Home
login

Callsign Change

I recently had the itch to change my Amateur Radio callsign because the one I had chosen before (NV2M) is from region 2, and I live in region 7. I didn't think it mattered that much, but it seemed that half the time I would tell someone my callsign, they would question me and ask again. I decided to find a 1x2 or 2x1 in region 7. I found a couple of 2x1 callsigns that were acceptable and then I read about how to 'pan for 1x2 gold' on a couple of websites. Basically if you can find a silent key (a ham who has passed away) that still has an active callsign even though he/she passed away more than 2 years ago, then you can request that the FCC cancel the callsign and you can apply for it.

I did what any programmer would do and downloaded the FCC database and wrote a script that queries the database for the callsigns I am interested in ([KNW]7[A-Z]{2}) and then queried the SSDI (social security death index) to see if that person had a record there. I found several that were immediately available and about twice that many that had passed away less that 2 years ago. I picked my favorite and applied. Then I requested that the FCC cancel the original license. So now I am the proud new owner of N7OH.

I picked N7OH because it is 1x2 in region 7, it has a light phonetic weight (No-vem-ber Se-ven Os-cah Ho-tel), it has a light CW weight (48, the same as NV2M), and it sounds cool in CW (dah-dit dah-dah-dit-dit-dit dah-dah-dah dit-dit-dit-dit). The last item on my list there was just the icing on the cake since I am still trying to learn CW. Beyond the 1x2 in district 7, the biggest deciding factor was whether or not I liked the sound phonetically. Some letters I like better than others. My least favorites are most of the three-syllable letters like juliet, romeo, sierra, uniform. November is okay, but only because it is common as a prefix. I also had a list of favorite and less favorite two-syllable letters. Let's just say that oscah-hotel is not my favorite, but it was loads better than the other options I had. And since 1x2 callsigns are so rare (2,028 for ~14,000 Amateur Extra operators in region 7; 20,280 for ~124,000 Amateur Extra operators nation wide) I figured I should just take what I could and not get to picky. Ideally, I would like K7VM, but that one is taken.

Ramble, ramble, ramble. Enough of that. Now to go order my Oregon Amateur Radio license plates for my car.

Your suggestions in the

Your suggestions in the final paragraph about light phonetic weight, and sound were helpful. Thanks!