Flight of the Bumblebees (FOBB) July 28

This is a fun QRP event similar to the QRP To The Field (QRPTTF) held earlier in
April. Unfortunately it doesn’t count SOTA summits as mults but would still be
fun if a bunch of us activated. I’m tentatively planning to participate but
haven’t picked a summit yet. Details here:

73, Bill W4ZV

In reply to W4ZV:

I just discovered the published link to request a BB number links back on itself! :slight_smile: I’ll post the way to do it when I hear from the sponsor (KI6SN).

73, Bill

In reply to W4ZV:

I’ll post the way to do it when I hear from the
sponsor (KI6SN).

KI0G has confirmed that an email to KI6SN is the way to request your BB number. KI6SN’s email is ki6sn at aol.com .

73, Bill W4ZV

What do G stations (for instance) do with regard to the /BB thing? We will be /P (if a ‘bumblebee’ entry), and although the rules regarding /? have been relaxed here in recent years, we cannot just stick anything on the end! Quite a number of people add /QRP but they are not supposed to!

Would M1EYP/P BB be OK? This would be acceptable (but then the ‘BB’ would not be part of the “call”), whereas M1EYP/BB or even M1EYP/P/BB would not.


In reply to M1EYP:

Tom IMHO /P is perfectly acceptable for EU as this is a very casual event. I recall not everyone signs /BB anyway since it’s obvious if they have a BB number (which is part of their exchange).


/BB: If you are a Bumblebee, your exchange is RST, state/province/country, and your Bumblebee number.
Home Stations: If you are home based, your exchange is RST, state/province/country, and your power."

Also, regarding the BB numbers, here are the directions which were posted at the very bottom of the page:

If you plan to operate the 2102 FOBB portable – in other words, from a field location – you’re invited to request a Bumblebee identification number. Here’s how:

  1. CHECK THE DATABASE: An online database has been set up to show assigned Bumblebee numbers. Visit: < http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 >.

  2. OFFER THREE OPTIONS: Check the database < http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 > for eligibility. Then send an email to:

< ARSBumblebees@gmail.com > with:

Your Callsign
Your First Name
The field location you anticipate to be operating from
Your Top 3 Choices for FOBB Number
  1. YOUR FOBB NUMBER ASSIGNMENT: Check the database, < http://bit.ly/15aGgN1 >,after submitting your top three choices to see which number you have been assigned. The number listed in the database is your official 2013 FOBB number."

73, Bill W4ZV

In reply to M1EYP:
I took part once just before SOTA started and signed /P BB IIRC.

Roger MW0IDX

4/5 (?) SOTA operations now registered for a BB number on http://bit.ly/15aGgN1

…but just one Alert on SOTAwatch so far!


In reply to M1EYP:

we cannot just stick anything on the end!

Yes, you can Tom. All those rules have been relaxed away since the lifetime licence was introduced.


Yes I said they had been relaxed. But still limited to /M, /P and /A (and /MM) I understood. And we can choose not to use /anything and just have the bare call if we want, when away from home.

I do not believe this relaxation extends as far as a free-for-all, so things like /BB, /QRP, /AM or /RUDEWORD are still off limits.

Tom M1EYP/#

In reply to M1EYP:

I have applied for and been granted #300


Richard G3CWI/P/BB/300

What a rubbish number! Did you forget it was a CW event?

Mind you, I don’t suppose it’s too bad with cut characters. I got Herbie (53).


In reply to M1EYP:

I got Herbie

There’s a cream available for that nowadays!


Well that was rubbish. I spent the first half hour on summit nearly putting up the 15m antenna and nearly packing it away several times as I nervously monitored the sky and the rumbles of thunder. Eventually it did go up and I discovered the band was dead and all the NA bumble bees were on 20m. So up went that antenna. I worked through a few chasers giving them rst, sota ref and BB 53 but I forgot to ask any of them their power so I suppose I cannot include them in the event log now.

I got a BB number from N1EU though so there’s at least one. But condx were bobbins and I couldn’t hear any of the NA stations spotted on 20m. And I decided I didn’t like the look of the clouds coming my way from the south west so elected to pack up. Halfway through doing so, a cloud burst on me.

A few qsos on 2m FM with the handie then I descended. Hope the NA guys had more fun than I did.


In reply to M1EYP:
Yep, there was lots of sigs around 14.060 by 1700 UTC

Made 23 Qs in the FOBB event, and 15 BB. A quick step on 40 gave only 2 Qs as it was probably early for the band to open.

The HB end fed seems to be working fine, worked a W6 with it. I was operating from a ultralight plane launch pad…

WX was vy windy on Mont Valin, as you’ll be able to see on the video that should be online in the next days. at 2000UTC, I was on the trail to get back to civilization.

Now, my rig doesnt do 15 meters… For now, I can’t go QRV on 21 mhz.

Thanks W4ZV for the only S2S today for me.

In reply to M1EYP:

Conditions to Europe were terrible during the contest period. I had >100 spots from RBN but not a single one from Europe. That’s the first time I recall that happening from any of my activations. Summertime conditions to Europe are simply not good during the 17-21 UTC FOBB period. At this time of year we get a brief opening around sunrise on 20m from 11-12 UTC and then again around 22 UTC on 15-20m. Conditions will improve as we head toward Fall.

Thank you for your participation anyway! Fortunately we had no overhead thunderstorms which is always a concern at this time of the year. I had a ball and made about 14 unique S2S which was my primary goal for the event.

73, Bill W4ZV

I found the format of the exchange to be not particularly helpful. Non BB stations didn’t know to send their power (and I forgot to ask them), while most stations didn’t have a clue what I meant by “BB53”.

I think the format of the QRPTTF earlier in the year was much better, especially for SOTA participation. I look forward to that one next year - which I believe will be coincidental with ISW?


In reply to M1EYP:

I agree on the exchange confusion. I had so many omit PWR that I’m not bothering to submit my log even though I had ~75 QSOs. The other problem with the exchange is that several asked for MY power, which is not required as a part of a BB’s exchange (only RST SPC and BB number).

I agree about the QRPTTF exchange being much better for the “non-serious” folks. Yes, next year’s event will coincide with ISW on the first Saturday in May. Propagation is much better, thunderstorm activity lower and the QRPTTF is more publicized. See you then!

Don’t forget about the North America SOTA Weekend coming up September 7-8. You should be hearing more about it soon and conditions to Europe should be much better at this time of the year.

73, Bill W4ZV

Conditions between NA and EU were especially bad yesterday. The band was barely open in the normally peak time of 1000-1200Z. When I heard that, I knew condx would be challenging during FOBB. 40M and 15M were even worse.

73, Barry N1EU

In reply to W4ZV:

You should be hearing more about it soon and conditions to Europe should be much better at this time of the year.

Can you arrange for conditions to be good enough on 24MHz so that I can get some GM<>W6, GM<>W7 and GM/W5 S2S contacts in my log please?



In reply to MM0FMF:

Unfortunately I don’t think conditions will support much EU<>NA on 24 MHz unless we get a major uptick in the SFI.

However we could get a nice surprise so we can always hope!

73, Bill W4ZV