07 August, 2012

Nostalgia from LA3ZA in 1949

Those who are familiar with me will know that I wasn't even born when this LA3ZA QSL-card was issued in 1949. This is because I am second generation LA3ZA after my father. When the callsign was reissued to me in 2001 it had been inactive for 40 years or so.

I still have the Hallicrafters S40A receiver which my father used with a 2 W input homemade tube transmitter. The S40A (image below) was what introduced me to shortwave listening during the good conditions of the solar peak in the late sixties, despite its mediocre performance I would say.

The card confirms a 2-way low power morse contact (CW QRP QSO) from Oslo to Sandnes (400-500 km). It took place in the 80 m band on November 17, 1949. The text, which is in a mixture of Norwegian and CW abbreviations, reads: "Takk for fb qso m/qrp, es cul!" which in plain English reads "Thanks for nice contact with low power and see you later!"

The first LA3ZA was active from 1946 and for some 10-15 years. Thanks to LA5DB, Kjell (Silent Key in 2011) for providing this card. He responded to an advertisement I had in the Norwegian Radio Amateur Bulletin some years ago. He used a 5 W transmitter and a 40 m longwire antenna on his side for this contact.


  1. Hello Sverre, great to see that your father had fun with just 2 watts. Nice that you could get the call LA3ZA. Always nice to see these old QSL-cards and equippement. When the propagation is good not so much power is needed to have great fun. 73, Bert

  2. Hi Bert. Yes, this was really a 2-way QRP contact. I didn't know that one was thinking in QRP-terms already at this time, but I guess the definition of 5W as being QRP came much later.

  3. Great post. I love QSL cards, and I love it that you were able to get your father's callsign. I've added you to my bloglist.....73, Dan KB6NU

  4. Thanks! Because of this I now have a 5-character callsign while all new callsigns in Norway for at least the last 20 years have had 6 characters. You're on my bloglist as well.