More On 73


73 Shirt from ThinkGeekA recent edition of the ARRL Contest Update highlighted the availability of this shirt with the number 73 on it. Since this shirt is offered by Think Geek, I figured it had to be ham radio related. After all, we own the number 73! See my previous posting on the topic.

Well, it turns out that this shirt is actually derived from The Big Bang Theory television show, when Sheldon explains that 73 is The Best Number.

Check out this video clip:

Well, it doesn’t stop there. Using my friend Google, I found a number of web pages on the topic of the number 73. Wikipedia even has a page dedicated to it. (Who edits a Wikipedia page about a number anyway?)

Here are some fun facts about 73:

  • 73 is the 21st prime number
  • Reversing the digits of 73, produces another prime number, 37, which means 73 is an Emirp
  • The PT boat in the television show McHale’s Navy was PT-73.
  • In Morse code, 73 is a palindrome

But to me, 73 is still just Best Regards.

73, Bob K0NR

  1. #1 by Sverre Holm, LA3ZA on 19 December 2013 - 2:13 am

    “In Morse code, 73 is a palindrome” – this explains why it sounds so rhythmic, and I would guess also why it is so easy to recognize in Morse code. But I thought that 73 had been selected for just this property?

  2. #2 by K0NR on 21 December 2013 - 2:48 pm

    I don’t think the rhythmic sound of 73 was the reason it is used for “Best Regards.” Recall that this number traces back to the Western Union code: http://www.civilwarsignals.org/pages/tele/wurules1866/92code.html
    But I do think most hams really like the sound of it.

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