Arasu VU2UR SK

Posted today …

It is with regret that I share the news of Arasu VU2UR’s passing in Bangalore. VU2UR served as ARSI’s Contests and Awards Manager as well as IARU R3’s monitoring coordinator for a significant length of time and was a often a lone participant in many contests from this part of the world; most BERU regulars will remember him. He was recognised with the RSGB’s Commonwealth Medal in 2004 and remains the lone recipient from South Asia till date. His low power signals and bug fist will be missed!

Deepak VU2CDP

Many thanks Arasu, for all the support to BERU and the many bonusses

Rest in peace


Re: Re. BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?

From: Mike Franklin
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2021 14:47:59 BST

having been a BERU traveller  to  a few places and enjoyed  working  the G HQ  stations from little and big stations, I  would agree  with Dave VE9CB
not  to change  the G HQ idea, although I  was originally  against it ! It seems Teams needs more planning  though, or more publicity ( mea  culpa)
Mike G3VYI

HQ stations and Teams

Hello Bob thank you for the stirring up.

As a long time 12 hour G participant in the contest with a less than optimum station I would like to comment on the HQ discussion.

I have found that even with good propagation there is a tendency to run out of stations to work towards the end of the contest and the HQ stations have provided a welcome lift to the proceedings. Especially welcome on 80m and I suspect that, when propagation is open on 10 and 15, 40m will also suffer. The number of stations as they stand seems fair enough and of course if we can get the rarer UK prefixes active so much the better.

My preference would be that to avoid confusion amongst the more casual participants UK HQ stations would have the HQ suffix and to try to encourage groups to initiate necomers into the contest. GB5CC should however continue as the RSGB super station which has reach to the far ends of the commonwealth working the little pistols as well as the top guns and should be set up as such.

I would remind some Gs that the contest is a way of bringing the commonwealth together as equals and not just for the benefit of UK. Also the skill of running a volume of stations, which is what VE and nearer commonwealth stations are in a position to do is also part of contesting thrills even if only a few G’s can manage that (apart from HQ stations).

In any event despite the miserable conditions in recent years the contest is always an enjoyable challenge and the only one for which I still upset the household regime here.

See you next year, old age permitting.


BERU Teams and the Latitude Factor

It might be time for a refresher on this topic; I feel that few fully understand the origin or rationale for “The Latitude Correction Factor (LCF)” in particular.
2007 was the year of the ICC World Cup.  Bob ‘PJT suggested that a team competition might be added to BERU, partly to mirror the World Cup but also to add interest and hopefully lead to some increased participation.  Back in 2007, there were 16 entries in the World Cup, all of which were from Commonwealth countries, the only exceptions bring Ireland and the Netherlands.  Originally, the BERU teams consisted of 11 members but this was reduced to 10 the following year and 5 in 2012 as it was becoming difficult to muster a full cricket team and it was thought that a wider range of teams could be formed.
From the start, it was recognised that the scope for high scores was biassed towards the northern hemisphere and so the concept of the LCF was brought into play.  This is based upon the ratio of the total scores of the winning north and south hemisphere teams over the 3 previous years.  Where a “Rest of Commonwealth” or Traveller team has members  in both North and South hemispheres, any  member scores in the southern hemisphere are also subject to the LCF.  I have calculated these factors every year since.  A postulated LCF of 1.7 was suggested by Bob for use in the 2007 event.
Historically, the winners and associated LCF from 2007 are as follows:
2007  ZL  1.70
2008  VK  1.46
2009  ROC (all N)  1.34
2010  ROC (all N except for VP8NO)  1.40
2011   ROC (all N except for VP8NO) 1.59
2012  Team Carib / Atlantic (all N except for ZD7XF)  1.79
2013  VK  1.75
2014  VK  1.51
2015  Canada eh?  1.45
2016  Canada eh?  1.62
2017  Australia 1  1.78
2018  Australia 1  1.92
2019  Australia 1  1.68
2020  Australia 1  1.55
2021  Australia 1  1.46
Because the LCF is calculated over the previous 3 year’s Team results, there is a lag, so that for example, the 2018 LCF still increases following a win by Austalia 1 in 2017, taking into account the relatively easy Canadian win in 2015.
So how  will it work out in 2022, when the LCF is likely to be at or near a historical low? Watch this space!
73, Peter G3LET

Re: BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?

Hi Bob,
Pleased to see some comments outside of G  land from VE9CB on this. I sympathise with his comments on the “latitude factor” – maybe someone might explain why this is was introduced ?
In a sunspot minima ,exacerbated by the almost total lack of “travellers” due to COVID, it has been re assuring to see interest in the Commonwealth Contest remain high. It’s a contest with a difference – never going to be a full on 24 hour high rate affair, but will always rely on skill of the operator to find and exploit prop. from their part of the world to maximise their score. I always enjoy the challenge.
The measures to retain activity and interest by use of multiple “HQ” stations in 2021 has, in my opinion, been successful. Surely one HQ station per UK DXCC entity going forwards is reasonable, together with one per state/province  – if only it provoked some HQ activity from GU GJ and GD. As for callsigns, I would hope we can all read morse code well enough to read GB5CC.
With improvements in propagation  (it must happen soon ?) and the ability to travel once again, I get the feeling that all this HQ station debate will pale into insignificance once 10 and 15 are full of Commonwealth countries all chasing  the G VE VK and ZL’s 🙂

HQ stations in BERU ( and Teams !)

(Feel free to use this on your BERU blog.)
I like the large number of G HQ stations in BERU.  UK&CD stations make up the majority of QSOs in my log, and probably the majority of every non-UK BERU log.  The many HQ stations add to the fun for me, and do nothing to drain away activity.  It’s a real treat to move G HQ stations from band to band.  I see no reason to change the G HQ call signs.  G#6XX, G#3DR and GB5CC are like familiar friends now, and I’m sure they must be the most fun stations to be at in the UK.  Renaming them with RSGB suffixes is not neccessary.
In the rest of the Commonwealth, there are only a few places where HQ stations make a difference to my score.  It can be hard enough to find three stations on one band from some of Canada’s less-populous provinces, so with the exception of VE2, VE3, VE7 and maybe VE6, the Canadian HQ stations are just one more 25-point station to work.  I rarely find so many ZLs or VKs on any one band that an additonal HQ station from  ZL or VK really improves my score.  The various ZL6es and the VK#WIAs are fun to find, though.  I do like being able to work a fellow VE9 for points.
So, in short, I don’t see a reason to change from the current HQ station arrangements.
I must admit that the “latitude factor” applied to the Team Competition has irritated me.  It seems the top Canadian team always gets beaten by the top Australian team, not because they out-scored us, but because they were out-compensated by us.  Having done a couple of BERUs from the other side (9M6 and ZL7), I understand the value of the “latitude factor,” but after many years of organising Canadian teams, our consistent losses to correction have sapped my enthusiasm.  I would be delighted to be freed from the job of assembling teams, so if the committee were to simply take the top five scores from each area (UK, VE, VK, ZL, RoW) then apply the pre-determined “latitude factor,” I would be grateful.  I recall the team competition started with a sport analogy.  Perhaps the team competition could be adjusted to be more like UK football, where teams end up in one division or another based on performance.
BERU is still my absolute favourite contest.  A little tinkering might be okay, but I’m averse to large changes.  What we really need are more sunspots, no amount of rules adjustment will change that score.
Dave VE9CB

Re: BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?

From: Don Beattie, G3BJ
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2021 11:02:31 BST

I must admit that I am with Dave to an extent on this.

First of all, I strongly disagree with any argument that we should drop GB5CC because people bust the call. Really!

I have been increasingly embarrassed at the proliferation of UK “HQ” calls. Let’s look at the pattern elsewhere.

Where there are large country geographies, we sub-divide the area for both QSO “Bonus” points and HQ stations. Here in the UK we have a small geography compared to Canada, Australia, South Africa although not New Zealand (but NZ divides for bonus points). So I feel it is a moot point that we run separate HQ stations for a geography that does not sub-divide for bonus points. I also note that the pattern for HQ stations elsewhere tends often to be [Pfx] [society abbreviation] = eg vk3WIA or VE7RAC. So I have sympathy with the GxnRSGB suggestion of we still plan separate calls for each constituent country.

But there is another reason I favour fewer UK HQ stations. There is no doubt that the number of UK band slots for bonus points available (potentially 35-40) can tilt the results in favour of particular locations in the UK. This is meant to be a DX contest, but it is essential to search out all the UK HQ stations to have a chance of a good score.

So bottom line, how about:

Don’t drop GB5CC or G6HCC or whatever.
If you must stick with an HQ per UK country use G[x]3RSGB (a permissible call under Ofcom guidance 2.2 in ) where [x] is the regional identifier. This mirrors the pattern elsewhere.
Keep GB5CC for England instead of G3RSGB for historic reasons.
Don’t use G6XX or G3DR – the significance is lost on most entrants.

But the number of HQ calls in the UK does very little for the issues of low activity from some areas. That is where we should be focusing more effort (building on the excellent work done by Bob).

One final point – I feel that if we are to change the HQ structure in the UK, it is a global issue and I would welcome a wider consultation than the UK HF Contest forum.

73, Don

Don Beattie, G3BJ / G5W
President IARU Region 1
Hares Cottage
Church Stretton SY6 6QD
United Kingdom
+44 7802 922 219

Re: BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?

From: Frank Hunt ZL2BR – ZM2B
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2021 06:46:52 BST

Herewith my thoughts re HQ stns and participation numbers from a ZL prospective:
Despite my best efforts there is generally little interest from ZL’s to operate as a HQ station in the Commonwealth contest.
It’s a similar story for the team event as well, although the Quake Contesters group have been able to form a team over the past five years but not this year. So it was suggested to me that those in the QC group who were available could operate as multi-HQ stations. Consequently I felt obliged to operate as a HQ station myself.
I would have preferred to operate under my own call as I’ve now come to the conclusion that there is no place or need for HQ stations in this contest. The only other contest that I’m aware of that introduced HQ stations is the IARU and look what a mess that contest is now as a result.
With regard to participation numbers. The level of activity by ZL stations has been more or less consistent for at least the past twenty years. What about activity levels vs ham operator numbers in UK/VE/VK/ZL?
Not knowing the actual number of HF hams that there are in UK/VE/VK/ZL but if we assume that the ratio of hams per population capita is very similar, then comparing this years active numbers with populations we get this:
UK 236 active from 68 million = 3.4 ratio – very good
VE 100 active from 38 million = 2.6 ratio – so so
VK 29 active from 25 million = 1.1 ratio – very poor
ZL 13 active from 5 million = 2.6 ratio – so so
Where to from here?
73, Frank ZL2BR – ZM2B

Re: BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?

Re: BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?
From: Peter G3LET
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 23:45:48 BST

When GB50CC was introduced, it was really successful and it was logical to have an HQ station for the UK (the organisers).  The proliferation of these, especially in 2021, loses that logic somewhat.  With propagation expected to improve in the coming years, multiple HQ stations in the UK should be less necessary or desirable in the context of a DX contest.  Having separate ones for each UK DXCC country is not really logical as all of these are  lumped together in BERU.  The argument relating to overseas HQs is less clear.  The VE/RAC and VK/WIA stations are quite successful but elsewhere they are of little value.  Personally I think it would be appropriate to limit HQs to one per  country (VE, VK, ZL, etc.)  It may be necessary to poll opinion in those areas before making any decision on this.

I would vote to keep GB5CC rather than G6XX/G3DR despite any history, as it is universally recognised and appreciated.

My two pennyworth.

73, Peter G3LET

Re: BERU HQ stations – too much of a good thing?

Hi Bob,

I have thought about HQs in the Commonwealth Contest quite a bit and obviously it has been discussed among HFCC too.

What have I come up with? (These are my opinions, not necessarily those of the committee, but I share them with the group for what they are worth).

1. It was inappropriate that Australia, New Zealand and Canada could have more HQ stations than the UK when the contest is intended to be focused on the UK. HQs raise the profile of the country and the UK should be loud and proud in this contest. It’s our gig.
2. The UK HQs are not intended as a sop to UK stations but rather as a magnet to other Commonwealth countries; we want them to point their beams and time their operating to benefit the UK. It’s interesting how many non-UK stations express gratitude for the UK HQs in their soapboxes.
3. Working local HQs is a necessary evil if you want to win, whether you are in the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, but it’s not necessary if you just want to work the DX.
4. HQs should ideally be loud and should be able to be worked by the DX.
5. Eight HQs is an appropriate number for the UK – more would be too many. Ideally there should be one in each prefix area of the UK & CD but it is very hard to find anyone in GU or GJ who will activate an HQ as the resident radio amateur population is small. I would prefer us to get an SSES with the year number (so GB85CC for next year) but HFCC have a fondness for GB5CC. Incidentally, G6XX predates the contest by some years as it was first used by the RSGB in December 1923.
6. Churn is good. We ask for volunteers to run HQ stations each year. Running an HQ is fun as there are more QSOs to be had and being a bonus station does attract commonwealth callers and doesn’t need to be a purely altruistic activity. Perhaps we need an HQ trophy?

Looking at this year’s results and my log (GB5CC):

UK 236 active of which 3% were HQs (8)
VE 100 active of which 7% were HQs (7)
VK 29 active of which 24% were HQs (7)
ZL 13 active of which 30% were HQs (4)
Others 19 active but no more HQs

The number of VK and ZL participants is more of a concern that the number of UK HQs. Let’s hope more will take part as conditions improve.

Any other thoughts?

73 G4FAL (M3W)
Nick Totterdell