[3830] CQ160 CW VO2AC Multi-Op HP

webform@b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Tue Jan 31 19:55:36 EST 2006

                    CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW

Call: VO2AC
Operator(s): VE3FU / VO2AC,  VO1AU / VO2AAA
Station: VO2AC

Class: Multi-Op HP
QTH: Point Amour, Labrado
Operating Time (hrs): 

Total:  QSOs = 1523  State/Prov = 59  Countries = 70  Total Score = 1,479,372



Club: Contest Club Ontario and East Coast Canada Contest Club

2 x TS-950SD
1 x TL-922
1 x Sloping Vertical
1 x Inverted Vee (never used)
1 x Reversible Beverage

No packet, no phased arrays, no multitude of Beverages, and no heat (on the
first night).  Just two eager and dedicated operators, simple antennas, a great
location, a sought after multiplier, and a LOT of wind.


We arrived separately on the South East coast of Labrador on Wednesday, and met
up Thursday morning. We went out to Point Amour to start setting up. The road
was clear, so we could drive right up to the fence, but the yard was too full of
ice and snow for us to drive any further.

We started setting up in the fog alarm building, where there was electricity and
heat. We got the two TX antennas (vertical with three radials and inverted vee)
up easily and quickly. The winds picked up as the day wore on.

Friday, the winds were screaming strong and they stayed that way 'til Saturday
night. At times, when trying to set up the Beverage, it was all we could do to
remain standing.  We managed to get the Beverage strung out and radials at one
end (good luck trying to drive a ground rod up there at this time of the year!)
before we came to our senses and got out of the weather.  With a lack of
supports, the  wind, not us, decided which way the Beverage wire would go.  The
wind, coupled with temperatures in the -5º to -10ºC range, wore us out
and made us very cold.

Afterwards, several long-term residents told us they had never seen such winds,
and never for such a long period.  At Brador QC, about 50km west of us, they
were clocked at 190km/h!  They couldn't have been much less than that at Point

Because of the wind, we lost power at Point Amour on Friday morning. As the hour
for the start of the contest approached, we were getting more nervous. We
eventually learned that NL Hydro had given up on fixing the line 'til Saturday,
so we rented a generator in L'Anse au Loup.

So, with that generator, we had enough power to power the rigs, amp and
computers, but not the heater, so we began the contest with full power, full
logging, but no heat. We resolved to operate until the generator ran out of gas,
and that took us to 0745Z (4:15am local) Saturday morning. Being worn down by
wind and cold, the generator cutting out was welcome, even though the first
night's runs were very good.

At 1430Z (11am local) Saturday, the power came back on (NL Hydro replaced three
insulators), so we returned the generator, even though the winds remained
very high.

At about 1730Z (2pm local), we were ready to go back at it, and Europeans were
audible.  They were actually workable shortly after, and the second night got
off to a great start. We carried on 'til well after sunrise, all the while
thinking we were in catch-up mode, with frayed nerves. Our score at that point
would have beaten last year's 3rd place WW Multi-op score, so we were pretty

Late during that second night, the winds went from screaming strong to just
about calm in a matter of a few minutes. It was eerie.

At times, the band sounded like 20m.  We were able to record most of the QSOs
from the second night.  We worked all States except Idaho (never heard one,
despite intensive searching on the second rig) and all provinces except VY1,
VE8, and VY0.  There were only two multipliers that we heard but were unable to
work: ZL6QH and V51AS.  One of them (I don't remember which one) copied "O2A"
before starting another CQ.

We lost about five hours of good operating time due to the storm + power failure
+ cold and had no packet assistance.

See http://www.qsl.net/ve3fu for a few pictures (in a couple of days).  We hope
to have a more detailed description of our trip on the web page in the next
couple of weeks.

Thanks for all the QSO's!  Despite the wind and loss of power, we had a great


Chris VE3FU / VO2AC

(Who knows, we may be back again next year to see if we can work Idaho to
complete WAS :=)

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