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The Meaning of The Amateur Radio Callsign

The Meaning of The Amateur Radio Callsign

Learning Callsign

Every HAM with a radio license has a callsign. The callsign is the code name of the HAM, it is used to identify a person (HAM). The callsign has two basic characteristics.

1, The callsign of each HAM is globally unique, and there will never be two identical callsigns in the world;

2, The callsign is regional. That is, based on the callsign, we can know the country or region where the HAM is located. Such as a callsign beginning with W6, indicates that the HAM is in California, USA, with a callsign beginning with VE3, indicating that the HAM is in Ontario, Canada, and so on.

The prefix and suffix of the callsign

A callsign can be divided into two parts: a prefix and a suffix. Take the call sign VE3XD as an example. VE3 is the prefix and XD is the suffix.

Most prefixes consist of one or two letters and a number, such as W6 (United States) or VE3 (Canada), and a small portion of the prefix consists of a number and a letter, such as 3X (Guinea) and 9K (Kuwait).

For various reasons, some countries have several, a dozen or even dozens of prefixes. For example, W1 to W9 are US prefixes, VE1 to VE7 are Canadian prefixes, while others have only one prefix, such as Guinea. And Kuwait.

If the prefix is used to distinguish the country, then the suffix is used to distinguish the HAM. The suffix has at least one letter and a maximum of three letters. It is generated in the order of English letters, and is assigned to each HAM that has obtained the station license, such as VE3XA → VE3XB → VE3XC → VE3XD.

In addition to the standard call sign described above, in some countries, there are two special callsigns: one is a commemorative callsign to commemorate a special event, such as the 7S2000M is a Swedish HAM specially set up temporary callsign to commemorate the arrival of the year 2000; the other is the honor callsign, that is, HAM can apply for a call sign with its own name or initials. For example, Bob can apply for KA5BOB, and Willian Henry Harrison can apply for KA5WHH. ,and many more.

Remote communication and mobile communication callsign

In Canada, VE3 is the prefix of Ontario and VE6 is the prefix of Alberta. If an Ontario HAM VE3XD transmit in Alberta, his callsign should be VE3XD/VE6 and read as VE3XD portable VE6. Conversely, if a Alberta HAM VE6KJ transmit in Ontario, his callsign should be VE6KJ/VE3 and read as VE6KJ portable VE3.

In China, when this happens, the letters in the prefix are usually omitted (only), leaving only numbers, such as BA4IA/7 (4 district hams transmit in Zone 7).

If the Canadian HAM VE3XD is in California (prefixed with W6), his callsign should be VE3XD/W6 or W6/VE3XD. If the VE3XD is connected to a moving vehicle such as a car, train, ship, or airplane, his callsign should be VE3XD/M, read as VE3XD mobile (please note: don't read VE3XD portable mobile).

How to read the callsign character


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