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IARU HF Championships 2017


I arrived at the site of the 2017 SN0HQ 14 MHz CW position merely minutes before the contest commenced. The host, Maciek, SP2XF, had not shaved for a week. I asked the team members to put on the formal T-shirts and smile in front of the camera.


Time 11:55 UTC Saturday July 8, 2017 From left: Tomek, SQ9C - Olek, SQ9UM - Maciek, SP2XF - Maciek, SQ6MS.

The SN0HQ team, the official representation of the PZK organization in the IARU HF Championships since year 2000, used to be structured upon several extraordinary operators and their huge antennas. After 15 years, some of the Big Guns showed reduced enthusiasm for the perennial mobilization on the second weekend of July. The formula of this contest is not in favour of those teams which are located in the most active ITU zones. The most active zone in IARU HF Championships is 28. Most likely the WRTC 2018 participants are going to notice the poor relation between the number of contacts and the points yield.

During all these 15 years, the SN0HQ team was constantly growing, attracting younger operators who were eager to learn. Now it is time for a new generation of contesters to play the first fiddle. Those who were the backbone of the group started their adventure with Amateur Radio in the seventies. The new generation of contesters are those who got infected in the late nineties. They are today between 30 and 40 years old and received practical tuition in modern operating techniques and radio technology in general. Most of them are rovers, guest-operating at powerful stations with better-than-average antenna systems. Maciek, SP2XF is an exception, his aim is to build such station.


Time 12:01 UTC Saturday July 8, 2017 Olek, SQ9UM takes the first shift at the RUN station. He is the elder brother of Tomek, SQ9C.

SN0HQ Tomek SQ9C

Tomek, SQ9C takes over after his brother. They live in the south of Poland and travelled 200 miles/350 km for this group effort.

SN0HQ Maciek SP2XF

The host, Maciek, SP2XF is monitoring own transmissions on a transceiver with a long Beverage antenna for low bands. This antenna is pointing to North America and acted an early warning indicator of propagation in this direction.

SN0HQ Main Antenna tower SP2XF

The main antenna tower at SP2XF is above the average, but not extreme. The operator can select the upper or lower antenna, or both. The difference in signal strength is notable and not always predictable.

SN0HQ Maciek SQ6MS

Operator Maciek, SQ6MS has travelled from France, where he now lives. He is originally from south-west Poland where he used to participate in contests in multi-op category.

SN0HQ SP2XF at his own station

Maciek, SP2XF at his own station takes advantage of all options and gadgets. He is fond of listening on two radios in stereo using different antennas. This mode enhances his ability to pick stations in a pile-up.

SN0HQ Team

All team members gathered in the radio room. Actually a conversation at the back of the operator is disturbing, so I asked them to keep quiet or leave. From left: Olek, SQ9UM - Maciek, SQ6MS - Tomek, SQ9C (at the radio) - Maciek, SP2XF.

SN0HQ Secondary Tower

The secondary tower with antennas at SP2XF.

Text and photographs: Henryk Kotowski, SM0JHF
July 2017

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