[CQ-Contest] Call sign history

Mark Steven Williams k9gx at thepoint.net
Sun Jan 8 12:38:03 EST 2017

Very interesting thread. I earned my first ham ticket in 1980 after moving
to Kentucky from my native W6 land.

My first FCC licenses were on the broadcast side in the early 1960's. After
moving to W4 land I got the ham ticket to stay in touch with some of my
broadcast engineering colleagues out west. Remember, this was the early 80's
before cell phones and the internet. Was interested in DXing (BCB) from
about age 10, but wasn't smitten with the contesting bug until FD in '88.

I think knowledge of the "heritage" of your current call is a noble thing.
The only things I know about the previous holder of my call, K9GX, is that
he was in the Chicago area and operated a lot on 160 and the call came
available about the time I applied for it back in late Summer, 2000 when I
moved from KY to Indiana.

I considered several 1x2s but my dear friend N4GN suggested K9GX, primarily
because it is so "clean" on CW. But it's nice to know the heritage of your
callsign and mine is all the more meaningful because a friend suggested it.

I still have one of each of my previous QSL cards...

73, Mark, K9GX (ex KA4SKB, N4OKX)

-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
steve.root at culligan4water.com
Sent: Sunday, January 8, 2017 11:17 AM
To: James Cain <jamesdavidcain at gmail.com>; cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Call sign history

I remember this well. One of the first rare DX stations I ever worked was
VS9MF (Present day 8Q7). When I got his card I saw the suffix of his call
was the same as his initials, and that was the coolest thing ever. When I
got a chance to pick a call sign my first choice was easy. 

73 Steve K0SR (ex-WA0VPN)

-----Original Message-----
From: James Cain [mailto:jamesdavidcain at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 8, 2017 09:28 AM
To: cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Call sign history

What's in a name?40 years ago this week a very large group of us were
applying to the FCC for the long-awaited "preferred Extra Class call signs."
The FCC opened the gate on January 1, 1977. Decisions, decisions. You were
told to list four desired call signs. That sent everybody to the latest
Callbook to see what was available. It depended on what Call Area you lived
in. 1X2 call signs starting with the letter K had never been issued in most
Call Areas. Some had been issued in Call Areas 2, 4, and 6. Lots of call
signs starting with the letter W were available but all would be
"re-issues." I don't think a 1X2 call sign starting with the letter N had
ever been issued. Some of us had waited many years to dump our 2X3 call
signs. We had been Extras for nearly 10 years. The prospect of fewer
characters was exciting. But choosing a new call sign was agonizing! A lot
of us chose a new call sign that had some connection with our checkered
past. For many, the choice was mode-oriented  . If you liked phone,
phonetics were a big consideration. For CW operators, bauds mattered. And,
if you prefer CW, do you really want a call sign ending in K?A lot of us
operated the first of two weekends of the 1977 ARRL DX CW Competition with
our 2X3 call signs. What happens if our shiny new call sign arrives in the
mail before the second weekend? (In those good old days, children, each mode
of the contest was two weekends, a month apart.) Somebody I know really,
really well, enquired about this, and the unofficial word from the FCC was
if your new call sign/license arrives before the second weekend, just
pretend it didn't. Jim Cain, K1TN (ex-WA1STN,
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