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SP5ZCC also known as SN5Z

from SM0JHF on March 26, 2008
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SP5ZCC Radio Club

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The site of SP5ZCC Radio Club in Sulejowek near Warszawa, Poland

This is an exceptional radio club. More than 15 percent of the members are females. The club station is well equipped and regularly on the air. Its members will travel to participate in contests from superstations and go on DXpeditions. This club has an unorthodox scheme for increasing the number of its members. They have frequent social gatherings and often entertaint visitors from far away, just like me. I have visited the club a few times, the first time I think it was 5 years ago.

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Maciek, SQ6MS is a member of the club in spite of living in another town

But the history of the club goes back to the end of the 70's. Two teenagers went to a summer scout camp and saw an Amateur Radio station in action. Back home, they approached the principal of the school they were attending in a small residential town of Sulejowek near Warszawa in Poland. “We want a radio club in our school” - they repeated it enough many times to finally get a permission, and later an honest, openhearted support from the school principal. In April 1980 the initial club meeting took place. Tomek, SP5UAF, who has been the backbone of the club for the past 20 years or so, attended the meeting in spite of being only 11 years old then. Six years later, in february 1986, the licence and the call sign SP5ZCC were finally issued. Amateur Radio service was suspended for most of SP hams in early 80's due to martial law.

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Tomek, SP5UAF in the center with SP5ZCC club members during the SPDXClub meeting. He is now the president of the national DX association.

A new call sign was granted to the club in 2002 for contesting purposes - viz. SN5Z. But a whole series of other call signs have been aired by the ZCC-gang in recent years. Some of these were used from other places and even from other countries. Chris, SP7GIQ a.k.a. SN7Q, has been hosting different groups of club members since 2001 for RTTY competitions. Roman, SP6RZ, holds frequent contest multi-op stints with participants from this club - the call signs used there are SQ6Z and SN6Z.

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Visitors at SP5ZCC - Tomek, SP5UAF, in black, talks with Tomasz, SP6T who is the SN0HQ co- ordinators, between them stands Bogdan, SP5WA a.k.a. 5N3CPR.

The list of calls activated in different contests and so called special-event commemorations is not complete but here are some of them: 3Z0WPX, 3Z7TTY, SN70SUL, SN0SUL, SN70M, SO7Z, SP0DXC, SP0ZCC, SP2000S, SN25ZCC, SN0HQ.

One of the club members, whom I have never met, is Robert, SP5XVY. He patronizes the club, leads the local PZK branch, supports the SN0HQ team and at least once a year goes on a major DXpedition. I think he is on his way to Ducie Island, VP6 at the time of writing this story (January 2008).

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Donata, SP5HNK visiting the site of OH0Z in Aland Islands

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At SP7GIQ's contest site - from left Chris,SP7GIQ - Norbert, SP5HGB - Tomek, SP5UAF

I have met other club members in different locations apart from, of course, the spacious and tastefully decorated club room. The feminine presence is strikingly visible here.

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Wojtek, SP5ULC is now M0ULC in London most of the time. He helped to arrange the club DXpedition to Guernsey Islands a few years ago.

Amateur Radio clubs that are both active on the air and hold social meetings are rare these days. The SP5ZCC club website is one of the best in its category that I have seen for years (www.sp5zcc.net). And if you happen to be in Warszawa, Poland try to visit this club - you will be welcome.

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Some of the contest trophies earned by the members of the SP5ZCC club

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The plaque at the entrance to the lyceum school in Sulejowek

(lyceum is a school of secondary education - roughly equivalent of American high school)

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Donata, SP5HNK has a housewifely relation to the club

The future of the club seems bright. YL Donata, SP5HNK, has a natural solution on increasing the number of club member. Here is her write-up:

Alternative way to bring the new members to your radioclub

Most of the hams in Poland (and probably outside Poland as well) ask the questions how to bring new people to the ham radio hobby, how to bring new members to the radioclubs. There are many options - lectures and demonstrations at schools, stands during the town or city festicals, demonstrating ham radio amongst other activities of the local society, leaflets, webpages, magazines, cooperation with scouts and other groups… but there's another option, introduced by SP5ZCC radioclub. Let's start from the beginning.

In 1979 two students of a high school in Sulejowek (KO02PF) met the amateur radio station operators during a scout summer camp. It was enough to get interested in that hobby. Thanks to the principal of the high school, they could form their own radioclub in one of the school rooms.

On 13th April 1980 the first meeting of the club team took place. However, it wasn't the day of the first activity on the bands. The team had to wait until 18th February 1986, due to the state of war declared in Poland in 1981 and its consequences for the ham radio.

The first band used was 80m, later on a multiband transceiver appeared, as well as more and more high school students attracted by the mysterious noises, strange constructions on the roof and an unique atmosphere of the radioshack. The students brought their girlfriends, boyfriends, brothers or sisters… The club had over 40 members, which was a good score in a town like Sulejowek, having 15000 inhabitants now and even less 20 years ago.

The main activity of the club was - and still is - contesting. The club is known for its RTTY achievements, not only in Poland or Europe, but also worldwide. Also for the LF experiments (the first QSO with a foreign station from SP) and a friendly atmosphere. Their guests usually come back.

However, those high school kids grew up and started to think about a serious life. Last four years were the years of stag parties and weddings… and the radioshack became empty and quiet for some time.

It showed up that they have to think seriously about the new members, able to keep it running. The club helped in organization of a stay on a ham camp for six kids from secondary and high schools in Sulejowek. Some of them got the licenses. The cooperation with local scouts is also developing.

Here we go back to the alternative option. At least three babies are expected in the first half of 2008 from the club couples. In one of the cases both parents are licensed hams… so the future is rather clear.

Donata, SP5HNK

December 2007

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Tomek, SP5UAF, recently married, holds talks on how to increase the number of members the natural way

Text and photographs

Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF

©2008


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