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Caister Marconi Radio Station Contacts 40 countries Using Icom Amateur Radios

Caister Marconi Radio Station Contacts 40 countries Using Icom Amateur Radios

Amateur Radio operators at the Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre in Norfolk managed to contact 480 other radio amateurs in 40 different countries on Saturday 21 April when they took part in the annual International Marconi Day to mark the inventor's birthday.

Using the callsign GB0CMS and a mixture of Morse code and telephony (speech), notable contacts included hams in Australia, Barbados, Newfoundland, Canada and the USA. Other contacts included special Marconi stations in the UK, Italy, Austria and Iceland. The station featured an Icom IC-756ProIII (40m) and an Icom IC-7400 (20m). Antennas were a W5GI “mystery antenna” dipole on 40m and a G0KYA-designed end-fed half wave vertical for 20m.

Contacts closer to home included many other radio amateurs around the UK, including some of the other Marconi stations in Holyhead, Daventry and The Lizard in Cornwall – home to some of Marconi's early work.

The Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) ran the all-day special event station at Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre to commemorate the village's original Marconi Wireless Station, which was established at Caister in 1900. The station was in a house in the High Street known as Pretoria Villa and its original purpose was to communicate with ships in the North Sea and the Cross Sand lightship.

On Saturday, the closest to Guglielmo Marconi's birthday, stations around the world were set up at sites with historical links to the inventor's work. These include Poldhu in England; Cape Cod Massachusetts; Glace Bay, Nova Scotia; Villa Griffone, Bologna, Italy and many others.

NARC public relation officer Steve Nichols, who organised the event, said: “This was our best result ever in the three years we have been operating. The equipment worked flawlessly and sunspots, which are needed for good conditions, were plentiful.

“Considering we set the whole station up on the Saturday morning, including erecting the two antennas, installing the radios and computers, and had it all taken down again by the end of the day that's quite a feat – I think Marconi would have been proud!

“And even the weather held off – it only started raining as we loaded the last pieces of equipment back into the cars. Our thanks go to Caister Lifeboat for letting us set up the station at the centre.”

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