Saturday, October 21, 2017

SOAPBOX: 2017 ARS Flight of the Bumblebees

Click here to see WD8RIF's full 2017 ARS FOBB report and pictures.
2017 was great. Cold front came through last night and it was enjoyable to be outside. Took the dog and worked a handful of stations on 20m. Heard one BB on 40m but too much QSB to work him. Apologies to those listening to my rusty fist, but I got settled in and didn't have many fills needed. Thanks for putting this on!

K1 at 5W to either a 40M EFHW or a 20M dipole. The 40M antenna was almost a waste of effort - just one FOBB QSO.  Four non-FOBB QSOs removed from score (2 SOTAs and 2 QRO).  Hot (~99F), but not as hot as last year. Score was also lower than last year. Oh well. My thanks to all. It was a grand day out and - as usual - I had fun.  Nick, BB No. 42

First time in the FOBB contest. It was fun. WX was beautiful here. Rig was a Kx# antenna was 31’ fiberglas pole with vertical wire fed with 9:1 balun. I’m ready to do it again.

Really bad conditions but fun none the less. 

Got a late start. I like this event. Many signals. Only 20 mtrs Was the place to play.

Portable from my backyard overlooking pond in Warren County, Ohio. 4 watts, 1 contact, 1 Bumble Bee: N0SS on 20 meters. 40 meters practically dead with too much QSB. I had several calls, but they faded before I could complete QSO. Heard very few CQ BBs.

I rode my bicycle to the park with two saddle bags. I had my Weber Tri-bander (mounted on a clipboard with battery, paddles, and straight key) and paper logbook in one saddle bag, and a recently-purchased Alpha Loop 10-40m magnetic loop antenna in the other saddle bag. I set up on a concrete picnic table at Westwood Park about a mile from home here in West Lost Angeles. In one hour I made four contacts, three with other Bumblebees on 20 meters and one with a non-bumblebee on 40 meters. I heard very few stations, of which about half of them could hear me. The Weber has a direct-conversion receiver, which is not quite sensitive enough to use with the low signal levels from the mag loop antenna. I could barely hear the increase in background noise when tuning the loop to resonance.

Highlight of the day was working N3AQC, BB # 8, as my last contact of the day. The Mother Ship. Quality, FB operators today. Really enjoyed it. I wanted to work FOBB outside, but couldn't manage it. Thanks for the fun.

As usual, being in Florida, I had lightning at the beginning of the contest and rain throughout. But not the heavy storms and lightning as in the past few years. I operated from an island, on the St. Johns River, owned by our neighborhood. A portable screen room kept the equipment dry, if not me. 20 meters was full of signals and I got to work most of them. It was good to work old friends as well as new stations. I moved to 40 several times and heard absolutely no signals, anywhere on that band. I didn't expect any signals on 15 or 10, and heard none. I used a dipole at the top of a 60 foot palm tree for most of the contacts had planned to use an inverted L for 40.

Operated from my Jefferson City, MO home QTH 5 watts, 29 Qs, 26 BBs. I'm normally not a QRP op but this was a lot fun. I enjoyed working 4 other local BBs in the Jefferson City, MO area.

Ridge behind my house, near Roxborough State Park, CO. 9 Contacts, 7 BBs. I had a great time in the FOBB event today! My dog Fletcher and I headed up to the ridge behind my house and deployed a 20m dipole and made plenty of contacts! Rig is MFJ Cub running just shy of 1W and a cheapo straight key. It took a while to get good at keying, and sitting on rocks, with no table around added to the fun! I can't wait for the next flight! Bzzzzz.

 Fun time was had and 20m was better this year from past years. I used my KX2 directly attached to a conventional 1:16 transformer (50:800 ohm; my cute little transformers) then attached to the feed point of my Park Portable Doublet. This PPD particular configuration consists of two 60 foot #26 (19/38) PTFE Mil Spec silver plated copper stranded wires held up at the 30 foot level spread 9 inches apart on my 31 foot Jackite pole. The ends were at the 21 foot level held up with 20 foot Jackite poles and some string. The doublet arms were approximately 28 feet long each. I didn’t get on any other band as 20 seemed to be working just fine. I worked Rick, N9NE up in MT from his car (probably on vacation) and Rick NK9G back in WI and John K4BAI down in GA among others. NE5DL, Dave in TX was so strong here every time I heard him. Keep up the great work Richard. I am looking forward to next year's outing already.

Got a late start and couldn't stay the entire time, but conditions were fine for this event.  Had two or three cyclists stop by and ask about the 31 foot fishing pole and wire, etc.

Great fun as usual operating in this event even with the attack of biting insects all day long.

This was a fun event but 20 Meter QSB was a consistent problem.  Signals were rapidly fading ad peaking making for a number of repeats necessary on some of the contacts.  It was still a fun activity for a Sunday afternoon.

FOBB arrives to a perfect sunny day with light breezes and low humidity.  Wonderfull.  Well, my FOBB plans were decidedly spur of the minute.  On Saturday, I had no plans what so ever, but decided that if the weather was good I'd have some fun working the event. The QRP go-bag has been prepared all summer. The You-Kits HB-1B is all charged and my little 20/40 EFHW homebrew antenna has proven to be quite a player.  I decided to play along fully with the spirit of the event and bicycle to my spot....but where was that exactly.  On such nice summer days in Milwaukee, the notable parks are pretty busy.  Finding an open picnic bench, trees and at least a degree of solidarity is kind of a tough order to fill on the weekend.  My son mentioned the local neighborhood park as a possibility.  I didn't recall it having much more than some playground equipment and a baseball diamond, but the distance was perfect for biking.  I checked it out on the way home from church and my goodness there was a little gazebo with a picnic table right next to a really good looking row of trees.  BINGO. I got started a bit late but by 1:00 I was off and running.  Tried 40 meters first and was immediately rewarded with a contact to KD9VT who happened to sport the BB #1.  I took that as a very good omen. I put in about 90 minutes of contesting.  I was interupted by my son and a couple waves of kids.  I have to say, none of these represented a problem in the slightest.  Thrilled to log a dozen QSO's covering most of the US.  I had set up my WinKeyer to operate in push button heavy duty contest mode and discovered that was a huge mistake.  It is a whole lot more fun adding the usual CW slang's of GA, GL and 73..not to mention a few TU's and dit dit's. Yeah, I had a great time.  Thanks to the contest promoters and to all the ops. I'll pump this in to next year's schedule, too.

Well, I got on a bit late, at 1930, and called CQ until my wrist got tired. I heard only a faint BB and EC1CT working on the 20M QRP freq. No QSOs for me — this is the first time I’ve gotten skunked! I guess I should have brought along a 40M antenna. Next time . . .

Original plan of taking ski lift up Mt Baldy and then hiking a couple miles was scrapped when Beloved Antenna Raising Assistant expressed an interest in coming along. So we drove to the ZL FD site and set up in a nice shady spot. She read the Sunday paper for 3 1/2 hours of the 4 hour contest. I spent the time trying to dip into the aether and pull out the weak little signals. A marvelous day was had by all.

FT1000MP, 5W, TH6DXX, dipole. Good conditions and good activity on 20M at the start. No BB signals heard on any higher band. Tried 40M several times and made 3 QSOs on that band, but I called a lot of stations on 40M who could not hear me. A few couldn't hear me on 20 either. 40M was very noisy. 20M seemed to drop down in activity as the time passed, but was still able to make some new QSOs right at the end of the four-hour period.  73/72, John, K4BAI.

A beautiful day for a portable outing- clear and cool. I'd brought only a tuned EFHW for an antenna, so operation was restricted to 20M. No matter- it was great to be outside! Dave, K1SWL

Great afternoon. Weather in N. AL was perfect! We had the whole overflow parking lot of the park to ourselves and saw lots of wildlife. Rig was a fine ole K2 (#337) at 5 watts into a LNR EF antenna hung from a tree about 60' high. Our location was about 1000' above the surrounding terrain. Most of our contacts were on 20m (44 out of 56), where the QSB was terrible! Tried 15m 2-3 times, but no answers. Great to work old friends! Thanks for all the QSOs!

This was my first time on Flight of Bumblebees  and I had a great time. Only had 2 hours to play. My antenna was MP-1 attached to picnic table and a TenTec R4020 QRP rig and 4 Watts.

Poor conditions Used 20M only Rig Oak Hills OHR100A to end fed wire with battery power. No activity heard on 40M.

KX1 through 9:1 Unun at base of 31’ vertical wire. It was Chamber of Commerce weather here today on a hilltop in rural PA at ~1450’ ASL with 73F at 1 PM and big white puffy clouds that got darker as the day progressed.  I had no idea before today that the darkness of the clouds impacts propagation. As the clouds grew darker, the bands grew weaker but at least it never rained. Funny how that works; isn’t it? (SMILE). 20 Meters was the money band here today with 40m just not showing a lot activity and few strong signals. Big signal of the day here was K0ZK from Maine – truly 599/599.  Neat!  Most impressive 2 watt signal was from KC8JNL coming in at strong 579 from Michigan. Had to QRT when the old guy who, on an earlier FOBB from this location came out yelling at me that “the thingie sticking up there in the air is killing my grass!”  It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic. This year he didn’t say anything but just kept riding his tractor closer and closer to my antenna and then went down to the parking lot and sprayed grass all over my Mustang.  Time to leave.  Didn’t want to find out if he was armed. Guess I might just have to find a new high location for next year. Hmm. . .

I always like this event; it's good fun.  Played for about 2.5 hours.  Worked:  WI, ID, MT, CO, TX, GA, AL, IL, OK, NM, CO, MS.  Tried an experiment for an antenna.  Hard to draw conclusions using my log and the logs of others and RBN reports for my station and other bees.  Not as impressive as, say, N6GA, one of the Zuni Loopers from Zuni Loop.

At my favorite FOBB and Spartan Sprint location in the mountains east of Moscow, ID, one of the trees that usually supports my 20 m dipole ate my Hyperdog tennis ball then broke the fishing line to the other tennis ball.  Usually I take one or two backup antennas, but since they never get used, today I took no backup antennas.  I headed home, put up a 20 m EFHW in the willow tree in the front yard then hunted Bees and called CQ.  For all that effort I made six Qs and three bees.  All of them were single hop and they were all that I could hear.  WV0H had a booming signal from CO most of the time. Other states were nearby CA, WA, and OR.  Still it was a good day.

Rode my bicycle 5.3 miles on the Balona Bike path to Playa del Rey and set up my 31 ft Endfed from a carbon fiber mast.  Radio was my KX2.  Very noisy band conditions today plus LAX planes making additional noise. I was hurting from a get off on my bike on the way so only stayed an hour.  I had an unexpected visitor by our Southwest Division Director, Dick Norton, N6AA.  He was there to look at Birds.

20M was in good shape for the first couple of hours. Had a great time and made a video: I'm not sure if my video qualifies as interesting or not, but. . . I hope to win an award. LOL!

Propagation really tough. The band was starting to open up at the last of the event. Hoping for better propagation next time.

First time participating in FOBB.

Man it was tough today! I heard KI6SN pop up out of the mud around 19:30 UTC just below 14060 and tried to call you but you disappeared in short order. Same with NA5N and K0TK, to name a few. Anyway still fun. I had the pleasure quite a few years back to meet ARS Co-founder, AA7QU, Russ Carpenter as I was vacationing almost next door to him on the McKenzie River in Oregon. He gave me a tip on a great location close to his QTH that overlooks the river valley for the BB contest that year. Might have been ’97 as I was still using my Sierra kit from Norcal before I had an early K2. Thanks for keeping this going.

From the Smoky Mountains, I made 34 total contacts and 26 BB stations. Thank you, KI6SN, for a quality radio party. It is the Indianapolis 500 of the outdoor QRP events.

As plans for this year’s FOBB operation unfolded, I must admit that the Flight of the Bumblebees (FOBB) turned into the Waddle of the Dodo bird (WODD). Hey, when the XYL (Laurie, N3KZI) is willing to come if she can drive, why not? As long as she is driving, why not bring a pair of 40M dipoles, two antenna tuners, an A-B switch, and a big gel cell? Oh, don’t forget an outboard key instead of the KX-1 contraption. Did I mention the folding table and two camp chairs? How about the screen tent borrowed from WA3A? Don’t forget the cooler and contents! We had fun and still had enough energy at the end of the day to do something else. Most important, I learned the value of two 66’ dipoles at right angles to each other, fed with 300 ohm twin lead, easily tuned to either 40M or 20M. I am looking forward to fast-approaching retirement, when I will be able to stay up late enough to play in some of those late-night ARS activities. Thanks to all, patient and skilled operators, and especially to KI6SN, and anyone else contributing time and effort to this wonderful organization. 72

A last-minute changes of plans meant I was on child-care duty, so I operated from my back yard. My antenna was an 85' end-fed inverted vee (with 63' counterpoise) supported by a 31' Jackite pole.I used by KX3 on the patio, powered by a solar-charged gel cell battery. Conditions were pretty poor here and when my 2-year-old woke up from his nap around 3:00 pm I packed up the gear and took the kids swimming. Thanks for the contacts!

Poor conditions here with weak signals, made for a challenging event using my old Heathkit HW-8. For the exchange, I sent 2 Watts. Though that was barely attained on 40 meters and more like 1-1/2 Watt on 20 meters. Antennas were a Butternut HF2V on 40 and a Cushcraft R-6000 on 20 meters. 20 Meters was my best band providing 6 of my 10 contacts. I listened on 15 meters from time to time, but heard no signals. I love these events because QRPers have the best ears! Thanks  to all who participated in making this a fun afternoon of ham radio!

Rig: IC-746Pro @ 5W. Antenna: Hustler 6BTV Gnd Mtd with 60 Radials. Key: J38. Lots of fun. Bands not the greatest, however.

Operating from inside a century old barn, it was as if time had stopped.

Alas, my tablet ate my log. So no official submission this year. Yes, I was out there and contacts with me really did happen. Here is a copy of an informal message about my participation that I sent to QRP-L: I went to Georges Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands. Struggled to get my PAR trail-friendly 40/30/20 into the trees and didn't get it very high, but I was able to hear some people anyway. Made six or seven contacts in about an hour and 45 minutes... then my tablet crashed and took my entire log with it. (Sadly, that means I won't be submitting a log.) I took that as a signal to close up shop. All but one contact were on 20 meters. My final contact was on 40, and was a repeat of one of the 20 meter contacts (but that's allowed). All
my contacts were with BB stations. Stations I remember contacting were N4KGL, N3AQC, NK9G (if memory serves he was also the sole contact on 40), N8GAS, and WQ8RP. States I remember logging were PA, MI, WI, and FL. I heard a California station but was unable to get him to hear me. I was hoping to catch some of my fellow New England QRP members on 40 but never heard any of them. (I checked out 40 periodically and did a few CQ BB calls there.) They were probably too busy on 20 making other contacts and they would have been too close to me for the skip on 20
to work.

Excellent weather day here in Illinois. Mostly ran the frequency on both 40M and 20M. Did anyone QSO on 10M or 15M? No luck working west of Colorado. Maybe I should have a vertical to switch in. Wanted to get the dipoles up higher, but it turned out OK. Worked a few stations on both bands. Thanks to all for the fun afternoon, and for pulling my signal out of the muck. A really fine 20th anniversary.

Antenna:  41' Random Wire with HB 9-1 Balun. 40 meters: KI6SN CA 65, KA6JLT NV Rob, N6IZ CA 86. 20 Meters: WVØH CO 2, KF7WNS or Gary. Conditions were very tough, as almost no signals on the bands.  I operated the full 4 hours.  KX2 performed flawlessly.  Best contest rig I have ever used.  Love the internal tuner.  I like the 4-hour format, and that everyone is on at the same time. My first qso was with old friend Richard Fisher, KI6SN.  It's been a long time since we have worked, and it is entirely my fault, as I have been lax about getting on the air. Thanks Richard for the contact and the contest. Great to work Gary in Oregon. We met at Pacificon last year, and I hope to see him again this year. Looking forward to next year's contest.  72, Doug, KI6DS

Had a great time digging out BB's. Conditions here not good, weak signals with deep QSB. Many stations heard at noise level then gone with QSB before I could try my call. All my contacts were to the southeast FL, AL , TN, KY. This was my first time at FOBB and I hope to participate again next year.

I used the KX3 and EFHW for 40 and 20 meters. We had a break in the usual hot Arkansas and instead had a fine sunny and cool day. Conditions were decent considering recent solar activity.

40M: WB5BKL. First FOBB in many years. 20M was very soft, heavy QSB, but pleased at my 17 Qs on 20M in the last two hours. Monsoon rain storm and lightning made 40M worthless and kept me inside. Still had plenty of fun and worked a few of the "old gang" haven't heard on the air in years - a real treat. 72, Paul NA5N

his was my first FOBB contest I have read about it and have never given it a try. I read Larry W2LJ's blog and he got me pumped about giving the contest this year a go. I was only able to operate for 2 hours this year due to dinner guest's we had to head home and prep for. My wife Julie came along with she did her hobby photography and me ham radio. We walked to our spot of operation which was about a 1/2 hour walk. We found a shady spot right on Lake Ontario with a nice breeze. My rig was the Elecraft KX3 with the Chameleon CHA P mag loop. I stayed on 20m as it seemed very lively with FOBB stations calling. I did have 5 different people stop and asked what I was doing. One gentlemen said his dad was a ham, one young lady came over and just could not believe I was using morse code. She said she read about it in her history class... talk about feeling old!! For those of  you who may had answered my CQ and I did not come back to you, it was due to questions from those passing by. The weather was fantastic and very very HOT in the shade it was 31C.

I returned to this year’s Field Day site.  A clearing high on a hill within the Boy Scout camp. Antenna used was a 32 foot vertical on a Jackite pole with a 57 foot add on wire sloping to 16 feet. Conditions were OK to begin but I thought field day was better for 20 meters. (Should have used a dipole for 40.) This camp has a stone house (aside a canal lock) in which President McKinley’s parents lived. Can’t wait for next year! Thanks for the Q’s.

Temp 90+ degs. Used a 20M(long) multi band inverted L from Holland. KX2 with internal Li ion battery. 20M seemed to die for the last hour (CDT). Activity was greater than I expected.

I didn't get a BB# in time and XYL and I decided to walk the 2 miles to Fort Halifax park trails. We walked to the north end of the park were a boy scout put a park bench as part of his Eagle Scout project. We used the bench and near by trees to put up a random doublet about 200 foot long and 15 feet high. The rig was a KX2 with internal battery and tuner. Paddle was a QRPGuys kit. Paper logging. The XYL read a book while I ran Bumblebees Hi. Very poor conditions. I heard at least 6 more stations that could not hear me. TNX es 73, Mike W3TS

This was the second time I use W1B as a FOBB Special Event Station Callsign. Lots of fun and it drummed-up lots on interest and activity on the bands during FOBB. This year I decided to return to a 'beautiful spot' in the woods of Nottingham New Hampshire, Pawtuckaway State Park. I operated FOBB 2005 from this very same State Park more than a decade+ ago. The weather was perfect here in New Hampshire, best I've ever seen it through the decades for this annual event. In the mid 70's with a nice breeze most of the day. Actually at 5:45AM EDT it was quite cool as I set-out on my FOBB expedition for this last Sunday in July 2017. I stopped at the gym (fitness center) which I was going right by on my way to Pawtuckaway State Park. Why? To have the front desk print me up the latest, last minute, BumbleBee List! Had to have 'The List' along with my handwritten paper log to document all the Q's and check-off the BumbleBees that I heard as I used S&P. Came in handy while occuping a frequency too. Brought 2 batteries along, and it's a good thing I did! My SLA battery died about 2 and a half hours into the on-air event. Guess I forgot to charge it up(?). Anyway the Li-Ion pack was a lifesaver in the nick of time, less than a minute to exchange batteries. Rig: 703, w/ 250Hz CW filter, running under 5 watts output. Antenna: random wire up at 60'. (Configuration: 60' straight up, 100' flattopped, and 30' coming down in the far-end tree, wire end still 30' above the ground. Had good low take-off angle on 20 and 40, with enough horizontal flattopped radiator for high angle close-in skywave for locals.) You can see where I was heard via RBN, before and during the event. Here, take a look. *(Remember W1B was issued for 2017-07-30, so only that date applies for the FOBB Special Event Station Callsign RBN data.): Lots of people hiking by me as I sat and operated. Several came up to talk. You'll see by the time period gaps when I was talking to hikers that were curious as to what all the 'buzzing' was about, and, the number one question asked, "Hey, how'd you get that wire way-up-there?" This was one of 'the best' FOBB's I've ever participated in. The views were fantastic, the weather, stellar, and, if *YOU* would like to see just some of the BEAUTIFUL sights of Pawtuckaway State Park, ... here you go, knock yourself out: I got up at 4AM, left the house at 5:30, and got to Pawtuckaway at 6:45. Got back home at 8PM and went to sleep! But, while I was sleeping I dreamt of the fantastic day I had, and, how much better I can make it in 2018. It's only 364 days away! Thank you to KI6SN, for decades of organizing this great Adventure Radio Society event, and, all the past and present BumbelBees and home stations that have participated throughout the years. Sincere 73 es continued 72, Carl - WA1ZCQ/1 A.K.A. " W1B " (Whiskey One Bumblebee) BB# 0 (Zero) in FOBB 2017.

Set up with a non QRP, non CW friend Mark/N4MQU and had a wonderful time. Used new KX3 with several antennas, SOTA beam, LNR par end fed and used a battery with a solar panel. Park was closed for the day but a lot of people came by anyway. The Hospital site and the welcome center were closed. We had a nice set up under a shelter and stayed out of the hot sun.  there were breezes and it was a pleasant 4 hour operation. 20 meters was very slow there. Could hear weak signals and worked a few on  20 meters. 40 was the prime band and we switched off to 15 and 10 and only heard some weak signals on 15. No contacts on those two bands. Had a wonderful time and look forward to the SKEETER contest. Hopefully from a better spot and with a better propx.

The weather in northern Illinois was perfect BumbleBee weather.  I hung a 20m wire ground plane antenna from my favorite branch, connected it to my KX-3, and was surprised at the number of Bees I could hear.  Worked several BF's (Bee-Friends) in the two hours I spent. Next year, I'll work on getting a smaller, lighter battery! Special thanks to the ARS for this event. I look forward to it every year! 72

This was my first FOBB - had a blast. The WX was perfect, 80 deg F, sunny, with a light breeze, and my location was in a park overlooking the Hudson River, about 50 miles north of NYC. This was the first event I've used my MTR4B in, and I am very pleased with the rig. The antenna was a 3-band trapped EFHW on 20/30/40, deployed in an inverted-L configuration by lines in the trees. This antenna allows QSYing between bands without any adjustment, which was great because for the first two hours not much was happening on either 20 or 40. Later in the afternoon both bands got a bit better. This was great fun, I'm already looking forward to next year. 73, Mike

I found location is too densely wooded for Buddipole dipole up 10’. Very hard to hear or be heard and QSB was constant. Next year I’ll get out into an open area. Station: KX3 on small gel cell battery.

At St. Andrews State Park, I have a favorite picnic table on the South shore of Grand Lagoon. This gave me a shot over salt water for most of North America. On 20 meters I used an N6BT Bravo 7K vertical directly on the shore. On 40 meters I used a half wave dipole at 10 feet AGL. The rig was the Elecraft KX2 at 5 watts. I used the QRPWorks SideKar with a mini keyboard to generate the CW macros. I also used the AlexMic. It had the volume I needed as the boat traffic was very noisy. This year I called CQ for most of the time. It was more productive than my usual hunt and pounce. I enjoyed having Dennis WA6QKN and Suzy the Bassett assisting me. This was my best FOBB yet. 20 meters: 29 BB out of 50 contacts. 40 meters: 8 BB out of 11 contacts. Total: 37 BB and 61 Contacts.

I made 8 contacts on 20M in the first 8 minutes; then activity gradually slowed down. I made only two contacts on 40M and only one on 15M. Rig was KX3 at 5W to CFZ in inverted V configuration over a 55' high oak limb. The wx was unusually cool for this time of year; otherwise I would have to stay indoors at midday.

Running 5 Watts to a G5RV wire antenna.  Rig is IC7300. Next year I hope to get a BB number and work the whole period. Good contest for medium speed CW stations. I didn’t hear any speed demons! HI. 72, George

All operations from my home station located at North Lebanon, Maine. FN43nk grid. Rig is Elecraft K3  serial number 387, Schurr Einbau Wabbelt paddle, Dentron QRP antenna Tuner, 45 feet Andrews 1/2” Heliax to Ground Plane Vertical on roof of two story Quonset hut building On dead end dirt road in the Maine woods. Underground utilities. Very few neighbors. 72, Arn

It was a great day for FOBB 2017 with relatively clear skies and temps in the upper 70's with a cooling northerly onshore breeze off of Lake Huron. Band conditions were tricky at times with some deep qsb but I managed to pull out most signals with my FT-817/Buddipole Versatee vertical combination. The best part for me was something my XYL Sue and I hadn't anticipated, numerous inquires from the passing public as to just what this set up was all about and of course we were more than happy to explain complete with a handout, I always come prepared! Thanks to all who help organize and participated in this fun event, I'm already looking forward to 2018. 72, Steve

I operated only on 20Meters with my FT817 and the mono-band vertical that I take out for all QRP events. It has marks to telescope appropriately for 10, 15 or 20 Meters, but I simply stayed in the shade and operated on 20M. The QSB was very difficult. I was on for the first hour and last hour and worked all that I could hear. It was a bit warm outside, but a lot of fun! 72, Andy 

Rig was K1 at 5w. Put up two antennas - a 20m Inv Vee, peak at 40', and a Vert/Inv L for 15, 20, 40. Due to the prop both 15 and 40 were pretty much a waste of time. Called for several minutes on each but got no contacts. Got no RBN spots on 15. Did get one lonely spot on 40 after calling for about 15 min. At one point the K1 began to behave strangely. Power would drop to 4w or less when in TX. Switched the display to voltage and saw it drop to 9.8v. Bad SLA. Had just taken it off the charger. Replaced that and all was well again. 20m was the only band with any activity. After the event I perused the digisonde data and noted that the reflective layer was awfully low. Looks like all we had was E layer skip. No wonder I heard AR, GA, and north AL so well. Never heard anyone west of TX and CO. Of course TX is big and not sure if the ones I worked from there were in Orange or El Paso. Thanks for everyone for the Q's. Looking forward to next year. 73, Dave

I always like this event; it's good fun.  Played for about 2.5 hours.  Worked:  WI, ID, MT, CO, TX, GA, AL, IL, OK, NM, CO, MS. Tried an experiment for an antenna. Hard to draw conclusions using my log and the logs of others and RBN reports for my station and other Bees. Not as impressive as, say, N6GA, one of the Zuni Loopers from Zuni Loop.

WX was perfect. 20 M propagation seemed quite good. QRN low. Many Bees heard. I operated for three hours. It took me a bit longer to walk in to my operating position and string up the antenna than I had planned. Equipment consisted of KX1, 20 M end fed half wave, external battery that got my power up to 3 W. External battery died after about two hours. KX1 has some internal AA batteries that got me through the last hour at 2W.

This was going to be good when I worked many right out of the gate. Hopefully the participation will continue with the upcoming events. Strongest signal of the day was K0ZK, Arn. Weakest was N2JFF, Fred. Rig was Elecraft KX3, Antenna was 88' Doublet at 52'. Temps were in mid 70's, kept cool by a light breeze from Lake Michigan. PERFECT DAY FOR QRP IN THE PARK. Rick

Decent weather, acceptable propagation, good equipment, and even better fellowship made for another wonderful FOBB event.  We started off great with 20 Qs in the first 30 minutes, but then conditions and participation began to diminish.  Worked nothing from the West coast itself.  Farthest West was Arizona, farthest East Maine and Florida, farthest south Texas, and farthest North SD and Ontario. Our thanks to Adventure Radio Society for another super QRP event.

I enjoyed the afternoon of operating. The weather was beautiful with sunny skies and comfortable temperatures as long as you had some shade. I operated with my KX3 and a 44' doublet hung as a flattop on fiberglass poles. Only 20m and 40m were open here. I checked 15m several times but that band never opened for me. Most of my contacts were on 20m and most of those were in the first hour and a half. Band conditions were less than stellar with weak signals on 20m and high noise levels and deep QSB on 40m. Even so, it was a great day to play radio - thanks for continuing to sponsor this event each year! 72, Jim

This was just incredibly fun, and really whet my appetite for similar events! I brought a laptop. an IC-7300 with a rotatable dipole using 2 Hustler mobile whips on the end of an 18 foot collapsible tree pruning pole (saw removed). 5 watts on a gel cell battery.

Only had an hour to spend, all on 20m. Between FOBB and SOTA there was a lot of activity in a few kHz. I could hear quite a few other FOBB stations calling CQ (W2LJ, N4KGL, etc.) but only six could hear me. Thanks for organizing this year’s FOBB event! 73, Steven

Thanks for hosting the 2017 FOBB. Checking in with CONUS HF BAND CONDX, I checked out conditions midway through FOBB. What I saw may explain my low score. Were CONDX better over toward California? Tom

Great weather for August in Tennessee. Don't get to say that very often for FOBB. Usually hot and muggy. Enjoyed sitting outside under a small shade tree with the KX2 and wire thrown in another small tree. Had to move my chair several times when my shade moved. We were about 100 miles from home. Enjoyed some good Tennessee food at some local eateries. This park has a lot of old accommodations but its in pretty good shape. I remember its Olympic size pool from my childhood (I'm 57 now). Its still there and very popular evidentially with the locals. My wife had quadruple bypass in March so I anticipate staying at parks more often so we can get more exercise. 72, Chuck

5W to 18 foot vertical. Had fun in 30C (86F) WX.

FOBB was fun as always! Happy 20th Anniversary to THE Summertime QRP Classic. Band conditions were not the greatest, to say the least. 20 Meters was the money band ; and I was disappointed with 40 Meters. Usually 40 Meters yields me as many QSOs as does 20 Meters.Not this year. 40 Meters was noisy and QSB was bad. Signals were either 599 or 449, and often they went back and forth between those two extremes whole I was trying to copy an exchange. But in the end, having fun is what this is all about; and there was plenty of that to be had. Thanks to KI6SN and the Adventure Radio Society for putting on this event. 73, Larry

Conditions were rough, to say the least. All activities on 20 M. I would hear guys strong for a minute, then completely disappear. I did manage one's2s' SOTA contact with NS0TA. Maybe next year. . .

My first CW contest QSOs in about 30 years; it showed. Other ops exhibited great patience. Operated from soccer fields about half mile from house. Was going to run a low-sloper from a small tree, but instead duct-taped my 18' fishing pole to a "no parking" sign near edge of the field, them strung a sloper-pseudo-inverted "L". The Parks Dept had recently deployed an FB picnic table under a small shade tree. Was available, so set up IC-703, gel cell, and Palm Paddle. Like to log by hand. Last part of my adventure was having the log sheet blow away. Next year we'll bring a larger rock. Thanks to all involved.

Beautiful assistant N8HGM and I loaded the backpacks and got on our fat bikes to ride along the North Country Trail, reaching Smith Lake. It's one of the many small lakes that are remnants of the glaciers that covered Northern Michigan 10,000 years ago.  For a time we also rode along the Iceman Trail. That's a world-famous mountain bike race run in November each year. On arrival we divide labor and Ginny sets up the Helinox camp chairs. We highly recommend these chairs. They're lightweight and pack in a small volume.  I set up the ft-817 and lithium pack feeding the W4OP magnetic loop on its tripod. Beautiful day. Near 80 degrees and a lovely sky.  N8HGM can tune the loop by ear as well as any of us. She's super quick, and can scurry her little self out so I can transmit quickly. What a good second op. She's my remote QSY system and paper logger. I also took along my sferics receiver. The hum level was pretty low. Not as good as at neighboring Guernsey Lake which is close to zero, but very low. I was able to hear lots of tweaks and chirps (although I'm not real sure the difference between them), and two daylight whistlers.  I did that after moving to 15 and calling CQ on 21060.  I did hear one station while I was down by the lake, but couldn't get back in time to get his attention. So 15 was a bust. 20 was very workable. 40 meters took some effort. But for 40 is my favorite band of all. TNX to all stations listed, and also KI6SN for sponsoring the contest.

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