Italian Royal Navy Award 1918-2018 (First World War)

A bit of history
During the First World War several naval operations were carried out in the Adriatic Sea, which began with the declaration of war between France and the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 11 August 1914. With the immediate blockade of the Canal d’Otranto by the French navy, in which even the Royal Navy units participated, the Austro-Hungarian naval forces were forced to operate only within the waters of the Adriatic, without being able to carry out long-range actions within the Mediterranean Sea for reaching and potecting their ports, shipyards and naval divisions with enemy numerical superiority.

Initially the weight of the allied operations fell on the French navy; Italy at the outbreak of the conflict had declared its neutrality, while the United Kingdom was engaged against the Kaiserliche Marine in the North Sea and in the escort to mercantile traffic in the Mediterranean. At the same time the kuk Kriegsmarine carried out mainly disturbing actions by submarines and light ships, using U-Boot supplied by the German ally since August 1914, which operated with base in the port of Pula under the Austro-Hungarian flag. The situation changed on May 23, 1915, the day on which Italy (in compliance with the commitments made with the London agreement) declared war on Austria-Hungary. The Royal Navy soon took on the burden of undertaking and managing the war on the Adriatic front throughout the course of the conflict.

The confrontation immediately left ample space for submarines’ ambushes, for the air companies and later for the bold incursions of the assault vehicles such as the MAS. The two opposing supreme commanders, Admiral Paul Thaon of Revel and Admiral Anton Haus (later replaced by Maximilian Njegovan and then by Miklós Horthy) did not want to risk the large battleships in narrow water, instead focusing on rapid attacks on the block of the main airports and the strategy of the “fleet in power”; a setting to which the Austro-Hungarians in particular abide. The operations did not see a clear dominance of one of the contenders and ended with the entry into force of the Villa Giusti armistice on November 4, 1918, the day in which the Royal Navy completed or put in place a series of amphibious occupations of major cities coastal enemy.

The recurrence of the Centenary of the Great War allowed many associations that took part in commemorating the most important historical milestones. Even ARMI did not want to be less and immediately set to work to create the diploma ” The Royal Navy in the Great War “.


The Diploma is dedicated to the Royal Navy during the Great War (1915-1918). It is represented in three versions ” Bronze 100 – Silver 200 – Gold 300 “; the layout of the three diplomas is the same and the north-eastern part of Italy is represented and mainly that of the Adriatic Sea. Depicting a young Italy and on the right a coffa of a ship with the flag of Regia Marina. The diplomas in the three versions are different and represent three great admirals of the period with three naval symbols. The diploma ” Bronze 100 ” depicts Admiral Luigi Rizzo, and a MAS, a boat used by the hero to sink the Corazzata Wien into the Buccari outlet. The ” Argento 200 ” diploma represents Admiral Diego Simonetti and a naval unit of that time. The ” Gold 300 ” diploma depicts Admiral Paolo Emilio Thaon of Ravel (Chief of Naval Staff and Commander in Chief of Naval Forces) with a naval cannon.

The Diploma is achievable by all the OM and SWL of the world.

The period of the activity is announced from 1 January to 11 November 2018 ( 11 November 1918 is the date on which the First World War ended).


All stations not registered with ARMI are worth 1 point.

All ARMI stations that are not accredited are worth the following score:
SSB: 2 points
DIGI: 3 points
CW: 5 points

Accredited ARMI stations:
All radio amateurs belonging to ARMI can operate, they can operate with their own station name, it is enough to accredit themselves by sending an email to the national office
The name of the station will be credited and will appear in the official list on the ARMI site marked by a suffix in the balance that will correspond to a ship of the Royal Navy.

IT9M RM – RM – Battleship R egina M argherita

The suffix is roughly associated with your name; where it can not be associated with a ballot equal to one’s own name, one will be assigned to an office.

The ships and submarines (not including the minor fleet) of the Regia Marina during the Great War were in all 131, so hypothetically only 131 operators can participate.

The accredited stations are worth the following score in all ways:
SSB / DIGI / CW: 10 points

Wildcard ARMS stations:
The accredited Jolly stations are all IQ stations registered at ARMI, they will be assigned a trilict suffix and the name of an Admiral of the Royal Navy during the Great War (the three-letter suffix always begins with the letter A – Admiral) .

IQ9MQ – AAAA mmiraglio A ugusto A ubry

The Jolly stations are worth the following score in all ways:
SSB / DIGI / CW: 15 points

Super Jolly station:
It is a station operating throughout the period with a special name:


(World War I)

The Super Jolly station is worth the following score in all ways:
SSB / DIGI / CW: 25 points

[ CLICK HERE to view the official list]

All stations can only be connected once for each individual emission MODES (SSB-CW-DIGI) for the entire period of the event. The connections in the digital mode are valid only for a mode of the two provided.

All connections made during the naval contest period (IT NAVY COASTAL – IT NAVY SHIPS) are not valid!

The following modes are allowed: CW – SSB – DIGI (PSK – RTTY)

All HF bands, according to the IARU Band Plan

There are four classes:

Bronze: 100 points; (at least one Jolly station and a Super Jolly station)

Silver: 200 points; (at least two Jolly stations and a Super Jolly station)

Gold: 300 points; (at least three Jolly stations and a Super Jolly station)

Top Honor Plaque: 1000 points (at least four Jolly stations and one Super Jolly station).

The call will be as follows:




The non-accredited ARMI Stations will pass the RST reports followed by the registration number (MI #) .

The accredited ARMI stations will pass the RST reports followed by the assigned ballot .

The JOLLY (IQ) stations will pass the RST ratios followed by the assigned trilogy .

The SUPER JOLLY station will only pass the RST report.

All the stations that will log the connection with the accredited stations, Jolly and Super Jolly stations will receive the diplomas in JPG format based on the requests received. The Diplomas will all be free .

For the request of the ” Top Honor Plaque ” a flat-rate charge of € 35 is foreseen.

The Italian stations that wish it, can send the contribution for the Top Honor Plaque through the following ways:

– via “POSTEPAY” 4023600645946759 in the name of Mattei Alberto;

– via “PAYPAL” at the following address

– BANK TRANSFER: IBAN IT46V0200884625000103416422 c / o UNICREDIT branch of Augusta.

The Diploma will be requested from the National Award Manager:

IT9MRM Alberto Mattei – Via E. Millo, 20 – 96011 Augusta (SR) – Italy –


They must be in ADIF / CBR / TXT / DOC / XLS format.

The use of any electronic log is allowed.

Those who wish can use the Electronic Sheet ( RegiaMarinaLog ) for the management of connections (including the ARMI database).
You can download it from this link -> [ click here ]

Requests for the diploma must be received no later than 31. 12. 2018 .

The Diplomas (Bronze – Silver – Gold):


St. Lys Radio – Special Event Station c/s TM20SLR

Dear Sparks,

TM20SLR January 14th to 28th special event station in memory of St Lys Radio.

En souvenir de la belle aventure de ce service tant apprécié par tous les navigateurs et leurs familles, par tous les équipages des navires en mer, par tous les radioamateurs et écouteurs d’Ondes Courtes,  et en hommage aux qualités humaines et techniques des hommes et femmes, opérateurs et opératrices de la station FFL de Saint-Lys Radio qui a cessé ses émissions le 16 janvier 1998, voici tout juste 20 ans.

73’s and Happy New Year,



Internet the “Secret Weapon”

Dear Sparks,

if in these days you have spare time I suggest you to read the document below to see how TERRIFIC and TERRIBLE is internet and remember that many important people said “STAY CONNECTED”…why? The document below will inform you how internet really works as a weapon so you can discover the “scenario” where it is played the new war…click below  a .PDF document will open…

Big Brother is Watching You




Long wave Broadcast station “ATLANTIC 252” maybe back on the air

Dear Sparks,

for all those Atlantic 252 listeners here is something that I found in my news feed I wanted to share with you. I wish that Atlantic 252 would return back on the air after RTE 1 goes off the air in 2019. But as with Algeria on 252 kHz, it would be pretty difficult to hear them clear unless you log on to one of the UK or Ireland Web SDR tuners or Kiwi SDR tuners….omissis…

Also I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

from Mr. Adam Ebel



Russian Marine Histories BMRT “Dainava” year 1990

Dear Sparks,

the following video has been recorded on year 1990 on board russian oceanic trawler “DAINAVA” during a fishing campaign in North-East Atlantic, some crew members have their wives on board and someone else will use the radio to enter in touch with their families at shore as you can see from minute 1:27 until minute 2:37. Precious video of a life at sea no longer today.

Enjoy the clip:




News of /MM operation

Dear Sparks,

our Friend OM John DAVIES – G4ETQ reported following future activity from /MM during next BOUVET Island DX-pedition:

News of forthcoming maritime mobile operation.
M/V Betanzos will be the vessel used for The Bouvet Island Dxpedition 3Y0Z in late January/early February 2018.
It is expected to operate two /mm stations on the long voyage to Bouvet, one CW.
For more info see:

History of St Lys Radio – first part

Dear Sparks,

following article by OM Marcin Marciniak – SP5XMI (Technical journalist)


My articles are written almost entirely from interviews with former sparks – this one is no exception. Thanks to Gerard Clarac F5YD – here is the history of St Lys Radio/FFL as said by Edgar Ambiaud, FFL operator and then Deputy Head of St-Lysradio Center who worked there from 1950 to 1987.

The St. Lys Radio/FFL

The history of St.Lys Radio/FFL goes back to 1941. The station was needed for radio link to French colonies. There were three centers – receiving center in St Lys, a transmitter center in Vernet and an operations center in Muret. All work began in 1942. In 1945 the three centers were almost completed and first link to Bamako was already working. When the war was over, radio center near Paris gradually resumed all its links with overseas. Finally the Group Radioelectric Toulouse was no longer necessary. The station was then used for maritime radio communication. In 1946 Saint-Lys Radio replaced Saintes-Maries-de-Provence la-Mer station that was destroyed during the war and started the work under FFL callsign. Station was open for first traffic in October 1948 with standard CQ tape (CQ de FFL4 FFL4 FFL4 QSX 8 MHZ”) and started its full activity on 1st of January 1949.

8 Saint Lys batiment et antennes(Main building of St Lys Radio receiving center and the antenna field)

The advertisement and the reality

“St-Lys-Radio can communicate with ships around the world on all the oceans of the globe” – the ads said. This was not entirely true. It should have been added “…but not necessarily 24 hours a day, depending on their position”. Up to 8000km from St Lys Radio contact could be established quite easily during the day. Beyond this approximate limit contacts became more and more difficult. Sometimes it was possible for a few hours a day only. During some days it was impossible at all. The R/Os had to choose the frequency range that worked best. For example for a ship in the North-East Pacific the best choice was 8 MHz band at the end of the night, around 4 o’clock UTC (it was called “dark” wave route). FFL could receive quite well. Interference from parasitic emissions produced by nearby powerful and poorly tuned transmitters was quite rare in St. Lys because of the perimeter of protection of the center.

Receiving center was located about 21 km from Toulouse on a clear plateau. Despite its name the station was located 2.5 km away from the village of St. Lys (chief town of canton), in the town of Fontenilles in a place called “Génibrat”. A large central cross-shaped building housed an operating room, offices for management staff and technicians, and various other special premises. It was surrounded by receiving antennas and many metal-wooden masts, almost 30m each.

Electrical substation, local energy distribution devices, self-starting power generators, workshops, garages, shops and warehouses were placed in ancillary buildings, 250 m away. There was also a water tower with well and pumps to supply water to the entire center until the station was connected to the water supply network. Accommodation for staff was built near the village of St Lys in a subdivision called “Cité Radio”. For many years the staff that lived at Cité Radio went to the center by bicycle because there were very few motor vehicles.

Transmitting center was located 20 km from Toulouse, in the lower Ariège valley where ground is flat and clear. Two transmitting buildings, E1 and E2, distant from each other a little more than one km, each had their antennas around. Originally they had directional antennas, that were build for the fixed service, but for the maritime service omnidirectional antennas were also needed. There was a emergency diesel power station and a water tower too. As in St. Lys, the administration had to build housing for the staff. At the time neither the Vernet nor the neighboring communes could provide housing to all the people of the radio center.

18 maintenance carre gouriaud(Manintenance works with the transmitting antenna and their feedline)

The antennas

The transmitting center at Vernet used omnidirectional antennas – horizontal two wavelength squares (half wave per leg) called “carrés Gouriaud” tuned for optimal performance on chosen frequency. They were fed by a ladder line and a high frequency transformer.

carregouriaudsimple-1(Omnidirectional full size square horizontal antenna used at St Lys Radio)

The receiving center near St. Lys used them as well but their main set of receiving antennas comprised broadband rhombics pointing to many different directions. Each “diamond” could cover all six shortwave ranges used at St-Lys-Radio from 4 to 22 MHz. The rhombics were very popular in St. Lys because they made wanted signal stronger and they attenuated unwanted signals from other directions including interferences – all at the same time.

12maquette champ antennes st lys(The diorama of antenna field of the St. Lys Radio).


To be continued.

img_4465b(One of the antenna pilon)


Marcin Marciniak and webmaster

Old ship’s radio room

Dear Sparks,

our colleague, Radio Officer Sandro Viale reported the following video from youtube:

Former Marconi Marine ‘sparks’ Radio Officer Alan demonstrates the equipment he once operated on the high seas ”back on watch’ in a replica ship’s radio room at Sandford Mill industrial museum, Chelmsford, during International Marconi Day, April 23, 2016.