423 The Station Manager says 73

I know that the title is a bit strange, I’ll explain;

In 2016 I became a licensed radio ham. If you are licensed, you’ll know how to look me up, my callsign was M6BBB, it’s still registered to me, I’m now an intermediate. This is important, because being a radio ham has introduced me to a whole new language.

If you hear a radio ham refer to the station manager, they are almost invariably referring to their spouse or partner whom they live with. The Station manager needs to be patient and understanding if not, they can make the life of the amateur unbearable. I am incredibly lucky. My station manager is incredibly understanding and patient. But, woe betide me if I let my shack get untidy, or if my antennas get in the way in the garden.

What about the 73’s? Well, that comes from something called the Phillips Code, developed in 1879 by the American Journalist Walter P. Phillips called a brevity code, it shortened they way of saying things to make messages easier and quicker to send.

The numerical values of the Phillips code are a later extension to the original code, and there are two which are still heavily used by radio amateurs these are; “88” (said as Eight Eight, not Eighty Eight) Which means “Hugs and Kisses” and “73” (similarly, always said as “Seven Three’s”, very rarely as “Seventy Three.” This means “Best Wishes” or “Best Regards.”

Now, the problem that. Both the terms Station Manager and 73 have a habit with me of creeping in to everyday life. I have actually typed 73’s at the end of a works email, luckily I’ve realised what I’ve done and managed to catch it before sending. I’ve also referred to Elayne as the Station Manager in a normal conversation raising questions of “Who?” I could see this becoming a bit embarrassing, but fun!

Published by Bill

I just want to write, but I prefer to stay away from controversial topics like politics. I am happy to confess that at the moment, I am writing for me. If you enjoy my writings, and I hope you do then that is all the better.

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