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LY4A  – The Big Gun of Lithuania

I have visited Lithuania a few times and every time I was impressed by the huge antennas and the enthusiasm for Amateur Radio contesting among the hams of this very small country. Until recently, the largest antenna farm in Lithuania, that I have seen, was at the Kaunas Technical University club LY7A. However, this station has been now dismantled. This summer, right after the 2018 Lithuanian Hamfest, I had an opportunity to see another large installation, near the town of Siauliai. It is built and owned by Rolandas, LY4A.

Lithuania gained independence 100 years ago, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union after the WW II. There were many active radio clubs at this time, affiliated with educational institutions and, sometimes, with factories. Rolandas, LY4A, was introduced to Amateur Radio in 1983 when he was 11 years old by a teacher at his school. There was a radio club at the local factory, the call sign was UP1BYK. Soon, having gained experience at the club, he passed the test and was given the call sign UP2BFY in 1984 when he was 12. Eventually he advanced to be the chief operator of the club station, which changed the call sign to LY1YK. Rolandas, who became LY2FY, spent much time building large antennas and drew in more members.

The present location of LY4A was chosen in 2015. Within a few months, with help from some friends, Rolandas erected 5 large towers and installed most of the present antennas. Large Yagi arrays for 80 and 40 meter bands were put in place during 2016.

Lithuania LY4A Antenna farm

View of the LY4A antenna farm in July 2018.

Lithuania LY4A K1CC SQ4LP K1VR W1UE SP4Z

Some visitors at this countryside outpost. From left: Rolandas, LY4A, in green shirt and hat, explains some secrets of the control system - Rich, K1CC - Piotr, SQ4LP - Fred, K1VR - Dennis, W1UE - Wes, SP4Z.

Lithuania LY4A Antennas Another View

Another view of the antennas with an old wooden farmhouse in the center.

Lithuania LY4A Old House

Old house, a well and a defunct barn, in contrast with huge antennas.

Lithuania LY4A Cameras

The upper cameras are pointing upwards and are used to watch the antennas and monitor their rotation and actual direction. It works even night-time.

LY4A Lithuania Multi Band Antennas

The multi-band antenna is used for monitoring the bands and for short haul propagation.

Lithuania LY4A Inside radio building

Inside the radio building, Rolandas, LY4A, reveals more secrets of his installation.

Lithuania LY4A Diplomas Awards

Only one wall is decorated with diplomas, there is no space for more.

Lithuania LY4A Trophies
Trophies and plaques, cables and gadgets.

Lithuania LY4A Pavilion

The white brick simple pavilion on the left is the radio shack. It was better to build an elementary enclosure rather than adapt any of the older houses.

Lithuania LY4A Perfect Spot

Surrounded by fields, far from noisy civilisation, it looks like a perfect spot for weak signal reception.

Lithuania LY4A LY4A Hamfest

At the 2018 LY Hamfest, Rolandas, LY4A, on behalf of the national organization handed over the medals to Mindaugas, LY4L, representing the winning team of WRTC2018. Rolandas is the HF Manager of the LRMD.

LY4A Lithuania Hamfest Water melon

A water melon, with the 2018 LY Hamfest logo carved on it, is handed over to Rolandas, LY4A, as a token of appreciation for arranging the event.

Apart from building his own station, being HF Manager of the LRMD, arranging hamfests and more, Rolandas is often going on contest expeditions. This fall he will be again in Morocco at CN2AA for the CQ WW Contest.

Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF
August 2018

LY4A Big Gun Henryk Kotowski SM0JHF

LY4A  – The Big Gun of Lithuania comments forum

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Rating: 4 of 5
  • Callsign: K9KIL
  • 2018-08-09 04:07:03
Hello, I'm sure lots of "small" radio operators will appreciate if once a while the article will be about hams who cannot afford “big guns”. I’m sure they are many of them. Smart, experienced, wise, with big knowledge, and will have lots of stories to share. The “small radio operators” like to know how others “small operators” reacting to small lots, land restriction, conducting war with HOA, masking antennas, etc. We are the same family, and carry the same untradeable “radio disease” which we acquired at some point of our life. Listen stories of “small” radio operator’s, and them experiences/achievements will be interesting not just for the “small radios”, but the “big rigs” as well. Best to all, 73, K9KIL