Chris SP7GIQ lives in a village of Kopyść, very close to the town of Łask in central Poland, some 3-hour drive from my QTH – Ostrołęka. His highly competitive station, built over the last 20 years or so, is a dream for a contester to have a chance to try out.
I was fortunate enough to be kindly invited to be part of the great team @ SP7GIQ during the 2014 IARU HF CHAMPIONSHIP contest. The station was one of many others scattered all over Poland working together under SN0HQ callsign representing the Headquarters of Polski Związek Krótkofalowców. SP7GIQ runs contests mainly in Single Op category so his station did not need any special preparations for a single band effort. However, the antennas at the site would be very competitive on other than 20m bands as well. And it’s the antennas and station automation that make the station a winner.
Chris’s station shows that it’s possible to build everything on your own. With the exception of transceivers, his antennas, the switching, filtering etc. are all homemade. Once, visited by a well-known foreign contester he was called a real “amateur”, which in my opinion should be taken as a compliment.
When you enter the premises, you are greeted by two friendly Alsatians, called Beam and Orion. However, no antenna at the site is a Yagi beam (it would probably be strange to call a dog “quad”, and you’ll only see quad antennas there). An Orion is Chris’s main transceiver though.
SP7GIQ’s operating position
It is the homemade quad antennas that make the station so competitive!
The “killer” – a stack of quads on a rotating tower, pointing mainly to the US during the IARU HF.
In other contests it is usually a multiplier antenna. During IARU HF it was pointing to JA
The 80/160m 4-square in the foreground (not used during IARU HF)
40m band quad antenna (not used in IARU HF). Below the quad fixed to the south- one of the antennas we used.
Can you imagine the amount of labour that needs to be put to build and tune all this and then maintain to keep the whole antenna system in a working condition?
(L-R) Chris SP7GIQ, Orion, Bogusław SP7IVO (a IARU HF op.)
There’s one more secret behind SP7GIQ’s successes. It’s his lovely wife Kate and her support in contests. She actually seems to be the biggest fan of SN7Q!
Well, back to the IARU HF Championship… There were 4 operators, who were assigned a schedule of shifts by Chris ( with Chris mainly watching us and the equipment). We worked in pairs, each controlling different directions, each having a receiver (Orion has 2) and a separate keyboard. The one who was able to type the whole callsign of the caller blocked the transmitter and made the qso. Actually it was a great challenge for the operators themselves when in the pileup. There were lots of situations, though, that you could only hear a station on one antenna – usually the “killer” stack, but not always!
The first hour shift: Wojtek SP5MXZ. Chris SP7GIQ (276/hour)
Another shift: Jarek SP7LIE, Boguslaw SP7IVO
During the contest SN0HQ 20m CW, with some help of its multiplier station, managed to log more than 3200 qsos, which is the best score ever in this contest and who knows … maybe the best among the HQ stations on 20m CW.
(L-R) Jarek SP7LIE, Boguslaw SP7IVO, Chris SP7GIQ
(L-R) Jarek SP7LIE, Wojtek SP5MXZ, Chris SP7GIQ
All the operators enjoyed the time spent together thoroughly and are looking forward to another time.
It’s a dream station Chris!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
By Wojtek SP5MXZ
During my business trip to Slovenia (June 1-6, 2014) I had a pleasure to meet a number of Slovene HAMs living in the area of Ilirska Bistrica close to the Italian and Croatian borders. Rado S52OT, the President ofS59DGO Radio Club kindly took me to the club premises where I could sign S5/SP5MXZ running 40m SSB. I managed to make 23 QSOs, 6 of which were with SP5KVW and its club members.
While in the club I had a chance to meet a number of the local club members and then I was taken to a special meeting organized, as I believe, to get to know each other more personally. Ognjen S56OA, Rado S52OT and a number of other friends prepared a great feast with a table full of food and drinks and a folk orchestra!
The club orchestra
HAM Radio connecting people!
While at the table we discussed a possible co-operation of S59DGO and SP5KVW in HF and VHF/UHF contests, mutual visits and actions.
Najlepša hvala moje nove prijatelje iz Slovenije!
de Wojtek SP5MXZ