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Author Topic: Why do you like (or hate) your call sign?  (Read 61817 times)
W3HF
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« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2014, 04:08:37 PM »

I have been thinking about putting in for a vanity call but not sure what call sign to try to get?
Does any have a suggestion?

Wow, that's an open-ended question. There are lots of different reasons to choose a vanity call, and it's a personal preference thing--what I like may not be what you like. Rather than make specific suggestions, here are some approaches that I've seen used.

- Some people embed their name or initials in the call. For example, I could request W3SM or W3SJM because SJM is my initials. I knew a fellow whose call was K3ITH, and I always thought he should change his name to Keith. (That was NOT a vanity call, by the way.) There are lots of opportunities with this strategy.

- Some folks pick a call that represents a primary radio interest. K1ATV (not surprisingly) is an avid fast-scan TV operator. I know lots of ?#PSK calls who are PSK enthusiasts. The same could also work for VHF, UHF, EME, SSB, AM, FM, etc calls. (And that holds for W3HF.)

- Some choose a call because it represents an important person in their past. This could be a callsign formerly held by an Elmer, or a (now-deceased) relative. And sometimes it's someone in their present--I knew someone (now SK) whose vanity call represented the initials of his grandkids.

- Some choose based on a good "sound" on the air. This could be either really good phonetics on voice modes, or really good CW. This could be really important if you are a serious contest operator.

- Some choose based on some historical event or situation. W2XOY is in that category. (X calls used to be reserved for experimental stations, and W2XOY was an early-20th-century broadcast station.)

- Some choose just for fun. For example, there are a whole bunch of CW ops with ?#ESE calls.

This is just scratching the surface of the possible ways to choose. Figure out where your interests lie, and maybe something will pop out.
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K8QV
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« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2014, 04:33:52 PM »

I think it has a nice musical lilt on CW. Phonetically, "Queen Victoria" is what makes everyone around the world finally understand after I've repeated "Quebec Victor" three times in vain.
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ND8K
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« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2014, 02:53:55 PM »

Quote
I have been thinking about putting in for a vanity call but not sure what call sign to try to get?
Does any have a suggestion

Yes. Go to AE7Q.com.   in the left hand table, click on call sign regions one at a time.  Look for green (available) or bolded (soon to be available) call signs. Find one (or more) that you like the sound/length/etc. Write down the dates that they become available. Apply for them when they become available (THAT DAY, NOT BEFORE, NOT AFTER). Wait about two weeks and see what you get.

I went from KK4ZJZ (say that three time fast) to ND8K.  The listeners get my new call sign correct 100% of the time. I was worried that they might go "NT8K", but so far no one has confused the two. I was also worried about the K on the end (dont do CW yet, but who knows?), but I think that the callsign structure will prevent people from dropping the final K (i.e. ND8 would not be a valid callsign), whereas a 2x2 callsign ending in K (apparently) causes some folks a bit of trouble.   
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ND8K
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« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2014, 04:52:25 PM »

Quote
Yes. Go to AE7Q.com.   in the left hand table

Edit:  That is, if you are looking for a 1x2 or a 2x1.  Otherwise, you just have to decide what you want in a call sign and start guessing. For example, my initials are RDH, and I could have chosen between almost a dozen different  1xRDH call signs (I even had a few as backup to the 1x2 and 2x1 call signs I  had picked out).

The 4 character call signs are a lot more limited in availability.
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K4PIH
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« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2014, 11:40:16 AM »

My original Novice call while stationed in Omaha was KA0QFG (sequential) and a real pain in CW. Stationed in Korea as HL9AXT a little better (T =Tech). Then KB5ETD in Texas(yet another sequential) and another tough one in CW. Finally K4PIH, which was my fathers last callsign before SK. I tried for years to get it but was required to contact the current holder and ask if they would mind, which he did. Don't recall if he went SK or just expired, but my brother (K5EH) called me one day and said that Dad's old K4PIH was available and I did the vanity thing. Now K4PIH is back in the family and the call carries on the long ham radio tradition in the family. Look me up on ZED.
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M6YDB
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« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2014, 10:53:00 PM »

We're lucky in the UK. You get to choose the last 3 letters of your call (there first bit it's determined by your license class).

If its not in use its yours and for no charge either.

Needles to say I likes mine!

73

Danny M6YDB
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KI6LZ
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« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2014, 11:16:56 PM »

Do UK folks still pay a tax to have a radio or TV?
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KB1SF
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« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2014, 05:46:52 AM »

We're lucky in the UK. You get to choose the last 3 letters of your call (there first bit it's determined by your license class).

Sorta the same in Canada...except there's NO "license class" issue.

Canada is one of the few countries in the world that allow rank beginners to select both the prefix (a VE or VA) and a three letter suffix for their very first call sign.

Available call signs are all shown in an online database and you simply pick out up to three (in your order of preference) in the e-mail you get from Industry Canada (our Canadian "FCC") after your examiner enters your test score and other personal info online to the Industry Canada database.

Also, while you MUST inform Industry Canada (and pick a new call sign) if you permanently move your station's mailing address out of the province where your original license was issued, you still get to both keep and use the old one!

Likewise, if you want a "vanity" call, you can add one of those as well (a "two by two" is the shortest you'll get in Canada) for a CAD $60 fee.  Only restriction here is that because Ontario (VE3) and Quebec (VE2) are so populated with already licensed hams, in those provinces you must wait 5 years from the date of your original license issue to apply for a "two by two".  And since all of those VE2 and VE3 "two by two" calls are already assigned, you must also wait for a similar call sign from those provinces to be turned in.  

Other than that, there are NO other restrictions on such "vanity" calls.

What's even better is that, again, all your "old" call sign(s) are still valid and can be used as you accumulate new ones.  And all of them remain valid for life.

For those interested in Canadian licensing, I've posted more info about the Canadian licensing and call sign system on our local club's web site at:

www.ve3sar.org.  

Click on "Canada Licensing".

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 05:53:23 AM by KB1SF » Logged
K1ZJH
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« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2014, 09:35:08 AM »

My call is K1ZJH... that is not the most desirable callsign for a CW or phone operator.... but after being licensed since 1961 it is what it is.  I do a bit of CW DX chasing... the call is pretty decent for an iambic keyer to handle... I'd be happier with a 1X2 callsign that benefits the years I've been a ham... but at my age I've decided it doesn't make much of a difference. 

Pete k1zjh
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N3HAT
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« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2014, 12:38:09 PM »

I like my sequentially-assigned callsign, and I have no plans to change it even though I've upgraded twice and moved away from 3-land since receiving it.

I'm the first holder.
The suffix spells a word.
If I want to go for cute-sy phonetics, Hot And Tired works.
If the ICAO phonetics don't get through, Norway Three Honolulu America Tokyo does.
It's short and sweet in CW.

And yes, at the first hamfest I attended after receiving my ticket, one of my first purchases was a ball cap with my callsign embroidered into it.

I'll keep my 1x3 callsign.

73,
Bob n3hat
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NN4RH
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Posts: 329




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« Reply #55 on: June 13, 2014, 12:46:00 PM »

I like my call sign because it is MINE.  I picked it. As far as I know, nobody else has ever held it.


When I upgraded to Extra about ten years ago, I requested a sequential 2x2. I got AI4CB.  Worked pretty well for CW. But in the internet forums, certain people seemed to think it was a vanity and spent too much time attacking me as a "chicken-bander". I dumped that call sign after about 2 years for the current one. They still attack me, but for other reasons.
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W8AAZ
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« Reply #56 on: June 14, 2014, 03:36:18 PM »

When I got my Extra I did not want some issued two by two or whatever they were giving, I always liked the one by threes.  Well I did a search for unclaimed calls and all the one by two goodies were taken I guess.  So I chose something 1X3 with A's in it. Sorry, AAA was taken.     Payed up for  a vanity call. Was something that was better than the tongue twisters the fed always gave me, anyway. Figured it might be better for other ops to make out.  Usually it is but often I get called WA8...  Not too bad for CW but I am not a bigtime CW op. Otherwise the letters are of no personal significance at all. Alpha alpha zulu usually works good on net iist call ins. As for DX, still wishing for a good DX antenna to see how that does. Bad location for ants.
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K3NRX
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« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2014, 05:56:00 AM »

My call is K1ZJH... that is not the most desirable callsign for a CW or phone operator.... but after being licensed since 1961 it is what it is.  I do a bit of CW DX chasing... the call is pretty decent for an iambic keyer to handle... I'd be happier with a 1X2 callsign that benefits the years I've been a ham... but at my age I've decided it doesn't make much of a difference.  

Pete k1zjh

I would think that keeping the 1x3 would benefit the years you've been a ham...that's why I changed my call from 2x3 to a 1x3 version.....even though it's not an original K3 issue from back in the day (when I wasn't around), it still has that nostalgic feel to it........

Got to tell ya, some call signs I hear on the air, and I just don't get it, as to why people would keep them...I realize it's a personal choice issue, and some people are kind of stuck for a while as they haven't upgraded to the point of changing it or getting a vanity, but man...If I were stuck with some of these combinaitons, I burn my license!...Most of them are these newly issued obscure 2x3 call signs beginning with anything between KE and KK for a prefix (or however far along they are in issuing prefixes)....UGH....I'd would upgrade and get rid of that in a big time hurry if it were me...glad I got into the hobby when I did......

Just thought of a question regarding this. If you are a newly licensed newbie tech, and you hate your initial/right off the bat FCC issued call sign, can you put in for changing it right way and/or get a vanity call without upgrading?.....I would assume so, but I am not sure.......

V
K3NRX
f/k/a KA3NRX

« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 06:02:53 AM by K3NRX » Logged
KV7W
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2014, 06:54:39 AM »

Two brothers I worked with, who I became good long time friends with, passed extra and applied for KV7E and KV7L. When I passed was able to get Whiskey. Both are a lot more technically proficient than I am, being taught cw by their parents since about birth, (dit passed the GROL at 15 or some such nonsense - hard to compete with that). I don't know much about the previous holder, other than she was a very technically educated teacher that is sk. I'm just part of the KV7 family - the alcoholic part?
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W3HF
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« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2014, 10:45:39 AM »

Just thought of a question regarding this. If you are a newly licensed newbie tech, and you hate your initial/right off the bat FCC issued call sign, can you put in for changing it right way and/or get a vanity call without upgrading?.....I would assume so, but I am not sure.......
Any licensee (of any license class) can request a new sequential callsign at any time. And last I knew, there were no limits on how often you could apply. So if you try it and don't like what you get, you can try again either immediately (to get the next one in sequence) or later.

(I recall one situation where I saw a sequence of calls assigned on the same date to the same person. From what I could reconstruct, it appeared that the person realized that a few calls down the sequence would be one he'd like, so he applied for the next, and then the next, and so on until he got to the one he wanted. I never contacted the person to verify my suspicion, so I can't be sure, but that was the only explanation I could figure out for three or so sequential callsign issues in a row.)

As for vanities, any licensee can request a new vanity call at virtually any time. (Exception:You can only submit one vanity app per day.) There's no minimum holding period for a callsign, though bouncing back and forth between a few calls may be perceived by the FCC as "churning" for the purpose of keeping those calls unavailable to others, and result in an investigation or enforcement action.
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