[3830] Commonwealth G4BUO(@G0KPW) Open-24 HP

webform at b41h.net webform at b41h.net
Mon Mar 11 06:38:05 EDT 2013

                    RSGB Commonwealth Contest

Call: G4BUO
Operator(s): G4BUO
Station: G0KPW

Class: Open-24 HP
QTH: Suffolk, England
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs
   80:   58
   40:  111
   20:  149
   15:  117
   10:   70
Total:  505  Total Score = 9,125



Well, that was fun! Beru often seems to be plagued with a dip in conditions,
this time they seemed to rise to a peak and the HF bands were in great shape.

This was my first entry since 2009, and I'm most grateful to Bob G4BAH for
letting me use the G0KPW/M6T station in Suffolk. Unfortunately there were
plenty of things needing to be set up, and I'm glad I gave myself Thursday
afternoon and all day Friday for the task. I had to raise four towers, only one
of which has an electric winch! Banging in the guy stakes was no fun, and three
of them proved impossible to remove after the contest, following heavy
overnight rain and snow which turned the land into a quagmire, with puddles of
water all over the place.

I also had to repair the rotator cable on the 40m beam and do a repair to the
feed on the 80m four square. Inside, I had to rebuild the station more or less
from scratch, but this enabled me to include my trusty SO2R box. I opted to use
two networked PCs, one dedicated to each rig, and this worked extremely well.
Win-Test performed flawlessly.

I brought a meal with me to the shack before the contest, to be put in the
microwave later, but I forgot to bring knife and fork and was so tied to the
contest that I didn't get to eat it until I went for a brief nap about 4am! I
resisted the temptation to press a screwdriver into service as a fork. I've
seen that done on VHF Field Day.

I wonder what the total is for the number of hours spent by all G entrants
trying to get H44G into the log. Did anyone succeed? I reckon I spent about
30-40 minutes in several sessions, without any luck. The pileup was horrendous
and wiped out much of the lower half of 20m for all of Saturday. The H44 signal
held up remarkably well throughout the day.

Win-Test says I operated for 21 hours and 2 minutes, this is because I didn't
change the off time threshold. I grabbed about 30 minutes' sleep overnight and
took one more comfort break, but apart from that I was at the radios and
working the SO2R setup as hard as possible all the time, knowing that Gerry at
G6PZ was on my heels and I was also spooked by the flying start of the big
Scottish stations of Jim GM0NAI, Chris GM3WOJ and Ian GM3SEK.

Some Beru memories came flooding back from previous years, I often seem to come
across a lone 4S7 and this year was no exception. He wasn't a candidate for a
move, but I'm grateful to everyone who did move - only a couple of people
turned down my request. 

Stations from the Far East were noticeably absent, and there was little DX to
be had on 80m on Saturday evening, not helped at all by the WSEM contest. There
was a welcome number of VUs about at the start of the contest especially. The
last hour was fun, if rather frantic, trying to snag as many VK/ZL as possible
on 15 and 10m and push to get past the magic 500 barrier. ZL3NB was
interesting, not a good signal when he called me on 15 near the end but much
louder on 10m and also on 20m.

Great fun to work old friends and new in this most fascinating of contests.
Thanks for the competition and all the QSOs.

Dave G4BUO

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