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Author Topic: Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?  (Read 1760 times)

Offline AG6QR

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Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?
« on: April 27, 2016, 00:35:09 UTC »
I have an upcoming vacation in Italy, and while the primary purpose of the vacation is seeing the tourist sights with friends and family, I also want to take the time to operate a little bit of QRP CW from a new (to me) continent.

I have a little KD1JV tri-bander which I built for 40m, 30m, and 20m; an American Morse Porta-Paddle; a Hendricks EFHW tuner; and some wire.  It should all fit into the suitcase nicely.

We will be staying at city hotels for part of the trip, and I suspect operating from the hotels may be difficult.  However, for one week, we will have a villa on a hilltop in the Tuscany/Chianti area, and I believe it may be possible to put a temporary wire in some trees to get on the air from there.

Under the CEPT agreement, I see that I only need a copy of my US license and the CEPT paperwork, and I should be legal to operate as I/AG6QR/P.

I found an italian band plan, on the www.ari.it site.  It shows CW at 7.000-7.040, 10.100-10.140, and 14.000-14.070 on the 40, 30, and 20m bands which my radio will work on.  Is that correct?

I'm a fairly new ham, with a modest station in California, and I have never contacted Europe before.  In fact, I have never contacted a place where English wasn't the primary language spoken.  So I have some questions.

I am not a very fast CW operator, mostly 14-18 WPM or so.  Also, non parlo bene  l'italiano.  But I understand basic written Italian reasonably well, even if I have some trouble writing it properly (I'm very fluent in English and Spanish, and have studied a bit of Italian).

Does anyone have hints for effective QSOs in Italy?  Will most CW ops understand the USA standard  "TNX FER CALL UR RST 599 599 - QTH SAN GIMIGNANO SAN GIMIGNANO - OP IS RICH RICH SO HW CPY?"

Or are there Italian variations that I should know about?

Any other suggestions?

73 de Rich/AG6QR

Offline GM0LVI

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Re: Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 18:59:33 UTC »
Hi Rich! I bet you are getting excited about your forthcoming trip to EU.
You've got the band plans correct. The QRP centres of activity are - 7.030, 10.116 and 14.060.
You'll find that the vast majority of CW operators can easily hold a basic QSO in English and that very many speak English as well as you or I do. Bear in mind that Italy is surrounded by other countries that all have their own languages and while on the air you'll meet many different nationalties - far more than you'll normally work when operating QRP from your home in the USA. Having said that, it's always well worthwhile learning a few basic words in the language of any country you visit, out of plain courtesy if for no other reason.
Maybe some of our Italian QRPC members will come up with some useful suggestions. My Italian is probably as limited as yours!

Hope you have a great vacation!
72, Dave
Dave

Offline IZ5ZCO

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Re: Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 22:44:16 UTC »
Quote
I found an italian band plan, on the www.ari.it site.  It shows CW at 7.000-7.040, 10.100-10.140, and 14.000-14.070 on the 40, 30, and 20m bands which my radio will work on.  Is that correct?


Yes, in respect with the IARU Region 1 bandplan: http://iaru-r1.org/index.php/spectrum-and-band-plans/hf

Quote
Does anyone have hints for effective QSOs in Italy?  Will most CW ops understand the USA standard  "TNX FER CALL UR RST 599 599 - QTH SAN GIMIGNANO SAN GIMIGNANO - OP IS RICH RICH SO HW CPY?"


Of course, this is THE standard. :)
72 de Nicola

Offline AG6QR

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Re: Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 17:50:00 UTC »
Grazie per l'informazione.

After I posted the initial query, I found a web SDR located in Naples, available at http://ik8xoo.ddns.net:8080.  I've listened to a few short QSOs, in English and Spanish, and so far, everything is surprisingly understandable to me.  My biggest problem is that I'm still learning CW and my max sustained speed is around 16-18 wpm.  I hear many going faster (like here at home).  There are enough slower ops that I can find some QSOs which I can copy well, but it seems the proportion of slow ops may be a bit less over there.  I'm working on improving my speed...

I haven't heard anyone sending Italian yet, but I'll keep listening.  It's a bit frustrating to listen without being able to send, but hearing the EU stations makes me look forward to my trip that much more.

I'll be there the last week in June.  If you work me, I'll send you a pretty color QSL card with a photo I took of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

72 DE AG6QR (or I/AG6QR/P)

Offline GM0LVI

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Re: Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 18:52:39 UTC »
Don't worry about your speed Rich, 16-18 wpm is a quite respectable speed. A good operator will slow down to YOUR SPEED.
Thanks for that link to the SDR!

Dave
Dave

Offline ik2wqh

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Re: Tips for a US op traveling to Italy?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2016, 12:43:25 UTC »
Hi Rich,
don't worry I will be more than happy to have a CW QSO with you while you are travelling across our beautiful country. 16-18 WPM isn't that slow, lots of HAM will QRS for sure, in case.
Enjoy your trip
Fabio, IK2WQH