This last May while traveling on a three-week vacation to Italy and Greece, Ron, N4RDZ and Cindi KD7KSH had a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit and operate from HV0A, the Vatican’s official Ham Radio station.

“I get lots of requests to operate/visit the station but yours I just couldn’t refuse the request,” said the station control operator, Francesco IK0FVC. Ron and Cindi visited the station on May 19th which is located on the campus of The Pontifical North American College Just south of the Vatican City.  The multi-building, multistory complex behind a guarded gate is the home of HV0A.  The tour included a trip to the roof.  Cindi said, “You can see all of Rome from here!”

The station uses two Icom 756 Pro transceivers and has a fully automatic tuning 1KW linear amplifier. They have several types of antennas.  A vertical, a di-pole, but were using a SteppIR Beam pointed 315 degrees.  The beam was donated by SteppIR.

Most of our contacts on 17 meters were from Spain, Belgium, Norway, Great Britton and one contact from the east coast, W4XXX (I can’t remember the call).

We had a great time watching the pro, Francesco make contact after contact. He logged 3 contacts for every 1 contact Ron did.  You can compare the two “speed settings” with videos of Francesco and Ron (link here) each working the station.

While there we presented him a T-Shirt with the new West Seattle ARC logo and a QSL card from W7AW (which he immediately posted on the wall in the shack).


Francesco IK0FVC accepts a W7AW                 Francesco fires up the HV0A Station, check

T-shirt from Ron N4RDZ                                     out all the QSL cards


Gear at HV0A comes from donations                   Working the station


Ron gets a chance at the mike                   An antenna to reach around the world