From: Peter Day
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:22:49 GMT

Fellow contesters …

Last year’s soapbox saw me declaring I would not enter for 24 hours ever again as I would be 80 yrs old for this years contest…. well I lied! 🙂 However it will be 12 hours only from now on! (I didn’t lie about my old age by the way!).

With an A index of 12, zero sunspots and an SFI below 70, this weekend was always going to be a challenge and I didn’t make it easier for myself by entering the 24 hours Unassisted Restricted
section! 15 and 10m were extremely poor with nothing heard on the latter and only one Q on 15. Sunday morning on 40 and 80 was really good with excellent sigs from VK/ZL. Nigel and I tried unsuccessfully on 80m … thanks for the QSY Nigel.

This year I added a 20m delta loop to the aerial farm. It worked well to the South & SE and was worth the trouble of filling the front lawn for a weekend. I should have done something with the low 80m dipole which I have had up for five years but I didn’t and paid the penalty with no VK/ZL contacts on that band.  Apart from the verticals, all my dipoles are slightly less that 30 feet high.

The final low BCA count is the worse I have every achieved and the final Q tally likewise but I think everyone was in the same boat. I was very disappointed with the lack of Caribbean stations available.. … effects of last year’s hurricanes as several islands are still badly affected by the damage? It was great to hear Peter Hobbs bashing away at 9H3ET once again. I have fond memories of our 2012 trip to 9H3C when Peter was just 10 miles north of me.

Nothing was heard from West Africa. 7MHz came alive on Sunday morning with excellent VK/ZL signals.

Unassisted Restricted means waiting your turn and lots of S&P. Some Qs took over 20 minutes to
complete because of this but this contest is about quality not quantity!

Flowers to my excellent and supportive wife of 53 years, Judy, who kept me fed and watered throughout with drinks and all meals at the operating position! I’m a lucky fella…

EQUIPMENT: FTDX 5000MP, 100 Watts. ANTENNAS: separate dipoles on each band, 204ft doublet, 40 groundplane with 2 elevated radials, 20m delta loop, 20m g.p

Rubbish score I’m afraid but looks reasonable against some others in the tables 🙂

Contest         : RSGB Commonwealth Contest
Callsign        : G3PHO
Mode            : CW

   80    16   0   3   8      75   300 23.44
   40    33   0  14  10     165   640 24.39
   20    44   0  19   7     215   720 21.25
   15     1   0   0   1       5    20 25.00
   10     0   0   0   0       0     0  0.00
TOTAL    94   0  36  26     460  1680 22.77
            TOTAL SCORE : 2 140

Operators       : G3PHO