Monday, October 21, 2013


The USS Constitution at Sunset
The photo to the left is one that I took shortly after arriving to Boston from Denali. The photo represents my final blog post with KL8DX as my callsign. The ship represents my current new life and the sunset represents the wonderful adventures I left behind, all west of here. I made so many great friends in my nearly 10 years of operating in Alaska. What a thrill it was both from casual operating to contesting. Anyone who has followed my blog for awhile knows I very much enjoy contesting. I've had many great accomplishments but then again, fewer contesters allow for great opportunities for wallpaper. 

Upon arriving to Boston, knowing my ham license would expire at the 10 year mark (November), I continued to think about changing my callsign. I did not want to get on the air during a contest and have other contesters think I was still in Alaska. I also saw that having to send /W1 after my call would also be confusing to some. Since I had to pay for round two of my Vanity Callsign issuance, I decided to just go ahead and change my call. Living in 1land, I probably should have chased a 1 callsign but I opted for (knowing pretty much from that start what I wanted) for AK2MA. It meant obviously Alaska to Massachusetts. I had a bit over 5,000 road miles to brainstorm on what a new call could be. Also, in doing a bit of research, it's a callsign that I don't believe has been issued before. I have yet to send it on the air but it seemed like a pretty good CW callsign. I'm looking forward to trying it out both on the keyer and with the straight key not to mention on the digital modes.

So, with a new callsign, I decided to start a new blog. I can't thank all those that have taken the time to read my ramblings over the last several years. I'm afraid my ham radio life will not be nearly as interesting as it has been. I hope to do more portable operating here in the lower 48. Something tells me that propagation will be a bit more user friendly here than it was at 63 degrees. Either way, I'm hopeful that my ramblings will continue to be of some interest and worth reading. 

My new blog can be found at

I'm sure I will be returning to this blog to travel down memory lane and how knows, maybe, just maybe, I will be operating from Alaska again someday. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Retired the DX

One of the toughest decisions I've had to make was what to do with my callsign when I relocated. I knew that when I ventured back into contesting, my current callsign would just not work down here. So, with my 10 year license issuance of KL8DX soon to expire, I knew my Vanity Callsign fee would come due when I renewed it. I decided that it was probably better to pay the fee once, so I needed to decide what my new callsign would be.

My original Novice callsign (KB8DVT) was issued by the FCC as the next in line. My Ohio Advanced callsign was the same, issued by the FCC as next in line. I liked KE8RO as it kinda reminded me of W6RO, or the Queen Mary. It flowed well on the key and it was easy to recognize on CW. When I upgraded to Extra class, I decided to hang onto my Advanced callsign.

When I moved to Alaska, being an avid DX'er with over 300 countries (entities) confirmed and approved, and being from 8land, it was simple in my callsign selection. KL8DX just seemed to work so I applied and received it. The 8 caught many off guard when I first got on and up until my last day of operating in Alaska, it continued to be a topic of coversation. It was sure nice to have in WPX contests being one of the most active KL8 stations.

A Vanity callsign is personal and normally has some sort of meaning. People like their initials in their callsign or it represents something to them. I've worked many "neat" callsigns over the years, some almost as long as my arm.

Anyhow, after giving it some thought and running it past my ham spouse and my close friends KL1SF and N1TX, I decided to apply for my new callsign. Ii submitted my application on September 18th, 2013. With the government shutdown, things were delayed a bit but as of today, I found my callsign of KL8DX had been cancelled. I searched my new callsign and there it was, brand spanking new! 

So, now the real work begins. Changing my callsign with all the clubs and organizations I belong to. Heck, I just changed my address in the last month, too. But, it's all part of the transition. Now my new life in ham radio begins with a new callsign to memorize and get used to sending on the key. In the end, I'm sure all will understand why I chose the callsign that I did. It's representative of the next level in the winding road of my ham radio career. With that, I will say my last 73 with the callsign of KL8DX and I hope to catch you on the bands with my new callsign.