The picture above from the NM QRP group says it all about FYBO! Dr. Megacycle, KK6MC/5, is shown operating near Albuquerque for FYBO2006.
Here they are at long last. The results of the 2008 FYBO Winter Field Day!
And it's another runaway for the New Mexico QRP guys juggernaut! Who will
step up this year to challenge this group of fine operators.
There were 43 entries submitted this year compared to 50 last year. This
does not reflect the true number of participants. There are many more from
looking at the logs, who did not send their entries and then there was the
'Automated Submittal'. What a disaster! I am sure this cost some entries
as well. There was a real Who's Who of the QRP world again this year.
If this doesn't get the excitement started, I don't know what will!!
Scores that are different from what you submitted were adjusted when I
found missed multipliers or arithmetical errors while looking through the
logs and your comments. Oddly enough, almost all the errors were made on
the low side. There is one estimated score this year until I receive an
Be sure to see Paul's (W0RW/PM) FYBO report in the Soapbox section. Not
enough information to include in the results, but very interesting nevertheless!
Check out the links where they are listed in the soapbox. There are some
really well done and interesting web pages describing everyone's activities.
Some have links to others. Follow those as well and you'll get a good picture
of the fun everyone had.
If you find errors or you are just plain missing, please let me know and I
will get them corrected. I will be making another pass through my records
to verify that I have included everyone. Email correspondence for corrections
or additions to: FYBO2008 at azscqrpions dot org. The email address for
FYBO2009 is FYBO2009 at azscqrpions dot org.
You may download the
results spreadsheet in Excel format here.
Sort it to your heart's content. Google Documents Spreadsheet and OpenOffice
will also open this file. It is also easy to import into nearly any database
This is what many of the field operations faced …
Things didn't start out well. We got to our normal operating site an hour before the contest and they had locked it up. AA5B and W9YA arrived in separate cars slightly before I got there, so I figured Murphy rode with one of them. :^)=
After some fits and spurts we ended up at Cochiti Lake campground, about 20 miles NW of our original spot. The terrain is similar to our original site, although we don't have the dramatic ridge to put antennas on, but there was running water and the toilets were intact. Like not destroyed with a shotgun. By the time we got there it was 0700Z. Like Nick, I thought that we should be CQing by now. We made a decision not to put up the 80M station and antenna as there would probably only be a half hour or so of good propagation by the time we got it up and 40M would only be long for an hour or two. So I apologize for plugging 80M operation hard and then not being able to deliver. We worked K7TQ early on on 40M and he wanted us to QSY to 80M, but that would not have worked with the 40M dipole. We worked him later on 20M and 15M. It would have been nice to put Randy in the log on all 4 bands! KE5AKL tried him later in the afternoon on 80M with the 40M dipole, but couldn't complete a QSO.
We got the 40M station up and running at 1430Z, only a half hour past starting time. Things were looking up. The station was a K2 running 5W to a 40M inverted vee up 40 ft on a Spiderbeam pole. It was nice to work K7TQ first thing, but we regretted not being able to pass him to 80M. Maybe next year. WA5BDU was worked a half hour later. We worked 10 the first hour on 40M, then things slowed to 5 then next hour and then picked up a bit.
Then we put the 20M station up and got on the air 1514Z. I could only hear two other stations on; WB3AAL and N4BP. We worked both of them quickly and went on to CQing. The 20M station is similar to the 40M station, an inverted vee up 40ft on a Spiderbeam pole. I couldn't work anyone else on 20M for another half hour, but things picked up about 1630Z.
The 40M station went to 15M on the hour and half hour. This worked and we put a total of 8 stations in the log on 15M over the course of the contest. Thanks to everybody we worked on 15M. Going to 15M on the hour and half hour is an effective strategy for getting a few more mults in the log. While the number of 15M QSOs may not be large, they multiply the QSOs on 20M and 40M to increase your score. The small number of QSOs on 15M increase the score disproportionately.
The lone 80M contact was with K7UP in Truth or Consequences on the 40M dipole.
KE5AKL came out later and missed us at the original site. He went home, listened for us on 40M, worked us and found out where we were and came out an joined us for half the contest!
In the morning there was no wind. It picked up around noon, typical of NM weather for QRP field outings. The 40M pole collapsed in the wind at about 2200Z. It was a struggle to put it back up in the wind and we left a couple of sections unextended for the rest of the contest.
We worked K7TQ on all three bands.
We worked NQ7RP on 40M and 20M for the bonus points.
There was lots of activity, so thanks to everybody for getting out and working us. For those of you who have worked us before in field outings, I wonder how our signal sounded from this new location compared to how it sounded from the old location? It looks like we will need to fin a new QTH for portable outings. - Dr. Megacycle KK6MC/5
Operators=AA5B, KE5AKL, KK6MC, W9YA
This year, I operated FYBO from my car while parked at Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable, MA (on Cape Cod a few miles from home). The rig was my new K2/QRP finished a few weeks ago on Christmas Eve. Antennas were 40M, 20M, and 15M Hamsticks. Paddle was a Code Warrior Jr. perched on my right knee. Power was one of those 10AH jump-start packs you can buy at WalMart. With the windows open the first hour, temps were in the mid-40s; then the wind came up, and a bit of blowing sand, so I was a little warmer after rolling up the windows most of the way! I didn't get going until 1600z as my 5 year old grand-daughter called from the local Border's bookstore and asked if Grandma and Grandpa would meet her there for reading and a snack in the coffee shop!
I started on 20M and immediately worked N4BP with a very strong signal here on Cape Cod. 20M sounded pretty good with lots of activity, though mostly not FYBO stations, and too many signals piled on top of one another at 14060. Receive conditions were GREAT compared to my usual condo-bound, indoor antenna situation. Over the next hour and a quarter, I worked several stations, both S&P and in response to a few CQs. G3RSP, Alan called at one point for my only DX contact. Later I ran across a lonely NQ7RP for a 10K bonus! And then, there was KK6MC, weak but readable from New Mexico. A few minutes later, just after 1700z, I made my first try on 15M, and there was KK6MC again - in the end, my only 15M contact. Come on, guys! NM to Cape Cod on 15M with 5W and a Hamstick on my end! Ya gotta get on the band to use that propagation! My last 20M contact of my first session was with W0RW/pm at 12000 feet on Pike's Peak! I was at about 10 feet above sea level - is there a multiplier for vertical differential?!
After a break for lunch at home, I returned to Sandy neck Beach and resumed operating around 1845z. I worked several more folks on 20M, then gave 40M a shot near 2000z. Wow! RTTY and FOC all over the bottom of the band! I managed only one contact on 40M with W2KJ before heading back to 20M for three more contacts. I wrapped it up at about 2045z and headed for home.
One interesting note - several times I could copy K0ZK from ME on 20M, usually at least as strong as NQ7RP or KK6MC. I tried calling several different times without any luck. I wonder what form of propagation got that signal from Maine to the shore of Cape Cod facing north in Barnstable? Some sort of backscatter, perhaps?
FYBO 2008 for my 3.5 hours of operating time was a lot of fun. I only made 16 contacts, with 13 multipliers, but bright blue skies, temps in the 40s, and a spot facing north so the sun wasn't blinding made for a great day! Only put a couple of pounds of beach sand into the car running in and out to swap Hamsticks for band changes! The K2 performed flawlessly and was a joy to operate! Do we really have to wait a whole year for FYBO 2009?!
73, geoff - W1OH
We operated from the top deck of the Carnival Conquest in grid EL54 - middle of the Gulf of Mexico, using a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver on internal batteries. The antenna was the short Maldol C-14 whip. It was warm and windy! Operators=W5ACM, W5GFP, N5RPQ, WB5RMA, WA5TWT and WA5WOD Pictures at www.w5acm.net/QRP_8202.htm
While half of the club was out on a Caribbean Cruise, others took to the Field near Pearland Texas (just south of Houston) with a starting temperature of 47 deg F. Most ops were done with portable SDR radios on 20M PSK (14.071 MHz), while we did a few contacts on 40M CW. It was a beutiful day in the park! Operators=N5EM, W5BAA, K5SAF Pictures at www.w5acm.net/QRP_8202.htm
Enjoyed the event as much as last year and even upped my score despite the warmer temperatures here in Maryland. Used my K2, a 44 ft doublet on a 20 ft Crappie pole and an LDG QRP auto-ATU. Worked one "G" and a chap in Ohio running a Tuna Tin 2.
Thanks to those who organize and administer FYBO and tot all who worked me!
W7DK, Radio Club of Tacoma operated from the Owen Beach picnic shelter at Point Defiance Part in Tacoma, WA. The club operated two transmitters- one on 20M SSB and the other on 20 es 40M CW, alternating back and forth. The 20M SSB station used a 20M vertical Moxon antenna set up right next to the salt water and the 20/40M CW station used a two band fan dipole high up in the trees. Both stations used Yaesu FT-817s at 5 watts output using battery power.
Less QSOs were made this year due to high A index?...But a lot of club members showed up to operate. A good time was had by all who participated. Operators=AC7QN, W7AML, WT7N, WG7X, KR7W, KK7QW, N7OMS, Pictures at http://w7dk.org/FYBO_2008.htm
I was operating from a local forest preserve, under my favorite tree branch, using a KX-1 and a 20m twinlead inverted vee. Last year, it was too cold, so I really enjoyed FYBO 2008. Nice to see some old FYBO friends, too.
Tnx es 73 - ed, k9ew (IL)
At last! Sunspots are returning. I worked I3MLU, ON3QA, G3RSP, GM3OXX, EA8/G3ZQC, all on 20 meters. Fun to work NQ7RP and many CA station, W0RSP, N0TU, and Mert at N0OE. I ws in the field at 38f and had to keep warming my keying hand to keep the Begali key working. The GoLog worked flawlessly. Rig was Elecraft K2 sn 692. Antenna 30ft military mast vertical. I had to leave with more than three hours remaining so that I could do "Classic Jazz" on W-BACH, a network of four FM stations. (sorry, not QRP) www.wbachradio.com
Arnold Olean, K0ZK/1
N0EVH/PM - MO John with KX1 at 4 watts to Hustler whip on backpack.
Great day hiking the local conservation area along several miles of trails. Running the KX1 with expanded bottom case which holds 8 lithium AA's for about 4 watts to the backpack Hustler whip. Ran only on 40 and 20 meters today.
Highlights of the day included running into several old friends. Mark NK8Q running only 1 watt and chatting with my /PM from 1000 miles away! That is cool. Then I get a call from Mike NQ7RP, my only call all day as I did S&P with the light weight station. That was exciting to pick up AZ and the bonus points. Thanks Mike.
Guess wearing my Scorpion pin on the hat helped with the propagation gods! Thanks to all the patient ops that had to ask for repeats as I dropped into some pretty dense woods and gullies along the trail.
Thanks for the contest, it is one of my favorites.
This is VA3RKM, Bob's, altar to ham radio for 2008 FYBO, with a 38' wire reaching to the sky through a beechnut tree. Operating temperature was about 19F, but with little wind it was comfortable. K2, 5w, battery, 38' wire thrown 15' up in a tree. After shovelling out from 12" of snow last night I got on the air, albeit tired. This year was much better than last year's effort. It takes practice to master cold weather! Conditions were pretty good here for QRP in Ottawa on 20m. The QSB was deep but tolerable. My battery started to give out after an hour at 19 degrees. I'll have to build an insulated box and use a chemical handwarmer to keep it going longer. Thanks for the contacts!
This was an effort by the MN QRP Club. We had fun putting up an antenna and good to work all the stations.
Thanks and CU next year.
This was an effort by the MN QRP Club.
Too much good food and socializing to operate much. Thanks for the opportunity to QSO with the hardy souls in the field. CU in the TTF.
From the MN QRP CLUB:
After reading all the interesting reports of the FYBO activity, It was decided that the MN QRP Club should also report.
We ran a rather casual operation again this year. The club president K0TCP, Dave hosted the event at his home where we operated WQ0RP from the comfort of the basement and we also put a field station N0OE on the porch in a balmy 30 F.
The first contact using WQ0RP was at 1432Z on 40M with W8PIG and the Oinker gave us a hard time about our 64 F Temp. 7 contacts were made with this station. The pot luck lunch and socializing really cut into the operating time. Operators here were K0TCP, Dave and KB0R, Larry.
After a few more members showed up, we got a wire in the back yard trees and activated N0OE on 20M and made the first contact at 1818Z with our friend Arn, K0ZK in ME using a K1 at 5W. Our temp was 30F which was much better than a few days earlier with -5 F. but the hot coffee and snacks were still welcome.
16 contacts were made using N0OE. Operators were N0OE Phill, AA0ZZ Craig, and W0UFO Mert.
Our operation was rather easy and comfortable compared to all you wilderness operators but it gave us some practice putting up the outside antenna and using the rigs of others. But, to our various club members, this is an attractive event. Thanks to the AZ QRP Club for sponsoring it.
72/73 Mert W0UFO
FYBO 2008 I had better results than last year, but nothing to write home about. I am a little disappointed with the low radio activity. I am longing to see the new solar cycle to begin to climb. Maybe next year I can work the East Coast. As always looking forward to the next FYBO.
This was my third FYBO. This was by far the best prepared I've been, but also the worst weather.
I was out on the sidewalk of QTH just after dawn making my first QSO with a temp of 44F. Soon a friend and fellow QRPer picked me up and we went to our usual beach operating spot. It was already sprinkling. On the beach it became drizzle (heavier) once we were set up. I made two QSOs & my pal said he forgot all of his keys and paddles, only realizing this after he was all set up. I loaned him mine to make QSOs while I moved up to the parking lot and set a tarp up over my gear, he made two QSOs. I was QRV again & moderate rain by now, tarp blew off a few times from gusts of wind. Puddles were forming, rain was heavier, we went home and I continued on from under the dryness of the carport.
That was a ton of fun!
Full story with photos and pictures here:
I decided to operate pedestrian mobile this year for the 2nd year running. Pedestrian mobile means that my B doesn't FO :) Last year 20% of the entrants in the "single/field" category were pedestrian mobile - including me!
This year I decided to walk up to the Majors Hill Park, right across the Canal from the Canadian Parliament buildings. It's a beautiful spot offering panoramic views of the frozen Ottawa River.
According to Environment Canada, the temperature when I left the house at 1pm was -6°C with wind-chill -12°C so I decided to split the difference and I sent my temperature as 19°F throughout the contest. When I got to the top of the hill I realized that I would be exposed right up in the wind. Ah well, that's what FYBO is all about! The wind did die down towards the late afternoon.
My antenna consists of 32′ of #26 AWG teflon coated, silver plated wire wrapped helically around a 20′ shakespeare wonderpole fishing pole. I made a harness from PVC pipe which I zipped into a backpack. The counterpoise wire is another 32′ of #26AWG teflon coated silver plated wire, which drags along behind me.
The radio is an Elecraft KX1 and I have it strapped to a clipboard with two elastic bands along with KXPD1 paddles, a pair of Sony earbuds and a Pomona BNC to banana plug adapter. There is a 3rd elastic band attached to the clipboard and that is used to secure a small notepad and a mechanical pencil. I carry an 8-AA cell holder with 8 Energizer lithium primary cells in my fleece where it is nice and warm and run a wire to the radio.
I started off on 20m at 1915Z. Wow! The band was fairly jumping with FYBO stations - fantstic! I worked stations in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Ontario, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, and Colorado on 20m and Michigan on 40m, finishing up at 2200Z.
Many Thanks, Arizona ScQRPions and to the QRP community for making this such fun!
72 & dit-dit de VA3SIE
Came down with a bad cold so chickened out (and ate some chicken soup!). Was running a slight fever and wasn't going to play in FYBO - but, you know what happens - you turn on the rig, just to listen a little! Haven't finished my SoftRock for 20m yet so fired up the K2 @ 1 watt to the inverted L out in the forest next to the condo. Heard and worked Randy K7TQ in ID, then NOTU in CO, and K5GQ in TX. That was it for 20m, couldn't find anybody else. Off to 40m where I could use my SoftRock40 at 1 watt. Worked KK6MC (NM), AB9CA (AL), WA5RML (TX), NQ7RP (AZ for the bonus), K7TQ (ID) again, and AA1MY (ME). Not a lot of contacts but fun nevertheless. There it was 23XX Z hours, and I could hear K7TQ and AA1MY calling CQ on 40m - incredible this radio stuff.
Its hard to make points when the temp is so warm. I did better when living in Idaho!
Freezing rain caused us to cancel the outdoor event in Underhill, VT, where a group of us normally set up and operate as Northern Vermont Qrp Society, at the home of Brian, N1BQ.
I operated indoors as single op QRP running 3 watts from a Wilderness radio Sierra, handing out some contacts to those operating in the field.
I still had some fun and am looking forward to next year.
Very fun time! Used Argonaut 509 and W6MMA (Black Widow) vertical. N4BP's 1w signal was *loud* in Ohio but, as usual, he couldn't hear me.
Pictures at http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/fybo08.htm
I operated from Springbrook Prairie forest preserve in Naperville, IL. I hiked in about 1/2 mile and found a lone tree up on a hill. I deployed a norcal doublet at about 15 feet. I used a norcal BLT tuner which I attached to the arm of my bag chair with a piece of string. I held the ATS-3a, 8AA pack, and bulldog paddles in my lap along with a small notepad for logging. I operated for about an hour before the 29 degree temperature and 20 mile per hour wind took it's toll and I decided to pack up head for home. Next time I will put one some wool socks.
Pete - aa9nf
Finally a FYBO where I'm not tied up all day -- just most of it. Squeezed in an hour, and spent half of it stringing up a new 40m half square in the yard, requiring a lot of trudging back and forth in the snow, and finally got on about 4:30 PM EST. 40m was full of digital and FOC signals but no QRPers heard. The antenna is designed to work as an end-fed halfwave NVIS antenna on 80m, and also tunes on 20m with a funny pattern that's mostly low-angle radiation. So switched to 20m and heard N4BP booming in. Also caught NQ7RP. Down to 80m got some more local friends. Rig ATS-3, Li-ion battery previously solar charged, homebrew Z-match.
Oh what fun! Thanks, AZSQRPions.
This year I decided to try a new, but old, location. Just south of the little town of Subiaco, Arkansas where I grew up, there are some ridges. We'd often hike up there when we were kids. It's through some pasture and meadow, then a short put pretty steep climb. At the base of the ridge is the site of a Benedictine monastery, established in 1878. It burned after a few decades and was rebuilt on a hill a few miles to the north. There's not much to see except maybe a foundation stone or two. But halfway up the ridge is a spring that was used back then.
Headed up the ridge, I noticed it was a little steeper than I'd recalled. Maybe because I'm 59, not 15. And my backpack was pretty heavy for QRP. The last couple hundred feet are the most challenging because you scale some rock that's not far from vertical. I couldn't just scamper up it like I used to. My bifocals were distorting my perspective and my pack threatened to pull me over backwards. Had to take off the pack and push it up to a ledge above my head, then climb up and reach back for it. The rocks were a little slick and there were a few small patches of snow scattered around. I heard the clock striking 8 from the bell tower three miles away and thought, Dr. Megacycle is probably already CQing.
At the top of the ridge is a large rock with a somewhat lounge-shaped formation long ago named Saint Peter's Chair. I made it to the top, sweat dripping off my forehead despite the about 33F temperature. Got out the slingshot and fired off four lead sinkers before getting one over the top of a pine tree about 25 feet tall. I have a 65 ft. piece of #22 teflon wire for my EFHW. I decided to set up below the big rock to get a longer vertical section of antenna. The rig was my ATS-3, 12 battery, EFHW tuner and AzSQRPions mini-paddle. I ran out a 33 foot counterpoise and a few shorter counterpoise wires as well. I sat on the ground using a foam pad to keep from freezing my * off, and leaned against a small oak for support. Made it on the air at 9:00 (1500z).
I'm more sold on the EFHW for this type of activity than ever. My biggest problem has always been getting the antenna up, and the EFHW really simplifies things. I got on 40 and things were jumping pretty good. Worked W8PIG, KK6MC, W5ESE, WA3SLN, WB8E, KC3MX, AA5TB, AH6EZ/9, W5FIO, KW4JS, K5GQ, WA8REI, VE3XT on 40 by noon, with frequent breaks to walk or climb around and enjoy the scenery. I wanted to put off 20 meters till mid-day figuring it wouldn't open early. But I was beginning to wonder where everyone had gone and so plugged in the 20M module. The 65 foot wire works on both bands. Wow--20 was jumping with signals. First off was serious contester N4BP, followed by K0XI, WB3AAL, K7TQ, KK6MC, K4PBY, K4MF, WA3SLN, W0RW, KI0G, W3FF, N4RDJ and N0UR. At that time (1830) I decided to head into town for lunch, pretty much ending my participation in another very fun FYBO.
I started off at around 33F or 34F and wound up at 46F.
Some photos here:
Pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/kennnick/FYBO08StPeterSChair#
N0TU and the goats
Gang, Myself along with Rooster and Peanut are heading out for FYBO this Friday!
We'll snow camp Friday night so we can get an early start for that good chilly multiplier. We'll be on Friday PM of course testing out antennas making sure all is ready for FYBO. Hope to catch you for a freezing Q!
FYI- The 'boys" and I did a practice run this last Sunday by activating the Polar Bear Club call sign " KB3QES" (soon to be W3PBC) during a very WINDY day hike. You can read about it in the Pack Ice Newsletter: http://www.polarbearqrp.org/PackIceNews.html or here's a few pics from Sunday's Polar Bear hike: http://picasaweb.google.com/n0tu.qrp/KB3QES/photo#s5160355678909047490 Also a video but it's little OT and not much QRP related: http://youtube.com/goathiker
Don't miss the FUN this Saturday in the Arizona Scqrpions FYBO Field Day!
FYBO Pictures at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D40m62o1mX0
Most interesting QSO was with W0RW pedestrian mobile atop Pikes Peak. RTTY and FOC contests rendered 40M unuseable. Good activity. No point in taking station outside since outside temp was about 80F.
Station was K2 @ 1W running from solar charged FD battery. Antennas: Cushcraft A4S, HB 40/80 coax trap dipole
Family duties and a sick XYL had me at home with the K2 - but I operated on battery! Bands were mostly stinky - either very long (ME, FL) or short (west of the Rockies) but nothing in between other than TX. 20 stayed alive for a long time; when I got back to 40, it was a fight between QRP, FOC and RTTY. QRP mostly lost.
Op'd from wheelchair in shack due to a stroke I suffered on 1-10-08. Rig; FT-897D at 5 watts battery pwrd; ant: hustler vertical gnd mounted. S7 noise all bands, poor propagation, rtty on 40, other contests, so not a good mix. Tnx all stns for wkg me. Cudn't send cw gud due to stroke, so appreciated ur patience. Btr luck next yr.
73, 72, Ken, WA8REI
KW4JS RIG:K2 ANTENNA: OCFD UNFORTUNATELY, I WAS UNABLE TO GO OUT IN THE FIELD DUE TO ILLNESS. MAYBE I WILL MAKE IT OUT NEXT YEAR. THANKS TO EVERYONE I WORKED.
"I coulda been a contenda"...but: I got called away to help a neighbor, work called 5 times, fed and walked the dogs, etc. etc. etc. Maybe next time I'll have more time!
L. Devillon, K4ZRP
This was my first time operating in this contest.
I was operating in an unheated RV in the driveway with an Elecraft KX1. I had a buddy pole on a 16 foot mast on top of the RV.
20m had NO FYBO. All activity on 40m. All of my cables and wires were stiff and hard to unsnarl. I needed to take a break every hour to warm up my hands. I could tell it was time when I started to make sending mistakes. This weekend is VERY busy with other contests and QSO parties. I finally had to give up with too many RTTY stations encroaching on QRP calling frequency.
73, Dick AH6EZ
My third year in the contest. Hope to double the score each year.
It was a dark and snowy morning....FYBO
I knew I could get extra points by going up to a higher altitude. You usually get a 10 degree drop in temperature for every 2000 feet of elevation gained. Pikes Peak is at 14,100 feet
I got the KX1 with its LiIon Battery in the car and headed for the summit. The storm was an "Up Slope", the snow coming in from the plains in the East. It was snowing up to 9000 feet and then I broke out of the snow into the clear. I could see the summit of Pikes Peak but it was in clouds and the road to the summit was closed. The weather was so bad the Cog Train did not make it to the summit.
The Pikes Peak Ranger told me there was a high avalanche danger. The roads were not bad but there are no guard rails so they can push the snow (and abandoned cars) over the side. I used my old 4 wheel drive car (4 studded tires) to get up the hill.
I arrived at a wide spot in the road at about 12,000 feet and got on 20 meters. It was 20F with sun/snow and wind. The wind chill was below zero...
When the light snow and wind came over i did not notice any precipitation static. (Precip Static blew up one of my radios a few years ago).
The band conditions were spotty but great, Coast to Coast...
I could not believe the high temperatures i was receiving from some of you guys (60 to 70F). (I was operating w0rw/4/pm from a 70F beach in Florida last week...it was nice...)
Here is my FYBO log :
K0ZK Arn ME
N4BP Bob FL
WB3AAL Ron out on the AT in PA
W8PIG Oink OH
WA3SLN Mike PA
W3JA John PA
AA1IK Ernie PA
KD8CGH Bob OH
K8FN Bob OH
N8II Jeff WV
W1OH Geoeff MA
WA8REI Ken MI, Recovering well I hope
KI0G Bob TX
K7TQ Randy ID
K0JEM Joel KS
W3FF Budd CA (lurking around the frequency, waiting for me. Thanks, 1st West Coast )
WA5BDU Nick AR
W0LK Dave AL
WN6K Paul CA
K5GQ Mark TX
N5URL Bob TX
VE3OBU oops wrong contest, ON
NF8M Frank MI
K8CV Wallt MI
K6ACJ Bill CA (He was 599, I was very weak)
KC5UN Tom AL
NQ7RP Mike AZ
K8KFJ Gary WV AA1MY Seab in Main
e, Signal just popped up out of nowhere !
QSY to 40 meters with 10 foot whip and top hat....longer drag wire.. KK6MC Jim, Dr. MC...He was very strong but I was very weak...
I was getting 1.0 to 1 on the road and 1.3 to 1 on top of 1 foot of snow. I just had a 10 foot whip and a 13 foot drag wire on 20 meters. The KX1 ATU tunes the straight whip with no loading coil. My HooP (Hand out of Pocket) time was really high since I had all these Q's and I nearly got frost bite... If I was not sending I was logging...I forgot my Key muff. I have a rug that I use for cold weather keying like an NFL Quarterback hand muff. Sorry if I missed you, my short antenna is 10 dB down on receive too.
A special Pikes Peak QSL card is coming. It was so cold my Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino (SMF) froze solid sitting in the car.
There are some summer time photos of this area at http://www.springsgov.com/Page.asp?NavID=398
The lakes are frozen now...
Saturday February 2nd was a very interesting day. I went out to one of my spots on the Appalachian Trail in PA to operate the FYBO contest. I got to lot to find it heavily encrusted in ice. I parked the car and very carefully got out and started to get the backpack on. I almost fell 2 times while gearing up. I even had my cramp ons on my boots but they were of very little help. The area of the Appalachian Trail I was at is a very rocky trail, the cramp ons did help a little but hike was still very treacherous. I had very serious doubts if I was going to be on the air at all that day. The hike that usually takes 15 minutes now took 35 minutes.
I finally arrived at my operating location. I had to find an area where I could drive a small ground rod into the stony area to support my vertical. After trying for 10 minutes I finally found a spot and got the antenna erected. I finally got on the air about 40 minutes later than I plan to be. But all good things take time.
I started out on 40m and found the band had a lot of signals all over the place. Unfortunately they were taking part in the other contest that were on this past weekend. I did make a few QSO's on 40m but I decided to try 20m. I made a lot more contacts there. I did try 15m a couple of times on the top of the hour. I did call CQ for 10 to 15 minutes the three times I was on the band. There were a lot of signals on 15m but down around 21.030 and nothing up in the QRP area.
40m W8PIG OH
40m NK9G WI
20m N4BP FL
20m KK6MC NM
20m G3RSP England Alan was running 2w.
20m KE4YH FL
20m N1LU/4 FL
20m K0XI MO
20m K4MF FL
20m W5ACM TX
20m AB9CA AL
20m W5ESE TX
20m AD7AN CA
20m W0RW CO
20m KB5FCF OK
20m WA4EWL FL
20m K5GQ TX
40m KB8FZY OH
20m AA1IK FL
20m WA5BDU AR
I was really surprised to work Alan in England and then an hour and a half later to work California. My operating temperature stayed between 30 and 31'F. There was a good breeze blowing with snow flurries most of the day. When I was calling CQ I was watching about 6 Blue Birds watching me and trying to find out if my ground radials were edible. They were around for about 45 minutes. I also noticed that my body heat was melting the ice around me and I was slowly sinking into the ice. I did have a small portable chair and table. I had to watch that my black coax did not melt down into the ice and freeze when the sun did peek out for about 10 minutes..
This places my Appalachian Trail QSO count at 921 and closing in on the 1,000th QSO from the trail.
Thanks to all those that did make a contact with me and sorry to those signals that were too weak for me to pull the out of the QRN.
Until the next time I go out on the AT.
72 and Thanks, Ron Polityka WB3AAL www.wb3aal.com www.n3epa.org
W8PIG/FYBO 2008 Report
The day started at the local IHOP, with Matt, K8KLP; Rick, WB6JBM; and Hank, N8XX starting off with a warm breakfast (It was 28°F outside at the time.) After feeding at the trough, we ventured to the Voice Of America Park, in West Chester, Ohio near the city of Mason, and started setting up. By 1350Z we were ready - a 67' inverted Vee, fed with 450 Ohm ladder line 30' at the apex. First contact was made @ 1409Z on 40 metres with AD7AN in California! Outstanding for 3w to a Yaesu FT-817!
An elderly MFJ tuner was giving us fits, so an even more elderly Johnson Matchbox was put into service, and made a perfect match on both 40 and 20 metres. Sorry, we couldn't get the antenna to match on 80. We did snag N8IE on 40, but some of our Ohio friends and others close by probably missed out. Our apologies.
Conditions were variable - at times it seemed like signals were all over the band, other times almost nil. Twenty metres didn't open until after 1500Z - with N4BP in at 599+++ - almost burned up the matchbox with RF from his signal. The only other 20 metre contact for the next hour was KIØG in Texas.
The temperature was slowly rising to 33, then 34°F, but also the wind was increasing, from a slight breeze at 1400Z to 15 to 20MPH by 1500Z. Wind chill was getting lower and lower (is there a multiplier for wind chill? :)
We'd alternate operators every 2 or 3 contacts, lest the fingers freeze and QLF? would become more prevalent. 20 metres really opened up after 1630Z. We had a casual visitor about that time. Rick, WB6JBM had a great time telling our visitor about the bunch of nuts.... errrr.... hams who go outside in freezing weather and try to contact as many similarly situated nuts... errr.... hams. The fellow was very interested - he said he had a friend who dabbled in ham radio. As the clock marched toward 1700Z, the possibility of frostbite was overcoming our will to work more contacts, so we shut down after working KK6MC on 20 metres in New Mexico. We never did hear NQ7RP - though we listened carefully.
The tear down was complete before 1730Z.... Sorry to have disappointed folks who listened for us after that, but as the Arizona Scqrpions say, "This is a fun contest, NOT an episode of Survivor. Be aware of the temperature and the possibility of cold injury! PLEASE be careful." We figured valor was the better part of discretion.
For a Flying Pig operation, it was nothing like past mass group efforts, but we had fun! For a Polar Bear operation, it was fun, and W8PIG seemed to be somewhat of a magnet. We learned - a windbreak is a good idea! Testing of the rig/antenna combination in advance would be a good idea. Having the possibility of getting out of the immediate elements while still operating (like a large van or similar) would be a useful addition. But, we did make 20 contacts in 17 SPC's and can claim a score of 13600! Not bad for two porcine and one polar bear friends.
Link to some pix took at the event is: http://tinyurl.com/2unhv4
Ops @ W8PIG, FYBO 2008 WB6JBM - Flying Pig # 2 K8KLP - Flying Pig # 69 N8XX - Polar Bear # 49
Great time, but not as cold as last year. I lost a couple of mults for that anyway. My reported temperatures while operating were a bit on the warm side but likely still in the low 30's, so same multiplier regardless. I was a bit worried when the high temp was supposed to be 45, although I only saw 40 once while driving from work to the operating site, and it dropped to 39 just before arriving.
I operated from Lake Nockamixon State Park which is located in Bucks County, PA, about 1 hour north of Philadelphia. The site was chosen because it was about 1/2 from work to home for me so I figured I would save some time by packing the night before and stopping to operate on the way rather than driving all the way home and then up to the Appalachian Trail, where I usually like to operate if I can. I had operated from near my chosen location of a parking area near the fishing pier last spring when I hiked to the top of Haycock Mountain, however I didn't want to hike up there this time because the trail is not well marked so I would likely have had to pack up and get out before it got dark and since I was getting a late start due to work I wanted to operate right up until 2400Z.
I spent way too much time to put up a single dipole (W5GI Mystery Antenna), which was a 3/2 wavelength 20m dipole which also loads up nicely on 80m. For 40m I had a vertical antenna up in no time at all. I finally was on the air around 2000Z, at least an hour or two later than I would have liked. I was using my Elecraft K2 which I cranked back down to 1W, however I did have my KX1 along as well. I started on 20m right away and of course found N4BP for my first QSO. After that I decided I didn't really have the energy for doing S&P, and I heard several other stations who were doing S&P, so I set up for calling CQ on about 14.063. I had quite a few calls, including N0TU, Steve, who worked me from his home since his WX was worse than he had hoped for. Other highlights from 20m were AE5X, KK6MC, N0EVH/PM whom I haven't worked "in a coon's age" and of course NQ7RP for the bonus! Shortly before 2200Z I switched over to 80m because it was going to be getting dark here soon and because 40m was very busy with RTTY & FOC contest operating, so it didn't seem so worthwhile to operate on 40m even though I had one antenna dedicated for that band and it is usually my favorite band. I found good propagation to the northeast on 80m although I got a surprise 2nd QSO with N0UR in MN as well. After the sun went down the temperatures felt like they were dropping but the thermometer I would occasionally check was still claiming it had only dropped to 36 degrees, but it felt a few degrees cooler to me. I was warmed with QSOs from IL, IN & MI shortly before the close of the event. One guy here in PA reported the temp as 39F but I asked him if he was operating outside or inside and when he replied inside I asked what the temp was at his operating position and it was a balmy 70 degrees! Shortly afterward when another PA ham reported 32 I asked him and he said he was operating outside, and he replied that he was. QRZ said he lives in Altoona, so I wonder if he was operating from Horseshoe Curve? As I taking the antennas downand packing up at 2400Z to 2430Z I noticed quite a bit of frost all over everything. Well, it was at least down to 32 or 31 degrees but I doubt it had dropped to 29 degrees to get me one extra mult for temp.
Curiously, I got lots of comments from fellow QRPers that said I had a good signal for only 1W, while most stations I worked were running 5W. I would have expected comments like that from folks who run QRO, not from guys who know better, HI HI! Even though I was using only 1W, I figure it was still only 1 S-unit below everyone else all other things considered equal.
To summarize I had 30 QSOs, almost 31 but I wasn't able to finish with WA5RML, Andy in Tx on 20m. I only operated 20 and 80m and had a total of 10 states on 20m and 12 (including Ontario, thanks Michael, VE3WMB) on 80m. I had the following mults: x4 for Field, x2 for 1W and x4 for temp in the 30's. Also, an extra 10k for NQ7RP. Total score of 10,960. Only 4 hours of operating, lots of fun, worth every point (and then some). Thanks, AZ ScQRPions!
When I was unpacking from the event this morning I noticed my slingshot was not to be found. I drove back to the operating location around noon and found it right where I must have dropped it in my haste to get on the air and not seeing it in the dark later. I don't use one of those EZ-Hang ones that have the fishing reel attached, but the slingshot was a gift to me and my cousin who was 3 weeks younger than I when we were about 10 years old. It looks like one of the EZ-Hang models without the fishing reel. I'm glad I was able to find it again because I've had it for about 30 years and other than occasionally replacing the latex tubing it has done quite well for me. I've gotten much better at using it over the years, although it did take me several attempts on Saturday afternoon which is sort of not so customary as of late. I think the latex might be getting tired and time for a replacement, but I sure would miss the basic framework, even if I had to buy a new one that was an exact replacement, the old one is an old friend.