Put Down Your Phones, We’re Gonna Go All QSL On You. Hello? Anyone? Hello?

Call me!

Back in the day before we had online names, we had QSL names, so you snot nose kids are not the first to have clever names. In fact, names like Ashley just don’t compare to BERT!  Come on, who is gonna get you hammered and put in Jail over night. An Ashlie? Or Shirley. I can smell the cigarette smoke on these cards.

Bert and Shirley officially are the new best names of the 1960’s

So what is a QSL card? What? According to the Internet, which had not been invented yet.“Amateur radio operators exchange QSL cards to confirm two-way radio contact between stations. Each card contains details about one or more contacts, the station and its operator.”


Emmy-Lou, Pete, Tom?

So! I ask this question. Screw Apps, Cell phones and other crap, should we all here in Woodyboaterville adopt this as our new…old form of communication. No one, and I mean no one would know. Shhhhh. Not that anyone is listening

“The Brooks”

Maurice and Ginny

We could even have cool cards made up. These are on ebay from a collector.  But there are over 80,000 of these cards there. So clearly this is a rabbit hole so be careful, you may never be able to be heard from again. UNLESS? Come on? This is the Correct Zipper tag of communication for our little universe.

36 replies
      • Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
        Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

        This is what’s here today. Kind of creepy what you can find on the internet.

    • Frank@Falmouth
      Frank@Falmouth says:

      Good one SYD! 🙂

      Back before cell phones … and widespread VHF..

      Mariners use SSB on marine channels. Hams use the same type of SSB but on ham frequencies. The Coast Guard uses SSB, mostly on marine channels, but in an emergency they can also call out to all ham radio operators on ham frequencies. … Ham SSB sets may also transmit marine single-sideband signals in an emergency

      and when SHTF and all cellphone and internet goes down,… the EMP protected HAM radio operators will rule the airwaves.. 🙂

      no Morse Code requirement for a license any more

  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    OK I am a little confused. I was thinking HAM radios, but they were/are big and bulky and these cards have boats and cars. Was this the early CB Radio?

    Why does Greg think it’s a Michigan thing? 3 Michigan cards, 1 PA, 1 Indiana, and even Round Pond, Maine. (I was there yesterday. Very cool ocean front community.)

    Also, three of these cards reference 73’s. What is that about?

  2. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Calling CQ, CQ (general call for a random contact to respond). I had an old coworker that was a big HAM in the day and every now and then I’d hang out in the HAM shack with him. Pizza and way too much beer. He would contact ships in the Atlantic at night when the crew was hanging around the radio room and do a phone patch between the ship and a land line so they could contact relatives and friends. Of course anyone on the frequency could hear the conversation and both parties were informed as such, but it was cool fun before the internet and cell phones.

    The amateur radio world was intended to provide communications during natural disasters or a war when normal phone lines could be down.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    When I was a kid one of my friends was into this. We had to take down a tree to put up his tower. 2 teens with a chainsaw and no knowledge of lumberjacking should have been a red flag to his parents, but they weren’t home. Luckily all we took out was the neighbor’s fence, just missing their shed.

  4. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Never heard of these cards, but do remember dad having to get a license when he 1st got a CB. None of the CBers actually used their legal call sign, all using a “handle” instead. They stopped requiring license for CB soon after. But nearly 50 years later, I still remember KYP 1106. And Dad’s handle was Sneaky Snake.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      My Dad (a Veterinarian and Trucker Wantabee) installed a base CB in our house. His handle was Mighty Mike and Mom’s was Mighty Mike’s Blue Eyed Beaver (and you wonder where I get it).

      • Kelly Wittenauer
        Kelly Wittenauer says:

        LOL, Troy. I do kind of consider your mom a role model though. Hope still be enjoying life as much, when I reach that age.

  5. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    It is the 70’s again with inflation, truck convoys ( remember that great song! ) on now ham radios on WB! Will we soon see Matt change his hair to a “fro” or mullet?
    If we could only go back a buy some of those old wood boats nobody wanted.

  6. Chug-A-Lug
    Chug-A-Lug says:

    Too cold here too.Love those 2 kid stories.Mom and dad went in to town(60 miles away) came back to see the wood heater stove out smokin in the yard.Left the 2 boys home alone.

  7. BT
    BT says:

    In the early 70’s, I had to go to Chicago with an engineer from our Pittsburgh factory to retrofit a bunch of hospital equipment. Each night he would go out to his car, set up the huge whip antenna, fire up his Ham radio out of the trunk and talk to his wife back home. All to avoid the long distance phone charges.

  8. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    You can’t talk about radios without thinking about The movie Smokey and the Bandit. A true classic. “Catch you on the flip good buddies”

  9. Ralph J Cattaneo
    Ralph J Cattaneo says:

    I still have my old CB Base Station and CB car radio from the 70’s. It’s time to put them on Ebay.

  10. Geoff
    Geoff says:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but CBers, which is who these cards are from ARE NOT AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS!! They did not pass any exam like the three I have taken to get to EXtra Class operator. They are prohibited from working on their own radios. To put it bluntly, they are “appliance operators, not Hams. Please be careful in usung the trem Ham. It does not apply to CB.

  11. Kevin Karch
    Kevin Karch says:

    My Dad’s handle was the Silver Fox, Mom is Silver Foxy Lady call letters are KEC 5837. I still have his radios. I have call letters but don’t recall them at the moment. I met my wife via the CB radio in 1975. The kids today have nothing on us old timers. We had 10, 11, 12 and 13 codes and even more acronyms than the still have. We could talk in code and no one would know what we were saying. If we really needed private conversation we would move to single side band channels on HAM

  12. Randy
    Randy says:

    I got my General Ham license back in the ’70’s so I could install a rig aboard the sailboat I had at the time. Atlas made a compact set intended for mobile use. I was in a race from Washington state to Hawaii in 1980 and was able to keep in touch with both sides on Maritime Mobile frequencies. Was comforting to speak with other Hams 2-3 times a week.

  13. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    “Breaker one nine for a radio check”. “You’re wall to wall radio check, what’s your handle?” “You got the Turbonator, got a Smokey report? come back” “There’s a Kojak with a Kodak – mile marker 234 eastbound”. “10-4 good buddy, I got your front door, keep the rubber side down”.

    Good ol’ days.

  14. Art..................Free Spirit
    Art..................Free Spirit says:

    You’ve got the Free Spirit here, what’s your 20 good buddy?


    • Randy
      Randy says:

      Before VHF marine radios, cruisers had to rely on SSB (Single Side Band) which required FCC licenses like the one shown here be kept with the radios. I remember my dad always had them on our cruisers beginning in the mid-’50’s.

  15. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    We had a CB in the boat and cars when I was a kid. Don’t remember the cards though.

    My m-fine moniker comes from a late 1980’s dialup computer network where user ID’s could be anywhere from 6 to 6 characters, all lowercase with only a few “special characters” allowed. By special characters I mean things like punctuation and math symbols, not people like Matt and Troy.

  16. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    In 1985 I was stationed on the Korean DMZ. We had a High Freq radio we could use to pick up Radio Moscow and other amazing stuff from the time. We could also jam the North Korean radio traffic with it and really piss them off. As good as it got while freezing your butt off in a bunker.

  17. Wolfgang
    Wolfgang says:

    My father was a HAM W8CTY. I just pitched a box of the QSL cards. Both new unused and just a few he received from other Ham’s he had spoken with. For many years of my life I heard the call W8CTY being repeated into the mic. One of the best things I remember he did was to set up a phone patch with guys in Nam and their parents or loved ones at home. He also was a woody boater and had built a couple in his life. In the 40’s he led a Sea Scout group. When he passed in 2005, I filled a two car garage with all kinds of radio stuff. Still trying to sell some of the good stuff to pay for a LS motor for my new boat.

  18. David Hughes
    David Hughes says:

    My Dad was an early QSL operator in Southern Ontario and had two call signs: one for home base…XM42789 and one for his car…XM42790. Had a big directional antennae on the house and a large map of North America in the basement with pins on all the far off locations he had been in contact with during periods of atmospheric activity known as “skip”.

    He had a box full of QSL,cards which unfortunately were thrown away…interesting era.

  19. Steve L
    Steve L says:

    Growing up in New Zealand , my dads call sign was ZL1TDL. There were many times that we kids would get on dads 80 mt. Radio and skip signals with a directional aerial to North Pacific fishing boats and operators in Canada and the US. Talking to other ham radio operators. Dad was in the back ground having a beer. Exchanged quite a few cards on dad’s behalf

Comments are closed.