Home of BIARA


  • BIARA has a TASMA-coordinated 2 meter repeater, NI6BB,  operating on 146.880 Mhz, -600 Hz with a PL of 88.5 Hz. The primary service area is the Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor area and surrounds. Please feel to use this open machine when you are in our area. The repeater is on the 010 level of the battleship and the antenna is on a yardarm at 013. We are hoping to add an Echolink  node to the machine in the future.
  • Battleship USS Iowa Museum is open. Check www.labattleship.com for details.
  • To facilitate working those who are looking for the Battleship IOWA and BIARA’s NI6BB, the band plan below is suggested to our Op Qual’d associate operators. These have been screened to minimize conflict with other modes or known nets, but are subject to change due to existing traffic, contests or band conditions. FT8 or FT4 operations will be on the “standard” frequencies for those modes.

    BAND                                     A1A / CW                               J3E / SSB

    40                                            7.061 MHZ                              7.261 MHZ
    30                                            10.116 MHZ                            —————
    20                                            14.061 MHZ                            14.261 MHZ
    17                                            18.073 MHZ                            18.161 MHZ
    15                                            21.061 MHZ                            21.361 MHZ
    12                                            24.900 MHZ                            24.943 MHZ               
    10                                            28.061 MHZ                            28.361 MHZ

  • To request a schedule with NI6BB please E-mail us at info@biara.org and or w6hb@biara.org.

  • To coordinate an individual or group visit to BIARA’s NI6BB or to request guest / visitor operations under our control please contact w6hb@biara.org.

NI6BB Souvenir Card

The Battleship Iowa Amateur Radio Association (BIARA) is an association of radio amateurs whose purpose is the support of radio activities on, or associated with, the Battleship Iowa. The operation of the Battleship Iowa is under the control of the Pacific Battleship Center (PBC), a 501(c)3 non-profit California corporation. BIARA is a social and recreational non-profit 501(c)7 California corporation. All BIARA full members who engage in amateur radio activities aboard the Battleship Iowa are required to be accepted and registered as volunteers of the PBC and to abide by all volunteer guidelines and directives as may be established by the PBC.

BIARA acts as the representative of the Battleship Iowa, the Pacific Battleship Center and the National Museum of the Surface Navy within the amateur radio community. In this role, BIARA promotes the Battleship Iowa, the Pacific Battleship Center (PBC), the National Museum of the Surface Navy, the interests and advancement of amateur radio, coordinates the activities of the associates in providing public service and provide the opportunity and facilities for the gathering of associates and others interested in the hobby.

BIARA operates its station under license NI6BB from the communications center on the Battleship Iowa promoting the PBC, the Iowa, the National M<useum of the Surface Navy and amateur radio in general. We appreciate your contacting us and helping us in our mission.

BIARA does not solicit donations for our operations. Persons wishing to make tax deductible donations are encouraged to do so to the Pacific Battleship Center (PBC) as our host. The PBC is dependent on grants, donations, ticket sales and event income to maintain and enhance the battleship. The IOWA is not supported by or responsible to the US Navy. Your help for the greater good is appreciated.

Please use the PayPal link below to make your tax deductible donation to the Pacific Battleship Center (PBC).

NEPM was the Iowa’s call sign from her initial commissioning in 1943 until her final decommissioning in 1990. In 2002, it was assigned to the USCGC Heron. In 2016, through efforts by Bob, WB6SLC, the battleship was able to have the call sign reassigned. The USCGC Heron now has NHRN. The Iowa is one of the only US museum ships that has it’s original military call sign assigned.

Having the call sign does not afford any operating authority, although once a year, BIARA may use the callsign NEPM during the annual Armed Forces Cross-band Tests if authorized. With authority from the Spectrum Manager of the Navy’s 3rd Fleet we may gain approval for special event activations. These events will be promoted throughout the world to the amateur radio community. The ship’s quarterly activation of the “Gray Radios” is under the Innovation & Engineering Technology’s call sign NE6PM for which Gary Lopes, WA6MEM, is the trustee.

NI6BB’s Home

Each station contains an Astron RS-60M linear power supply with an Icom IC-7300 HF transceiver paired with a laptop for logging, spotting and digital modes. We have three identical stations that may be tied each to one of five possible HF antennas.


Station operator in the photo is Roy, 4Z1KO/WX6OMG.


The discone-cage antenna in on the bow. Two antennas, each with a separate feed point, are combined in one structure.  Higher bands use the discone, with the radial elements at the top as the disc and the upper section of the cage as the cone; feed point is the gap between the disc and the apex of the cone. The lower bands, fed from the bottom, use the entire cage section.

A trussed monopole is mounted above the Aviation Service Center on the aft deck. This antenna covers 10-30 MHz. The red base identifies this as a transmitting antenna (blue bases denote receiving antennas). The nonskid deck in foreground is for the flight operations area. Three hooded signal lamps are along the aft edge of the hut roof. At left is the No. 3 16-inch gun turret.

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