Article 2 from the archives of the Danville Commercial NewsResearched by L D Warner, N9ZIV
NOTE: Following is a brief introduction to Joe Fairhall Jr's. article written by the Commercial News.
This is a series of articles on Amateur Radio Operators by Joseph Fairhall, Jr., pioneer operator and owner of one of the seven licensed amateur radio stations in Danville. Last Sundays article Mr. Fairhall suggested to amateur operators that they send their station cards to the Commercial News. Cards from Leo Archambault, W9FPD, Rankin, ILL; Russell C. Seyfert's, W9DJB, Danville; Louis P. Lete, W9AUF, Westville, and Joe Fairhall, Jr. (W9VV) of Danville and a photograph of the Archambault station at Rankin were received during the week. Each operator wrote on his card "please keep up the articles you are publishing on Amateur Radio Operators". An "antique" station card was received from Mr. Fairhall, Jr. It was printed in 1919 and reads as follows: "Schedule for W9VV Radio Phone regular concerts by radio every Friday Night 10PM till 11PM, every Sunday 8:00PM to 8:30PM, other times by request. In order to get the best results we recommend A.P.D. detector and amplifying tubes. Wireless station at No. 6 South Gilbert Street, Danville, ILL., Radio Relay League, President of Vermilion County Radio Association. Stations when hearing our concerts please kindly reply by card."
Foreign To Public Is Conversing Via Other Ways By Joe, Fairhall Jr. (March 22, 1931, Commercial News)
An Amateur Radio Operator is known among brother operators as a "ham". (Not the kind you see hanging in butcher shops). He was given the name many years ago, or during the early days of wireless. The average amateur had his little spot in the attic or some other out of the way place where he would not disturb anybody, or be disturbed, and it was there that he experimented with his "dots and dashes". Amateurs still have these little out of the way spots where they conduct their experiments. As a rule the walls of these little cubby holes are plastered with post cards received from other amateurs with whom he has "made talk". It is here that he spends every minute he can spare, working in an effort to improve his set.
Amateurs use their code exclusively while conversing with each other, and unless translated it would be meaningless to those who do not possess the Key. Until recently amateurs in their wireless conversation called each other "O.M." which means "Old Man". In recent years it has been changed to "O.B." meaning "Old Boy". In speaking of his better half, the amateur refers to her as the "OW," which means "Old Woman", and his sweetheart is referred to as "YL" (Young Lady). In concluding a transmission the amateur uses the term "CUL-73's" meaning "see you later and best regards."
Prefix For Each Country - In asking for the weather report we use the term "WXRPT". Any call to a foreign country is always prefixed with a letter. When an American Amateur calls a foreign country he always uses the "W". There are 110 foreign countries with whom we converse, and each one has its own prefix. When we desire to get in communication with stations in China, we signify it by adding the letters "AC" to our call. The letter "F" is used when we call France; "G" for Great Britain.
Amateur operators also use the "readability system" using the numbers one to five. Thus "QSA-5" means "very good signal perfectly readable". While "QSA-1" means "barely heard and unreadable". Then there is the tone system designated from T-1 up to T-9. Any report sent back from one to nine indicates the signal is "Raw A-C". "DC" or "crystal control". In the international abbreviations the amateur must know 47 different terms of three letter abbreviations each. For illustration "QRR" means "has our distress call been received and attended to?"
When we amateurs close our station down for the night the letters "CL" are flashed into the air. Thus "W9KK-CL," transmitted would be "Everett Anderson 234 Walnut Street, Westville, IL, is shutting down immediately. Do not call me. I am not listening."
"Kick" in weather Reports - Receiving weather reports from various parts of the country is one of the more interesting things in the life of the amateur operator. During the recent blizzard the writer, in connection with an amateur operator at Alberta, British Columbia -----(not readable)----- Informed that the weather was mild and that a drizzling rain was falling. Immediately after this message was received a "ham" way down in Florida cut in with a story about a fine, balmy weather the residents of their state were enjoying.
Perhaps our most distinguished amateur radio operator is President Hoover's son who's station call is W6XH, located at Palo Alto, California. He is also a radio engineer of marked ability. Amateur operators are not all young men. Some of the most enthusiastic members of the clan have been voting for many years.