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Slovak Contest Group

from SM0JHF on October 7, 2013
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Slovak Contest Group OM8A

The last weekend of September 2013 in Slovakia was perfect. High pressure, sunshine, no wind at all. For a while I thought that the Slovak Contest Group could actually control the weather because a couple of weeks earlier they had booked this weekend for working on their antennafield. I passed Slovakia several days earlier going south and it was raining all day, so I did not stop there. On my way back north, the clouds were heavy over Slovenia, the sky slowly cleared over Hungary and it was cloudless in Slovakia. It was my third attemp to see this impressive installation. I visited Slovakia first time in July 2010, but almost all members of the group were then in Moscow, having fun at the WRTC2010

The contest site of The Slovak Contest Group is in the very south of the country, very close to Hungary and the Danube river. Slovakia is basically mountainous, but the OM8A station is located on a farm in the flat part of the country. Presently there are 16 antenna towers on the site. I counted the antenna elements for HF bands, but stopped when I approached one hundred. On VHF/UHF there are at least twice as many antenna elements up in the air. Details can be found on their web at www.om8a.org

View of OM8A site from the North. Center - the 50-meter tower with the 75-meter antenna down for maintenance before the contest season.

 

Tall towers, thick coax cables and strong men at work. Most of the OM8A gang . From left: Julo, OM7JG, Tibor, OM3RM, Rasto, OM3BH, Milan, OM5KM, Palo, OM5CM, Jozef, OM3GI.

 

The OM8A antennafield as seen from the West.

 

Repairing feedlines, replacing stolen cables. Rasto, OM3BH, Tibor, OM3RM, Jozef, OM3GI.

 

Julo, OM7JG, working with cables that are now suspended above the ground, hopefully out of reach for local thieves.

 

Palo, OM5CM, untangling the feedlines and control cables.

 

Rasto, OM3BH, under the 75-meter 2-element Yagi antenna at the bottom of the 50-meter tower.

 

Milan, OM5KM, is mainly interested in VHF but eagerly helps with all antennas.

 

A relay box switching the coils for CW operation on 3,5 MHz of the 2-element Yagi.

 

Some of the trophies and plaques of OM8A.

 

Laci, OM2VL, at one of the operating positions of OM8A keeps the station on the air even when most of the group members are out in the field.

 

The group moved to this location in 2002 and 10 years ago took part in the first contest from this QTH. Members of the club live in different parts of Slovakia. Jozef, OM3GI lives in Poprad in the north, close to Poland. Tibor, OM3RM has his home east of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The two run the OM Power company, manufacturing well-known power amplifiers. Laci, OM2VL lives between the OM8A site and Bratislava. Rasto, OM3BH has lived all his life in the north-western part of Slovakia near Zilina, close to Czech Republic. Julo, OM7JG lives east of OM8A. Palo, OM5CM and Milan, OM5KM are from Nitra area, north of the site. Every member has to travel tens or even hundreds of kilometers to reach this place. At least five members of the SCG took part in WRTC2010, and most likely some will travel to Boston for WRTC2014.

Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF

 


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