Thursday, July 9, 2009


Oklahoma this time, on a very busy and electrically noisy 40m band. He came back to a single 3X3 call (CQ CQ CQ de W9--- W9--- W9---)[1] with code as clear and crisp as a practice tape[2] and I was somehow not especially surprised when later on in the conversation, he averred his age was 91 and he'd been a ham about 75 of those years!

The band snapped and crackled away from us before I had much chance to learn how he'd spent that three-quarters of century but it was fun while it lasted. It's not a little flattering when a real OT (Old Timer, an admirable title in the hobby) with an FB fist (very well-sent code) answers your call and takes time to chat.
1. Looks like Greek? It's not that complicated. "CQ" is a general call, sort of, "Hello, who wants to yakk?" and it is a bit of a pun on "seek you;" "de" is internationally used for "from" in this context 'cos it is nice and short (DAHdidit dit) and hey, it even means from in French; W9--- is my callsign, so whoever wants to chat uses that and replies, "W9--- de (his or her callsign)," and we go from there.

2. Paper tape, with holes punched in it. I've got one of those machines and tapes for it, too -- a little motor pulls the tape through switch contacts and you hook up a code beeper to it.


  1. Posted just as I was looking for your callsign, to blogroll you. Ah well, I can understand you not wanting to post it, even though only a suicidal stalker would target the two of you :-)

    -.. . --.. ... .---- -.- . .... .. .... ..

  2. I'm still considering whether or not to post my call; when I lived alone, my rule was Absolutely Not. These days, as you point out, only a very brave or foolhardy sort would face the risks of Roseholme Cottage. On the other hand, there seems to be no shortage of fools.

    Be that as it may, 'tis a pleasure to meet you and "work a little DX" in bog comments! 73.

  3. Wow.... inspiring report!

    I just found out there is a minor hamfest this Sunday, not far from me. I have been thinking baout renewing my license, as it's expired this past year.

    I will download the form next week and send that sucker in, and begin studying to boost from Technician to General, now that code is not required. (I'm language blocked).

  4. Go for it, Carteach!

    ...I'm giggling at my own typo: "bog comments?" Sounds like stuff written on washroom walls, oh dear!