Around-the-world Amateur Radio activity will mark the 29th annual International Marconi Day (IMD), a 24-hour event held annually to celebrate the anniversary of wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s birth on April 25, 1874. IMD is observed each year on a Saturday close to Marconi’s birthday, and this year it will be observed on Saturday, April 23, with many special event stations on the air — some operating from Marconi-related sites that count as points towards the Marconi Award. Certificates are available for both transmitting stations and shortwave listeners (SWLs).
The event is not a contest; it is an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites using HF communication techniques similar to those used by Marconi, and to earn an award certificate for working or hearing a requisite number of Marconi stations.
International Marconi Day special event station GB4IMD will operate from Cornwall, helmed by members of the Cornish Amateur Radio Club, which organizes the IMD event. International Marconi Day 2016 has been dedicated to Norman Pascoe, G4USB (SK), one of the event’s founders, who died in February. Cornwall was home to some of Marconi’s early work. GK3MPD will be on the air from the inventor’s Poldhu site.
The Kerry Amateur Radio Group in Ireland will be among those taking part as an Award Station in this year’s International Marconi Day event. The station will be set up on the site of the former Marconi Station at Ballybunnion by the Expeditionary Radio Team of the radio club. Two HF stations are planned, and special event call sign EI6YXQ will commemorate the original YXQ that the Marconi Station at Ballybunnion used.
Radio amateurs in Norfolk, England, will once again be active from Caister Lifeboat as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations. The Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) will be on the air from special event station GB0CMS from the Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre to commemorate the village’s original Marconi wireless station, established in 1900. The station’s original purpose was to communicate with ships in the North Sea and the Cross Sands lightship. During last year’s IMD, the radio amateurs contacted stations in 36 countries.
While it’s not part of the official International Marconi Day activities, an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact in England will take place on April 23, and the Marconi observance will prompt the initial question to ISS crew member Tim Peake, KG5BVI. Twelve-year-old Benny plans to ask, “Today is International Marconi Day; how do you think Marconi would feel about this radio communication?”
Other IMD sites with historical links to the inventor’s work include Cape Cod, Massachusetts (WA1WCC); Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (VE1IMD); Villa Griffone, Bologna, Italy (IY4FGM), Signal Hill, St Johns, Newfoundland (VO1AA), and many others.
A Facebook page is also available.
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