WA2HOM Gets First Pack of QSLs from Buro

WA2HOM, the club station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, of which I am station manager, received its first pack of DX QSLs from the W2 incoming bureau. There was one card from the Bahamas (C6AGU), one from Spain (EE5E), and two from Germany (DL7ON, DL3YM). EE5E claims to have the “shortest CW callsign in the world!”

By the way, WA2HOM now has its own website. Go to WA2HOM.Org or look in the right-hand column of this blog to see the latest posts there.

A Nice Note…

A couple of weeks ago, I worked John, VE3IZM from WA2HOM, our club station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. As it turns out, John had only recent obtained his license, and while he had made contacts from other stations, this contact was John’s first from his own shack. What a kick that was!

Of course, I sent him a QSL card, and this morning, I received this e-mail from him:

Hi Dan,
Well, Sir, you have to know you have made this old dude a very happy camper. I received your QSL card today and have it mounted in a double sided frame for permanent display in the shack!!!

I will be sending you one of mine, just as soon as they arrive from the printer.

73 and Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas


He included this photo of his shack. You can see the QSL card mounted in the frame in the upper left-hand corner of the photo.


Thanks for the note, John. I hope we work again soon.

Latest Pack of Cards From the Buro

On Friday, I got the latest pack of QSL cards from the buro. Included were one each from Japan, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Portugal, and Germany; two from France, three from Italy, and four from Spain.

The Japanese card confirmed a QSO way back in 2003, but the most remarkable thing about it is that the card was from JA1NUT, a station whose callsign spells a word.


When I reported receiving this card on a 2m net last night, a couple of the other guys on the net also mentioned working him in the past. I looked up JA1NUT on QRZ.Com found that he has over 34,000 lookups, so he must be quite an active operator. And, oddly enough, I even heard him this morning on 40m, working a WB4 station. He was weak, but definitely in there.

The other notable QSL card was from HB9DRE. This is the first card for WA2HOM that I’ve received via the buro. I’m hoping there will be many more so that we can beef up our QSL card display at the museum.

Yet More QSLs

Here are two more that I’ve recently received:


I’ve also recently worked am looking forward to the QSLs of :

  • W7FLY, the club station of the Boeing Amateur Radio Club, and
  • VA2AM, Rejean in Quebec.

A Great Idea for QSLing

On the HamRadioHelpGroup mailing list, someone asked, “How do I ask someone for a QSL card without sounding like I am begging for it.”

Mark, K5LXP, replied, “Send them one first. If you really want one back, send an SASE. If you really want one, include a few green stamps (dollars).

“What I do is send the QSL, a pre-addressed envelope and a stamp. It’s the op’s choice to use my stamp or one of their own. At least half the time they send me my stamp back. I always do. If someone’s willing to invest ~50 cents to get my QSL, I don’t have a problem returning the favor in kind.”

I hope you think this is as good an idea as I do.

New QSL Cards for WA2HOM


We finally got some new QSL cards for WA2HOM, our station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Yesterday, Jim, K8ELR, and I spent a lot of our time there making out cards to send out via the ARRL’s Outgoing QSL Service. I’ve also signed us up for service via the Second District QSL Bureau.

We have actually worked quite a bit of DX lately. Jim has worked a lot of these stations on PSK31, and we’ve participated in some contests, which make working DX a bit easier. Yesterday, for example, we made a couple of contacts in the Scandinavian Activity Contest. This contest was very much like a regional QSO party here in the states. We worked stations in Finland, Norway, and a couple in Sweden.

With all this activity, we should be able to make our QSL card display a lot more interesting.

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.

Tired of QSLs Yet?

You guys are probably tired of looking at my QSL cards from stations whose callsigns spell words, but I’m not tired of posting them. Besides, here are two of the coolest I’ve received to date, from KA9ZAP and KD8ILL:


Operating Notes: More QSOs With Stations Whose Callsigns Spell Words!

In the last eight days, I’ve worked three more stations whose call signs spell words. What’s more these were all great QSOs:

  • KA9ZAP. Art mentioned that one of his first contacts was with VU2ZAP, but he hadn’t been “ZAPped” since then.
  • K3DEN. Denny was operating from from a senior center, using an IC-703 running 10 W into a Hustler antenna mounted on his car. He emailed me after our contact and said, “I thought you wouldn’t be able to hear me due to low power and and conditions.” He wasn’t very strong here, but I enjoy a relatively low ambient noise level here, so he was solid copy.
  • W2RIP. Despite his call, Ron lives in GA. During our 40-minute QSO, we discovered that we’d both been trained as EEs and lived in CA, first in Northern CA, then in Southern CA. Ron also mentioned that he’s had a lot of fun with his callsign.

All three QSLs are going to be great additions to my collection.

Operating Notes

I’ve worked Arun twice this past week, once from home and once from the Hands-On Museum. What’s notable about these contacts? Well, for one thing, Arun is someone I’ve cyber-Elmered. He contacted me by e-mail about getting his Tech license, and after swapping a couple of e-mails, I found out that he passed the test on Saturday, July 11. This was a bit easier for him as he’d held a VU license in the past.

The second notable thing is that both contacts were CW contacts. Again, this was easier for him because he had learned code to get his VU license, but even so, it shows that some Techs do make use of their CW privileges on the low bands.

Arun lives here in Ann Arbor, and I’m sure I’ll meet him face-to-face soon. In fact, I’ve already signed him up to speak to our ham radio club in November.

More stations whose call signs spell words:
Tuesday, while waiting for my XYL, I turned up the volume on the rig and tuned around the phone bands. Who should I hear, but N3ELK! Now, I can say that I bagged an ELK.

Yesterday, on 40m CW, N4AX replied to my CQ. He was a real sharp operator, too!