One thing I’ve noticed since joining the ham radio subculture, is that we hams are obsessed with displaying our callsigns anywhere and everywhere.
For example: Amateur radio license plates, name badges, custom-embroidered shirts and hats, QSL cards, eyeball cards, illuminated “on-air” signs for our shacks, microphone flags, and even custom postage on those QSL card envelopes. When I was at winter field day this year, I noticed one of my good buddies in the club had vinyl decals on the back of his truck and a polo shirt with his call stitched over the pocket. I imagine some guys even get their call tattooed!
Anyway, a few months ago I purchased a Code Alpha rucksack from U.S. Patriot here in Columbia. These guys are a national retailer based here in Columbia and located near Fort Jackson. They supply all manner of military gear and do work on uniforms, patches, etc. They even have a military barber shop. I purchased the bag specifically to carry my portable HF gear, namely the Yaesu FT-817, laptop computer and antenna system. It’s a no-nonsense pack — well-made without needless frills and reasonably priced.
The pack had one of those “hook and loop” fastener areas (aka, Velcro) up top where a nametape could be secured, and it looked like a perfect place to locate my callsign. So I did just that. I returned to the shop a few weeks later and had them create a custom patch with my callsign (these services are also offered via their web site). I think it looks great and it’s completely unique!
I also think this patch would be completely appropriate for a ham radio backpack. Or maybe not!
I’m also happy to report that I found the perfect carrying case for the FT-817 at U.S. Patriot! Photos and more details on that discovery to come.