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Author Topic: extra call sign  (Read 20899 times)
K7MEM
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2016, 09:31:52 AM »

In the entire history of US amateur radio, there has only been one situation where an amateur licensee has been required to change callsign because of upgrading.

It was from 1951 until some time in the 1970s or 1980s (not sure of the date). In those days, Novices were assigned distinctive callsigns, and ONLY Novices could have them. Upon upgrading, the callsign was changed. Eventually that went away.

That is correct. I was first licensed in 1965 as a Novice. At the time, Novice licenses were good for only one year and were  non-renewable. My call sign was WN2TCL. Before the license ran out, I tested for Technician and they changed my call sign to WB2TCL. It was pretty easy to spot Novice licensees at the time. But I found that moving to Technician was not really an upgrade. While I had a great time working 2 Meters AM, it annoyed me that all of my low band privileges were gone. Luckily, the FCC saw the error in their ways and changed everything.
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Martin - K7MEM
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W3HF
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2016, 10:15:35 AM »

In the entire history of US amateur radio, there has only been one situation where an amateur licensee has been required to change callsign because of upgrading.

It was from 1951 until some time in the 1970s or 1980s (not sure of the date). In those days, Novices were assigned distinctive callsigns, and ONLY Novices could have them. Upon upgrading, the callsign was changed. Eventually that went away.

...


The change occurred in late 1976. At that time, then-current Novice licensees were issued the non-Novice callsigns they would have eventually received upon upgrading. All the WN callsigns in the lower 48 became either WA or WB. Novices outside of CONUS had the W in their callsign become a K. (Novices previously had WL7/WH6/WP4/etc calls--these became KL7/KH6/KP4/etc.) All new Novices after this received non-distinctive calls.
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WA2ISE
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2016, 12:16:44 PM »

... Before the license ran out, I tested for Technician and they changed my call sign to WB2TCL. It was pretty easy to spot Novice licensees at the time. But I found that moving to Technician was not really an upgrade. While I had a great time working 2 Meters AM, it annoyed me that all of my low band privileges were gone. Luckily, the FCC saw the error in their ways and changed everything.

Back around 1971 I was thinking of getting a tech.  Back then a General or higher could test you.  My father and I visited such a ham (who happened to work for the FCC) and he gave me a code test at 5WPM, but using Farnsworth method (13WPM characters spaced at 5WPM). I failed that.  He wanted me to get a novice license, saying that the tech was a ham radio black hole, and I'd never become a "real" ham...   Cheesy

Later in 1976 I did get a tech, and by then the FCC allowed techs all novice privs.  My first ever QSO was in a novice subband.

I suppose if you wanted it, you could get an xN#xxx callsign via the vanity system.  WN2ISE

Though I heard some time ago someone got a vanity callsign xR#xxx so his repeater could have its old callsign back. Repeaters used to have their own callsigns, with R as the 2nd letter in the prefix.   The FCC later said "no more of that".
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 12:21:07 PM by WA2ISE » Logged
WW7KE
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2016, 04:31:51 PM »

Back around 1971 I was thinking of getting a tech.  Back then a General or higher could test you.  My father and I visited such a ham (who happened to work for the FCC) and he gave me a code test at 5WPM, but using Farnsworth method (13WPM characters spaced at 5WPM). I failed that.  He wanted me to get a novice license, saying that the tech was a ham radio black hole, and I'd never become a "real" ham...   Cheesy

When I took the Novice license course in 1970, the code class used the Farnsworth method, although I think the characters were closer to 20 wpm than 13.  Since the test used the same method, I had no problem.  It helped a lot when I went for my General a year later.  I tried to use that method on the air as well.

Quote
I suppose if you wanted it, you could get an xN#xxx callsign via the vanity system.  WN2ISE

If the callsign is available for your license class, you can go for it.  None of my many previous callsigns have been reassigned, so I could have any of them back if I wanted.  I don't want. Grin

Quote
Though I heard some time ago someone got a vanity callsign xR#xxx so his repeater could have its old callsign back. Repeaters used to have their own callsigns, with R as the 2nd letter in the prefix.   The FCC later said "no more of that".

Those started with the infamous FCC Amateur Radio Division boss (or whatever the title was then) Prose Walker in 1972.  The rules were rather draconian originally, but lightened up over the years, IIRC.  They were scrapped, along with the WR prefix, with the 1978 restructuring.
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JBIRD
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2016, 07:29:03 AM »

I've signed up to take the extra exam in a couple of weeks. My studies have been going well so I believe I'll pass. Particularly since I don't have to prove 20wpm cw. I'm working on cw as well as I would like to add that to my skills but it will be a while before I get any competency at that  Embarrassed    Grin.

I appreciate all the comments and anecdotes about callsigns. My  inclination is to just keep my issued call. Perhaps I'll keep an eye on the signs becoming available but would only try to get one if it would have some tie in ie initials or interesting abbreviation etc.

73
Jim
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K7MEM
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2016, 01:58:28 PM »

... Before the license ran out, I tested for Technician and they changed my call sign to WB2TCL. It was pretty easy to spot Novice licensees at the time. But I found that moving to Technician was not really an upgrade. While I had a great time working 2 Meters AM, it annoyed me that all of my low band privileges were gone. Luckily, the FCC saw the error in their ways and changed everything.

Back around 1971 I was thinking of getting a tech.  Back then a General or higher could test you.  My father and I visited such a ham (who happened to work for the FCC) and he gave me a code test at 5WPM, but using Farnsworth method (13WPM characters spaced at 5WPM). I failed that.  He wanted me to get a novice license, saying that the tech was a ham radio black hole, and I'd never become a "real" ham...   Cheesy

Yup, that's how I got my first license in 1965. My math teacher in high school was a ham and he gave me the test. While I was terrible at Morse code, he passed me anyway. Into the late 60's it was possible to have both a Novice and a Technician license at the same time. Because of the way call signs were handled, that meant could have two call signs. A WN 2x3 for the Novice and a WA or WB 2x3 for Technician. But then, Novice licenses were only good for a year, so that didn't last long.
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Martin - K7MEM
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2016, 12:50:04 PM »

As what's been said.  I upgraded this summer, and have yet to ask for a new callsign.  So I'm sure I'll get called out on an extra frequency until they look it up

I've been licensed 28 years, I've been an extra 27 years. I still have my original Novice callsign. Not once have I ever been called out on an extra frequency..
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WA2ISE
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2016, 09:13:31 AM »


I've been licensed 28 years, I've been an extra 27 years. I still have my original Novice callsign. Not once have I ever been called out on an extra frequency..

Oh, many extras have novice calls.  When I first got the extra, I remember once someone on the radio saying "Who's that lid with the novice callsign?"  But I probably was a lid back then until I learned better operating procedures.   Grin 

And back in the day, some extras would prowl the novice subbands as elmers to help the novices improve their skills.   Noone called them on that  Grin
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W8JX
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« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2016, 04:48:13 PM »

When I got my Novice there was no keeping call. The suffix stayed same but prefix changed. In my district 47 years ago you started with a WN8xxx that changed to a WA8xxx or WB8xxx call. Not sure when this changed.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K7MEM
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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2016, 05:41:21 PM »

When I got my Novice there was no keeping call. The suffix stayed same but prefix changed. In my district 47 years ago you started with a WN8xxx that changed to a WA8xxx or WB8xxx call. Not sure when this changed.

Not only was there no keeping the call sign, with the "WN" prefix, there was no keeping the license. When I got my license in 1965, the Novice license was for one year only and was not renewable. You had to upgrade or hit the road. I upgraded to Technician, but that turned out to be a mixed bag. At the time, you lost low band access if you upgraded to Tech. While I certainly had a great time on 2 meters, it didn't endear me to Amateur Radio. Eventually, the FCC saw the folly in their license classes and band access, and change it.

In the end, any call that is held by an Extra, is an Extra call sign.
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Martin - K7MEM
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AF5CC
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« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2016, 10:59:16 PM »

I do believe that at some point the Novice license was changed to renewable, but WN callsigns were not automatically replaced with a WA or WB. In the 80s and early 90s, before the vanity program occurred, you would sometimes run into a WN 2 x 3 call on the air.  It wasn't common, but they were out there.  Some big contester even had a KN 2 x 3, from the much earlier days when novices were given KN 2 x 3 calls, and then they dropped the N when they upgraded. Not sure how he was able to keep that one.

73 John AF5CC
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W8JX
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2016, 07:37:54 AM »

Not only was there no keeping the call sign, with the "WN" prefix, there was no keeping the license. When I got my license in 1965, the Novice license was for one year only and was not renewable.

I got mine in 69 and it was good for 2 years and I believe it could be renewed once but only after a 6 month lapse.


I do believe that at some point the Novice license was changed to renewable, but WN callsigns were not automatically replaced with a WA or WB.

I never saw that back then. When I was a novice the WA8 calls were used up so they went to WB8. They went to KC8 and KD8 calls when they ran out of WB8's. Now that has be replaced with current system
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N0YXB
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2016, 08:06:36 AM »

When I got my Novice there was no keeping call. The suffix stayed same but prefix changed. In my district 47 years ago you started with a WN8xxx that changed to a WA8xxx or WB8xxx call. Not sure when this changed.

Yeah, that's what I recall too.
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K7KBN
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2016, 08:45:34 PM »

In the late 1950s/early 1960s era, novices in California received WV6 prefixes, like WV6ABC.  Upon upgrading, the V became an A: WA6ABC.

I think it was that way in the New York/New Jersey areas as well.  WV2XYZ became WA2XYZ.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
WW7KE
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2016, 09:37:09 PM »

When I got my Novice there was no keeping call. The suffix stayed same but prefix changed. In my district 47 years ago you started with a WN8xxx that changed to a WA8xxx or WB8xxx call. Not sure when this changed.

For the 8th district, WAs started around 1963, WBs started around 1967, and WDs started around 1976.  I'm going from memory here.

I got my Novice license in 1970, as WN9EAZ.  The WB9 series had started about a year earlier.  When I upgraded to General a year later, it was changed to WB9EAZ.

Whether it was a WA or WB (or WD between about 1975 and '78) depended on the call area.  The 1st & 3rd call areas barely got into the WBs by then, while the 2nd, 4th, and 6th got WDs in 1975, IIRC.  By '78, I believe all but the 1st, 3rd, and 7th call areas were into WDs.
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