Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Busy Day

Spent the day on the Iowa doing radio stuff, and in meetings.

Museum Ship's Weekend is coming up, so I have a few things to tinker together for the Grey Radio Gang, namely another little adapter box so they can interface a "Red Phone" with a laptop to route some audio to the Combat Engagement Center.

But before that, we have the Armed Forces Crossband Test coming up. This is a test whereby we'll be allowed to transmit on approved DoD frequencies, and listen on the Amateur Radio frequencies.

Sometime back, one of our members was able to contact the guys that do USN ship callsign assignments. He also contacted the USCG Heron, which was using the callsign NEPM at the time.

The importance of the USN callsign NEPM is that it's the callsign originally issued to the USS Iowa when she was commissioned.

The Captain of the Heron was more than willing to release the callsign, and in exchange we helped him get NHRN, an exchange that made both sides happy.

We now have authorization to use NEPM, "In Perpetuity", from the DoD, and we'll take the Iowa on-the-air, using the 1980's ship's legacy radio gear, on May 11th this year.

This will be the first time the Iowa has been on-the-air with NEPM in 27 years.


  1. This is a real achievement in a bureaucracy that is accustomed to saying "no". BRAVO ZULU to you and the Radio Room at USS Iowa.

  2. This is a big deal, and an important one. Bravo Zulu, and outstanding!

  3. We were quite pleased that we were able to do this. The Captain of the Heron was happy that we helped him pick what would be called a "vanity callsign", NHRN.

    And we sent him a Battleship Iowa coffee mug!

  4. That is totally awesome.

    The Wisconsin spent some time in the Philadelphia Shipyard when she was reactivated and I went on her sea trials as a civilian. (I tend to work into conversation the statement, "when I was at sea on the battleship Wisconsin" whenever battleships are mentioned).

  5. That's quite an accomplishment. I'm always glad to hear about efforts to preserve our military history, and the details matter in doing that.

  6. I didn't have anything to do with it, except being a member of the group that sheparded it through.

    The whole thing was kept under wraps by the guys doing it, as they didn't have any idea if it could be done, and didn't want to raise any expectations.

  7. Greetings from Virginia! Hey,I stumbled upon your blog while doing research on the Iowa, and I must say absolutely amazing work that your doing this magnificent ship. I have visited 3 BBs so far BB55,BB62 and BB64 I plan on visiting the Iowa sometime this year and maybe Missouri next year. My question is I would love to be able to listen in on the historic broadcast using the original call sign when you go OTA,is it possible that I could listen in on If so could you tell me how I could using this Site? Sorry I'm new to the ham radio scene and any advice would be appreciated. Thanks and keep up the great work your doing with one of the most amazing ships!

    PS hope this appears ok as I'm using my cell phone to leave this reply.

  8. When this is going on, we'll be operating what's called "split" mode, which means we'll transmit on assigned military frequencies, and the Hams will respond in a matching Amateur Radio band.

    For example, if we want to operate 20 Meters, we'll be transmitting at around 14.400MHz, and will listen for the Hams to reply on 14.345.

    I don't know the exact frequencies we'll be using at this time, but I'll post it here on the blog as I have some Ham friends that will want to try and contact us.


Keep it civil, please....