Flutterby™! : Letter from the FCC

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Letter from the FCC

2007-11-27 02:58:12.657251+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Letter from the FCC has arrived. I don't have the equipment or knowledge to do anything, but I can add KI6MZO to my list of identities.

[ related topics: Wireless Dan's Life ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-27 03:17:46.396795+00 by: Larry Burton

I think you start off with a coil of wire and a cat whisker.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-27 03:47:33.774919+00 by: Dan Lyke

That'd serve the damned cat right.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-27 14:25:20.446102+00 by: Nancy

My Grandfather, Harold (Hal) DeVoe, was known quite literally around the world as KL7MF. That he died over 20 years ago and I still recall his call letters is testament to his devotion. He worked for the FCC in California (Soledad area maybe?), then Juneau, Alaska, then Anchorage. When the 'quake of Good Friday '64 struck, he was in charge of all communications in and out of Alaska until the phone lines were restored.

When my mother announced her engagement, he replied with a telegram gleefully announcing his plans to turn her room into his new 'ham shack.' The telegram was on display at my parents' 50th anniversary party earlier this year.

Mom, and we kids, who lived in their basement for a few weeks during a move, recall with fondness the noise of his clicking and clacking well into the night. He communicated solely by morse code and was quite the wizard with it. He had at least a half dozen large lateral file cabinets packed full of QSL cards. I don't know if the family kept any of these, but I hope so. He was talking with residents of the Soviet Bloc all during the cold war.

What a flood of memories for me - thanks for the push down memory lane. And good luck with hamming! If my grandpa were still alive, he'd climb up his signal tower in the back yard with you (my memory is it was about 3 or 4 stories high), sit on the roof and tell you a few stories, while possibly having a little nip of something he'd smuggled by Grandma.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-27 15:25:04.330444+00 by: Dan Lyke

Neat, Nancy! The ARRL sent us a little intro magazine stuffed with ads and a few useful notes, and a few things clicked into place. The big chart of "HF" frequencies, 10 to 160 meter wavelengths, separated out the "trying to bounce a signal to the Soviet Union" from the "trying to talk to the repeater on the nearby mountain top with a handheld radio" for me. I'm not sure I've got the whatever to learn code and become the key long-distance link, the Internet has made large portions of that less attractive to me, but I'm impressed by those who do that stuff.

I also found it amusing that a good portion of the ads in this publication are from a company called Yaesu, which I have trouble saying without adding "...joy of man's desiring".

#Comment Re: FCC made: 2007-11-28 00:01:13.315927+00 by: schrodycat

Congrats, Dan . I got my license (with code, I proudly add) last year. KB1NSX. In fact, code on HF is the only thing I'm interested in. If it want to chat with someone I'll pick up a phone, and if I want to send text, I'll use other electronic means. But code on HF - that's for real men!

So after digging up my old ICom receiver, I built a low-power HF CW transmitter and rigged up a 40m dipole in the backyard. I spent a month sending CQ's without a single response. I tore it all down in frustration.

Maybe I'll save it for my retirement in 20 years...

#Comment Re: made: 2007-11-28 14:41:26.659928+00 by: Dan Lyke

Some day soon I need to find a work-around for the stupid character set issue that's been plaguing Flutterby with copy and paste text. At any rate, Nancy was having trouble posting this, and asked me to do it for her:

Wow - Dan - I did some research yesterday and this morning had the email I took the liberty of pasting below, from the lady who 'inherited' my Grandpa's callsign. What a rush! I forwarded it to my mom and uncles and I think everyone will be excited to communicate with her. I have you to thank for the nudge. The internet is truly remarkable ;-)

Hi Nancy !

A ham friend in Chino, CA forwarded your email to me here at work. I am the manager of one of 12 stores throughout the country called Ham Radio Outlet, where, you can guess, we sell ham radio equipment. We are still very much in demand as long as there are Katrinas, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other natural (or man made!) disasters as the good communicators we can be.

Although I did not know your Grandfather personally, since getting his callsign I have received many a fond remembrance from people I've worked on the air or met personally who had crossed his path at some time or another in their ham careers.

One friend in Hawaii called me on the phone as soon as he saw I'd received the KL7MF callsign to tell me that the very first time he got on the air, his very first contact was with Hal in Alaska.

A very active, 80 year old woman ham friend of ours who lives in Florida, called me immediately upon hearing I'd gotten the callsign to tell me that she had taken her commercial FCC exam from Hal when he was at FCC in Soledad, and had managed to work him on the ham bands several times over the years.

We've also just come into possession of a copy of a program of some sorts that was handed out at a gathering (we haven't been able to figure out if it was just a spur of the moment hamfest or convention or what) down here in Southern California, I think in the 50s but I don't remember now :>(, that lists KL7MF as one of the participants.

One of my customers came in one day a couple years ago with a copy of Hal's QSL card for me that he'd exchanged when they'd worked each other. I'm going to have to see if I can find it or get another copy for you if you're interested.

So, off the top of my head, that's about the extent of memorable exchanges I can come up with about your Grandfather. I can tell you that he apparently was very active, and certainly well regarded, and I've more than once made the comment that I'm quite honored to have received his callsign.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me any time. I'd enjoy learning more about him as well, and can put out feelers for more ham radio related stories if you wish.

Kind regards,

Janet Margelli, KL7MF

Manager/HRO Anaheim