There were a lot of things to get done before playing in FYBO, and (channelling Yoda) get them done I did. Believe it or not, my FYBO operation was from the street in front of our house. I live on a relatively quiet side street, so there was no danger of being hit by a car or something like that. I opened up the hatch of the Jeep, just like I do at work, and set up my nylon camping chair and used the "trunk" of my Jeep as an operating table. My antenna was the Buddistick/magmount combo on the roof . I'm sure the neighbors were staring - wondering, "What the heck is he doing now? And what is that tall stick poking up from his car roof?" "And why is our dishwasher going crazy - I'll bet it's him!"
As I set up it was flurrying slightly and the temp was 35F (1C). And then it happened. I tried tuning up the KX3 and couldn't get a decent match. Of course these things always happen at the worst time! Calmly, I took the Buddistick off the roof and inspected it - no problems there. Then the magmount - AHA! Where the coax meets magmount, the dielectric foam surrounding the center conductor wire cracked open (from the cold, I guess, because I keep it in the trunk when not in use). The shield was ever so slightly touching the center conductor and was making for a bad situation. A quick trip to the basement shack was in order. I cut the coax back, soldered on two new ring terminals and put everything back together. The KX3 was a happy camper with a 1:1 match.
In about two hours of operating, here's my summary:
Team Polar Bear
Field - Yes
Category - Single Op
Alternative Power - No (Batteries- Mains charged)
Lowest Temperature - 35
QRPp - No
Final Score - 7780 points
BAND QSOs SPCs NQ7RP Stns
20 15 12 0
14 10 8 1
TOTAL: 24 20 1
Score - (24X20) (X4 Temp multiplier) (X4 Field Multiplier) +100 =7780
15 Meters was pleasantly active, affording me 10 of my 24 QSOs. 20 Meters was also busy but noisier, with some TN QSO Party stations and some SOTA stations thrown into the mix. I also was contacted by an SKCC station - I guess they have something going on this weekend, as well as one DX station - G4OBC. I tuned around 40 Meters at the end of my operating time, but heard no FYBOers.
There was no wind to speak of, so it actually didn't feel that bad outside. I think the temperature reached a max of 38F (3C) while I was out. I was comfortable, except that my hands were cold, as I really couldn't send Morse while wearing heavy Winter gloves. And another discovery - the older you get, the more bathroom breaks you need when it's cold! Too much information? Sorry!
Now, if that wasn't enough - my FYBO day was made even better by finally working K1N with 5 Watts. YES!!! I came down to the shack this evening to enter my FYBO log into my Master Log. While doing that, I heard K1N on 20 Meters (haven't worked them there yet) and they were truly 599 loud. I double checked my power setting to make sure I was at 5 Watts and I jumped into the pileup. In about somewhere between 5 to 10 calls, I finally heard my call come back to me. Sweet! My personal goal is now complete. I got K1N in the log for an ATNO, and I also got them in the log using QRP power.
It was a good QRP day. A VERY good QRP day!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!