U.S. amateurs where is your call number from? x

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by K0UO, Sep 3, 2021.


Do you have a call sign with a district number out of the District that you currently live?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. KD7LX

    KD7LX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can understand keeping your call when you move but for the life of me I don't understand getting a vanity callsign that doesn't line up with where you live. I don't understand why that is allowed. If I moved to another district and I knew it was going to be permanent, I would change my call.
    KC7JNJ, W5ESE, K0UO and 1 other person like this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    The most obvious reason is simply to spell words. Someone named Ann sees a vanity call in 1 land but she lives in 5 land - and now she's N1ANN living in Houston. Or W3SEX who lives in California thinks having a "SEX" call would be funny. Etc. etc. etc.

    That's the only reason I can think of that makes any sense to me.

    K0UO and KD7LX like this.
  3. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Seems to me that I know an Anne and an Anna from good 'ol Washington!

    WZ7U, K0UO and W7UUU like this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The biggest reason IMHO is....availability. Particularly when it comes to 1x2 and 2x1 calls.

    If you live in a call district that has a lot of Extras, the competition for a 1x2 or 2x1 is fierce. So someone with an Extra and a 2x3 starts looking further afield for a 1x2 or 2x1.


    N2EY is not a vanity call; it was sequentially issued in 1977. I'd been an Extra for 7 years at that point and an amateur for 10 years, and the rules had recently changed, so I got a 1x2 when I moved to 2-land.

    In 1979 I moved back to 3-land, but the rules had changed. One didn't have to change calls when moving across call district boundaries any more!


    FCC was not reusing 1x2 calls then. If I changed to a 3 land 1x2 call then, N2EY would not be reissued.

    The way I saw it, this would deprive someone of a 1x2, so I just kept N2EY. And by the time the rules changed again, I was so used to it I just kept it.

    Now it's 47 years....

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
    W7UUU, K0UO and PU2OZT like this.
  5. K1DJE

    K1DJE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a 1-land call (K1DJE) and live in PA. I moved around the country occasionally and always got a new callsign to reflect the area I lived in. A few years ago my Brother passed away. He had been a ham as far back as I can remember (I'm 73). Used to spend a lot of time in his shack, amazed at all the exotic places he talked to! He's to blame for getting me into this hobby hi!

    After a brief pause for CB in high school I got my first Novice ticket around 1967. At that time you had a year to upgrade or lose the license. I failed the first General class exam and had to stay off the air. Life got in the way until 1971, when I got a new Novice license. Next chance at the General class exam I passed.

    A little over a year ago, I requested and got my Brother's old callsign - K1DJE. When he passed, his call was N4KXG (Florida), but it was his original call that I wanted, to honor and thank him for mentoring me over 50 years ago. I never cared for "out-of-area callsigns, but I made an exception in this case!

    Dave - K1DJE
    DM2TT, W5ESE, N2EY and 2 others like this.
  6. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The callsign-must-match-location rule was eliminated March 24, 1978. Part of FCC docket 21135. Over 43 years ago.

    See QST for April, 1978, page 55.


    What happened was that FCC eliminated the rule that one's callsign had to match the call area of the station license location. Those who moved across call-area boundaries could still request a new call; it just wouldn't be required any more.

    This was part of a much larger move by FCC to simplify the callsign rules. This was the era when special WR callsigns disappeared, and when special-event calls were no longer issued. Also the elimination of secondary station licenses and some other simplifications.

    Since then, FCC started issuing special event calls again.

    Before then, there were ways to hold on to a previous callsign using the secondary-station-license system. What was done was to use the address of a relative or friend as the secondary station location, even if there was no amateur station there. For example, suppose John Hamm grew up in 1 land, where his parents still lived, but then moved to 2 land after graduating school - he might keep his 1 land call by getting a secondary station license for his parents' house.

    At least some amateurs welcomed the new rule, because it meant they could keep the same callsign when they moved, rather than having to replace things like name badges, hats, station signs, etc., and having award certificates and such with a different callsign.

    And consider:

    Suppose you've got a call you like, and you've had it for a long time, and then something comes up and you move to a different district. Would you want to have to give up that call and get a new one? How about if it's a nice 1x2 or 2x1, or some other combo such as your initials, and there aren't any where you are going? What if the call you hold was your dad's and your granddad's? What about all the stuff you have with your old call on it? What about all the other hams who know you by your callsign of many years?

    Would you want to be forced to give it up, as it was "in the old days"? We all still have the option.


    Some folks say it was better in the old days when, if you heard a particular call, you "knew where it was". But let's look at that....

    1-land is New England. It may seem small - but try driving from the CT panhandle to down east Maine. 6 states, too - ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI.

    2-land is NJ and NY. Quite a distance from Cape May NJ to Niagara Falls NY. Heck, try driving from Montauk Point to Dunkirk NY....

    3-land is probably the most compact, being just PA, MD and DE. Still, from Fenwick Island MD to Erie PA is a considerable distance.

    4-land is huge - from the southern tip of Florida, to northern VA, west to the Mississippi. 8 states - FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, KY, TN, AL. Huge area...but not the largest!

    5-land is big too - Mississippi to New Mexico, the Rio Grande to Arkansas. Six states - MS, LA, TX, NM, OK, AR

    6-land is CA...nuff sed.

    7-land is the biggest. 7-land extends from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Dakotas. Heck, from one end of 7-land to the other is about as far as from 5 land to 1 land, crossing several other districts in the process. 8 states - WA, OR, ID, MT, UT, NV, WY, AZ. The distance from one corner of 7-land to the other is over 1400 miles.

    8-land is only three states (MI OH WV), but look at how far it is from the upper peninsula of MI to the eastern parts of WV.

    9-land is three states too IN IL WI. Probably one of the smallest - the exception that proves the rule.

    0-land stretches from the Rockies to the Mississippi and beyond. Colorado to Minnesota, Canada to Oklahoma. 8 states - ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, CO, MO.

    So it's not as much of an indicator as some might think.

    Whether it "helps you point the beam" depends on where you are.

    Most of all, in the modern world, if you want to know where a ham is, you just come here to the 'zed, or go to the FCC website.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    K2CD and N9LCD like this.
  7. K4EMH

    K4EMH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've had a "4" call since I was licensed in the mid 80's. Originally N4LYL, a wonderful CW call. I kept it for 20 plus years. There are times I miss it, especially on CW, but my current call belonged to my main mentor and friend, my dad. It was issued to him in the early 50's and when he passed in 2007, I just had to keep it in the family. Besides, it's not to bad on CW either...LOL
    DM2TT, W5ESE and K0UO like this.
  8. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks guys it's been good input on this subject so far and polite discussion as well.

    Now looking at the numbers in the survey, it is pretty much what my log book shows, when I talk to people on HF. 75 to 25%

    Thanks for your input so far.
  9. W7HV

    W7HV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep. Over the years my jobs have been in various places across the country so my call sign often didn't, and currently doesn't, correspond to my QTH. There's a pretty good chance my eventual forever home will have my current number match my QTH.
    K0UO likes this.
  10. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the input so far

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