Dozens of official “award stations” have registered to take part in the 2017 International Marconi Day (IMD) event, this year being held on April 22, 0000-2359 UTC (starting on April 21 in US time zones). All contacts counting toward the Marconi Award must be made on HF with registered stations, but other participating stations do not need to be registered to claim awards. This year marks the 30th IMD, held each year to mark 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. Many special event stations — some operating from Marconi-related sites — will be on the air. Marconi Award certificates are available for both transmitting stations and shortwave listeners (SWLs).
The event is not a contest but an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites using HF communication techniques descended from those used by Marconi, and to earn an award certificate for working or hearing a requisite number of Marconi stations.
There are two categories. Transmitting amateurs attempt to complete contacts with 15 of the official award stations, while shortwave listeners attempt to log two-way communications made by 15 of the official award stations.
International Marconi Day special event station GB4IMD will be on the air from Cornwall, helmed by members of the Cornish Amateur Radio Club, which organizes the IMD event. Cornwall was home to some of Marconi’s early work. A list of participating stations is on the Cornish Amateur Radio Club’s website.
The Kerry Amateur Radio Group in Ireland will be taking part as an IMD award station. EI6YXQ will be set up on the site of the former Marconi Station at Ballybunion. The YXQ suffix commemorates the call sign of the Marconi Station at Ballybunion.
In the US, special event station K2M will be on the air from Binghamton, New York, the site of the remaining Marconi tower, where the inventor demonstrated in 1913 that it was possible to communicate via radio with a fast-moving train.
For the seventh year, radio amateurs in Norfolk, England, will be active from Caister Lifeboat as part of the IMD celebration. The Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) will be on the air from special event station GB0CMS at 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.
Other IMD sites with historical links to the inventor’s work include Cape Cod, Massachusetts (WA1WCC and KM1CC); Nantucket Island (W1AA/MSC); Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (VE1IMD); Villa Griffone, Bologna, Italy (IY4FGM), and many others.
A Facebook page is also available.