Very enjoyable though as Don said the solar flare didn’t help. There was however a steady flow of stations right up until late evening and it was
extra nice to be able to work VE,VK, ZL and the other BERU countries without Row tagging along!

RBN and Cluster use are essential for UK stations in this contest. I had erected a 40m Delta Loop for use with the FT1kMP as Radio 2 as my original
intention was to employ full SO2R but in the end I opted for a partial system and didn’t use the Loop. Instead the MP became a Spot collector.

I’ll explain. I set VE7CC’s AR User for Spots from Cluster and Skimmer on the BERU bands only, and fed that into N1MM+. I hadn’t realised before but
the band maps in N1MM+ only show BERU countries so the maps are uncluttered and you get a better indication of what is happening. Picked up several
new countries which I probably wouldn’t have found just tuning round.

For the first 5 hours, until 1511, I didn’t CQ or S&P at all but maintained a rate of around 30 Qs/Hr. I worked all the Spots on one band on Radio 1,
whilst the 2nd radio band map was filling up with Spots on another band, then Alt F5 to swap radio bands and work those. Meanwhile changed the MP to a
third band for more Spots and again Alt F5. So, I could hop around 20,15 and 10 during the day, then 40, 20 and 15 etc later on.

There was some good competition from some of the other UK guys doing similar and I noted that G4IRN, G4FNL and myself were very close on QSO numbers
at midnight. By then Spots had virtually dried up and there wasn’t much else around so I went to bed. Re-commenced at 0700, worked a few more by
CQing, Spots and searching, went down for breakfast then picked up a few more near the end of the contest.

Final total was 324 Qs and 6300 points, which is better than last year. Just need to get the new Spotter system integrated into true SO2R and I’ve
cracked BERU!
Usual set-up K3 / Acom 2Ka, A4S, 2 el phased GP array for 40m, 80m dipole at 60ft, FT1kMP, 40m Delta Loop unused!

A couple of amusing incidents. I saw VE7LS spotted so called him and had a chat since he wasn’t actually participating. He was using 7w from a
home-brew 6L6 xtal controlled tx, there is a photo on his qrz.com page. Neat! Brought back a few memories of early construction days! The other one
was when I CQed and two stations responded. I sent “VE3?”, he called again and so did the VA2, I sent “No, VE3?” and the V2A also called again, so I
sent “No, No, No, VE3, VE3?” and he called again. On the 4th time the V2 sent something like “OK, I’m off”. And we complain about EU stations!!

Chris G3SJJ

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