FYBO 2010 Soapbox

Well, this is it for FYBO 2010, folks. Participation seems to be up judging from the number of logs submitted, calls observed in the logs, and chatter in the blogs and email lists on the internet. Let me know if you have corrections or I missed your score or soapbox somehow and we'll fix it. FYBO 2011 is just around the corner and I hope you'll continue to have fun with us on February 5, 2011!

Official FYBO 2010 Scores

There were many internet blogs this year with lots more pictures and stories that are not shown here. You can find the references in quite a few posts on the usual email lists. You'll find other links at many of the links mentioned in the soapbox.

FYBO is under capable new management as Mike, K7DD, has assumed the coordination of our Operating Events! Be listening for us in FYBO 2011!

72, John K5JS -- 30 --

Here's to the FYBO! (VA3SIE & VA3CKD)

And now after that fine toast by Glen Livit, here's your FYBO 2010 Scores! Cheers, guys!



Where did you all come from today! The bands were CROWDED (at least 20M was) and I had a tough time finding a place to make a call! I ended up resorting to hunt and pounce for the most part so even though I only made 36 QSO's on 20, they were pretty solid contacts in a busy band. John Stevens spent most of his time between 40 and 15 while I tested the waters on 10M a bit. No bites on 10 but there were some beacons at times.

The Park was very busy and John and I fielded a lot of questions from the public as did Ken LoCasale when he and Karen dropped in. Lots of visitors with and without licenses made it as much of a social gathering as an on the air operation but we kept on chipping away at it.

It was nice to see so many of the regulars to the band. Most noticeably missing from the list was Randy K7TQ, whom I use as my "Band Thermometer". John, W2AGN was also not heard but perhaps he was digging out from the snow. N4BP Bob was in the mix most all day someplace and he let me know the band was still open to the East Coast.

KK6MC and the gang were worked on 40 and they were LOUD! I never heard them on 20 but I did hear some folks calling them around 14.063. I was also surprised to hear so many stations from Ontario and the NewEngland area as well as I did so the band WAS open. If I recall, I worked 5 Canadians, 2 from ME, 2 from NJ, RI, PA, MD, TX, OK, TN, OH, IN, WI, WA, FL, MO, MI, so it was a pretty good day.

I tried my best NOT to add to the QRM on a given frequency and tuned up and down several Khz from the calling Freq to find a clear spot. 14.066 and .063 turned out to work quite well for a while but got too quite as it seemed folks were not tuning up too high due to the digital stuff that was creeping in the mix.

Most stations were running 5 watts but I worked a fellow at 1 watt and another at 2 watts and you would have never know the difference as they did as well as anyone.

One fellow I worked in the first hour was later heard having a very nice "Chirp" that made him easy to find in the crowd of solid stable signals. Later on his chirp was quite wide and quite weak so I suspect batteries on their way out was the likely cause, but it was still fun to listen too. ;>)

John and I decided to tear down about 3PM local as it looked like we were going to get rained on and there were storm predictions the night before so we just got it down and loaded when the rains arrived. Good timing.

So, when John recovers later this week (he had a lovely gruff voice from some dreaded mahawka he was trying to kick) he will get the first of the logs posted and we'll get to see just how many of you were on the air today!

FYBO was again a success because of YOU who help keep QRP alive and well and growing.

Hummm, next year, the SFI will likely be higher and I'll be retired; perhaps bigger antenna and even a better location might be possible come on FYBO 2011!

Michael Baker K7DD


I only made one QSO during FYBO 2010 with N0BZM in Stockton, Missouri on 14 MHz CW from 1604-1607 MST (2304-2307 GMT/UTC), 2010.02.06:

Sent: 579 / AZ / LOR / 2W / 35F

Received: 439 / MO / RAY / 5W / 33F

There were other contests/QSO parties going on at the same time, e.g., MN, BC, etc. But the FYBO FD was the most fun!

72 es 73,
Loren, AE7CG


Well, I only got to play for an hour but had pretty good success on 80 meters. Didn't try any other bands since I was getting regular answers to my calls. I set up on the Haw River Canoe Trail in a little Gazebo with snow still hanging around. Using my 817-ND at 3w, BLT, a 30W solar panel and a doublet at 45 feet, I managed 7 QSO's in an hour. Six states but no DX. First time I've played in the FYBO but I'll be back next year. Thanks to the following for pulling me out of the snow. ;-)

3559 CW 2010-02-06 2245  KB4QQJ   579   NK8Q     579  PA
3561 CW 2010-02-06 2307  KB4QQJ   579   W3BBO    579  PA
3561 CW 2010-02-06 2309  KB4QQJ   559   W2LJ     579  NJ
3561 CW 2010-02-06 2312  KB4QQJ   559   WD4MSM   579  IN
3559 CW 2010-02-06 2317  KB4QQJ   599   K8RAT    579  OH
3560 CW 2010-02-06 2340  KB4QQJ   559   WA8REI   559  MI
3560 CW 2010-02-06 2346  KB4QQJ   599   W9BOK    579  WI


Kelly K4UPG working 20m CW

Wally KG4LAL 40m SSB

Don K3RLL FYBO 2010 on 20m CW


This was our new QRP group's first attempt at a multi - multi outing. We learned lots of lessons for the future. Weather was fine, a bit chilly and windy but OK in the sun with 60F temp. Band condx were decent most of the day but the QRM on 20m was tough at times with the other events and RTTY and digital stations. Here in FL we get the South American SSB on 40m most afternoons too! It was great to hear so much activity and we were thrilled to hear 15m open for a bit. EU stations were solid on both SSB and CW but we could not break thru the pileups! Fun but frustrating.

Appreciate all the ops that got out in the bad wx to the north. Wow! It really was a FYBO for most of the upper US, especially in the Midwest and Mid Atlantic areas. Thanks to the AZ Scorpions for sponsoring a great event that got a large number of QRP ops on the air. We'll be back for more next year!

More pictures on my blog at http://k4upg.com Search for FYBO.

73, Kelly K4UPG 


KJ4BR K3RLL KG4LAL setting up 40m SSB Station


I froze my toes before I froze my Butt! Headphones do not make good earmuffs!

Still had fun. See attached photo of my field station. We had about 3 inches of new snow the night before. I was able to work California and Belize with my KX-1!

Tom Osborne, WS9C


I hadn't prepared my escape to the woods in time for FYBO so I thought I would just get on the air from the home shack and give out a few Qs to the brave souls out enjoying winter. It was 40F here in southwest MT today (heat wave!) but I was cozy in my shack so I sent 70F. All told I worked 15 states and provinces. 20 meters was definitely the money band today and I made most of my QSOs there. 40m was overrun with RTTY, FOC, and MNQP. The MNQP folks were definitely having some fun so I think I'd like join in on their party next year.

After looking at the log I realized I had worked all four corners of the continental US: Seab in Maine, Bob in Florida, Bill and Ned in California, and Paula in Washington. How cool is that? OK, if Texas thinks its a corner, I worked Texas too hi hi.

Thanks guys and gals for your intrepid spirit that drives you to brave the elements with radios in hand! I had fun working you.

K7GO (ex: N5ZE)

PS - I've uploaded my log to LoTW already for those that still need/want a MT QSL. Also, if any FYBOer wants a paper QSL instead just let me know.


Well, that was sure fun. Jay came over and we set up our tables on the concrete out back. Rigged up our antennas and we were in business by about 1430z. Did not expect too cool of temps. Was supposed to be sunny today, but that did not quite happen.

Was 53 when we started and it warmed up some, but never was sunny, just a pinch of sun now and again. Then after lunch the north wind picked up, solid cloud cover moved in, and the temp started dropping. I hung around 'til 2330z and by then it had cooled off to 43. Still not near as cold as others, but cool enough. Lowest temp received was 7f from VG3SIE up in Ontario. It is always cold up there where he is. Have K2WW, WQ8RP, VE3WMB, and K0ZK in the teens. COLD!!

In the 20's were W9BOK, KK6MC, N3CU, WQ0RP, NK8Q (1W!), N0AR, KA3MHM, K8MHO, and KD3FG. Hope you guys and gals were bundled up real good! Looks like 67 raw Q's, but I know there are some dupes in there. 20 was the main band - 46 there - with 19 on 40 and one each on 15 and 80.

Only Q on 15m was with AC6YY out in CA . . . where was everyone? I expected with the various m/m operations to see more activity on bands other than 20 and 40 . . .  but those other bands were awful quiet. Thought that late in the day a few might drift down to 80, and did work John, K4BAI, there, but he was the only one. Even tried 10m for a few minutes with no success. I think 15 was open, just unoccupied.

Looks like total operating time was about 7 hours. My hands were getting cold near the end and I was sending with gloves - which made my sending even worse than usual!

Thanks to everyone for the fun - especially those who really do freeze their behinds off to get out there!

73 de Dave
near Mobile, AL


As Dave AB9CA said earlier, it was a fun day!!!

He and I had set up and were ready to go at about 0730 local time. We had both decided that a good breakfast was needed to get FYBO off to a good start so off to Hardees we went.

My first contact was at 1444Z and the temp was 53F, so that is what I used for the day. Oddly, the weather turned out to be quite different from what our weather prognosticators had predicted. The sun only came out for about 10 minutes the whole day and the temps started going down after lunch. With a good northerly wind, lowering temps, and southern blood in my veins, my posterior was cold!!!

At the end of my run, I had 29 Q's with 18 SPC's. The coldest temp reported was 14F from ON.

What I lacked in quantity was more than made up for by what I learned from Dave. It really was a great day to be outside, to enjoy the company, and to enjoy being on the radio.

My very sincere thanks to everyone that went out and made this such a fun contest. See ya next year!!!



RAIN. Buddipole was out in the rain while I was under a carport roof.

73 Rem


Found a nice site in Haverhill MA. and set up on a hill with temps eventually dropping to the high teens.

A station responded to my W1FMR CQ on 40m at 2015Z that sounded something like LU or LV or L6 and I would love to know who it was.

He called many of times but just I couldn't make out the call because signal sounded like it had both flutter and echo. Never heard a signal quite like it.

The echo was as loud as the signal and although quite strong, the echo delay was very short and made a dit sound like a dah and a dah sound like two dahs. Wish I could have recorded the signal. Hard to concentrate when you are freezing cold. The 40m antenna was a 67' vertical with one 33' radial. Couldn't quite tune it but it still made contacts.

If it was you that called, please let me know.

Great contest !!!

Jim / W1FMR


Please find my full write-up with photos and videos here:


Roy VA3CKD and Martin VA3SIE snowshoed 2km into Pine Grove Forest Reserve in the Ottawa South Greenbelt on trails crisscrossed with animal tracks to reach a native wood grove bordering a beautiful open area of winter wilderness by the side of a creek deep in the heart of the wildlife habitat. It was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze, about 9F fully sheltered from the wind, 7F when the breeze was up  - perfect conditions to spend a few hours operating QRP radio! We set up two QRP stations with the wood grove between us and the wind and participated in the contest in a minimalist fashion for 3-1/2 hours, then walked out with a blazing orange sunset at our backs, and that quintessential feeling of satisfaction which comes from having connected a small bundle of electronics between a few penlight cells and a short length of wire and plucked callsigns out of the ether from the four corners of US.

Thanks to all those whose participation made FYBO such a great contest to participate in, and thanks to the Arizona ScQRPions, can't wait until next year!

73 Martin. VA3SIE (was:  VG3SIE/P).


Well the contest for us this year was a disappointment. We selected a site that was almost 1000 feet higher in elevation then previous years expecting great things. We got set up by 1430z and temperatures were just above 16ºF. Tuning around on 40m we heard no FYBO stations but lots of other contests on the go. We called CQ FYBO and by 1444z we had our first hit... VG2SG in Quebec. When that call came in Garry (ve3rep) started writing... bad move, the pen and ink had frozen in Garry's gloved hand. We grabbed a pencil - yay for "older technology", and got the info from our QC cousin. As the morning chugged on we managed 4 more contacts while our temperature reached a maximum of 17.6 F. We actually made more contacts with the curious public then on the radio. We also migrated up onto 20m without any luck so back to 40m. Before we pulled the plug at 1656z and beginning to feel the affects of the cold, we encountered some technical issues that we had to work through: a frozen digital thermometer - the LCD segments were drifting in and out, a frozen shaft on the sierra VFO knob - it was so cold the lubricants on the shaft thickened up so the dial was hesitant to move, the radio slid off the table and the drop broke a wire on my 100kc marker generator so we couldn't spot our exact frequency. Did we have fun? YEP, Will I do it again? YEP - see ya next year I hope.

Thanks to VG2SG, WD8RIF, KB3ILS, KD2JC & WA8REI for dropping by on 40m.



My second FYBO and a great one. Bands coming back to life after a long spotless bottom. I first worked KK6MC Jim in New Mexico and continued to hear him all day. He was 599+. Also worked my Canadian buddies JP and Martin, both fellow Polar Bears. A while later worked Polar Bear NK8Q Mark with a S9 signal from his 1 watt! Then worked K6BBQ Rem, a fellow Polar Bear, out in California on 15 meters. John, fellow Polar Bear N0EVH was steady most all day also. And Jim, fellow Polar Bear, W1PID was strong also.

Stations worked:


Weather was steady at about 34 degrees F all day with winds around 15mph and cloudy. A spit of snow occasionally but the winds made it cold. I guess I was lucky with this weather as the NE part of the country is in a snowstorm and last weekend we had a bad ice storm.

I did a bit of preparation with Merino wool socks and a wool ninja style toboggan :-). Also got a small coleman heater to blow on my hands and to heat some soup. Quite a contrast from last year when i had near room temperatures outside. But im sure this was balmy weather compared to many of my northern qso's.

Had the State Park almost to myself. Two cars came up the turn around in the picnic area where i was located. They stared quite curiously looking at a dude who had a ninja/al queda type pull over toboggan operating radio equipment with wires going everywhere :-)

Seems like every year about this time something comes up especially with work but i still manage to get this event in. A great event and thanks to the AZScorpions for sponsoring so we all can have fun. Great to work and hear all of you.

FT-817 5w, Lawn Battery, highly modified BLT tuner. Baby Black Widow key, Sony headphones, & 2-33' wires directly to the tuner.



I elected to return to my familiar spot on Petit Jean Mountain about 45 minutes from my home QTH in Russellville, AR. Arkansas mountains are modest compared with those in some states, this one being about 1100 ft ASL and about 700 feet above river valley I looked down on.

I'm getting much better at streamlining my efforts, especially getting the antenna up and remembering all or most of the important stuff. I usually wind up with two of everything as insurance.

I've got a new pneumatic spud gun which I pump up with a foot operated bicycle pump. I got the line over my favorite pine tree (about 55 feet or so) in one shot. It was a little difficult tying knots in the cold (about 35F when I arrived) but otherwise things went quickly. I continue to sing the praises of the EFHW. My radiator is a length (65 feet, I guess) of #24 Teflon wire from that Teflon wire guy. The rig is my ATS-3, another old reliable. I kinda screwed it up a few years ago re-doing a too-sharp IF filter. I broadened it out for sure but now I have a lumpy, imprecise passband instead. A minor complaint actually, it still works great.

A new addition was a set of little LG powered speakers I heard discussed on the list sometime in the past year and bought for this purpose. It was good not being tethered by those ear buds.

I got on the air at 1509, just 1:09 beyond the official start time so not too bad for me. Started out on 40 & heard lots of stations and conditions not too bad. At bout 11:15 local time I moved up to 20 and found it to be roughly comparable in terms of the number of stations. More range from strong to weak and more QSB, I guess. I also had the IC706 in the truck and the screwdriver antenna tuned up for 15, since the ATS3 doesn't go above 20. I had high hopes at my first check at 11:00 local since I heard lots of signals, but no FYBO activities. I wound up getting shut out on 15.

I got a big kick out of being answered by HA7UG on 20, who was not only QRP but also seemed to by FYBO-aware.

My temperature rose to 45F and then meandered from 43 to 45 and back over time. It was an overcast day with just a few patches of snow on the ground. A bit of blue sky and even some sun showed for about 20 minutes and then was gone. Even though I'd surmised correctly that it would be a mild day, a bigger coat and some thicker socks would have been a good idea. This was also my first use of the K4RA mini-paddle on FYBO. I was able to send reasonably well with gloves on, if that's some kind of weird testimonial to a paddle.

Some of the colder stations I worked reported temperatures of 27, 29, 22, 8, 19, 20, 25, & 10F. I marvel that folks are able to operate in such temperatures. I usually responded with "wow, that's cold", and one guy came back with, "BRRRRR", which says it all.

It was good to work familiar calls like KK6MC (both bands), AA1MY, W0RSP and more, but also great to work less familiar calls, indicating that FYBO isn't a small club. How I could miss N4BP in a QRP test is beyond me. Also W2AGN, but I guess he wasn't on.  After the contest I see postings from many active FYBOers that didn't make my log. That tells me I need to hit it a little harder. I tend to take a relaxed approach to these little outings. At about 2:30 PM local time things were slowing down so I wimped out and packed up my stuff.


40M - 15Qs
20M - 18Qs
21 SPCs total

Here are a few pix:


72-Nick, WA5BDU


This was my first time in the FYBO. For weeks I had been looking forward to taking my K2 and Buddipole to a state park and operating from the field.  Unfortunately, it started snowing the day before the event and did not stop until after the beginning of the contest. The equipment was packed in the car, but it was impossible to even get out of my driveway. I was forced to operate from the warmth and comfort of my home. After examining a few of the photographs of operators from previous FYBOs, I feel rather wimpy. It did not make me feel better that K6MDJ reported snow and 36F at his location. Nevertheless, it was fun contacting those more hardy than myself and discovering the temperature at their sites. 

The first 3 hours of the contest were slow but after that the pace was satisfactory the rest of the day. N4BP and KK6MC were my first Q's and they were strong all day on 20M. I did not know what the /PM meant in W0RW/PM until after the contest, but his 579 signal was remarkable.  Working W9JQT with his one watt homebrew rig on 40M from IL was fun, as were most of the QSOs. This FYBO has provided the inspiration so that I will surely be in the field for the next FYBO.

John, AE8M


First time for me, had a great time. Not all that cold here but I still felt like an ice cube by the end of the day. Don't know how the ops in colder temps do it! Look forward to doing it again next year.

James Sweeden - KB7LJP
Port Angeles, WA


I had a great time operating from a tent in the sideyard following a snowfall of about 10" the previous night. I was disappointed and frustrated in the number of "FOC" club members who chose to operate their contest on the 40m CQ QRP frequency. I didn't hear many FYBO stations on 20m CW; my previously-untested antenna might have been to blame.

web-report: http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/fybo2010.htm


http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/img/wd8rif_fybo2010_01.jpg http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/img/wd8rif_fybo2010_02.jpg http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/img/wd8rif_fybo2010_03.jpg http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/img/wd8rif_fybo2010_04.jpg http://home.frognet.net/~mcfadden/wd8rif/img/wd8rif_fybo2010_05.jpg

73, es tnx for such a great event!

Eric, WD8RIF


20m was busy when I got set up around 1:30pm CST, and I made several QSO's right away. But then things started to drag out, and the signals got weaker, and I got colder. Wound up with 12 QSO's using a K1 at 5w, and a 44-foot doublet up about 30 feet in a local forest preserve. I always look forward to this event, and only got skunked once by very cold temps. It was nice to see some old QRP friends again. Thanks for a fun FYBO 2010!

73 - Ed, K9EW, IL


15m was wide open but no takers when I called 20 mins. 40m was noisy and only two copiable sigs. 20 was nice but lots of QSB from 229-579! Ended on fantastic note: Paula NX1P back after a 4-day motorcycle trip SF to VE to XE to SF. She spent about 15 minutes digging my exchange out of the noise! Great operator with persistence -- what other kind would do such a wild "Adventure Girl" trip with a K1 on board? Check out her QRZ.com l ink to her blog!!! My 60-ft dipole up 32-ft on the DK9SQ was not disappointing! Outdid the vertical almost all the time.

73 Ade, W0RSP


I operated FYBO 2010 from the shack this year because it was coincident with one of the largest snowstorms the Washington DC area has ever had.   Our accumulation was about 24 inches of relatively wet, heavy snow - a Cardiac special. Being inside also contributed to, lets say, the domestic tranquility, as my wife was not enthused about my shoveling a path to the garage where I keep the portable antennas.

I used both my QRP+ and my PFR-3, with an Index Companion ATU and my attic mounted 30 foot aluminum foil doublet. As there's no multiplier for using an underground, or underwater antenna, the snow accumulation on the roof didn't help my score . I wonder how much attenuation that snow caused.

When I pulled the switch, I had 10 QSOs in 7 SPC. My last QSO was with Martin, VG3SIE/P, who was obviously operating in the spirit of FYBO. 20M did seem in good shape, though my five 20M QSOs were with the mid part of the USA.

72/73, Cal K4JSI


Well, that was sure fun. Jay, AJ4AY, came over and we set up our tables on the concrete out back. Rigged up our antennas and we were in business by about 1430z. Did not expect too cool of temps. Was supposed to be sunny today, but that did not quite happen.

Was 53 when we started and it warmed up some, but never was sunny, just a pinch of sun now and again. Then after lunch the north wind picked up, solid cloud cover moved in, and the temp started dropping. I hung around 'til 2330z and by then it had cooled off to 43. Still not near as cold as others, but cool enough. Lowest temp received was 7f from VG3SIE up in Ontario. It is always cold up there where he is. Have K2WW, WQ8RP, VE3WMB, and K0ZK in the teens. COLD!!

In the 20's were W9BOK, KK6MC, N3CU, WQ0RP, NK8Q (1W!), N0AR, KA3MHM, K8MHO, and KD3FG. Hope you guys and gals were bundled up real good! Looks like 67 raw Q's, but I know there are some dupes in there. 20 was the main band - 46 there - with 19 on 40 and one each on 15 and 80.

Only Q on 15m was with AC6YY out in CA . . . where was everyone? I expected with the various m/m operations to see more activity on bands other than 20 and 40 . . .  but those other bands were awful quiet. Thought that late in the day a few might drift down to 80, and did work John, K4BAI, there, but he was the only one. Even tried 10m for a few minutes with no success. I think 15 was open, just unoccupied.

Looks like total operating time was about 7 hours. My hands were getting cold near the end and I was sending with gloves - which made my sending even worse than usual!

Thanks to everyone for the fun - especially those who really do freeze their behinds off to get out there!

73 de dave near Mobile, AL


We ran the 40M station on solar, but as the batteries were charged when we started, we cannot claim the alternative power multiplier.

Our favorite FYBO site, Galisteo Dam, remains closed, so we went to the Cochiti Lake Campground to set up. This is a nice site, elevated around average terrain, with beautiful views. The lake was frozen quite aways out. It was 29F when we arrived, so we sent that as the exchange.

My K2 would not power up and kept blowing fuses, so we went to the backup, an old OHR Classic 2040 on 40M. The 40M station got on the air about 10 minutes after the start of the contest with an inverted vee at 38 feet fed with coax was the antenna on 40M. KE5AKL did yeoman's duty on 40M CW. He tried his KX-1 for a bit, but it was overwhelmed by the other stations.

We then setup an interim 20M CW station using AA5B's K1 and an inverted vee at 30 ft. This got on the air an hour or so into the contest. KK6MC was the op here.

Then at 1500Z NN5K showed up with the real 20M station, a K2 to an inverted vee at 40 ft and computer logging. When that got setup, we transitioned the original 20M station to 15M. The first station heard on 15M was a GM0, so we had great hopes for 15M.

AA5B then worked SSB on a K2 from his Four Runner using a vertical wire, quarter wave on 40M, held up by a DK9SQ pole in a trailer hitch. This worked OK, but the 20M CW and phone station, both K2s, could not coexist, so the only time we got on 20M SSB was when Dave was taking a break on 20M CW.

The winds came up at 2100Z, just like they do for every QRP Field contest in NM, and we nearly lost the 40M antenna mast. That got fixed though, and no harm done.

Propagation was good, but participation was down from previous years. Did anyone else notice this? By early afternoon rates had slowed substantially on all bands. By 2330Z, the 15M station had not worked a station in an hour and a half, the 20M station had not worked anyone new in a half hour and the 40M station was in similar shape. Signals were there, new stations to work were not. So we took down the 15M station first, then the 20M station and finally at 2330Z we tore down the 40M station.

Like I said, conditions were good, Europe was in on 15M in the morning and ZL in the afternoon. AA1MY had a S5 to S6 signal on 15M  at times, but, like me, he called CQ for long periods of time with no takers. Lots of FOC activity on 15M, and I made a regular QSO or two to help with the rate, but with the band in the good shape it was, it was disappointing that more FYBOers did not take advantage of it. I know that there are lots of K2s and 817s out there that could have QSYed up to 15M on a 40M dipole easy. I hoped that KH6M might show up, but did not hear any KH6s.

I think we worked nearly everyone in the contest on 20M CW. Again propagation was excellent and got as close as TX and OK. But by 2000Z we had pretty much worked the band out and new contacts were scarce. This running out of stations to work on FYBO used to take another hour or two. We snagged a VK on 20M during the last hour. On tearing down the 20M station we found that the antenna had been put up with a 20M leg and a 17M leg, but that did not seem to harm the performance much.

Forty was good all day, and the low K and A indices meant that it was quiet as well. It started to pick up in the late afternoon, but so did the XE RTTY contest, making QSOs harder. Managed to work NQ7RP on this band for the bonus points.

We worked lots of stations on both 20M and 40M, one of the advantages of running multi-multi. Thanks for QSYing.

Here are some pictures that AA5B took. That is why there isn't one of him.

Dave, NN5K, at the 20M operating position with KK6MC looking on. Dave had brought his kayak with thoughts that he could use the slow time to get in some kayaking, but the lake was frozen quite a ways out.

Mike KE5AKL at the 40M station.

Jim, KK6MC at the 15M operating position. Yes, that is snow in the lower left corner. 

I sure hope that we can get the participation up to the old levels in future years.

73 Jim KK6MC/5


We were out of town for most of the day so I only got to operate for an hour from my deck late in the day. Rig was the ATS 3a running 4 watts, and the antenna was a SuperAntenna mounted on the railing.

The session did not start out well. My first contact was Bob N4BP, and when I started sending my info I disovered that micro TeNeKe had a problem with a sticking contact. Almost simultaneously, our 9 month old great pyranees mix puppy came running onto the porch and crashed into me. It was amazing that Bob replied "QSL" instead of "Huh?"

Fortunately there were still a few stations hangin around, and it was very nice to snag the NQ7RP club station as well as Ade W0RSP (although I was first confused when he sent his state as AZ).  On reflection, I would rather do February field operations in Arizona than South Dakota, too!

Next year, I hope my schedule will allow me to carry out my original plan of operating from Elk Mountain in the Wichita National Wildlife Preserve in southwest Oklahoma.

72/73, Mike N5JKY

W1FMR and NY1Z

W1FMR and NY1Z drove to a hill in Haverhill MA and made FYBO and state QSO party contacts until the temp. dropped into the teens and the wind picked up pretty good.

Here are some photos...


Jim / W1FMR


Lots of rain in the area, so I didn't operate portable this year. My shack is in my garage, so I left the space heater off to collect at least a lower temperature bonus. Used my main station rig; a Ten-Tec Omni 6 with the power dialed down. Was glad to be able to complete some contacts on each of 4 bands this year! I am now on LoTW, so I'll upload my FYBO log.

Scott W5ESE


My station was a K1 at 5 wts, a Code Warrior paddle, and a Buddipole antenna. Power was a 12 AH battery. I worked about 1.5 hrs (20:38Z thru 2200Z) before I decided that I'd had enough of the wind and a diminishing QSO rate.

All my activity was on 20M.

I had 16 QSOs in 11 states, including one (1) member of the local NORTEX QRP club: Joe (KK5NA).

Once again, I operated from a park on the shores of Lake Arlington. 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. No...we don't live next to the lake - actually about 5 miles away.

This year, the weather was much colder. I know that I'll get chuckles from those of you to the North (which is most everyone!) - but I really did "freeze my buns off"! I didn't have a thermometer, so I checked the weather using my "iPhone" and the report said 48F. I swear it was in the low 40s at best and the wind coming in off the lake made it seem much colder.  I had my winter jacket on, but in a 1.5 hr time span, my legs and my hands seemed like they were frozen solid. I took real concentration to disassemble my Buddipole. My wife chided me for not taking a thermos with some hot coffee or tea. Last year, I wore shorts and a tee shirt!

By the way, some of the temperatures from up North were much colder.  Martin (VG3SIE/P) reported 12F. Six (6) others reported temperatures in the 20-29F range. Wow!

Highlights for me this year were:

  1. Working anyone! - Unlike last year, I got off to a quick start.  All 16 QSOs were made in one hour. QRM was actually an issue! The 20M band was in good shape.

  2. Special QSOs included working Ken (WA8REI), Ade (W0RSP), Martin (VA3SIE) as VG3SIE/P, Mark (NK8Q), and Jim (KK6MC). Also NQ7RP (Mike) and WQ0RP (Dave).

  3. Mark (NK8Q) in PA was running 1W. Martin (VG3SIE/P) and Bruce (KG8YT) were running 2W. Mark and Martin also reported the two lowest temperatures among my QSOs. Good job to all three for showing what low power can do!

  4. Tnx again to the following who made my outting so much fun: NQ7RP (Mike), N4BP (Bob), N0AR (Scott), N9AW (Jerry), VG3SIE/P (Martin), KK6MC (Jim), WQ0RP (Dave), NK9G (Rick), W7DK (Rich), K7GO (Lew), WA8REI (Ken), W0RSP (Ade), K8RAT (Mike), NK8Q (Mark), KG8YT (Bruce), and KK5NA (Joe) !

    72 & CUL,
    Andy - WA5RML


    VG2SG began its transmission around 9h30 AM. Temp was cold at minus 10 C, which is great because it give us a fine X6 multiplier.

    We used 2 FT817, running 5 watts into an end fed zepp for 40, and a portable moxon for 20, all EZD built.

    We had great fun, making 53 contacts, al across NA, with a fun QSO with Laci HA7UG, both 5 watts output. Louis catched the bonus station NQ7RP in Arizona, who got a great signal.

    After lunch, light wind began to make things funnier as we were struggling against the cold to stay on the air, both getting alternatively inside the St-Georges-de-Beauce college entrance to warm up!

    At 4h30 PM, with 53 QSOs in the log, and some work to get all the stuff in Louis Tercel, we stopped operations, but what fun this was!

    The hot dinner and beer at Boston Pizza was appreciated.

    53 QSOs, 32 States, provinces , countries, 81508 points in the multi/multi category.

    Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBKo7nTuKWA

    Thanks again for this FB event1

    72 73 Louis and JP


    Always a fun time even if you can't go out to the field. I was excited to work the four corners of the continental US QRP this year!

    72, *Lew* K7GO


    During MN-QP, tuned around 14060-heard CQ-FYBO. After a quick shot-what is it? -swiched off my kW and set to 5Wtts my FT-920 to 4el SteppIR@24mh - find a few sigs around. It was too late for me/deep dark eve' 20m closed down soon. hrd K0ZK, someone in FL S+P, 1-2 more.

    Enjoyed, THX 72!

    de Laci -ha7ug-


    Most of the previous FYBO reports were from stations I never heard. It was like I must have been operating in a parallel universe.

    The temperature hovered around 30F which was much warmer than most East Coast stations.

    The road to Pikes Peak was closed at 13000 feet at Devils Playground. I don't usually operate there because that is the saddle ridge and has high winds and lots of precipitation static. Devils Playground was named for the many sightings of Lightning jumping from rock to rock. Not a good place for a guy with a whip and a drag wire.

    There was 1 to 2 foot of snow in the area.

    I was using my PRC319 and a 10 foot whip on Pikes Peak, CO.

    72 Paul W0RW/P


    Well that was a blast! Set up on the lake, took a bit longer than I expected. Typical MN crunchy snow and a good breeze weather. Signals for the most part were just outstanding. The noise level was at least 10 dB lower than the home qth. (Do I see a move to the country?) I spent most of the time on 20. A few contacts on 40. None on 80, though I could hear one station calling cq. Boy does a day on the ice has a toll when you come inside and warm up, yawn... I posted a few pics of the activities on Flickr if you'd like to see the operation.


    72's Scott N0AR


    WOW! worked NQ7RP, I only found 3 that were out in the cold that I could hear. I am glad to support those who were out in the cold!

    Mark K5GQ


    Weather reports of a major snow storm dumping lots of snow and producing cold temperatures in the area during the first weekend of February did not keep me from participating in this year's FYBO. While the area I live in didn't get the two to three feet of snow, as you can tell from the attached photo I enjoy this particular activity. It probably all started from when I was in college at Michigan Technological University (home of W8YY), where I helped out with a sled dog race by spending a day out on the trail with radio reporting as dogsled teams came through. Given the choice between being taken out via snowmobile or dogsled, I didn't think twice about it and jumped at the opportunity to go out via dogsled!

    Here we are 20+ years later and I've been enjoying (and am a founding member of) the Polar Bears (portable QRP operators during the wintertime), however due to some recent changes in my life lately I haven't been able to participate (bear-ticipate as we say). Actually, the weekend prior to FYBO was a Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event (PBMME) but I opted for the last major contest operation from my QTH before we move, the CQWW 160m CW contest, QRP of course! So, I was really looking forward to getting out for FYBO this year. I got home from work on Friday evening and prepacked the vehicle, except for the batteries and food items. By 6:30 AM on Saturday morning there was about 6 inches of snow which I cleared from our driveway and took off to go operate from one of my favorite locations along the Appalachian Trail, about 15 miles north of Allentown, PA. My XYL wasn't too happy about my travel during the storm, but it wasn't so bad. I guess, in hindsight, I could have set up from home and done the same thing, but it just woulnd't have been the same. I had planned to operate with Ron, WB3AAL, but he ended up having to work. He was missed!

    I arrived at my chosen operating location, a parking area for the AT at the Blue Mountain Summit around 9:30 to 10 AM. Unfortunately it took me quite a while to get my primary antenna put up. Every time I have used the W5GI Mystery Antenna which has been adapted for portable QRP use I have had great results with it, so it is worth the extra struggles to put up a dipole type antenna instead of an EFHWA or vertical. I hit the right branch on the first try (in between wind gusts) to get the first end up. The second end was a difficult shot with the slingshot to get up and over some low branches from a couple of nearby trees, then over a tall part of a tree into the woods. Shallow and long shots with the slingshot in wooded areas usually end up with tangled up fishing line and lost sinkers. I think I ended up with only losing one 3/4 ounce (leadfree) sinker that got caught up in the tree. Several attempts later I did manage to find the line and pulled up the better twine to support the 2nd end of the W5GI Mystery Antenna, now supported at about 40 feet above ground. I also used a BW31 antenna, which was quickly put up in a matter of minutes.

    I started out on 20m somewhere a bit later than I wanted, around 11:30 AM EST, and had pretty good success there even thought I didn't think that the band conditions (or my Rx) sounded very good. Using my Elecraft K2 (I brought the KX1 along for back-up) and cranked the power down to 1W, I was doing a little bit of S&P but mostly calling CQ and having my calls answered fairly often. I occasionally would go to 40m as well and make a few QSOs there, then back to 20m. I did manage a couple of QSOs on 15m which was open fairly well, including KK6MC and NQ7RP, well worth checking those two bands for sure! The temperature started out at 22 degrees F and later I discovered it had crept up to 25 degrees F when the sun came out (it was getting sorta balmy out there!), but I had continued to report "22F" until very late in the day when the temps started to dip a bit. My last two QSOs on 80m I reported 21F and hoped that within the last 40 minutes of the event the temps would drop below 20F so I could get that extra multiplier. However, the only thing below 20F at my QTH was the wind chill factor, which I could tell was getting lower and lower as I was packing up in the dark.

    I finished with 56 QSOs, a couple of them being repeats, such as KK6MC and NQ7RP on both 20m CW and later on 15m CW, as well as my old friend Ken, WA8REI on both 40 & 80m CW. I didn't do any SSB QSOs even though I brought along my boom headset because I just was having a blast on CW. How much SSB activity was there? There were lots of callsigns that were familiar and a few new ones, so a good mix. Finishing with 36 SPC's across the 4 bands I operated, Field Location multiplier, QRPp multiplier and a decent multiplier for the temp. Coldest station reporting in was P, VG2SG in QC at 10 F, however there were several stations around 15F as well. Warmest reporting station was Bob, N4BP at 80 degrees. Was that with the A/C on, Bob?

    By the way, for those of you that were down south where the temperatures were nice and warm (in the 40s and 50s) or for the fellows who operated from home in the 60s and 70s, and would like to operate in colder temperatures for the extra multiplier sometime in the future, leave your pens at home and bring a pencil. Ink freezes up and is hard to log stations. I had a much easier time with the pencil this year than using a pen in the past which I had to keep stuffed inside of a glove to keep it warm inbetween QSOs. Other cold operating tips available via email!

    Thanks to the AZ SQRPions for sponsoring the event. I look forward to it again next year!

    Mark, NK8Q


    Foto captions:

    Foto 1: WL vertical antenna set up in the sand next to Commencement Bay which is part of Puget Sound (salt water). This vertical is made from a 16 ft fiberglass crappie pole, has 8 elevated radials, and a ugly choke BALUN. It is connected to the rig via a 100 ft RG8X jumper. Submerging the coax in salt water for a few hours last year didn't seem to harm the operation for this year. The Washington State Ferry is seen in the background traveling between Tacoma and Tallequah on Vashon Island.

    Foto 2: The East side of the picnic shelter is seen with the rare sunny WX fueling the solar cells at maximum current to charge our SLA batteries. The CW station is seen from this view.

    Foto 3: The 20/40 meter inverted Vee antenna is shown set up on the lawn next to the picnic shelter. The apex is about 25 ft high and fed to the CW station with a 100 ft RG8X coax jumper.

    Foto 4: Joe K7AWJ and Chuck AC7QN operate the 20 meter SSB station… A Yaesu FT-897 with barely any deflection on the output watt meter.

    Foto 5: Bob KE7WPK (right) and Rich KR7W operate the 20/40M CW station.  The rig of choice is a Yaesu FT-817 at 5 watts. Other CW rigs that made QSOs were: KX-1, Heathkit HW-9 (remember those?), and a Small Wonder Labs 40. The straight key shown is a Russian Military mini key. No paddles were tried this year because previous years operations with cold hands operating paddles generated dits and dahs code that not even the CIA, FBI, or WW2 cryptographers could decipher.

    Foto 6: Linda AB7YL operates the 20M SSB station. Even though Linda usually contests at big guns QRO stations with large linear amps that generate lots of warmth, she pulled in some points for the Mighty W7DK.

    Foto 7: Here's Alan "Doc" N7OMS operating his equipment at the 20M SSB station. Doc is an avid bird watcher and knows how to dress warm.

    73 Rich K7RW


    Well,.. I had been looking forward to participating in my 1st FYBO for quite a while, but never anticipated the weather that was in store for us here in South Eastern Pennsylvania. On the day of the event, we had our 1st of two 20 inch snowstorms with temperatures in the 20's and winds to match. In preparation, I had strung up an 80' piece of wire with the top end at 25 feet, then I carved out a corner of the picnic table amongst the 19 inches of snow on top of it. Realizing that it was snowing at the time, I taped plastic baggies on top of my equipment to protect them from the falling snow.

    At the time of operation it was 24 degrees, snowing, and winds in the 25 mph range. After setting up, I then proceeded to make several contacts and realized that after about an hour, it was time to pack up. Bearing the weather was a bit of a challenge, but what made me decide to pack it up, was the wind which was blowing huge "chunks" of snow off of branches down around me. At a current depth of 19 inches at the time, that meant that just one of them, perfectly aimed at my operating location, would leave my equipment submerged underneath! After doing a very quick "cost versus benefit" analysis, I scrambled to gather up my equipment and "ran for cover". This then ended my very first FYBO.

    Even though it was short and sweet, it was great to be a part of the FYBO! I must say though, that at the time, my mind kept wandering off to those FYBO operators down south, who were enjoying the warm gentle breezes off of the ocean, listening to the seagulls, sipping on their favorite beverage to keep them cool, as they basked in the warm, glowing sun. But there again,..... that wouldn't have been nearly as much fun,.... would it !!??? :)

    N3CU - Ken, Quarryville, PA


    K4JSI during FYBO 2010 - looks like rig and op buried in snow .

    Index QRP+ (3 QSOs)  PFR-3 (7 QSOs)
    Index Companion ATU
    30 Ft Aluminum Foil Doublet in Attic (2 lengths RG-58 configured as 100 Ohm Balanced Feeder

    With 20+ inches of snow just fallen and high winds - a Snowpocalypse - I decided to enjoy FYBO 2010 from the shack. My wife seconded that idea!   Otherwise I might have looked like the attached picture of our back porch .  Pity there's no multiplier for a buried antenna, since my doublet is in our attic.  Fittingly, my last QSO was with VG3SIE/P, Martin, who also gave me the lowest temperature I received in the event.  Kidding aside, this has been a very snowy winter in the Maryland/DC area, with 55 inches or so having fallen, mostly in three storms - the Winter of Snowmageddon!

    72/73, Cal K4JSI


    A fun day at Minnetonka Community Center parking lot, with K2 and doublet at 30'. We also had a buildathon for the AA0ZZ keyer.

    73 Dave W0RU


    Field location - Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park, NY.

    Rig - Elecraft KX1 2W

    Ant - Gusher II Inverted Vee on a DK9SQ 33' mast

    Power source - 2 Ahr Panasonic camcorder battery/Sunergy USC-8 Universal

    SunCharger/Sunlight Energy Systems Micro "M" charge controller

    Paper logs and keyer paddle mounted on a pilot's kneeboard, very convenient!

    Bright sunny, somewhat windy day, temperature nearly constant @ 15F. I brought my NorCal 40A and 20 also, but antenna problems caused me to run the KX1 with the built-in tuner. Coldest temperature worked was VG2SG @ 10F. I was able to remain warm throughout with chemical hand warmers and three layers. Much fun!

    Howard K2UD


    It was a Beautiful day at Tom Bass Park III on the northern side of Pearland, Texas. The only problem that we had was the COLD! We had at least seven HQRP members in attendance. A good time was had by all. 

    Henry W5HNS looks on while Randy KA5IIA gets things going on the lower bands. 

    Here's Randy with his solar-panel set-up. It did REALLY well for the event! 

    Good Turnout - GREAT WX! Lots of fun operating from our favorite to-the-field QTH - Tom Bass Park III on the north side of Pearland, Texas - just south of Houston.

    Pictures at http://www.w5acm.net/QRP_0206.html

    72 de Andy W5ACM


    KC8QVO Steve, KD8HVW Jay, and KD8BKB Joe had a fine outing in the Zaleski State Forest in Ohio. Here's a few picture from their FYBO operation. There is a really good writeup and more pictures at http://www.kc8qvo.com/2010/02/fybo-2010.html


    This years FYBO went much better than last years for me anyway. 40M was open and very little QRM to deal with at my end. It took a very long time for 20M to open; at one time I thought it wouldn't open at all, but it finally came usable. 15M was open, but I didn't hear any FYBO stations, too bad. Next year things should be picking up and I look forward to my 12th FYBO!!

    Ed WD7Y

    That's a wrap folks!