by William Eric McFadden



Three members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team, Mike Hansgen AA8EB, Tom Witherspoon KC8GLI, and Eric McFadden WD8RIF, participated in the Adventure Radio Society Flight of the Bumblebees from North Bend State Park, West Virginia.

This was the first time the SEO RATs left Ohio for a radio event. North Bend State Park is about a two-hour drive from Athens, Ohio. While Mike had been to the park sometime in the past, he wasn't sure how well it would work for radio, thus making the journey a true adventure. Fortunately, the park worked very well for radio, with plenty of well-spaced trees with their lower branches up fairly high. The chosen location provided a concrete picnic table, and was shaded through most of the operating time.

The weather was hot and humid--about 90 degrees snd 95% relative humidity. The three RATs, plus Tom's girlfriend Heather, parked at one picnic area of the state park, and walked a twisty and hilly trail to another picnic/playground area. Once on site, they quickly erected WD8RIF's 20m dipole and Eric started working 20m while Tom and Mike erected the 40m delta loop.

The station consisted of WD8RIF's QRP Station in a Bag: an Index Labs QRP Plus, antenna tuner/SWR bridge, antennas, gel cell, solar panel, Whiterook paddle, and sundries in a computer carrying case. This station worked well, but was too heavy for the walk! In addition the QRP Station in a Bag, the RATs took a 20m delta loop, 40m delta loop, CMOS Super Keyer II, and a 10Ah gel cell.

A total of thirty-seven QSOs were made on both bands. Eric made sixteen QSOs. Mike made fifteen QSOs. Tom is a recently licensed ham, and made six QSOs with a straight key. Stations were worked in NY, VT, AZ, SC, VA, NJ, PA, NC, TN, AL, OH, IN, MD, ONT, TX, MA, MI, and maritime-mobile in the Gulf of Mexico.

A family reunion arrived after the group started operating. Strangely, these people showed very little interest in the RAT activities, although Mike and Tom's efforts to get the 40m delta loop erected did produce some stares.

The group sends thanks go to all the station who worked them, and to all the other Bumblebees who hit the trail.

Band CW Points
40 16 16
20 21 42
QSO Points 58
Bumblebees worked 10
Total (58 x 10 x 3) 1740

Reports of other Flight of the Bumblebees Efforts
KB0VCC's report, with pictures


Flight of the Bumblebees Results at the Adventure Radio Society site--updated link