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Author Topic: What is "/" in a Call Sign?  (Read 488 times)
KB3MDT
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Posts: 205




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« on: May 03, 2005, 06:19:44 PM »

Hi,
    I'm studying for my morse code exam.   An article on the web (http://www.qsl.net/wj5o/mcode.htm) says that you may get a call sign with a "/" in it.  For example "WN7OPQ/6".   I'm familiar with the different call sign formats such as 1x2, 2x3, etc from my Technican Exam.  However, I haven't found any explanation of a call sign including a "/".   What's  the "/" mean?  (Yes I know it's DAH DIT DIT DAH DIT.)   Thanks!

KB3MDT
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KE4MOB
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Posts: 721


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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 06:47:59 PM »

Traditionally, it means portable.  For example, if I were in California, I might sign KE4MOB/6.  

4 is my home call area...6 would be where I'm at now.

If I was in another country..say Cuba, I might sign CO4/KE4MOB, for example.

If I signed KE4MOB/MM it would mean I'm Maritime Mobile.

Or it can be that you have upgraded..for example KE4MOB/AE means I just passed the test for Extra, but haven't received my license yet reflecting this.

So there's bunches of reason to use the / in a callsign.

Hope this helps.

Steve, KE4MOB
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M0CUQ
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2005, 05:21:37 AM »

"/" is also used less formally to give more information about the station such as /qrp or /qrs  or /(some kind of club suffix)
It is a very useful character and personally I like the sound of it and found it easy to learn.
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2005, 06:37:06 AM »

It sometimes is used in State QSO Parties by mobile
stations to indicate which county they're operating
from. If I was participating as a mobile station in
the Texas QSO Party, for example, in Travis County,
I might sign:

W5ESE/TRAV

or Harris County:

W5ESE/HARR

Stations can work me repeatedly as I move from one
county to another.

73
Scott W5ESE
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N7DM
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Posts: 671




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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2005, 11:46:44 AM »

In the Days Just After 'Spark'.. the FCC was much more accurate about 'things amateur'.  You were mandated to sign ' Slant [Number] ' if you were operating away from home. Your License was two parts: Operators License..privileges, etc. and Station License... permit to even OWN a transmitting equipment!  And that Station license was applicable to a specific address. Operate across towm, and you were required to sign  "/"  as in W7???/7 .  Mobile ops.. auto, VESSEL IN US WATERS, had to sign '/M'... If you were OUTSIDE US WATERS, you signed "/R [1, 2, or 3]" (depending upon which part of the earth you were).   These days, you can operate anywhere... in or out of 'your' call sign area, with no such requirement, although, the wiser ops usually sign /... for CQ's and initial calls, if they are in the wrong place. It is easy from WA to turn your quad to the East for a W2... and find you lose him, 'cuz he is in Southern California !   Likewise, you can now be 'maritime mobile, with a handy-talkie and a wading pool...   There are a few of us that preferred a little Sanity, instead of the chaos of Call-Signs today, but we lose.  I  **WILL** be the first to admit that when I was on Wake Island, I often missed calls when I had to sign  "W7???/KW6".  By the time the KW6 came along, the caller was long gone. Fixed that with a KW6 call !
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N0TONE
Member

Posts: 173




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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 10:25:32 PM »

To be legal, the "/" character may only be used to indicate a temporary alteration of something that your license specifies.  Most commonly, it either means a temporary change of location from that printed on your license (e.g. W1AW/6) or a temporary usage of privileges beyond what's printed on the license (e.g. WN1AW/AE if you're a novice who passed Extra but have not yet received the new bit of paper).

The FCC no longer requires the "/" sign for mobile/portable, but many stations choose to use it.  The FCC has not yet opined on whether it is legal to use the "/" character for such non-license issues as QRP.  

AM
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