Amateur Radio origin of
"The Bean in the Pot"


ONTARS Net control operators often use the expression “another bean for the pot” …
but does anyone know the origin of that expression?????
It actually goes way back to the origins of the net in the early 1970’s!

I got my ham license and original call VE3DCX at the same time ONTARS was launched by the Radio Society of Ontario (RSO),
and for the first year I would check in on CW.
Almost one year to the day I passed the advanced exam, and began checking into the net on SSB.
In fact I was a regular net controller in the mid 1970’s on the 4-5 spot when I would get home from high school ..
I was only 18 at the time. I later became the technical editor for the RSO magazine for several years.
One of the most regular and reliable net controllers at that time was VE3GYE, Aurel in Trenton …
a “white caner” they called themselves at the time … blind amateur radio operators.
Aurel would take check-ins, and then say thanks for “another bean for the pot”.
I visited him many times in Trenton, and he actually kept two little pots beside his HW12 rig, one containing dry beans.
After each check-in, he would transfer one bean from the full pot into the second pot.
In those days, the net controller kept a tally of check-ins that would be passed to the next net controller on the hour.
Aurel would quickly count the beans in the pot, and add it to the tally to pass on to the next controller!
Aurel has long since become a silent key, but I marvel 45 years later to hear net controllers still using his expression “another bean for the pot”.

And now you know the rest of the story!

Thanks Jim Eadie VE3DCX
of Coe Hill Ontario