BERU Report from VP9I

From: Peter G3LET
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 19:50:16 GMT

A rather belated report, largely due to some much needed sleep catch-up, as well as joining my good lady in exploring some of Bermuda – first time here for us both.  First of all, let me say that Ed VP9GE is the most gracious host, nothing is too much trouble, despite competing priorities including his brother’s unexpected passing and daughter’s 18th birthday celebrations.  That said, local development has meant that his QTH is now rather noisy,  with a massive ADSL like transmission centred on 14025 for much of the time.  At one pooint I was contemplating goping Open and using his beam to cancel out the worst of the noise but in the end I was able to orient the trap dipole I had packed to do a similar job.  Unfortunately, this meant it was far from ideal to the UK and 20m generally was quite disappointing.  Ed’s 40m and 80m dipoles were much better situated and performed better than I had expected.  40m was the money band for me, with a personal record for bonus QSOs.  I spent ages looking on 80m for Nigel but the path is quite difficult from here and now I have noted his antenna issue it was probably never going to happen.  15m (using a share of the 40m dipole) was also disappointing, with no VE’s above ESP level (with their beams too), so no joy in trying to get through there.  Even 9J2BO and V51YJ were hard going.  Don G3BJ was the only UK signal at workable level, although I did try with a few others to no avail.
However the most frustrating element was lack of CAT control on the K3.  It worked fine when I was setting up at home but no connectivity at all here.  Even K3util didn’t connect and so I have put it down to a busted USB port on the K3.  Manual band changes were manageable early on but less so as time went by and tiredness (and years!) kicked in.  With nothing on 10m and not a lot on 15, I was surprised to find my score had improved by some 25% over last year from 9H where I had a nice quiet field to erect very similar antennas.  Getting used to propagation was very much suck it and see and I was surprised at some of the VK and ZL openings, which were reported as almost randomly long and short path – who knows!  80m was also productive, although my signal often felt wanting.  Probably the most rewarding QSO was with our adjudicator John G4CZB, with very hard graft getting both our numbers through the QSB  that everyone has mentioned.  Several minutes later, we got there!  Not a lot of point joining the 7P pile, so I used the time I might have wasted there calling G’s.

One oddity, there was a big pile after VE7RAC on 80 Sunday morning all to no avail.  I got the impression that he was (as Al FXB would have expressed it) running tape and had fallen asleep at the chair.  Anyway, he was responsive later when everyone else had given up, so that was a result.

Anyway, altogether a most enjoyable trip – the Swizzle Inn is all it has been cracked up to be and only a 12 minute walk from Ed’s place.  I’m not sure I shall go for another 24 hour entry next year though, I think 80 is a fair retirement age.  So, my results look like this.  SD for logging, which has the benefit of being able to easily edit band errors during the event, with automatic real-time score correction too – thanks Paul!

Band    10      15      20      40      80      Totals
QSO     0       6       186     231     135     558
Dupe     0       0       3         8          2       13
Bonus   0       6        58      78        41      183

Claimed Score: 6450 (up from 5195 in 2018)

Thanks to everyone for the QSO’s and especially to all the effort put in by the
other members of our World Travellers Team, 3B8XF, C56DF, V31GX, ZF2CA and myself, with C6ATK as gallant reserve.  The other UK traveller VY2/G3VYI was co-opted on to the No. 1 Canadian team and also did brilliantly in the  unaccustomed weather he found in PEI.  However I think congratulations are due to Jeff VY2ZM for pulling this one out opf the bag (Open Unassisted).  Jeff uses CT for logging, which of course knows not a lot about BERU, so he sent me his log to see If I could glean any idea of his score.  Ended up around 8360, which I guess will be enough . . .

73, Peter G3LET / VP9I