Thursday, June 7, 2012

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My grandfather was an amateur radio operator for many years. He started when he was around 12 years old and did it well into his adult life. The last time we saw my parents, my dad asked if I would like some of his QSL cards from back in the day. Since I am pretty into RF stuff myself, I jumped at the opportunity. (J and I have been playing around with the idea of becoming hams - amateur radio operators - ourselves). What are QSL cards you ask? Wikipedia has a decent article on it:, but essentially, they are cards that verify communication. They were sent in the mail between operators. My grandpa had a ton of these to choose from. But I only had 3 frames, one of which I plan on using for another purpose. So, I limited myself to 4 cards. First, I spray painted the frames. I kind of forgot to take pictures of the process, but I spray painted them and then waited 2 days for them to cure.

Here they are hanging with my great-grandfather's QSL card from his early work in television (engineering runs in the family in case you couldn't tell).

Let's take a closer look. I mounted them on construction paper that I already had. The top one is a card that my grandpa would have received. It came from Georgia Tech, who were acknowledging his D4AGO signal, the one he used in Germany when he was stationed there during WWII! Actually, he told me a great story about being an operator in Germany. After the war, a lot of the men were kept in Germany instead of returning home to the US. My grandpa found parts from various places and set up his amateur radio station. He then bounced the waves off the ionosphere to communicate back to the states. He would find the closest operator to his fellow soldiers' hometowns, so that the men could send messages back to their families. Isn't that awesome?

These are both his cards. One he used in South Carolina (where my dad grew up) and the other in Illinois (where my grandpa grew up).

So, that is it for my little QSL framing project. Now, all I need is to add some of my dad or mom's old punch cards and maybe a circuit design project of my own (J and I did a joint one in college that would work) and we can have 4 generations of technology. :)

While I was at it, I also spray painted the grate for the vent fan in the newly re-done powder room. The off white wasn't looking too hot.

But, things were much better after a fresh coat of paint.

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