Hi Steve and others

I was running on temporary aerials – field-day style – this year – missing
the aerials that I had last year in Lincolnshire.

I had an A3S at about 60 feet with a faulty rotator (seems to set off in the
wrong direction whenever it is turned) and a dipole for 80m and 40m.

10m was very poor and 15m was not great.

20m was pretty good but there was no LP opening to VK/ZL in the night on 20m
or 15m. 40m died for several hours of darkness and 80m was full of “Tesla
Contest” stations until well after midnight, so our Beru ops were squashed
into the bottom 10kHz with at least one angry detractor complaining about
the Beru “Idiots”. It was good to be able to use the bottom 10kHz this year
as the Tesla stations were spilling below 3510 – several hours of the
contest would have been virtually impossible without this allocation being
useable. ZL and VK were well represented but I only worked one ZL on 80m (at
6:15am) with my low dipole – I heard one of the ZM stations calling me but
couldn’t resolve him. I was using last year’s QSOs as a target and only
managed to better three of the hours – this was down to conditions – with
10m, 15m and 40m in poor shape, and my reduced aerials.

80 37 0 14 3 185 480 17.97
40 43 0 22 4 210 800 23.49
20 104 1 31 5 515 1280 17.26
15 39 0 24 3 190 660 21.79
10 6 0 5 1 30 120 25.00
TOTAL 229 1 96 16 1130 3340 19.52

I certainly wouldn’t write off the Commonwealth Contest and I don’t think it
is accurate to say that the contest is “fading fast”. Of the “HF
Championship” contests, this is the most healthy.

A quick analysis of my log (using SH5) shows the following:

1. A total of 120 stations worked outside the UK – and I missed a few
that have been quoted by others, like ZS6 and C6.
2. 17 VKs, 13 ZLs and 57 VEs – a shed-load of DX in my estimation.
3. 2 stations worked on 5 bands (C4Z GB5CC), 17 stations worked on 4
4. 24 separate countries worked – where Canada, Australia and New
Zealand are counted once only and HQ stations are not additional countries.
5. Great to work 3DA0CC in Swaziland on 10m, with Daniel ZS6JR, who is
organising our trip to Botswana as A25UK in April.

Future plans:

For next year’s contest, which will be 80th running of the event, we are
planning some changes which I suggest will improve the contest for UK
amateurs and for Commonwealth stations alike. We plan to have an HQ station
in each of the seven G-prefix entities. This will provide additional
interest for all participants – for G stations it will reduce the feeling of
being “Cannon Fodder” – for overseas Commonwealth stations it will
significantly increase the number of bonuses available for working into the
UK. We will be approaching folk to operate these stations but please contact
the HFCC if you are in one of the rarer entities (GI, GD, GU and GJ) and
would like contribute to this. We had hoped to do something similar for this
year but agreed with Bob G3PJT and Peter G3LET, that it would be better to
organise this over a longer period and also use it to raise the profile of
the anniversary next year.

I thought Graham did an excellent job with GB5CC this year and he was pretty
easy to work on all bands from Sheffield – thank for that.

If you have any thoughts for the Commonwealth Contest, the HFCC is
maintaining a list of suggestions for later discussion. It is good to think
of such things in the context of just having operated in the contest.

73 Nick G4FAL (M3W in Beru and a Grimsby Mariner this year, almost as far
from the sea as it is possible to be)