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: Thoughts on changing call signs  (Read 10451 times)
KD2FQD
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:56:26 PM »

Good afternoon.  Last Monday I took and passed my Technician and General Class exams and got my call sign on Friday.  I haven't yet been on the air (radio is on its way) so I'm not yet known in the community and thus not attached to my call sign yet.  I'm studying hard to pass my Extra exam next month and have a few questions.  Do people generally keep their first call sign or do they usually request a new one coinciding with their newly acquired license level?  Do established operators generally have an opinion on people who test quickly and get an Extra class call sign without "earning" it via years of practical experience?  Lastly, what do people think about vanity call signs beyond taking over one who has gone silent and was a family member?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice,

John
Logged
K5UNX
Member

Posts: 305


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 03:43:11 PM »

I don't see any problem changing call signs. I know some people never change and some do. I didn't like the call sign I got when I got my Tech license. I passed my General 1 year and a half ago, then got a vanity call sign so I would not chance a random one that I didn't like again.  I am known in the local area as my current call sign. I looked at available 1x2 call signs and it seems those are scarce from what I can tell. I am studying for my Extra exam. I don't know if I'll change again or not. Might wait until something comes available that I like in the 1x2 or 2x1 space after I pass my test.

I think there are all kinds of opinions. You will probably get several.
Logged

K2OWK
Member

Posts: 1072




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 05:28:55 PM »

I received my original call sign in New York in 1954 Novice KN2OWK, became a general K2OWK, Got married in 1960 and became inactive and let my license expire a few years later. I got my license again a few years ago. I had since moved to MS and had a new call KF5GIM. I wanted my original call sign back. The call had not been issued and I was able to get it back through the vanity system. I have held this call on and off for more then 50 years and would not change it. I think whatever is your fancy and if a call is available and you like it by all means get it for yourself.

73s

K2OWK
Logged
K7MEM
Member

Posts: 108


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 06:03:55 PM »

The longer you hang on to your new call sign, the more attached you going to become. The call sign pool is out there for you to use, if you want to. But it comes at a price. It will cost $16.10 for the call sign and every time you renew it. That's a $1.60 a year.

I originally was licensed as a Novice in 1965 as WN2TCL which then changed to WB2TCL when I got my Tech. That wasn't a bad call sign, but thing change over the years. Since then I had a WB2RQE, DA2EU (German reciprocal license), and then KB7EQS. But then I decided to go for the gold, so to speak, and get my extra. I did that in 1999, before they dropped the Morse requirements.

Once I got the Extra, I wanted something that was a little more personal. It was a good time because the call sign pool was big. I knew it was going to be gutted, once the Morse requirements were dropped. So I went for my initials. As it turns out, the call sign is great for CW and SSB. I haven't had anyone get my call sign wrong since I got it.

So if you going to change it, do it before you get that nifty call sign hat, license plate, and belt buckle.
Logged

Martin - K7MEM

http://www.k7mem.com
NZ9C
Member

Posts: 25




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 06:45:41 PM »

Hi John,

Congrats on passing the Technician and General exams. I earned my ticket almost 10 months ago, and just passed the Extra a little under two weeks ago, so we're in similar positions. I'm waiting to see my upgrade in the ULS so I can change callsigns.  I like my call, but I earned it when I lived in Connecticut. Now that I'm back in IL, I'm looking to get a 1x2 or 2x1 in my new region. If you like your call, keep it. Since you earned your General, you've earned the right to change it. It used to be your call changed as you earned upgrades.

I'm not sure how most operators feel about people passing exams quickly. My elmer told me I couldn't operate the club station until I upgraded to General. When I did that, he congratulated me and told me to go for Extra. The FCC says the only "earning" required is passing the exams. Sounds like the VEC that administrated your exam allowed you to take the General after they told you that you passed Technician- that's all the earning you need.

73,
Richard
Logged
N0IU
Member

Posts: 1350


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 08:10:47 PM »

Good afternoon.  Last Monday I took and passed my Technician and General Class exams and got my call sign on Friday.

Congratulations! Welcome to the hobby!

Do people generally keep their first call sign or do they usually request a new one coinciding with their newly acquired license level?

I kept my first call until I made it to Extra. If that is your ultimate goal (and it appears to be) and you plan on doing it fairly soon (which also appears to be the case), I would go ahead and keep your current call. But don't do it because I said it was a good idea, do it only if you think it is a good idea.

Do established operators generally have an opinion on people who test quickly and get an Extra class call sign without "earning" it via years of practical experience?

Yes, but don't worry about it. It is their problem, not yours. The important thing is that you are an amateur radio operator and you acquired your license according to the laws that are in effect now, not decades ago.


Lastly, what do people think about vanity call signs beyond taking over one who has gone silent and was a family member?

I have vanity call and I have no idea who had it before me and I really don't care what other people think about it. Like me, if there is a vanity call available and you want it, send in your money and apply for it!

As far as what other people think, just ask yourself this.... did you get into amateur radio to please yourself or someone else?
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3958




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 08:17:58 PM »

Back in he "old days" a call was issued and kept for the life of the ham.... as a rule.  There wasn't any chance to change to start with.  The issued call became the ham's "name."

However, when the FCC started issuing WA, WB KD...and the other 6 character calls and the opportunity opened to get rid of them and get something more conventional, many did. 

However, the bottom line is as IU so aptly put it:

Quote
As far as what other people think, just ask yourself this.... did you get into amateur radio to please yourself or someone else?

Logged
KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 405




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 10:12:29 PM »

I'm studying for my Extra now, and I've wrestled with whether I should get another call or not. I plan on moving out of California in a couple years, and may apply for a call with the new area numeral (most likely 7) after I move. I already have QSL cards printed up with KJ6ZOL on them, and KJ6ZOL is my login on the ham boards, and I don't want to get a new 6 call only to change it once I escape CA. Plus, I like the fact that, with a suffix ending in Z, I'm either at the front or the back, not the middle, of nets like the Noontime Net here on the west coast.
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3958




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 05:55:51 PM »

ZOL: If it was me, I'd wait until I moved to 7 land and apply for a vanity call.  This way you can burn off your supply of ZOL QSL cards and after getting a shorter vanity call you can spend more of your QSO time actually saying something instead of sending call signs!   Roll Eyes
Logged
W8ARR
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 11:46:08 PM »

I was a Tech for over 10 years and held the call N4GKR. I retired and moved to 8 land. Took and passed my general and I always wanted a W call. I applied for W8ARR and got it. I had no problems giving up my 4 call. I believe your call should reflect where you live. If I moved out of 8 land, I have no problem with changing my call to reflect my new call area
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3958




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2014, 06:56:01 AM »

ARR:  Good point.  I held my present call for several years and then moved to MD.  Back in those days it was necessary to reapply for a new call because of the change in call areas.  I did so and sweated that one out because the FCC was starting to issue WA prefixes at that time. 

Fortunately, I was give an K3 prefix. When I moved back to WV I asked for my previously owned K8 call which of course had never been reissued. 

I like it when the call reflects the call area where the station is located.  It gets frustrating to find  a wanted or needed call area on the air only to find the station is located someplace else.

Logged
KD2FQD
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 06:46:48 PM »

Thank you to everyone for their input.  I'm sure I will have many more questions in the future.

73
John
Logged
KB4XV
Member

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2014, 01:27:25 PM »

I have held four call signs since 1981. All issued except the last which I changed by one letter. I was KS4XV and changed it to KB4XV. I
like the call but S is one of those letters that is had to understand on the air. I would have to repeat it several times phonetically before the other station got it. Since changing it to a B most people get it on the first try. So I would say if you change try to pick a letter grouping that is easy for you to say and not stumble with and the other station can copy easy. My southern accent makes it hard for me to convey the S clearly.
Logged
W5LZ
Member

Posts: 477




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2014, 02:24:27 PM »

What do I think about people who start off as an Extra (passing all the others too)?  Hey, good for you!  (That's from one'a them ol'farts with something like 40 years of experience BTW.)
How about keeping your original call sign?  Or changing it to reflect the class of license you have (although that's not so evident anymore)?  If you have gotten used to your 'old' call, and people recognize you by it, it can certainly mean some changes.  Or, if you've gotten 'registered' somewhere under that old call, would it be much trouble going through, or changing that 'registration'?  You have to answer that one.
I've had more than one call sign for a number of reasons.  The first one expired with no up-grade (only lasted for a year), I didn't have a choice.  Later got another one.  Much later I tried to get my original call back, but ended up with the one I have now.  No idea why the original call wasn't issued, and it still hasn't been.  Oh well.
If you want to change then do so.  Just be sure before you start the process...
 - Paul
Logged
K3NRX
Member

Posts: 2060


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 06:36:47 PM »

Number 1: The call sign....I held for 29 years, KA3NRX before I shortened it earlier this month to K3NRX....KA3NRX was my original from when I was first licensed as a novice in 1985.....so, I can't speak for anyone else, but I kept my original, like I said, before I decided it was time (over due) to shorten it.....and I did so only because, through the research of NL7XM, I found out that K3NRX was never issued......so, if you like your first issued call sign like I did, then you should keep it....if you don't, and you haven't been on the air yet, then put in for a vanity call or just have it changed via standard pot luck issue....

Number 2: If you can go from Tech to Extra in one test setting, more power to ya!...Don't worry about what other people think regarding your experience....Experience helps, and  you will learn as you go....and let it be known, I was never one who cared about what other people think!......

Number 3: Referring back to number 1, the reason I didn't edit my original call sign sooner when the vanity program came out was because I wasn't sure that K3NRX was ever issued...Turns out it wasn't per the info mentioned before....Had K3NRX been issued, I would have sucked it up and just stuck with my original call letters until the end....Walking around with an SK's call letters is like stomping on his grave, but that's just me...you may feel differently, and if so, do what you desire.............

V
K3NRX

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!