Guglielmo Marconi, Padre della radio - Londra 1899-
Guglielmo Marconi, Padre della radio - Londra 1899-


The project to start a radio amateur station in Villa Griffone (Pontecchio Marconi, Bologna) was born in October 1964 at the National Congress during the visit of thr members of the Congress to the Mausoleo Marconiano.

In that time in Italy there was not the division of the call-area codes and it was rather difficult listening to new amateur codes on the radio.

To identify this memorial radio station it was necessary to use a special code in order to permit that alI the O Ms all over the world could immediately recognize that "that" particular station was working in the very spot where, 70 years before, the first radio signals were transmitted. At the beginning the project did not have an easy start but, thanks to the concem off I 1 T A B (ex I1DB) ing. Bruno Trevisan, the Ministero P. T. provisionally granted a very special narne, for that time, of IOFGM to the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation.

I1LCK (I4LCK now)Franco Armenghi dealt with the coordination off the plant and a new arnateur code was activated during the World Wide DX Contest Fonia (the most important world radio communications competition) in October 1965.

The station was set inside the villa near the window from which iust outside it- there is the stele that commemorate the launch of the first radio signals. The aerials were: a three elements and double dipoles for 40/80. The operators (I1BER, I1CMF , I1ZSQ e I1LCK) got very good results: during the 48 hours of operation 1788 QSO were made with 220 countries and 79 different zones in the world, the obteined score (1,129,323 points) enabled to win the 2 world pIace and the European record.

This radio station offered a very grat interest: letteres and Q.S.L.s of congratulations from all over the world and the famous Arnerican magazine "CQ" went on publishing the photo of the station and of the operators on its cover for two months,a special honour that had never been offered neither to game winners.

The working activity started again after a month during the WWDX Contest, operators I1ALU Luigi Franceschi e I1VN Giancarlo Venturi SK, with the help of I1LCK. Nearly 1000 stations werw worked on all the bands in more than 130 countries. The first leaving delivery in WHF happened during the Romagna Contest in January 1966; 20 QSOs in SSB were made and the station was I1BER that worked with I1LCK.

Meanwhile, since the first January 1966 the name IOFGM was definitively given by the Ministero

P.T. to the G.F.M.. Responsible holder I1TAB member of the same Foundation.

In February and March 1966 they tried to repeat the success of the Contest ARRL (1 and 2 sound signal session) operators I1ZSQ, I1GAD, I1LCK; the result, in spite of the bad wave motion conditions, got the Fifth European pIace. In tha tirne, since the villa was empty , it was necessary to install all the equipments from time to time, with a great waste of energy .

However, the working activities started again for the Marconi's Day in 1966; a radio station was set, too, thanks to I1LCF.

The working activity went on now and then for some years;meanwhile the Villa Griffone was being restored and in 1974 it was completely well tidied up.

The Foundation's responsible operators had to solve not only the numerous problems with the

works, but also the proper arrangement of a radio station. The patient and proficuous activity of I1MFL and I1NE once again led by the help ofing. Trevisan, got a positive result when the Foundation decide to restore the undemeath chapel situated behind the villa and give it ti the

Division ARI of Bologna.

While the restoration was giving back the villa its graceful and charming aspect, it was possible to obtain, in order to install the strong support fir the aerials, the co-operation of the Firemen truck crane that in short time, easily solved all the problems.

The problems of the equipments of the station had not been worked out, yet, but thanks to the collaboration of some finns and private companies, once again thy werw all solved. Thanks to Lyons Club Valle del Reno, Moretti and Novel, Lanzoni and Fantini, EMC and Vibroplex ,Paoletti and Fracarro, it was possible to set a functional and charming radio station. In 1974 there was the centennial celebration of Marconi's Birth; two important meetings gave the right honour to the Station and the Division: the partecipation of the operators to the Intemational Lyons Congress and the official comrnemorative day with the leading personalities in the cultural and town field and of A.R.I. .In that year a "Diploma Guglielmo Marconi" was established: a very irnportant award given

to those radio amateurs able to link different interesting points in the world, for different reasons, to the work of Guglielmo Marconi. Since the post codes were born, namely the "Call Areas", it was not possible ro use the "O" in the name. In order to keep the name Official Comrnemorative Radio Station, at first II4FGM was given and later the clearer name IY4 FGM.


Some years of vivid activity passed, SSB and in CW, with the partecipation to Contests and a great satisfaction from everybody.

There was also some isolated activity by other Oms from other Divisions in Italy, especia1ly in Contests. The operators, who were often elped in some particular restoration works by the Firemen, kept equipments and aerials efficient and did also unusual jobs, in order to keep a high quality standard ( for istance working on the tops ofhighest trees that were going to cover the quad, adjusting the aerials again and so on).

During the spring in 1978 it was necessary to lift a three metres pole and, in that occasion the glorious quad was replaced with a three elements Yagi threeband and the transceiver was replaced with a line Drake, formed by R4B and T4XC, and all this gave a better and easier control.

Meanwhile some operators and station managers changed ,I4NE took the pIace of I4CMF and I4MFL who continued the office till the beginning of 1995.

As years went by some equipments Icom and Yaesu (IC 740 and FT 102) were replaced; the support pole had to sustain bigger and hevier aerials, sometimes even more efficient as a PKW and, at last, in 1987 a single band Hy Gain, that was a present by IOQDX. The support pole was lifted up ofthree metres, hoping th avoid the pressing growth of the trees. The rotor was modernized and provided with a very strong cage, thanks to I4TVV, that it is still used in the new plant. At last, a new 1inear amplifier arrived, a TL922, that is stil1 working with good results and reliability .

Since 1984 they started to organize the annual meeting ofthe radio station amateurs devoted to Dx, namely for those who have been trying to use their skills and knowledge, searching the farther and farther connections with unusual countries. Since the beginning the annual meeting has showed all its power, thanks to the right pIace in which it has been set up.

In 1991, after one of the strongest storms of these years, the aerials were irreparably damaged and the support pole,too. The radio station IY4FGM did not work for nearly four years,using kinds of emergency aerials that could not let great opportunuties.

On the occasion of the celebrations for the hundredth anniversary of the Radio Station, a new system of aerials and a se1f-supported pole that offered a great reliability expanded the possibilities ofthe radio station, which was completely renewed with up- to- date equipments (TS 950-DX, TL922, TH790, etc. ) .

E-Mail: iy4fgm(at)amsat.org

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