A Mystery

Rich's picture

Someone on a hobby broadcaster website recently posted that the FCC does not keep track of old ham licenses.

Subsequently in that thread, he posted that he applied for a "vanity" ham callsign first used by someone that abandoned it about 50 years ago.

That FCC callsign (K8CBZ) first was issued in 1956 to yours truly, proof on request.  I didn't renew it because my interests evolved beyond ham radio toward commercial AM/FM/TV broadcast operations and engineering -- a career path I followed until I retired in 1999.

Following the FCC application for vanity callsign K8CBZ reported by this poster on a hobby broadcast website, my original call letters were reassigned to him by the FCC, effective June 12, 2012.

This mystery has two parts:

 1. If the FCC doesn't keep track of old ham licences, how did it happen that this poster on a hobby broadcaster website was able to locate my original ham callsign?

 2. But regardless, why did he choose to apply for it, no matter the method he used to find it?

First Responder

I think I know who that character is who "happens" to have obtained your old call-sign, and is now pretending that it was all unplanned.

But I believe it was planned. This fellow has been spotted as a known hater who feigns intelligence and friendliness as he wends his way toward inflicting a spider bite at the opportune moment.

I am siding with Rich against the black widower in this round.


Carl Blare

Retracting a Little

Possibly my previous post was slightly too caustic and needs to be brought down a notch.

I really don't have anything against spiders. Why, do you realize they eat many times their own weight in bugs every 20-minutes?

Furthermore, spiders don't hate.

People who hate might suffer from brain damage of some kind. One must withhold judgement.

Carl Blare

Spelling It Out

Rich's opening presentation of a Mystery based on a contradiction in the claims of a hobby broadcaster who specifically requested and obtained an old HAM callsign vacated by Rich is a mystery because the hobbyist also said that old call signs are not kept on file by the FCC. Therefore, how did the hobbyist select it?

In his opening post Rich makes it perfectly clear why he allowed his HAM license to dissolve, yet the hobbyist declared, "The former owner of the callsign posted that he had decided not to renew his General Class license because the FCC had awarded him the First Phone license. Personally, I don't see what one of these licenses had to do with the other. They had completely different purposes."

Well, ya. But what's the point of saying something so obvious? A driver's license has nothing to do with a dog license. Comprende?

What Rich did, to make it simple, was move from amateur to professional.

Carl Blare

Answer to Carl

The FCC did indeed stop keeping long-term records. But the internet is a wonderful thing.  See below:

Richard Fry (ex-K8CBZ)E-mail: XXXXXXXFrom: XXXXXXXXAdded: Friday, November 15, 2002 9:01 AMComments:Was a W8SH operator in 1957-58 when it was located on the top tower floor of the (old?) EE Bldg, and used a long wire antenna from there over to the tall chimney at the steam plant. Ian O. Ebert was the faculty advisor. Had limited op hours because the RF was getting into the experimental, and not well-shielded computer cabinets in the EE Bldg.

Druid Hills Radio AM-1710- Dade City, FL. Unlicensed operation authorized by the Part 15 Department of the FCC and our Resident Hobby Agent.  

Point Taken But Not On Point

The point was that the Hobby man claimed that the FCC doesn't keep old records, yet had unexplained access to a particular old call sign without telling us why he took that call sign when there are so many possible call signs. The fellow didn't explain what you just explained.

The Mystery has to do with such choppy pronouncements from those people.

Carl Blare


RE: My OP in this thread --

1.  ... how did it happen that this poster on a hobby broadcaster website was able to locate my original ham callsign?

The web clip from a post of mine 12-1/2 years ago that was pasted by WDCX in Post 4 of this thread might explain how this hobby person found the callsign of my original General class ham license.  Probably noboby knows for sure but that hobby person.

Said hobby person stated only that early ham license records were not tracked by the FCC.  Given that, he didn't state how he located the callsign of my original, 1956 General class ham license.

Point 2 of my OP (pasted below) remains unanswered.

2. But regardless, why did he choose to apply for it, no matter the method he used to find it?


At one time said hobby person and I had a fairly high amount of mutual respect.  Regrettably that has diminished over recent years based on his public assessments that some of my posts with NEC analyses etc are just part of a paper blizzard.

This is unfortunate, as it should benefit all Part 15 operators and all Part 15 websites to allow and support the free, public exchange of technical concepts on these topics, given the lack of such acrimony.

Slings from the Rightly

Around the same time one of them hurled the "paper blizzard" slur, another of them impressed his peers by dismissing you as "Sparky."

What I see is that in the mature and wise years persons of accomplishment sometimes become targets of abuse by youngish "know-it-alls" who conceal their errors and limitations by ad hominem attack against anyone who takes the time to at least attempt to enlighten them.

Does it matter that no paper has ever been involved in your postings?

To belabor the point, neither of the flunkies were original in their name-calling...

"Sparky" and "Paper Blizzard" were heard in other contexts said by other persons and these opportunists borrowed the words to enhance their own glibness.

They practically work for the New York Times.

Carl Blare

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