After 1994 when we run our first CQ contest we had the same dream: to build a big contest station. Our dream started to become a reality in 2009 when our city's authorities gave us an old abandoned school in Red Forest, a small village 20km (12 miles) far from Agrinio. So we started to build towers, antennas and all these we need to be competitive in contests. Our thought was and continues to be to offer this station to everyone to operate free of charge and promote amateur radio and contesting. When we say everyone, we mean it! Until now many amateurs from all Greek cities have come and operate from SZ1A. Some non Greeks also. We don't look the best operators. We are widely open to everyone! We made a lot and we need to do more. We continue to work almost every weekend on this project: to improve the station. Maybe you can help us, and why not to be the next operator! Continiue reading to learn how....
From the early days some of our members were very active in contests. Back in 1994 we participated in our first CQ WW SSB as a club in the M/S category using the club's call SV1AFA (Our call has changed after 2004 to SZ1A). We were first SV and this gave us a lot of pleasure!! This first participation created a tradition. So our club has become the most active club in Greece in HF contests.
Our dream was to create a contest station. The most of the people in Greece, usually live in small condos and small properties in general. Just a very few Greek radio amateurs have the space for big antennas and towers. There are many clubs that have a small HF station (we have also an HF station in our office), but a big station (by Greek standards) was an unfulfilled dream. Our Club wanted to fill the gap and we would like to offer to every Greek and Foreign ham who wants to operate a contest, a station to make this possible.
This dream started to be a reality for us, in November of 2009. Back then we found the place to host us, an old abandoned school in a place called Red Forest about 20 km North of Agrinio. We started to repair the building and we raised our first tower 18m (60 ft) high in October of 2010. Our first participation in a contest from Red Forest in ARRL CW some months later at 2011, just for some hours.
This is an ongoing project during last years. We try to build a competitive station, the first of this kind in Greece. Our willing and our try is to offer this station to everyone to operate free of charge. Unfortunately because of the financial crisis in Greece, is really difficult to collect the necessary funds to make our dreams a reallity as quick as we want.
In any case the station is quite good at this moment and we have managed very good scores. Many Greek hams come and operate the station in several contests running either with the call SZ1A either with their personal call. In November 2015, we enjoyed the visit by Don G3XTT who is the Editor of Practical Wireless magazine. We expect to have more and more guest operators in the near future and why not you? In any case, you are invited to come and operate from our station as everyone else. Please spread out this info to anyone is interesting. Send an email to sz1a at qsl dot net if you are interesting to visit us.
The station has already grown up a lot and our willing is to improve it every day...
Watch this video about the station (filmed by SV1JMO).
With a lot of offers from our members and other radio amaterus, we have right now three stations working together and two more in progress to complete them.
Icom 756 PRO II
Kenwood 850 SAT
Kenwood 950 SDX (JH1AJT's offer)
Yaesu ft1000 MKV field (this belongs to SV1CIB)
Yaesu ft990 (SV1DPJ's offer)
Icom PW1 amplifier (Multiplier)
OM Power 2000 HF (Run1)
EF14ARC - 4el for 20m @18m (YU7EF design)
EF154A1LX - 4el for 15m @16m (YU7EF design-SV1BDO's offer)EF106C - 6el for 10m @10m (YU7EF design)
Dipole for 80m @17m
Dipole for 160m @20m
Cushcraft 40-2cd (40m) @21m
Cushcraft R7 (10,12,15,17,20,30,40m) (SV1DPJ offer)
Cushcraft A3 (10,15,20,40) (SV2FWV offer) - not installed yet
Mosley pro57(10,12,15,17,20,30,40m) (SV1GE offer) - not installed yet
Cushcraft X7 (10,15,20m) - not installed yet
5 beverages 185-320m to USA, JA, Indian Ocean, Africa, Carribean
Dunestar band pass filters (SV2BFN's - SV1DPI's Offer)
2x Yaesu G1000DXC rotor
1x HyGain HamIV rotor (SV1CIB offer)
1x Yaesu G800DXA rotor
SDR Red pitaya
7 Computers - 2 servers - 4 ethernet switches - IP Cameras
We can host 10 operators in the station at this moment. There are a bedroom, kitchen (electric cooker, refrigerator, freezer, coffee machine, dishwasher, etc.), barbecue, living room and bathroom in the station's building. All free of charge... except food (hi hi). Usually many of our members visit the station during contest's weekend and we organize dinners with food and drink. We are doing our best to make your stay here memorable but don't expect something very comfortable. Just like army :)
Everyone, Greek or foreign amateur is welcome to come in Agrinio, to visit us and operate the SZ1A station. You need to be a member to enjoy all facilities but if you carry your own radio equipment, you can use the station antennas and accomodation for free, even you are not a member. If you are not a member you can apply for this: it's just 25 euros per year. But it's completely free if you participate in a multi operators team with us. If you need to learn station's schedule or any other help about SZ1A, please send an email to sz1a at qsl dot net
If you have found this project interesting (bulding a station and offering this to radio amateurs worldwide free of charge), get in contact (sz1a at qsl dot net) and help us. What we need? We need ideas, your hands and experience, used equipment, money, everything. Especially the last time, with the financial crisis in Greece, is very difficult to find the funds we need to see our dream to become a reality. Maybe we can do this easier "with little help of our friends"...
Many photos from our activities can be found at Google
We are first SV many times and we have a number of Greek records.
Our favorite contest are CQ WW and CQ WPX but we participate in every available contest depending our free time. There are many free dates and we feel very proud to visit us, to host you and operate our station...
Read below an interesting article written by Don G3XTT in Practical Wireless after his visit in our station in November 2015.