Special MRD station – SS ROTTERDAM c/s PHEG

Another Special station will take part during the next MRD with callsign PI4HAL. SS Rotterdam, also known as “The Grande Dame”, is a former ocean liner and cruise ship, and has been a hotel ship in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, since 2010. She was launched by Queen Jualiana of the Netherlands in a gala ceremony on 13 September 1958, and was completed the following summer. The Rotterdam was the last great Dutch “ship of state”, employing the finest artisans from the Netherlands in her construction and fitting out process.  Her career spanned forty-one years. She sailed from 1959 until her final retirement in September 2000 when became an Hotel ship.

Rotterdam PHEG

Radio Room c/s PHEG


SS “Rotterdam” radio room before GMDSS – receivers consolle


SS “Rotterdam” radio room before GMDSS – view of transmitters

SS Rotterdam details:

Tonnage: 38,645 gross tons
Displacement: 31,530 tons
Length: 228.0 m (748 ft)
Beam: 28.71 m (94.1 ft)
Height: 49.8 m (163.5 ft)
Draft: 9.04 m (29.6 ft)
Decks: 10
Installed power: 38,000 horsepower @ 135.5 RPM
Propulsion: 2 steam turbines manufactured by de Schelde, Vlissingen (Flushing), Netherlands

4 V2M 640PSI Boilers (3 active, 1 reserve), designed by Combustion Engineering and manufactured by de Schelde

Speed: 21.5 knots
Capacity: 1,456 passengers
Crew: 776 officers and crew




Tx Station

Morse commercial radio stations still alive

Article of OM Louis SZONDY – VK5EEE

Some information about one of the nations still using CW: South Korea.

The most technically advanced nations in Asia, and also the 4 economic giants, all use CW: South Korea, Japan, PR China, India. Pakistan and Indonesia also use CW for non-amateur services.

In this article I will focus on South Korea but first a short mention of the others.

Japan has a station which was mentioned in TrafficList.Net and is owned by a fishing fleet company, for communication with its fleet in the Pacific. I have heard this Coastal Station exchanging telegrams in Japanese Morse with Japanese ships on 17 or 22 MHz.

India and Pakistan navies use CW, though it seems more as a reserve. China uses CW for weather reports to ships in Chinese CW, noted by its 4 digit numeric characters that are sent with cut-number CW to make it quicker.

Indonesia uses CW for it’s National Resilience Institute and Navy and broadcasts several long messages each day in Bahasa language in plain text.

Thanks to OM Lee DS1QGG, for the below photographs, and I will now give you the schedules for South Korea Coastal station. Note that each frequency has a different callsign and is beaming in different directions to cover various parts of the ocean. Korean ships wishing to call back home will call on a calling frequency which is split, and is generally a few hundred kHz lower in frequency in the international ships maritime calling frequency bands.

Woo Hwa Lee

OM Woo Hwa Lee

The operators at HLG etc leave the automatic CQ loop running so that ships can listen to each frequency and choose the one with the strongest signal before calling. If a Coastal radio operator hears the ship they stop the loop and will respond to the ship which will change its frequency to a “working frequency” and exchange telegrams in Korean CW with the coastal station.

A few times a day some of the Coastal Station frequencies will broadcast a “Traffic List” which is a list in alpha-numeric order of each ship’s callsign that there is a telegram waiting for. For example at 1400Z on HLG 8484 and also at 0800Z. Perhaps these Traffic Lists are every 6 hours, I’m not sure. If so  they will be at 0200Z, 0800Z, 1400Z and 2000Z.

The tuning signal CQ looks like this:


Calling all ships this is HLO, I am listening (on the) 12MHz (ships calling frequency band) go ahead.

HLG 8484kHz (09-24Z)
HLW 8636kHz (09-24Z)
HLO 12843kHz (H24)
HLF 12916.5kHz (H24)
HLW2 12923kHz (H24)
HLG 12935kHz (H24)
HLJ 16910kHz (00-09Z)
HLO 16990kHz (00-09Z)
HLW 17130kHz (00-09Z)
HLF 22611.5kHz (00-09Z)

These stations provide good practice for those learning CW. The CQ loops are at a speed of about 20WPM: Via text-to-cw I made this file which is an exact identical copy of HLO and indeed it is 20WPM:            ^

See attached photos thanks to Lee DS1QGG. If anyone has a valid email for him please let me know as his usual email has been unavailable for some time.

— Appeal: maintaining the VKCW.NET site and furthering the interests of CW in Australia has been an expensive exercise for me in terms of time and loss of earnings, but worth it.
There is now an Appeals Tab at Donations however small will help me to help you enjoy your hobby more. Please visit and consider a donation.

73 es 77 de VK5EEE



Special MRD station – M/V DRESDEN c/s DAVK

In every edition of the Maritime Radio Day we have special stations operating from important sites such as Museum Ships, Maritime Schools, where in past century hundreds of R/Os studied for their Certificates, and from building of old and well known Coast Radio Stations.

This short review id dedicated to M/V DRESDEN c/s DAVK  also this year will take part at the event with callsign DL0MCM.

Info from Wikipedia:

The Frieden (known in German as the Traditionsschiff Typ Frieden) is the former German Motor Vessel Dresden operated by the VEB  Deutsche Seereederei Rostock.  Since 1970 it has been used as a Museum Ship.

The Dresden was built in 1956/57 at the Warnow Shipyard. It was the fifth Type IV ship in the first batch of 10,000 tonne piece-goods freighters that were built in East Germany’s shipyards after the Second World War. Because the first ship of this series was christened Frieden (commissioned in June 1957), the other ships of this series of 15 new vessels were classed as Frieden type merchant ships.

On 27 July 1958 the ship was handed over to the Deutsche Seereederei shipping line and it operated until 1969 on scheduled services to East Asia, Indonesia, Africa, India and Latin America.

on 13 June 1970 as the “Rostock Shipbuilding Museum” (Schiffbaumuseum Rostock). Part of the ship also acted as a youth hostel for a time.

Today it is part of the Rostock Shipbuilding and Shipping Museum (Rostocker Schiffbau- und Schifffahrtsmuseum) in the IGA Park and contains comprehensive exhibitions of shipbuilding history. Topics include Shipbuilding in East Germany, Shipyard Operations, the History of Maritime Radio Communications and Navigation. In addition, there is a collection of various types of ship engine. Many areas of the ship have been preserved in their original state: the Engine Room, Bridge, Radio Station, Ship’s Hospital and crew cabins and give an impression of life on a merchant ship in the 1950/60s.

In the video below the radio station is described by two OMs:

Jürgen Oehler, DF7TT and Detlef Stolz.

Detlef is the chairman of Seefunk-FX-Intern, Rostock, sister-Seefunkkameraschaft (Radio Officer Union).

Detlef is the one, who has made all our MRD awards and the automatic program (registration etc)



Salvage Tugs – North Europe

In those areas of the Globe with high ship’s traffic and subjected to severe WX conditions like in North Europe since long time has been established special Tugboats dedicated to salvage operations, big and powerful Tugs find employment also in special towage of barges, platforms, ships, or performing other utility tugboat work.

One of our colleague, R/O Hans Van Den Toorn sent me an e-mail remembering his embarks on board SMIT’s Tugs based in North Europe, one of the oldest Tug, the “ELBE”, now has been opened to visitors as Museum Ship, below Hans e-mail and some clips he sent me:

Dear Alfredo

For your information I did not sail on Smit Houston but on other tugboats of the Smit Towing and Salvage Company in the seventies. At that time the tugs were not as big and powerfull and big as the Smit Houston. Her radiostation of 1959 is also restored with the original equipment and is fully operational, callsign PDWN.

Website of SMIT Salvage Company:

Here you can see a short video of Albert PA5ABW operating the amateurstation PI4DWN/MM in the restored radioroom.

And here you can see me operating the same amateurstation.

Here you can find all information about the tugboat Elbe which is stationed in Maassluis, a small city west of Rotterdam.

Best 73


Last year I made a daytrip on the fully restored tugboat Elbe, which is now a museumship and makes regular trips on the Northsea.

I made that trip together with my old collegue and friend Albert Woutersen PA5ABW.


TEXACO TANKER – Towing operations

Source: youtube cannel RobinsonDaLobeira

In the movie below from min. 8:57 to min. 9.23 a quick view of the radio room.

After published this review I received an e-mail from R/O Hans Van Den Toorn:

Hello Alfredo,
Thanks for the video about the Texaco tanker.
In this case it is the Texaco Nederland which is made ready for a towing voyage to it’s final destination …the scrap-yard.
The video is in the Dutch language so I could understand what is was all about.
The radiostation you see in the video is of the 14000 HP Dutch deepsea salvage tug Smit Houston, which was one of the tugs towing the Texaco tanker.
I recognized the radioroom immediately as I sailed on Smit salvage tugs myself.
Picture of Smit Houston is attached. (published here below the video clip)
Those were the days my friend!!
Best 73


Smit Houston

The good old days of sea radiocommunication


A film about telecommunication and shipping. How the world network of radio, telephone and teleprinter serves a ship in need of engine replacements. This film was used as a BBC2 Trade Test Colour Film.



JW2US – Hopen Island, EU-063


Very intersting website about HF coast radio station from Norvegian arctic:

OM Erik, LA2US is back on Hopen Island EU-063 for a 6-month stint. QRV as JW2US when time permits.

I’m returning to EU-063/Hopen Island early Dec 2016 for a 6 months stay.

I’ll be active on CW on/around IOTA frequencies or at the lower band edges.
As before, this is a spare time operation, and I’ll be in the shack only as often
as work and other tasks permit. I’m working odd hours so I’d rather not do any skeds.

My log will be uploaded to ClubLog on a regular basis and if you don’t find your QSO
there, please drop me an e-mail. I might be guilty of a typing error.
Log will also be uploaded to LoTW and eQSL.

QSL card service will be open via OQRS ClubLog while I’m on Hopen Island.
QSL cards will be printed and sent from GlobalQSL.
Direct QSL card service via OQRS ClubLog will open when I return home in June 2017.
Postal Mail service to EU-063/Hopen Island is poor, every other month – at best.

Do not send your QSL card to Hopen.

My logging and QSL card printing is 100% computerized so I
should not have to write QSO information by hand.
This makes everything much easier with less risk of errors.
Therefor any QSL card request should go via OQRS ClubLog.

JW2US QSL Card from EU-063 Hopen Island and EU-027 Bear Island: 
Request via Club Log OQRS ONLY.

If you live on/operate from an Island (IOTA) or a DXpedition I appreciate your QSL card,
otherwise there is no need to send it.

My Award hunt is via LoTW and eQSL, and your upload will be greatly appreciated.

Erik LA2US / JW2US