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A ham is initially licensed in Hawaii as KH6ABC (example only). If he subsequently moves to the mainland, can he keep his geographically restricted "KH" call sign or must it be changed?

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  • $\begingroup$ btw, KH is not geographically restricted. It simply indicates where the operator was licensed. $\endgroup$
    – SDsolar
    Feb 25, 2017 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, KH, KL, KP, WH, WL, or WP are geographically restricted to Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific islands respectively. I can live in the 3 region in the US and still request a 6 call sign if I want to. I cannot, however, request a KH unless I actually live in Hawaii. $\endgroup$
    – Lance
    Feb 25, 2017 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ You are correct, @Lance. In that sense they are geographically restricted. Upvote. I interpreted the OP to mean concern about operating outside of Hawaii. $\endgroup$
    – SDsolar
    Feb 26, 2017 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ I know this thread is more than a year old, but I was involved in a similar debate in a Chilean FB group and just found this one. I believe Scott is right, but since Hawaii, Alaska, etc. are different "entities," shouldn't it be more appropriate to add the temporary prefix instead? I mean, if KH6ABC is operating from California and wants to state their current location, shouldn't they identify themselves as W6/KH6ABC? (during a Contest, for example). Or, conversely, if I'm operating from Alaska, shouldn't I identify myself as KL7/W6EUH? $\endgroup$ Dec 15, 2018 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, for example KH6XX/W0 was operating from Kansas on 20m recently. $\endgroup$
    – AI7OW
    May 18, 2023 at 15:30

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He or she can certainly keep the KH callsign and use it anywhere in the US and territories. (I wonder if he or she thought that when operating in Samoa? There are two sides there, as you probably know. But since the non-American side is a territory the same rules apply.)

Common convention is to append it with the location where the station (even a HT) is operating.

So, if in California, you might identify on SSB as "KH6ABC slant 6" so people won't pile up wanting Hawaii for WAS.

If in Morse code, you use the slash character, as in "KH6ABC/6" (-..-.)

But these are conventions, not rules. So it is perfectly all right to just use your native callsign wherever you go in the US.

Outside the US, especially for events (such as climbing Mt. Everest) the entire expedition is generally given a callsign just for that event. This is where WARC comes in. It is not complicated but needs to be taken into account by the expedition leader.

Inside the US it is pretty simple. Myself, I am AL7** and though am in California, ID myself as AL7**.

Where it gets interesting is if you to Alaska - where it would be "KH6ABC/KL7" or "KH6ABC slant KL7." (KL7 means Alaska, whether a wl7, kl7 or an al7). (Edited to correct prior "/L7", which may not be used per Part 97 as it conflicts with a country prefix)

The FCC requires that you identify yourself. That's the end of the story with them. Their goal is to encourage the hobby, not to fine people like with broadcast stations.

FYI, they are serious about ID requirements. Simply keying up a repeater to see if you can reach it does not fit the criteria for lawful identification. Enforcement actions are rare but can happen if it is deemed to be harmful interference.

Here is an interesting story along those lines, in which an operator was fined for failure to identify: ID requirements

In a case like this, the operator should have said something like "AL7EM Test" and the fine could have been averted.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the detailed explanation. You confirmed how I believed it to be. I know in the US, you keep your region even if you move. I thought the WH, WL, & WP prefixes might be more controlled but you confirmed that they're not. Thanks again! $\endgroup$
    – Lance
    Feb 25, 2017 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ L7 is a prefix belonging to Argentina, not the US. You would need to identify yourself as "KH6ABC/KL7" or similar for that to be factually correct. ac6v.com/prefixes.htm $\endgroup$
    – Scott Earle
    Mar 1, 2017 at 0:17
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    $\begingroup$ L7 is not a prefix. W, K, A, N are USA prefixes. The L7 afterwards specifies the region, to differentiate it from a normal 7. For instance, I am AL7EM - Advanced, Alaska. A7EM it would be from the contiguous USA, not from the far north. Just like a KH6 means Hawaii, but a K6 could be California. $\endgroup$
    – SDsolar
    Mar 1, 2017 at 4:05
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    $\begingroup$ A7 belongs to Qatar, and L7 belongs to Argentina. If you are AL7EM and are in Hawaii, you should identify as AL7EM/KH6. If you are KH6ABC operating in Alaska, you should identify yourself as KH6ABC/KL7. But importantly, your example of A7EM is nonsensical - the "non-Alaskan" US equivalent would probably be AA7EM (or AB7EM ... all the way to AK7EM, remembering that AM-AZ belong to other countries) - I also downvoted this answer because it contains misleading information. If you edit it to correct that information, I will remove the down vote $\endgroup$
    – Scott Earle
    Jul 3, 2017 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ I still contend that /L7 is incorrect, because you are using the L7 as if it were a prefix (cf. people in Philippines identifying as xxxxx/DU2), but L7 is not a prefix that belongs to the US. As such, people operating from non-AK US should identify as xxxxx/KL7. You don't get to pick which part of the prefix you use - you need to use it all. The same operator could operate from WA quite happily as /7, because the 7 is just saying that whatever your callsign is, you are operating from the 7 call area. I will try and find an FCC rule for this. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Earle
    Jul 4, 2017 at 7:15

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