Posts Tagged ‘FOBB’

Bees and Skeeters, oh my!

The bugs is among us!

As of Friday, if you aren’t already aware, Rich Fisher KI6SN announced that he is accepting requests for Bee numbers for the Annual Flight of the Bumble Bees. which will occur on Sunday July 27th.  The sign up procedures for both Sprints remain the same as last year – however each Sprint has a different sign up procedure.

To become a Bee, the first thing you have to do is visit Once you’re there, you can see what numbers have been requested and assigned.  When you have in mind the number you would like to be assigned, you send Rich an e-mail with your request and two alternate choices to:  [email protected].

In your e-mail, you send Rich the following information:

Your Callsign
Your First Name
The field location you anticipate to be operating from

Your Top 3 Choices for FOBB Number

Then, go back and check the database after a bit of time, as Rich will not be sending individual confirmation e-mails. I saw my name and number appear just a few hours after I had sent Rich my request.

As I’ve stated before, the procedure for getting a Skeeter number for the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is a tad different.  Just send an e-mail to [email protected], and I will send you a sequential number in a confirming e-mail.  I just sent out a bunch of Skeeter numbers to people who sent me requests last week while I was on vacation.  If you have sent me a request, and didn’t get a reply or you don’t see your name on the roster, then I apologize.  Send me another e-mail and I’ll get a number out to you, lickety-split.

Both Sprints are on Sundays from 1700 – 2100 UTC and both are designed to get you and your gear out in the fresh air to enjoy the Great Outdoors. Personally, I hope to work you in both events!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

K4UPG FOBB 2013 Antenna on da Ground!

Grrrrrrrr! and then more Grrrrrrrr’s! FOBB 2013 was a gud one! Grrrrrr!

Anticipated rain and thunderstorms and was not disappointed. Accordingly, I took up my backpack and walked about 1/2 mile to set up under a small pavilion in our housing development’s lakeside park. So far, so good. Originally I planned to have an EFHW for 40m and another one for 20m. Upon unpacking, realized my 40m wire was in my other pack at home. SHUCKS. I had already put a shot over a 40′ high branch and pulled up a paracord to hook to the wire which was not available. Oh well… it happens even to the best of us, eh?

Grrrrr! So I tried to set up the 20m EFHW and after another great shot with my 1 1/2 oz sinker and pulling up a line realized the tree wasn’t going to give me a good shot as it was too close and not very high. Grrrrrrr=ed a bit more!

K4UPG site FOBB Pic

K4UPG FOBB 2013 BB#23

Rethinking mode kicked in and was glad I got out early so all the wasted time did not mess me up. Pulled out my handy 20 ft Jackite and a 17 ft crappie pole and decided to give up on a typical K4UPG “hang ‘em high” antenna and do a very Lazy L. I tried to orient it for a bit of slope towards 330 degrees which shoots from FL to Iowa and provides decent coverage of most of the US. Turned out that low antenna worked great but I think the band was pretty doggone decent for a change too.

So about 15 min before FOBB start time fired off a CQ and made a contact and shot the breeze for a bit to warm up. Nice QRP to QRP contact but not counted for contest. Just for grins. I did notice a few “early out of the blocks ops” were calling CQ BB about 10 min before the clock struck go! Grrrrrrrrr! Sync those watches gentlemen!

Contest Started:

First station heard was Cam out in California N6GA but no joy when I responded to his CQ as there was a mini-pileup on him. Grrrrr… Heard a few more 6′s during the day but no peep from Rem Bear or any others I recognized. I did end up with eight PB’s for the day though and a great TU and Grrrrr to my fellow PB’s: AF40 Chuck- PB 153 TN my last contact of the day (more later); Snowbird FL Bear Don K3RLL PB 187 in PA with his new KX3; Jeff K9JP PB 175 in MI was the loudest signal of the day and blew my ears out till I got the RF and AF turned down Grrrrr! didn’t recognize you as a PB… sri bout dat; N1EU Barry in NY PB 336 got a Grrrrr!; N3AAZ John in MD PB 276 sri 2 ya… missed a Grrrrr!; W1PNS Pete in MA PB 348 got a Grrrrrr!; W5ESE Scotty beam me up Bear PB 287 missed a Grrrr too; WA8REI a perennial PB contact for me gave me a PB 21 style Grrrrrrr! I was closing a contact and Blackjack Bear called me on the guy’s freq so kept it REAL short and sweet as I felt like if we tried to QSY there was too much traffic and we’d not make the connex. Sri Ken Bear was a messy QSO cuz of that. Missed hearing Larry W2LJ this time and listened fur some of you udder PB’s but no connex. Grrrrrr!

All in all worked 25 QSO’s in 17 states and all of them were BB’s! Lightning came up as I was finishing my QSO with AF4O and it was TOO CLOSE. Almost blew me out of my seat but I held onto the key and finished up. Sitting there holding the wire and I started singing, “Antenna on the ground, antenna on the ground, when da lightning is around get your antenna on da ground” to the tune of the famous “Pants on the Ground” song by “General” Larry Platt.

Thus ended a nice outing after 2 hrs and 45 minutes but I truly enjoyed this one. Great number of participants and bet I could have almost doubled the numbers if the lightning did not end the day. Was hearing a lot of new calls just prior to shutting down. At least I got to give the serious contesters some points this year. Maybe next year will be my turn fur sum extra Q’s ? Grrrrrrr!

72 from Orlando, Kelly K4UPG PB 173

FOBB 2013 and some Skeeter Hunt news


That’s the best word that I can think of to describe my effort for Flight of the Bumblebees 2013.

The weather was certainly a distraction. With the forecast (all week long) calling for a 60% chance of rain on Sunday, I was not surprised to find that it was raining when I left Mass yesterday morning. That sealed the deal for me regarding my operating position. Right then and there, I decided that I would be a home station this year, and would forgo using my Bee number. As it turned out, it ended up being sunny, then rainy, then sunny, then rainy in small cycles just about all afternoon. Thunderstorms and torrential downpours waited until the 5:00 PM hour, just when I would have been tearing down.

Operating from home has its conveniences and creature comforts, but it also comes with its share of distractions. The phone rings when you don’t need it to, spouses and children ask for things like they always do …. it’s just a bit different than an evening Sprint, which are generally shorter and occur when things have already pretty much settled down for the night.

But the biggest distraction of all was this little guy (and I am definitely NOT complaining!). Meet Harold, the newest member of the W2LJ family, who came to live with us on Saturday.

We met Harold last Sunday, when we went to the local Petco store to pick up a bag of cat food for Sandy. Happy Paws Rescue was there with a full compliment of dogs looking for homes. Harold was not down on the floor with the other dogs, he was sitting in one of the volunteer’s laps. We didn’t even see him at first.

The first dog we were interested in was a retriever mix named Tia. She was a very playful and friendly little girl, and most importantly, I was informed that she was cat friendly. But it turned out that someone was already filling out papers for her while we were looking at her. There was another retriever mix there, a little older and a little bigger, named Hershey. However, the volunteers weren’t able to tell me if he was good around cats, or not.

Disappointed, we were about to head to the checkout with our cat food, when I decided to ask if they had any dogs that were cat friendly. They immediately told us that Harold was being fostered in a house that had cats and that there were no problems. Interested, they put Harold on a lead for us, and allowed us to take him for a walk around the store. That’s when the volunteer told me about Harold’s background.

Harold is a nine month old beagle pup who was bred to be used as a test animal at either a pharmaceutical or cosmetics company. The inside of his ears are tattooed with a serial number, as a testament to this fact. Lab dogs like him are never really “named”. It turned out that Harold was never used for testing, and was just an extra dog that was going to be offered for adoption. A secretary at the company found out about this and got him put into the custody of Happy Paws.

And now, he’s with us. He’s a very friendly little fellow, who like Jesse before him, seems “to not have a mean bone in his body”. He loves to be held and played with, and right now, is a bit of a “nose and stomach on four legs”. While he’s a tad underweight, this little guy eats his meals so thoroughly, and with such gusto, that we briefly kidded about changing his name to Hoover. He loves to join you in whatever chair you’re sitting in and totally relax next to you, in essence becoming a “puppy puddle”.

So far, Sandy our cat, has made a few wary attempts at getting familar with Harold. With Jesse, she was used to an older dog who really paid her no mind. She is not quite sure what to make of this little brown, black and white furball of energy. They have been getting closer and closer to each other (nose to nose at one point, in fact) without any bouts of barking, hissing or chasing. If they don’t end up becoming best friends, I am fully confident that at the very least, they will become quite comfortable with each other’s presence.

So while I was making a few paltry contacts on 20 and 40 Meters yesterday afternoon, my head just wasn’t in the game this year. My head and my heart were more fixed upon Harold, and also Jesse, whom I think would approve of his successor, very much. Even though he is a totally different breed and a much smaller dog, each time I look at Harold, I can see Jesse shining through him. And that’s a very good thing, because now it really does feel like Jesse is still right here with me.

As for the news about the Skeeter Hunt – Brady AC0XR wrote a logging program specifically for the Skeeter Hunt this year.  It can be found at  Some of you may remember Brady from last year’s hunt.  He was one of the few entrants who built a homebrew key for the event for bonus points.

I feel like we’ve hit the big time!  Our own logging program – thanks, Brady!

By the way, as of tonight, we’re up to 94 entries.  I’ll be issuing Skeeter numbers right up until the morning of the event – but don’t wait for the last minute.  And remember, this year SSB has been added as a mode. So if Morse Code’s not your thing?  You can join us anyway and get in on the fun!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

You can sign up!

Rich Fisher KI6SN, has begun issuing Bee numbers for the 2013 Flight of the Bumblebees. I signed up this evening, and was awarded Number 16.

You can get your own Bee number, by going to the ARS blog. All the instructions are there. You can view the Bumblebee numbers already give out by clicking here.

Pick out three numbers you would like (that aren’t already taken) and then send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Include your name, your call, where you plan on operating from, and your three number choices.

It’s that easy!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Skeeters and Bees, oh my!

I have been getting a lot of e-mails about the Flight of the Bumblebees, which is understandable, as I managed it two years ago.  However, just a reminder, I am NOT managing it this year.  FOBB belongs to the Adventure Radio Society and falls under the province of Rich Fisher KI6SN.

Rich is a VERY busy man!  He edits and is largely responsible for a lot of the content of WorldRadio and CQ VHF.  So in between running around with his hair on fire trying to meet the deadlines for two very popular publications, he also manages FOBB and the monthly Spartan Sprints. That is a lot to have on your plate!

I would ask for you all to be as patient as possible.  The new edition of QST came out, and sure enough, FOBB is listed in “The Contest Corral” as occurring on July 28th, the last one of July.  I am sure that within the next few weeks (if not sooner), Rich will be making an announcement about FOBB on QRP-L.  My advice to you all is keep your eyes peeled and your stingers sharp.

Speaking of Summer time outdoor QRP operating events – please make sure to keep two others in mind!  The first being “SYBO – Scorch Your Butt Off”, which is being sponsored by Rem K6BBQ.  This is scheduled for Saturday, July 20th.  This is a semi-inaugural event as SYBO is Rem’s current edition of the Bubba event, which went by the wayside.  For all the details, please visit Rem’s SYBO Website by clicking on the contest name in this paragraph.

The second event, of course, is the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt. The Skeeter Hunt will be held on the second Sunday of August – which is the 11th, this year.  You can sign up for a Skeeter number by sending me an e-mail at [email protected].  When you request a Skeeter number, please include your name, call and the state from which you plan to operate.  This years theme is “Bodies of Water” and you can earn bonus points by operating close to a body of water, whether that be a lake, pond, river, brook, ocean, etc.  Rules can be found at the hyperlink above.

Now, the reason that I am bringing up the Skeeter Hunt is that I received an e-mail from someone who informed me in that correspondence that it was his third request for a Skeeter number!  I checked my spam folder and I never found the two initial Skeeter number requests, and that has me a bit concerned.  If you have requested a Skeeter number and haven’t gotten one – it’s not because I have put you on “ignore”.  It’s because I haven’t received your request.  I try my best to respond to all requests as quickly as possible – certainly within 24 hours.

So as a backup – here are three ways to request a number, in order of preference on my part.  If number 1 doesn’t work, try number 2, and then finally number 3.  I’ll get you a Skeeter number if I have to come out to your house and deliver it personally!

Number 1 – send an e-mail to [email protected]
Number 2 – send an e-mail to [email protected] (sometimes the ARRL reports funky things about that domain thingy)
Number 3 – Leave a comment on any blog post.  Since comments are on moderation to avoid spam, I have to manually review each one – so that should be a safe “last fallback”.

Last year, we had 123 people sign up for Skeeter numbers, and as of today, number 67 was assigned.  I would like to top last year’s total if at all possible.  Last year over 50 log summaries were sent in and I would like to exceed that, also. The top five scores and the high score for each state/province got a nifty certificate last year, and that will be repeated this year.  And this year, SSB has been added as a category for those of you who prefer not to pound brass.  So there’s truly something for everyone – no reason not to come out, join us and have a blast!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Rem K6BBQ flashes us

Well, not really!

But as a reminder that this Saturday is Freeze Your Buns Off, he treats us to a flashback of the Flight of the Bumblebees from 2012.

Hey Rem …… how about a video of the Skeeter Hunt for 2013? (Hint, hint, hint, HINT!!!!!)

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!


Steve WGØAT posted this to the KX3 reflector this afternoon – as usual, Steve’s videos are super cool!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

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