Category Archives: Competition Results

Summer Whine – 2015

Pos Unit Ph1 Ph2 Ph3 Run
Total
Fd Stn
bonus
Sub
Total
Photos bonus Final
Score
Group 2 Ops Visitor Admin
1 Reading Sch CCF 110 168 186 464 464 928 100 100 100 100 1328
2 Essex ACF 118 162 156 436 436 872 100 100 100 50 1222
3 Sir Roger Manwood’s Sch CCF 78 74 186 338 338 676 100 100 100 100 1076
4 Hampshire & IOW ACF 116 138 114 368 368 736 100 100 0 0 936
5 Clwydd & Gwynedd ACF (B) 77 120 106 303 303 606 100 100 0 100 906
6 Clwydd & Gwynedd ACF (A) 62 90 82 234 234 468 100 100 100 100 868
7 Humberside ACF 64 87 76 227 227 454 100 100 100 100 854
8 2(NI) Battalion ACF 58 108 58 224 224 448 100 100 100 0 748
9 King Edwards VI Sch (Louth) CCF 36 48 44 128 128 256 100 100 100 50 606
10 Dollar Academy CCF 58 104 100 262 262 524 0 0 0 0 524
11 Churchers College CCF 46 0 0 46 0 46 100 100 100 100 446
12 C Coy, Yorkshire (N & W) ACF 56 24 12 92 92 184 0 0 0 0 184

Comments from the Organiser

Well done everyone who took part in this year’s competition. It was the first time for many, many years that we had representation from all four countries of our United Kingdom.

Mainly fine weather for most stations, but some found it extremely windy and had difficulty erecting antennas. As last year, radio conditions varied considerably, which made operating quite challenging, especially for the less experienced cadets. On several occasions two nets operated independently on the same frequency, yet neither interfered with the other. For much of the exercise our lower frequencies could not be used, and some of the higher frequencies suffered from excessive noise. This, necessarily, forced stations to try out different (newer) frequencies and – slowly – this brought benefit. “When the going got tough, the tough kept going” and there was strong evidence of continuous activity throughout the 24-hour exercise.

Congratulations to this year’s winner – for the second time running – Reading School CCF with 1328 points. Essex ACF again came second, scoring 1222 points, closely followed into 3rd place by Sir Roger Manwood’s School CCF with 1076 and 4th Hants & IOW ACF with a score of 936.

Clwydd & Gwynedd ACF ‘flew the flag for Wales’ and managed to field two stations, putting in a sterling effort to come 5th and 6th respectively. Humberside ACF performed consistently, achieving one place higher than last year. A superb effort by 2 (NI) Bn ACF calling in from Northern Ireland and doing so well with their first entry into the competition, which earned them 8th place. King Edward VI School CCF in Louth moved up 3 places from last year’s position, to finish 9th.

It is always good to have Dollar Academy CCF giving points from North of the Border, especially as they are geographically so far away from all other stations. (The inclusion of photos with their claim would have probably moved them up into 5th place!).

Churcher’s College operators could only take part for a relatively short time but their contribution was valuable to many other stations. And lastly, a special welcome to C Coy, Yorks (North & West) ACF who competed for the very first time & took part in all three phases of the exercise.

Several stations failed to submit their claims, thus the results below are based on what arrived in my letterbox. I was looking for ACCURACY and it is surprising how many messages did not satisfy cross checking – many bore no resemblance whatsoever to the record in the distant station’s log – and in those cases neither station received credit.

Competition organiser – Maj(Retd) T Sugdon

Christmas Cracker – 2014

After a long period of consolidating the logs I am pleased to announce that the Winner of Exercise CHRISTMAS CRACKER is:

Hampshire & Isle of Wight ACF

The scores below indicate the large number of exchanges (over 1,000) that took place over the period of the exercise and the hard work put in by your cadets and their adults.

Special thanks must go to all of the MARS Stations who took part and were always there for us, often the time zone where they were based meant operating at extended times, and their help is very much appreciated.

Every station will receive a personalised certificate to commemorate their participation.

When looking at the scores below please remember that not all stations took part for the entire 31 hours, myself included!!  This means that a low score does not mean that the station was ineffective, in fact quite the reverse.  To have communicated with other stations they had to have been effective and hopefully will have gained experience and confidence to take part in future exercises

Remember you DO NOT have to take part for the entire exercise.

Taking part meant that cadets experienced operating on HF and in conditions that at times were busy to say the least.  The initial ‘pile-ups’ decreased as Voice Procedure improved and cadets became used to working when they might not be able to hear every station on the frequency.

One way to overcome this issue is to have a directed net that allows a control station to bring in stations and if necessary relay messages.  This exercise is not about relaying messages nor about operating on controlled nets; but it is about experiencing HF conditions and communicating with distant stations as you might find it when working your own nets and links.

I am fully aware of the issues about the short frequency slots, the logging system and other matters.  I will be producing a Post Exercise Report (PXR) over the Christmas season and hope to get it to you early in 2015.  For our MARS friends I know that our PXR is called an After Action Report (AAR) within your organisation!!

I am hoping to run a training exercise in early 2015 and perhaps have another exercise with MARS Stations; maybe they would be happy to accept a number of invited stations onto one of their exercises!

Finally please remember that is about taking part more than about winning.

Best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year.

Competing Stations
Position Unit Name Scored
1 Hants & IOW ACF 1225
2 1003 (Leighton Buzzard) Sqn ATC 915
3 Reading School CCF 885
4 Essex ACF 540
5 Sir Roger Manwood’s CCF 530
6 Clwyd & Gwynedd ACF – A 400
7 Maidstone Grammar School CCF 335
8 Clwyd & Gwynedd ACF – B 325
9 1213 (Andover) Sqn ATC 270
10 HQ2 Welsh Wing ATC 260
11 Airbridge & Coatbridge SCC 205
=12 Kent ACF 155
=12 Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School CCF 155
14 2364 (Welshpool) Sqn ATC 135
15 Dollar Academy CCF 115
16 Humberside & South Yorkshire ACF 110
17 Sutton Valence School CCF 105
18 2286 (Arden) Sqn ATC 100
19 1370 (Leven) Sqn ATC 65
20 73 (Huntingdon) Sqn ATC 60
21 2415 (Penkridge) Sqn ATC 50
22 Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Wing ATC 40
=23 481 (West Bromwich) Sqn ATC 25
=23 1132 (Stalham) Sqn ATC 25
25 2331 (St Ives) Sqn ATC 15

Competition Organiser – Capt D Holman

Summer Whine – 2014

Pos Unit Ph1 Ph2 Ph3 Run
Total
Fd Stn
bonus
Photos bonus Final
Score
Group 2 Ops Visitor Admin
1 Reading Sch CCF 109 150 206 465 465 100 100 100 50 1280
2 Essex ACF 78 181 158 417 417 100 100 100 100 1234
3 Churchers Coll CCF 112 189 118 419 419 0 100 100 50 1088
4 Clwydd/Gwynedd ACF 51 165 148 364 364 100 50 100 25 1003
5 Dollar Academy CCF 113 202 132 447 447 0 0 0 0 894
6 Hants & IOW ACF (B Coy) 109 108 100 317 317 50 50 100 50 884
7 Calday Grange GS CCF 73 75 100 248 248 100 100 100 75 871
8 Sutton Valence CCF 68 54 78 200 200 100 100 100 50 750
9 Humberside ACF 69 156 114 339 339 0 0 0 0 678
10 1213 Sqn ATC 57 0 116 173 173 50 100 100 0 596
11 Clwydd & Gwynedd ACF 46 20 68 134 134 100 100 100 25 593
12 Kg Ed VI GS CCF 50 81 108 239 0 100 100 0 50 489
13 Merseyside ACF(1) 26 27 16 69 69 0 100 100 0 338
14 Bridlington CCF 35 27 16 78 0 100 100 0 50 328

Comments from the Organiser

As last year, fine weather for some, atrocious for others; rain, thunder and lightning deemed conditions unsafe for one station to operate for the whole period.  A couple of stations were unable to operate through the night for various reasons but came up again on Sunday morning.  And again, radio conditions varied considerably which made operating quite challenging, especially for the less experienced cadet; at one stage two nets were operating independently on the same frequency, yet neither interfered with the other.

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Reading School CCF with 1280 points (they were 5th in 2012 and 2nd in 2013); well done too to Essex ACF who came 2nd – 3 places up from last year; and Churchers College CCF moved up five places to finish in 3rd place.

Dollar Academy CCF was the sole representative from North of the Border; it was good to have them join us again and they have obviously mastered erecting effective antennas, as many of you claimed points from them and they were placed 5th.  It is interesting to note that their nearest station, Bridlington CCF was located 250 miles away!

Final scores are based on score sheets submitted.  Unfortunately two relatively high scoring teams failed to submit their claims.  Some stations may be disappointed that the scores they submitted were not recognised as such.  I was looking for ACCURACY and it is surprising how many messages did not satisfy cross-checking – many bore no resemblance whatsoever to the record in the distant station’s log – and in those cases neither station received credit.

My thanks gain to the net monitors who provided check logs, and in some cases visited stations;  your efforts were, as ever, greatly appreciated.

Some of your comments

Calday Grange GS CCF – We fielded a team of three cadets (2 RN and 1 RAF) with varying levels of signals experience. Dates coincided with the Army Section’s pre-camp training weekend allowing us to operate as Foxtrot form Nescliffe Camp. Erecting the 12m mast took less than an hour, despite having to use D10 as a makeshift lower guy. We opted for a 20m end-fed long wire and later added a 35m long wire which tuned better around 5MHz – we simply switched over when needed. It was head lamp and Cyalume for the overnight phase as our bunker had no lighting, manning the radio in 3 hr shifts and welcoming the early sunrise at 3am so we could actually see what we were doing. We finished early on Sunday due to deteriorating conditions.

There were two unusual occurrences – music on the net and a foul-mouthed intruder, but all those on frequency did the right thing and ignored them. This was our first signals contest and overall a good time was had by all, with the less experienced cadets reinforcing and building on their Radio User voice procedure and gaining some more technical knowledge. We will certainly be entering Christmas Cracker!

Clwydd & Gwynedd ACF – The competition was a good weekend for the cadets and it was their first NRN experience. We had a few Cadet Communicators and Cadet Signallers with the rest of the teams being CRUs. The weather for the weekend was perfect, being clear throughout and also the summer solstice so light for all but a few hours.   Both teams used PRC320s with ¾-wave end-fed antennas from either 8m or 12 m masts loaned from a local TA  unit (119 Rec Coy REME). This also provided a good opportunity to try out our new IBMS chargers. After a slightly slow start while cadets were learning what to do, both teams gained speed toward Saturday late afternoon. One station had a few technical difficulties overnight though, which meant they only managed to send a few messages, but our A Team had good comms throughout the night and were happy to exchange messages with teams from across the UK. Overall a good weekend for the cadets, all of whom now wish to take part in further NRN competitions.

Hants & IOW ACF – B Coy used the same location as last year, on the edge of a small hill tree line on Longmoor Training Area, Hampshire. Unlike last year, we had the RM Reserves carrying out training for their Potential Commandos, which meant there were interesting things going on around us day and night! We found conditions excellent throughout, with almost every frequency useable by day or night.  The station comprised of only one PRC320 radio, our spare (used for monitoring) was unfortunately not working but not a problem. Two antennas, both dipoles, were deployed, covering lower frequencies and upper frequencies, one suspended within the wood, the other exterior of the tree line. The station was housed in a 12 x 12 tent, with portable gas cooker to provide the brews when required. A generator was available to power our battery charger which again, like our spare 320, failed to function. This meant we had to be very frugal with battery power and on occasions did switch off the set to save power. Cadets were housed in pop-up tents, which proved quite entertaining watching them striking camp. The whole station was dismantled in half-an-hour: the pop-up tents took nearly two! Another thoroughly enjoyable event with many contacts made with old and new callsigns. Shame we couldn’t have run another station due to restrictions but we will try again next year. Our lack of battery recharging cost us this year. Thank you to other stations for participating.

Competition organiser – Maj(Retd) T Sugdon

Christmas Cracker – 2013

Competing Stations
Position Unit Name Scored
1 1213 (Andover) Sqn ATC 150
2 Churchers College CCF 127
3 Hants & IOW ACF, B Coy “A” 126
4 Maidstone Grammar School CCF 111
5 1003 (Leighton Buzzard) Sqn ATC 66
6 Essex ACF 63
7 Hants & IOW ACF, C Coy 57
8 1003 (Leighton Buzzard) Sqn ATC 53
9 Net Assistant – Cornwall 51
10 Sutton Valence School CCF 50
11 Humberside ACF 44
12 Net Monitor – Basingstoke 26
13 Net Monitor – CW 17
14 Net Assistant – Bournemouth 16
15 Warwick School CCF 14
16 1132 (Stalham) Sqn ATC 8
Active & No Log
Sir Roger Manwood’s School CCF
Dollar Academy CCF
Hampshire & IOW ACF, B Coy “B”

Comments from the Organiser

This years competition was the first to be marked electronically thanks to Lt S Fraser’s hard work. Thank you to those that managed to submit your logs online and we hope to expand the use of the portal in the following year. I expect the future competitions to follow suit as the NRN moves forward into the digital age! The table appears to be grouped into three distinct areas again but most people have moved up a position or two since last year.

The deadline for the results to be uploaded was similar to last year and each station was responsible for uploading their own log. Despite the messages taking the format LLNNLL, some serials were mistyped and were quite rightly marked as incorrect by the computer. Please do check your logs before submitting them as these simple errors can then be picked up and points retained. Logs should be able to be checked online using the username and password supplied to enable you to see where the errors have been made.

Timing throughout the competition was good as only 10 exchanges were disallowed as they fell out of the 5 minute grace period allowed between logs! Of those 10, the times varied from 6 minutes to 121 minutes between logs. We now just need to work on accurate recording of call signs and message content and scores will shoot up! Of the 1340 exchanges during the exercise, only 564 were marked as valid and 776 were marked as wrong. That means 58% of all the exchanges had an error and did not score any points! From the 3 active stations that had not submitted a log, there were 204 exchanges that lost points for the other stations and with scores so close each exchange makes a big difference!

Conditions appeared to be good in the early afternoon on Saturday and then in the early hours of Sunday morning. There was a lot of solar activity on Saturday evening which had a distinct effect on HF conditions which a few stations commented on.

Hopefully everyone learnt something from taking part in the competition and I hope next years competition will have a few more stations fighting for the now well contented top spot. As always, it is good to have ACF, CCF and ATC stations competing on a regular basis.

Congratulations to the winners, their first time at the top in Christmas Cracker. The results were read out at 1200 on Christmas Day and thanks to those who called in. Should any station require a Certificate of entry, they can be sent out on request.

Comments from Entrants

1213 (Andover) Sqn ATC – Six cadets took part but only 4 were available for the full 24 hours. Four had experience with previous CC, one with “Summer Whine” and one new to ACF competitions.  Enjoyed by all.

Churchers College CCF – Thanks for organising an excellent competition.  My word,  how good the conditions were in the middle of the night. They made up for a very slow start for my boys.  We only had a team of 3, so I had to do some logging myself at times.  2 of the 3 boys had only just gained their x flags and had not had any NRN competition experience.  Nevertheless, we all had a good time.

Hants & IOW ACF, B Coy “A” – Many thanks for organising the competition this year. Cadets performance on the air from all call signs was excellent. We only had a couple of periods when the cadets weren’t on a net. I think however they may need to revisit their primary school Alphabet lessons as some of the messages got out of shape. Logging again may be an issue, handwriting it leaves a lot to be desired! All in all an excellent event and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part.

Competition Organiser – Flt Lt A May

Summer Whine – 2013

Position

Unit

Run Total

Fd Stn
Bonus

Bonus point photos

Group

Station

Visitor

Score

1

Bridlington CCF

391

391

 –

25

50

857

2

Reading School CCF

349

349

25

25

50

798

3

Sir Roger Manwood’s School CCF

307

307

25

25

50

714

4

Hants & IOW ACF – B Coy

284

284

25

25

50

668

5

Essex ACF

281

281

25

25

50

662

6

Hants & IOW ACF

261

261

25

25

50

622

7

Maidstone GS

245

245

25

25

50

590

8

Dollar Academy CCF

231

231

25

25

50

562

9

Humberside ACF

224

224

25

25

50

548

10

Churchers College CCF

352

0

25

25

50

452

11

1213 Sqn ATC

92

92

25

25

50

284

12

Kg Ed VI GS CCF Louth

39

39

25

25

50

178

Comments from the Organiser

Fine weather for some, atrocious for others; rain, thunder and lightning deemed conditions unsafe for two stations to operate for the whole period. Conditions varied considerably and this made operating a real challenge.  At one stage I could hear two nets operating independently on the same frequency, yet neither interfered with the other.

What a delight to have Dollar Academy CCF with us again, waving the sole banner from North of the Border.  As you will see in the comments below, their nearest station was 230 miles away.

Congratulations to this year’s winner – Bridlington CCF with 857 points.  Reading School moved up the ladder 5 places from last year into 2nd place and  Sir Roger Manwood’s climbed five places to finish 3rd.  Hampshire & Isle of Wight and Essex ACF fought hard to gain positions 4, 5 and 6 with 668, 662 and 622 points respectively.

A special word of praise to Churcher’s College for a superb performance.  If only they had ventured ‘FOXTROT’, their score of 352 points would have doubled to 704 and their 100 photo bonus would have placed them 2nd  –  6 points ahead of Reading School CCF! Another steady performance from Humberside ACF, whom I was able to visit.  A net assistant visited 1213 Sqn ATC and was impressed with their set up.

Welcome to Exercise Summer Whine to King Edward VI GS CCF; it was good to have you on board and thank you to Warwick School who were able to participate for a short while.

Some stations may be disappointed that the scores they submitted were not recognised as such.  I was looking for ACCURACY and it is surprising how many messages did not cross check accurately.  Many messages bore no resemblance whatsoever to the record in the distant station’s log and in each case these messages were disallowed, meaning neither station was credited for the contact.

Some of your Comments

Mr G Collier – I visited Dollar on both days and they were in very good form. The setup was a 40m doublet with twisted wire feeder and running E-W, supported by 2x8m masts, Z-11Pro II auto ATU and using a 12×12 tent.  All in all, the perfect station.  Being 230 miles from the nearest cadets in Bridlington and 400 miles from the major activity south of the Watford Gap, one has to squeeze the last milliwatt out of the system. On the Sunday there was only a skeleton staff present, as all the rest of the contingent was at church. From reports at endex at 14.00, there were many tired but happy cadets who had enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. That’s what it’s all about.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight ACF – This year the Company put two teams into the competition although we were oversubscribed for the event and if we had enough equipment could have fielded another complete team. The level of expertise amongst the cadets ranged from those who had been to course at Blandford and some who had just passed their CRU; there was an even level of experience in each team. The teams operated from a hill feature on Longmoor training area in Hampshire, they operated from two 12×12 tents separated by a good 500m real estate to allow for antennas to be erected using trees as masts, both teams erected half wave and quarter wave dipoles, each team operating a PRC320 & PRC138. Lighting to the tents during the dark hours by using Clansman batteries to 24v Landrover lights.   The cadets thoroughly enjoyed the event, conditions were better than in past years and to have very good comms with Dollar Academy CCF in Scotland for the duration pleased them no end. Logging got a bit out of shape, one of the teams following the score sheet and only putting in received messages.

Competition organiser – Maj(Retd) T Sugdon