13 votes

What should I do if my call is being used by someone else?

Were the contacts on the day of a major contest? Chances are that some other station with a callsign close to yours was operating and several operators misread his call as yours. I, too, get the ...
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13 votes

Is it conventional to sign using the phonetic alphabet like people do in the military or aviation?

The choice of using phonetics ('alpha, bravo, charlie, …') versus plain alphabet sounds ('aye, bee, see, …') should be, and in my limited experience usually is, made based on how likely the recipient ...
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  • 22.7k
11 votes

How to programmatically distinguish European from non European call sign?

Jim Reisert AD1C regularly publishes various downloadable country files containing an up-to-date list of callsign prefixes with their associated countries, continents, etc. Those files are meant to be ...
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  • 7,485
11 votes
Accepted

Is using /AE compulsory?

The key wording is in 97.9(b) as referenced in 97.119: ...is authorized to exercise the rights and privileges of the higher operator class... and 97.119 says: "When the control operator is a ...
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  • 18.1k
11 votes
Accepted

What happens to your callsign if you migrate?

I have done exactly that. I had a US amateur extra class license when I moved to Germany. As a legal resident of Germany, I applied for and received a reciprocal (no test required) German license ...
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  • 18.1k
11 votes
Accepted

What are the regulation requirements for running a repeater?

The regulations for an amateur radio repeater are fairly minimal. To answer your specific questions: "Does one need a particular license?" Your license must permit transmissions on the repeater ...
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  • 276
10 votes

Extra class first?

An advantage of how the exams are administered is that you can take as many exams as you want (until you fail one) in one sitting. You start by taking the technician exam. Provided you pass that, you ...
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  • 779
9 votes
Accepted

USA/callsigns: Why is California region 6? And the midwest in regions 7-9?

The origins of the amateur radio call sign districts can be traced to 1912 when the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Navigation created nine radio inspection districts to enforce the 1912 Act to ...
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  • 18.1k
9 votes

What fraction of 2x2 USA call signs are vanity calls?

According to my calculations, about 20% of active 2x2 callsigns in the FCC's amateur radio service database are vanity callsigns. For comparison… 75% of active 1x2 ham licenses nearly 50% of active ...
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9 votes

What are the regulation requirements for running a repeater?

WA9ZZZ's answer missed the issue of control of the repeater. The repeater must be under control of one or more control operators, or under automatic control, at all times when the repeater is on. ...
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  • 8,922
8 votes
Accepted

FCC callsign with incorrect group letter

When the FCC issues your first call sign to you, they do not look backwards through their list of assigned call to see if there are any unused calls that they can reassign. Instead, they use a ...
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  • 18.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Why aren’t emergency services using callsigns?

… Why don’t these unencrypted FM emergency services seem to use any call signs … ? They aren't required to and don't find it useful in their procedures. Also, they don't have call signs in the sense ...
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  • 22.7k
8 votes
Accepted

FT8 callsign/maidenhead compression encoding

You can find the code in packjt77.f90. Callsign encoding (for "standard" callsigns that don't require hashing) is in function pack28. A quick summary: ...
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  • 8,740
8 votes
Accepted

Change of Address and Callsign Zone

No — as of 2020 you're not obligated to change your callsign if you move within the US. Even if you have an Alaska/Hawaii/Guam "restricted" callsign, you can keep it if you leave. All you need to do ...
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  • 8,740
8 votes

Would the same callsign be issued after a license has fully lasped?

The grace period is two years. You can renew your license within the grace period, but after that, the call sign will be available for reassignment. If you were to take and pass an exam after the ...
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8 votes
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What are the EXACT rules about FCC vanity call sign assignments?

Your application submitted on February 18th requested two callsigns. One of them was granted to another application submitted on the 16th, and so was unavailable when yours was processed, even though ...
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  • 8,740
7 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to transfer an area-specific call sign from a deceased relative?

Is there any sort of familial transfer process that could get that call assigned to me in California? There are 3 types of vanity call sign requests: Primary station preference list Close relative of ...
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7 votes
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Transmitting Callsigns

Better double check. There's no requirement to identify at the beginning of a communication (though it's common practice, and was required at one time), only every ten minutes and at the end of the ...
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  • 3,871
7 votes

Extra class first?

Asking to take the Extra first is a complication for the people administering your test, and going straight to a group A callsign isn't worth it. If you want a nice one, you can request a vanity ...
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  • 8,740
6 votes
Accepted

Are Americans the only hams with four-letter callsigns?

The type of call signs that you referenced are referred to as 1x2 (one by two) call signs in the USA. Due to the limited number of such call signs and their historical significance, these are the most ...
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  • 18.1k
6 votes
Accepted

License upgrade doesn't extend term of license?

Renewal, upgrade, and change of call sign are three separate things, except that renewal and change of call sign may be requested together. §97.21 Application for a modified or renewed license ...
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  • 22.7k
6 votes

How do I apply for a vanity callsign online?

Go to the FCC login page. Enter FRN and password and click submit. Click "My Licenses" on the left. Click on your callsign in the list of licenses. Click "Request Vanity Call Sign" on the right. Note:...
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  • 191
6 votes
Accepted

Call sign ID for a "homebrew" or improvised repeater?

Are you up to buying a Raspberry Pi, two USB sound cards, some assorted transistors and such, and making your own interface cable? If so, you can run svxlink. It supports all sorts of fancy things ...
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  • 8,740
6 votes

Why aren’t emergency services using callsigns?

Why don’t these unencrypted FM emergency services seem to use any call signs or ham codes? They are required to identify periodically and they do. That is the Morse code you heard. Emergency ...
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  • 276
5 votes
Accepted

Are amateur radio call signs unique among all radio call signs?

In most countries, they are unique. But in the United States, there is an overlap between Aircraft (which are assigned N-numbers based on the "International Radiotelegraph Convention" in Washington ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How often are we required to send our callsign?

That hasn't been the law for many years. From §97.119: (a) Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel ...
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  • 7,485
5 votes

Is it conventional to sign using the phonetic alphabet like people do in the military or aviation?

In fact, hams use phonetic alphabet for their call signs (and also QTH) most of the time. The reason is simple - when you are establishing a QSO you don't know how well the other operator hears you. ...
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5 votes

What fraction of 2x2 USA call signs are vanity calls?

An amateur licensee of any class can request a vanity call sign. Also, only Amateur Extra operators are eligible for 1x2 or 2x1 call signs; only Advanced and Amateur Extra operators are eligible for ...
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  • 8,922
4 votes
Accepted

Is there a different ham radio phonetic alphabet?

Many hams use nonstandard phonetics (or alternate standard and nonstandard when repeating themselves). The author of the above quote is probably aware of this but feels it is not best practice. I ...
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  • 22.7k
4 votes

How to programmatically distinguish European from non European call sign?

The ITU is the international body responsible for the allocation of call sign prefixes to each country. You can consult this table of allocations in order to build the necessary logic in your program ...
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  • 18.1k

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