WRTC2014 Profile - The Slovak Contest Group
The Slovak Republic landlocked in Central Europe. The location of the OM8A station and the members of the group.
This is a very unusual case when a small contest club in a small country is represented in the WRTC competition by four members second time in a row. Slovakia is small and not so populous, but in certain fields it is called The Tatra Tiger. Now, I can reveal that this nickname is suitable even in the world of Amateur Radio contesting.
The group consists of ten persons scattered over half of the country, so it is not a local club, but rather a selected elite. Sometimes the OM8A team is refered to as creme de la creme of Slovak contesting. The location of the station is marked with a red star in the very bottom of the map, close to the Danube. This place was chosen by Tibi, OM3RM, ten years ago and the group was formally registered as OM8A. It has been very hectic ten years. At least sixteen antenna towers have been erected on site, hundreds of antenna elements mounted on these towers, miles of feedlines installed, a house constructed, hundreds of thousand contest contacts logged, just to name a few essential things . In the meantime, part of the OM8A team started a manufacturing business known as OM-Power, some members have guest operated from other stations (e.g. CR3L and D4C).
Those going to WRTC2014 are: Tibi, OM3RM, now 58 years old and the manager of OM-Power. He lives halfway between the OM8A and the capital city Bratislava. Close to him lives the youngest of the four Slovak competitiors in the WRTC2014, Laci, OM2VL. Laci is 44 years old. The two will compete as a team.
The second team from Slovakia is formed by Rasto, OM3BH, who lives in north-western part of the country and is 46 years old. His teammate is Jozo, OM3GI, who lives in the northern, mountainous part of Slovakia. Jozo is 54 years old and is the chief engineer of OM-Power. It will be the third time the two take part in WRTC as a team.
The call signs of the above are marked in purple on the map. Other members of the OM8A group are marked with blue. The tenth member lives in Austria, not marked on the map.
Let the photographs talk now. When I visited the site of The Slovak Contest Group last September, they were working on the antennas and feedlines. So I could not take typical pictures of operators at the radios. Except of one - Laci, OM2VL, could not resist and took part in a North American QSO Party while the rest of the workforce enjoyed working in the open air.
The large antenna field of OM8A.
Wide angle lens is not wide enough to cover all antenna towers of OM8A.
Part of the workforce at OM8A dealing with feedlines.
Tibi, OM3RM, on the right, shows the steps of a local folk dance? Jozo. OM3GI, is sitting while Rasto, OM3BH, tries to learn the dance.
The tower density figure here is the highest in this part of the world.
Jozo, OM3GI, normally works with OM-Power amplifiers so this picnic-style job is a nice break.
75% of the OM8A representation in WRTC2014 handle feedlines.
Another wide-angle view of the OM8A antenna farm.
Rasto, OM3BH, at the base of the 50-meter-high tower with part of the 80-meter-band Yagi visible over his head.
OM3BH, OM3RM and OM3GI.
Julo, OM7JG, was a referee at the WRTC2010.
Laci, OM2VL, at one of the OM8A operating positions combines computer logging with manual telegraphy.
Only part of the recent trophies of the OM8A Slovak Contest Group.
I say "farewell" to OM8A, but hope to visit this place again.
text and photographs
Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF