My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Monday, July 8, 2019

50 Years Ago Today

It was 50 years ago today that the mailman delivered an envelope from the FCC addressed to me. In the envelope was my first Amateur Radio license, WN1LOU.

Back then, the number in your call sign indicated your location in one of the ten US call areas. The 1 in my callsign indicated that I was located in the First Call Area, which was comprised of the six New England states.

The N in the prefix of my call sign indicated that I had a Novice Class license.

Before I opened that envelope from the FCC, I knew that my call sign would have a W, as well as the N and 1 in its prefix. I had no idea what would be the contents of its suffix, so I was overjoyed that my call sign's suffix spelled a word: LOU. Too bad my name wasn’t “Lou,” but that did not matter because over the years, I am called "Lou" on the air about as often as I am called by my given first name and that's OK by me.

WN1LOU morphed into WA1LOU when I upgraded to a Technician Class license two years later.

When I got my Extra Class license, I had the option of getting a new 1 by 2 vanity call sign, but I stuck with WA1LOU while all my friends got new 1 by 2 call signs, but I could not blame them because the FCC blessed some of them with lousy 2 by 3 call signs from the get-go.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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