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History of GRI Alfa Tango
USA 2 division Alfa Tango
Radio friendship from around the world !
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11 meter Freeband radio !
With it’s headquarters based in the City of Asti, this Italian radio group was formed in 1977 by a small group of enthusiastic 11 meter operators wanting to form an organized "brotherhood" of like minded 11 meter dxers. Their goal was to ........
So far, the GRI Alfa Tango story is an interesting one. Confirmation of the story's timeline, however, still remains a matter of locating and compiling of information and corroborating it as fact. This has proven to be challenging as I have solicited assistance from some of those who were there but was only referred to an already written article from 1985.
That particular article has already been subjected to several alterations in the form of translations and editing. The story from that source will be presented here at a later date as it is still a tedious work in progress to decipher exactly what it actually says ! More on that later .
Anybody with verified information regarding AT history and would like to help complete this story please email me and let me know what you have. If your info is used here, you will be credited as a contributor to this page. Perhaps in time, we can tell the AT story accurately and in it's entirety.
And now ... take a journey back in time ... to the early days of the Freeband and join the Italian DXmen pioneers as they realize, conceive and build what was to become the largest 11 meter international DX group on 27MHZ band. Enjoy !
The History of Gruppo Radio Italia - Alfa Tango
Presented here, in his own words, is an exact transcript ( with my notes interjected in red ) of a posting from Alfa Tango group founder Mr. Aldo, 1 AT 001 that he graciously shared with the 11 meter DX community in late 2012. Within this writing, Aldo shares a few memories of his early experiences on the 11 meter band and his realization of the need for and eventual development of what would become known as The Alfa Tango DX Group or GRI Alfa Tango ( Gruppo Radio Italia ) .
From Mr. Aldo :
In the year 1976 my station, in USA, was called <The voice of Italy>.
Then I made my first personal bilateral contest USA-Italy. Participants from
Italy " only 01 Aldo. " From USA ... " all USA stations ". ( To USA stations, Aldo was known as
" The Voice of Italy ." It was 1976 when he made his first personal contest between Italy and USA)
* In 1999, this bilateral contest was revived for a one year period beginning January 1, 1999 thru December 31, 1999 and was sponsored by Mr Aldo 1AT001 and Mr. Giuliano 1AT003. This event was, as in the original contest, only valid between operators in 2 division USA and Italy Division 1.
Well I made, during 12
months (year 1977) about 1400 contacts with all States. I sent my QSL <for
first> requesting the confirmation, only 12 cards for some most wanted States.
Received more than 1000 (one thousand) cards and a lot of them as SWL. Of
course I sent my card to everybody. Hard job for me and for the printer .. hi !
So, in conclusion, I received during the year 1977 more than 1000 cards from USA
Yes I used a very strong station (for those times) : 4 el.beam antenna, Yaesu
101Ex + Yaesu amplifier with about 400 Watts. My monitor was .800 USB.
So, on the end : The winner of this contest (also because the participant from
Italy was only one) myself !
Anyway my <old memory> about USA operators is remained at top.
No matter if I have in my collection more than 100 cards from NY, NJ, WA, OH and
more than 50 from MA, IN, VA and LA. Always has been a pleasure for me to
receive and to reply.
Times are changed. This is true. I think also because the high postal costs we
have now. But I think that to receive a card must be, always and also nowadays, a
For me ( again a very personal opinion) when I'm on the radio, always is a
pleasure to make a contact with an old or new radio friend and I know, in
advance, that I must be ready to reply.
From Jan 1, 2012 I have in my log 1314 QSOs (about 800 with ATs) and until now I
have received 214 cards. I've a <secret and private QSL manager> but also now I
am happy to receive a card, also if coming from my country and always, of course, I send
back the received contributions.
Now about the question of percentage of QSLs received by an activator :
It's now at about 55/60% for 0 (zero) and rare DX activations, at 15/20% for
IOTA and 5/10% for ses. Yes, really too low percentages but, please note, that
is higher than percentages on other bands !
On ham bands the <direct cards with contribution) remains at 5/10% and only for
a very most wanted countries or IOTA. Note also that the lower contribution is
at $2 USA but for some most wanted can be also 4/5 or more dollars !
regarding the direct cards received and the level of contributions requested,
still is better our band. We, on 11mt, haven't the possibility to use the
free ham service of QSL bureau. This is the only but big difference. Anyway we
must consider only the direct cards for a right difference between our band and
I obtained my first ham-license in the year 1976 than I sent it back for various
and very personal and local reasons and in the year 1977 the AT Group started
from Asti !
Then, a lot of years later, I have requested again a new ham call.
As in the past I still prefer to be on eleven for the real friendship we can
still found. On other bands I like to go ONLY when the 11mt are totally closed.
Also on other bands I always repeat my ham call and than "01 Aldo" so you can
easily understand who is <for real> this operator.
Sorry for this long msg, if I have bored you with my <old memories> and for my
very bad English.
AT group founder
Mr. Aldo 1 AT 001
The following article is based on information contained in an early 1985 edition of the Italian Eleven News publication. It is presented here as an English translation of a French translation of the original text written in Italian. WOW ! The original author is not known at this time. Unfortunately, it is a hard read at times due to possible translation errors, differences in terminologies and conflicts in linguistic protocol that exist between the three languages.
Fortunately, I have a French teacher for a sister-in-law! She has offered to review the article and to help me attempt to tweak the final translation to a more comprehensible English presentation while, of course, attempting to preserve the original writer's intended message. Alterations of grammar, sentence and paragraph structure may be implemented to bring the translation more into compliance with the rules of the English language. Parts will be paraphrased out of necessity and are subject to much conjecture at this time.
If you find any verifiable errors in the facts as presented in this translation, please let me know and be willing to cite your source of the conflicting data. My goal here is to present a comprehensible version of this interesting story for our 2 division members and other English speaking/reading radio friends.
With it’s headquarters now based in the City of Asti, this Italian radio group was formed in 1977 by a small group of enthusiastic 11 meter operators wanting to form an organized "brotherhood" of like minded 11 meter dxers. Realizing the need for a structured platform upon which the founders could develop, refine and maintain the integrity of the group, the rules and bylaws of the group were established.
Begin article :
Although that can seem strange, the group was born like that… almost by chance, to meet a particular requirement, felt by some Dxmen Italian. It was in 1977, one started to hear the first SB emissions. It was really the whole beginning of great “boom” of the QSO with long distance. The countries which transmitted were then little many.*While there was international DXing on 11 meters prior to 1977, I'm guessing the meaning of this is in reference the concept of an organized body of operators leading the way toward the fast growing popularity of international DXing on 11 meters.
In the trade, there were only few SB apparatuses usable. There was especially of 40 ch . Les more demanding discovered than with some transformations (VFO), one could succeed in leaving the local QRM and discovering another world at the fuller horizons. The PX of Brazil and the units of the U.S.A. made devastations whereas Italian able to be made hear out of SB was, at this time there, still very few. To mean : Limited options available for radio equipment. Operators wanting more, discover that with some modifications, mainly VFOs, they could reach beyond the frequency range limitations of their stock radios.
During this same time, were born a myriad from groups in Brazil and Canada. Among the best, let us remember “EARTH” of Brazil and “WORLD WIDE” of Canada. The members used as initials, respectively “ECHO” and “WISKEY WISKEY” preceded by the prefix of the country and follow-up of a number of unit. To mean : During this same time frame Dx groups were popping up in Brazil and Canada. The best of these are remembered as Earth group of Brazil and World Wide group of Canada. These groups were already using phonetic words of Echo for Earth and Whiskey Whiskey for World Wide. These were used in group call signs in the format we know today.
And here how the idea germinated, among first Dxers Italian, to found a national group but with universal motivations which can express, on a side petrol ( ?? )of the radio, i.e. professionalism, the apolitical attitude, fraternity without reference of race and religion, etc…, other side, the desire to gather a true elite of operators, with for principle “NOT WITH the QUANTITY, YES WITH QUALITY”. To mean : This sparked the idea of the first Italian DXers creation of a national group of operators with an international operational approach to include professional conduct of it's members, a steadfast apolitical attitude with no concern or discrimination of race and religion. The desire was to gather a truly elite group of operators whose mutual sentiment was " Not with the quantity, yes with quality ". This meant (I believe) a shared belief that it was better to have fewer quality members who supported the philosphy of the group than to recruit high numbers of members who may not be on board with the canons and by-laws established by the group.
To be continued ...