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.:The Story Behind
first, amateur stations had no prefixes indicating the country where they were
located. After transoceanic amateur radio communication became commonplace in
1924, hams began to use an informal system of prefixes (called "intermediates"
at the time) where "A" stood for Australia, "C" for Canada, "U" for United
States, etc. This worked fine at first, but did not provide enough options.
January 1927 QST unveiled a new intermediate list- the work of the Executive
Committee of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was a two letter
system with the first letter indicating the continent, ("A" for "Asia", "N" for
North America, "F" for Africa, etc.), and the second letter indicating the
country. Thus, stations in the US used "NU".
The new system was soon overtaken by events.
International regulations adopted later that same year included the allocation
of a series of "call signals", such as K, N and W for the United States. US
amateurs sported the voluntary NU prefix for just 20 months before it was
replaced with W.
The founding president of the IARU was Hiram
Percy Maxim, 1AW, who held that office until his death in 1938. In 1996, the FCC
issued the IARU the callsign of NU1AW. It commemorates HPM and the IARU's
creative- if short lived- solution to the problem of international
identification of stations.
Since that time, the IARU has grown to include
member-societies in 150 countries.
Hiram Percy Maxim
2009 IARU Radiosport Contest, NU1AW/KH6
In 2009 KH6LC was selected, along with
KH6YY, to represent
Hawaii in the IARU Radiosport Contest as a IARU member society HQ station,
commemorating 50 years of Hawaiian Statehood. The team at KH6LC did the CW
duties on all bands, and were also responsible for the 80M phone contacts.
KH6YY, also signing NU1AW/KH6, did all phone duties on all bands, except 80M.
NU1AW/KH6 ended the contest with a claimed score of
5,076 QSOs and
A big Mahalo goes out to Dave Sumner, K1ZZ (NU1AW trustee),
Alex, KH6YY and Mike KH6ND for putting it all together!
NU1AW/KH6 at KH6LC Operators (Left to right)
Ken, N6KB, Fred, KH7Y, Curt, AH6RE, Lloyd, KH6LC, and Rob, NH6V