From Whence W5FC?
While researching the origin of the W5FC call sign, there are references in various call books and online sources that trace renewals back to 1972. Earlier appearances of the call sign at field day (1973, 1958, and 1954) appear in the Dallas Morning News. But what of the earliest use of "Dubbya-Five-Fried-Chicken"?
A 1932 article in the Dallas Morning News alerts us on September 4, that the club is building a station at the fair: "Radio Station To Be Built At State Fair / Local Amateurs to Send Radiograms by Short Wave at Exposition". The article goes on to say that they'll also relay, free of charge, messages around the world for visitors to the fair that year.
Perry S. Jones, was President of Club at the time and says that the station to be built is along the lines of others built by other American Radio Clubs, and that several manufacturers would assist by providing parts.
The article goes on to state they would be using the call sign W5FC to honor a former member of the club.
"The call letters to be used at the station will be W5FC. These were formerly used by Maurice Hardy, deceased member of the club." A previous DMNews entry of the (semi-) regular column "With The Amateurs" indicates that as early as July 1922, his call sign was 5YF and that, like all radio amateurs of the era, was an excellent builder of radio sets. One of his transmitters made 2nd prize in a radio show (1922). Earlier documents also show his call sign as 5YF, so W5FC became his call sign sometime between 1922 and 1932.
More sleuthing shows that Maurice W. Hardy died earlier in the year in April, at age 31, and resided at 4226 Roseland Ave. His obituary states that he was "...(a) well known Dallas amateur radio expert," a life-long resident of Dallas and a maker of art jewelry.
1932 Fair Station Transmitter Detail
Details of the transmitter which was built for use at the fair included a UX-247 Pentode (this is a type 47 Power Pentode) in the crystal oscillator, oscillating at 1770 kc (which is just above the current AM Broadcast Band). A second UX-247 is used as a frequency doubler, and two UX-210's operate as the final amplifier. (UX-210 is a Type 10 Power Triode). The final (doubled) frequency was 3540 kc, just in our current 80m band. Expected power output was 35 Watts, with a Zeppelin antenna, up 85 feet.
Earlier Variants of W5FC
The Radio Act of 1912 set the requirement for licensing and government issue of call signs. The standard of the time was a number followed by two letters. Call areas were also created in 1912, and our "5" area came into existence. The prefix system of K, N, and W began in 1928. And many of the O.M. of the era chose to merely add "W" or "K" to their old call signs, such as club founder Frank M Corlett, who was 5ZC in 1916, and as late as 1972 was W5ZC. So we can extend the W5FC call sign back to "5FC". Earlier users of the 5FC call sign include -
In 1920: 5FC - D.W. Whitaker AND M.H. Lovelady, 201 S Bolton St., Box 62, Jacksonville, TX (Power - 96 Watts)
Did they share the call sign? There was no rule to prohibit it at the time.
But the oldest reference to date for the 5FC call sign is this one:
Carl Hobson McGarrity, born 1898, was 5FC in the Mississippi River town of Osceola, Arkansas, before World War I. He never got back into ham radio after the war (from N4JIU's QRZ.com Entry). The last listing with McGarrity as 5FC was also in 1920, as Whitaker and Lovelady take over the call sign.
- "Amateur Radio Stations of the U.S.", (June 30, 1920) - Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Navigation, Radio Service (googlebooks).
- Dallas Morning News, Archive - 1885-1977, Dallas Public Library.
- QRZ.COM entry for N4JIU - "5FC", Carl Hobson McGarrity was his grandfather (http://qrz.com/db/N4JIU).
- "Amateur Calls Changing," QST, August 1928, p 35.