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