GB5RC 2017

Thursday 3rd August to Monday 7th August 2017

Celebrating five decades of offshore radio broadcasting

For the full report of GB5RC in 2016, click here

Following our successful activation of MV Ross Revenge in August 2016 we are very excited to be able to run the special event station again in 2017.  The Ross Revenge has been the home of the world famous Radio Caroline since August 1983.


Radio Caroline still broadcasts via the Internet and once a month, live transmissions are made from Ross Revenge via the 20kW AM transmitters at Manx Radio in the Isle of Man on 219 metres / 1368kHz or via the internet.


Ross Revenge is currently located on a fixed mooring in the River Blackwater, near Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex and has been there since 2014.  Her location is N51° 44' 4.7", E0° 51' 32.9", NGR: TL975079, WAB: TL90, Maidenhead: JO01kr and she can be seen clearly from Bradwell and in the distance from West Mersea.


Amateur radio has played an important part in the history of Radio Caroline and we're proud to be able to continue that tradition on now.


The team will be travelling to Ross Revenge on the morning of Thursday 3rd August when the setup work will be completed and we expect to be on the air either late in the day or maybe not until first thing on Friday morning.  We will have two stations running simultaneously using Kenwood TS-590SGs and 400w output.  In 2017 we will be concentrating our activities on  80m, 40m and 20m using verticals for 40m and 20m with the option to retune the verticals for 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m if conditions are favourable for those bands.  We will install dipoles for 80m and 40m for inter-G and EU working.  If we can manage it, we may be able to utilise that lovely 45m tower for activities on 80m or perhaps 160m but due to the way it's mounted, this will be difficult.  Unlike the original mast on Ross Revenge, all the stay wires are electrically connected to the body of the ship so it's all completely grounded.


Once again, we expect this to be a very busy and sought after activation with big pileups.


To whet your appetite, here's a couple of videos of the aerial installation work was undertaken in June/July 2016 for our previous activation.

We will continue to operate until the early hours of Monday morning when we will shutdown the stations, get a few hours sleep before having a leisurely breakfast and then removing our equipment from the ship ready to leave on the lunchtime tender.


The team who will be on the ship for the weekend are:

Paul, G0HWC

Tony, G0MBA

Bill, G1WJR

Terry, G4GHU

Keith, G6NHU

Pete, M1BRR

Colin, M1EAK


This special event station is entirely funded by the above seven people.  No money has been taken from Radio Caroline or from the Martello Tower Group account.  All donations to the group are used to fund our repeaters, beacons and normal activities.  If you would like to make a one off or regular donation to the Martello Tower Group, please click here.

QSL Policy

A new QSL card will be designed for 2017, different to that used in 2016.

Please read this carefully.  Failure to follow the procedure will mean your QSL card will either be delayed, or you won't receive it.


Please send cards either direct to G6NHU or via the Bureau address to GB5RC.

If you are sending from within the UK, please include a self addressed, stamped envelope (SASE).

From outside the UK, please include a self addressed envelope (SAE) and $2.

Do not send stamps or any currency other than US$.

Direct cards received without envelopes or the correct postage will be returned via the bureau.  No exceptions.


If you'd like to add a few extra dollars to go towards supporting Radio Caroline, they will be gratefully received and passed on to the Support Group (see below).


Direct QSLs should be sent to Keith Maton, 41 Bemerton Gardens, Kirby Cross, Essex, CO13 0LQ, United Kingdom.


Please do NOT send IRCs


SWL reports

We realise this will be a popular event and we encourage SWL reports as we understand a lot of short wave listeners will want our QSL card.  If you send an SWL report, please ensure you include the following info:

Frequency you heard us operating on.

Time in GMT (UTC).

Please list at least two stations we were working.  This is our way to confirm that you did actually hear us operating and aren't just fishing for a QSL card.

It would also be nice to hear a little about yourself, what radio you're using, what aerial, etc.


For more information about Radio Caroline, including how to join the Support Group and help keep the station on the air and Ross Revenge afloat, please see the website.  Radio Caroline's main running costs are covered from Support Group subscriptions and donations.


Martello Tower Group, 2009-2017