First Class CW Operators' Club



Have you wondered why some FOC members send “161,” rather than “73,” at the end of their QSOs with other members?  It’s really not a secret club handshake.  Rather, it’s a warm greeting that was originally created to convey best wishes to the FOC member plus his or her spouse.  73 + 88 = 161, you see.  This is quite useful in a club in which friendships are fostered, members consider themselves “pals” and social get-togethers, for hams plus spouses, play a significant part in our activities. 

Over the years the original inclusive ham + spouse “161” has evolved into more of a warm, general greeting between good friends…something more than the usual “73.”  Some of us think of it as a firm pat on the back as opposed to a simple handshake.

Many FOC members enjoy using “161” while others avoid it.  It’s an individual choice, made by members of a club whose motto is: "A man should keep his friendship in constant repair" - Samuel Johnson (1755).

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