SS SSB Results--VY1JA (Long)

AA6KX at AA6KX at
Fri Nov 24 16:21:07 EST 1995

Sorry for the late report, but I just got back home Thursday night after a
4-day long drive back to
California from Whitehorse.  It was 2700 miles back home, half of it over
ice-covered roads.
Consequently, XYL & I are having our turkey day tonight (Friday) in deference
to SS.

The results:
Call:  VY1JA   (VY1JA + AA6KX)
Category:  Multi-op, High Power

 Band         # QSO’s
  160      of course not
   80              46
   40             132
   20            1089
   15              15
   10        didn't even try
TOTAL:  1282 x Sweep, score of 197,428.

What an adventure!  It's a long story, and I do plan on writing it up and
handing it off somebody
who wants to publish it.  I took loads of pictures and hope at least a few
turn out.

The story really starts with the drive up there.  As I said, it was 4 long
days worth of driving to
get to Whitehorse.  I had no idea it was so far.  Prince George is about the
half-way point, at
least in terms of drive time.  About 100 miles north of Prince George you hit
the snow...and the
ice.  It did take a while before I got the nerve to go careening down the
Alaska Highway at 65
mph when I couldn’t have stopped in less than a mile if I had to!  The drive
was made all the
more exciting by the wildlife I encountered along the way.  Several times I
very nearly acquired
a moose as a hood ornament.  I discovered that moose have about the same
intelligence level as Georgia chickens:  they stand right by the road and
look calm and collected
until you get right up on them, then panic and decide to dash accross the
road directly in front of
you.  I left town about 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and didn’t arrive at
VY1JA’s QTH until 2:30
p.m. Thursday.  Every day I drove until late at night and took almost no
breaks.  Lunch & dinner
were eaten straight from the can while driving.

When I got to Whitehorse, Jay was out in his ham shack furiously doing a
remodeling job on it.
The first thing he did was point to a big stack of scrap lumber and tell me I
could help by going
outside (!) and building us an operating table.  I did, and by late Tursday
we had all the
equipment connected.

Jay has a 80’ tower he built from pieces of 3 junked towers.  It’s quite a
contraption--it’s hinged at
the base, and he has a 40’ telephone pole next to it with a pulley at the top
that he uses to pull
the tower up with a winch.  At the top of the tower is a 4 element quad, on a
working rotator no
less, and the tower itself is/was used as a vertical for 40/80/160.  I
convinced Jay we needed to
put up a horizontal antenna for the low bands, so Friday we laid the tower
down on the ground
and attached a 200’ inverted “V” fed with ladder line.  I got a chance to try
that antenna out
Friday night, and it just played beautifully.  I was set for some serious
40/80 work during SS, so I

When the contest started Saturday, 20 was just screaming.  It took me a while
to retune my ears
to hear SSB, so the first hour started off kind of slowly.  But then what a
run!  Our first 4 hours
were 87, 121, 135, and 114.  I sat right on 14225 and just had a blast with
the biggest pile-up I’ve
had since ZF8.  I’ll admit I thought a few times about calling “up 5” and
having some fun with the
SSTV guys, but I resisted that little temptation.  But then the lights went
out--figuratively.  At
0047Z I finally heard one lonely station answer our CQ, and then nothing.  We
had finally
reached the bottom of that pile.  When we went to 40, things just crawled.
 Signals were loud and
clear coming into VY1, but it was certain we weren’t getting out very well at
all.  Then I walked
outside and looked into the northern sky and saw a full-blown aurora.  No
need to check WWV to
hear the K index--I could see it!  I didn’t quit that night until 00815Z, and
for all my hammering away on 40 and 80 I only got another 160 QSO’s in the 8
hours since we had left 20.  What was so frustrating about it was that we
could clearly hear all the signals coming up from the lower 48; they just
couldn’t hear us.  We even got to listen to KH6RS--the only mult we still
needed--talk about how
he still needed YU.  I must have called him for 20 minutes.

20 opened early on Sunday and we had a steady run all day on 20.  We went up
to 15 a few
times, but it just wasn’t producing as much for us as 20.  We eventually got
down to working the
Q stations and talking non-contesters through the exchange.  Sunday
afternoon, Jay took over
and held his own with a fairly sizable pile-up.  He was able to keep a rate
of 80+ going all
afternoon.  I was plugged in on a “Y” cable and spent the afternoon
kibbitzing while he struggled
to keep the pile-up under control.  We really worked well together as a team,
and I’m sure those
of you who remember last year’s fiasco could see the difference.  Somewhere
along the way
Sunday somebody told us where to find KH6RS up on 15.  We got the 20m pile-up
to stand by
for a minute, did a quick switch to 15 to complete the sweep, then came back
to 20 and
continued.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a grown man so happy as Jay was when
he finally got that
sweep--his first ever.  He said he’s going to build a special shelf in his
shack to hold the trophy
coffee cup.

For the record books, that 1282 x 77 we landed is far and away the highest
showing ever turned
in for SS from YU/NWT.  My study shows the previous record was set by a group
of NL7's on an
expedition who posted 930 x 76 in 1993.  Certainly our results were no win of
any kind, but that
was never my goal in going up there.  My intent was to make sure that for
once YU/NWT was as
easy to get as Ohio and also to give Jay some help so that he could handle
the pile-ups on his
own in future runnings.  After the contest, we went to 3830 and listened to
the scores come in.
At one point, we heard WB*L come on and give a high Q count but dejectedly
admit that he had
missed Yukon.  This was of some interest to us, because WB*L had suddenly
started CQing on
our 40m run frequency about 20 minutes before the end of the contest.  We
just couldn’t believe
somebody would try to steal our frequency BEFORE working us!  We stayed there
and dueled it
out with him the last 15 minutes, neither of us working much of anybody.
 Anyway, after he gave
his score on 3830 somebody else broke in and said, “Man, how could you miss
Yukon?  They
were EVERWHERE!”  Just hearing that comment was my own personal trophy--that
was the
goal.  Maybe we weren't quite as easy to get as Ohio--but not far from it.

My thanks to everybody who worked us.  It was just a fantastic experience
operating from the far
north and passing out the mult.  Jay Allen and his lovely wife Ann were
consummate hosts and
I’m sure I’ll treasure memories of this trip for years to come.

73...Bruce, AA6KX

>From kf7ay at (Warren Hill)  Fri Nov 24 23:56:04 1995
From: kf7ay at (Warren Hill) (Warren Hill)
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 16:56:04 -0700 (MST)
Subject: TY5A CQ WW CW Update
Message-ID: <v01510100acdba7cc1e28@[]>

>From Roger, G3SXW, 23 November:

"The TY5A team (K5VT, GM3YTS, N7BG, KC7V and G3SXW) all arrived safely in
Benin and have spent two days installing antennas.

With still 24 hours before the start of the contest only one beam is to be
completed. Vast expanses of beach provide much flexibility which we are
greatly enjoying. All five stations are installed with only one disaster:
the FT990 which is dead. But the five stations will still be available
thanks to TY1PS's generosity in loaning his FT1000.

While checking propagation we find several bands open to several areas at
any one time. It seems that big QSO volumes will be available in the
contest. We are especially excited about 160 and 80 metres where the Force
12 verticals are working extremely well.

Antenna work in the afternoons is hard, with temperature and humidity in
the nineties, but the excitement of operating from the African equator and
the chance of a second multi-multi contest win are high motivators.

See you in the pile-ups over the weekend. We will try to update the TY5A
home page ( when possible and will
post our claimed score as soon after the contest as possible.

73 de Roger/G3SXW"


                       KF7AY in Arizona
                         Warren Hill
                   e-mail: kf7ay at
       home page:


More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list