After a couple of excursions to Jersey for 50MHz and IOTA it was back to the home turf for this year's SSB FD. The usual site near Bath became our home for the weekend and with generally good weather and an experienced build team the station was set up and taken down in record time. This was particularly true of the take down where we had everything de-constructed, packed and back at the storage location within 3.75 hours. 5 minutes later we were in the pub for a celebratory drink. No burst tyres this time either!
Two of our trailer towers hosted the usual range of beams and dipoles and a couple of verticals were thrown in for good measure to give us a selection of antennas and polarisation on each of the 5 bands. In fact the configuration was the same as the IOTA run station earlier in the year. Propagation on the high bands wasn't quite as good as Friday nights conditions (21 MHz open well after midnight) might have suggested and we had a bit of a slow start but things got better so there was plenty to keep us busy throughout the 24 hours.
We had plenty of food and drink on site. Our caravan (also known as event control) has a fridge and microwave oven built in and we supplemented those with gas stoves, tea and coffee in the awning to keep everyone well fed. The local fare was topped up by the traditional run to the local fish and chip shop on Saturday night.
The log doesn't show a great deal of rare DX but we had good general coverage of planet earth. Pick of the bunch was definitely Macquarie Island; as one of the usual VKs chipped in just after we worked VK0, "you don't get one of those every day!". 14MHz was (as ever) the bread and butter band with over 1000 QSOs and around a third of the mults. We also gave 7MHz more attention than usual with over 500 Qs. 21MHz came and went and although open quite often didn't deliver too many good runs so a fair amount of S&P here. 3.5 MHz delivered the highest average points per QSO with good runs of EU portables overnight. 28MHz never really got going and only delivered a few QSOs, mainly S&P. Those of you who heard us on Sunday morning will have heard us hit the magic 2000 QSOs but sadly there were quite a few dupes so the final tally has us missing that mark by a small amount.
So how did we do? Post dupe QSO count was 1991 and with 189 mults gives us a raw score of just over 1.3 million. Thanks to all for the QSOs and keeping us gainfully employed.