Amateur Radio Station K9DUR
Continuously Licensed Since 1960
Call Sign & License History

WV2MBR
Novice Class
April 1960 to February 1961
Delaware Township, NJ (now Cherry Hill)

My 1st license. I was Elmer'ed by Earnest B. (Bart) Mayo, K2KTS. Mr. Mayo was the head of the Industrial Arts Department of Delaware Township High School where I was a freshman. I took the Novice test in a loft above Mr. Mayo's office, which doubled as the school's club station, W2MBC.

NOTE: The WV prefix for a Novice license was a unique bit of amateur history that only existed for a short period of time. Since the Novice class license was only temporary, the FCC issued a call based on the permanent call that the licensee would receive after they upgraded. In the lower 48 states, Novice call signs had an N inserted after the K or W of their permanent call sign. In Alaska, Hawaii, & the U.S. territories, the K at the beginning of the call sign was replaced with a W. The FCC was starting to issue WA-prefix calls, and there were a lot of existing WN-prefix Novices that would become W's when they upgraded, and they were afraid of inadvertently issuing duplicate calls. There were no computers back then, and call sign records were kept on 3x5 index cards, one call per card. So, the FCC decided to make the WA novices have a WV prefix. This system went into effect in the 2nd & 6th call areas, the first call areas to go to the WA prefix. However, this caused a LOT of confusion. Many amateurs thought that the WV2 or WV6 prefix was a Novice call from some unknown US territory. Therefore, the FCC decided to give WA Novices a WN prefix starting with the 4th call district, the next district to go to the WA prefix.



KN9DUR
Novice Class
February 1961 to April 1961
Indianapolis, IN

In January 1961, my father's job took us back to Indiana. My WV2MBR license was modified & I was issued KN9DUR for the remainder of the license term. This was among the last K & W calls issued in the 9th call area. Shortly after I was issued K9DUR & KN9DUR, the FCC started issuing WA9 calls.



K9DUR
Technician Class
February 1961 to June 1969
Indianapolis, IN -- Terre Haute, IN -- West Lafayette, IN

I took my Technician written test sitting at my older sister's kitchen table the day before I got on an airplane to join my parents in Indianapolis. Under the rules in effect at that time, a General Class or higher amateur had to administer the code test, but any US citizen over the age of 21 could administer the written exam which was graded by the FCC. So, my sister gave me the test. Anyone who thinks that this allowed me to cheat, doesn't know my sister!



W9EZJ
Additional Station License
1962 to 1967
Cordry Lake in Brown County, IN

In the 1960's, if you moved your station to another location for more than 48 hours, you had to write a letter to the FCC District Engineer-in-Charge, notifying them of the temporary location and how you can be reached. We had a cabin on Cordry Lake in northern Brown County, IN., where we spent nearly every weekend during the spring & summer. To avoid having to write weekly letters to the FCC, I applied for an Additional Station License for the cabin. After the FCC deleted the requirement for notifying the district office if you moved your station, they discontinued issuing the Additional Station License.



WA2MBR
Technician Class
June 1969 to September 1970
Middletown, NJ

In early 1969, I was transferred to New York City. Since I was back in the 2nd call district, I applied for the non-Novice version of my original call sign. In those days, the only way you could be assigned a specific call sign was to be a previous holder of the call. The only other ways to get a different call was to move to another call district or upgrade to Extra and request a 1x2 call.



K9DUR
Technician Class
September 1970 to January 1974
Indianapolis, IN

In August 1970, I was transferred back to Indianapolis, so I applied to get K9DUR back.



K9DUR
Advanced Class
January 1974 to February 2000
Indianapolis, IN -- Vincennes, IN -- Monroe City, IN -- Niles, MI -- West Terre Haute, IN

After 13 years as a Technician, I decided it was time to get off my duff & work on my code speed. I had attempted the General in May of 1961, but missed the code by 2 characters. I went to the Federal Building in Chicago, IL, as a Technician, and came home an Advanced. Of course, in those days you had to wait to get the license in the mail before you could use your new privileges.



K9DUR
Amateur Extra Class
February 2000 to present
West Terre Haute, IN

After 26 years as an Advanced, the FCC was dropping the code speed for Extra from 20 wpm to 5 wpm, so it was time to go for my Extra. This would be the only VE testing session where I was a candidate. The Extra written exam was actually less challenging than the Advanced exam. I knew that the new Extra exam pool was going to be a combination of the old Advanced & Extra pools. So, I decided to take the Extra written exam before the new rules went into effect on April 15, 2000 and do a paperwork upgrade after April 15th. Since I had paid the test fee, I decided to have a go at the 20 wpm test, even though I knew I didn't have a chance of passing it. But, miracle of miracles....I walked out of the test session as an Extra!



V31DU
Class 1
January 2006 to December 2006
Placencia, Belize

After my company had sent me to Shanghai 5 times, I had built up enough frequent flyer miles to make a ham's dream vacation come true for myself, my wife (K9JMA), and 2 friends (NT9T & KC9AOR). We all got Belize licenses and spent a glorious week of sightseeing, lying in the sun, playing in the surf, and operating from the other side of the pile-up.

Bob Fox, V31MD, had a house & a fully-equipped ham shack that you could rent, and we made the most of it.



Last Update:
May 25, 2017
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