In March 2000, Ron K5DJ invited me to operate the BARTG Spring HF
RTTY Contest from the W5KFT Ranch in central Texas. We had operated
this contest as mult-multi in 1997 and had set a new world record with
1,893,546 points. However, in 1999, the team of LY8X broke that record
by scoring 2,021,760 pts. So Ron and I set out to retake the record using
the callsign AA5AU.
Conditions were unbelievable. 10M was in excellent shape allowing us to
work JA longpath and EU at the same time in the early morning. The band
stayed open late into the evening. 15M was the best I’d ever seen it. The
band stayed open to EU all night. 20M was also open 24 hours. 40M wasn’t
bad, but 80M was extremely noisy and nearly unusable.
Using two complete stations, side by side, and the awesome antenna farm
at the W5KFT Ranch, we broke the record in just over 24 hours. As the
2nd day wore on, we kept changing our goals. First we went for 2.5M, then
3.0M, then 3.5M and finally, although nearly impossible to obtain, we set
our sights on 4M points.
What started out as a leisure operation, turned into a grueling, all-out
gut wrenching performance that left us both completely drained at the end.
With less than 15 minutes to go before the end of the contest, we finally
reached 4M points. A big thanks goes out to Ron and to Bryan, W5KFT,
for allowing us to use his station. It was a memorable experience I’ll
never forget. Our final, now official score, is 4,009,824 pts.