[CQ-Contest] Call sign history
jim at n7us.net
Sun Jan 8 12:52:38 EST 2017
The ARRL would send a photocopy of a matrix from graph paper that showed
which calls were available. It wasn't real-time, of course, which we would
There wasn't a limit to the number of calls one could submit; my list had 23
(!), and I received my second choice when I submitted in the third group
below. N calls were new in 1977.
NCJ was in a small format (5" X 7"?), and several issues contained
cross-reference lists from old-to-new and new-to-old calls because so many
had new calls.
It was a fun time.
73, Jim N7US
Great history, JIm! Thanks for sharing.
Before they "opened the gate" in January 1977, several of us received our
1X2 callsigns. Mine (K8IA) was late 1976 via #2 below. The procedure was;
1) Effective July 1, 1976, any Extra class licensee who had been a licensed
Amateur for 25 years or more could select one specific 1x2 call sign.
2) Effective October 1, 1976, anyone who had held an Amateur Extra class
license prior to November 22, 1967, could select one specific 1x2 call
3) Effective January 1, 1977, anyone who had held an Amateur Extra class
license prior to July 2, 1974, could select one specific 1x2 call sign.
4) Effective April 1, 1977, anyone who held an Amateur Extra class license
prior to July 1, 1976, could select one specific 1x2 call sign.
5) Effective July 1, 1977, any Amateur Extra class licensee could select
one specific 1x2 call sign.
73, Bob K8IA
Arizona Outlaws Contest Club
In a message dated 1/8/2017 7:49:33 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
jamesdavidcain at gmail.com writes:
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
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
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
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.)
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, WA9AUM)
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