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A one-to-one call with his majesty | the Guardian

JY1 was an enigma. When a radio ham from Nottingham put out a general call during a radio festival in the early 1970s, a man calling himself Hussein, with the call sign JY1, responded. That he claimed to be Jordanian was clear enough from the first two letters. But who, from a nation that used two or three digits as its call signs, would be audacious enough to list themselves as number one? The radio ham was confused. 'He thought that nobody has a call sign of just one digit, so he thought it was a pirate,' explains Henry Balen, of Beeston in Nottinghamshire, whose friend (who has since died) had put out the call. 'He told whoever it was claiming to be JY1 to get off the air in language that I couldn't repeat.' But the amateur radio fanatic, whom Balen's friend had sent off with such profanity, was none other than his majesty King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan, the most famous amateur radio enthusiast in the world.

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