There was a new QRP operating event taking place on the HF airwaves tonight – the ATS Sprint. Meant mostly for operators of Steve KKD1JV’s famous little trail radios, it was open to all QRPers, no matter the rig chosen to use.
I snagged six participants on 20 Meters including G4ISJ/P in England. Band conditions weren’t the best and I spent a goodly amount of time trying to track down Dale WC7S, who was a big promoter of the event. I heard a few stations successfully work Dale; but I never heard him myself.
Most of the activity seemed to stay on 20 Meters. I switched over to 40 Meters and there was a lot of RTTY around 7.040 MHz, but no QRPers that I was able to hear. I thought I heard Nick WA5BDU calling “CQ ATS” somewhere around 7.039 MHz. If that was Nick the QSB was bad and he was in and out.
I sure hope that the organizers feel that they had a decent enough turn out so that they will schedule this event again. Even though I wasn’t using a KD1JV rig to participate, it was a lot of fun. I hate seeing QRP Sprints go the way of the Dodo bird. Some folks feel there are too many; but my philosophy is “The more, the merrier!”. These contests are usually very friendly and are never cut throat affairs. I tend to think of them as on the air QRP community gatherings rather than out and out contests.(That may be because I never place highly!). It’s through these events that I’ve gotten to know and become friends with so many other QRPers over the years.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!