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Welcome Back To Contesting

from SM0JHF on October 16, 2005
View comments about this article!

Welcome back to contesting Waldemar, SM0TQX

It is always fun to see old friends back on the air. Contests give excellent opportunities for meeting many old friends in short time. It is slightly annoying and confusing with all these new short callsigns, contest expeditions and “special event stations”. It takes long time to associate names and faces with new callsigns - sometimes you exchange numbers with someone you despise and sometimes you miss a good friend disguised with some odd callsign.

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Waldemar , SM0TQX at OH0JFP in Åland Islands a few minutes after the SAC SSB 2005

Waldemar, SM0TQX, whom I have known for more than 35 years, surprised me on the last weekend of September 2005 when he out of a sudden appeared on 20 meters in the Scandinavian Activity Contest from Åland Islands as OH0JFP. I have known Sture, OH0JFP for a few years and I knew that he was only interested in VHF and UHF regional weekly contests, known as NAC - Nordic Activity Contest.

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The weekend of SAC SSB 2005 was very foggy in Ãland Islands. Right - the rotary tower with VHF antennas and a 3-element tribander that Waldemar SM0TQX on 20 meters from OH0JFP's station.

Later, I was given a good explanation from both of them: Waldemar, SM0TQX has been off the air for a few years and Sture, OH0JFP is leaning toward shortwaves now and wanted to get a demonstration of an easy-going HF competition of world-wide scope.

The point of this story is that we should co-operate more with each other. There are many great and well-equipped stations, there are many stations with good location, there are many Amateur Radio operators who have contesting experience and many who would like to get into it but don't have a tutor.

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Waldemar, SM0TQX (right) dining with (from left) Jim, N6TJ; Jim, W6YA; Oliver, W6NV at Visalia International DX Convention in California, year 2000.

Sture, OH0JFP has built an impressive contesting station out of town in five years. His station is competitive only on VHF and UHF, but he has a few HF antennas as well. I am sure there will be more of this stuff next year.

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Sture, OH0JFP putting the final touch on his 4x10 element Yagi array for 50 MHz in August 2005

I met Waldemar in 1969 when we both lived in Warszawa, Poland. He was the chairman of the Warsaw Radio Club and was looking for operators for this club. At that time I was not really interested in Amateur Radio anymore, my licence had been revoked and I was considered an “enemy of the socialistic republic of Poland” according to the chief of the PZK organisation. Waldemar, who at that time held the callsign SP5DZJ, managed to convince me to join the club, which became the most active and the most successful one in the country in the first part of 1970's chiefly because of his determination and energy. Eventually, Waldemar lost his licence as well, for doing too much and too well.

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Front: Waldemar, then SP5DZJ in the radio room of Warsaw Radio Club, sometime in 1973.

A few years later I managed to leave the country and quite accidentally settled in Sweden. Waldemar came here in 1981 and stayed in Sweden because of martial law in Poland, but it took almost 10 years before I managed to talk him into getting a licence and joining a radio club near Stockholm that I was a member of. He became SM0TQX but never used this callsign, always prefering the club's callsign. During a few years in the second half of the 1990's we built a number of large Quad antennas for 40,20,15 and 10 meter bands at this club. However, in the year 2001 Waldemar, SM0TQX terminated his engagement in this club when some members openly complained about “the Polish mafia controlling the club and repelling pure-Swedish hams”. We were 2 Poles, approximately 5 % of the total membership, never held any seat on the board, but most likely we did too much work there and too well.

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Waldemar, SM0TQX at the controls of the club station near Stockholm in December 2000

He went QRT and got fully engaged in the family business. I've kept trying to get his Amateur Radio interest alive but failed.

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Waldemar, SM0TQX trying to shake off the ice from the 7-element 15-meter Quad of his own design near Stockholm

Now that Waldemar got in touch with Sture, OH0JFP who is like-minded - serious, hard-working and purposeful - I am sure there will be more and better contest activity from OH0JFP in the future. His first attempt during the Scandinavian Activity Contest on 14 MHz SSB Single Operator netted over 1000 QSO's which is not bad at all.

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Sture, OH0JFP (right) while Waldemar, SM0TQX looks at the tower with no antenna on it .

Sture, OH0JFP welcomes visitors, in particular those who can contribute to the development of Amateur Radio activities in his home area - Åland Islands. Please check his website for more details and information.

Text and photographs

© Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF

October 17, 2005

Member Comments: Add A Comment
Welcome Back To Contesting Reply
by M0AXP on October 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There's nothing like amateur radio for making friends, keeping them and finding old ones. Henryk's article is a good example of this and it contains more than a hint of how amateur radio can help us to cross political boundaries. It also hits me that whatever we do in our lives, it takes a proactive attitude to keep the flame burning and we should not let ourselves be bullied by jealous minds. Great photos, Henryk.
Welcome Back To Contesting Reply
by ve4mm on November 21, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
He looks much better now in his older age. He aged well.
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