Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Just curious about Vanity call signs and CW  (Read 2756 times)
K0CNT
Member

Posts: 18




Ignore
« on: April 07, 2009, 08:21:45 AM »

First of all, I'm a slow-code Extra, got my license when only 5 wpm was required. I struggled learning CW then, and still have problems now. My microphone has been hooked up to my Kenwood exactly once, long ago, and that was to test it. I only use digital modes (PSK31, CW).

I was originally licensed as KCKLH, and that combination of dits at the end of that call sign gave me sending fits, and obvious to me the other end of the contact had as much trouble as I did. So, when I upgraded to Extra, searched for a code combination that worked... and settled on K0CNT, which to me has a nice code rhythm.

Is there any one in the eHam community that selected a vanity call for a similar reason? I'm always curious when I hear xxCAT or xxDOG...
Logged
N3QE
Member

Posts: 2203




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 10:48:41 AM »

When I finally upgraded (had been at Advanced for decades despite being an exclusively CW op) to Extra I picked "N3QE" because it was the shortest (Morse-code-wise) 1x2 3-area call available at the time, but in retrospect it was a mistake. Especially in contest environments that lone dit at the end gets lost, maybe every few dozen exchanges. It's only a minor hassle but in retrospect brevity isn't everything.

Another proof that brevity isn't everything: try copying EE5E (his QSL card brags that it's the shortest call in the world!) at 40WPM!

For getting a call through QRM and QRN, something with dashes at the beginning and end of each character has real value.

Oh's and Zeroes inevitably get mixed up in contest logs. Going straight to computer helps but paper notes seem to get in the way!
Logged
K0CNT
Member

Posts: 18




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 11:26:20 AM »

Whoops! My original call sign was KC0KLH. Not that that added zero makes any difference.

73,
George K0CNT
Logged
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2802




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 01:44:05 PM »

I was going to ask about that call sign, George..Wink.

I've been K7KBN for 50 years (first licensed in 1959).  The only time I've used a different call from home was for the first 4 months, when I was KN7KBN (the first "N" identified me as a Novice), and during the Bicentennial Year (1976), when we were allowed to use special calls.  Then I was AD7KBN.  

That suffix works fine with Morse code ... for me, anyway.  Never did see a need to change just to advertise my license status.

Besides, I have a bunch of blank QSLs that identify me as K7KBN both in letters and in signal flags (3 colors)!  I'd have to toss them out!

73
Pat K7KBN
Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 02:53:47 PM »

After a vacation in the Carib where I had fun at the bottom of pile ups, V47/WB1AUW, I decided it was time for a shorter call.

I watched the call allocations in QST until it hit a range of upcoming allocations with prefixs not containing problem characters; I wound up with NY1I (whew! I missed a bullet when I got I instead of one less, H).

I ran that call until I got tired of having to send /7 after I moved to Tucson.

When we were allowed to select a call sign again, I went for AE7G, nice and short plus I liked the cadence on CW.  It seems as if I had selected characters that were FB for CW but on phone people turned me into a VE7 or EA7.  

When it became time to renew my call I found a call containing a portion of my wife's nick name, Etta. It seemed to fill the bill, no problem characters in it, it didn't end with K, no H/S, no B/D no V/J, its easy to send, and still short.  It doesn't have the same ring as AE7G, but it's a pleasant reminder of my deceased wife.  Plus, for some reason, the suffix seems to be easy for people to recognize--and I don't have to make up special phonetics for people to remember it.  And, since it's a 1X3, I get to masquerade as a rather new ham. :-)

Best from Tucson
Bob
Logged
N3OX
Member

Posts: 8847


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 03:05:26 PM »

When I decided I wanted a vanity call, I tried to pick a suffix with letters that started and ended with dashes because I also had a trailing H, which was a big mess in weak signal conditions.

N3UMS probably got a lot of cards for me ;-)

It was worth it.  I've managed to break quite a few pileups where the DX asked "X?" or "OX?"

It was a factor in my decision... that and I wanted a 1x2 three call before they were all gone...

73
Dan





Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
NB8N
Member

Posts: 12




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 03:27:14 PM »

Same story, actually, as I was looking for something easy to send using CW.  
Logged
AA4N
Member

Posts: 110




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 06:52:03 PM »

I know where you are coming from.  I'm a slow code extra with a dust covered microphone.  My first call was a marathon.  Some days I felt like I spent as much time sending my call as I did rag chewing.

After I upgraded, I applied for a shorter call twice, without any luck.  If a 1x2 or a 2x1 came up for grabs, 20 or 30 folks would apply for it.  After that I waited for a day when several became available on the same day.  The day that I applied, there were ten of them.  I got my first choice (based on length).

Mostly, I just enjoy rag chewing.  But on the occasions that I've jumped into a contest, or tried to score on a DX pileup, I've found that AA4N gets through like a champ, with just 100 watts.  It starts with a dit and ends with a dit, but that doesn't seem to create any problems for me.

I do, however, prefer to use a call from the zone that I live in.  I just hope that I don't have to move out of 4-land anytime soon.  I'm really happy with the call sign that I've got.

73 de AA4N

mike
Logged
K0CNT
Member

Posts: 18




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 07:17:36 PM »

"I do, however, prefer to use a call from the zone that I live in"

I understand that. We're currently in 7-land, so I've been calling K0CNT/7, which isn't too bad, but we're heading for Alaska via the AlCan this summer and I can hardly wait to sign K0CNT/VE6, 7, VY1 or KL. It'll be fun.

73
George K0CNT/7
Logged
K4KRW
Member

Posts: 98




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2009, 04:00:22 AM »

My call sign was KG4PBG.  It was horrible both in voice modes and CW.  I wrote myself a program to rank call signs by sending effort.  I then took a list of available 1 X 3 call signs and ran them through.  I then picked one of the better ranked call signs for my region that would not be difficult to understand with voice modes.  I ended up choosing K4KRW.  I've been happy with the new call.
Logged
N3QE
Member

Posts: 2203




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2009, 06:09:09 AM »

> Same story, actually, as I was looking for
> something easy to send using CW.

I think "easy to send" is the wrong criteria. "Easy to copy" esp. in the presence of noise and QRM is the right criteria. They are not one in the same (witness EE5E).

Tim.
Logged
NG0K
Member

Posts: 334




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2009, 07:23:25 AM »

Same here.  I made the mistake of ending it in a K but that's not much of a problem.  Surpisingly, lots of stations have a heck of a time sending the NG prefix.  Usually it ends up N7 or NZ, then they correct themselves. Maybe one of these days I will get a new one with some personality instead of efficiency.  

73, Doug NG0K
Logged

73, Doug - NG0K
N4KZ
Member

Posts: 598




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2009, 09:29:36 AM »

Calls are "funny" things on CW. It seems that certain letters or combinations of letters give some people fits. My first call in the late 1960s was WB4MEN. I operated a lot of CW and a good number of DX stations called me WB4ME and dropped the N for some reason -- even though at the time the FCC didn't issue 2x2 calls to stateside stations. Few DX stations probably knew that though.

Later, I upgraded to extra class in 1979 and got KJ8S. Many, many stations called me K1ZS. Now before you think I was sending sloppy CW, I was sending with an MFJ CW keyboard -- which I still have and use. In fact, have two now. It sent perfect Js every time. People just weren't used to 2x1 U.S. calls and anticipated a number after the K.

Then I moved home to the 4th call area and was assigned WE4K. Having that E initially made me happy but I soon learned that single dits often get lost in QRM, QRN, QSB, etc. I grew to dislike that call for that very reason. I did a lot of CW QRP back then and the E was not a good thing.

Then in 1996, I got a vanity 1x2 and got N4KZ -- not my first choice among the 25 I submitted. But it's a nice call and I like it. But sometimes DX stations will mistakenly copy me as N4KG, who is Tom, a DXer in Alabama. I even had someone who knows me personally mis-copy my call as N4KG while he operated from a Pacific Island on a DXpedition. Got it correctly easily enough and he even apologized in person after the fact! No biggie, of course, just kind of an odd coincidence.

Now here is the spooky part. I sometimes use the MorseRunner CW contest simulation program. I was running a bunch of CW stations on the computer once when a mythical N4KG called me in a big pile-up.

There we were, just one tiny dit apart, "working" each other. Of course, I have also worked the real-life N4KG in the 160m ARRL contest but didn't pause long enough to chat about these funny coincidences.

73, Dave, N4KZ
Logged
N3OX
Member

Posts: 8847


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2009, 12:53:32 PM »

"I think "easy to send" is the wrong criteria. "Easy to copy" esp. in the presence of noise and QRM is the right criteria."

Only if you're a DXer.

If you're fond of domestic CW on 40 & 80 at 30dB S/N ratio there's no noise.

K0CNT is pretty good either way
Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K0CNT
Member

Posts: 18




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 07:02:02 AM »

"Easy to copy in QRM"

Last evening I tried to work a Montana station on 40m. His call was KF7J...something, all of which was lost. I suspect an "i" or "e" but even after repeated attempts I lost the contact. He got my call sign correctly and I hope he QSL's so I can at least log the attempt.

73
George K0CNT/7
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!