On the evening of 27 November 1923, a mother in Connecticut sent Thanksgiving greetings to her son who was a great distance away, via radio.1 She paid nothing for this service since her message was handled entirely by amateur radio operators. Impressively, it arrived only six minutes after she dictated it to a local ham on the telephone, traveling more than 6,000 miles to reach its addressee. Since her son happened to be aboard a ship that was frozen motionless … Continue reading

Call Sign Confusion

With the arrival of international amateur communication, the lack of a worldwide system of station identification led to confusion over call signs. Without prefixes as we know them today, there was no way to use a call sign to identify a station’s country. And since each country issued call signs independently, duplicates were inevitable. This hadn’t been a big problem for US hams before the first international QSOs since Canada was the only other country within normal range having a … Continue reading