Introduction

South Bristol ARC operated the Club Station G4WAW/P from our regular location on Dundry Hill, the site is approximately 210m AOD (Above Ordnance Datum – Mean Sea Level at Newlyn in Cornwall), with a clear take off for signals to all points of the compass.

There are a number of communications masts surrounding the site, although there was no evidence of any intermodulation effects and the noise floor was surprisingly consistent in all directions.

Weather for the weekend was fine, dry and warm. Although the hilltop was more exposed than most places with a significant breeze keeping temperatures down.

The Station

Following the successful mix of equipment employed in previous years once again the station was assembled from:

  • Icom IC-910X 2m/70cm/23cm Multimode rig
  • Icom masthead pre amp
  • 30foot triangular lattice tower
  • Yaesu 800 rotator and control
  • 14 Element 2m Beam
  • Niessi 30Amp Linear PSU
  • Manson 925 25Amp Linear PSU (brought in when the Niessi failed)
  • Dell Inspiron Laptop running SDV
  • 5kW Diesel Generator

The heavy equipment was brought to site on the Friday evening before Field Day and erected on the Saturday morning.

It is true that with a certain amount of initiative and familiarisation we are now able to comfortably erect the station, antenna and accommodation well before the start time of 14:00 UTC. This year was another example of this with the equipment in place and ready by 13:00 UTC.

As with 2009, Kens patented hinged mast base greatly eased the process of putting up the beam. We even shot a short video to prove how easy it is which you can view below. Additional video footage from the club can be found on our YouTube channel.

14 Element 2m Yagi at 10m

Photograph of 14 Element 2m Yagi at 10m

The Operating Tent – Logging Computer, Icom IC910 and Rotator Control

Photograph of The Operating Tent

QSOs Recorded

The operating rules for this class of the contest require that the station is only operated for 16 out of the 24 hours available, and that the shut down periods must total 8 hours and each shut down must not be less than 1 hour. We elected to shut the station down from 22:00 UTC to 06:00 UTC.

The decision as to when to shut down was made on the basis of the dwindling QSO rate in the late evening of the Saturday, plus our experiences in 2009 when an early start successfully bagged a number of high scoring contacts into Europe on Sunday morning before the remainder of the contest entrants were back on air.

Table 1 sets out the number of contacts made at various times in the contest. Overall 162 contacts were logged, however it is known that 4 of these were incomplete so the number of QSOs claimed by the club is actually 158. This figure of 158 is subject to adjudication and confirmation through check logs.

Table 1 – QSOs Recorded
Hour Number Hour Starting (UTC) QSOs Recorded Percentage of Total QSO Cumulative QSO Recorded Cumulative Percentage of Total QSO Cumulative QSO/Hr
1 14:00 18 11% 18 11% 18.00
2 15:00 19 12% 37 23% 18.50
3 16:00 12 7% 49 30% 16.33
4 17:00 9 6% 58 36% 14.50
5 18:00 3 2% 61 38% 12.20
6 19:00 13 8% 74 46% 12.33
7 20:00 7 4% 81 50% 11.57
8 21:00 7 4% 88 54% 11.00
9 06:00 10 6% 98 60% 10.89
10 07:00 3 2% 101 62% 10.10
11 08:00 3 2% 104 64% 9.45
12 09:00 8 5% 112 69% 9.33
13 10:00 7 4% 119 73% 9.15
14 11:00 19 12% 138 85% 9.86
15 12:00 9 6% 147 91% 9.80
16 13:00 15 9% 162 100% 10.13
Total   162 100%      

In previous years we have lost around 10% – 11% of the claimed QSOs through errors in the log either made by ourselves or by the other station in the QSO. These errors lead to the claimed QSO being discounted. If a similar level of error is experienced this year then the actual number of QSOs awarded is likely to be in the region of 141. This figure is higher than the number of QSOs awarded last year when we submitted 143 QSOs and were awarded 126.

Overall a QSO rate of 10.13 QSO/hour was obtained. This equates to about 1QSO every 6 minutes and is very similar to the overall rate achieved in 2009. Predictably the highest rates were achieved at the start of the contest when the number of new stations was at its highest. The rate of 18 QSO/hour is about 1QSO every 3.3 minutes.

Lowest QSO rates were recorded at 18:00 on Saturday and again at 07:00 and 08:00 on Sunday. In the case of Sunday this low QSO rate corresponds to a failure in the PSU and the need to go off site and return with a replacement item. The Saturday occurrence was surprising, last year saw an upsurge in QSOs about 18:00 rather than a downturn.

Points Scored

Overall we have claimed a score of 31,145 points. Based on 162 QSOs this represents an average score of 192points/QSO. For comparison purposes in 2009 an average of 230points/QSO was achieved although the claimed total then was only 32,852. Overall the total points scored compare well with 2009 although propagation conditions were very different.

In 2009 there were a number of short Sporadic E openings allowing very long distance contacts into Spain and Portugal which were not replicated this year.

Table 2 below shows the points scoring profile:

Table 2 – Points Scored
Hour Number Hour Starting (UTC) Points Scored Percentage of Total Points Cumulative Points Scored Cumulative Percentage of Total Points Average Points/QSO Deviation From Average Points/QSO
1 14:00 1,611 5% 1,611 5% 89.50 -53.45%
2 15:00 2,798 9% 4,409 14% 147.26 -23.40%
3 16:00 3,057 10% 7,466 24% 254.75 +32.51%
4 17:00 2,475 8% 9,941 32% 275.00 +43.04%
5 18:00 855 3% 10,796 35% 285.00 +48.24%
6 19:00 1,754 6% 12,550 40% 134.92 -29.82%
7 20:00 680 2% 13,230 42% 97.14 -49.47%
8 21:00 1,748 6% 14,978 48% 249.71 +29.89%
9 06:00 4,046 13% 19,024 61% 404.60 +110.45%
10 07:00 681 2% 19,705 63% 227.00 +18.07%
11 08:00 486 2% 20,191 65% 162.00 -15.74%
12 09:00 1,004 3% 21,195 8% 125.50 -34.72%
13 10:00 1,996 6% 23,191 74% 285.14 +48.32%
14 11:00 2,868 9% 26,059 84% 150.95 -21.49%
15 12:00 1,710 5% 27,769 89% 190.00 -1.17%
16 13:00 3,376 11% 31,145 100% 225.07 +17.07%
Total   31,145 100%     192.25 0.00%

Best points scoring occurred on Sunday morning when a number of European stations were worked taking advantage of the limited number of UK stations on air at that time coupled with the continent being one hour further ahead of British Summer Time.

The failure of the PSU in the second hour of Sunday represented bad timing. There was every possibility that the success of the 06:00 hour would have continued had the PSU not forced us off air for part of both this and the following hour.

Countries Worked

Table 3 below shows the breakdown of stations worked by country:

The best DX was recorded into France at 942km closely followed by Spain at 920km and a second French station at 871km. After this the distances dropped to the upper 600km distances, with a German, Scottish, French, second German and second Scottish station making up those over 600km from Dundry.

90% of all contacts were inter-G, that is within the United Kingdom. Only 10% were with other European countries.

Table 3 – Countries Worked
Country Callsign Number Worked Percentage of all Stations
England G, M, 2E 122 75%
Scotland GM, MM, 2M 8 5%
Isle of Man GD, MD, 2D 0 0%
Wales GW, MW, 2W 12 7%
N. Ireland GI, MI, 2I 1 1%
Jersey GJ, MJ, 2J 1 1%
Gurnsey GU, MU, 2U 2 1%
France F 9 6%
Belgium ON 2 1%
Germany D 2 1%
Eire EI 2 1%
Spain EB 1 1%
Total   162 100%

Table 4 below shows the spread of distances worked:

Table 4 – QSO Distances Worked
Distance (km) Number of Stations Worked Percentage of Total Stations Worked
dist < 2km 5 3%
2km <= dist < 5km 0 0%
5km <= dist < 10km 3 2%
10km <= dist < 20km 8 5%
20km <= dist < 50km 11 7%
50km <= dist < 100km 29 18%
100km <= dist < 200km 45 28%
200km <= dist < 350km 41 25%
350km <= dist < 500km 8 5%
500km <= dist < 750km 9 6%
750km <= dist < 1000km 3 2%
1000km <= dist 0 0%
Total 162 100%

The bulk of the contacts made (71%) were between 50km and 350km. The number of local contacts (i.e. those less than 10km) were surprisingly low at only 5% of the total QSOs made, very few club members were worked over the weekend which contributes to this low figure.

The average QSO distance was 197km. The graph below approximates a normal distribution centred on a mean of just under 200km.

Histogram of Distances Worked

Submitted Log

Date Time Station Worked Sent Received IARU Locator Distance (km) Notes
Serial No. RST Serial No. RST Received
03/07/10 14:06 G8WSM/P 1 59 1 59 IO81MH 25  
03/07/10 14:07 G4FKA 2 59 2 59 IO81SM 18  
03/07/10 14:09 G4PDS 3 59 3 59 IO80KR 82  
03/07/10 14:09 M0JMM/P 4 59 1 59 IO81XW 72  
03/07/10 14:11 2E0WXT 5 59 19 59 IO81RK 7  
03/07/10 14:11 M0TFO 6 59 2 59 IO81TI 18  
03/07/10 14:17 G4WBV 7 59 6 59 IO81QL 9  
03/07/10 14:20 G4RFR/P 8 59 23 59 IO80ST 66  
03/07/10 14:23 G3NAQ/P 9 59 6 59 IO91HL 87  
03/07/10 14:32 G8PZT/P 10 59 15 59 IO82QJ 111  
03/07/10 14:35 GW3SRT/P 11 59 9 59 IO82LQ 146  
03/07/10 14:39 M0HWA/P 12 59 6 59 IO81TK 18  
03/07/10 14:42 2E0RCG 13 59 1 59 IO81RL 11  
03/07/10 14:46 2E0JPJ 14 59 4 59 IO91GF 83  
03/07/10 14:48 ON4AZW/P 15 59 14 59 JO10MV 399  
03/07/10 14:49 G3ZME/P 16 59 33 59 IO82NN 131  
03/07/10 14:55 G4HUK/P 17 59 8 59 IO80LW 59  
03/07/10 14:58 G6NHU 18 59 17 59 JO01OU 269  
03/07/10 15:00 G0LGS 19 59 3 59 IO81WV 65  
03/07/10 15:02 G8DOH 20 59 1 59 IO92FA 102  
03/07/10 15:04 G3ZGC 21 59 7 59 IO91HJ 87  
03/07/10 15:05 2E1NJC 22 59 14 59 JO01DX 211  
03/07/10 15:06 G3PYE/P 23 59 17 59 JO02ED 223  
03/07/10 15:07 G0ADH 24 59 9 59 IO91KO 106  
03/07/10 15:09 G8OFA 25 59 2 54 IO91CB 69  
03/07/10 15:09 G3TCR/P 26 59 18 59 IO91KH 105  
03/07/10 15:12 G4YKQ 27 59 10 59 IO91NQ 125  
03/07/10 15:19 G8SRC/P 28 59 2 59 IO91CL 59  
03/07/10 15:20 2E0JWF 29 59 1 59 IO81QJ 1  
03/07/10 15:21 G0KHK/P 30 59 4 59 IO82XJ 118  
03/07/10 15:24 M5FUN 31 59 16 59 JO00DX 208  
03/07/10 15:24 M0DJW 32 59 22 59 JO02EC 221  
03/07/10 15:25 G3ZVW 33 59 4 59 IO80MS 73  
03/07/10 15:33 MJ/PA1AW 34 59 32 59 IN89VE 247  
03/07/10 15:49 G5FS/P 35 59 36 59 IO82QL 120  
03/07/10 15:55 G0ROC/P 36 59 57 59 IO83VQ 256  
03/07/10 15:57 GM3HAM/P 37 59 53 59 IO74WV 402  
03/07/10 16:01 EI9E/P 38 59 71 59 IO62OM 312  
03/07/10 16:03 G5XV/P 39 59 65 59 IO91GI 81  
03/07/10 16:07 GM6 40            
03/07/10 16:14 GI4GTY/P 41 59 44 59 IO74AI 398  
03/07/10 16:15 G3CKR/P 42 59 82 59 IO93AD 200  
03/07/10 16:25 MM0CPS/P 43 59 95 56 IO84BT 389  
03/07/10 16:39 G4VMX/P 44 59 39 59 IO92TH 185  
03/07/10 16:41 G5LK/P 45 59 93 59 JO01OC 269  
03/07/10 16:44 G0VHF/P 46 59 57 57 JO01PU 275  
03/07/10 16:51 ON4MCL 47 59 53 59 JO21IB 512  
03/07/10 16:54 G5FZ/P 48 59 115 59 IO93RH 256  
03/07/10 16:56 G3WIM/P 49 59 86 59 IO91XG 180  
03/07/10 17:00 DL0GL 50 59 88 59 JO31KP 657  
03/07/10 17:06 F9KA/P 51 59 43 59 JO09QN 942 Best DX
03/07/10 17:13 2E0MIZ/A 52 59 1 59 IO81TI 18  
03/07/10 17:19 G3RSC/P 53 59 49 59 IO92FM 145  
03/07/10 17:32 G6KRC/P 54 59 45 59 IO82UK 118  
03/07/10 17:35 G3RCV/P 55 59 84 59 JO01DH 203  
03/07/10 17:38 G0CCB 56 59 1 59 IO81OK 12  
03/07/10 17:42 EI7T/P 57 59 11 59 IO62EF 356  
03/07/10 17:56 M3RHV 58 59 2 59 IO81MI 24  
03/07/10 18:14 DF0MU 59 59 142 59 JO32PC 687  
03/07/10 18:25 M0HUE 60 59 1 59 IO81RM 15  
03/07/10 18:33 G3VER/P 61 59 162 59 IO91RU 153  
03/07/10 19:24 G3TA 62 59 11 59 IO81XS 58  
03/07/10 19:29 G4ADJ 63 55 8 58 IO82VE 93  
03/07/10 19:35 G4ADV/P 64 59 38 58 IO70NK 190  
03/07/10 19:36 G0CER 65 59 25 59 IO82RV 167  
03/07/10 19:38 G4MWS/P 66 59 29 55 IO83UE 201  
03/07/10 19:38 G1SMI 67 59 11 55 IO83PM 236  
03/07/10 19:44 G3IXZ 68 58 1 59 IO82PD 84  
03/07/10 19:46 GU6EFB 69 59 3 55 IN89RK 218  
03/07/10 19:48 G1WAC/P 70 59 39 59 IO92BJ 123  
03/07/10 19:49 GW6TEO 71 59 13 59 IO71LP 170  
03/07/10 19:51 G3KZR 72 59 5 59 IO81SC 34  
03/07/10 19:55 2E0PSU 73 59 5 55 IO80AR 119  
03/07/10 19:56 G8CMU 74 59 12 59 IO81RW 61  
03/07/10 20:00 G0JJG 75 59 26 59 JO02LE 262  
03/07/10 20:01 G3HEJ 76 59 5 55 IO91PH 133  
03/07/10 20:03 M3PSK/P 77 59 2 59 IO91BN 55  
03/07/10 20:05 G3PIA 78 59 45 59 IO91IN 94  
03/07/10 20:32 G4JXC 79 59 4 59 IO81TQ 37  
03/07/10 20:40 MW0MTR 80 59 13 58 IO81LP 40  
03/07/10 20:45 MW6WDX 81 58 2 55 IO81GM 59  
03/07/10 21:04 M6OUT 82 59 10 59 IO81WO 42  
03/07/10 21:10 G2BOF 83 59 18 59 IO91VI 168  
03/07/10 21:25 F/G4FZN/P 84 59 85 59 JO00TR 306  
03/07/10 21:29 G0FBB/P 85 59 187 59 JO01LD 251  
03/07/10 21:34 G3ZTT/P 86 59 113 59 IO83QE 199  
03/07/10 21:38 M0RRC/P 87 59 152 59 IO91TW 166  
03/07/10 21:49 GM4ZUK/P 88 59 125 56 IO86PW 616  
04/07/10 06:19 G4VPD 89 59 25 59 IO92BJ 123  
04/07/10 06:22 F1CBC 90 59 37 59 JN09BO 278  
04/07/10 06:25 F5AOL/P 91 59 84 59 JN18DL 478  
04/07/10 06:30 EB1RL/P 92 59 146 59 IN83FD 920  
04/07/10 06:35 G7UUK 93 59 3 59 IO81MH 25  
04/07/10 06:36 F6KHM 94 59 23 59 IN78RJ 361  
04/07/10 06:38 M0PNN 95 59 31 59 IO82TS 154  
04/07/10 06:47 G2OA/P 96 59 70 55 IO83MN 242  
04/07/10 06:54 F4BWJ 97 59 23 59 IN93MP 871  
04/07/10 06:59 F2FGY/P 98 59 76 59 IN96WH 594  
04/07/10 07:08 F0 99            
04/07/10 07:09 F8KHB/P 100 59 84 59 JN05DR 666  
04/07/10 07:11 M0ALZ 101 59 2 59 IO81SH 15  
04/07/10 08:47 M3WDS 102 59 17 59 IO81WV 65  
04/07/10 08:51 G0KOC 103 59 33 59 JO00DX 208  
04/07/10 08:53 M6IDR 104 59 3 59 IO93AG 213  
04/07/10 09:07 MW3CHZ 105 59 1 59 IO81HN 55  
04/07/10 09:12 G0XDI 106 59 69 59 IO91RQ 148  
04/07/10 09:27 G3ZLQ 107 59 8 59 IO80QX 46  
04/07/10 09:29 2E0XBF 108 59 22 56 JO01HO 226  
04/07/10 09:35 2E0UOG 109 59 64 59 IO83PN 241  
04/07/10 09:39 GW3TKH 110 59 12 59 IO81JM 43  
04/07/10 09:43 MW0EQL 111 59 15 59 IO81HR 64  
04/07/10 09:58 G0XPE 112 59 20 59 IO92GU 181  
04/07/10 10:00 GX0OOO/P 113 59 27 59 IO94AD 309  
04/07/10 10:02 G3JIR 114 59 3 59 IO83OM 237  
04/07/10 10:04 GM3TKV/P 115 59 24 59 IO87PN 686  
04/07/10 10:05 GM4AAF/P 116 59 27 59 IO86MQ 589  
04/07/10 10:10 GW3SSK 117 59 6 59 IO81EN 72  
04/07/10 10:39 2E0JWJ 118 59 3 59 IO81VG 32  
04/07/10 10:47 M3FWS 119 59 3 59 IO91EG 71  
04/07/10 11:02 G4ATH/P 120 59 37 59 IO83NU 274  
04/07/10 11:08 G4XZL/P 121 59 5 59 IO90MX 125  
04/07/10 11:09 GW0RMX/P 122 59 3 59 IO81NV 58  
04/07/10 11:11 G5RV/P 123 59 102 59 IO90WV 183  
04/07/10 11:14 G3HGN/P 124 59 105 59 JO01HH 226  
04/07/10 11:15 G4DKH/P 125 59 20 59 IO91GC 87  
04/07/10 11:15 G8NDN 126 59 18 59 IO91GF 83  
04/07/10 11:20 G0 127            
04/07/10 11:22 G4NFS 128 59 1 59 IO81RK 7  
04/07/10 11:24 G4VRC/P 129 59 7 59 IO90OW 138  
04/07/10 11:28 G3BPK/P 130 59 8 59 IO83PN 241  
04/07/10 11:29 G0LJD/P 131 59 4 57 IO70UM 152  
04/07/10 11:33 GW4RWR/P 132 59 5 59 IO82HV 174  
04/07/10 11:46 G7DDN/P 133 59 14 59 IO92AJ 120  
04/07/10 11:47 G4ADP/P 134 59 66 59 IO70NK 190  
04/07/10 11:48 GU8FBO 135 59 19 59 IN89QK 218  
04/07/10 11:51 G6GWX 136 59 8 57 IO70PP 168  
04/07/10 11:54 G0LMV/P 137 59 67 56 IO93XG 273  
04/07/10 11:55 G4ALY 138 59 23 59 IO70VL 151  
04/07/10 12:00 GW3YXM/P 139 59 3 59 IO83JA 185  
04/07/10 12:05 GW4HDF 140 59 6 59 IO81JO 47  
04/07/10 12:09 M0YJT/P 141 59 53 58 IO92EN 147  
04/07/10 12:24 G3YPQ/P 142 59 1 59 IO81ED 75  
04/07/10 12:33 G0 143            
04/07/10 12:48 GM0FRC/P 144 59 27 59 IO86BA 521  
04/07/10 12:50 G4ARI/P 145 59 49 59 IO92IQ 170  
04/07/10 12:52 G8HXE/P 146 59 41 59 IO83RP 250  
04/07/10 12:58 G0OLE/P 147 59 96 59 IO93PX 315  
04/07/10 13:04 M0COP 148 59 13 44 IO82OM 126  
04/07/10 13:05 G3XNO 149 59 39 57 IO93DW 289  
04/07/10 13:09 2E0TXT/P 150 59 3 58 IO83TP 251  
04/07/10 13:13 GM4SDQ 151 59 13 59 IO75TH 451  
04/07/10 13:19 G0HDV/P 152 59 35 59 IO93UK 277  
04/07/10 13:26 G8BGV/P 153 59 56 59 JO01HP 227  
04/07/10 13:40 M1MHZ 154 59 33 59 IO92WV 239  
04/07/10 13:41 M0CNP 155 59 8 59 JO02PV 315  
04/07/10 13:42 G3EDD 156 59 26 59 IO70MN 188  
04/07/10 13:45 2EOBFJ 157 59 2 59 IO80OV 57  
04/07/10 13:48 G4DPF 158 59 8 59 IO92VG 192  
04/07/10 13:50 G4MGX 159 59 49 56 IO92SD 171  
04/07/10 13:50 G4HUN/P 160 59 45 57 IO92XA 191  
04/07/10 13:58 G3SDC/P 161 59 44 59 IO92NP 183  
04/07/10 13:59 M5ABH/P 162 59 34 59 IO93IE 219  
TOTALS   158   31145  

Final Results

The results of the VHF Contest Committee were published on the 13 September 2010. General comments confirmed some of our own findings, specifically that the area worked was down on 2009. Many stations reported high winds during the weekend which did not seem to plague us particularly. There is always some wind given the exposed hill top location but nothing that was likely to remove the tent as occurred to some entrants.

After looking very strong during the scoring period as logs were submitted we ultimately ended up 4th in class compared to 3rd in previous years.

The adjudicated score was 24,916 compared to our claim of 31,145, a reduction of 6,229 points or 20%. Some of this loss may be attributable to the re-scoring that occurs as the VHF Contest Committee use the G0GJV algorithm for scoring contacts which may not be implemented in the SD logging software we employ.

However much of the loss must once again be ascribed to poor logging by us. We claimed a total of 162 stations but knew that 4 were incomplete. However our adjudicated log only awarded us 139 QSO (compared to an estimated 141 QSO based on last years losses) a loss of 19 QSOs representing 12% of our total claimed haul. Last years loss was a similar 10% – 11% so we remain consistent.

The average points per QSO based on the adjudicated score become 179.25 compared to our claimed 192.25, a reduction of 13 points per QSO or 7%.

If we could have improved our logging accuracy by 50%, that is spotting and correcting half of our errors, then then we could have picked up an additional 10QSO adding 1,793 points to our adjudicated score. This would have raised our adjudicated score to 26,709 which would have allowed us to overhaul G3TCR/P, who scored 26,172, and maintain our record of third places from 2007 and 2008.

Our confirmed best DX of 943km with F9KA/P was the best DX we claimed.

First and second placed stations in the Low Power category both scored highly with 53,804 points and 41,329 points respectively. This showing would not have been considered poor in the higher power Restricted Section that we entered last year where only the top 4 stations exceeded 50,000 points.

In fact our performance would have placed us 9th in the Restricted Section (out of 19 entries in that class) and 18th in the Open Section (out of 22 entries in that class).

Overall our results put in a credible performance for the club. Our adjudicated points score of 24,916 is 18% above the average for the class. Our Best DX of 943km is 14% above the average for the class. Our adjudicated QSO of 139 is 36% above the average for the class. Our points/QSO figure of 179.25 is however 13% below the average for the class.

Next year should target improved logging and higher value contacts focussing on north England, Scotland and closer European stations.