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 preliminary results of the 2009 FYBO Outdoor Winter Field Event! These results will continue to be updated until we don’t have any more. Try to get your summaries and soapbox in by the end of the month, but we’ll take ‘em anytime.
There were 30 entries and counting submitted this year compared to 43 for 2008. This does not reflect the true number of participants. There are many more from looking at the logs, who did not send their entries.
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. The NQ7RP bonus is only 100 points per contact this year and I expect that some did not notice the change, so there will likely be some minor changes for that.
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 many passes through my records to verify that I have included everyone. Email correspondence for corrections or additions to: FYBO2009 at azscqrpions dot org. The email address for FYBO2008 is FYBO2008 at azscqrpions dot org.
Data mashers will be able to download the final results spreadsheet in Excel format here after all scores have been submitted. 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 software. Multiple variations of this sheet and comparisons of resulting finishing orders led to the reduction of NQ7RP bonus points. If you are interested in those summaries for 2008, email a request to the FYBO2008 email address. So,
This is what many of the field operations faced …
Soapbox: I operated for about an hour. I set up on the deck at home. I ran an FT-817 at 5 watts into a 100 foot wire without a counterpoise. I used the T-1 tuner. Best DX was France. (It was 2C and he was running 1 watt!) Next was K7TQ in Idaho. It was great to hear everyone. Many thanks for the contacts.
73 Jim W1PID
Date UTC Freq Call Mode MY HIS Exchange
7 Feb-09 1650 14.06 K7TQ CW 559 559 ID 5W 31F RANDY
7 Feb-09 1653 14.06 F5UKL CW 329 559 FRANCE 1W 2C ANDRE
7 Feb-09 1700 7.042 WB3AAL CW 559 599 PA 5W 29F RON
7 Feb-09 1710 7043 W4HSA CW 449 559 NC 100W 71F JIM
7 Feb-09 1712 7040 K4JSI CW 559 559 MD 5W 35F CAL
7 Feb-09 1715 14.059 WQ0RP CW 559 559 MN 5W 46F LARRY
7 Feb-09 1732 7042 VE3KQN CW 579 559 ON 3W 44F JIM
7 Feb-09 1737 14.059 AF4O CW 579 579 TN 5W 66F CHUCK
7 Feb-09 1932 7031 N3AO CW 559 559 VA 5W 56F Carter
7 Feb-09 2037 14.061 N4BP CW 599 599 FL 5W 65F Bob
What a thrill to work Ade Weiss, W0RSP(Joy of QRP and Milliwatt) in FYBO. We go back a long way but I was thrown when he signed AZ instead of SD. Perhaps Snowbird QRP?
72, Bob KI0G
FYBO was great fun here in Louisiana - Dana (AD5VC) and I set up on the grounds of the Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge. Mother Nature unleashed all her fury to try to dislodge us - temperature of 75F, sunny to partly cloudy, gentle spring like breezes, a real SPF-30 kind of day. Not quite enough breeze to lift a parafoil kite and try a kite supported wire. Pity we forgot the pitcher of marguritas :^)) Worked a couple of Polar Bears and some familiar calls. 20 m seemed very QRP friendly today. Commemorative photo QSL is ready to print.
Used my ATS-3A, scQRPion paddles, and a 20 m dipole with 31' Jackite pole as center support and a pair of 13' poles as end supports. Powered by 8 NiMH AA cells and a 5 W solar panel with modified Don Brown controller. Dana had his ATS-3B and a vertical with a Jackite. At one point we were both on 20 m within 4 kHz of one another and were each able to complete a QSO without undue interference from the other. This at a station separation of maybe 40 feet. Great little rigs, Steve.
Hope all y'all frozen nawtherners get thawed out.... thinkin' of you as I toss another lime wedge in the pitcher... we sure did pass a good time
Set up next to Jim, N5IB at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, LA. We operated for about 3 hours. Beautiful day and conditions on 20m were very good for QRP. A very enjoyable afternoon.
I used an ATS-3a at 3W, using a homemade Zmatch tuner with a 28' vertical wire on a 30ft Jackite pole and 4 radials. Even though we were but 40 feet apart, we were both able to work 20m with ATS-3a's as close as 4 kHz. Amazing radio.
My first FYBO and A LOT of fun. Actually my first QRP field operating event besides vacations and arrl field days. Thanks to the Arizona Scorpions for sponsoring a fun event.
Big Hill Pond State Park is about 40 minutes from my house and a remote small State Park with tall trees, big hill's (duh), a lake, long hiking trails, and a non-electric tent campground.
I arrived late to the Park after a busy Friday at work. I guess i was a bit lazy on Saturday morning and this is why i cannot get into serious contesting, its to much like work to me. I work hard at work and don't want to work hard at ham radio! If it gets like work, i do something else :-). Contests like the FYBO are fun though and most op's will slow down for my slow cw. Thanks!
Looking forward to the event all week and weeks before, i thought i did my planning well. But Murphy was along for the ride. First i realized i had forgotten to pack my printed log sheet and the event rules, then a binding post broke off my BLT, and last i never could get my EFHW to get a null on 40. Murphy did not win though. I found scrap paper in the truck, took the cover off the BLT and hooked the wire to the wire inside by wrapping, and abandoned 40 (not much action here anyway on 40) then trimmed the wire for 20 with a good null.
By the time i got going it was about 1630. Twenty Meters was my only band for contacts beside listening a bit on the others. Oh, man how QUIET the noise floor is away from power lines, neighborhoods, etc. Now i know why you guys like to do this type operation. If my noise floor was this low at home, i would be thinking my dipoles had fallen! Zero S noise floor and signals pop out like fish jumping out of a glass still lake. Wow! I have been operating for 30 years in town, motels, etc to long.....
The wind was gusty in the morning and i choose a picnic table on the opposite side of a ridge. Temps were near room temperature most of the day so i imagine allot of ops thought i was operating indoors :-). It was cloudy most of the day but an overall beautiful February day coming off temps a few days ago as low as 10 degrees at night. i caught myself drifting away from the radio several times just enjoying the peace. I had the entire picnic area to myself with only a few cars going up the road about 50 yards away.
I am happy with the 12 contacts i turned in. I just about worked NQ7RP first thing but he faded after i gave my report :-( so im not sure if i am in his log. Twenty was up and down in propagation all day. Can't wait for QRP field events when the spots return. As twenty seemed to be falling off about 2130, I packed up and left for home. A great fun day and this has me hooked on field operation. Hope to see that SW+ for some hiking trips soon.
Gear; FT-817 5w, BLT Tuner, Some wire over a tree (started with 66' and some .05 wavelength counterpoises) and short ground rod for counterpoise, a $20 lawn mower cranking battery bought on sale at Walley World the past fall, and a cooler with sandwiches, jerky, beverages.
VE3KQN As the week was leading up to FYBO, Southern Ontario was under blue skies and extreme cold temperatures in the zero degree Fahrenheit range. Not exactly my idea of "fun" when I think that I will be sitting outside at these temperatures BUT it was a good opportunity to pull out the solar panel and insure that the battery was up to snuff. I also took the opportunity to monitor the WWV solar reports hoping to see those numbers that encouraged good propagation but that was not to be, with the weeks solar flux holding between 69 to 70 and the A/K indices starting to rise 4 days before the contest... not looking good for the high bands so it will probably be 40m that I will be working on, if any activity is to be heard at all.
As Saturday arrived I awoke to overcast skies and 28 degree temperatures. My gear was already packed so I had some breakfast, heated up some soup and threw it into a thermos and headed to a conservation area 20 minutes from the house - 43º 53.107' N 79º 03.602' W. I hiked about 10 minutes into the park and started setting up my station at 1345z under a picnic shelter (08:45 local time). First up was the antenna - a windom with a 40 foot single wire down lead and a 35 foot flat top - ya have to love the windom for it's compactness, it's simplicity and it's light weight. I tossed out a single, 30 foot "counterpoise" wire and set up my Wilderness Radio Sierra and my Elecraft T1 auto-tuner. Under these conditions I felt that the auto-tuner was taking too long to tune and I was monitoring the voltage of my battery very closely. I was up and running by 1415z and checked out 40m first - very noisy with a lot of static/QRN, most probably from the power lines that were situated less then 300 meters south of me - (bad choice for an operating site?). There were also a number of QSO parties on the go which caused a bit of a QRM issue. I then checked out 20m and found it a lot quieter with very few stations heard but I did hear W0NTA in Colorado calling FYBO so - we're on! I called Dick and he responded back... ya, my first QSO at 1423z. He was operating from 67 degrees and I was sitting in my "little piece of the world" at 30 degrees. I did not hear any other stations so I decided to call CQ and my next call came in just about 20 minutes later... it's going to be a lonnng morning! At 1458z, down near the noise floor of twenty meters, I heard a DL5 calling me... QRZ? ... "VE3KQN de DL5MC"... I worked Hal in Germany, he was running 5W and I was sitting at 3W. After 3 contacts in 35 minutes I decided to change bands and try calling CQ on 40m. True to form with the solar reports, this was to be my band for the better part of my five hours of operating with forays back and forth to 20 meters with the hopes of better activity and quieter conditions. At 1621z the winds began to increase and the temperature had risen to balmy 55 degrees although it didn't feel that warm with the breezes coming out of the south east over the snow covered fields. The sun began to peak through the clouds which was good because my battery was beginning to drop below 12 volts at this point so I unfolded my solar panel and hooked it up hoping that I could at least "trickle" enough juice into the battery to keep me alive until I pulled the plug, which I did at 1923z. Considering everything, it was a fun day and I look forward to next years contest - in the interim, hopefully the propagation Gods will awaken and bless us with better conditions, which I feel like I have been hoping for for a long time now.
Anyway, 72 to all (and to all a good night?). See ya down the log.
Thanks for another great FYBO. Temp was mild but very windy on the hilltop and felt very cold with the wind chill.
Rig was a Yaesu Ft817 @ 4w the antenna was a 30" homebrew coaxial magnetic loop....
NØEVH in the field for an unseasonable warm February day. So it was SYBO where S stands for Sweat. Overnight low was 55F, all the snow gone so the sled method was out the door for getting gear into the woods. Went with two wheeled dolly to transport the K2, supplies, food and drink along with solar panel and comfy chair. Lots of action on 40 and 20 so ran a total of 5 hours. Location was a timbered ridge with limestone rock outcrop that makes for a nice view while running Q's. Antenna was 90 foot end fed wire thrown in the oak trees. Thanks for the event which is one of my favorites all year. Sorry I missed Mike, NQ7RP on 20 meters when you called. Lost you in all the traffic around 14.062. I had alot more fun than my score indicates! Ended the event with a ragchew with Ken in MI, WA8REI who was not having my balmy weather near his Artic Circle location!
73 John NØEVH in Missouri
Well, this was my first FYBO and had been looking forward to it for a couple months. I just couldn't imagine anything better than playing radio for the whole day and jackfrost nipping at my toes.
Living in central Illinois, I'm quite limited on nearby mountains within short driving distance, so I opted for a retired coalmine across town. About 30' elevation :) I had been watching the forecast for weeks, and knew that it was going to warm up and be windy. The lowest temp of the morning was about 50f, and at one point, I think it got to 80f. The antenna consisted of a 4' chainlink top rail driven 1' into the ground, and 2 5' sections of 1.25" pvc screwed together and slid over the top of the rail. (Which creates an absolute perfect fit FYI) Using the bell on the end of the pvc, I dropped in a 20' black widow pole and shimmed the base with a 1" pvc coupler (Which is also a perfect fit FYI). I strung out an 80' doublet, which ended up being a sharp inverted V since I forgot to bring the fishing line. GRRRR! A few snags, and I was on the air about 45minutes later.
I started out working 20m SSB, which to my surprise was already alive, to snag some special event stations and NM QSO party contesters. I moved down to CW, attempted to work a couple FYBO callers, but I just couldn't copy any code. My CW RX speeds have always been pretty low, but it seemed no matter how slow they were, I couldn't reliably copy. After a few botched CW contact attempts, I threw in the towel on CW. Eventually I just quit asking for the FYBO exhange items, and just decided to enjoy the conditions as they were.
I spent the rest of the day jumping between 17/20/40 SSB. Never a shortage on QSO's. It seemed anyone I could hear, I could work. Around 2pm CST, 17m came to life. I heard VK's JA's, KL7, KH6, Portugal, etc ... Never got the VK or the KL7, but imagine how stunned I was to get KH6 and the JA on 5w SSB! Absolutely couldn't believe it. I've worked Hawaii before, but on 100w. Never on 5w SB. And I never would have expected Japan. Went QRT about 3:30CST.
Had a great time, and sorry if I botched one of your CW exchanges.
It was embarrassing to report a temperature in the 50's from northern Illinois in February. Normally, it's in the 20's. Fortunately (?), the band conditions on 20m were poor and I only made 7 contacts. It was still fun, and I'll be lookin' for you next year.
73, ed - k9ew with my PFR-3 and an inverted vee.
Wanted to operate from snow pit in the forest, but parking area was closed, so went back to house and operated from under the back deck. 20 m had deep QSB, but was open for most of the day. Good time once again. Details and pictures of this one and the other 12 I've operated in at http://mysite.verizon.net/rbfoltz/fybos.htm
I set up at Founder's Park north of Dripping Springs, a few minutes before 7AM local time. The wind was strong and steady, and made throwing a line over a tree branch a bit tricky. The temperature was not cold enough to qualify for any multiplier greater than 1x. I tried to scare up some Q's on 80 and 40, but didn't hear anything. Eventually turned to 20m, and found little activity there, and all the signals were quite weak. Let's hope for improved propagation next year!
Somewhat confused by my scoring - I did almost as well as last year, but had a much lower score. Anyway, I had a blast! I have come to love events like this.
This was the second time that I had operated from a park on the shores of Lake Arlington. The weather was nice - although a little chilly with the wind and shorts/t-shirt. When the sun came out, it became quite warm. What a great view! For those that have received a picture QSL card from WA5RML - that is Lake Arlington at sunset. The photo was taken by my XYL from a parking lot - unfortunately I live about 5 miles from the Lake!
My station was a K2 at 5 wts, a Code Warrior paddle, and a Buddipole antenna. Power was a 12 AH battery. I worked about 5.5 hrs (10:30=>16:00) before I decided that I'd had enough of the wind and a diminishing QSO rate. Next year I'll add "solar" charging for the battery to get the "Alt. Power" multiplier.
All my activity was on 20M.
I had 26 QSOs in 16 states, including two (2) members of the local NORTEX QRP club: Joe (KK5NA) and Gary (KM5IT). I also heard Steve (AA5TB), also a NORTEX member, but couldn't quite "close the deal" on a QSO.
I did work the four (4) corners of the contiguous US - CA, WA, ME, and FL. Imagine that! Me sitting at a picnic table next to a lake using only 5 wts and a Buddipole antenna about 8 ft above the ground.
Besides Joe and Gary, highlights for me were:
(1) Working anyone! - for awhile, I thought that I'd be stuck at 2 QSOs (AC4XO & K7TQ). Every QSO was very much appreciated!
(2) Some really special QSOs included working Randy (K7TQ), Ken (WA8REI - see item #4 below!), Ed (W3PBC - polar bear club), Seab (AA1MY), Ade (W0RSP) and Martin (VA3SIE) as CF3RCS.
(3) Worked Mark (NK8J) in MI - he was running 1W. Martin (CF3RCS) and Don (W8IDM) were running 2W.
(4) Oh! I almost forgot! It was quite windy. My antenna was a Buddipole. Those of you with Buddipoles probably know where I'm going with this. During my QSO with Ken (WA8REI), we got to ragchewing a little and he told me that it was windy at his QTH. I responded that it was also windy at mine....and then my antenna fell over and broke one of the whips. It almost landed on top of me! Luckily I had an extra whip from the last time this happened!
Tnx again to the following who made my outting very special: Ben (AC4XO), Randy (K7TQ), Carter (N3AO), Chas (W3KC), Phil (W6MV), Don (W7GB), Bill (VE3XT), Ken (KA3WMJ), Ken (WA8REI), Mark (NK8J), Ray (K8RDJ), Don (W8IDM), Bob (N4BP), Joe (W2KJ), Garry (K4MF), Martin (CF3RCS), Ed (W3PBC), Ed (WD7Y), John (K3TN), Joe (KK5NA), Gary (KM5IT), Barry (AI2T), Jim (K4AHO), Don (W2NR), Seab (AA1MY), and Ade (W0RSP)!
72 & CUL, Andy - WA5RML
This is my second attempt at FYBO. The first attempt ended with not contacts in 2005. This year, I managed to squeeze 5 QSOs in my day for a total score of 20 points. Two stations were QRO and not participants in the contest so I had to ragchew with them to get their information, but it was all fun.
I have not been as active on the radio as I would have liked lately, so this contest was a great way to break-in my fist again. I will be posting more about my previous attempt at FYBO as well as this year's experience on my website soon. http://www.n4pgw.org
Thank you, AZ ScQRPions!
Station was a K3 on battery power using a G5RV but then switched to a PAR 40/20/10 QRP END FED ZEPP.
We were in a nice sunny spot sheltered from the wind so while we had comfortable temps in the 40’s and even low 50’s for a good part of the contest, when the sun disappeared late in the afternoon, we had to put our jackets back on!
Our club always looks forward to FYBO and we enjoy participating.
Thanks for keeping it going.
I ended up operating from home here on Cape Cod this year as I spent much of day watching grand-daughters (6 and 2 years old) to give my daughter a break. Too bad as weather was perfect - sunny and low 40s here. So finally managed about an hour around 2000z with 6 contacts on 20M - it didn't seem like there was a lot of activity. Checked 15M at 2000z, 2030z, and 2100z but didn't hear anything - called CQ to no avail for about 5 minutes each time. Then got back to shack after supper for last 20 minutes or so of FYBO and worked AA1MY on 80M for my only other contact. Rig is K2 at 5w to a 40M doublet up about 30 feet. Still fun to get on and make a few contacts! Need to plan WAY ahead for next year! (And hope son-in-law doesn't end up on another oceanographic research cruise with 45 days at sea)!
geoff - W1OH
I went out for FYBO and the Feb. PBMME with the Polar Bears. I operated at a picnic shelter in Swallow Cliff Forest Preserve just west of Chicago. Made a lot of contacts (for me), and had a blast as usual.
I was not sure how to calculate the points for each band. Are they based on raw QSO’s or valid QSO’s. In the example Raw and Valid numbers are the same - so not sure here, but that is OK.
I was out there and I had fun.
Thanks to the AZ Scorpions, EPA Polar Bears, and everyone else outside and on the air for a great event.
Location: Paris, Arkansas (Short Mountain)
Operator: Nick, WA5BDU
Rig: ATS-3, 5 watts, EFHW antenna
Pretty hard to freeze anything when your low temperature is 65F. I was sort of grateful for it though.
Started off with a couple of DayQuil capsules and a McMuffin and headed for the scene of my first (I think) FYBO, back in 2000, when I went to Short Mountain near Paris Arkansas. My site is the location of an old farmhouse with just some cellar stones, a cistern and a portion of a log barn remaining. The trees were old and tortured looking, like in a Gothic horror story. They actually groaned in the wind while the remaining tin on the barn roof emitted high pitched bird calls straining against rusty nails. ("The haunted, frightened trees ..." -- name that tune)
Remembering my frustration in trying to get a dipole for the Red Hot 20 into the trees nine years ago, I came equipped. First I took out the homebrew wrist supported slingshot & fishing reel and fired off a lead sinker. The first attempt was a little wimpy, so reeled in and really stretched the rubbers and -- pow! one of them broke in two. Good thing I had dual, redundant diverse launching systems. I got out my bow and arrow plus the bowfishing drum with woven fishing line. Fired the arrow way up and over, but somehow it separated from the string and I never found it back. I'd only brought the one arrow. I guess I'm the Barney Fife of antenna launching. So I was reduced to the rock and arm method, not exactly my strong suit. I got the EFHW maybe 20 feet up at the apex.
The EFHW has become the secret weapon of the antenna support challenged. And the ATS-3 takes care of the hardware end. I set up on the tailgate of my truck and tried out 40 meters. It sounded decent but as in previous years, it couldn't compete with 20 for me. I just did 4 Qs on 40. I don't do big numbers on FYBO because I'm always taking time out to walk around, admire the scenery and take a few photos. The creepy gray overcast of morning eventually gave way to a partly sunny day and I did some nice touring. My brother had seen a bear on this mountain about ten years ago, but in my mind it might have been this morning. I didn't see any bears though, just one armadillo. Pesky Texans we didn't used to see in Arkansas. Switched to 20 with ease, since the 40 meter EFHW tunes 20 just fine. Eventually though, the tie off at the far end came loose and the antenna, while still over the tree, was flopping in the breeze, occasionally positioning itself against the side of my head. I finally got enough of that and put the screwdriver antenna on the truck. (I went redundant on everything.) A few more QSOs and I headed down into Paris for a Philly cheese sandwich and onion rings. When I got home, I did a couple more QSOs in the driveway. My total was about 13, I think. Enough to make me feel that it was a successful FYBO. Never heard a thing on 15.
Next year I'll try to log at least one degree cooler and charge my battery from a solar panel so I can put up some big numbers! ;^)
I was in the Frankenmuth, MI area for my grandfather's funeral which was on Thursday. Temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday morning were below zero (low temp of -13 F not counting the wind chill of the stiff northern winds) and were 5 degrees at the gravesite (I was a pallbearer). Yup, about the same as 4 years ago for my grandmother at the same gravesite, although it may have been about 10 degrees warmer that day. Too bad the temps didn't hold for one or two more days! I figured there would be a better chance for colder temps in Michigan that my home QTH in PA, but I guess I was wrong (otherwise I would have been operating with or near Ron, WB3AAL).
As can be seen from my log above I had three operating times with lots of off time in between (for family activities). I was operating from my parent's farm in Michigan, just outside of the tourist town of Frankenmuth. Friday afternoon I spent some time with the help of my father to string up a Mystery Antenna (3/2 wavelength colinear dipole on 20m that works well on 80m also) between two of the toolsheds, about 25' above ground (not as high as I would like but there weren't any taller support structures). Friday temperatures were still in the upper 20's and low 30's but that doesn't count for the multiplier unfortunately. There was only a slight breeze on Friday while Saturday there was at least 30 mph winds from the south pushing warm temperatures northward. I was glad I didn't try to put the antenna up on Saturday morning with the wind! Saturday morning I also put up a BW31 vertical for 40m. It sure was bending over and whipping around in the wind, but the Jackite 31' pole held up fine.
I brought my Elecraft K2 with me but since the temperatures were so warm, even at 1400Z when I thought I might have an advantage to have colder temps but that didn't work out as it was 44 degrees F in the early morning already, so I cranked the power down to 1W to get the QRPp multiplier. I was pleased with every QSO, and again amazed on the many comments like "FB with UR 1W". I was quite pleased also to work many Polar Bears for the FYBO as the Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event was concurrent (later in the day) with FYBO, two activities which compliment each other well. For those of you not yet familiar with the Polar Bears, check out our Yahoo Group and www.n3epa.org (follow the Polar Bear links). Working Paul, W0RW/PM on Pikes Peak was one of my favorite QSOs. Later working Martin, CF3RCH, who is usually /PM (at least for PBMME) was a thrill as well.
I wish I was able to operate longer, however based on some comments it sounds like band conditions were not so swell, so maybe I didn't miss much. Still, I would have liked to have a few more QSOs. Oh well, there is always next year (or next month for another PBMME) and all things considered with the family obligations I'm lucky I could operate at all!
Photo attached shows that there *really* was snow at the Michigan QTH. The snow bank in the foreground was a 3' drift the day before, only about 1-1/2' at 9:30 AM (1430Z) and fairly non-existent by the end of the day due to the high winds and record breaking 49 degree temperatures (although I was reporting 50 degrees according to my thermometer). By Sunday the fields in the background were mostly bare while on Friday we had been out with the farm tractor pulling an antique "one horse open sleigh" (well, 60 HP open sleigh, I guess). The grandkids (my nephews) got a real kick out of it and my XYL enjoyed it as well, but for me it brought back fond memories of my childhood (when it was pulled by a snowmobile). Couldn't have done that on Saturday or since!
FYBO 2009 marks my 10th time being involved it the event. I have had some very good years in FYBO and some not so good. This happens to be a not so good. Signals were very strong at one time and would fade to nothing in an instant, but that¹s life. Next year things should be picking up and I look forward to my 11th FYBO.
With on and off operating and marginal band conditions I made only 5 contacts on 40 and 20 CW for 800 points but I still found the FYBO Contest a challenging and fun break from my regular winter boat anchor activity. I'll do it again next winter.
More details and photo is posted to my blog at http://w0vlz.blogspot.com/search?q=QRP
Niel - W0VLZ
Interesting outing to the Titan ICBM National Monument site in Green Valley AZ to use the huge HF discone antenna. Two hams were already there -- with a K2, except it had the 100w module. The two guys had met at the license class and became friends, building K2's. So, I checked out the K2 and finally they invited me to give it a try since I had a KX1, had come out to work the FYBO which I explained to them, and never had operated a K2. So, I did and worked a couple of quick QSO's. Turns out the guys were one-year veterans and the contest exchange concept quite new. They worked a couple also. It was a good time and I'm sure they'll give QRP a shot since I had dropped to 5w to work my 2 QSO's and they couldn't believe it. Any rate, the wind was gusting to about 50mph, so speaker, cereal box ad-hoc "log", and just about everything except the battery, rig, and key got blown off the table. Worked KI0G in my capacity as a snowbird! AA1MY was in there and workable as usual! Despite the brutal buffeting from the chilly wind, I managed only 18 Q's in 3 hours but it was a neat experience -- the snow-topped mountains all around across the valley, the wind blowing everything around and chilling me even at 68F, reaching the four "corners" (WA, CA, FL, ME, VE1 (with the ZM-2 in "TUNE" position and the KX1 putting out about 3w!) was satisfying... And I felt sorry for those real FYBO'rs at -5C and 35F!
72, Ade W0RSP
Initial plan was to have 2 stations on the air, VA2SG/pedestrian mobile and VE2EZD portable. For some reason, my gel type cell didn’t power my PFR3, and we decided to do a multi-single entry with Louis's FT817.
Copied NQ7RP at the beginning of our operations (around 1H30 PM) on 20, tried for a while to call them but no luck!
We had big fun and made 11 QSOs. It was a pleasure for us Quebec polar bears to work friends.
We'll try to be back next year.
video on our FYBO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZAwEU9dvXs
72 73 de Louis and Jean-Pierre for VE2EZD multi-single field.
The 2009 FYBO was excellent weather compared with the rain out once I was at the each for the 2008 FYBO. I also made my greatest number of QSOs this year. Just like last year I was operating along with the my QRP friend BIll, the Rock Mite Kid - KF6MK. Before going out to Morse Cove, I went out my apartment door at 6am and by 6:15am I was QRV, sitting under the carport roof and my Buddipole out on the sidewalk. Unfortunately 40 and 20 meters were devoid of any CW signals. Close to 7:30am I fianlly heard CW signals but wasn't able to work any stations. An hour later I made my first QSO with the AZ ScQRPions club station, NQ7RP. After that I went to warm up inside and later went to the San Francisco Bay to go operate. I was also operating in the Polar Bear QRP club where I am a member. That is why I had a wee, little polar bear on my portable table. I didn't work any bears but I did do a 2x portable QSO with Paul, W0RW portable at Pikes Peak in Colorado. I was also able to have QSOs with two hams I've had ragchews with before - Andy aka Zed, W0AAA in Minnesota and Roy, K6GVG mobile in Southern California.
AZ ScQRPions - Thank you for another great Freeze Your Butt Off. I hope to be on again next year.
72, Rem K6BBQ
Once again, FYBO was great fun and we soon overcame our deep feelings of guilt resulting from operating in the semi- tropical climate of San Francisco bay area on Saturday. Well, maybe not quite semi-tropical but Jack Frost was definitely not nipping at our toes. Temp. was around 62-64 F with sunny conditions.
Rem, K6BBQ and I set up at a little micro beach on San Pablo Bay near the Marin Rod and Gun Club. I named it Murphy's beach because every time we use that location, I always forget something important like my key or the bag with my antenna in it --stuff like that. We like to use that location because we are so close to the salt water and like to think it helps our sigs a little.
I used my K-1 with BLT tuner and lil swr/pwr meter ( a 4sq club kit, I think) and Palm mini paddles. Antenna was the classic Sunny Day fishing pole (SD 20) in a vert. configuration with 16' of wire as the driven element and fed this lash-up with some home brew ladder line about 6' long.
Lots of contests going on so I tried to grab anybody who would answer me. Got CF2RCS in Canada right off so knew antenna was getting some sort of sig out. Both 20m and 40m seemed pretty good. Wish I could have exchanged RST's with N5IB to get one of his neat Commemorative photo QSL's. Maybe next year. I'll get a bigger antenna.
I heard WQ0RP calling CQ form my home station while I was getting ready to leave but had my Palm paddles unplugged and packed in my bag and didn't have time to dig them out again! Bummer!
As always, It was great fun and think I enjoy FYBO more than Field Day
72 Bill, KF6RMK
See our full report with log, slideshow and videos(!) at:
CF3RCS Canadians Freezing -3- Real Cold Spot
Bob VA3QV(VA3RCS) and Martin VA3SIE operated from Vincent Massey Park in Canada's Capital Ottawa. We used 5W from a Yaesu FT-817 running from alternate power and connected to a low 88ft doublet for SSB and an Elecraft KX1powered by dry cells with 2W to a pair of jackite pole 1/4-wave verticals for CW. It was a cold day starting at 15.3F and only getting up to 27.3F at dusk. Freezing rain or drizzle was threatening all afternoon and the dampness kept us stomping our boots to keep warm. I spent much of the time jogging on the spot listening to the gaps between my memory keyer.
We had visits from VA3CKD Roy, VE3XRA Glenn and a newly licensed radio amateur. Thanks for helping us set up and supporting us guys!
We had a great time as you may witness in the videos on our web page http://web.ncf.ca/fj620/fybo2009/ It was great to hear and work old familiar stations and meet some new ones. We had trouble finding any SSB stations in the FYBO but there were some special event stations we made contact with. 20m CW was in great shape with strong signals and only a trace of QSB. We did manage to make contact with 2 club stations: the AZScQRPions NQ7RP & Radio Club of Tacoma W7DK on 20m along with 22 others. One highlight was working Paul W0RW/PM up there at 12,000ft ASL but having read some of the reports from others, I realize that all the contacts we made were highlights(!) In all we made 33 QSOs in 19 SPCs, although not all were valid contest exchanges. We contacted 3 polar bears in the polar bear moonlight madness.
FYBO is one of my favourite contests of the year. Many thanks to the AZScQRPions and to all of the QRP adventurers who took part in making this such a great event. I can't wait for next year!!
73 de CF3RCS.
- Bob VA3QV and Martin VA3SIE
I just operated in my backyard to a low dipole on 20 m. At first I was using my Yaesu FT-897D at 5 W and then I went to my MFJ-9040 to stretch the life out of my solar charged battery. Thanks to the sun coming out I was able to operate the whole event. I prefer to use my SW-40+ on 40 m but there just doesn't seem to be much QRP activity on that band during these events except up in the northeast. 20 m is more productive. My antenna was just a combination 20m and 6m dipole that I threw up into the trees at about 10 feet high.
I think I would of had a better multiplier if I had operated indoors with the A/C on. The temperature at my operating position got up to 84 F in the shade! It started off at 69 F. It was perfect for outdoor operating but I felt a little guilty when other stations reported very cold temps! But then again during Field Day we often have to operate when it is in the 100's here in Texas so maybe it's just getting even.
I worked at least one Polar Bear station and several others that weren't in the contest, including HC2SL. The first station I worked was using 1500 W on the QRP calling frequency. He said he liked working QRP stations ;-) Blowing us away was more like it!
73, Steve Yates - AA5TB
I decided to operate from my car (with windows open), using a 44 ft doublet suspended from a 28 foot kite pole. I anchored the base of the pole under a car wheel using a "copy" of a design by WB3GCK. I decided to use my PFR-3 and I find myself liking that little rig more and more. It's very easy to set one's code speed; the IF filter selectivity is excellent, particularly the skirt selectivity; the attached keyer paddles work well; and and the audio output is sufficient with sensitive headphones. I used an LDG QRP Auto-ATU because I haven't yet mastered the BLT in the PFR-3 and the shaft screw on its "Load" control came loose. Later, I did change over to my K1 because the little gel cell battery powering the PFR-3 died (I'd probably damaged it during charging) and switched over to the car battery.
Getting on the air about 16:00 UTC. 20M was in fine shape , and I worked several folks in the mid-west and mountain west, including K7TQ who was copyable throughout the day until I "hung it up" just after 20:00 UTC. On 40M, among others, I worked K8IQY who apparently was taking a break from his design activities. My last QSO was with CF3RCS - I think VA3SIE was the operator.
All told, I worked 14 stations in 8 SPC. Once again, FYBO was a lot of fun, and I hope to be on next year! My thanks to the Arizona ScQRPions for organizing and scoring FYBO 2009.
Besides the operators, we had several helpers and visitors: NY8D, AB8ND, KC8REH, N8UVI, KC8ZSX, plus several non ham visitors. Apologies if we missed anyone.
We set up in the Leonard Field Park, Ada Township (Kent County) Michigan. The major features of this park include ball field, converted into a skating rink during the winter, and a covered bridge and walking trail. We didn't have nearly as many visitors as we expected because the skating rink was mush instead of ice, so there were very few pedestrians on the trail across the covered bridge. The park has several "naturally occurring antenna supports" some 70' tall, two of which were put to use for an end fed long wire antenna. Even though the temperature was 48°F when we arrived, we had to scoop 8" or so of snow before we could set up an operating tent. Then, one of two FT-817's failed, so we brought out the FT-897 backup rig. Sometimes we heard mention of a "comedy of errors" because of the "little errors and minor catastrophes" we incurred - but we pushed on.
Propagation seemed poor - we heard very few stations calling CQ FYBO. We worked several New Mexico and Minnesota Stations on 20 and 40 meters, both SSB and CW, operating their respective State QSO Parties. Even though we looked for NQ7RP quite frequently, nary a peep was heard.
But, it was FUN! Two of our ops were on their first QRP outing, a real baptism of cold (not fire!) When we started, the wind was blowing and it never got much better until near quitting time, when the sun went away and the wind died down to a mild roar! We learned that 50°F with a 25 MPH wind seemed rather cold, except inside an enclosed dining tent, then it was cool!
Look for pictures at
or http://tinyurl.com/byozj3 if the longer url gets truncated
Some of the things we learned:
1. Shelter from high winds is a BIG help - even a drafty tent was very helpful in keeping warm.
2. We should have put up the "Quicky" antenna first, using the Jackite poles to make a few Q's while putting up the higher antenna in the trees! We found that a two element wire beam makes a difference. KA5S rigged up a Bobtail Curtain for 20 meters, with general direction east and west, using two jackite poles and some surplus telephone wire. See http://www.n8sfc.com/bobtail.html for a good explanation of this antenna.
We're all looking forward to FYBO 2010!
72/73 de n8xx Hg for the WQ8RP operating crew!
Ann, Tyler and myself made our way up to the Blackwater yesterday to have a fun afternoon in the great outdoors. The XYL had lots of studying to do and the best way for us to give her the peace and quiet that she needs is to go somewhere else.
As far as fun goes, we had a blast! As far as stations logged, well we didn't do so hot. I managed one PB. I heard plenty of stations but this being the first trip to the river this year, the kids were not interested in Daddy being on the radio. Meanwhile I got my station setup. Station consisted of a Wilderness Sierra, Emtech ZM-2, Te Ne Ke, and GP for 20m.
Overall I made one contact on 20m. Station was wq0rp in MN. I heard lots of CQ FYBO but everytime I'd get ready to go, one of the kids would find a bug, or need some help lifting a log up etc... I don't mind though. Being outdoors with the kids is first and QRP/p is second. I never QSY'd to 40m so I never erected the antenna needed for it.
WQ0RP, 559, MN, Larry, 5w, 41f
In summary it was a great day. I will be looking forward to next years Freeze Your Buns Off event. 72 and hope to work you soon!
More at http://w6eod.blogspot.com/
The Radio Club of Tacoma, W7DK, trek'd to Owens beach, Point Defiance, Tacoma, WA with equipment to establish 2 HF amateur radio stations.
One CW station on 20 and 40 meters using several radios (one at a time) HW-9, KX-1, FT-817, PFR-3 and a 20/40 meter dipole, one SSB station on 20 meters using an FT-897 and a quarter wave vertical planted in the saltwater.
At 1700 UTC the vertical was poised vertical, but after tidal movements and drift wood damage the vertical was poised as a sloper. No degradation in performance was observed.
Eight club members participated and many passerbys stopped to observe and inquire.
More photos see the following link:
This is all we have at the moment…
Updates will be made as scores are submitted.
- Fort Tuthill 2012
- Fort Tuthill 2011
- Fort Tuthill 2010
- 1st Cactus Con 2009
- FYBO Rules (2012)
- FYBO 2007 Soapbox
- FYBO 2008 Soapbox
- FYBO 2009 Soapbox
- FYBO 2010 Soapbox
- FYBO 2011 Soapbox