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The Ubiquitous Ham
June 1966 Popular Electronics

June 1966 Popular Electronics

June 1966 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

You probably need to be a Ham radio operator to fully appreciate the humor in some of these comics. The first one, for instance, is a poke at a guy proudly pointing out his QSL cards from distant (DX) stations "right near the city limits," "on the other side of town," etc., basically what you can pull in with a home Citizens Band (CB) radio base station and a rooftop antenna. In another, the "73" signoff code is from the Western Union telegraph standard meaning "Best regards." "88" means "Love and kisses," hence the guy's unnerved response. The others don't really require an insider viewpoint. Let me know if you need any more help ;-)

The Ubiquitous Ham

By Walt Miller

Ubiquitous Ham comic #1 - RF Cafe

"That one's from Ed Smith over on the north end of town ... That one's from Bob Brown on the east side ... That one's from Jim Duffy right near the city limits."

Ubiquitous Ham comic #2 - RF Cafe

"I'll probably be back on the air by 0200 ........... dollars!"

Ubiquitous Ham comic #3 - RF Cafe

"Finally got my own shack!"

Ubiquitous Ham comic #4 - RF Cafe

"But it's unnerving. Why can't he sign off with '73' instead of '88'?"

Ubiquitous Ham comic #5 - RF Cafe

"Oh, thank you! I don't know how I can every repay you."



Posted July 26, 2018

These Technically−Themed Comics Appeared in Vintage Electronics Magazines. I personally scanned and posted every one from copies I own (and even colorized some).

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    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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