Home radio operators?

In October I posted that my grandfather had passed away.
Last night I went over to visit my grandmother and she is horribly upset because one of her daughters wants to weed out all of her stuff and the other takes something everytime she leaves the house.
She did tell me that she saved the christmas ornaments for me that my aunt wanted to pitch and asked me to go to the basement and check them out.
As I went down there I did something I have never in 33 years been allowed to do. I went into my grandfathers radio room.
This room he built with his own two hands. All the mics, tubes, wires, dial, knobs, everything!
My uncle hacked down the tower over the last week, so the radio although hasn’t been used in years is now useless. And a big part of my memory of the landscape in the back yard is gone.

Okay, the reason for this thread is while I was looking at the different things of my grandfathers I found a index card box that is full of peoples call letters on postcard type cards.
Grandma said I could go through them if I would like. (I always ask before I touch anything)
My question is, how can I maybe find these people? How can I find out if their towers are still running? Grandpas tower is down so no way to get on his radio and listen for the day.
Another funny thing is I found an old reel to reel recorder. I brought it home and filled it with batteries and it works like the day it was new. It has hours of recordings of him talking and listening to his radio with other people.
My friend and I thought it was akin to a chat room 30 years ago. (except for the part with me singing at age 4) :wink:
If anyone has any ideas on how I can dig a little deeper into these call letters, please let me know.

Dad was a ham radio operator, W5VRM although that has been reissued since his death.
Those are DX cards, I believe.
There is a directory by call numbers, although I have forgotten what it is called. The “Call book”?
Check with your library.


A google search on “ham radio callbook” turned up lots of links.


At the top is a box with a button marked GET CALLSIGN.

Input the callsign, click the button, and it will give you the current information for that callsign.


Due to the current Vanity Callsign program through the FCC, many older callsigns that are no longer being used due to license expiration or death of the operator have been re-issued to paying customers. Please keep this in mind if you’re going to try and contact these people.

A good thing to do is when the person’s information appears, click on Detailed Information. Sometimes, not always, but it may show you the operator’s birthdate. If it’s old enough you might want to try to give him/her a try. E-mail addresses, if available, are also listed on that site.

Hope that helps. I’d love to see them. Maybe scan them and post them on a webpage? Especially the unusual ones.

Oh, please, ask your grandmother to will your grandfather’s broadcasting equipment to a local Ham Radio Operator’s club! Or to just donate it to them now. These are people who will appreciate his gear and artifacts, and they will either be reused or treated as museum pieces. If you have any influence with her at all, I implore you to try to see to it that somebody else who has no interest in it at all doesn’t throw out all that equipment, or try to sell it on eBay.

No, those are called QSL cards.

73 de KB2YYR

Fishbicycle, most of these pieces are truly older than me and in pristine condition.
Grampa was of the mind that everything needed a dust cover and when you updated equipment the outdated stuff went back into their boxes in case the new stuff didn’t pan out like he wanted.
I agree some of it looks like it should be in a musem somewhere and I would love to talk her into donating it to those who would cherish it.
I think his son is taking some of it because he helped build it so I know it will be safe.
Grandma said I could have what is left and I will probably need your guys’ help in finding good places for this stuff. If it were to be donated I would want to make sure that it is kept just the way he did.
I also found drawers full of tubes. Not sure if they are radio tubes or television tubes, because he fixed tv’s and walkmans for the local nuns.
Grandpa’s basement is a treasure trove!
I found an old disk player that plays the big video disks still in the box unused with a few (15 or so) movies some still in wrappers.
I also found stuff to make shells. All kinds of stuff for powder guns, shot guns and bullet casings. All in like new condition.
There is a huge Renoir copy of Garden/Lawn party (I think that is the title), and they have an old copy of a Goghan. They had/have no idea what they really have down there.
My cousin did talk grandma into getting a huge safe for the gun and coin collections from all over the world and a few years ago grandpa gave my oldest daughter to huge bags of stamps.
The sad thing about all of this is that to me these things are memories and to different people in my family they are either pack rat junk or money.
I’m sentimental. To me it is family history. My grandmother has a story about almost every piece of “junk” she has.

I promised that I would bring the “call cards” back when I was done looking at them but I will save them to disk and maybe find a site to post them on.

Thanks, QED.
I, son of a Ham, am ashamed.


I’d be happy to host a page of unusual QSL cards for you, Kricket. Let me know what you are able to scan and save and I’ll let you know how much space I have. I’m sure I’ll have to reduce size, but sites like that are very well visited and full of history.

Let me know.


Oh yes - I forgot to ask.

Do you remember your grandfather’s callsign?

Bet his license is hanging on the wall of his shack.

Or it’s on all the QSL cards.

Verifying QSO with Amateur Radio Station…


I’ve googled my first and last name together, and the ONLY hit I got was for the FCC’s call sign list. Googling the call sign by itself will probably lead you to the right place within two or three hits.

I haven’t been on the air in ages, but I’m still up-to-date and legal as KD4OSU. :smiley:

Hopefully, Kricket, you’ll find places for those radios. Just don’t let them into the hands of non-amateurs. If you live within an hour of me, I could help you go through his things and catalogue them.

[HIJACK] Y’know, it sounds like we could have an SDMB QSO party. Only I have a QRP station at the moment. Anyone run PSK31?[/HIJACK]


His call letters were WA0DZF I don’t know how to do the zero with the / through it though. He had is call letters on his license plates.
I will go to visit grandmas house this week and take some pictures for you guys. I’m thinking what ever my uncle doesn’t want if you guys can use I can figure out a way to get it to you.
I want to keep one of the older mics for myself. Sadly it will stay on a shelf for memories not use.
I won’t be out of work until Monday so I will start the scanning then.

Vlad/Igor I’m in Iowa so I’m not sure how far from you I am. Maybe a with a calling card or IM we can get some work done on this.

Nope. I’m in KY. I can try to help by IM, though. E-mail me when you’re ready.