Firstly thanks for all of the contacts during this year’s BERU contest. I made a relatively last minute decision to participate and thought I would try something out of left field and activate a WIA HQ station for the event. A quick phone call to the president to gain permission to use one of the WIA callsigns and away we went as VK5WIA HQ. This all happened about 4 days before the contest so publicity was limited.
The station at this end consists of a 40m delta loop @ 16m (strung in a gum tree) and a 20-6m HexBeam at 10m. I get some terrain gain towards EU from my QTH and for some reason always do very well to NA on 40m of an evening, so I hoped I would be at least a semi-respectable signal on the air. Also, as my CW skills are still in the “developmental” phase, I didn’t want to make a big deal about it in case I broke too many calls. As it was, I suspect I surprised a couple who clearly did a double take when I called them as they weren’t expecting VK5WIA HQ on the air. With a lot of repeats I managed to copy most callsigns and so people at least had the opportunity to work the VK HQ station.
From an operational perspective, I couldn’t operate the whole contest due to other commitments. I managed in the end to start from about 1030 utc Saturday night. With Theo VK5MTM helping me, we commenced on 40m and worked quite a few VK/ZL as well as VE stations and one from Singapore. It was great to see 9M6 activated as well. I made a few domestic QSOs on 80m but my local QRM and non resonant antennas hampered me there (I basically loaded the 40m delta through the tuner – I suspect a lot of my power ended up as heat). Then at about 1400 utc Europe SP finally opened and I had quite a run of G/9V1/3B8 and 9M6 as well as ZL stations and others through to about 1600utc, when I headed off to bed.
4 Hrs later very early Sunday morning I was back at it on 40m again working G stations with a few others thrown in through greyline. I then QSYed to 20m and got to spend a little time working VE on NA Long Path. I had to stop around 2200 utc as I had committed to help with the telemetry collection for Horus 48 (the Amateur Radio Experimenter Group’s High Altitude Balloon project). Upon returning in the afternoon, a few more stations were worked on 20m and also 15m into ZL. I put some calls out on 10m but there were only JAs on the band so no luck there. I also did some 40m LP into Europe shortly after that and was rewarded with some more HQ stations from the UK as well as a few late VK starters. Finally the well went dry about 40 minutes from the end and no new contacts could on any band be found despite calling for about 40 minutes. I then packed it in and was pretty happy for my first attempt at the BERU.
Final scores for VK5WIA for ~9.5hrs on air were:
Band QSOs Pts Cty Sec Pt/Q
3.5 6 150 6 0 25.0
7 53 960 37 2 18.1
14 46 810 26 2 17.6
21 14 350 14 0 25.0
Total 119 2270 83 4 19.1
1 Mult = 1.4 Q’s