SCARS News November 16, 2021

NL7XM Amateur Callsign Historian — Menu

This article comes from a story about our own Robert (Bob) Gibson W5RG. He was looking for some wall art for his shack and learned about Pete “The Greek” Varounis NL7XM. Pete is an Amateur Callsign Historian and has collected all of the callbooks, and stacks of QSL cards. Bob is shown here with a QSL card using his original 5RG callsign. The card shown here is from a conversation (QSO) on December 27th, 1923, by T. R. Gentry 5RG who was in Dallas, TX. (Early US callsigns started with only a number, and subsequently had a “W” prefix added to them, making this the predecessor to W5RG.)

Pete is a retired NYC Police captain that retired from law enforcement after 9/11. He moved to Pennsylvania and started out with a few old rescued callbooks. Quickly he realized there was tremendous interest among hams with “W” prefixed 1×2 or 1×3 callsigns. He found a few local club members who had others who held their calls way before they did.

For the ‘new hams’, the callbook was the first thing a new ham bought at their first hamfest. This printed directory was the phone book of the hobby. Before the Internet and, this was the only way to learn about your fellow amateurs. When you sent a paper QSL you’d look the other guy up in the callbook and address the card. The book shown below is from 1990 and has over a half million callsigns, names, and addresses listed in it.

Currently, these old callbooks stand as a historical record of each and every callsign. Our own volunteer examiner chief Peter Laws N5UWY uses callbooks to find proof that someone previously held an old license. Finding this proof will allow an old callholder to either receive their previous callsign back, or obtain a previously held Amateur Extra, or General license by only passing a Technician test. While you can read through copies of some of the books online, NL7XM has them all. That makes him the definitive source of all past callsign activity. If you need assistance with your old callsign or a family member’s callsign, you can contact him directly at Pete charges a small fee to defray the costs of maintaining the paper database, but finding the information is priceless.

Procuring every single callbook became Pete’s personal goal, (or as his XYL would probably say, “pathological obsession”, hi!) He finally has obtained them all, going back to the first RCA Blue Book of 1909. In this picture, you can see the extent of his collection.

Occasionally a QSL card would fall out of an old edition which piqued his curiosity, That soon led to his next vice, card collecting. 

Today he has over 500,000 QSL cards in his catalog, including some of the oldest, rarest, most valuable, and iconic cards in existence. To pay for the cold storage environment costs he designed for these and the world-class callbook research library, occasionally he offers to sell a vintage original card. These usually go to the contemporary holder of a call, like the card that Bob Gibson has. If you have a stack of old QSL cards, he is interested in obtaining them.

Gordon West WB6NOA, wrote an article in CQ Magazine about his work after Pete found Gordon’s lost novice callsign. Bob Heil K9EID praised Pete’s efforts on a Ham Nation podcast after Pete located Bob’s high school buddy, his Elmer, and reunited them via telephone. In 2018, the Antique Wireless Association conferred the Houck Preservation Award, their highest, to Pete in 2018. 

John Amodeo AA6JA, “Last Man Standing’s” executive producer, asked Pete to design custom fictitious callsigns for cast members and the simulated amateurs “on the air” with Mandy in the famous episode, “The Fight.”, linked below.

Pete’s QSL Card appears on the wall behind the station at Outdoor Man in nearly every episode. Pete and his wife got to meet Tim Allen backstage at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City a few minutes before his standup routine before 5,000 people. 

And, as with most hams, there’s even more. Pete operates a six-meter CW beacon on 50.075 MHz. He says that beacon reports are always appreciated. You can hear what it sounds like here. If you hear the beacon, spotting reports can be entered at:, emailed to, or by QSL card (OK on QRZ). The beacon uses about a 3W crystal-controlled transmitter into a SquaLo antenna at 320 ft above sea level, in grid square FN20ip34.

Christmas Party Scheduled — Menu

This annual event started in 1978 and brought about 50 hams together for a great meal and a Christmas gift exchange. Each gift should be a maximum of $15 (an increase from previous years), and “No Free Harbor Freight items are allowed.” Bring your wrapped gift labeled as from/for either a “ham” or “non-ham.” This year will be December 7, 2021, at 5:30 pm, at the Golden Corral, 123 N Interstate Dr., Norman, OK. More information is available at club meetings or on the SCARS Facebook Group.

Since this is a Tuesday evening, the December 7th In-Person Elmer Night will be canceled (Zoom and YouTube will still operate). And both the 8:00 pm ARES net and the 8:30 pm Gossip net will be canceled.

Repeater Etiquette — Menu

To encourage proper operating guidelines, we provide members a guide to repeater etiquette and operating guidelines. Our on-the-air guidelines are listed here and are available on the SCARS website at Following these will help new members and not-so-new members get up to speed with the protocols, language, topics, and operations on shared radio systems.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created rules and regulations that govern amateur radio. These rules and regulations are listed in Title 47, Chapter I, Subchapter D,  Part 97 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Hams usually call these the “Part 97” rules. Those rules discuss what hams are legally allowed to do.

However, just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you should do it. Learning what you should do usually takes many years and involves a lot of hard lessons. In an attempt to help learn these lessons quicker, we have created this repeater etiquette guide.

Repeaters allow us to amplify our signal to allow others to hear our voices. SCARS repeaters, and all others, typically have hundreds of people listening at all times. This could be hams, family members of hams, people listening to scanners, city officials, or people listening on the Internet rebroadcast or recording, anywhere on the planet. When you are heard on a repeater, your performance should be representative of the host club.

Follow these guidelines and you will quickly become a better operator.


  • Take time to listen to the repeater for a while before you transmit. If you are new to the area, listen to get a feel for the operation of the locals. Otherwise, listen for at least 30 seconds to make sure you aren’t barging into a conversation.
  • To transmit, key your microphone, wait for a second, and then start talking. Repeaters and receivers have a built-in delay that may chop off the first few syllables of your statement. Hold the button firmly while you are talking. Be sure to let go of the button when you are finished.
  • Transmit your callsign when you start talking. This lets the other people listening know who you are. While the person you are talking to may know your voice, others listening may not.
  • If you wish to announce that you are listening to the repeater and are willing to converse, give your callsign and the words “listening” or “monitoring.” Stay on the channel for at least a minute because others may take a while to respond. CQ is not used on repeaters.
  • To call another station, transmit their callsign and then your callsign. Be sure to pause before you start talking. If you get no response, make this call again. If you still get no response, simply transmit your callsign and the words “clear”, or “listening”, or “monitoring”.
  • Resist the urge to quickly key to respond to a transmission. Provide a brief pause between transmissions to allow others to join in. People breaking into a conversation will transmit their call sign when the current operator unkeys.
  • Promptly acknowledge any stations that transmit their call and permit them to either join the conversation or make a quick call.
  • You do not need to wait for the repeater transmitter to drop. There are about four seconds between the courtesy tone and the repeater transmitter dropping. Let two of them go by and then key the microphone.
  • Commuting hours are popular for many mobile stations. Repeaters exist to help extend the range of mobiles and portables. Be courteous and give them priority during commuting hours.
  • Do not “kerchunk” a repeater by clicking the microphone button to see if you are in range. If you need to range check your radio, key the microphone, transmit your callsign, and then wait for the repeater to respond.
  • To ask for a radio check, key your microphone, transmit your callsign, and then the words “radio check”. More often than not, you’ll get someone to respond.
  • If you are in an emergency situation, use the word “emergency”. You will get a much better response than if you use other codewords. When someone responds, keep them informed of your situation until you announce that the emergency is over.


  • Watch what you say when you key your microphone. Speak as if your mother is in the room. Avoid ‘mild’ obscenities, including suggestive phrases and innuendos.
  • Speak as if you were talking to someone face-to-face.
  • Don’t use the word “break” to join a conversation. If you want to be involved, simply transmit your callsign. Some regions reserve the word “break” for announcing an emergency.
  • Use plain language and avoid jargon or acronyms that may be prominent in your ‘day-job’, or on HF. Others may not fully understand what your acronym means.


  • Do not monopolize the repeater. If others turn off their radios because they can hardly talk to someone except you, something is wrong.
  • Be upbeat and courteous. Don’t be the guy that’s always complaining about other hams, the repeater, or some aspect of the hobby.
  • Do not discuss the topics of politics, religion, or make disparaging remarks. While you and the person you are talking to may share certain beliefs, there are hundreds of other listeners that probably have differing opinions. Typically this results in hams turning off their radios and reduces group participation.
  • If you frequently receive jamming interference, it may be a sign that you may need to adjust your use of the repeater. This isn’t always the case, but history has shown that jammers respond to those that have caused the most friction.


  • Don’t cough, sneeze, or clear your throat on-the-air. Unkey the microphone as you feel these coming on.
  • If you hear someone trying to “jam” a transmission, or disrupt the normal repeater operation, ignore them. These people are looking for attention and typically go away if ignored. “Please don’t feed the trolls.”
  • If you feel that you need to interrupt an existing conversation, remember it is no more polite to do so on the air than if you did it face-to-face.
  • Follow a roundtable, or rotation format to allow 3 or more hams to participate in a conversation. Don’t ignore people by not passing to them for several turns.
  • Perform your legally required station identifications every 10 minutes. Use the repeater timer, or the other station as your guide. When you hear the controller identify the repeater, you should give your callsign on the next transmission.
  • Using the phrase “for ID” with your callsign is not required, or encouraged.
  • Perform your legally required station identification at the end of your conversation. Simply give your callsign. You do not need to repeat the callsign of the other operators.
  • Don’t use any CB phrases, slang, or verbiage. Use plain language.
  • Respond to calls that you aren’t familiar with. It’s a great way to meet new people and hear new stories. They may be a new ham, or new to the area, and are looking for a conversation.

Have fun and enjoy the machines. Should you have a question or would like to add to this list, please send a message to

QRZ082: Which Way Is North? — Menu

This ongoing series was written by SCARS charter member SK Jack Bickham WB5TZZ / KU5B. Jack was a prolific novelist, his two most known works were turned into the movies “The Apple Dumpling Gang”, and “Bakers Hawk.” These 104 Q. R. Zedd articles were originally published in the Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs (CORA) Newsletter, the Collector & Emitter from September 1981 through April 1990, and are hosted on the SCARS website. We are reprinting this series to provide you with a glimpse of the past.

Originally published in the June 1988 issue of the Collector and Emitter.

(Special to C&E)

NORTH POLE – Bitter south winds (they would have been north winds if the party was anywhere else) and temperatures reaching 100 below greeted Q. R. Zedd, greatest DXer of them all, as he began his DXpedition here.

Zedd, A5A, had never met such conditions.

“I have never met such conditions,” Zedd said.

But the weather was only half of it.

Zedd’s team included Tondelayo, his blond, nubile bride; son Zepp, age 1; Momma Zedd, of Mena, Ark., and Homer Klott, world-class nerd. One pool reporter from Collector & Emitter was allowed to go along.

Here is the moment-by-moment account of the first hours of the great North Pole feat:

1705Z — We approached the North Pole, flying low over ice floes and polar bears, in the sleek jet aircraft of Zedd’s own design. Zedd was at the controls. Momma Zedd was in the right seat. Tondelayo, Zepp, Homer and this reporter were in the back.

1712Z — “We should be almost there,” Zedd said. He reduced power to the engines. The plane sank lower.

“These low clouds are tough,” the great man muttered. “Momma, give me six degrees of flaps.”

1717Z — We broke out of the low-lying clouds into marginal visibility.

“Gadzooks!” Homer screamed, looking out a side window. “Shazam!”

“Dirty tricks!” Zedd cried, applying power to slow our descent.

Below us, to our horror, we saw a huge encampment: a half-dozen large Soviet-built aircraft and three helicopters; two long rows of insulated military tents; a couple of half-tracks and one large quonset-type building, and uniformed men scurrying around like brown ants on the infinity of glaring white ice.

A Russian flag crackled in the strong, cold wind.

1718Z — A voice broke in on our radio frequency.

“Hey, Zapp, Sipp, whatever your name! This is Badenov, greatest DXer in world! Keep moving, capitalist lackey pig, you is QRMing great Russian radio sportsman signals down here on North Pole!”

“That cowpie,” Momma Zedd rasped, reaching for the microphone. “I’ll tell him -”

“No, Momma,” Zedd replied coldly. “I’ll handle this.”

So saying, Zedd thumbed the mike. “Badenov, this is Zedd. “What are you jerks doing down there?”

“Is doing DXpedition, Zitz, what you think, boy? Is we got here first, is room for only one at the top, hah? Har har! Go back home, eat your hearts out, boy! Us humble Soviet amateur expedition is got here ahead of you.”

Zedd maintained silence as we made a wide turn, surveying the installation, which covered about six acres.

“Oh, Q!” Tondelayo cried. “What will we ever do?

“Calm down, honey,” Zedd said.

“Momma, fly the airplane. Something don’t look right here. I got to make some calculations.”

1722Z — Zedd began poring over charts and making multiple compass readings, punching everything into his HP calculator.

1735Z — “A-hal” Zedd cried in triumph. “Just as I thought! Gimme them controls, Momma!” And he banked the plane sharply, headed off to portside.

1736Z — “So long, Zoppl See you later, capitalist pig swine lackey oinkl Badenov has won at last! Har har har!”

Zedd said nothing. His jaw was set like John Wayne. Tondelayo wept silently. Homer fell out of his seat into the aisle.

1744Z — Zedd told Momma to lower the flaps and we began a descent toward an icy glare below.

“But what good does it do us to operate from away from the North Pole?” Momma cried.

“We ain’t,” quoth Zedd. “This is the North Pole, right here.” And the gear touched down gently in a perfect landing.

“Are you sure?” all of us chorused, like in the old Hardy Boys books.

“Yep. I am. — See? There’s the sign.”

And there, out the starboard window, was the official ARRL sign that read NORTH POLE… RIGHT HERE. And an arrow pointing to the ice where the sign pole was stuck.

“But,” Tondelayo asked, “how could the Rooshians make such a mistake?”

“They missed by several miles,” Zedd told her calmly, braking the plane to a stop. “They often do.”

“But why? How?”

“Well, you know how they always lean to the left.”

1800Z — Plane doors are open. Equipment is being unloaded. Homer falls down, breaking his blue plastic whirlygig. Temperature is minus 65. Wind is 44 knots. Zepp has wet pants. Tondelayo uses bunsen burner to thaw them enough to change them.

1805Z — The great man tells us, “Let’s get cracking. Tondelayo, put up the tent. Momma, assemble the radio gear. Homer, put up the tower and beam. KU5B, fuel the generator. Remember, this is history, so don’t screw up. Wake me when we’re ready to go on the air.”

Zedd zipps up his sleeping bag. Everyone else begins feverish work.

1900Z — Tondelayo wakens Zedd. Zedd starts checking equipment setup.

1902Z — Zedd finds that Homer has installed the beam on the ground end of the tower. “Why did you do that, you dadblamed idiot?”

“Wal, Mr. Zedd, we are at the North Pole, right?”

“Right. So what, you moron?”

“Wal, ever’thang is south of us, right?”

“Right. So ..?”

“So iffen we wanna shoot our sigunuls down below where we are at chere -”

Zedd groans. “We naturally put the beam on the bottom of the tower so it’s a shorter distance. Right?”


1932Z — The beam has been reinstalled on the top of the tower. Homer falls in the latrine pit he has started to dig. He screams for help. Nobody rescues him.

1939Z — Zedd sits down at the mike. He touches up the loading and keys the mike. This is A5A from the North Pole, listening up ten, A5A, A5A, QRZ?”

It had begun in fine style.

(To be concluded.)

— KU5B

New/Upgraded Hams

Please join the SCARS Exam Team in welcoming the following new amateurs to the air:

Kevin, KI5SJL
who earned a Technician class license.


Next Exam Session: December 2, January 6

Dates to Remember — Menu

Newsletter News — Menu

This newsletter is announced in several places. Feel free to subscribe to the way that suits you best. If you’re an email person, you can subscribe by visiting If you’re a Twitter person, visit us at And each newsletter announcement is posted on the Facebook group at And, if you like to search this yourself, you can go straight to the newsletter at Any way you found the newsletter, we’re glad you made it.

And, this newsletter should be for, and about, you. If you have a neat build project to share, an interesting QSO, a new radio review, a new idea, an upcoming event, a member spotlight, or if you’d like to help produce the newsletter, please send an email at These don’t have to be polished articles; we’ll edit as required. Don’t forget a picture or two. That picture is worth a thousand words.

Local Hamfests — Menu

Briefly, here’s the list of the upcoming local hamfests. Hamfests are always great places to buy new equipment, sell your underused equipment, and find that great flea market bargain. They are always a great place to meet local hams and learn some new tricks.

3/5/2022 | Elk City Hamfest | Location: Elk City, OK
4/1/2022 | Ozark Con – 4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO
4/8-9/2022 | Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
5/20-22/2022 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH
7/22-23/2022 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – Oklahoma City, OK
8/13/2022 | Reno County KS Hamfest | Location: Hutchinson, KS
8/26-27/2022 | Joplin Hamfest | Location: Joplin, MO
9/10-11/2022 | Arkansas State Convention | Location: Mena, AR
9/16-18/2022 | Duke City Hamfiesta | Location: Albuquerque, NM
9/24/2022 | Springfield MO Hamfest | Location: Springfield, MO
10/01/2022 | Wichita Area Hamfest | Location: Wichita, KS
10/21-22/2021 | Hamarama Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK
11/5/2021 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK

The ARRL maintains a list of all US hamfests if you would like to travel. Click here for the ARRL list of those within 250 miles.

SCARS Is On The Web — Menu

News, links, repeater info, hamfests, licensing, and more are linked from the menu sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG!

Podcast: On The Air — Menu

The On the Air podcast is a companion to the bi-monthly On the Air magazine (an ARRL membership benefit) and takes a deeper dive into select features and projects. Each month, host Steve Ford, WB8IMY offers additional resources, techniques, and hints to help you get the most from the magazine’s content.

Audio Link

ARRL’s On The Air – Episode 23

Q-Signals are as old as amateur radio itself and they are still in use today. Although originally intended for CW use, you’ll hear them in voice communication as well.

The “On The Air” podcast homepage is available by clicking here.

ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu

ARLD045 DX news

QST de W1AW  
DX Bulletin 45  ARLD045
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 12, 2021
To all radio amateurs   

ARLD045 DX news

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by
F8DVD, IK2DUW, KD7WPJ, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News,
DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and
WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks to all.

ISRAEL, 4X.  Station 4X0KTN is QRV until November 13 from the Small
Crater as part of the Land of Craters program.  Activity is on the
HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8, and on Satellite QO-100.  QSL via

ZANZIBAR, 5H.  Vlad, OK2WX is QRV as 5H3WX from Michamvi Kae, IOTA
AF-032, until December 3.  Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW
and SSB.  QSL via HA3JB.

NEPAL, 9N.  Robert, S53R is QRV as 9N7AA from Kathmandu.  His
activity is limited for the time being.  QSL direct to S57DX.

OMAN, A6.  Special event callsign A600MA is QRV until November 18 to
celebrate Oman's National Day.  QSL via EA7FTR.

MOZAMBIQUE, C9.  Elvira, C92R will be QRV from November 13 to 30.

THE GAMBIA, C5.  Members of the C5C team are QRV from Kololi until
November 19.  Activity is on 80 to 10 meters, depending on
propagation, using CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4, and on Satellite QO-100.
QSL direct to F5RAV.

FRANCE, F.  Francois, F8DVD will be QRV with special event station
TM60ANT from November 16 to 30 to commemorate the 60th anniversary
of the Antarctic Treaty.  Activity will be on 40 to 10 meters.  QSL
to home call.

SAUDI ARABIA, HZ.  Members of the Saudi Arabia Radio Society are QRV
with special event station HZ1OMAN until November 18 in celebration
of Oman National Day.  QSL via HZ1SAR.

BELGIUM, ON.  Special event station OR95B is QRV until the end of
2021 in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Belgian National
Railway Company.  QSL via OR4K.

NETHERLANDS, PA.  Hans, PA7HPH is QRV with special event callsign
PC19VACCIN until December 31 in support of current health campaigns.
QSL to home call.

SINT MAARTEN, PJ7.  Oleh, KD7WPJ will be QRV as PJ7/UR5BCP from
November 18 to 24.  Activity will be on 40 to 6 meters using CW, SSB
and FT8.  QSL to home call.

MALI, TZ.  Ulmar, DK1CE will be QRV as TZ1CE from Bamako from
November 18 to December 8.  He plans to be active on 160 to 10
meters using CW, SSB and FT8.  QSL to home call.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, V4.  John, W5JON is QRV as V47JA from Calypso
Bay, IOTA NA-104, until November 22.  Activity is on 160 to 6 meters
using SSB and FT8.  QSL direct to home call.

NAMIBIA, V5.  Gunter, DK2WH is QRV as V51WH until March 2022.
Activity is on the HF bands.  During contests, he will be active as
V55Y.  QSL to home call.

NORFOLK ISLAND, VK9N.  Nick, VK2DX is QRV as VK9DX and has been
active on 40 and 15 meters using CW.  QSL direct to home call.

SOUTH AFRICA, ZS.  Special event callsign ZS18MOTH is QRV until
November 14 to commemorate the signing of the Armistice that ended
the First World War.  The suffix stands for the Memorable Order of
Tin Hats, founded in 1927 as a brotherhood of South African former
front-line soldiers.  Activity is on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.
QSL via ZS1N.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO.  The Japan International DX Phone
Contest, Worked All Europe DX RTTY Contest, RCA Transatlantic QSO
Party, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC CW Sprint,
K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, PODXS 070 Club Triple Play Low Band
Sprint, 10-10 International Fall Digital Contest, SKCC Weekend CW
Sprintathon, OK/OM DX CW Contest, FISTS Saturday CW Sprint, CQ-WE
Contest, AWA Bruce Kelley 1929 CW QSO Party and FIRAC HF SSB Contest
will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.
Please see November QST, page 79, and the ARRL and WA7BNM Contest
web sites for details.

The latest ARRL DX Bulletin is always at the top hereARRL DX Bulletin

Amateur Radio Newsline — Menu




The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at

W5KUB – Amateur Radio Roundtable Video

Tonight it’s a tribute to our veteran ham radio operators, Tom also talks about the loss of balloon w5kub-101 and 102 and the next steps. Glen gives us a tour of a Tupelo, MS ham radio swapmeet.

The W5KUB YouTube channel link is here: W5KUB YouTube.

Ham Nation — Menu

This week, Gordo explains the finer points of setting up radios in vehicles. Randy talks about his experience on the #FT8off FT8 sprint, Dr. Tamitha Skov joins us live for space weather and Don wraps things up with Amateur Radio Newsline.

The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation

73 de Mark N5HZR

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