EXPEDITION NORTH POLE “Spedizione Comandante Simone Orlandini” callsign IQ9MQ/MM

Dear Sparks,

please read carefully the following News about the Expedition to North Pole by Italian Navy, according to last info received, Captain Orlandini will mantain daily radio watches as follow (except when in ports):

Callsign IQ9MQ/MM

From 07.00 UTC up to 16.00 UTC on 14300.0 kHz USB

From 16.01 UTC up to 06.59 UTC on 7183.0 kHz LSB

No CW activity

While writing this post the S/V MELORIA is sailing between Brest to the Ile of Wight.


The communications on this expedition will be fundamental, as besides letting the entire world of the radio know the activity we are going to carry out, we will be constantly in contact with various Italian radio operators who will support us during the outward and return journey.

We will establish radio contacts in short waves and we will have the opportunity to make ourselves heard all over the globe supported by the Radio Amateurs of the A.R.M.I., an association that counts thousands amateur radio operators in Italy and in the world.

This is similar to what was done in 1928 between the ship of the Royal Navy “Citta di Milano” IGJ (ship used for the radiotelegraphic support to the dirigible ITALY) that kept the radio contacts in short waves, with the radiotelegraphic station of the Royal Navy Rome-San Paolo (IDO) and the airship ITALY.

Now modern means are avant-garde and allow us real-time communications with totally different emission modes since then. The equipment is very low, for example we will use an ICOM transceiver an IC-7300 with a radiating power of 100 watts, and a myriad of functionalities, from digital communications to those in voice or in clamps.

Our transceiver is very compact and not bulky, about 25 cm wide, just under 10 cm high and 23 cm deep, imagine that ONDINA the transceiver used by Biagi to send the emergency call (SOS) from the Red Tent from similar dimensions to a wooden trunk.

The antenna that we will use on board is a vertical glass fiber resistant to wind and cold icy Arctic, is 7.50 meters long and is functional across the spectrum of HF (1.3 to 30 MHz) .

The radio contacts with our station on board the Meloria, will be confirmed by cards called QSL which in radioamateur jargon means “confirmation of radio contact” and will be sent to all the amateur radio operators who will have connected us. It’s a way to get a confirmation from these polar latitudes that unfortunately they are not inhabited by any amateur radio





Special activation: GB4AMT – HMS Amethyst

Dear Sparks,

following information coming from M1EDF OM Geoff Powell

on the 20th of April until the 17 May I am doing a special event on the Yangtze incident.. the call will be GB4AMT standing for HMS Amethyst


In April 1949 the Chinese people liberation army swept across the Yangte river  against the government of Chiang Kai-Shek.. The Royal navy frigate HMS Amethyst became involved whilst on a routine mission to Nanking with supplies to the British Embassy,and for a change over with HMS Consort, She was driven ashoreby heavy gun fire from the bank, hit 53 times with 23 deaths including the commander HMS London, Black Swan, and Consort went to her rescue but sustained casualties ,

After four months stuck on the mud she made a break for it at night in July by following a Merchant ship called the Kiang Ling140 miles down the Yangtze to escape to open waters at Woosung .. ” The Yangtze Incident “” A lot of Telegraphy in it really great film.. Best wishes Geoff…

Below a clips of the movie “The Yangtze inident” at the end of the clip some radiotelegraph communications



Rogaland radio, 1974 5

Norwegian radio maritime mobile service

Article by former Radio Officer M.M. (Norway)

Bergen and Rogaland Radio they were both national shortwave radio stations for service to approx. 3000 Norwegian ships (manned by 60.000 men) running between countries all over the world. The ships were built far away, and 95 percent of them never entered a Norwegian port. The sailors had two-year contract before free travel home.


Bergen Radio

So, first Bergen Radio for many years, and then Rogaland Radio – near Stavanger, a little farther south – were very important links between the ships and their shipping companies – and between the sailors and their families back home.

These stations were intended to serve big ships far out in the world, whereas a number of coastal radio stations served the local fishing fleet without a radio officer on board – mainly using the radio telephone frequencies – 2182 kHz and the band of 3 MHz

Kristiansund radio

Kristiansund Radio

Tjome Radio 3 1965

Tjome Radio

Radio officers were trained at a number of Merchant Navy Colleges,  in one-year courses with Morse Code, Radio Theory etc. – basically for Certificate 2nd Class. Most ships had only one radio officer, going eight-hour watches and using automatic distress signal apparatus as support.

Radio officers started out with one gold stripe, then earning two stripes after one year. Three stripes were only for leading radio officer on large passenger ships with more than one radio officer and day-and-night watch.

Monthly pay was comparable to mate of same rank. It was possible to save money because room and board was free, of course. One friend of mine borrowed money in the bank and had a house built for him and his coming wife, while he himself sailed for several years – between US West coast and islands in the south Pacific – until the house had been fully paid down.



Marine Receiver – I.R.M.E. RXU70

Dear Sparks,

in the past Italy had many important firms in the radio electronic field and some of them was involved in the production of equipments for maritime radio communications, of of the them was I.R.M.E. factory based in Rome. I.R.M.E. produced a wide range of marine radios and between them there was one receiver, very similar to the ATALANTA of Marconi Marine, the model RXU 70. This receiver has been used for long time and not only on Italian flagged ships, unfortunately on the web there is not much to report here, it was a receiver of good quality but with some drift trouble. If someone reading this post has some documents for picking up the main features of this radio, they are very welcome.




Marine Receiver – JRC NRD 91

Dear Sparks,

JRC firm has been established in 1915, the company produced a wide variety of products including marine electronics, measuring equipments for telecommunication, radio broadcasting equipments, and amateur radio equipments. For marine radiocommunications JRC produced a wide range of apparaturs both for ships and coast radio stations, from high perfomance receivers to high power trasmitters and today continue to have a leadership in the production of GMDSS equipments.

In this review it is showed the NRD 91 receiver which is the basic model followed by NRD 92 and NRD 93, today this equipments, not longer used in maritime communications, found a place in several amateur radio and SWL/BCL stations.

Here a clip with receiver tuned on the frequency of the Italian coast radio station NAPLES RADIO c/s IQH while trasmitting NW.



Country Japan

Factory  JRC Japan Radio Co., Ltd.; Tokyo

Year 1984

Principle  PLL, Phase-locked loop; ZF/IF 70455/455 kHz

Solid State Transistors and IC’s

Power Supply AC 100/110; 200/ 220 and DC battery 24 Volt

Audio output 1 W on 600 ohm

Materials  Metal rack

Dimensions (LxHxD) 480 x 149 x 294 mm / 18.9 x 5.9 x 11.6 inch

Notes Wave range: 90 kHz – 29.9999 MHz
Double superhet with up-conversion using a PLL synthesizer.
Reception modes: CW, MCW, DSB, SSB (FSK, FAX optional)
Selectivity: 6 kHz, 3 kHz, 0,5 kHz
Digital frequency display
Head phone jack.

Optional desktop cabinet (dimensions 489 x 190 x 305 mm, weight 11.5 kg).

Net weight 7 kg / 15 lb 6.7 oz (15.419 lb)