Category Archives: Summer Whine

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

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

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

Summer Whine – 2012

Competing Stations
Position Unit Name 1400-2359 0001-0659 0700-1400 Score
1 Bridlington School CCF 63 170 102 335
2 Essex ACF 50 115 80 245
3 Hampshire & IOW ACF 53 90 98 241
4 Sutton Valence School CCF 43 115 72 230
5 1213 Sqn ATC 38 80 64 182
6 Merseyside ACF 39 80 62 148
7 Reading School CCF 50 40 90 180
8 Sir Roger Manwood’s School CCF 36 50 62 148
9 Humberside ACF 21 78 42 141
10 Dyfed & Glamorgan ACF 22 55 40 117
11 Churchers College CCF 17 40 36 93
12 RAF Halton ATC 27 40 10 77
13 Dollar Academy CCF 10 25 30 65
Devon ACF Unplaced: Closed down for safety

Comments from the Organiser

Moving this exercise to the last weekend of June certainly proved more popular with entrants this year and the poor radio conditions didn’t dampen your enthusiasm. Bridlington School CCF were the clear winners by some 90 points, with only 15 points between 2nd (Essex ACF), 3rd (Hampshire & IOW ACF) and 4th (Sutton Valence School CCF). 1213 Sqn ATC, Merseyside ACF and Reading School CCF (in 5th, 6th and 7th respectively), were separated by just one point – and log sheets were cross checked and very closely scrutinised. Sir Roger Manwood’s School CCF put in their usual appearance and it was good to see Humberside ACF taking part again after an absence of several years.

Our ‘Western extremities’ were represented by Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF and what a pleasure it was to hear that lone voice from Dollar Academy CCF finally get off the starting blocks. (Early in the exercise, when the skip distance was relatively short, his signals reached Northern England only.) One ATC station submitted their log sheet from RAF Halton and Devon ACF took the very sensible decision to close down in view of extremely heavy lightning strikes.

The standard of log keeping showed a marked improvement and I commend, particularly, Hampshire & IOW ACF on their excellent presentation.

My thanks to Col(retd) Townend and Mr Wresdell for their most helpful and very detailed check logs.

Some of Your Comments

Essex ACF – This year’s competition was run by the County Signals Wing and supported by 10 cadets (4 girls & 6 boys). The team’s skill base ranged from Flaggies through to VHF and HF advanced signallers; we also had 3 of our “Rolling Thunders” on the team.

Cadets used our newly allocated County callsign for the first time and set up on Friday Woods PTA at Colchester. We operated out of a 10 x 10 tent and rigged a 4-antenna array. We had no generator for the night phase, so we were in “Cylume Order” during the graveyard watch. The weather was fine during the day, but at from 2200hrs to 0600hrs Sunday rain hammered down. The rain was followed by very strong winds – and at times we were hanging on to the tent for all we were worth, otherwise it would probably have ended up in Belgium! Conditions were good right up until 10.00hrs on Sunday and then things seemed to get difficult. The team totally enjoyed the competition and cannot wait for the next one.

Bridlington CCF – Bridlington CCF deployed to their field location at Bracey Bridge Farm, East Yorkshire for the exercise duration. The weather held off most of the time and never dampened the cadets’ willingness to participate fully in the competition. The whole weekend was a training success.

Devon ACF – At the weekend we were using a PRC320 and dipole set up. The young cadets with little experience in signalling, gained a great understanding of HF radioo experience in this exercise. Rain, wind and more rain. We had to close the net from 2359hrs to 0800hrs Sunday due to lightning. I praise the cadets and adults for their hard work and attitude over the weekend.

Competition organiser – Maj(Retd) T Sugdon

Summer Whine – 2011

Competing Stations
Position Unit Name Score
1 Reading School CCF 225
2 Bridlington School CCF 199
3 1003 Sqn (Leighton Buzzard) ATC 159
4 Sir Roger Manwoods School CCF 147
5 Dollar Academy CCF 133
6 Dyfed & Glamorgan ACF 130*
7 Essex ACF 109
8 Beds & Herts ACF, 1 Coy 83
9 1213 Sqn (Andover) ATC 30
Devon ACF 48
Devon ACF 48

Comments from the Organiser

Moving this exercise to the weekend before the May bank holiday (in an attempt to avoid half-term holidays, the major examination period, Armed Forces Day celebrations and end of term ‘thrashes’ did not prove popular). Several stations withdrew because the chosen dates fell across their exams work-up time and participation was well down on previous years. Next year we will revert to the post-exam period by returning to the end of June.

The 2011 competition was different from previous years in that a dedicated bank of frequencies was allocated to the overnight phase; contacts made on each earned stations 5 points and this accounts for some relatively high scores. On checking the overnight frequencies for LUF (Lowest Useable Frequency) and MUF (Maximum Useable Frequency) the software indicated that several would not work and I took the decision to open all frequencies over that period. This information was cascaded to all units by email; unfortunately this message did not reach Dyfed & Glamorgan ACF and their score has thus been adjusted to reflect this.

It was good to have Dollar Academy CCF join us again after a notable absence. Fifteen stations submitted logs. I am grateful to all the adult stations for their contributions, which certainly kept traffic moving. 1213 Sqn could only take part for a short time (see below) but their contribution was appreciated. Two stations (Devon ACF) exchanged messages only with each other – to the exclusion of all other stations – and are therefore recorded as Unplaced.

Voice procedure, as expected, improved as the exercise developed – but Oh what a shambles we had at times. Far too commonplace was heard: “List of Stations on Net . . . . . . with this station in Control” – and then ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! You must be an experienced operator to control a net – and there is only one qualification for this: practice, Practice and PRACTICE. Do use your radio sets regularly.

The aim of the exercise was to exchange messages comprising a four-letter group followed by the time. Whilst checking logsheets (a time-consuming task!) a number of inaccuracies were noted (eg: M became N, and B became P) and points have been deducted accordingly. Many stations submitted PC generated logs. Reading School CCF (having been ‘named and shamed’ in last year’s results for poor presentation) produced legible, easy to read logsheets. Bridlington School CCF gained my “Drunken Spider Award” for illegibility and incurred a 50 point penalty, which alone forced them into second place. One adult station as usual, used a photocopier to enlarge his log sheet templates and managed easily to fit in all details.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for taking part so enthusiastically.

Some of Your Comments

1213 Sqn (Andover), ATC – We were only able to be part-timers as there were insufficient cadets to attempt a 24-hour exercise. Conditions were not too good at the start but improved after 1600 until we closed at 19030 hrs. The two operators enjoyed the exercise and it was unfortunate that they had family commitments and could not have stayed longer. No operators were available for Sunday as it was our Wing Athletics Day.

Competition organiser – Maj(Retd) T Sugdon