tion is EM89.) KC2UHB is in central Ohio.
“QSL. Thank you for the contact. 73.” (I received
your transmission. Thank you for the contact.
“ 73.” (Goodbye.)
Just as we text each other abbreviations like
OMG, BRB, TT YL, LOL, BF, GF, and < 3, ham operators have their own, much older shorthand that was
originally based on Morse code but became spoken
with the advent of voice transmissions — much like
when people say “Oh em gee” or “Be eff eff” today.
Here are some ham abbreviations you may hear:
operators use a phonetic alphabet to make themselves clear through the static and interference, so
that “P” sounds nothing like “T,” for example.
To learn more about how a yagi antenna works,
watch Diana Eng’s MAKE video on directional
antennas, aka “Seeing Radio Waves With a Light
Diana Eng (
dianaeng.com) is a fashion designer who
works with technology, math, and science. She is author
of Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech (North Light
Books, 2009) and is the ham radio correspondent for
Make: Online (