I thought I would send you some comments on the BERU.
I was in Team Quake Contesters and we lived up to our name as we had a 4.4 quake one minute after the contest started. That was enough to get the Adrenalin flowing (and quite helpful since the contest starts at 11pm here)!
As others have no doubt noted it was pretty hard work as conditions were not great. I was running a multiband Inverted L and 300w but struggled a lot of the time. No Africans were heard (perhaps not surprising with my set up) but only one Caribbean made the log, ZF2CA, which was surprising. I was really hoping to snag VP9/G3YVI as that would have been a new country for me but I never heard him.
Calling CQ I struggled to pick out calls at times, especially on 40m where I could tell there were a lot of guys calling me who I simply could not identify – sorry!
In the end for about 12 hours operating I managed 150 Qs which seems about on a par with the other ZLs. Really high scores simply don’t happen down here when you are so far from the action.
The attraction of this contest for me is working the DX without competition for once – so thanks to all the travelers, and the fact many of you beam this way. That doesn’t happen in many contests. I know it is not a rate contest but to me there are plenty of those.
I like the team aspect although I think you do need to amend the rule about not being allowed to swap information with other team members during the contest. It meant we had the odd situation where I could get DX information off the cluster or a non-ZL team member but not from a team mate. I am not sure what mischief this is trying to stop unless we are all operating unassisted (which we weren’t).
Participation wise I don’t think you would get many more ZLs than were on. Contesting is not a big thing down here and there are less CW ops than SSB ones. I’d estimate there are probably about 30 guys who contest in any form at all and I think roughly 12-14 of them were on at some point which is pretty good.