N2SLN    FN22do


    5-el yagi fixed west

    Moxon Rectangle fixed south

    3-el yagi fixed ENE


    Icom IC-7600 at 100 watts


The 6 meter spring sprint was sponsored by the Central States VHF Society and personal contributions of K9JK. The rules and more info were provided at the spring sprints website. Every year this single-band contest runs from 2300Z on a Saturday until 0300Z Sunday, and this time it was held on May 11-12, 2013.

Anyone who has been operating the spring 6m sprint for at least the last decade knows that today's event was the best one of them all. The band finally opened in the first half of May instead of waiting until the second half when there are no contests. Maybe the experts were right when they predicted the May/June 2013 timeframe for the peak of Cycle 24. For the past several years, the first half of May has been too late to get in on the March/April TEP, and too early to catch the start of the sporadic-E season. This year was different, with sporadic-E showing up on May 2nd, and some North American stations working TEP paths in excess of 6,000 miles (10,000 km) to Argentina on May 4th (and more TEP showing up the day before the sprint).

At first the sprint was off to a slower start than some 2m sprints I've seen in the northeast US:
1)  no answers to my CQ in the first 15 minutes
2)  working only 2 stations in the next 25 minutes
Both of these were local stations worked on troposcatter: KC2SFU / hilltop portable FN22gk and AC2BL FN23ta (who would end up being the only station for which I used the 3-el yagi fixed ENE). With conventional scoring, those two grids would have been good multipliers to have, as they are a bit rare. But with distance scoring, grids do not multiply your score. Instead, each kilometer is one point, making close contacts less beneficial. Then at 2340Z while I was calling CQ, W4IMD jumped in there with his band-opening signal from EM84, and within the same minute a station from FM15cx answered me, and that was a much shorter distance of only 470 miles, indicating that not only was the band starting to open, but the intensity would be high (shorter skip distances indicate stronger E-layer ionization). That contact would end up being the 3rd shortest path of this contest. Then the band opened solidly, and for the rest of the sprint it was a steady supply of working stations to the S, SW, and W, as well as trying to find a quiet frequency at least 3 KHz away from the next guy clobbering my receive (even with filtering activated and the IF passband shifted). After starting on 50.157 I moved up the band several times, and ended up operating on 50.230 for the last part of the sprint. The contacts came in at a rate of one every 3 minutes averaged over the entire sprint. Not too bad for having no E-skip available in the easterly directions and hearing nothing from the north. Working half of the VUCC award in less than 4 hours was a lot of fun, especially for a guy with no tower, no rotors, no amplifiers, no preamps, no CW contacts, and all antennas at one wavelength above ground or less. It was an even bigger thrill to be the first 6m contact for South Carolina station K4RNV EM94ax. The first 6m Sprint that I can remember participating in was the fall 6m Sprint of 2001; the spring 6m Sprint of 2013 now stands as my highest QSO count in all those years in any spring or fall version of this event. For at least the 2nd consecutive year, the Solar Flux Index was higher than the previous year: 136 versus last year's 130, and 92 the previous year. Note: Three days after the sprint there were three X-class solar flares (the highest classification) in one day.


                      SCORE       DIST (km)  PER QSO (km)
 50     79     50     3,950       91,697     1,161


1918    KC2SFU      FN22gk      27.7
1933    AC2BL       FN23ta     118.5
1940    W4IMD       EM84ab    1190.0
1940    W4FRA       FM15cx     757.1
1945    K4YMQ       EM63um    1368.6
1947    N4MIC       EM74rl    1184.6
1959    W4GA        EM74qc    1222.3
2000    KI4ECU      EM97bc     806.6
2004    KZ9A        EM59in    1188.8
2010    AA4DD       EM86un     876.8
2011    AK4QR       EM64nt    1298.5
2011    W4BCU       EM86um     880.5
2022    K4YKZ       EM85rh    1002.3
2028    N4PN        EM82dv    1286.3
2031    W4GCB       EM73ka    1346.8
2033    W4ABC       EL87pt    1758.9
2033    K9NW        EM79rj     823.6
2034    WA4III      EM64iu    1322.4
2035    N8XA        EM79       853.2
2044    KD4OLC      EL98      1635.9
2049    K0OWG       EM47ss    1363.5
2051    N2MKO       FN12vo      41.0
2056    KI4OYF      EM67      1116.4
2103    N4QS        EM57qb    1263.3
2104    KZ4RR       EM90fe    1472.9
2106    WA4ZKO      EM78pp     878.5
2109    W4ZST       EM84ao    1141.2
2111    W4UAL       EM63ff    1468.8
2124    N9AMW       EN52jv    1104.5
2124    NS2X        EM76fg    1099.2
2124    KG9D        EM56ug    1289.4
2125    W4YBV       EM74      1209.0
2127    N9LB        EN52hv    1118.1
2128    KC9CLM      EN52rq    1051.5
2129    K4UI        EM76es    1067.9
2130    K9KDS       EM48wh    1310.3
2139    K4RNV       EM94ax    1005.0
2140    N8OL        EN62sd     886.3
2141    N9CDX       EN41tl    1219.2
2142    KE4SYV      EM65rs    1203.1
2142    N0KC        EM28      1692.2
2143    KA9DVX      EN51gj    1145.8
2144    K9JK/R      EN62ad    1009.3
2146    K9PG        EN51vt    1035.0
2149    WA0CNS      EM48rn    1331.4
2150    KU8F        EN71lw     773.1
2152    N8BB        EN72qe     735.3
2153    KA2EYH      EN60xa     910.9
2154    AJ4A        EM77ut     903.1
2154    W8JER       EN71ht     802.7
2155    N9DG        EN53bj    1157.1
2155    K0HCV       EM28ou    1661.1
2159    WB8ZBT      EM55dl    1444.4
2159    ND0J        EN31ex    1476.5
2203    KC0DEB      EM29oc    1651.5
2203    N8OB        EN80ko     656.7  shortest skip (408 miles)
2207    K9NZ        EM79lk     859.5
2209    KC2TEP      FN22ab      63.6
2211    K5KDX       EM25sm    1797.9
2212    K4XO        EM55cc    1476.0
2213    N5HMH       EM32xm    1820.6
2214    WF0N        EM28ix    1696.9
2214    KB9SDX      EM48tq    1312.5
2214    KB9DAK      EN40xg    1224.0
2218    W0VD        EM37      1577.0
2220    KI4WEF      EM78rm     874.1
2221    WD0ESF      EM07qg    2039.0  longest skip (1,267 miles)
2224    AC4G        EM65pb    1268.2
2224    KC5KBV      EM43aw    1712.1
2228    W4ZRZ       EM63st    1353.8
2228    KD0HY       EM26wh    1727.4
2231    K4OWB       EM67lr    1105.5
2232    KJ4FFM      EM65sw    1185.1
2233    K9MRI       EN70iu     820.2
2233    K4VVM       EM55be    1476.2
2238    K9KEU       EN52ro    1052.1
2239    N9WKW       EM69oo     987.9
2242    KB0PE       EM48ts    1308.8
2244    W0SLW       EM48um    1313.5

"Having more fun with greater frequency."