The salt water environment gets to just about everything. It's hard to keep a
station going here even under calm conditions. When the hurricanes come along,
you just hold on and hope. We lost a few element tips during OMAR last
October. It was most inconvenient having a hurricane right before the CQ WW
SSB, but we survived and N5TJ went on to set a possible new NA 20 single band
record (not official yet).

The new 40M loop is fed through an I.C.E. 2/1 balun which matches the
approximate 100 ohms of the loop back to 50 ohm coax very nicely and makes for
a good broadband antenna. If the top is high enough to put the RF out at
close to the right angle, it should work fine in ARRL. If successful, we may
try a higher triangle for 80M broadside EU for DX contests with the top about
200 feet.

Glad to pass out the VP2E multiplier to as many as I could, and see all of you


W6NL(N6KT)   Single Op HP   13,4882009-02-15 08:52:44
This was my first serious Sprint effort...a very unique contest!

Many thanks to Dave and Barb for hosting me at their fabulous station.

73, Rich, N6KT
K6LA   Single Op HP   9,9902009-02-15 09:16:57
I had a good 30 minutes of sprinting, about an hour of running, an hour of
walking and 90 minutes of slogging through the mud. Except for a handful of
real loud guys (you know who you are) everyone was weak. Sometimes the noise
was low and I could copy the weak guys.

Heard and missed MD, but never heard NM (right in my backyard.)

73, Ken, K6LA
NA4BW   Single Op LP   5,1452009-02-15 10:01:35
Loudest station - hands down W0MU.

Best q was on 40m when the freq was clear and then BAM, the international BC
started and the QRM was a bell ringing sequence. I had a parital call and
wanted to complete the Q and the other station must have heard the same ringing
and realized as I did, if we were patient enough we could time the ringing and
get the necessary exchange thru. After a hilarious few tries we made the Q!

Listened and tried to go to 80 early as 40 got long and as others have stated -
Pig framers- 3810 and above and the K5D pile up 3800- 3810. So where to go? I
found a hole and cq'ed and it wasn't long until a few of the HP stations made
their way down and a few freq's were established and tuning between 3800 and
3850 was a real Barnum and Bailey experience.

73 NA4BW
AL9A   Single Op HP   2732009-02-15 11:04:36
I knew this was going to be a bummer when I took a look at the solar indexes
just before the start of the contest. Up 2100 hrs the A index was running at
2. At 2100 it jumped to 17! By 0000 it was at 18! Today the HIgh Latitude
College Station index report shows an A index of 25 at Fairbanks, AK for Feb
14th. That pretty much wiped out any hopes I for decent propagation during the
contest. 20M died early, 40M was limited to West Coast only (TX & MT was as far
east as I worked) and 80M was unusable. This is supposed to fun right?

After only 2 hrs of contacting mostly high power CA stations I called it quits.
The S7 to S9 noise in my ears was becoming painful and it was frustrating to
hear a CA station call CQ, get a response from the lower 48 and then yield the
freq to a station I had absolutely no copy on. Tough to get into a rhythm that
K9CT   Single Op HP   1,7752009-02-15 11:22:32
Priority was Valentines Day snuck in a few quick qsos. Tough
dodging the K5D pileup, landing anywhere near a qso or finding other ops on 80
m. I worked a guy for his qso #2 and said it was "his freq" and he told me
"3819". I almost fell off my chair. Got to love this format.....

73, Craig K9CT
N5DO   Single Op LP   5,4762009-02-15 11:55:00
For the past 21 years the Big Bend (TX) Amateur Radio Club has provided
communications for a mountain bike race in the Terlingua / Lajitas area outside
of Big Bend National Park. In the early years the race was called the
Chihuahuan Desert Challenge, and now it's called the Mas o Menos 100K. (I
think.) It always occurs on President's Day weekend. I helped with it for
years, but it often conflicted with the ARRL DX CW contest, so three years ago
I decided they had enough help and I skipped it for the past several years.
This year it came the week before ARRL DX and we were short people to assist
with the event so I volunteered again.

When I saw that the bike race would conflict with the SSB Sprint I decided to
operate from the bike race site. Our club's emergency communication van was
there for the 2-meter net control, so I set up in the van after the race was
over. It was located at the site of the (world?) famous Terlingua Chili
Cookoff, the CASI (Chili Appreciation Society, International) headquarters
where the cookoff takes place each fall.

I brought my relatively new K-3 (light -- travels well!). The last time I used
it the 100W power amp module suddenly went out. After messing around with it in
between business-related travel, Elecraft sent me a new module which I installed
on Friday afternoon. It worked fine Saturday night, with no problems. For an
antenna I used the club's G5RV, which was mounted on a 30 foot push up pole
attached to the side of the van. It was a beautiful day, with the temperature
reaching 96 degrees, causing several sunburns. The van was parked on a high
spot next to an outdoor covered dance floor. I got to operate listening to old
60's rock and roll played by a loud band with a lot of tipsy mountain bike
riders trying to dance. A neat location for sure -- I was glad there was no
rfi into the band's amps!

While I was afraid the antenna system would leave a lot to be desired, I was
pleasantly surprised. Especially on 20M I seemed to be able to hold my own.
By the time I went to 80M, however it seemed to be much harder to make
contacts. There other thing that happened was my voice began to give out. I
had been recovering from a cold all week -- Monday and Tuesday my voice was so
bad that I could not talk above a whisper. During the week I was able to talk
again, but during the Sprint my voice got worse and worse. I thought I heard
someone on 80M complaining about contesters and making a comment about how
terrible my audio was. I felt like telling him that the audio was fine, the
voice was just shot!

I see that I had two more QSOs than AC0W, but I could well lose those in the
log checking. I had 4 contacts in particular that I agonized about -- two of
them I just deleted, but two I left in the log. In each case I called the
other station, sent my info, and did not hear an acknowledgment that my info
was copied. The first two times I just deleted the contact and went on, the
last two were with people I have worked many times over the years and I felt
certain that if they had not copied my exchange they would have let me know.
I'll learn if that was a bad assumption!

I also think it is time for contest organizers to pick another frequency for
the recommend frequency on 80M SSB. 3850 is right in the middle of
established, nightly get-togethers which do not cohabit well with contests. I
read that many people have antennas cut for around 3850, but no one is going to
change their antennas until the contests start moving down in the band. We
really need to bite the bullet and announce some suggested frequencies lower in
the band that will cause less QRM!

As always, thanks for the QSOs -- and really, more people should try the phone
sprints. They are a lot of fun, but would be more fun with more activity.


Dave, N5DO
W9RE   Single Op HP   12,1732009-02-15 12:43:02
I stuck with this one for the team and the idea that when I got to 80 things
would be much better-they weren't. Hope this is the bottom level of both
activity and conditions. Valentine's Day, RTTY test, K5D and conditions are a
lot to overcome.

Missed-ME, MS, ND, PA, WV, SD, VE1,2,4,5,6 and 8. First time I have ever
missed PA! But only worked 3 -IN, 3-IL and 1-OH stations. Normally work a lot
more close in stations.

Worked low numbers in AR, MI, NH, OK, RI, SC and VT.

On the positive I did work several newcomers.
WR1Q   Single Op LP   2,9122009-02-15 12:56:30
Started on 20 Meters at about 0100 hours, and found some west coast activity
from my station in No. Tennessee. Then found a small cluster of 40 meters open
to the sprint, and darted all about the dial. All during the while I kept
checking to see when someone would break the QSO bubble and rip 80 Meters
apart. When it did, the flood gates opened up and holy moly, what a contest it
was then!

Thanks for those who struggled to chase me around in my random strays about on
the dial, especially on 80. Great hearing the regulars and I certainly hope to
finally work all four hours someday. Last Sept I only worked 45 minutes.

WØBH   Single Op HP   8,5502009-02-15 13:59:17
Just ouch. My "primary band" at any given time always seemed to be slower than
second radio CQs .. probably not true but it felt that way. At least more
casual ops with numbers less than 10 seemed to drop by and help out. 20 was
"coasts", 40 was sporadic but better than 80, and 80 was disappointing after
coming through in a number of previous contests.

Missed and didn't hear ND SD NE AR MS MI KY WV NH RI and ME. Heard (once) but
didn't catch BC NM AK IA and VT. Only worked SK and ON in VE-land. I did
finally pick up a KS mult in both CW and SSB this year and just had to ask for
a repeat last evening because I couldn't believe my ears!

As alway, I did enjoy putting voices to the calls I hear all the time on CW.
Thanks for the Qs!

73, Bob, w0bh
K4TD   Single Op HP   1,1222009-02-15 14:16:48
Just got on for a little bit (before heading out for some party time with the
XYL) to hand out a few Q's and check out how one of my new K3's would work on
SSB. Not that it matters much to me since I'm a CW guy about 99.5% of the
time, but the K3 seemed to work pretty well.

Being a CW guy, I'm not used to actually verbalizing contest exchanges...
LOL!!! Thanks to all the patient OPs out there for bearing with me as I
stumbled through the exchange. To those listening to me, it must have seemed
like a hound dog trying to make sense out of a wrist watch... ;-)


Harvest, Alabama
K4BAI   Single Op HP   6,6502009-02-15 15:04:31
FT1000MP, Alpha 78, 1 KW, zepp, dipole, inverted vee. 20M was much better than
for the CW weekend with good signals from the west coast, W0 area, Hawaii,
VP2E, and New England down to NJ. Nothing heard closer except for W4EEH in TN,
who didn't hear me. Very much missed the beam, which is still inoperable. 40
wasn't too long early, but became very long after a while. 80M was pretty
good, but only a few signals from the Pacific NW were strong enough to copy.
We need more activity in this contest. More clubs sponsoring teams for the
contest will help. 73, John, K4BAI.
N6AN(@W6UE)   Single Op HP   5,2802009-02-15 17:56:05
A window of free time opened up so I went to W6UE to find the K5D guys and I
managed to get through. Then it was Sprint time so I kept going. I tried N1MM
for the first time and was able to get a log running. But not knowing how the
program really works caused some brain freeze eternities during the contest.
Apologies to those of you who spent more than one QSO's worth of time with me.

Though activity was pretty slow once the BIG guns were in the log I was tickled
to work two Utah stations and one Idaho station with #1 serial
numbers. I'll bet K7SS had many such Qs as he trolled the bands for
It was fun to work the Sprint brethren. Thanks for the QSOs.

David, N6AN
K7SS(@K7RI)   Single Op HP   12,9252009-02-15 20:44:44
The NA SPRINT finally hit the brick wall!
High K index, A index
RTTY WPX same time
Valentine commitments
Major DXpedition K5D at same time.

Still with all these impediments it was still FUN!
Will all the above reasons, there were very few "regulars",
which left us with many many casual guys to convince to join
us in our mayhem. And they were great. Lots of low number serials..
many nr 1s. These guys turned out to be the meat and potatoes of this
event and we ever thankful for their cooperation. Hopefully some will return
and work the next Sprint or NAQP after having some fun in this one.

Congrats to super SSB op N6KT (W6NL) in his FIRST SPRINT ! fantastic job Rich.
And then theres that guy way out in the Pacific...working "anyone, anywhere"
with what looks like a winning score! Back to back wins in the NA SSB Sprint!
Well done Bill KH7XS!

Thanks to Tom and Karrie at K7RI for hosting again. Couldnt do it without them
and their fine station on a small city lot.

Here's hoping for vastly improved conditions, no WPX contest the same weekend,
no Desecheo expedition, and no Holidays on the Sept Sprint weekend!

See you all in between sprints on Thursday nites during the NCCC practice 30
minute sprints. And for those that can hear the West Coast, a nightly contest
corner on 1843 LSB at 0530Z. Informal and loose.

73 de Dan Wa
AL7IF(@KL7RA)   Single Op HP   2,7842009-02-15 21:06:01
Very rough sledding...

Were it not for the loud west coast guys, there would have been no contest at
all. Almost nothing at all heard from the east and midwest.

At least we got the crummy conditions out of the way this weekend.

Despite that, it was still fun. Thanks to Rich for the use of the station.
KH7XS(K4XS)   Single Op HP   14,0302009-02-15 22:42:20
This one was a struggle from the very beginning. I was getting beaten out by
other stations when calling, and getting no answers to CQs. All of the big
guns numbers were higher than mine when I worked them on 20. Eventually they
migrated to 40 and that's when the "Sunday Drivers" came to the rescue. 124
stations, the majority of them on 20, passed me a number 1 for the QSO.

The last hour was pretty miserable, since 40 was getting pretty played out and
80 really wasn't really open yet. Sunset out here occurs after the contest

This was my second Sprint without SO2R. It really isn't much of a hinderance
out here, since only one band is really usable at a time for the Sprint.

I love this contest and if I could make one change it would be to have KH6
count for a mult like it does in the NAQP. Hey, if HI counts for a mult in
NAQP, let's have it count for NA Sprint!

Thanks to all the regulars and the "Sunday Drivers" for the QSOs.

See you all this weekend in ARRL.
NR5M   Single Op HP   10,9202009-02-16 09:30:49
Brand new to SO2R (very first attempt). This is probably NOT the contest to
learn. Switched bands a little more easily but no gain from SO2R in terms of
mults and off band Q's.

First sprint in (at least) 17 years, so it took half the contest to get "back
in the groove." I was feeling pretty good just about the time the contest was
over. I can't wait until the next time!

George NR5M
WØETT   Single Op LP   2,2332009-02-17 09:59:09
Could only operate part-time in this one. Thought the number of stations on for
the NA SSB Sprint was light in numbers, probably due to the RTTY test,
Valentines, and K5D expedition. Nice to work GMCCers: K0UK, KO7X, W0MU and
W0RIC in this one.

73 Ken, W0ETT
K3TN   Single Op LP   1,1762009-02-18 09:44:03
Got back from Valentine's Day dinner with the XYL with enough time to sneak in
45 minutes of giving out the rare MD multiplier to the deserving. Life's too
short to spend much time on 40M SSB, anyway...