Introduction

This year the field day weekend was held on the 4/5 July 2009. South Bristol ARC operated as G4WAW/P from it's usual location on Dundry Hill. Operation was primarily by: Gary (M0RCE), Andy (G7KNA) and Tom (M3TWJ) although other club members and friends of club members were also present.

The site was well populated this year, with SBARC, NBARC and Matt operating different stations from the site.

The Station

This year, with many thanks to Ken (G4XCB), we were able to erect a 30' mast to mount the clubs 14 element 2m beam. Other equipment supplied by Ken includes a 5kW diesel generator which not only supplied power to our station, but also to Matts 6m station, the NBARC 70cm operation and the caravans being used for over night accommodation.

Other equipment in the SBARC station was supplied by Gary (M0RCE) and comprised a Yaesu 800 rotator, 30Amp power supply and Icom IC-901X 2m/70cm/23cm multimode rig with matching masthead preamp. The station was set up in the back of Garys van.

Honourable mentions should go to Fred (G7LPP) who brought a van load of equipment in case of disasters and supplied the refreshments for the weekend.

The Event

Thanks to Kens sterling efforts in developing a simple, fool proof method of erecting the mast and antenna we found ourselves in the rather novel position of being ready to operate with 3 or more hours to spare. This time was usefully used to visit the local chip shop and consume a can or two of beer.

14:00 UTC saw us on air, with the first contact being made with 2E0DBD/P after only 2.5 minutes. This was a local station worth only 18 points, but we quickly got one of several openings into the continent and worked French and Dutch stations. Propagation to the north was also good and some distant Scottish stations added to our early points haul.

The table shows that the bulk of the stations worked came in the first 4 hours of operation, in fact almost two thirds of contacts had been made by 20:00 UTC. There were brief bursts of activity coinciding with the start of the contest, around 18:00 UTC as new casual stations came on air for a couple of hours, presumably having completed whatever tasks had been allocated for the day.

Table 1 – Stations Worked by Hour
Hour Starting (UTC) Stations Worked Percentage of Total Cumulative Percentage
14:00 27 19% 19%
15:00 21 15% 34%
16:00 16 11% 45%
17:00 17 12% 57%
18:00 8 6% 62%
19:00 7 5% 67%
20:00 6 4% 71%
21:00 2 1% 73%
06:00 6 4% 77%
07:00 4 3% 80%
08:00 9 6% 86%
09:00 11 8% 94%
10:00 4 3% 97%
11:00 3 2% 99%
12:00 2 1% 100%
13:00 0 0% 100%
Total 143 100%  

Given the relatively flat state of the band in the late evening we elected to close down for the mandatory 8 hour break just before 22:00 UTC. This meant that we were able to start again on Sunday at 06:00 UTC. This gave us a slight advantage as many other south east stations were not yet on air but with the continent one hour further ahead we were able to bag a few continental stations before the UK stations came on air.

Again around 09:00 UTC a number of new casual stations came on air, presumably with little else to occupy their Sunday mornings. However it soon dwindled back to the stalwart stations, most of which we had worked on the Saturday.

The QSO rate throughout the contest was 143 contacts in 14 hours (actually more like 13.5 hours) which gives just 10.2 QSO/hour or about one every 6 minutes. However as can be seen from the table above the maximum rate was 27 QSO/hour and the minimum (ignoring the shut down period) only 2 QSO per hour.

Stations Worked

Propagation was reasonable to good in all directions except west. No particular reason for this but there seemed to be a limited number of GW, MW, 2W, GI, MI, 2I and EI stations worked. There was also a noticeable increase in the noise floor between a bearing of 260 degrees through to about 300 degrees. The cause of this remains unknown.

Table 2 – Breakdown of Prefixes
Prefix Number Worked Percentage of Total
2E, G, M 99 69%
2W, GW, MW 12 8%
CT 2 1%
DF, DR 2 1%
EA, EC 2 1%
EI 3 2%
GI 2 1%
GM, MM 7 5%
GU 1 1%
ON, OQ 7 5%
PA 2 1%
F 4 3%
Total 143  

As can be seen from table 2 above some 14% of all the stations worked were non UK stations.

Points Scored

The total score, subject to adjudication and normalising was 32,852, which corresponds to an average of 230points per QSO. How the score came about throughout the operating period is shown in Table 3 below:

Table 3 – Points Scored by Hour
Hour Starting (UTC) Stations Worked Points Scored Average Points Per QSO Deviation from Average
14:00 27 4718 175 -24%
15:00 21 3671 175 -24%
16:00 16 3515 220 -4%
17:00 17 5091 299 +30%
18:00 8 2973 372 +62%
19:00 7 2091 299 +30%
20:00 6 875 146 -37%
21:00 2 532 266 +16%
06:00 6 3212 535 +133%
07:00 4 398 100 -57%
08:00 9 1120 124 -46%
09:00 11 2492 227 -1%
10:00 4 415 104 -55%
11:00 3 762 254 +11%
12:00 2 987 494 +115%
13:00 0 0 0 -100%
Total 143 32852 230 0%

In terms of the highest number of points scored, clearly 17:00 – 18:00 UTC was the best hour. This time period included our best and fourth best DX of the contest, EA7TL at 1669km and EC4CLR at 1189km. However the rest of the stations in this period were of a much lower quality.

By contrast, although 06:00 – 07:00 only accounted for 6 QSOs (4%) and 3212 points (10%) the quality of the stations worked at this time led to an average of 535 points per QSO, some 133% above the average for the weekend. The stations comprised a GM, ON, DR and DF station with each one being between 570 – 840 points.

Submitted Log

Date Time (UTC) Call Locator Distance (km) Notes
04/07/09 14:03 2E0DBD/M IO81TK 18  
04/07/09 14:06 G4JBH/P IO80LV 63  
04/07/09 14:11 F6KCP/P JN18OU 503  
04/07/09 14:17 ON4WY JO11LC 390  
04/07/09 14:22 OQ4U JO20KV 526  
04/07/09 14:24 G6IPU/P JO02KV 291  
04/07/09 14:25 G2BQY/P IO81TK 18  
04/07/09 14:30 G4WSM/P IO81MH 25  
04/07/09 14:31 G4FKA IO81MH 25  
04/07/09 14:32 G4HUK/P IO80LW 59  
04/07/09 14:34 GM8OEG/P IO86WM 571  
04/07/09 14:35 GM3TTC/P IO85XT 493  
04/07/09 14:38 M3OPG IO81SK 12  
04/07/09 14:40 G8SRC/P IO91CL 59  
04/07/09 14:42 GM4YEQ/P IO85MM 459  
04/07/09 14:44 2W0TAR IO81IS 62  
04/07/09 14:45 G3IZN IO81SL 15  
04/07/09 14:47 GI4GTY/P IO74AI 398  
04/07/09 14:47 GW8CAK/P IO82LH 106  
04/07/09 14:48 GW4UWR IO81LP 40  
04/07/09 14:50 G6ODU IO83NN 242  
04/07/09 14:52 M0TFO IO81TI 18  
04/07/09 14:53 G4CLR IO81UT 52  
04/07/09 14:54 GW4LWZ/P IO81PS 42  
04/07/09 14:56 G0WIL/P IO90EV 89  
04/07/09 14:57 2E0BFJ/P IO80NV 58  
04/07/09 14:58 G8ATR IO91GE 84  
04/07/09 15:01 GW1PJP IO81JP 49  
04/07/09 15:04 F6BJR JO00SC 326  
04/07/09 15:04 G5XV/P IO91GI 81  
04/07/09 15:05 MW0BBU IO71LR 171  
04/07/09 15:07 EI7T/P IO62EF 356  
04/07/09 15:26 G0KDV/P JO01CJ 197  
04/07/09 15:31 G0LGS IO81WV 65  
04/07/09 15:32 M0RSD/P IO82WM 130  
04/07/09 15:34 G4NOK IO93FR 270  
04/07/09 15:39 ON4AZW/P JO10MV 399  
04/07/09 15:41 G8CKK IO81RQ 33  
04/07/09 15:42 G4NRE JO02PW 317  
04/07/09 15:43 G7FBD/M IO81QJ 1  
04/07/09 15:44 G3TCR/P IO91KH 105  
04/07/09 15:46 G4RZY IO81RJ 6  
04/07/09 15:48 G3RRS IO91IN 94  
04/07/09 15:52 PA0PFW JO21KW 521  
04/07/09 15:53 G4YZR IO81RJ 6  
04/07/09 15:54 G8LED IO92LE 140  
04/07/09 15:55 2W0ZJA/P IO81GX 87  
04/07/09 15:56 G8PIR/P JO02TM 317  
04/07/09 16:06 GM3HAM/P IO74WV 402  
04/07/09 16:08 M0XXT/P IO92CI 121  
04/07/09 16:13 G6DZH IO92AG 108  
04/07/09 16:16 M0LHS IO81RL 11  
04/07/09 16:18 EI9GQ IO51TV 401  
04/07/09 16:18 G4NVV IO81OL 15  
04/07/09 16:22 G4YTD/P IO94TA 329  
04/07/09 16:28 G1WAC/P IO92BJ 123  
04/07/09 16:37 G3ZCT/P IO83QE 199  
04/07/09 16:38 G0FBB/P JO01LD 251  
04/07/09 16:42 G5FZ/P IO93RH 256  
04/07/09 16:48 G3WIM/P IO91XG 180  
04/07/09 16:49 M0MDG/P JO00EW 215  
04/07/09 16:53 G5LK/P JO01OK 266  
04/07/09 16:55 G3VER/P IO91RU 153  
04/07/09 16:58 ON4PRA/P JO20DW 485  
04/07/09 17:00 G3FJE/P IO92XA 191  
04/07/09 17:06 G3RSC/P IO92FM 145  
04/07/09 17:10 GM3PXK/P IO74VT 394  
04/07/09 17:16 G0VHF/P JO01PU 275  
04/07/09 17:25 G3ZXX IO81TB 41  
04/07/09 17:26 G4KRJ IO81ST 48  
04/07/09 17:27 G4NFS IO81RK 7  
04/07/09 17:28 G1KHX IO81MI 24  
04/07/09 17:29 G8BPY IO91UJ 162  
04/07/09 17:30 ON4ATA JO11RE 424  
04/07/09 17:36 G5RR/P IO93GC 206  
04/07/09 17:43 EC4CLR IN80ER 1189  
04/07/09 17:48 EA7TL IM66VO 1669 Best DX
04/07/09 17:49 G3ZME/P IO82NN 131  
04/07/09 17:52 2E0VXX/P IO82QJ 111  
04/07/09 17:53 G4DHK IO81QL 9  
04/07/09 17:54 G3JJG IO81WV 65  
04/07/09 18:01 G4DEZ JO03AE 269  
04/07/09 18:03 MX0SRA/P IO93AF 209  
04/07/09 18:06 EI9E/P IO62OM 312  
04/07/09 18:31 CT1FBF/P IM58ML 1519  
04/07/09 18:38 G6KRC/P IO82UK 118  
04/07/09 18:46 G4RFR/P IO80ST 66  
04/07/09 18:54 G2BOF IO91VI 168  
04/07/09 18:58 G0CLP/P IO84KE 312  
04/07/09 19:00 M6GCS IO81VN 34  
04/07/09 19:01 G4ADV/P IO70NK 190  
04/07/09 19:08 CT1IZW IN51QC 1233  
04/07/09 19:13 2E0HOQ IO81MH 25  
04/07/09 19:38 M5BFL IO91OO 129  
04/07/09 19:38 G3PYE/P JO02EE 224  
04/07/09 19:43 G0ROC/P IO83VQ 256  
04/07/09 20:09 M3UEY IO81VT 55  
04/07/09 20:10 G0HVQ IO81UX 69  
04/07/09 20:34 G4CIB IO81VX 71  
04/07/09 20:37 GI4SNA IO64XM 416  
04/07/09 20:50 G3RCV/P JO01DH 203  
04/07/09 20:56 G8CMU IO81RW 61  
04/07/09 21:29 GU6EFB IN89RK 218  
04/07/09 21:44 F6KCZ/P IN98SW 314  
05/07/09 06:07 G3ZTT/P IO83QE 199  
05/07/09 06:22 GM4ZUK/P IO86RW 616  
05/07/09 06:27 ON5GS/P JO20SS 574  
05/07/09 06:39 DR9A JN48EQ 840  
05/07/09 06:45 DF7DJ JO31TO 709  
05/07/09 06:53 G1YLE JO02OB 274  
05/07/09 07:34 G8OFA IO91CB 69  
05/07/09 07:41 G3GHN/P JO01HH 226  
05/07/09 07:44 M3KPZ Knowle Park 0  
05/07/09 07:47 M0WYM IO90HV 103  
05/07/09 08:22 G4UNX/P IO90XU 190  
05/07/09 08:30 G8IZY IO91VC 171  
05/07/09 08:31 G6CSY JO01BJ 191  
05/07/09 08:32 GW6TEO IO71LP 170  
05/07/09 08:33 M3WDS IO81WV 65  
05/07/09 08:34 M3PSK IO81XK 41  
05/07/09 08:36 G0BRA/P IO92HB 114  
05/07/09 08:39 G4SVC IO91HB 95  
05/07/09 08:40 G8NDN IO91GF 83  
05/07/09 09:06 G4DBW JO01NI 260  
05/07/09 09:09 G5RV/P IO90WV 183  
05/07/09 09:13 PA0GSM JO21VU 583  
05/07/09 09:13 G0AGO JO01BR 194  
05/07/09 09:15 GW3PWH IO71XO 101  
05/07/09 09:16 G7RIH/P IO91RR 149  
05/07/09 09:183 G8CCL JO01IR 233  
05/07/09 09:22 M0WSN/P No Locator 0  
05/07/09 09:24 G4PDS IO80KR 82  
05/07/09 09:31 G0KPW JO02RF 296  
05/07/09 09:51 ON7PP/P JO11PI 411  
05/07/09 10:09 G6JJP IO82SG 98  
05/07/09 10:12 2E0RNJ IO92CI 121  
05/07/09 10:13 G0KHK/P IO82XJ 118  
05/07/09 10:27 G4NNS IO91FF 78  
05/07/09 11:21 MM0CPS/P IO84BT 389  
05/07/09 11:32 MW1LCR IO82KW 175  
05/07/09 11:37 GW4RWR/P IO83GC 198  
05/07/09 12:03 GW8ZRE/P IO83JA 185  
05/07/09 12:19 F5AEG JN37NV 802  
TOTAL       32852  

How Did We Perform

It is difficult to draw any firm conclusions about our performance. Certainly the serial numbers being given to us by our QSO partners indicated that whilst some stations were clearly well ahead they were in a minority, and similar numbers of contacts were being made by many of the stations we worked.

Previous scores are also difficult to compare, mainly because of the normalising process that the adjudicators apply, and the differences in propagation year to year.

Following the ajudication process, we placed 17 out of 29 with a normalised score of 28,768 from a confirmed 126 QSOs. Usefully the EA7TL best DX that we thought we had was confirmed, but clearly we lost some points as a result of poor logging either by us or by the other end of the QSO. We thought we had 143 QSOs but only 126 were confirmed, a loss of 17 or 11%.

Never the less the confirmed QSOs is one of the best we have had in recent years, and our points scored is similarly improved from recent years. Even our best DX is the best we have had in recent years.

Although our positional showing is not as good as recent years it must be remembered that we are operating in a different class this year, and overall performance should be considered an improvement on previous years.

An cursory analysis of the points scored by the other operatives in the Restricted Class shows some trends that might prove meaningful:

  • 11 of the 16 stations (69%) placed above us were operating from grid squares to the east of us, they possibly had better conditions east into Europe
  • 5 of the 12 stations (42%) placed below us were operating from grid squares to the east of us, supporting the above supposition
  • In addition to ourselves there were 2 other stations operating from IO81 grid squares. The first of these was G2BQY who managed a confirmed 167 QSOs scoring 33703 points with best DX of 1652km to CT1HZE. The second of these was G4WSM who managed a confirmed 38 QSOs scoring 9589 points with best DX of 1489km to CT1DIZ
  • EA7TL was the best DX station for three operations in addition to ourselves
  • The average number of QSOs for the class was 128.07, only fractionally more than we had confirmed
  • The average points score for the class was 32,426, our score of 28,768 was about 11% below the average
  • 18 operations scored a better best DX distance than we did, although the average of 1704km was only 2% higher than we achieved
  • Only 3 of the stations scoring more than us claimed to be running less than 100W
  • 6 of the stations above us had more elements on their Yagi, although as gain figures are not quoted and antenna height is not quoted these variables are difficult to take into account

The points difference between us and the station immediately above us was 3343. Our average points per QSO based on the confirmed QSOs and the normalised score was 228. On this basis, i.e. assuming that the 17 badly logged QSOs followed this average trend then the 17 badly logged QSOs could have provided an additional 3881 points; sufficient to improve our position by one place. However, as the incorrect details could have been at the other end of the disallowed QSOs it is unlikely that improving our accuracy would have improved our placing although it would have improved our overall score.