If you worked VY1AAA in Yukon Territory (Northern Territories or NT Section) during Field Day 2015 or Canada Day, the operator was actually in the US. VY1AAA is a Canadian club station call sign for the station of J Allen, VY1JA, near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Gerry Hull, W1VE, was among those operating VY1AAA remotely from the K1B Field Day site of the Contoocook Valley Radio Club (CVRC) in New Hampshire. The operation was part of a project to provide remote control capability for VY1JA, and Hull said the point of the VY1AAA call sign was not to burden Allen with QSL chores. He said he’s been using Logbook of The World (LoTW) but will have some QSL cards printed too. He added that he’s already received “a ton” of requests as a result of the Field Day and Canada Day operations.
“We are up and running with the Ten-Tec Omni VII,” Hull told ARRL. “The antennas are still something in the works. He currently has two ground planes mounted on power poles. We use the 40 meter antenna on 40, 15, and 10 and the 80 meter vertical on 20 via a high-power tuner. This gives us 80-10 meter coverage.” The project is looking into additional equipment.
Hull, who worked at ARRL HQ as a technical editor in the early 1980s under Doug DeMaw, W1FB, said Allen is hoping to install a new antenna — possibly a V beam or a rhombic — using recycled utility poles for supports. “J also has a 105 foot tower and a quad to get back up,” he added.
Allen, who has been in the utility business for years, will be retiring and will have more time for station development, Hull said.
Meanwhile, Andy McLellan, VE9DX, has been working on getting WSJT, PSK31, and RTTY modes up and running. Hull said he doesn’t think there’s been much digital mode activity from Yukon Territory for some time now.
“We are working out kinks, but, so far, so good,” Hull concluded. The group that has been working with VY1JA to remotely control his station, mainly for contests, is using TeamViewer for display, and Skype for audio.
On Canada Day, July 1, VE9DX in New Brunswick, VE4EA in Winnipeg, and Hull — who also holds a Canadian call sign — operated VY1AAA multi-single for a claimed score of 53,000 points. “Not huge, but a lot of ops were excited to get the multiplier,” Hull said. “We worked all Canadian provinces and territories except Labrador. VE9DX also made a few dozen contacts in the IARU HF World Championship event, and he did some work to get WSJT digital mode operational.
A video of the CVRC Field Day operation includes some VY1AAA contacts.