Well that made for an interesting 24 hours! BERU is a “must do” contest
here, as it never fails to challenge and intrigue. This year was no
exception.

The run up to BERU should have been smooth, but the failure of the SteppIR
on the second tower, thanks to “Doris” meant that a hasty substitution with
a spare A3S trapped tribander was needed. This was done last weekend, and
all seemed well, although I had lost the handy 180-degree instant reverse
facility with the SteppIR.

Each year, I write myself a set of lessons from BERU, and this year I read
them again from past years – and yet I keep making the same basic errors!

Conditions were hardly sparkling. 20m was good, 15m really ho-hum, and 10m
almost a wipe out here. 40m was good at times, but dire in the early hours
and 80m failed to produce its usual sparkle to the far west of Canada (at
least here). Given the ropey state of 10 and 15, the choice of bands was
less of a challenge than in some past years and it was simply a case of
running on one band and energetically tuning the other open band(s) on the
SO2R set-up here. This made for relatively easy bonus spotting, although I
missed that 180-degree facility – the rotators worked quite hard this year.

There was some discussion on the reflector about whether SCCs were a god
idea in BERU. I took the view this year that as G5W has never put in an
appearance in BERU, this 80th year was not the time to start. So it was
plain vanilla G3BJ. The advantage is that it is a recognised BERU call,
which helps under marginal conditions. And after all, BERU is hardly a
“rate” contest.

There were some great signals from the travellers – the 9G5X signal was
outstanding , as was Nigel’s from 3B8. But first prize must go to Dom, M1KTA
for popping up on 20 and 40 from E51/s with a fabulous signal. Bob’s (G3PJT)
publicity machine did its stuff, and I sense the activity was pretty good –
it didn’t get boring and the VK activity seemed a tad up on recent years – I
need to review the numbers to confirm that.

I was getting concerned that 80m was not going to open to ZL on Sunday
morning, but then, just as it looked bad, the ZL’s all arrived together like
number 11 buses, with excellent signals (although the band was quite noisy).
40m remained open to VK and ZL until the contest end at 10.00z, but 15m
really did not offer too much on the Sunday – just a few Africans and
Indians. Nice to hear Mike VP8NO in such good form on several bands and also
V51YJ.

I’m a little mixed about the eight UK HQ stations. My log contains a total
of 234 bonus QSOs, of which 23 are with the seven UK bonus HQ calls that
were active. To me, that is getting close to determining the outcome of the
contest on your ability to work local stations, and I’m not sure it isn’t
over-kill on UK HQ bonuses. But a big “thank you” to those who provide the
HQ stations – great job.

As ever, Dave, G4BUO (operating this year, I think, from the M6T ranch) is
the one to watch. We were neck and neck for most of the contest and an hour
from the end had serial numbers within two of each other. In the last hour,
I suspect Dave will have pulled ahead and certainly will have a better bonus
score, as he remembers each year what I forget, and what I write down each
year in block capitals on my “lessons” sheet – move them from band to band!
One year I might remember.

A great 24 hours – roll on the 81st.

Here are the numbers here, FWIW. I don’t know about the score – not sure
Win-Test calculates it correctly:

BAND QSO DUP DXC HQ POINTS BONUS AVG

——————————————–

80 68 1 23 10 340 920 18.53

40 101 1 28 11 505 1300 17.87

20 138 3 35 14 690 1620 16.74

15 42 1 25 8 210 800 24.05

10 2 0 0 2 10 40 25.00

——————————————–

TOTAL 351 6 111 45 1755 4680 18.33

============================================

TOTAL SCORE : 6 435

73

Don, G3BJ

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