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
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
Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF