2016 Flight of the Bumblebees FOBB

Jim Cluett, W1PID, and I decided to operate together for the annual Flight of the Bumblebees. It’s a low-intensity and fun contest.

Operators like Jim and myself are some of the bees because we go out into the wild and operate portable. All who are participating in the event want to put as many bees in their logbooks as possible because each bee comes with a 3X multiplier.

Jim and I met for lunch and caught up. We hadn’t seen each other for about a month because I went on a ten-day trip to the Midwest and then came back to work day after day on my outdoor deck reconstruction project.

“There’s no rush getting on the air because the bands have been horrible,” Jim said while we munched on healthy sandwiches.

“As the day goes on, we should have better and better luck.” He assured me.

It was decided to try to operate from a nice covered shelter at Profile Falls in Bristol, NH.

Here's a dark selfie taken inside the Profile Falls shelter. Rain was threatening. Photo: Tim Carter - W3ATB

Here’s a dark selfie taken inside the Profile Falls shelter. Rain was threatening. Photo: Tim Carter – W3ATB

For some reason we keep forgetting this exact location is the Black Hole of RF Death. We also discovered it’s a great place to have your car become a smash and grab statistic. In the shelter was a nice retired man who volunteers to watch over the cars that are in the parking lot for those wanting to hike to the falls.

After forty-five minutes of frustration, I had only two contacts here and I believe Jim had three. On a normal day in that time he could have had ten or twenty.

We packed up and decided to head to some land I own just four miles east northeast of Profile Falls.

Once there, we decided to vent our frustration throwing lead and copper at a 3/8-inch solid steel gong. It worked. Soon we were in much better spirits.

Here's Jim hitting the steel gong one of many times. It was our best day ever shooting. Perhaps propagation has something to do with firearms skills too! Photo: Tim Carter - W3ATB

Here’s Jim hitting the steel gong one of many times. It was our best day ever shooting. Perhaps propagation has something to do with firearms skills too! Photo: Tim Carter – W3ATB

With only about forty-five minutes left in the contest, we decided to get back on the air.

Twenty meters was alive! I made six contacts in about 24 minutes and Jim made, I think, about nine or ten.

Here's Jim logging a contact late in the contest. We were sitting in his cool VW vanagon that he uses as his roving RF station. It's got enormous good karma and patina. Photo: Tim Carter - W3ATB

Here’s Jim logging a contact late in the contest. We were sitting in his cool VW vanagon that he uses as his roving RF station. It’s got enormous good karma and patina. Photo: Tim Carter – W3ATB

Our Bumblebee scores were pathetic, but that’s not what counts. We pegged the fun meter mixing invisible radio waves with puffs of gunpowder smoke!

3 thoughts on “2016 Flight of the Bumblebees FOBB

  1. Good write up …Instead of our usual SOTA schedule of going to summit we explored off trail with goats up a ridge to what we name Vulture Rock had a great hike 3-miles up 1800′ and back. Made a few Qs (12?) had most fun exploring trails and rock climbing with new vistas …cleaned up a few old campsites …very relaxing Sorry we missed you! Heard a few east coast folks worked PA but very deep QSB! 73, Steve/wGOAT(s)

    pix: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFoZtE1

  2. Great write up, Tim! Glad you had a fun day. I was hive-bound as it pretty much rained all day in NJ. It seems both the terrestrial and solar weather conditions were marginal that day.

    Fingers are crossed for better weather and band conditions for another QRP Sprint in about 3 weeks!

    72 de Larry W2LJ

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