The RSGB Commonwealth Contest – VP2MXI

This year I was active as VP2MXI from Montserrat, a small island in the Easrtern Caribbean. I’ve written the trip up elsewhere on this site but here is the low-down of the contest as posted to the uk-hf-contesting yahoo group.

The Commonwealth Contest ran 0600-0600 local time. I managed 21.5 hours in the chair according to the log, which is a personal best in itself. I had the luxury of a 50 foot tower and 3 element tribander for 20/15/10, below that I’ve strung up dipoles for 40m and 80m.
Equipment was my K3 and KPA500 running 500W and everything performed flawlessly. The only fault was that the needle on the rotator controller didn’t work so there was an element of guesswork required when moving the beam unless I could get outside to actually look at it. Not such a good method in the middle of the night when the moon is behind cloud!
I really didn’t know what to expect as this is the first time I’ve been on the air from this part of the world, but signals to all areas were generally very good and workable. The highlight for me was actually managing almost 24 hours in one go on the air.
There was a period where one of the non commonwealth callers in a pileup decided to send out what sounded like the start of the Commonwealth Contest rules over the top of me, thankfully the contest callers were as strong and no QSOs were lost.
I missed the last hour, and had an hours kip just before UK sunrise so I could still catch G on 80m.
I missed 9J2BO but did work 9X0NH, 7Q7 and some ZS. That would have been better if I’d had the rotator controller working properly for the short periods needed to go hunting.
The stats read like this:
   80   128   1  16   2     640   580  9.53
   40   208   1  26   3    1040   920  9.42
   20   360   7  30   2    1790  1320  8.64
   15   308   7  27   4    1535  1320  9.27
   10   219   0  15   2    1095   640  7.92
TOTAL  1223  16 114  13    6100  4780  8.90
            TOTAL SCORE : 10 880
Dupes are not included in QSO counts neither avg calculations
Operators       : M0PCB
I have no idea if Wintest has scored this correctly, I’m not sure it was doing the BCA scoring right on logging, I need to run the log into N1MM and do a new score.
Was it fun? You bet…
Could I do better? You bet!
Will I do this sort of thing again… I think I probably will.

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