IK0FVC ROME, ITALY <br />Loc. JN61FW ItalianoEnglish


In 1973, I held a radio transmitter in my hand for the first time (a Lafayette Dyna-Com 23, which I have saved as a keepsake). I was nine years old and since then I've never been apart from radio.

Ten years later in 1983, after much experimentation, the big leap occurred: the fall license certification exam. It was the summer after my high school graduation, and I recall being with friends in Greece who all wondered what I was doing hour after hour in my headphones with a pen and paper in front of me instead of partying with them. I told them I was learning the CW, few really understood, some a little curious. But I had decided that was the moment to do it.

ik0fvc Valsecchi
The start of my career...
I passed the exam, though the registration did not arrive until 1985. When I heard the postman ring the bell at last with the certified mail, I ran down the stairs -- I had waited for more than a year (it's Italy after all) -- but at last the license had arrived.

My brother had a dog named Charlie who I was very fond of, and I thought ot myself I thought it would be nice to have a call with my initials plus those of the beloved four-legged friend. The miracle happened, I got the name IK0FVC. My adventure in radio had a great start.

My first set of equipment included a Yaesu FT-101ZD, a dipole, and the first dx made in Russia. It seemed like the the machine spoke martian - the only known Russians were Breznev and Gromiko, the world was divided by an impenetrable iron curtain -- but the radio was superb and transcended the world's limits.

The years went by, the equioment ever waiting for me in the small attic room I used as the station. Though my passion was sometimes overlooked, it was easily re-ignited by making a new broadcast or simply by itself.

In the 90s there was work, my new family, my career as a lawyer taking off. The radio could wait, faithful and invaluable companion. Then some curious coincidences occurred. Between 1989 and 1990 I received the Bouvet 3Y0, the quintessential dx.

ik0fvc 1992
Transmitting from IA0KM
I was on the air, it was intense. Unfortunately, however, the radio often called into a void. Maria Grazia, the woman who became my wife and mother of our little devils Athos, Riccardo and Leonardo, was by my side and during those early family days, I decided to remain silent and not distract myself. Once I thought to test the loyalty of the radio. I had only one call, but it didn't go well. I had to wait 11 years to reconnect to the magical world of dx in which I was slowly becoming the "most wanted."

Some time later came the moment of the ZL8 Kermadec, the other sacred machine of dx. Five days waiting in line, morning and night, the headsets glued to my ears, but the Kermadec did not arrive. This time, there were no distractions, but no one cared to know .

At the time, I was a volunteer assistant at the University of Rome and, after five sleepless nights, I had to show up to assist in giving the examinations in banking law. I literally fell asleep in my seat, and many irregular marks were thanks to Kermadec. It happens.

After all, radio is life. When you want it, it's not there, when it's there you leave it. But in the end, persistance brings results.

A few years ago...
The equipment was always important. After the 101ZD I betrayed the Yaesu for the Kenwood TS 850, among the best of the last models before the arrival of digital. Then I repented of betrayal and returned to Yaesu FT 1000MP, the substition for the the upgraded Mark V. But it was destiny, the Yaesu dies hard. The final and still current love is the ICom 7800. There is nothing more to say, we are at the top. The backup is a TS 2000 Kenwood, a versatile and excellent also in V/U.

The story of the antennas is Less turbulent. Aside from a myriad of dipoles and others, the leader in its class for 17 years (1991-2008) was the legendary KLM KT-34; it never had a problem, it was always ready and faithful to each test. But everythign comes to an end, and in mid 2008, I replaced this with a worthy Ultra Beam 3 in 3 parts, 6-40 meters. It's a really innovative and very high performance antenna.

My antenna system is from a 23 cm. beam Tonna up to a Kelemen dipole for 80 and 160 meters, a miracle for being located inside Rome.

Transmitting from HV0A/HV4NAC
Over time, new station names were added -- the Vatican (HV4NAC, HV0A, HV50VR, HV6SP), the S.M.O.M. (1A0KM).

In 2003, after 18 years, IK0FVC earned the number one RRL DXCC Honor Roll. I also hope to reach this goal in the CW.

Many years have passed, I wish to have even more ahead. The radio is always there, now truly a part of my live and above all, each QSO, each DX is just like the first.

Francesco Valsecchi, IK0FVC, HV4NAC, HV0A, HV50VR, HV6SP, 1A0KM, K0FVC.