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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: W2MV on August 31, 2010, 08:04:54 AM



Title: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W2MV on August 31, 2010, 08:04:54 AM
Yes, I know that the FCC no longer requires a change of call sign when you move to a new district, and that you no longer legally need to sign "portable" when operating. That's not the point.

There are so many hams operating on HF who have obviously moved and are using their old call signs, that you can't reliably tell where someone is any longer just from the call sign.
As an example, I was listening on 15 M CW and heard a KH7. The band is open to the Pacific I thought...not! He was in Texas.

You get my point. Stop being lazy and not signing portable. Let the number in your call sign mean something as it used to! Simply because signing / is no longer a legal requirement does not mean that you shouldn't do it.

Alan, W2MV


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N3OX on August 31, 2010, 08:37:34 AM
You get my point. Stop being lazy and not signing portable. Let the number in your call sign mean something as it used to!

I think we should do exactly the opposite.  I like my call.  It's not only my callsign... it's my website, my email address, and what all my ham friends know me as.   I like having a 1x2 and in several districts, they are essentially gone unless you want to go through the trouble of "harvesting" one.  If I were to move to W6 or W7 it would be essentially impossible for me to get a 2x1 6 or 7 call.  So I will keep N3OX.

I don't want people to expect me to sign N3OX/7.  I'll have to do it in DX pileups when the DX calls for "numbers" instead of calling for "West Coast NA."  That's bad enough.

We're going to have more and more people signing up for "out of area" calls and we should just get used to it.

I know the feeling you have.  It's unfortunate when I hear a KH2 loud and oh... North Carolina :(  But it's just the way things are.  I say if you want people to know more or less where you are from your call alone, call CQ with the portable designator.  If you want people to know where you are by your CQ, just say or send your location.  If you just want to talk to someone, call CQ and sort it out later.

73
Dan



Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: AA4PB on August 31, 2010, 08:43:38 AM
Question - if you are operating from your QTH of FCC record, are you operating portable just because your call area doesn't match?


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K3GM on August 31, 2010, 09:08:14 AM
I feel your pain, but I agree with Dan.  As one of "those" people who have an out of district call, there are occasions when I will sign "Port. One" or /1.  That's when I'm operating a contest where 1's are bring hunted, and in VHF weak signal contacts where the station needs to get an approximate fix on me.  Again, as Dan said, I like my 1x2 call. There are only a handful of five syllable calls, and I don't want to lengthen it unless I'm forced to.


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W2MV on August 31, 2010, 10:17:56 AM
It seems that I struck a bit of a nerve...which I expected. The posting was just to start a conversation going and see if anyone else shares my frustration.
To answer AA4PB's question, I would say that you are not "legally" portable if you're operating from your HOR, but the point I was attempting to make was from an operating standpoint, not a legal one.
One of the quintessential properties of a call sign in the USA is/was that the number reflects where you are.
If/when I retire and move to a different area, then I suppose I'll see if I can practice what I preach and sign /KH6 (wishful thinking), etc.


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K3GM on August 31, 2010, 10:39:31 AM
.......If/when I retire and move to a different area, then I suppose I'll see if I can practice what I preach and sign /KH6 (wishful thinking), etc.
Yes, I've run into my share of "snowbirds", and former 1 and 2 landers now living in warmer climes who have kept their old calls.  I suppose I'd be amenable to signing /KP2 or /KH7, the proverbial deserted island I've always dreamed about!


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W0FM on August 31, 2010, 01:07:29 PM
Why not just follow your call sign with your state or city?  Then it doesn't matter what number is in your call. 

I usually just say "this is Whiskey Zero Foxtrot Mike....St. Louis".  Takes all the guess work out of it as the tenth (Zero) call district includes eight US states.

Terry, WØFM


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: KE3WD on August 31, 2010, 03:59:54 PM
FCC changed the ruling, as with so many other things, try not to let anybody steal your joy. 



Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W3LK on August 31, 2010, 04:37:51 PM

There are so many hams operating on HF who have obviously moved and are using their old call signs, that you can't reliably tell where someone is any longer just from the call sign.
As an example, I was listening on 15 M CW and heard a KH7. The band is open to the Pacific I thought...not! He was in Texas.

That's what call sign lookup software and/or the Internet is for. :)

I have a 3 call and live in 1 land. I do not sign portable 1, /1 or any other identifier, although I do say MOBILE when I'm operating from my vehicle.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W7ETA on August 31, 2010, 08:10:32 PM
When we were allowed to request a call sign, I traded in my 1 land call for a 7 land call so that DX stations, and cranky USA hams, would know what part of the country I lived in.

I have a beam, so if I want to try and work a KL7 or KH6 etc, I aim towards them.  If the signal I hear drops down I can figure they aren't in that part of the world.

But, mainly, since I'm not trying to work them as new countries, it doesn't cause me any problems if a KL7 is in Nevada.

However, I can sympathize with you if you are novice op working on WAS or are looking for them as new DXCC entities.  Perhaps you can assume that if the KL7 or KH6 isn't under a pile up, their call doesn't indicate their location.

73
Bob


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W2MV on September 01, 2010, 07:39:43 AM
Thanks for all of the responses. My favorite is KE3WD's.


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N0ZNA on September 01, 2010, 05:37:17 PM
When i am mbl i always say portable zero,even if im still in Missouri,if i go to 9 or 5 land i say that...73s de n0zna/John Missouri


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K1CJS on September 02, 2010, 04:17:53 AM
It seems that I struck a bit of a nerve...which I expected. The posting was just to start a conversation going and see if anyone else shares my frustration.......

In past years, before the advent of computerized lookups and the internet, there was ample reason to indicate your area if your callsign didn't match it.  Today, it isn't necessary because with just a few keystrokes that information is readily available.  Most hams have a computer at their station AND internet access. 


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N7DM on September 03, 2010, 07:37:04 AM
Come on.... It's such a tiny, tiny, thing to do to help a fellow ham. In the old Amateur's Code was 'Gentleman'.  I promise you, if *I* ever travel to, or move to... Four Land... I also WILL keep my call, but I WILL sign " /4 ", or  "Portable Four" on every CQ or First Reply call... so a guy can crank his quad to me.  I QSO lots of guys that don't HAVE computers, and mine are in a different room than the Ham Rig..........

'Gentleman'.......

73


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W2MV on September 03, 2010, 12:15:04 PM
And I have also used, much to my chagrin, DX spots which were misleading since the stations were located on the other side of the country from where their calls indicated...and the bands were not open from my location.


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N2EY on September 03, 2010, 08:33:17 PM
Having a call that doesn't match the district has been allowed by FCC for more than 31 years.

While it can be a help in some cases to know that the call matches the district, it is usually of rather limited use.

Here's why:

The 1 call area is New England - not very big geographically, but it includes 6 states and 7 sections.

The 2 call area is NJ and NY - only 2 states, but 6 sections. And it's a bit of a fur piece from Cape May NJ to Niagara Falls, NY

The 3 call area is 3 states and 4 sections

The 4 call area is 7 states and 10 sections. It extends from the southern tip of Florida almost to the Mason-Dixon line, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi.

The 5 call area is 6 states and 9 sections. Stretches from the state of Missippi to the Four Corners (northwest corner of NM).

The 6 call area is just 1 state  - and 9 sections

The 7 call area is 8 states and 9 sections, and stretches from the border with Mexico to the border with Canada, and from the Pacific to the Dakotas.

The 8 call area is 3 states and 3 sections, yet from the upper peninsula of Michigan to the WVA southeastern border is quite a ways.

The 9 call area is 3 states and 3 sections, too.

The 0 call area is 8 states and stretches from the Mississippi to the Rockies, and from Canada to Oklahoma.

I'll leave it to others to figure out the grid squares.

The point is that even if everybody used corresponding calls, it doesn't narrow things down all that much in many cases.

And while it can be a disappointing to discover that the call you thought was DX is just in the next state, the reverse happens too.

73 de Jim, N2EY (in EPA for 31 years).


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: AB2T on September 04, 2010, 06:04:30 AM
Which other countries nowadays allow hams to keep their call when moving?

I am under the impression (probably mistaken) that in most countries hams have to change calls when moving.

I understand that a 1 call living in 6 land is misleading.  I am a 2 call living in 1 land.  My license was originally issued for a residence less than 50 miles from my current address.  Propagation-wise I am in the same place.  I don't feel bad about not signing /1 because I'm not misleading DX or contesters.  I rarely contest or DX, so the issue becomes even less relevant.  Call number is irrelevant for ragchewing.

I'll admit that having to give up your call after an address change would loosen up the 1X2 and 2X1 calls for those not licensed at least 15 or more years ago.  I'd join the ranks of those against that plan -- no way am I giving up my 2X1.  I've read that the League wants to add a second numeral to 2X1's and 1X2's, i.e. W23A (example from qrz.com) to give more opportunities for hams to hold short calls.  I wonder if that's a good idea or something that's even possible.  Now that would create headaches for the DX!

73, Jordan     


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N2EY on September 04, 2010, 12:00:37 PM
Which other countries nowadays allow hams to keep their call when moving?

I am under the impression (probably mistaken) that in most countries hams have to change calls when moving.

There's also the questions of how many other countries are divided into call areas at all - and how many. Plus how much people there move around.

I'll admit that having to give up your call after an address change would loosen up the 1X2 and 2X1 calls for those not licensed at least 15 or more years ago.

It might - and it might not.

In the bad old days, some hams who moved across callsign boundaries would use an address in the old district in order to retain a callsign. All it took was a friend or relative in the old district who would forward your mail. Or, if a ham owned a vacation or second home in the old district, use its address for the license. It was legal and some hams did it for *years*.

Of course in such cases the ham who moved would then be "portable" at the new location, and would sign that way.

The reason the rules changed back in the late 1970s was so that hams who moved a lot could retain their callsigns without such games.

I think it was a good thing, for several reasons.

73 de Jim, N2EY 


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K1WJ on September 05, 2010, 07:56:09 AM
I just say " K1WJ Michigan " I'm not really portable. Some day I hope it might be something like " K1WJ Las Vegas....." 8)

73 David


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N7DM on September 05, 2010, 02:21:20 PM
Good shot, Dave! And when you are in the 'cooling off pool' {regardless of depth}, it is now legal for you to sign, "Maritime Mobile, Las Vegas". HI HI   Especially entertaining on, say, Two Meters!

HI HI..........................73


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: WA2ASQ on September 07, 2010, 03:36:36 AM
As a person who travels all the time, and operates quite often away from home, I feel I am qualified to comment on this post.  I agree with the author of this post.  As a contest op, DX hound and I guess an "Old Timer" the rule change makes it very difficult to identify locations and band condx.
I am a person who travels on business all the time and like to operate on the road and I always sign portable on my call.  I also have a call sign originally from 2 land and have lived in Newington, CT for years.  When home; I add /1 to my call and on the road I sign portable wherever I am.  I feel it is the right procedure to do, with the type of operating that I enjoy.

73

WA2ASQ/4 (On the road again right now!)


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: KC8OYE on September 11, 2010, 09:59:16 PM
and the most obvious response.. why not COMMUNICATE with said party?  as in "I see you have an '8' call.. but you're on a 2m machine in Texas.. hows that work?"
then I can explain I'm down here as a snow bird :)
hence the part of ham radio where you comunicate.. works the same way on HF.. I'm not licensed for tech.. but I've worked HF a few times at a friends stations who is :)


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N2FQ on September 14, 2010, 08:45:57 AM
Hello. I'm guilty for not signing /6 with local hams. However, during a contest or answering a CQ I usually do it once at the beginning.

73 Fernando N2FQ/6


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W2MV on September 14, 2010, 11:54:00 AM
Thank you. Signing N2FQ/6 at least ocassionally will help with:

Hams looking for CA, such as for the WAS award
Hams wanting to know if the band is open to CA (as opposed to NY or NJ)
DX cluster spots posted with a /6 or CA comment will help hams know current band conditions

Alan, W2MV


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: VE3LXL on December 22, 2010, 01:55:12 PM
Which other countries nowadays allow hams to keep their call when moving?

I am under the impression (probably mistaken) that in most countries hams have to change calls when moving.


In Canada our callsign prefixes still denote the part of the country we're in. For instance, a VE3 is from Ontario, VE4 from Manitoba, etc. If an amateur moves from one province to another, he has to get a new callsign issued.


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: AD6KA on December 22, 2010, 02:56:15 PM
Part of the call area vs callsign mixup might be less a result of
folks moving around, and more an issue of Vanity calls.
Loads of new General hams not happy with their 2x3 calls.
So they look for a Vanity 1x3 in ANY area...
(So they can pretend they're OT's when they call CQ) ;D

Same with No Code Extras not happy with their issued 2x2's.
"Forget the call area, I WANT me 1x2, 2x1".

IMHO, The FCC just plain shouldn't allow Vanity calls outside
the call area of the applicant. How hard is THAT?


73, Ken AD6KA (Sequentially issued 20wpm Extra call)
                    ex: KB6LEA (Sequencially issued Novice call in Dec 1985)


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N3DF on December 24, 2010, 05:51:26 AM
Not a chance.  A portable station is a temporary base station and that's not me.

N3DF - Miami


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K4DPK on December 24, 2010, 02:16:41 PM
I've heard guys with out-of-area calls use it to advantage in pile-ups, when the DX is calling by area.  They call using the number in their call, and if that doesn't work, they try again using the area in which they're actually located.  More often than not, the DX lets them get away with it.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk

   



Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N0ZNA on December 24, 2010, 02:53:27 PM
Yes, I know that the FCC no longer requires a change of call sign when you move to a new district, and that you no longer legally need to sign "portable" when operating. That's not the point.

There are so many hams operating on HF who have obviously moved and are using their old call signs, that you can't reliably tell where someone is any longer just from the call sign.
As an example, I was listening on 15 M CW and heard a KH7. The band is open to the Pacific I thought...not! He was in Texas.

You get my point. Stop being lazy and not signing portable. Let the number in your call sign mean something as it used to! Simply because signing / is no longer a legal requirement does not mean that you shouldn't do it.  I allways sign n0zna/port 0 when mbl...i too have hear k6 or wa7 and find out they are only 20 miles away in there house on hf bands ...73s de n0zna/John em48sd

Alan, W2MV


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N2EY on December 26, 2010, 05:48:36 AM
The problem is that the OP wants hams to sign portable when they're not.

The slant bar on CW and digital modes, and the words "portable" or "mobile" on 'phone, have a specific meaning. They indicate that the station involved is NOT at the location in the FCC database!

So if I'm operating at home, signing N2EY/3 is simply not good operating practice.

The days when a US ham's call had to match the call district ended more than 30 years ago, and they're not coming back.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: NA0AA on December 26, 2010, 08:03:53 AM
Here's my problem....I already have a 2x3, add on "Stroke Zero" to it and I'll make it thru even fewer pileups than I do now.  I'm thinking about changing my call simply because here in CO I can get a shorter one than I can in CA.



Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K0BG on December 28, 2010, 03:05:36 PM
Jim, N2EY, you're a man after my heart!

I live in New Mexico, which is 5 land, and I have a Ø call. I almost never (!!) give my call area, especially when I'm mobile (95% of my operating!). The suggestion is good in theory, but poor in practice!


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N2EY on December 28, 2010, 03:27:14 PM
I live in New Mexico, which is 5 land, and I have a Ø call.

And even if you got a 5 call, it wouldn't narrow things down much. 5 land extends from NM in the west to MS in the east, from TX in the south to OK in the north.

In fact, the east-west range of 5 land is greater than that of 0 land.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K1CJS on December 29, 2010, 04:24:50 AM
Without trying to sound like a wiseguy, if you want to know where the person is, why not just try asking when you're in contact with him?  That seems to be the best solution to your 'problem'!


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W3LK on December 29, 2010, 01:13:02 PM
Without trying to sound like a wiseguy, if you want to know where the person is, why not just try asking when you're in contact with him?  That seems to be the best solution to your 'problem'!

That's waaaayyyyy too simple. :)


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K2FOX on December 29, 2010, 01:29:58 PM
Without trying to sound like a wiseguy, if you want to know where the person is, why not just try asking when you're in contact with him?  That seems to be the best solution to your 'problem'!

That's waaaayyyyy too simple. :)

"So advanced. it's simple" I don't think I've ever logged a call without being given the QTH (it goes right in the logbook under "QTH")


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: K0BG on December 29, 2010, 01:32:17 PM
I just have to go here.....

As I stated before, 95% of my operating is mobile. I used to use the/m a lot, either on CW (I don't do that mobile anymore) or verbally. I stopped when one of the rare DX stations I wanted put my call into the log as KØBGM. I waited 6 long years until that one came up again. So I started to use mobile-in-motion. Until, that is, some operator in France told me I had too many letters in my call! Lordy, you just can't win for losing!


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: N4VNV on January 02, 2011, 07:19:35 AM
I'm sorry but this is not a big problem to me. The big problem to me is 1. People don't give their call signs in a understandable manner. MANY just mumble them, which makes it tough when I want to look them up on my computer. 2. Then when I've got the call sign correct, I find their address shows them in a different State than where they live now. They are NOT notifying the FCC when they make a permanent move to different locations. 3. Hams are not keeping their current email addresses updated on QRZ.com. Makes it tough to follow up and maybe send photos after a really good QSO. Thank you for your time reading this.


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W7WIK on January 07, 2011, 07:16:19 AM
The only constant in life is change... I always give my QTH so what's the point?

73, W7WIK, Albuquerque, NM


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: KI4SDY on January 07, 2011, 07:42:33 AM
You don't need to know where I am. Find me if you can! 8)


Title: RE: Please Sign Portable (/) When Not Operating From Your Home Call District!
Post by: W5ER on January 07, 2011, 08:17:54 AM
It took me a long time to get a call that I REALLY liked, seems that finding one in the third area was out of the question due to a lot of the preferred "3" calls being held by hams living outside of PA, MD, and DE. I tried to maintain the "3" in my call as visible when one looks at my call history (see below). 

Even had a Alabama ham, 4th call area, w/5th call area callsign, petition the FCC to resind the awarding of my 5 call because he deserved it, when he failed to follow the rules and "redlighted" by one day. ;D

Anyway if I'm operating mobile in my vehicle, set up in a camp ground or Walmart parking lot, I'll then append the /m or /p to my call.  For the present I'm stuck in the WPA section with one foot in the ground and the other in the grip of the local, state and federal taxing bodies.

73 Ed W5ER
ex W3ERE, WB3ERE, KB3XR, WB3ERE