25062016 – FYBO 2016

VK3/VE-165 – Mt Granya – (VKFF-0767) Mount Granya State Park VK3/VE-175 – Mt Bolga – (VKFF-0767) Mount Granya State Park VK3/VE-178  VK3/VE-208 – Jarvis Creek Plataeu – (VKFF-0969) in Jarvis Plateau State Park

VK3/VE-126 – Mt Stanley

FYBO Header

Sunday was the inaugural Freeze Your Butt Off (FYBO) contest. ‘Freeze Your Buns Off’ is a QRP HF Ham Radio contest held in the Northern hemisphere in February. Ian VK5CZ had taken it to organise the southern hemisphere equivalent being “Freeze you Butt Off”. This is to encouraging portable activity and aligned well with the SOTA winter bonus period. The participation of the Parks and SOTA crew was a given even if limited.

The timing could not have been better for freezing one’s butt off, as an Antarctic blast of cold air swept up the east coast of Australia on Friday, resulting in record low temperatures and snow falls down to 500 meters from Bathurst to Ballarat. Both Melbourne and Sydney shivered through the coldest June day in almost 20 years.

Whilst a contest greatly enhances your chances of making contacts, you cannot expect to turn in a great contest score without spending a lot of time in front of the radio  and in the same place. This is contrary to my normal SOTA method of operations and challenging in the cold environment. However I was not going to miss to opportunity to participate be it limited in the contest.

Plan was to activate summits on the Mt Buffalo National park. The summits were of 1400m height and would have snow cover. This would have involved trekking in the snow then camping overnight short of the summit. Given the cold snap it was decided to stay below the snow line thus avoiding potential for issues associated with the wet on the exposed summits.

The winter conditions presented great views,

View 002

View to Mt Buffalo

View 003

View featuring Mt Feathertop

View 004

View To Mt Bogong

We (VK3ARH & VK3BYD) operated from a single station. Warren would come up on CW and work all comers then I wold go to SSB to finish off. This ensures all who want the summit will  get a contact and optimised our efforts on the summit.The KX3 ran out of battery on the last summit. We got 4.5 activations CW and SSB out of the internal NiMh AA batteries.

With all the activity Summit to Summits contacts were a plenty,


A good day be it cold. Not too surprising give its winter.

Glad stayed below the snow as the weather conditions had turned all the roads to mud and happy to stay off slippery rocks.

Will return for Mt Buffalo once the snow has settled in or melted away.

Great APRS coverage in this area,


2 responses to “25062016 – FYBO 2016”

  1. vk5bje says :

    Hi Allen,
    What excellent pictures of the Victorian Mountains, especially Mount Buffalo. We don’t have this sort of scenery in SA! I used to drive from Melbourne to Beechworth for work in the 1970s and early 1980’s and saw Mount Buffalo in many different moods but did not have a camera., Congratulations on the activations.
    John D

    • Allen VK3ARH says :

      Yes it was spectacular. Glad we stopped and took photos.
      Took more later in the day when the fog moved but they are not as good.
      Think its time for a better camera.

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