I enjoyed my first BERU as a Canadian ham… though I’ve been licensed over 35 years in Canada! Thanks for the rule change, I operated VY1AAA in Whitehorse and VE4EA in Winnipeg, alternating between the two stations, remotely from my home QTH in Hancock, NH
Why two stations? I had not initially planned this. Cary, VE4EA, spends the majority of the winter in Palm Springs, CA. However, the early morning of the contest (2am Pacific), the had an underground power line explosion, and Cary had no power for almost all the 24 hours of BERU. I knew that not many VE4 stations would be on, so I decided what time I had splitting time between the two stations.
What might be amazing to mary — propagation from Yukon can be much better from Winnipeg — if, and only if, geomagnetic disturbances remain low. Well, as luck may have it, propagation was actually very good.
I awoke at 5am New England time to get on from VY1AAA on 80m. The station is a full-size 1/4-wave ground plane, with the base at 20m high, and 500w. I called CQ for a while. Finding nothing, it was on to S&P. V31GX was in the log with one call!
This was followed by VK6LW, but then a long period of nothingness other than a booming VE3EJ. The first hour produced just five QSOs!! (I’m glad I’m a VHF contester as well as can deal with very low rates!) At 11z, both 80 and 40 can produce good contacts, so I QSYed to 40… VK4CT was booming, followed by ZL1IF, ZL3AL and ZL3AB… followed by much of nothing other than some stalwarts from VE3.
I did not return to VY1AAA until 1200z, where I enjoyed quite a nice run to the United Kingdom — with rates up to about 150 at times. Very strong signals. It was nice to work Europe without the competition of a huge, inpatient pile calling me.
Nothing heard from India. Late Saturday on 20, picked up a 9M6… who had no idea what BERU was! Good enough chap that he gave me a serial number.
Some amazing signals during this one! During the late afternoon Pacific time, I heard a very, very strong signal trouncing the K3 — something very hard to do. I thought it was VY1KX operating as VY1RAC. No — it was VE5MX! He was actually pinning the s-meter on the K3 — something I had never seen.
For those who don’t know, VY1AAA is at the home of J Allan, VY1JA. J is a retired Electrical Engineer from the Yukon Power Generation system. He had been the go-to op for CW in the Yukon. J has some medical issues, and therefore cannot be on for contests. He LOVES building the station and maintaining everything. We hooked up three years ago and became fast friends, On 20-10 including WARC, the antenna is a 4-element Cubical Quad up 18 meters. On 40, it a pair of phased ground planes. On 160, it’s a Double-L with the vertical component about 20 meters. He is working on Beverages.
Cary’s station in Winnipeg is on a postage stamp lot — but includes K3, 500w amp a 40-10m Yagi at 18 meters, an Inverted-Vee for 80, and a Double-L on 160. Conditions from VE4 were not quite as good.. .I struggled to work Africa on 40m, but we made it. No India and nothing from the Pacific. The Saturday afternoon run was very nice to the UK on 40m. I was very surprised at how good it actually was. I hope I was there for you from VE4, and sorry if we did not work.
Again, I ran this “Dual Remote” not out of choice. I wanted both locations to be on for the contest. I hope the committee understands.
Thanks for all the QSOs! I hope to be on from VY1 for the entire contest duration next time.
Gerry Hull, VE1RM
Also: W1VE, VY2CDX, VO1CDX, VE9XDX, VE3AII, VE4CDX among others
Hancock, NH USA