Ham Radio Workbench

Ham Radio Workbenches On The Air

Welcome to the Ham Radio Workbenches On The Air Information Center! Here you’ll find all the information you need related to HRWBOTA. If there’s something missing, please email mark-hrwbota@halibut.com.

That’s a wrap!

HRWBOTA 2023 is DONE! Thank you all so very much for participating! We had a blast! Results are now posted at:

Day-Of-Event Details:

  • Host Tracker Page: https://tracker.hrwbota.com/
    • See where every Host is calling CQ: Frequency and Mode.
  • When: 2023 December 3, 1800 to 2200 UTC
    • 10am to 2pm Pacific
    • 1pm to 5pm Eastern
    • 6pm to 10pm GMT
  • Exchange:
    • Host to Listener: Serial Number, or standard POTA exchange if applicable
    • Listener to Host: Number of, and brand of, your favorite soldering iron; and your state.

What the heck is HRWBOTA?

Ham Radio Workbenches On The Air, or HRWBOTA (pronounced: her-wuh-bow-tuh), or just “Workbenches On The Air,” is an event where the Hosts of the Ham Radio Workbench Podcast get on the air to talk to Listeners. Listeners get points for each HRWB Host they contact. While we also encourage Listener to Listener contacts, we aren’t offering any points for that this year. Prizes will be handed out on our 200th Episode.

Hear the audio ad-spot for HRWBOTA 2023:

Links to the Audio Only and Video (with still image) versions of these ad-spots.

Important Details


Sunday, December 3rd, 2023, from 1800UTC to 2200UTC, 10am to 2pm Pacific, 1pm to 5pm Eastern.


Hosts will call “CQ HRWBOTA” or “CQ Workbenches On The Air.” Listeners will respond to the CQ.

Hosts will provide a serial number to the Listener. Listeners will provide:

  • The number they own of, and brand of their preferred soldering iron.
  • Their state or province, or country if not in either US or Canada.

For example: (Ignoring that all examples given are actually Hosts.)

  • Mark N6MTS owns a MetCal and lives in California, so his exchange would be “1 MetCal, California.”
  • George KJ6VU owns 3 Wellers in Oregon, so his exchange would be “3 Weller, Oregon.”
  • Thomas K4SWL covets Mark’s MetCal but doesn’t own one himself, so his exchange would be “0 MetCal, Tennessee.”

Note: The exchange is intentionally goofy. We’ll actually take anything.


Points are awarded on how hard it is to work a given Host:

Host Power Level:QRO = 1pt, ~100W = 2pts, QRP = 3pts
Mode:Voice/FT8 = 1pt, CW = 2pts, Other = 3pts
Being Jeremy, KF7IJZ:+2pts
How points are awarded


Listeners will not submit logs; all scoring will be done based on HRWB Hosts’ logs.


The following certificates will be awarded:

  • Certificates of Participation, to all Listeners who work at least two Hosts.
  • 1st Place, 2nd place, and 3rd Place to the Listeners with the most points.
  • Clean Sweep Certificates, to all Listeners who work all Hosts at least once.

We’ll announce prizes on the podcast, probably on our 200th episode, scheduled for February 6th, 2024.

Where Are The Hosts:

Finding Hosts on the bands is not supposed to be part of this challenge. During the event, there will be a live tracker showing what frequency and mode each Host is operating.

Live Host Tracker Link: https://tracker.hrwbota.com/

The Hosts will be operating both HF, and DMR/AllStar (where possible) to allow Listeners without HF capability to participate. Each Host who can will take a one hour shift on DMR/AllStar, and will be operating HF the rest of the time. DMR/AllStar contacts are considered “Voice at 100W,” so are worth 3pts each.

Actual operation will be reported on the day of the event with the live tracker, but you can expect the HRWB Hosts to be on the following HF bands and modes:

Mark, N6MTS15mSSB, FT850WHome3
George, KJ6VU40mSSB, PSK3150WHome3, 5
Mike, VA3MW15mRTTY1.5kWHome4
Rod, VA3ON20mSSB100WPortable5
Jeremy, KF7IJZ20mSSB100WPortable7
All HostsV/UHFDMR/AllStar“100W”“Home”3
Actual operating schedule may be different. Check https://tracker.hrwbota.com/ for real-time updates.

The DMR/AllStar schedule is as follows:

Time:DMR TG: 31075AllStar Node: 55915
1800 UTCGeorge, KJ6VUMark, N6MTS
1900 UTCTBDGeorge, KJ6VU
2000 UTCJeremy, KF7IJZTBD
2100 UTCVince, VE6LKTBD
Actual operating schedule may be different. Check https://tracker.hrwbota.com/ for real-time updates.