A piece of story about the great pirate broadcasters “RADIO CAROLINE”

Radio Caroline is a British radio station founded in 1964 by Ronan O’Rahilly to circumvent the record companies’ control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC’s radio broadcasting monopoly. Unlicensed by any government for most of its early life, it was a pirate radio station that never actually became illegal, although after the Marine Offences Act it became illegal for a British subject to associate with it.
The Radio Caroline name was used to broadcast from international waters (NORTH SEA), using five different ships of three different owners, from 1964 to 1990, and via satellite from 1998 to 2013. Radio Caroline currently broadcasts 24 hours a day via the internet and by occasional restricted service licence. Radio Caroline broadcasts music from the 1960s to contemporary, with an emphasis on album-oriented rock (AOR). The company also licenses other stations around the world to use the Radio Caroline name.

From 1980 fishing vessel “Ross Revenge” has been the last ship used by Radio Caroline here is the picture and some details of the vessel story:FT ROSS REVENGE then RADIO CAROLINE

The story of those pirate ships that sailed around the United Kingdom, even reaching sometimes Denmark, in order to broadcast Rock’N’Roll to make it available to people, and at the same time, to challenge the BBC monopoly of radio. It is basicly based on Radio Caroline history, one of the most iconic pirate radio of those years, still broadcasting today. In 1964, exactly on March 28th, Radio Caroline goes on air, transmitting on a medium wave system as the short wave system is strictly limited to “traditional” radio stations. The story can be paralled as at the time, Radio Caroline is based ashore from the Essex coast.

Here is a video about the good times of RADIO CAROLINE

From youtube:

50 Years ago a British Pathé film crew left Felixstowe harbour on the tender ‘Offshore 1’ for a visit to Radio Caroline’s M/V Mi Amigo. The footage of their 2 day film shoot was heavily edited and ended up as a 3 minute item, used as part of a short Pathé cinema special about ‘Water’.

Best regards


From Italy Morse Keys by our Friend Alberto FRATTINI – I1QOD

In Italy we have a very special Amateur radio, he is Alberto FRATTINI callsign I1QOD. Alberto, after a life spent with his job in one of the major Italian aircraft factory specializing in precision engineering and managing all concerned, he is now totally devoted to his hobby. Since long time faschinating of morse keys he has realized a long list of keys…totally hand made…
With this review I want to show the last morse key made by Alberto the “Side Swiper Chrome”– key showed in the picture above – but to know more about Alberto’s activity I suggest to take a look at his website, you can find also some Marine morse keys Replica such as the MARCONI 213 and the Swedish straight key:
Many thanks Alberto for the fashion you make in all your hand made morse keys.

Best regards.


Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst

Dear Sparks,

our friend Geoff M1EDF sent me some details about his QSO with G4VHM, I found the story very faschinating and I relay here  the message sent by Geoff and the Wikipedia link to read the actions of HMS “Amethyst”:

Hello I hope you are well…. I was in contact with the station..G4VHM and he sent me a card enclosed .. It shows his father who was on HMS Amethyst that was in conflict on the Yangtze river in 1949,Mike who lives in Yorkshire was in contact on 40 meters with a long qso telling me about the bombardment by the then Chinese communists attack from the river bank ,point blank range … After a few days the ship disguised itself in the form of a day to day transitting ship..This was done by making its outline different from a cruiser..You can see the full story on Wikipedia… Hope this is of interest and Mikes father is shown on card top left and right on card..


Best regards

Carla C in the caribbean

Passenger ship “CARLA COSTA” The Love Boat

Flandre, also known as Carla C, Carla Costa (callsign ICCO), and Pallas Athena, was an Ocean Liner and then a Cruise ship that took passengers on transatlantic voyages and on Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises from 1952 to 1994. She was operated by the French Line, Costa Cruises, and the Epirotiki Line.
Costa Cruises:
The first assignment for the newly refitted Carla C. was a charter for Princess Cruises, which marketed her as “Princess Carla” (the ship was not renamed). It was during this time that a set of producers originated the idea of the popular television-series Love Boat aboard Carla C. Consequently, the first scripts were written on board the ship.
The ship proved problematic at first, after problems were detected with the boilers. In 1974 and 1975, Costa replaced the boilers with Stork-Werkspor diesel engines and Carla C. was returned to service around the Caribbean, where she served until 1992. In 1984, the ship underwent another major refit, to ensure safe travel for its passengers for many years to come. In 1986, Carla C was renamed Carla Costa. No other changes occurred with the name change.
Carla Costa was a common sight on the San Juan ship dock on Saturdays during that era, and her regularly scheduled route included Curacao, Caracas, Grenada, Martinique, and St. Thomas USVI.

Source wikipedia


Tonnage: 20,469 GRT
Length: 599.7 ft (182.8 m)
Beam: 80.3 ft (24.5 m)
Installed power:

• Steam turbines (1951–1975)
• Diesel (1975–1994)
Propulsion: Two propellers
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)

Sources of pictures:

 CARLA COSTA anno 1978 receiversCARLA COSTA (ICCO) Receivers desk (photo taken in 1978)

CARLA COSTA anno 1978 postazione RT, Tx REDIFON ed ITT 1600CARLA COSTA (ICCO) Trasmitters REDIFON and ITT 1600 (photo taken in 1978)

At the dockCARLA COSTA at the dock

SOMOV QSO 25 OCT 2015 21 MHZ

End of operation – 2015 Russian Arctic Coast Expedition by UA4WHX

Dear Sparks,

I/B “MIKHAIL SOMOV” back in port after the 2015 Campaing along Russian Arctic Coast. Vlad, UA4WHX has now finished and returned home after his epic Arctic coast expedition which lasted almost two months. Here the website with some clips and pictures taken during his activity as RI0POL (on board), RI0KV and RI1PV/P:

Best regards,

Alfredo – IK6IJF