by William Eric McFadden, WD8RIF



Three members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team traveled to Lake Hope State Park in southeast Ohio for the Adventure Radio Society's 1998 Flight of the Bumblebees. Participants were Mike Hansgen, AA8EB; Drew McDaniel, W8MHV/9M2MC; and Eric McFadden, WD8RIF.

Mike and Eric parked at Oak Point picnic area and hiked the approximately one-mile-long path through the forest to the operating site at Grouse Point picnic area. The path dropped some two-hundred feet from Oak Point to the lake and climbed a similar amount from the lake to Grouse Point. It was a strenuous hike. Drew arrived (by car) at Grouse Point after Mike and Eric completed the hike and opted to not hike or bike (even though he'd brought his bicycle) and his subsequent operations were not as a Bumblebee.

Eric brought his complete QRP Station in a Bag and carried it on the hike. (After last year's Flight of the Bumblebees, Eric thought the station was too heavy. After this year's event, he still thought it was too heavy and finally weighed it--it was thirteen pounds, a lot of weight to be carried on a single shoulder-strap!) Drew brought his MFJ-9020 and tiny homebrew antenna tuner and SWR bridge.

Upon arriving at Grouse Point, Mike suspended his 15m delta-loop, Eric erected his W3EDP wire antenna, and Drew suspended his portable RG174-fed 20m portable dipole, the very same one he used during his year in Malaysia.

Drew operated as W8MHV on 20m, and found it rough going. He managed seven QSOs during the event.

Eric had pre-registered as a Bumblebee and operated as WD8RIF/BB, starting on 40m and working thirty-two stations before changing to 20m and working two more. All but two of Eric's 40m QSOs were the result of calling "CQ". Despite its weight, Eric's QRP Plus station worked well. For this event, the W3EDP was arranged with the 17' wire as a parallel feedline, following the recommendations of Charlie Lofgren, W6JJZ. This arrangement seemed to work very well.

The weather for this event was just about perfect. The temperature reached a comfortable 80 degrees, there was just enough breeze for comfort but not enough to blow the papers off of the picnic tables, and the tall second-growth forest trees provided good shade from the sun.

Once again, this event was a great deal of fun. The members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team look forward to next year, and they extend their thanks to the Adventure Radio Society, to all the station who worked them, and to all the other Bumblebees who hit the trail.

WD8RIF Score

Band CW Points
40 32 32
20 2 4
QSO Points 38
Bumblebees worked 13
Total (32 x 13 x 3)

W8MHV Score

Band CW Points
40 0 0
20 7 14
QSO Points 14
Bumblebees worked 4
Total (14 x 4 x 3)

Reports of other Flight of the Bumblebees Efforts

AC6KW's Report with photos
VE3JC's Report with photos
W7ZOI's Report with photos
N6MM's Report with photos


Flight of the Bumblebees Results at the Adventure Radio Society site