Hamfests Are Good for More Than Just Buying Stuff

Sunday, I attended the Findlay (OH) hamfest. It was a beautiful day, and there were plenty of sellers, and it was a lot of fun. I actually didn’t find that much to buy. I picked up a small, 50W dummy load with a BNC tap for $30, as well as a dual-band antenna for my VX-5.

The big fun, though, was talking to people. For example, I saw my friend, Mark, W8MP, who was there with his family (XYL Rose, KD8EGG; son Brian, KD8EEH; daughter, Roxanne, KD8GWT; and another son whose name I forget). Mark and I have an ongoing discussion on whose sub-hobby is crazier—county hunting (his) or collecting QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spell words (mine).

Mark just completed his first pass at working all counties, and now he’s off on one of the other crazy things that county hunters do. That’s nearly 4,000 QSL cards. I’m still under 150 QSLs with my little pastime.

Anyway, we were re-hashing this debate when K8OIL walked by. Mark stopped him and I explained what I do, and he graciously agreed to swap cards with me. Mark and I stood there and ragchewed for about a half hour, and in that short time, we also spotted:

  • KG8UP
  • KA9IVY
  • KM8AM
  • K8BAR, and
  • K8RAT

They all were very gracious and had interesting stories to tell. K8RAT, for example, told us that he chose his call because he’s a member of the “Radio Adventure Team.” He asked if I’d worked any other stations with callsigns that spell animal words. I mentioned that I’d blogged about this and swapped e-mail with W2ASS. He got a kick out of that (pun intended).

All in all, I spotted eight hams with callsigns that spell words. In addition to the ones above, I met KD8CUT and W8RUT. I’m not sure if face-to-face QSOs should count, but since I’m making the rules, I’m going to say that they do.


  1. During this year’s Field Day, I had the pleasure of recording W1MOO in my log. They are located (where else!) in Vermont, and style themselves as “The Udder Club”.


    Mark AI4BJ

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