Excellent conditions for pretty well the whole contest made the 76th one for the record books. A record entry of 298 stations, comprising 159 Open, 112 Restricted and 20
Multi-op.7 HQ stations were active to give away extra bonus points. 17 Teams were formed to enter into the team competition, from Australia, Canada, the UK, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, India, Africa and New Zealand.
First place in the 24hr Open section and winner of the Senior Rose Bowl is John, VE3EJ, ahead of Nigel, ZF2XF (G3TXF). Ron, CF3A (VE3AT), is third. <P>The first 5 places
are very close with Dave, J88DR (G3TBK) fourth and Brian, C4Z, fifth. The highest placed UK station was Dave, G4BUO, in eighth place. Highest VK was Kevin, VK6LW , highest
ZL was ZL6FF.
Travellers visited 9X, 5N, 5X, C4, 9H, VP9, ZF, 6Y, J3 and this year their efforts were rewarded with good conditions on the higher bands from the start, continuing into Sunday as well.
The leader of the 24hr Open section and winner of the Senior Rose Bowl is John VE3EJ with 12,130 points and 320 Bonus, ahead of Nigel, ZF2XF (G3TXF) , with 11,335 points and 235 Bonus. Ron, CF3A (VE3AT), is third with 11,310 with 297 Bonus. The first 5 places are very close with Dave, J88DR (G3TBK) fourth with 11,200 points with 273 Bonus, and Brian, C4Z, fifth.
Nigel reports”Conditions seemed good across all the bands.” Yes, and the giant log periodic and 2 element on 80 must have helped too, Nigel!
He continues, “I operated for 23 hours. There was just one unscheduled 30 minute break while
snoozing-at-the-radio. Hopefully I didn’t have my finger on the F1 key for all
4th place entrant Dave, J88DR, comments “Great Contest, Great Conditions and QSOs with Great People! Thanks to all those who persevered to get the data through to my simple no-frills station. Rig IC7000 with Tokyo H1.1 KFX Amp (thanks to Nick, G4FAL) Antennas A3S and Dipoles at 35 feet on cliff top 60 ft above sea.
Logged with N1MM, faultless as usual.”
Fifth placed, Brian, C4Z (5B4AIZ) said, “”The travelers did a great job again, almost a full sweep of 5 banders, so thanks to them and the great operating skills of our Commonwealth buddies which make BERU such a great and gentlemanly contest”.
“It is a dilemma, 10/15 close here a couple of hours before uk, the VE4/5/6/7 are/maybe due to come through (does anybody ever hear a 4?) so I decided to stick with them until the bands died down, hoping there maybe some lp from down under next morning. I did get the full quota of 7’s on 15m and just one 6, such a hard life in Cyprus!”
Leading UK Stations
In eighth place, the top UK Open section entrant is Dave G4BUO.</STRONG> Dave takes the Col. Thomas Rosebowl with 8920 points and 323 bonuses. “Well, that was fun! BERU often seems to be plagued with a dip in conditions, this time they seemed to rise to a peak and the HF bands were in great shape.”Dave notes, “This was my first entry since 2009, and I’m most grateful to Bob G4BAH for letting me use the G0KPW/M6T station in Suffolk. Unfortunately there were plenty of things needing to be set up, and I’m glad I gave myself Thursday afternoon and all day Friday for the task. I had to raise four towers, only one of which has an electric winch! Banging in the guy stakes was no fun, and three of them proved impossible to remove after the contest, following heavy overnight rain and snow which turned the land into a quagmire, with puddles of water all over the place.” “I wonder what the total is for the number of hours spent by all G entrants trying to get H44G into the log. Did anyone succeed? “”The last hour was fun, if rather frantic, trying to snag as many VK/ZL as possible
on 15 and 10m and push to get past the magic 500 barrier. Great fun to work old friends and new in this most fascinating of contests. Thanks for the competition and all the QSOs.”
Leading VK in eleventh place, was Kevin, VK6LW. Kevin notes, “Much better condx this year on HF, 80 was noisy though and propagation to VE was
more difficult, fortunately the beverages worked well on receive compared to the
verticals. 10m was excellent with good openings to G both at the start and end
of the contest. Some big QSO numbers this year, especially from the travellers!”
Second placed VK station in twelth place was John, VK4CT
who comments, “Band conditions were good, apart from 10m which opened in narrow time slots. I enjoyed being part of a great team – winners will be grinners 8-). A new 3 element yagi on 40m helped.”
Third placed VK, Barry, VK2BJ,commented too on the good conditions, “What a great contest BERU is and this year conditions were the best they have been for many years.”
“It is a long time since the openings to VE on all bands were so good and there were quite a few good spells on 10 generally.” “On the down side, the activity from Asia was very low apart from VU and there was no-one on from the Pacific Islands apart from the H44G Dxpedition which I wasted quite some time calling unsuccessfully.(Along with a lot of others, Barry!) “Subjectively I thought that the UK representation was down this year
but the statistics will tell the full story in due course.” (record entry from G!)
The leader of the restricted 24hr section and winner of the Junior Rosebowl, is again traveller 9H3ET (G3LET) with 10,065 points and 267 Bonuses.See the
full 9H3ET story here.
9H3ET was followed by traveller Allen, 6Y6T (N2KW) with 8210 points with 248 bonuses.
Then by the intrepid African travellers Alan, 5X1XA (G3XAQ) and in a first visit to Rwanda by Nick, 9X0NH. And read all about Nick’s trip here (G3RWF).You will note from the QSL that whilst in Rwanda, Nick had a ‘minder’ to keep the frequency clear of unwanted callers!
Multi operator section
Left to right Mike G3VYI, Peter G3SJX, Steve G3UFY, Norman 5B4AIE
The C4I story is here
And yes, your adjudicator can operate a radio!! Mike at the key at C4I. The C4I multi op group operating from Pafos were comforatble leaders over second place VE9ML and third, VA3DX.
Top UK station was Lionel, G5LP.
We hope to be able to announce a new trophy for this section later this year.
Seven HQ stations, VA3RAC, GB5CC (at MD4K), VO1RAC, ZL6HQ, VU2PTT, VE1RAC and VO2RAC added some extra spice to the hunt for bonuses. The leading HQ station, VA3RAC, made 1036 QSOs and score 10,560 points – another record for 2013. Thanks from all of us to the operators at these HQ stations for putting them on. And see Chris’ comments about conditions at VA3RAC .
Some comments from Chris at VA3RAC provide a very good snapshot of conditions. Chris worked :-
Thirty-seven 5 band QSOs: 6Y6T, 9H3ET, CF3A, G0ORH, G3KMQ, G3LIK, G3RLE, G3SWH,
G3TKK, G3TQZ, G3UJE, G3WPH, G3YBY, G4AZN, G3BUO, G4DBW, G4FAL, G4HZV, G5LP,
G6PZ, GB5CC, GM0NAI, GM3SEK, GM3WOJ, J34G, J88DR, M0DHO, VA3DX, VE3EJ, VE3JM,
VE3KI, VE3KZ, VE3OI, VE7JH, VK4CT, VP2EC, ZF2XF
HQ Stations: GB5CC, VE1RAC, VE7RAC, VO1RAC, VU2PTT, ZL6HQ
145 Band Call Areas
690 QSOS in the first 12 hours, 378 in the last 12 hours.
G: 423 QSOs with 189 unique stations
VE: 221 QSOs with 90 unique stations
VK: 31 QSOs with 23 unique stations
ZL: 30 QSOs with 16 unique stations
12 Hour Section
The award for the highest placed
non-UK station who operated for 12 hours, the VP8GQ award, goes to VE3JM
The Ross Carey Rose Bowl goes again to Ian, G3KZR, as the highest placed UK
station who operated for 12 hours.
Commonwealth Traveller Awards
Many, many entrants comment on the DX Travellers who each year add so much extra interest to this contest. For many stations this is one chance to work some DX uninterupted by other callers. So we thank all the DX travellers here. You can read their stories here on this website.
This year the Traveller Award is awarded to Nick, 9X0NH, who travelled to Rwanda, the newest Commonwealth Country. Many thanks, Nick.
You can read all about Nick’s trip here. Traveller reports from VP9/G4CWH, C4I, 9H3ET, J34G, ZF2XF and 9X0NH are here. A light weight 100w radio, a fishing pole and some wire is all that is required to have and give a lot of fun. Think about a trip yourself in 2014.
The certificate for the leading QRP entrant goes to Brian VE3MGY
The Commonwealth Medal is awarded to Jeff, VK6AJ for many years support to BERU.
Commonwealth Team Contest
This year Team Australia knocked the Team Caribbean/Atlantic off their perch at the top. 17 teams entered the team contest this year. We are delighted to see how competitive this part of BERU has become. Team Australia 1 made a very determined effort to win the team contest and their endevours have been well rewarded. VK6LW, VK4CT, VK2BJ, VK6VZ and VK7BO had a total points score of 58,696. Team Canada Eh?, VE3EJ, CF3A, VO2AAA, VE3OI and VE7CC came second with Team Caribbean third.
Full results for the 17 teams are on the RSGB HFC pages here
Many thanks to Paul, EI5DI, for sponsoring the Team prizes again this year.
And for his logging programme”Faultless logging with ‘SD'” C4Z
Silent Keys .. first to be heard and the last to disappear…
Sadly this year has seen three famous BERU entrants become silent keys.
Russ Coleston, VK4XA, (ex VK9XK, Papua New Guinea, 1950s, picture above) was overall winner in 1983 and 3rd in 1984. He was 10th from VK9XK in 1951. Russ entered BERU most years until very recently.
Mike Bazley, VK6HD, well known for his 160m signal over the years, won BERU in 1971 when he commented that it was “hard going”, in a year of poor conditions.
In the same year, 1970, the third silent key, David Courtier-Dutton, G3FPQ, came 2nd overall. David features often in the 60s and 70s results recording no less than two 2nd and three 3rd places. John, VK3ZC, commented, “ G3FPQ, had a beautiful fist and his signal in the 60s and 70s was just outstanding … first to be heard and the last to disappear.”
You can find more details of the stations on the Commonwealth Contest archive CD.
And now for something different …
Itchen Valley Amateur Radio Club decided almost at the last minute
to field a scratch team as part of an initiative to encourage more
members to use limited CW skills, having previously participated on
a club basis in RSGB CC Data and SSB. Also to try a variety of CW
approaches including electronic reading and sending, straight keys, paddles with and without integrated software, electronic logging programs, and to get some DX not frequently on offer to those members with sub-marginal antennae in suburban gardens.
Active Call Areas
3B8, 3B9, 4S7, 5H , 5N, 5B4, 5X,
8P6, 9H, 9X, 9J2, 9M2, 9M6, 9V1, 9Y4,
C4, CF3, G , H44, J34, J88, V44, V51,
VA2, VA3, VA7,
ZL 1, 2, 3, 4, 6,
ZS1, 2 ,6
Full results on the RSGB HFC pages here
Full Soapbox here but this is a selection …
6Y6T Once again megathanks to Jenny and Josh (6Y5WJ) for their unmatched
hospitality. As word gets out it is becoming increasingly difficult
to secure accomodations around major contests!
7Q7BP Electricity supply off from 0700Z through to 1600Z
Found a small generator and went barefoot
LF conditions were not good here Thunderstorm overhead from 2100Z to 0530Z earthed down Used SD again and am getting used to it. You should try it!
G3RJM Nice to work some real DX without the fight
9X0NH huge midnight storm – had to QRT because of rain noise.
G3PHO… then there was the ‘magic’ opening to VK/ZL at the godforesaken hour of 0345!
G3SXW A marvellous blend of contesting and DXing
VK2IG Great opportunity to work some new DXCC countries
VU2BGS Best time when ZF2XF gave me a real 599 !!
ZM2B This sure is a wierd contest !!
Log standards were generally good, but there were a few with problems : some had band record errors, as some of these were due to a program issue these were not penalised by the adjudicator and the points were restored. A few had blocks of consecutive serial send errors, where the receiving stations’ points had to be restored, and a small penalty was applied to the sending station. In cases where points were lost due to non logging of HQ in the exchange, the points lost were restricted to the bonus only.
Thanks are due to Steve G3UFY for transcribing a number of written logs into the cabrillo format.
Checklogs from M0SFR, VA2FDT, VE2BWL, G3MPB, G3VDB, G3VQO, M0MPM, G4KFT, G4FKA and G3WYW. Many thanks
Comments and/or queries about the adjudication may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com .
Prize Draw for all entrants with 75 or more valid QSOs will take place at the RSGB Convention, October 2013.
77th Commonwealth Contest 2014
The 77th Commonwealth Contest will take place from 8th to 9th March 2014. . More details later. Why not make plans for a DXpedition.