Shortly after the FCC implemented the vanity callsign program in 1996, MRRC set out to get a club callsign. The first call we received was KC8EYA, issued in late 1996, but which saw only limited use.
Much consideration was given as to what callsign MRRC should acquire for its “on air” identity. Long time MRRC member Jim Stahl already held what many would consider the best MRRC call, “K 8 Mad River”. At the time, N8MR was available but since the club had to first get a club call, then apply for the vanity call, we did not expect it to be available when the time came for our shot at the callsign heap.
Some fairly bizarre combinations received brief consideration, such as WM8RRC, and some not-so-wierd, like K8MRR and K8MRC, but in the end the first choice on our application was the one we ended up with: K8MAD. So far the callsign has proven distinctive, with no similar “mad” callsigns appearing, and many contacts on the air make the connection to Mad River naturally without prompting.
K8MAD has appeared on the air several times, occasionally in NAQP multi-ops from member locations hosting MRRC meetings, but it was also used by K9TM and KU8E while mobiling in the 2000 MiQP, and for several top-ten finishes by club operators in the Field Day 2A class from 1999-2002. K8MAD also appeared from the K9TM QTH in Sylvania, OH as a multi-multi entry in the 2006 Ohio QSO Party.
In early 2009, MRRC members set out to earn the ARRL’s newly-announced “WAS Triple Play” award (achieved by working all 50 states on CW, phone and digital modes then confirming those contacts thru the ARRL’s “Logbook of The World” on-line database). K8MAD was put on the air shortly after contacts started to count for the award on New Year’s Day 2009 by club member Jim, K8SIA who worked KD4POJ on 20M RTTY to start the Triple Play quest. Little more than a month later, on February 10, 2009 MRRC & K8MAD were awarded Triple Play Award #150, only the second club station to do so as of that date.
The K8MAD callsign is available for members to put on the air if they would like. The club’s callsign trustee is Vic Kean, K1LT, who would be more than happy to authorize its use. As mentioned above, the callsign is developing recognition within the contesting community, and putting it on the air is good publicity for MRRC. Just drop Vic an e-mail some time in advance of the time when you’d like to use the callsign and he’ll return an e-mail authorizing the use of the call. All that we ask is that you keep a log of the contacts you make (preferably in electronic form) and send it to Vic when you’re finished.