Summer Whine – 2014

Pos Unit Ph1 Ph2 Ph3 Run
Fd Stn
Photos bonus Final
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