Saturday, December 1, 2018

RESULTS: November 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: November 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

ND4K
This was my second sprint and I had a good time - with a significantly better score than last month. Thanks to everyone for the q's! Six q's each for 40 and 80 with 4 unique states on each and WB5BKL being the only station worked on both bands. Yaesu FT1000MP @ 5w to OCF at 70 ft.

K3RLL
Solar Storm pretty well obliterated 40 meters tonight and my chances of making a ton of contacts with the diminutive QCX-40 PCB transceiver.  Oh well, maybe in December.  Thanks to Dave for our contact this evening, keeping me from being totally skunked here. (Smile) - 72/73, Don K3RLL

AB9CA
Prop was awful! About the worst I have ever heard. Very few RBN spots. I hope it was better on 80 than it was on 40. I don't have an 80m antenna right now so this was a one band affair. SPC's were GA GA TX IA FL NH AL TX. But everyone was weak. Even those close and usually loud. Interestingly I did hear CO2BG calling CQ/QRP after it was over. He disappeared before I could get set up and give him a call. Maybe the band was long? Rig was IC7200 at 5w to an inv V. Thanks to all who stuck it out and completed a Q! 73 de dave, ab9ca

K4BAI
No signals on 20M. 40M seemed quite poor. I did hear ND4K about 120 miles east of me calling CQ SP, but he didn't hear me. No surprise that he didn't.  Signals usually strong from the North (IL and IN) were weak, but signals from TX were strong. 80M was quite good with QSOs up to NH and out to TX.  QSOs by band: 40M: 5.  80M: 11/  Hope for better conditions and more participation next month. In the meantime, look for me from Bonaire as PJ4/K4BAI Nov 18 to 27 and we will use PJ4A in CQ WW CW.  73, John, K4BAI

NK1N
It was fun digging out my KX1 from under the dust.  I'll have to have the lower strata of dust carbon dated to determine the last time I used my KX1 :-)  I was able to run 4 watts on 80 but was most surprised by the reports on 40 where I only had 2 watts.  I'll have to pull out my K1 and try the 1 watt challenge next month.  72, Glen, NK1N

WB9HFK
Icom 7300 @ 5W. Antenna: 40M - Hustler 6BTV Gnd Mtd with 60 Radials

KB1M
Very slow night, nothing heard south of NJ, and the two mid-west stations worked were extremely weak. Thanks for the QSO's 73, Walt

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Not many stations heard - and only 4 states. K4BAI had the best signal on both 40 and 80M. Removed two QRO stations - but had nice QSOs with Myron and Ray. Doubles with K4BAI, ND4K and WB9HFK. I continue to remind QRP folks via my email reflector subscriptions about the Spartan Sprint. I hope others will do the same. Had fun.

K9DRP
I spent most of the first hour calling CQ with no luck.  Wondering if I had the offset set correctly on the old Argosy, I found WB5BKL calling CQ and he came right back to me.  But still no joy for me calling "CQ SP" on 40. I later found K4BAI and ND4K on 80. During the evening I also heard WB4YHJ, WB9HFK, and WB8CAC. I hate asking for repeats, but I'm learning not to wait for QSB to improve if I hope to work more of the sprint stations before they give up on a frequency. 73, Don, K9DRP

W5QLF
Using a FlexRadio 6300 throttled down to 5 watts tied to a Butternut HF-9V vertical over 60 radials.  It was the first Spartan Sprint in Central Standard Time this winter so it was totally night time propagation.  I had worked everyone I could hear by 0235Z on 40 meters (5 stations plus those annoying continuous carriers clustered around 7040 kc).  I tuned down to 3560 kc to find that John, K4BAI was calling CQ dead on that frequency.  With the noise level I had on 80 meters, I wouldn’t have heard him had I not landed right smack on the QRP frequency.  In any event, I counted this as 2 Qs as I had worked John on 40m too. Thanks to WB9HFK, K4BAI, NK6A and AB9CA for adding to my recurring QRP contact list.  A special welcome to David, ND4K on his second adventurous sojourn into the Spartan Sprint. QRP during this era of propagation makes one humble. 72, Joe, W5QLF

Monday, October 22, 2018

RESULTS: October 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: October 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

ND4K
I was using a Yaesu FT1000MP at 5 watts to OCF at 70 ft. Nothing heard on 20; 40 started out pretty good, but went away fairly quickly and only worked another GA station on 80. This was my first hunt--though hopefully not my last. I had a good time and will see y'all next month. 72, Dave

K3RLL
Soapbox: Another enjoyable evening with some nice contacts, both new and very familiar calls to start out the new month of October.  Big signal was N0MII here into rural PA. Don’t know where everybody went at about 01:30z or so when it then sounded like just K4BAI and me calling in the darkness. (Smile)

K4BAI
20M sounded dead just before 0100Z. I got no answers to CQs. Finally I did hear NK6A callling CQ SP, but Don couldn't hear me calling. 40M was quite good to most of the US up to NH and out to TX. Closest in station worked was in VA.  80M was much better than in the summer months with QSOs out to MD and TX,  Thanks for all QSOs. QSOs by band:  40: 12.  80: 6.  See you all next month.  73, John, K4BAI

WB9HFK
ICOM 7300 @ 5W, Antenna: Hustler 6BTV Gnd Mtd with 60 Radials, Key: J-38

WA4AAK
Bands were very noisy in North Alabama.  In 1.25 hrs. made 2 contacts on 40m (K3RLL, K4BAI), 2 contacts on 80m (W5ACM, WB9HFK). These guys are all top-notch operators, and very gracious in tough conditions! Tnx & 72 to all! Station: KX3 with internal batteries, balun, low 130' long CF Zepp, 5W.

KD3FG
It was a beautiful evening in MD so I set up the K2 with a wire vertical on the back patio. Operating outside proved to be the best part because the QSO count was very low (3!). Two of them was with K4BAI and the other was with WB9HFK. Hopefully next month will be better.

KB1M
Tough sledding tonight, only heard the 3 stations I worked. I hope others had better luck. 73 Walt

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp. Not many stations heard - and only 5 states.  Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - WØITT, 80M - K4BAI (two friendly QRO stations in SC and FL removed from score). Most difficult was Don, K3RLL, just at the local noise level. Tired after the Texas QSO Party, but had fun anyway.

W5ACM
The ATS-3a was remarkably cooperative this month. My CW was pretty good thanks to the keyer contacts. The batteries appear to be running well. I use a pair of 170 mAh LiPo cells. It makes 3W out, so it is good to go! I am hoping for good 20M CNDX next month! VY FB to work K4BAI on 40M AND 80M! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

SCOREBOARD: September 2018 Spartan Sprint

For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard 

SOAPBOX: September 2018 Spartan Sprint

N8RVE
This is my first Spartan Sprint, and in spite of the Storms and static crashes, I still managed to snag a few contacts.  I wanted to work outside with a homemade SW-40 transceiver, (check out QRZ for picture), but the weather would not permit. 3 contacts from 3 different states. Station weight is 8.8 lbs. Power is 5 watts. I really wanted to try out a few antennas I built outside, but as I said weather did not cooperate. Looking forward to the next sprint. Take care and thank you for sponsoring this event. 73, John N8RVE

N3CI
My first Sprint and could only devote about 50 minutes tonight.  QRN was bad with storms nearby.  Lots of QSB meant I worked a station who was 339 (barely) and a few minutes later he was a solid 569.  Lots of fun and I will be back for more. 73, Dave N3CI

K9DRP
4 contacts, 30 lbs. of station. My first Sprint with you guys!  All contacts on 40. I worked NK6A the other night (I got my first Fox Hunt pelt from him) but he disappeared before I could work him tonight. I'm hooked. See you next month.

K3RLL
Started off with a bang this evening, making most of my whopping 8 contacts in the first few minutes. But then something good must have come on TV because, not hearing many replies at this point, I tuned around and found that everyone else left the party and left me sitting there in the corner. (Sigh)  Don’t you just hate that?  Thanks for the contacts, both new and old, and will look forward to October. The effort expended by the army of dedicated people who put on this monthly event is greatly appreciated. Thank you. 72 … Don K3RLL

AB9CA
Short SP tonight. Had other things I needed to get done for POTA activation tomorrow. Ran the K3 at 5w to 56 ft vee, peak at 40 ft. All Q's on 40. Got no responses to calls on 20. Ant will not work on 80. SPC's were GA AL MN NH VA NJ MD NH MA TX PA. All pretty close. The band did not seem long yet I got one 40m RBN spot from ON5KQ . . . go figure. Thanks for the Q's. Hope to hear everyone next month. 73 de dave ab9ca

K4BAI
No sprinters heard and no answers to CQs on 20M, although there was some propagation.  40M was pretty good with 19 QSOs. Almost gave up, but got 2 more on 80M near the end.  They were WB5BKL in TX (Thanks for two bands, Nick) and W4QO, about 100 miles away also in GA. Hope for more activity next month.  73/72, John, K4BAI

ABØCD
QRM on 40? But a fun QRP hour; could only get on for Hr #2. 72, ABØCD

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop. Very noisy here as several lines of very welcome t-storms passed. It was occasionally very difficult to hear callers - notably John, my only contact on 80M. One QRO contact removed.  9 states this time.  Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - N3CI,  80M - K4BAI. Even with what seemed to be continuous static crashes, I had fun.

WB9HFK
Rig: Icom 7300 @ 5W; Antenna: OCF Dipole at 25 Ft.; Weight: ~ 25 lbs. 40M only. Limited time with phone calls etc. Loads of fun - look forward to seeing everyone next month! 72, Mark WB9HFK

KB1M
Nothing workable on 20, 40 had strong signals out of western PA, OH, IN, IL. Only other state worked was GA, K4BAI who almost always is heard here in NH. Thanks for the QSO's. 72/73, Walt

N2JJF
Do not have 80m on my KX1 so only used 40M. I only heard 3 stations and worked all 3. KX1  2Watts  into G5RV  at 20 feet.

N5EM
Nothing on 20M, but 3 Q's on 40M. Seems to be the same 'ole same Oh. Thanks to K4BAI, N3CI and NK6A.  We've got to keep meeting like this. 72, Ed - N5EM

NØAR
Another day and night of local TS activity kept me tied to 40 meters. Thank goodness for dsp! Conditions were up and down. Worked most everyone I heard though. 72s Scott NØAR St.Paul, MN

W5ACM
The ATS-3a was remarkably cooperative this month. My CW was pretty good thanks to the keyer contacts. The batteries appear to be running well. I use a pair of 170 mAh LiPo cells. It makes 3W out, so it is good to go! I am hoping for good 20M CNDX next month! 72 de Andy W5ACM, Houston, Texas.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

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


Thursday, August 16, 2018

SCOREBOARD: August 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint


For an enlarged view, please click on the Scoreboard.

SOAPBOX: August 2018 ARS Spartan Sprint

AB9CA
Had only a half hour tonight. But it was a fun half hour. Used the K3 at 5w to a 56' Inv V, peak at 40'. This wire is not optimum in that it runs E/W. Would be better from my locale if N/S. 20 was not very productive, only 2 Q's there, CA and ID. The remaining 9 Qs were on 40: PA MN TX GA IA NH ID TX CO. Only 2 bander as Randy, K7TQ, out in ID. Thanks for the Qs. Maybe I'll have more time next month. 73 de dave, ab9ca

KB1M
7 Qs for 5 states only one was on 20m. Reverse Beacon only showed two spots on 40 meters for my call, sprinters seem to have some very good ears! Thanks for the QSOs. 72/73 Walt

W5ACM
I was late to the party this month, but still found some good folks on 40 Meters and reasonable conditions. I made contact with K4BAI, NØTA and WA9TGT. The ATS-3a was remarkably cooperative. My CW was much better thanks to some attention to the brass key contacts. The batteries appear to be running well also. I use a pair of 170 mAh LiPo cells. It makes 3W out, so it is good to go! I promise to be on time next month.

KFØN
Thunderstorms along the Iowa/Missouri border and South American SSB QRM made the contest a challenge tonight.   I heard no signals on 20 meters and QRN from the storms rendered 80 meters unusable so it was a single band night.  It was a pleasure to work the usual gang though.  It is helpful to have many of the calls memorized; it makes it easier to pull everyone out of these high noise levels!  As some of you have stated in your comments previously, it would be nice to see greater contest participation.  Many thanks to all who answered my “CQ SP”.  I hope we meet again in September. Larry, KFØN

WB9HFK
Part-time this month as the nearby thunderstorms were producing a lot of QRN. Don, K3RLL had a booming signal into E. Central IL. Thanks for the Qs and sorry to those I just could not pull out of the QRN. 
72, Mark Prather - WB9HFK

WB5BKL
K3/10 @ 5W to a 40M extended double Zepp or a 20M wire delta loop. Back to the repaired K3 (bad chip on I/O board). RBN could hear me on 15M but no one else. Best signals:  20M - NK6A, 40M - K5GQ, 80M - K4BAI. I think I stayed on 20M too long. The QSO with John on 80M was almost a miracle as I had an S8 noise level. Not my best showing, but had fun.

K7TQ
I operated from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest east of Moscow, ID using a KX2 at 5 W feeding a SOTABEAMS 20-40 m trap dipole suspended at 40 feet between two pine trees. For other Spartan Sprints I have had this trap dipole supported by a 28-foot Jacklite telescoping kite pole which does well for 20 m one hop paths, but not so good for two hops. I wanted to see how much better the trap dipole would work higher up. The result was better performance for the 20 m two-hop paths to the east coast, as one would expect. Worked K4BAI in GA on both 20 and 40. A good first hour on 20, then slow the second hour on 40.  Thanks to all who stopped by.

KØEAP
Once again I had a great time. I made my first contact using 5W and then turned the power down to 2W. I was calling CQ using 2W and had no takers. So I went on the hunt and pounce method. I worked stations in AL, CA, TX and IL, not to bad on 2 watts from Minnesota, I was really happy to finally make more than two contacts like I had done in the last few sprints. I thought the bands were a little tough last night. 40m was very noisy for me, which was a bummer because that seemed to be where most of the action was. Can't wait for next month. Thanks for the fun event. 73, de KØEAP

NØTA
Two contacts on 20m, then 14 on 40m. 40m was a bit noisy but usable. Twofer with K4BAI and K7TQ. Thanks for the Qs! Kx2, Palm key, Gen Log.

K4BAI
Only able to operate for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. 5 QSOs on 20, 16 QSOs on 40, and 1 QSO on 80 (WB5BKL). Thanks for all QSOs and see you next month. 73/72, John, K4BAI

K5GQ
I could not find all the parts for my ATS-3. Static crashes peaking S6, 7. I had a couple of stations call me but could not copy all of the calls.

K3RLL
Started out pretty strong on 40m this evening but then the contacts started spacing out a bit, then a bit more, then a lot more. (Smile)  Really need to get something to operate 80m cuz I think that’s where the party goes when 40m works out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

SCOREBOARD: 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees

The word "fun" was mentioned no less than 25 times in the SOAPBOX for the 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees on July 29. Participation was the best in years, thanks to some good propagation - especially on 20 meters. Operators, both Bumblebees in the field and home stations were out in force around North America.

Scores were really, really good. And even the most challenged operators managed to have a great time. You can see a complete rundown of scores for 2018 FOBB:


Scroll down and you'll see dozens of photographs sent in by Bumblebees, showing the diversity of locations from which they operated. Shown too, is the ingenuity of radio amateurs who love to go Trail-Friendly. Please click on the images, like the one just below, for an enlarged view.



2018 FOBB is a real space eater on the ARS Homepage. When you get to the bottom of your scroll-down, click on OLDER POSTS to see our extended contest coverage. Please note the INDEX to directly to the right of this paragraph for direct links to charts, narratives, and individual operator pictures.

Many thanks to all who participated in this year's event. You all made it one of the best FOBB's ever.

73,

Richard Fisher, KI6SN
Co-founder, The Adventure Radio Society
arsbumblebees@gmail.com

2018 Flight of the Bumblebees Picture Gallery

Here are almost 40 photographs from the 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees held July 29. A truly diverse body of images from across the United States and Canada.


For an enlarged view, please click on each picture.

Many thanks to all of the operators who took the time and energy to snap a shot of their 2018 FOBB station site.

73,

Richard Fisher, KI6SN
Co-founder, The Adventure Radio Society
arsbumblebees@gmail.com

AC7A: BB No. 22, Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona



a

WB5BKL: BB No. 66, Black Rock Park, Texas


W3ATB: BB No. 53, Mount Kearsarge, New Hampshire


VE3LFN: BB No. 28, Cundick Park on the St. Claire Parkway, Ontario, Canada



N6IET: BB No. 369, Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades, California




N4KGL: BB No. 54, St. Andrew State Park near Panama City, Florida




KFØUR: BB No. 35, Mt. Blodgett, Colorado Springs, Colorado


K4UPG: BB no. 44, Lake Fredrica, Orlando, Florida


KØJQZ: BB No. 1, BLM Land Near Fountain, Colorado



AB9BZ: BB No. 39, Hidden Pond Slough, Palos Township, Illinois



K3RLL: BB No. 15, Cemetery Overlooking Red Bank Valley, Pennsylvania




W8JIK: BB No. 93, A Back Yard in Morrow, Ohio




K1SWL: BB No. 36, Mount Kearsarge, New Hampshire



AKØM: BB No. 74, Linn County, Iowa



SOAPBOX: 2018 Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees

N4TMM
Very fun and friendly.  I got on about 2:30 Eastern, and about 3 Eastern, 40 went dead down here in the Atlanta bushes, so I worked 20 mostly using my OCF.  The contest is great practice for digging signals out of the ether, as they are affected by QRN and QSB at my home shack in Atlanta.  I had AGC off, so every now and then a SKCC Op would CQ and blow my ears off.  The fun QRP events on 20 like this one and Fox Hunt make me want to build a portable hex beam and take it out to the nearby golf course.  Thanks for putting on this fun event.  FWIW, I logged the contacts to LOTW.  72, Jim Ewing N4TMM

WA7LNW
Wish band conditions had been better.  Operated this year using my HF Remote station running 5 watts.  Enjoyed handing out contacts to all the portable Bumblebees.  Fun as always!  73's de Jack, WA7LNW

WØ9B
Very late start due to other commitments.  Ah well, so I missed a couple of hours. Rather than bust any more time, decided to set up in the backyard. So out came the Wolf River Coil vertical.  It went together well and looked good but, oh my, the noise was bad.   Also, once again 40 proved to be unproductive.  So with little choice, up went the trusty end-fed. That proved to be a good move.   Worked stations literally from coast to coast on a half charged battery. Did I mention I forgot to charge the battery. The bands were not exactly great, but a number of station kept popping above the noise. As usual, this proved to be a fun event. BTW the weather here was wonderful. Time to pack it up. Thanks for the fun event. 72, MJ, WO9B

W4LSV
Nice cool breeze sitting under a stand of oak trees.  Low noise level made operating enjoyable.

K4BAI
Think this was my best BB entry ever.  Lots of activity. Good signals. Generally good ops.  Thanks for all QSOs, especially the portable BB ops.  73/72, John, K4BAI

KFØUR
Well, I got chased off the mountain again.  It happens every year, as we get thunderstorms in the afternoon here in Colorado Springs, CO. After 2.5 hours, the clouds came, the winds picked up and it got cold. No sooner than I got everything packed up and headed down the mountain, the thunder started, and then the rain. Got home almost dry. But in the time I was on, the CONDX were pretty good considering no sunspots.  And I had fun as always.  I always look forward to this event. Rig: KX3 with a SideKar for all messaging and logging.  Bioenno 3 amp LiFePo4 battery. The antenna was my usual homebrew vertical.  Check out the image in the 2018 FOBB Picture Gallery of my QRP portable "office". 72, Shel, KFØUR

N6MDV
Had a good experience. Most signals relatively weak into temporary 20M dipole just placed for this event 15 feet into the backyard Maple tree, using KX2.  Operator CW speed was good for me, thanks! A great intro.  Would have tried to be a BB and operated from somewhere else if I knew that CW speeds were at my level. Hopefully next year. Thanks for making this happen. Very enjoyable. 73, Mike

ADØBI
Running 2 watts from KX1 on internal battery, but inside using permanent G5RV.

W1PID, K1SWL, W3ATB
Dave K1SWL, Tim W3ATB and I (Jim, W1PID) operated the 2018 FOBB from the side of Mt. Kearsarge in Winslow State Park. It was a gorgeous day. We each had a rig and an antenna. Dave beat us all with 14 QSOs using his homebrew Hilltopper rig. We had lunch in nearby Andover then headed up the mountain. It was a perfect day! Tim set up a half wave vertical and made three bumblebee QSOs before Dave and I were even on the air. He was using his KX2. Dave brought his 20-meter Hilltopper with a half wave sloper and did a fantastic job. His best DX was Cam N6GA in California. I (Jim) brought the KX3 and set up a 44-foot dipole fed with twisted pair. It worked well on both 40 and 20. My best DX was Russia, but he wasn't a bumblebee. . . We all quit after two hours and a really perfect afternoon. The activity was good, the weather was the best and the company couldn’t have been better.

K9EW
Poor conditions and a not-ready-for-prime-time antenna were discouraging.  Only made 6 QSOs for a total of 54 points. Used a K1 running 5w into an EFHW + tuner on 20m.

KE8EAS
Fun time! Great activity on 20 meters. My first Bumblebee, camped out at The Ridges, Athens Ohio’s former Insane Asylum's Cemetery. Bands were up and down, but lots of buzzing to be heard! Thank you es 73, Josh

K3RLL
Compared to my surroundings, I thought the bands were fairly “lively”.  20m was the money band today here with signals a good bit down on 40m and not so many of them. But then I was using a 16’4” vertical with switched toroid base loading so that’s not much wire on 40m.  The weather here today, however, was stunning: 75F and low humidity. Sitting there under a big maple tree looking out into Redbank Valley was a real treat today. Thanks for the fun.  This is a GREAT hobby! (No residents were disturbed by this field experience.) 73, Don, K3RLL

N8XX
Reasonable conditions for this part of the sunspot cycle. Got a late start but contacts came fairly rapidly on 20 and 40 meters. A thunderstorm was heard at a distance, so I shut down, about 15 minutes before a light rain started up. So, only had ~ 1 hour to operate.  I could have fired up after the shower passed, but clouds were still threatening. Sorry, no pictures. I didn't want to take time because of threatening rain.

K8RJW
This is the first time entering BB Sprint.  Due to band conditions and my keyer developing a total mind of its own (sent whatever it wanted regardless of what I keyed in), it's almost embarrassing to even send this report.  Thanks to the 5 stations who managed to pull me through!!!  Better luck next time. . . it can't get much worse!  ‘72, Bob, K8RJW

WA6AZP
Several interesting things: the ratio of bumblebees to total contacts was higher than I expected. Apparently, most participants are portable. In fact the one non-bumblebee
I contacted was pedestrian mobile. My16-24 volt input, 12-volt output mobile (lighter plug input) computer supplies were apparently switchers, not linear as I had been led to believe, with drifting noise. Operating direct solar through the regulator seems like a good idea until the high cloud layer rolls in, and solar panel output no longer keeps up with the transmit current for the 20-meter DSW-II.

KF5RY
I don’t think I worked this contest in 2015, but my experience this year was great!  Here in N. Texas we only have 2 seasons, Summer and Not Summer.  Summer lasts from April through November.  This contest is in the heart of summer.  The official temp was 98, feels like 105.  We had a nice breeze so it was a bit like a convection oven.  I met a guy in the park and he was really interested in radio so I let him come over and watch for a while.  I think I might have melted his mind when I told him there wasn’t a computer decoding anything, I was the decoder. LOL!  Good day making Qs, got to introduce someone to radio, and the family was off doing other stuff so I didn’t miss any dad time. It was a good day! Hoping to put up a YouTube video on my experience in the next week or 2. Use your favorite search engine with my call sign and I’m sure you’ll find the video in the near future. Steve, KF5RY

NØZH
The thunderstorms held off so only had light rain.  I mostly S&P, didn't have much luck calling CQ.  20m was pretty good with QSB at times.  Didn't hear any BB's on 40m until later in the contest. Had a great time. Looking forward to next year. 73, Mike / NØZH

NØEAX
I enjoyed the event operating from Binder Lake here in Jefferson City, Mo.  Propagation was great as signals were very strong.  My 1 watt and Hustler mobile antenna made for easy contacts.  Thanks to the great operators for finding this Bumblebee. Thunderstorms prevented operating during much of the event.

K1EEE
I seldom operate QRP. I broke out my trusty FT1000MP set it to 5W and had a blast. Sorry I missed 2 - 3 stations calling that I just could not pull out. A very neat on-air operation that I will have to do again. 73, K1EEE

N6GA
The rig was a QCX with a dipole at 30’. Like pulling teeth. Deep fades, weak sigs. Hi to Dave, K1SWL who would have been my best DX except that he was nosed out by KØZK in Maine. TNX to the ARS for another fun outing!

W8JIK
I used an Elecraft K1, battery-powered at 4 watts into an end-fed wire in a sloper configuration. The band propagation was poor. Practically the only activity I heard on the bands were ARS BB contestants. Despite that, I had a great time. Pictures from my operating site are in the 2018 FOBB Gallery. Note the Blue Heron at water’s edge.

WVØH
Thanks once again for wrangling all this together! The weather forecast called for some rain and I was a bit hesitant at first but went anyway. It never rained so that was alright.
I set up in a city park in Broomfield Colorado using the KX2 and a 20m EDZ up 39 feet broadside E/W. The 20m band was in decent shape at the beginning (11:00 local) but seemed to fade a bit about a half hour into the flight. I heard the usual suspects such as Randy K7TQ and John K4BAI. I worked Greg, N4KGL down there in Florida. So in all, I worked Maine to California and Washington to Florida, so not too bad all around, no DX except Canada. Only nabbed a couple of Missouri Qs on 40 so back to 20 to finish the flight. I worked N6KR Wayne down on an island possibly no doubt trying out his new portable vertical. I will email you the link to the YT video once I get it done. Myron, WVØH

KK4R
I haven't participated in FOBB since one of the first ones years ago. I had a good time, and all the operators were good. I only missed a couple of QSOs where one or the other of us couldn’t dig it out. My rig is a K3, and the antenna is an 80m horizontal loop. Next time, with a little planning, I could get out one of my old QRP radios and hit the field.

K7TQ
I had a good four hours in the forested mountains. Managed to stay in the shade the entire time although there was not a cloud in the sky. Operating time best described as "several opportunities for improvising." With all the backups I brought along all the "opportunities" were solved. Thanks to all who stopped by for a Q.

K4AKC
I used an Elecraft K1 at 4.8 watts. The antenna was an end-fed Zepp vertical wire fed with a ZM-2 tuner. Best long distance contact from Alabama was K7TQ way out in Idaho. N6GA in California had a good signal also. Propagation in the eastern US was generally North-South on 40 meters. However, on 20 meters, it was all over the map. Signals were weaker than those on 40 meters, but more stations were heard. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon under a shade tree.  – Tom

AB9BZ
It was a great day and a lot of fun. I realized some limitations with my Youkits EK-1C
that I will have resolved soon (the receiver audio was too low for outdoor use). This was my first FBB event, I had a rocky start - I moved over to Buffalo Woods Picnic Grove North because there was too much activity at Hidden Pond woods. While setting up my linked dipole - I had the Forest Preserve Police checking me out, I stopped to ask them if they were going to chase me out, but he said as long as I take everything back with me, I'm OK. I'm looking forward to participating in future events. Thanks for a great event. My station setup is in the 2018 FOBB Gallery.

W3ATB
I had a great time with W1PID and K1SWL. I was stunned when I tuned my radio to the QRP (low-power) frequency on 20 meters. There were all sorts of stations calling! This past year propagation has been dismal and there have been times I’ve turned on the radio and heard just one, or two, signals. Within a few minutes, I had already contacted two other bumblebee operators! After the third contact, I stopped and thought about how just three years ago I would have been thrilled with two contacts for an outing. See W3ATB’s full story at: https://bit.ly/2P4fZvy. Thanks for all the effort. I know what's involved as I do the annual QRP Cookie Crumble contest. 72, Tim

NI9M
Rain was forecast for the afternoon but we were fortunate and it stayed very nice. The temperature was about 80 degrees and there was a nice breeze out of the NE. Mark, KØNIA and I set up under a very large 100+ year-old maple tree. It was a perfect place to chase Bumblebees. I was using a KX3 at 5w to a homebrew portable 31 foot vertical with a 4:1 unun at the feed point and four 30 foot counterpoise wires elevated about a foot. Mark was running a HB1B at 5w to a 17 foot home brew vertical with four radials sloping from approx. 4 feet to the ground. Both antennas performed pretty well. I managed to work stations on both coasts (left and right). Most of the activity we heard was on 20m. We took turns switching between 20m and 40m which worked out well. The antennas were separated about 80 feet and we had a small amount of interstation interference but it was manageable and we didn't have any real problems. I tried both 15m and 10m a few times but did not hear anything on either of those bands. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon thanks to both Mother Nature and all of the awesome operators that we worked. I love QRP operating and QRP ops are patient and determined; which makes it more fun for everyone. Thank you to all that answered me. I hope that next year, conditions are a little better and I have the privilege of working more of you. 72, Dave, NI9M

WB9HFK
My rig was an Icom 7300 @ 5W and the antenna was a Hustler 6BTV, ground mounted with 60 radials.

K1SWL
I joined W1PID and W3ATB at a scenic picnic area, where we had room to spread out.  I ran my 5W Hilltopper 20 for a total of 14 QSOs. The antenna was a homebrew 20M EFHW. The copy was rough when the others were transmitting, but not surprising with a minimalist rig. Great activity levels on 20M- nice to see it, and hope next month's NJ Skeeter Hunt does well also! - K1SWL

N6IET
I transported my portable HF station (KX2, LiFePO4 battery and Hustler MO3 mobile antenna with resonators for 40, 20 and 15 meters) on my bicycle to Will Rogers State Beach, where I operated QRP from two nearly identical locations: (1) The last restroom stop along the Marvin Braude bike path half a mile northwest of where Temescal Canyon Rd intersects Pacific Coast Highway in the part of Los Angeles known as Pacific Palisades; and (2) the center restroom stop, at that same intersection, where I enjoyed a bacon cheeseburger and Diet Snapple during a half-hour lunch break. I made a total of 12 contacts during the sprint in 7 states: 6 on 40 meters and 6 on 20 meters. Only three of them were /BB stations besides me and two or three more were QRP. 15 meters was dead the whole time. I got poor signal reports on 40 meters, even from very strong stations, but on 20 meters the reports I got were about the same as those I gave out. Signals were generally weak on 20 meters and plagued with deep QSB. The strongest 20m station (in Wisconsin) was 589, but he was running 500 watts! Photos in the 2018 FOBB Picture Gallery show two different perspectives of me operating at the second location but using a larger ‘cutting board’ rig (with amp and solar charge controller) and the Hustler configured as a quad-bander with four resonator coils on it. I operate from this location at least once a week, usually on Friday mornings.

N5GW
Using a pneumatic tennis ball antenna launcher, I put up a CFZ up about 60 feet in tall oak trees. My KX3, batteries, and homebrew tuner were placed on a portable table in the shade. A battery operated fan and ice chest with drinks allowed me to withstand the heat index of 100. 20M was in good shape for this time of day, year and sunspot cycle. 40M not so good, but got five contacts on 15M. Next adventure: NJ Skeeter Hunt.

VE3XT
Ok, so who removed the ionosphere over Central Avenue Garden last Sunday? Could hear activity on 20 and 40 but most signals were S 1 to 2 and not strong enough to work. I turned it into a bit of an antenna shoot out – a homemade mag loop vs. a N2CX design sold by QRP guys. To my ear the N2CX produced stronger signals and 3 of the 4 stations were worked on the N2CX antenna. Thanks to KI6SN for organizing this event. On my calendar, ARS FOBB is one of the premier operating events of the year. Bill, VE3XT

AB9CA
Had originally planned to go over to a not-too-distant SOTA peak. However, I ran by there one day last week. Had operated SOTA from there but did not recall the exact layout. When I got back I found I had been overrun by chiggers. More than a dozen bites. Decided to not go back there and sit on the ground for 5 or 6 hours. Operated from my field. Set the rig up in the pole barn. Condx seemed decent but not great. Heard a lot of guys making contacts while I CQ'ed with no takers. But did manage 55 Q's. 20 on 40m and 35 on 20. Tried 15m but nothing there. 40 was noisy and the QSB seemed to be worse there. Rig was K1, antenna was a link Inv Vee peak at 32'. Had a long coax run to the pole barn. Probably too long. Temps were moderate. High of 84 with a light breeze. Thankfully no thunderstorms. Power was provided by a 10 pack of AA NiMH, which, interestingly, lasted the entire event. Worked guys from CA and WA to ME and NH and from MN to FL. Was a fun afternoon. Could always do with more activity. But that is SOP. Thanks to KI6SN, who does the work to make this fun event possible! And thanks to everyone that gave me a shout. See y'all next year. 73 de Dave, AB9CA

KB4QQJ
Well that was a hoot, Got a nice start on 20 meters but 40 was near dead. As the day progressed I finally made a few 40 meter contacts. Had a few on 15 meters also. I forget who suggested listening on the hours there but it was a good suggestion and paid off. Thanks to Greg, N4KGL for finding me on 3 bands! I noticed one station sending BB4 but the list shows BB6. Logged it as 4 and had fun doing it. It's a hobby. Most fun contact was ADØBI as my last second contact and he was booming at 2 watts! The first part of the day was by the Haw River Canoe Trail http://hawriver.org/about-the-river/recreation/ Then on to Gibsonville Garden Railroad Park: https://www.gibsonville.net/gibsonvillegardenrailroad. My rig was MTR-4b at 5 watts Antennas were W4OP Loop at 10 feet and an LNR Trail Friendly 10/20/40 at 25 feet Keys were Kungsimport Sideswiper, and an RCAF Bug. 73 for now, Randy, KB4QQJ

KØJQZ
My goal was Lookout Mountain but I did not get an early enough start so we stayed on the BLM land and found a good spot with views. I had no noise floor on 20 meters save the occasional electrical discharge from some storms. My initial strategy was to listen for CQs and pounce as much as I could to save battery but near the end, I called CQ a few times which yielded a few stations. I was surprised that there were only about half a dozen stations that could not hear me. I am guessing but think I started out at a little over a watt and was probably down to half a watt at the end. The antenna was a twin lead 20-meter dipole up 50 feet for a total of about 8050 feet of altitude. Contacts were very casual as I had the XYL with me and we chatted about different things. We had to secure the last hour due to a fast-moving storm. We packed up under heavy rain and made it out ok. If we were 5 minutes quicker we would have missed the rain altogether.

K9DRP
Rain fell during the entire event.  TNX to everyone who worked my QRS!  Heard only KG5YTS on 15, but couldn't get him to answer my call.

K7MK
Setup on our cabin deck for the last hour or so of the contest.  SOTAbeams link dipole and small fiberglass pushup mast. KX3 battery powered. Had a great view down and across the lake. Great fun making a few QRP QSO w/BB contest. FB!

WB3GCK
I was camping over the weekend but I didn't think I was going to be able to participate this year. I didn't sign up for a BB number but It turned out that I was able to catch the first hour of the contest before I had to head home. It was great to work some familiar callsigns. Hopefully, I'll have more time next year.

K4UPG
Due to approaching thunderstorms, I didn't set up my normal 45 ft up dipole in case I needed a quick getaway. (Which I did) Used my HB1B and a 20m EFHW rigged inverted L and mostly NVIS at 10 ft up on Jackite and Crappie pole combo. Heard many familiar callsigns but didn't get out well as no responses to my calls or CQ BB attempts. Did snag my FL friend Greg N4KGL up in the Panama City FL area. This time of year is lightning and thunderstorm season here in the lightning capital of the world. I have a wx app on my iPhone that sounds an alert if lightning is within 8 miles of my GPS location. It was near 2:20 PM EDT so I closed up and got to my home as the downpour and lightning began. Almost too close for comfort! 4 years in a row since I've had a full 4 hr run!

KEØTT
Thanks for the fun!

KD3CA
Sure was a lot of fun. I will look forward to more Adventure Radio Society contests. Many thanks to all! 73, Don, KD3CA

NE5DL
“Cheated” this year on my birthday with indoor operation. Had family commitments and operated for an hour using a K3 @ 5W and a Hex Beam. 20M seemed to be in good shape while I was on. The 100 degrees outside temp sure encouraged indoor operation. Sorry to the ops that I just couldn't pull out of the noise. Did get the "the goat man" (wGØAT) from CO though.

WB5BKL
K1 @ 5W to a 20M dipole up about 20 feet between two live oak trees. My location is a popular LCRA park on the Colorado River. Had some terrible noise issues which vanished as the FOBBs started. Worked 15 S/P/Cs including two SOTA stations. KX0R, N5GW and K7TQ had strong consistent signals here in the central Texas hill country.  At 2100Z it was 100F (cooler than the two previous days) and I was into my second two-liter bottle of water. My thanks to all. Had fun.

NK9G
That was the most QRP Ops I've heard in a long time. Great participation! While far from our best, the participation made this year’s BB so much fun. Operated on the western shore of Lake Michigan using 40 Meter Delta Loop at 50'+ and a 20 meter Delta Loop at 35'. Getting those antennas up makes the difference. Rig was KX3 and it purred like a kitten. Arn, KØZK was the powerhouse of the day, Good to work N6GA in CA and AC7A in AZ. 9 states on 40 and 19 states on 20. Thanks to KI6SN for his efforts and the Adventure Radio Society. This was the best Bumblebee Event in a couple years for me. Thanks to all the participants. Rick, NK 9G

N8GAS
Not my best effort. Better luck next year.

K2ULR
Outdoor patio operation (change of plans due to family activities). A grand total of 2 contacts (on 20 meters), both stations were BB stations. (NK9G #24 WI and KB4WWJ #49 NC) I did try some CQs on 40 and 15, but 20 was the band in better shape. The rig was my KX3 at 5 watts, feeding an original AlexLoop. 73, de Ray K2ULR

K9DXA
No shelter - operating from an open field, a few minutes of very light rain. Band conditions were pretty good on 20M and 40M. Two inverted vee dipoles up about 28 ft. I could hear several stations that could not hear me. Thanks to all for another great FOBB! TNX to KI6SN. 72/73, Harry K9DXA

N4KGL
this year I chose Carl Grey Park in Panama City, Florida as my venue which is on the shore of North Bay. I like to place my vertical antenna on the saltwater shore. My vertical this time was the N6BT Bravo 7K. I setup up the vertical for 20 meters which was the most active band. I also set up a low dipole for 40 meters. The rig was the Elecraft KX2. Blog post at http://www.n4kgl.info/2018/07/flight-of-bumblebees-2018-was-qrp-swarm.html and video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVd5FBd_7WU&feature=youtu.be

KØNIA
Tough conditions, but we still had fun. There's no such thing as a bad day in the field working QRP.

VE3EDX
5W to 18 foot vertical. Very few strong signals. Quit early with an incoming thunderstorm. TNX and 73, Mike

AKØM
Got on for the last 30 minutes due to church and family priorities. KX3, Palm Paddles, and homebrew 13’ magnetic loop antenna. On the air in just a couple minutes after short hike out to the tree in the front yard by the road. QSOs were all on 20m; no BB ops or CQ responses on 40m. This was the first use of the 13’ mag loop, and I was pleased with its performance. Enjoyed the event even if only for a brief while!

W1B (WA1ZCQ/1)
Up at 4AM, printed-out newest BB list at 6AM, arrived at Hilton State Park (Dover, NH) at 7AM. Setup antenna (end-fed random wire) and station (703 & Li-Ion battery) by 8AM. Did some RBN skimmer testing on all bands. Beautiful day to be at this State Park along the saltwater. Lots of people in the Park and I had more eyeball QSOs than on-air QSO's. Fun time. Broke-down station and antenna at 7PM and went out for supper by 8PM. Back home at 10:30PM. What a great day of operating, getting exercise, and lots of sun and fresh air. Looking forward to next year already. Thank you to ARS, and all who participated. 73, Carl - W1B (Whiskey One Bumblebee) WA1ZCQ/1

AC7A
I operated from a picnic area at nearly 8,000' elevation in the Santa Catalina Mountains. This mountain lays just north of Tucson, AZ, in the Coronado National Forest. I had used this location for my past 4 FOBB operations and it works nicely because it is spread out and has many Ponderosa pines that can be used to support antenna wires. My radio for this FOBB was an Elecraft K1, equipped with the auto-tuner. The antenna was a 68' wire strung up the side and across the top, of one of the tall pines. I used a wrist-rocket equipped with a fishing reel to launch a fishing line over the top of the tree. The wire ended up being nearly vertical with a small amount of it placed across the treetop. The K1 autotuner did a nice job matching the wire impedance on 40 through 15 meters. The FOBB conditions were pretty decent this year compared to the past couple. I operated very casually on 20 meters and I tried 15 and 40 meters, but didn't find any FOBB signals on those bands. My total number of QSOs was 27, with 20 of the bees sporting a BB number. About an hour and a half before the end of the FOBB period the clouds started building up above the mountain ridge I was perched upon. Afternoon thunderstorms were predicted for the mountains so when the clouds started building up I decided not to tempt fate. I made my last QSO with a little more than an hour of the FOBB remaining, and then pulled the antenna down and packed the gear. It actually didn't storm while I was up there, but I don't regret playing it safe and shutting down early. It is always great being up in the mountains here in Arizona. The temperature was in the 70s, and everything was nice and green from the recent summer rains. Thanks to all the other bees and operators, and to the Adventure Radio Society for sponsoring this annual QRP operating activity. It is one of my favorite outdoor QRP activities. 73, Thomas, AC7A

WG8Y
Decided at the last minute to play Patio Portable from the backyard here in Salisbury, NC. Right before the start, I threw up my lightweight HB 10-40m OCF app. 20ft into a tree. Grabbed the FT-817 and was impressed at how many bees I heard. Thought 40m would be the way to go but 20m was GUD here in NC. Bounced between 20 and 40 trying to catch some bees. Kept trying 15m but only heard one signal from 5-land. Couldn't get back to him. I tried calling CQ on 15m with no takers. The reverse beacon was showing several hits in the New England area. Oh well, guess not enough honey on my signal for the bees. HI HI. Had fun from the back patio.

VE3LFN
I stuck to 20 meters and had put together a makeshift antenna on the fly for 40 made from a 9:1 UnUN and a run of counterpoise wire thrown into a tree which modeled perfectly on my antenna analyzer right off the bat, however I would never get to put it on the air it turned out due to the severe WX approaching. The unpredictable and always untimely rumbling of motorcycles and cars on the highway behind me by a couple hundred feet or so necessitates the wearing of a headset much of the time. And even then they can overrule what I'm trying so desperately to hear: QRP signals. Band conditions were fair to poor but anytime I can get to the park and make a contact, the day is a huge success not to mention tons of fun! All in all, another great FOBB, I’m already looking forward to 2019. 72, Steve, VE3LFN.

W5RST 
I planned to operate from the summit of Elk Mountain and had set up my end-fed random wire antenna with the KX2 ready to go. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas: rain and lightning sent me packing off the peak. By the time I got back to the picnic area by the trail head the rain had ended, so I set up at one of the tables. Conditions were not great, but I managed a handful of contacts. Things were not as planned, but I still had fun and got to talk about ham radio to several curious hikers. 72, de Mike W5RST