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 1×2 or 2×1 in region 7. I found a couple of 2×1 callsigns that were acceptable and then I read about how to ‘pan for 1×2 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 1×2 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 1×2 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 1×2 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.

Comments are closed.