Are you ready to FYBO?

(Photo credit: K4TLI)

Here in portions of North America, we’ve been receiving some seriously cold and snowy weather the past week. It’s the sort of weather that encourages one to conjure up images of warm slippers, sitting by the fire, reading a book, and drinking hot chocolate.

Or, you can choose to Freeze Your B___ Off!

Against my better judgement, that’s exactly what I plan to do tomorrow.

My buddy Eric (WD8RIF) reminds me that tomorrow (Saturday, February 6, 2021) is FYBO: a long-standing winter QRP contest sponsored by the Arizona ScQRPions.  FYBO runs for ten hours starting at 1400 UTC to 2400 UTC.

It’s a fun contest that is limited to QRP HF operation only using SSB or CW with 5 watts output max. You can choose to work from home or the field and there are three categories of operators (single op, multi-single, or multi-multi).

FYBO is an easy contest in that the exchange is flexible and there’s no pre-registration required.

The cool thing about FYBO (see what I did there?) is the temperature multiplier which favors those who operate in the coldest temps!

For full information about FYBO including rules and how to submit logs, check out the FYBO information page.

If you’re a POTA, WWFF, or SOTA operator, you can perform a straight-up activation and submit those same logs for FYBO. It just needs to take place during the FYBO contest time frame.


If all goes well, my daughter (K4TLI) and I plan to hike from the QTH up to Pisgah National Forest and perform an activation there.

This will be a test to see if my ankle has healed enough to plot a much longer hike to a SOTA summit from the QTH soon. My fingers are crossed because I’m so eager to get back to hiking.

Plan to Freeze Your B___ Off?

Do you plan to participate in FYBO? Parts of the US and Canada are getting Arctic blasts so those temperature multipliers could be quite impressive! (Just play it safe.) It’ll be chilly here for sure, but I doubt much below freezing.

8 thoughts on “Are you ready to FYBO?”

  1. FYBO! I had no idea this existed! I love it, I do have a busy weekend of hockey games and I unfortunately have some work I need to do, but I think I can find an hour or 2 to participate!
    Thanks for posting this!
    73 de n1one

  2. I’ve been participating in FYBO since 1997, and have missed participating only a few times. It’s one of my favorite field events. This year’s running will be third time I’ve combined it with Parks on the Air.

    This year, I will visit Burr Oak State Park (K-1939) followed by a visit to a place where I can perform a two-fer POTA activation of Wayne National Forest (K-4521) and North Country National Scenic Trail (K-4239). I’ll be 100% QRP CW so all QSOs I make on 20, 40, or 80m will count for FYBO. I’ll just need to be careful when I do my FYBO submission to treat stations I worked at both locations on the same band as dupes.

  3. FYBO, how cool is that! I didn’t know this existed either! I wonder if participants use RST for phone contacts too, with T for “teeth chattering”? 🙂 No way I could participate tho, because I’m genuinely not fond of freezing off anything starting with B or not but I’d love to listen in, making me feel extra cozy in my warm shack. That is, if I had a chance to hear anything of that in my shack so I wouldn’t have to go to my outdoor listening posts and FMBO anyway! 🙂

    1. Ha ha! Funny enough, the B part isn’t what freezes out there. 🙂 I have my limits and can’t think of a time I’ve activated when it’s significantly below freezing and windy.

  4. Is moisture a concern when operating like this?

    When I come home from making an outside recording, my radio and other gear are immediately coated in moisture, and I assume their interiors as well.

    1. Great question, Mark. So at the moment here in North Carolina, it’s incredibly dry when temps dip below freezing–even inside our house when I bring gear back in. So for me, the amount of condensation/moisture is minimal. With that said, I have brought gear in when we had humidity in the house–for instance, when cooking a meal. I’ve never had an issue with moisture causing problems, but I also allow my gear to rest for hours after bringing it inside (if I notice moisture on the chassis) before applying power and operating.

      So far, I’ve had no problems, but I do think it can be a concern. I’ve been in situations on the opposite end, too, when in a very cold air-conditioned building and take my gear out into a humid environment. I remember during a summer in Belize, walking outside my guest house with my Grundig G3 and it was instantly wet to the touch. I assume amounts of water in these situations are negligible, but it is a concern.


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