Interesting report. It was good to work you during the last V/S period. I have been on that mode for years, as well as L/S, but you quickly get your WAS, Worked All Stations. Glad to see that the number is expanding.
I came across a G3RUH 60 cm dish with a circularly polarized patch antenna. It was originally used for AO-40, and so it is superb on AO-51. I have an SSB LNA mounted directly at the feed, and use some old RF-213 to feed the signal about 65' to the converter in the shack. There is plenty of gain, and using hard line is unneeded. In fact, I have a variable attenuator to balance the gain properly. Works fine, horizon to horizon. In fact, I see more distinct limitations when using the mode-L uplink.