A funny thing happened on the way to the radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KD7MW, Jan 4, 2021.

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  1. KD7MW

    KD7MW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What’s something really funny that happened to you because of ham radio?

    I passed my Extra at the Seattle FCC office in early 1984. I came home with instructions to sign KD7MW/ST until my new paper license arrived. That evening I called CQ below 14.025 for the first time. I was answered by a strange, indecipherable buzz. It sounded like a DX pileup. “Hmm, I wonder who’s on!” I thought. Then I realized that the target of the pileup was... me. Wait a minute. Was ST a country prefix? Yup. Half the ham population of Japan was calling me, believing I was a DXpedition to Sudan.

    I tried to explain. Really I did. I sent QTH SEATTLE SEATTLE NOT DX. The next JA I worked sent back TNX NICE QSO FM NOTDX. This went on for a while, until one of the JAs asked me to switch to SSB. We did. The other op was so happy. “Thank you so much for for rare DX contact, Africa, both CW and SSB.” Now I could explain more fully: “I had number two license. Today I passed test for number one license. I have to sign/ST until my new license arrives in the mail.“

    There was a long pause. Then a plaintive cry echoed across the Pacific: “Yoiiiiiiii! I so embarrassed!” Then another JA called. He said, “I had to call you because I know what this portable ST is. I make same mistake last week!”

    Fortunately, unwittingly impersonating rare DX is not a crime, especially since the FCC made me do it. So the Wrath of Riley did not descend on me.
    W0PV, KA0USE, WD4ELG and 3 others like this.
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    /ST? I never heard of that rule.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Never heard of "/ST" either.... I got my Extra in June 1997 and signed WB7AWK/AE until my ticket arrived.

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  4. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What in the hell is /ST? I upgraded to Advanced in 84 and had to use /AA Not long after I upgraded to Extra and had to use /AE until the upgrades were processed. In my almost 63 years as a licensed ARO I have never heard of /ST unless someone were operating portable in the Sudan. I find it nearly impossible that MV was ever instructed to use /ST. There had to have been a huge misunderstanding somewhere.
    NL7W likes this.
  5. KD7MW

    KD7MW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The rule was that you could operate with your new license class privileges as soon as you passed the test. But you had to sign your call followed by either a slash or ”interim” followed by the two-letter code of the FCC office where you took your test. ST was the two letter code for Seattle. Quite an improvement over the earlier rule that made you wait until you received your paper license in the mail. That could take several weeks.
    KK9W and WA1GXC like this.
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mmkay. I got my Extra about that time about the same time at the Charlotte Hamfest when the FCC sent some people from the Atlanta office to administer tests. Charlotte was not in the Atlanta district, btw :) Charlotte belongs to Norfolk, VA as the old witch at the Atlanta office would quickly remind you.
    Never heard of this rule. What would my designator have been?
  7. KD7MW

    KD7MW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Remember, I took my test at an FCC field office. I believe May 1984 was the last FCC session in Seattle before the VE program took over. Anyway, for those of you who “find it hard to believe,” here is a photo of the actual interim permit I received from an actual FCC examiner in the actual FCC office where I took my actual exam. Note that the Special Identifier field says ST. B9AE3A77-5148-463F-A711-D8C89B6F32FF.jpeg
    W0PV, WQ4G, NL7W and 3 others like this.
  8. KD7MW

    KD7MW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bill, I have no idea what your special identifier would have been. I just know that ST stood for Seattle.
  9. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Had the same here when I upgraded to General in 1978 in the DC FCC office. I was signing W4ELG/DC whenever I used my new general privileges (I think it was for like 14 days or something like that).
    KD7MW likes this.
  10. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Vewwy interesting. Those memory cells are completely missing from my brain!

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