THE STORY OF THE 3922 GROUP
The 3922 group is an assorted collection of amateur radio operators who hang out in the evenings on 3922kHz. Joe KC5YCY asked me to write something about the background of this group. I sought help from Burkett Bill N5TZQ, often dubbed the unofficial historian of the 3922 group. Bill possessed the uncanny ability to remember every voice, callsign, and name that checked in to 3922 kHz and was a regular on the frequency since 1991.
In talking with Bill N5TZQ and other old timers, one quickly gets the impression that in the late eighties the ham bands were somewhat unruly. Evening QSO's were often fortified with alcohol and replete with expletives. The original members of the group were looking for a quite frequency on 75 meters on which they could ragchew in the evenings and someone suggested 3922 kHz.
Bill N5TZQ also told me of two booklets, or more correctly, directories with photos, printed in the early 1990s by Ralph Robinson W3IOA/5, that might help complete the story. The first of these booklets had on the cover 7.245MHZ Where the Banana Bunch Shoots the Bull and was printed late in 1991. Highly coveted as only 70 were printed, this beige colored booklet contained many photos of hams dubbing themselves the Banana Bunch. In the evenings many of these operators drifted down to 75 meters and settled in on 3922 kHz in the nineties. Dallas Jack K1HW was gracious to loan me his copy.
The second booklet, printed in 1994, had a yellow cover and was titled: Amateur Radio Friends and Hamfests. A similar format as the first, it features an aerial photograph of the Bell County Expo Center at Belton TX, and notes Where the Elite of 7.245 Mhz & 3.922 Mhz meet.
Bill N5TZQ loaned me his copy in which he had written that 3922kHz became the gathering place in 1989 and identified the initial members of the group as Allen AA5UG, Raymond AA5YG, Don AA5QV, Bill KI5DY, Webb AA5NZ, Junior AA5XG, Terry AA5JB, John AA5FK, Ronnie WA5QYR, Bob K5VIM, Gene WA5DUC, Dean AA5YT, Jim N0CFG, and Greg AA5GO. Bill joined the group in early 1991 and was a steadfast participant and exemplary ham until his passing in early 2006.
Since the 1994 printing no other attempt has been made to produce a directory/photo album in hardcopy. With the advent of digital photography, Billy KJ5LQ, maintained a collection of the 3922 group on the Internet for several years and that collection forms the nucleus of the present gallery.
The charter members of 3922 kHz were successful in developing a clean frequency and the word spread. Many members of the Banana Bunch joined the ragchew in the evening, as did many other hams. These and hundreds of others who have operated on and listened to 3922 for the past fifteen-plus years keep coming back for the same reason: the enjoyment of amateur radio.
What Ralph Robinson W3IOA/5 wrote in the first booklet pertaining to the Banana Bunch is most appropriate to describe the demeanor of those on 3922. He stated:
We enjoy the free exchange of ideas, technical discussions, current affairs, and helping others. Many Radio Mobiles operate on this frequency and are given preferential operational consideration.
This is not, repeat NOT, a controlled net. We do identify about every 10 minutes even some times when only listening, as a courtesy. (and so nothing bad will be said about us)
Some detractors may even call us rude but that is probably because they wanted to talk; someone else was already talking and wouldn't stop. Doubles and Triples do happen. Often. We like to think of them as making MAXIMUM USE OF THE FREQUENCY!
Obviously, 7.245 Mhz [think:3922kHz] is not for the thin-skinned, the timid, or the slow-witted. We don't like Lid's and Foul Moths and as a result therefore, we have our full ration of deliberate QRMers. (7.245MHZ Where the Banana Bunch Shoots the Bull)
Evenings of 3922 kHz can be quite informative and entertaining. Preferred protocol is to simply give your call during a lull in the conversation and someone will recognize your call. This is your invitation to join the QSO. Most of us use VOX and keep our comments relatively short most of the time.
If you have a question on virtually any topic someone on 3922 kHz will have the answer. Discussions over the course of practically any evening will touch on virtually every subject known to man and possibly some initiated for the first time.
Over the years, many solid friendships have developed among those operating on 3922 kHz. For many years the semiannual (usually April and October) Belton TX hamfest, sponsored by the Temple (TX) Amateur Radio Club, has been the principal gathering place of those who hang out on 3922 kHz. Even though the hamfest is officially held on Saturday mornings, the action on the parking lot on Friday is a sight to behold.
The centerpiece of Friday afternoon in the parking lot is the combination barbecue smoker and deep fryer cooker with a blue 3922 pennant flying high above. Actually, it's not the cooker but the delicious brisket, fried potatoes, and other assorted goodies like Miss Betty's W5PUP brownies that are the attraction.
The smoker was built in the mid nineties. It was one of those deals in which a smaller cooker donated by Charlie KM5GJ, a six meter radio donated by Burkett Bill N5TZQ and some cash contributions were parlayed to obtain the cooker. Over the years, several modifications have been made and it serves us quite well today. For many years Jay KM5QS has maintained the cooker, and serves as the chief chef as he reminds everyone prior to each hamfest, you bring it and I'll burn it. But don't worry if you show up empty-handed as there is always plenty to go around.
Join us on 3922 kHz in the evenings after about 1900 central time. Most in the QSO as located in the midwest, southern, and western states, however, when band conditions are optimum we have the opportunity to work a little DX now and then. Most evenings the frequency is active until about midnight, but on some occasions far into the wee hours.
Steve Daniels K0SED
Reprinted here with the expressed permission of the author January 2009