07 May, 2013

The radio amateur who felt compelled to abandon his own call sign

If you mention that you are a radio amateur to any Norwegian who was old enough to watch TV in the mid 70's then he is bound to respond with LA8PV. This was the callsign of the fictious figure Marve Fleksnes in the comedy the "Radiot". To bad for the poor guy who actually was given that callsign some years later. I had contact with him on CW (= morse) in 2002 just after I got my license and I just couldn't believe that anybody actually was using that particular callsign.

It was in 1976 that Rolv Wesenlund (1936 - 2013) one of Norway's most popular comedians, played Marve Fleksnes. As radio amateur LA8PV he talks with his friend JA1NQ in Japan. He also speaks with TF3XU on Iceland in a mixed Icelandic/Norwegian dialect which is always a hit with a Norwegian audience. He then converses with Norwegian/American WONBF (no zero) in Minnesota. He has to handle his angry neighbor who suffers from interference (RFI) and finally LA8PV gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he hears the emergency call, Mayday, in the 15 meter band.

The first of three cuts can be viewed in the embedded Youtube video. Unfortunately I couldn't find any clip that was subtitled in English, but the first minute or so is almost silent and is about the joy of getting a replacement DF1987B (sic) tube for his transmitter. The tube is supposedly plugged into the output tube socket of a Quad II audio amplifier and then he is ready to go on the air. Later one gets a glimpse of his AR88D receiver.

As the story goes, the Norwegian Post and Telcom Authorities, had marked off LA8PV as a callsign that shouldn't be used. But due to a mistake they blacklisted LA8PW instead. I had contact with LA8PV almost every year up to and including 2007, but have never had it since. I understand why now, because QRZ.com says that the real LA8PV finally must have given up and gotten the new call sign, LA2WRA, on 4 Jan. 2008. I don't envy him the fate of having been made LA8PV, and fully understand why he finally abandoned that callsign.

The source for much of this story is a Swedish discussion page on hamradio.se. Marve Fleksnes and LA8PV also aired on Swedish television and were very popular there as well.


  1. Incredible this guy made a complete show about a radio amateur. Well known in Norway and Sweden, never heard of him or the show here in the Netherlands. I can imagine the popularity. And feel sorry for the real LA8PV....btw was Rolv a real HAM himself? He did a good (funny) job talking on "the air" ;-) 73, Bas

  2. As far as I know, Rolv Wesenlund was never a ham in real life.

    And by the way the series seems to have been inspired by a British comedian, Tony Hancock who was "GLK London calling the world" in 1960, see Tony Hancock's The Radio Ham with a link to YouTube.

  3. Interview with the former LA8PV, Knut Kolstad, in 2006 - not too happy with his callsign then (see towards end of clip, in Norwegian) http://www.nrk.no/programmer/radio/kurer/1.1567222