The good old days – history of SP5KOH, SP5ZHM, SP5KTD radio clubs

>>>>>Updated on 2019-06-18 by SP5GNI<<<<<

The HF5L amateur club refers to the legacy of SP5KOH, SP5ZHM,  SP5KTD radio clubs that have not existed for many years, as well as SP5ZDF, SP5ZCA. Established in 2017, the HF5L club is a meeting place for former members of those clubs, but also a place for new people interested in our great hobby, which is amateur radio. Here are the short stories of previous clubs. If you have interesting information about them, photos or QSLs, please contact us via the contact form.


Scout Pucio earns at Halloween
Scout Pucio earns at Halloween

In VI High School (VI Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Tadeusza Reytana) in Warsaw (renowned school in Mokotów, Wiktorska 30 street), whose history goes back over 110 years ago, was active the First Warsaw Scouting Team (1 Warszawska Drużyna Harcerska im. Romualda Traugutta Czarna Jedynka). This extraordinary team gathered at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s many amazing people from whom it was possible to become infected with many original ideas, as for those times. Mainly they were political ideas (which we will not deal with on this site, because you can read about it elsewhere,  were also artistic as well as technical. Among them was sailing (with scout yacht Zjawa), Scouts Music Station (with rock music programs broadcasted on a large break by large loudspeakers installed in the school corridor, or in spring and summer, exposed by windows on the pitch), Motor Club (with its own “Nysa” pickup and motorbikes) and more or less connected with the team – SP5KOH and SP5ZHM shortwave radio amateur clubs.

SP5GNI in SP5KOH 1973

Amateur radio club SP5KOH in VI Reytan High School created for scouts instructor  of the 1 Warsaw Team Scouts – Wojtek Putkiewicz, nickname “Pucio”. It happend somewhere around 1968, no one remembers exactly, in the end it’s a long time ago ;-). The room for the club was a former toilet on the 4th floor next to the art studio of prof. Światłowska. It was a narrow cubicle in which we cut and clogged unnecessary pipes, sinks and lavatories. The advantage of this location (with time it turned out to be great!) was separate and independent from the school main entrance. In the absence of interest of the scout association ZHP authorities, the club was created with the support of the LOK oranization, hence the unusual sign SP5KOH as for the scout club. A group of enthusiasts appeared around the club of amateur radio. The leader of the club was a scout from the army of Wojtek – Andrzej Łobzowski SP5DDF. “Łobzik” studied electronics and was extremely helpful in not only technical matters. There were several “civilians” who were not formally scouts, such as Mirek Sadowski, Krzysiek Grzybowski, Jurek Hanusek, and Witek Nowosielski, who went on a shortwave course and, after passing the exam, obtained the following callsigns: SP5GNI, SP5GNG, SP5GPT, SP5FFL respectively. Waldek Dobrowolski and Piotrek Orleański joined the club for obvious reasons, because they were scouts enthusiastic about everything.

SP5DDF pod harcerskim namiotem
SP5DDF under a scout tent

After passing the secondary school final exams, most of the aforementioned students continued their activity in the club, trying to acquire new ones from 1 WDH and generally Reytan’s students. There were many people, like Grzesiek Malec, Janusz Szporer (SP5IWZ), Ewa Huk, Irek Biernat (SP5IXE), Zbyszek Nejtardt (SP5JSZ), Wojtek Buszowski, Iwona Niemczuk (Isia), Krzysztof Spychalski (Marianek), Olaf Beer, Adam Dobrowolski, Artur Gaca. The first work in the ether was on the RBM1 old military radiostation with 1W power in the 3.5 MHz band. RBM1 was basic field equipment and all maneuvers in which the club participated many times. Soon the LOK gave its own 50W power amplifier, shown on the right picture. We made a tube module for adjusting the AM carrier wave, so we worked almost SSB ;-), and of course also on telegraphy. The greatest enthusiasts used all the free time, also during school breaks. Krzysztof (SP5GNG) made the first contact under the callsign SP5KOH on CW.

Regular scouts treated the club as  another experience and gaining fitness, and the enthusiasts sat at night and did DXs with the world. Then the club bought the “7 MHz” exciter, and Wojtek built the PA 500 watts. It was a powerful device, sparks were coming from the antenna to the ground. Next, we got a custom-made transceiver (theoretically) 5-band. There were also people from outside the school, such as Andrzej SP5ASR (he brought extensive operator experience) or Marek Litwinowicz (SP5IXS).

SP5KOH SP5ZHM 1974 expedition
Expedition SP5KOH SP5ZHM 1974
SP5KOH SP5ZHM 1975 expedition
SP5KOH SP5ZHM 1975 expedition

In 1974, SP5KOH and SP5ZHM Radio Clubs and RAK Motor Club, made a rally with a radio station over Poland as part of the 30 th anniversary of the PRL Expedition (every pretext was good to get permission, HI!). In the picture from the left – the moment of relaxation after the night activity (of course DX HI). A year later, we undertook a much more ambitious undertaking – an expedition of amateur radio stations SP5KOH and SP5ZHM around the countries of so called people’s democracy. Preparation from the formal and hardware side was a great challenge! Witek SP5FFL, Krzysztof SP5GNG, Mirek SP5GNI, Jurek SP5GPT, Irek SP5IXE, Wojtek Putkiewicz (SP-1590, later SP5BON) and Adam Krzewski took part in the expedition. You could tell a lot about our adventures, starting with how we had already packed the Nysa car with a sliding mast, until suddenly it turned out that a decision maker found out about it and took the car just before leaving. We decided to go by train – we reduced the equipment to a minimum and with several cases a few of us packed ourselves into a crowded train to Bulgaria. Traveling through several borders (including the USSR) with radio equipment was (according to today’s nomenclature) a real hardcore, bordering on fatal risk. We arrived happily to Balczik, where colleagues from the club LZ2KSB (Kosta LZ2RF, Metin …) received us incredibly warmly and generously. We were there on August 11-17, 1975, using callsigns SP5KOH/LZ and SP5ZHM/LZ.

QSL za wyprawę 1975
1975 expedition QSL card

At that time, Wojtek and Adam went (both in short scout pants) to the deputy minister of communications and convinced him to borrow another state car. The car got in 3 hours, and the driver, Mr. Fredek, got a holiday to leave with us. The car joined us in Balczik and we continued the trip without much stress: August 19-20 Romania QTH Bucharest (SP5KOH/YO3), August 21-25 Hungary QTH Leanyfalu (SP5KOH/HA and SP5ZHM/HA – see photo up), August 27-September 1, East Germany Dresden (DM9AZ, DM9BAZ).

The expedition of young scouts of amateur radio in 1975 to socialist countries was documented in the broadcast of the then popular in Poland the Scouts Radio broadcasting on short wavelengths of 40 meters, and the historical recording an interview with Krzysztof SP5GNG is available on the site online Museum of Scouts.

The amateur radio club of 1 WDH SP5KOH lived his life for many years. The last contact of Scouting Club SP5KOH number 51191 was made on September 8, 1990.



Scout Club “Stanica” SP5ZHM at the Mokotów Scout Command was created at the initiative of Wojtek Putkiewicz in early 1974. HKŁ “Stanica” at the time of creation borrowed as if licensed radio operators from the Radio Club SP5KOH, so it could quickly obtain a license and callsign SP5ZHM. The first manager of the club was Mirek SP5GNI. Both clubs have worked closely with each other for many years, participating in many projects together. One of them was the trip to the so-called countries of people’s democracy, as described above. It was, at the time, a bold undertaking, given the transport and hardware difficulties and in obtaining permits to broadcast radio stations outside of Poland.

SP5ZHM/9 Kościelisko 1976 (op. SP5ICS)
SP5ZHM/9 Kościelisko 1976

Scout club “Stanica” SP5ZHM was leaving with a radiostation for many winter camps – in the photo from the left Sławek SP5ICS at the scout winter camp in Kościelisko. Summer camps were a problem due to the difficulty in powering the radiostations;  there was no electricity in the Mokotów Scout camps, and the power generators were large and it was difficult to organize gasoline for them. Many times, the club with radiostation participated in the Scout Youth Festivities in Podzamcze in Warsaw – photo from the right.

SP5ZHM/p - Warszawa 1980
SP5ZHM/p – Warszawa 1980

In the years 1979 – 1985, when the club was headed by Sławek SP5ICS, members of the Club participated in the Bieszczady-40 Scout Operations as operators of radio stations ensuring communications between individual stances and Operation staff, from there also broadcasted club radio SP5ZHM/8 (there was usually electricity, but it took two people to transport a complete radio station).

Repeatedly the Club co-organized or participated in Scouting Technical-Defense Maneuvers, manned communication points on raids, and after Bieszczady experience there were also attempts to organize radio communication on such events.

In September 1977, the radio station was broadcast under the special callsign SP0ZHM on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of naming the Mokotów Scout Command.

Sławek SP5ICS szkoli młodych
Sławek SP5ICS trains children

The club initially had a room at the headquarters at al. Niepodległości 129 (in superstructures above the earth’s surface). In June 1976, he moved to the room in the 2nd Jordan Garden at ul. Oddyńca 6 (photo from the left), where in connection with the development of the Faculty of Technology and Specialization of the Mokotów Scout Command, the Scout Polytechnic Center was established.

Approx. March-April 1987 the club moved to the room on the top floor of the tower block at ul. Bernardyńska 1A (photos below). The antenna and premises conditions were very good and the club members’ meetings were regular. In June 1993, the housing cooperative terminated the contract for free use of the premises and the club thus ended nearly twenty years of activity.

SP5ZHM transceiver 1989
SP5ZHM transceiver 1989
Pomieszczenie klubu 1989 Bernardynska
Club’s room 1989



More photos from SP5ZHM are available on the website of Andrzej SP9AB ex. SP5WCA.




Janek przy pierwszej radiostacji w klubie SP5KTD
Janek at the first radiostation in the SP5KTD club

The SP5KTD club operated for several years in a room made available by the Ochota Residential Cooperative “Ochota” on Rakowiec at 50 Jasielska Street, on the corner of Pruszkowska, in Warsaw. The place, in comparison with, for example, the “ex-toilet” in SP5KOH, was a luxurious studio and it was the last floor of a multi-storey mixed block. The state institutions then had funds for compulsory social activities under which the amateur radio club subsided, so at least we had the premises for free. Electronic parts could be obtained in large quantities, because another provision from this period required that state-owned enterprises would get rid of excessive inventory, which many were inferior to the so-called “Bomis” shops, or were transferred free of charge on the social market. Such were the good times …

Odbiornik o którym marzyliśmy...
The receiver we dreamed about …

During this period, there was also the possibility of acquiring quite good shortwave receivers from army or seagoing vessels, which allowed to withdraw from use an exotic CW/AM set of a military radio station type RBM1 from World War II with a LOK PA on GU 50. Almost as new marine radiocommunication receivers went to Gdansk, where they bought them in the price of scrap metal, selecting from a heap of equipment withdrawn from service from our sea fleet, which then had a very good and exchanged equipment for a more modern one.

Nadajnik SSB wykonany w SP5KTD
SSB transmitter made in SP5KTD

It was worse with demobilized transmitting devices, because their weight and size made it impossible to transport and bring them to a flat or club, let alone the required three-phase power supply. The transmitter needed to be done by yourself. SP5KTD members have built their own transmitter with a transistor SSB exciter and tube systems of mixers and amplifiers. The transmitter was mounted in the casing of the old school radio amplifier system, which gave the construction a very solid and professional appearance.

Zmodernizowana radiostacja w klubie SP5KTD
Modernized radiostation in the SP5KTD club

In August 1982, the current president of the club, Andrzej SP5DDF, transferred the SP5KTD club to the new president of Tadek, SP5BBG.

In 1990, the free market came and the club at Jasielska became valuable. We had to move to the Dzielnicowy Dom Kultury at Wiślicka Street. Unfortunately, we had to share one small room with philatelists. It was poor with the antennas. Access to the club was possible only during the working hours of the facility and only when there were no stamp collectors. It began to dispose of members, the activity dropped to zero. At the turn of 1993/1994, the club was dissolved. Andrzej SP5NOM (from 1989) was the president at that time. Part of the equipment returned to LOK, the rest was distributed. After the club was dissolved, the SP5KTD sign was registered at the home address of the SP5BBG until 2008, when SP5AZN using it to train his family, he forgot to renew the license validity.

Wreszcie DX w SP5KTD, sprawdza SP5BBG
Finally, DX! checks SP5BBG

Members of the SP5KTD club have been: Andrzej SP5DDF, Tadek SP5BBG, Henio SP5XD (sc), Andrzej SP5ASR, Mirek SP5AZN, Tomek SP5BKA, Krzysztof SP5IOT (currently VE7BSB), Wiesiek SP5BPI, Tadeusz SP5LCE, Andrzej SP5RDK, Andrzej SP5SAI, Janusz SP5LYI (sc), Lucjan SP5MNM, Andrzej SP5NOM, Tadeusz SP5JTO, Stasiek SP5LXQ (sc), Mirek, Janek. The club was open and pretty popular, often SP5IXS, SP5CME, SP5LE, SP5AYY and others they fell into the club.


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