Thursday, July 13, 2017

ANNOUNCING: ARS 2017 FOBB




RULES:

Adventure Radio Society 2017 Flight of the Bumblebees, Sunday, July 30
            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.

2017 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 30
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 2017 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 2017 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 31 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 2017
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 NE6SW/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 2017 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 2015 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 2017 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.
2017 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees
Sunday, July 31
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 2017 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/2uWEZec 2. OFFER THREE OPTIONS: Check the database http://bit.ly/2uWEZec  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/2uWEZec after submitting your top three choices to see which number you have been assigned. The number listed in the database is your official 2017 FOBB number.

Friday, July 7, 2017

RESULTS: July 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

(Click on the Scoreboard for an enlarged view)

SOAPBOX: July 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

K7TQ
For July I removed the internal battery from the KX2 and used it with my 20 m 1 Watter. Got 3 Qs with the usual suspects K4BAI, W5QLF, and WB5BKL.  For some reason the 1 Watter's internal keyer kept slowing down. I called it quits in half an hour. Nice try, but next time I'll have a battery and rig that will last the full time.

K3RLL
Activity seemed to run a little more slowly this evening, no doubt impacted by the holiday festivities.  Was enjoying a few nice contacts until along came insurmountable, overwhelming, spectacular QRM!  Yes, the local municipal fireworks are just way too close to hear the radio, so it was a good time to curtail the radio fun and enjoy the night sky spectacle celebrating the birth of our wonderful country.  God Bless America!

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. A very poor showing this month. Not only did I have pops, bangs, snaps and crackles from the radio, I also had them from outside! The fireworks upset the dog, who usually is the dependable second Op. The 13 Colonies contest was another distraction. Five states with best signals:  20M - AB0CD, 40M - K4BAI, 80M - K4BAI. As alway, my thanks to all.  Had fun.

K4BAI
20M open to midwest and north east, but not much activity. 40M in good shape, but lot of QRM from the 13 Colonies K2x stations and not much Spartan Sprint action. 80M was noisy and only stations worked and heard in the sprint were WB5BKL in TX and AB9CA in AL. Hope for more activity next month.  73/72, John, K4BAI

KFØN
My antenna was an 80-meter loop. The holiday and summertime QRN seem to have taken their toll on this months participation.  Not many stations heard on 20M or 40M here in the rf black hole of the Midwest.  I heard Del, KD6L on 20M but was not able to make contact with my massive 2-watt ATS-3.  Maybe next month Del.  The QRN was so intense here from local thunderstorms, I went QRT at 9 pm local time.  Thanks to the few with whom I was able to make a contact. Larry, KFØN

KB1M
20M, 2 Qs, 1 on 40m for 3 states. 40 was crowded with non-Sprinter stations so never tried a CQ on that band. 73, Walt

Saturday, July 1, 2017

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


Monday, June 12, 2017

RESULTS: June 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: June 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

N4EEV
2/80m (ME and TN); 6/40m (PA, GA, ME, MD, TX, GA); 3/80M (GA, MD, TX). WEIGHT 10.5LBS (K3 and BEGALI SIMPLEX). Surprised 20 was workable when I started as it was very watery, moved to 40m and found much better condx. Heard John K4BAI call me but had fast and deep QSB, later found him up the band and we moved to 80 where I finished up the sprint. Terrible static crashes and severe QRN. Managed to work K4BAI, WB5BKL, W3KC and K0ZK on 2 bands each. Thanks for the QSO, 72 Mike

KFØN
The participation seemed to be good this month, although propagation to western states was poor.  This may have been due in part to later sunset times and correspondingly higher “D” layer absorption during the contest period.  No CA stations were heard here, even on 20 meters.  Strongest signals were W1PID and W3KC who were both 579.  The QRN on 40 meters was brutal, though, which made for a lot of 229 and 339 reports.  I lost one QSO with Mike, N4EEV when my little LiPo battery curled up and died in the last minutes of the contest.  I hope we can make it next month Mike!  My little toy poddle, Muffy, fussed and complained the whole time because her “Daddy” wasn’t out in the living room watching TV.  She likes to curl up on my lap while I watch the television.  Oh well, sometimes life just works out that way!  Thanks to all who waded through the summertime QRN and gave me a call.  If anyone needs a 2XQRP confirmation with Iowa, I’m good for it. 72’s to all, Larry, KFØN

W1PID
20 meters was quite good. Best DX was NK6A in CA. I worked 4 TX stations. Nice to have a little more activity. I operated for the first half hour. vy 73 to all and thanks for the Qs.
Jim W1PID

K3RLL
What a great time this evening on the June Spartan Sprint! Up north for the summer with an actual, outdoor, real wire antenna! Wow, what a difference from the highly compromised antennas dictated by Antenna Restrictions in Florida .  My little G5RVjr here makes QRP fun again.  But it still wouldn’t be much fun without all the skilled and patient QRP Ops with whom I had the good fortune to run into here again this evening on 40m.  One was so much fun, we tried it twice. (You know who you are. Hi Hi ) Can’t wait for the July SP.

K4BAI
Good activity at the start, but dropped off rapidly. All three bands worked were in pretty good condition. Welcome to Mike, N4EEV, in GA. QSOs by band:  20M: 8. 40M: 17. 80M:  3. Thanks for all QSOs. Best DX on 20 and 40 was NK6A in CA.  Best DX on 80M was W3KC in PA and WB5BKL in TX. 73/72, John, K4BAI.

W3KC
Fun. Conditions good on 40 and 20. 80 was very noisy. IC703 (5w) to a low 90 ft doublet via a homebrew link tuner on 40 and 80, vintage Harvey Wells Z-Match on 20. 72, Chas W3KC

AB9CA
Well . . . I fell asleep after dinner . . . was awakened by a text for something I have for sale on Craig's list . . . then realized I had missed nearly all of the Sprint . . . but there was still a few minutes left before the fat lady burst into song. Had the FT-857 set up so used it at 5w. Heard John, K4BAI, calling on 40. Answered him and time expired. At least I did get in for a short while. Hopefully will stay awake next month . . . 73, dave, ab9ca/4

K7TQ
I went into the mountains east of Moscow, ID for the June sprint. KX2 to a 20/40 m trap inverted vee held up by a Jacklite pole. A good first 1/2 hour on 20 m with 6 Qs. Not so good next hour and half with 4 Qs on 40m. Two banders with KF0N, who had a great signal on both 20 and 40, K4BAI, and WB5BKL. This sprint was the first time that antenna made it all the way across the U.S. Catch you again in July.

KB1M
One QSO on 20, five on 40, for five states. Calling CQ not very effective for me tonight with only two answers. Fun evening as always. 72/73, Walt

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 20M delta loop, a 40M dipole or a 40M extended double Zepp. Finally, some propagation. 20M was nice with 10 QSOs. 40M was very noisy here lightning QRN. A line of t-storms was just leaving the area headed east and that resulted in my low "R" reports of 3 or 4 to several of my 9 contacts on 40. 80M was also noisy with only 3 QSOs.  Best signals:  20M - K1SN, 40M - N4EEV, 80M - W5ACM. One QRO contact removed (but a nice chat about 40M QRN). I appreciate the efforts of everyone. And, as always, had fun.

K9QV
The bands seemed shorter than last month, but this allowed a few more contacts.  20m-6, 40m-4 and 80m-1.  I didn't get K7TQ on 2 bands this time :(  See you next month! 72 de Drew.

W5ACM
Great to be back with the Spartan Sprint! The ATS-3a was operating superbly with 3W out to the vertical, and my CW was acceptable, even without cleaning the copper contacts. They could use some attention though. Conditions on 20M were excellent, and represented 6 of my 10 contacts. It was great to have 20M contacts with NH, GA, CA, MD, ID and IN. 40M was OK, but the coverage was sparse and there were few takers – 3 contacts. Conditions on 80M were noisy but I managed one QSO with WB5BKL, Nick over on Lake Buchanan near Austin. Hoping for better in July, but glad that we had something happening this month after I missed May. Need more participants and better conditions! 72 de Andy W5ACM Houston, TX EL29eq




Saturday, May 6, 2017

RESULTS: May 2017 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.