Brand New Callsign

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Jan 26, 2019.

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  1. VK6FLAB

    VK6FLAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    Brand New Callsign

    Today I have a new callsign, it's exciting, special, kind of strange, to be known as something other than VK6FLAB.

    It's hard to overstate how much of your identity as a radio amateur is linked to your callsign. It's a strange phenomenon to those who are not amateurs, or who have only just joined the community and are still learning to remember what callsign they have.

    We think of callsigns as semi-permanent fixtures, but realistically they're far from that. In your life as an amateur you'll operate many callsigns, even if you never change your own. When you're operating the local club-station, you'll use that callsign, or when you're participating in a special event, say an activation of an island, or some remote DX station, or when you get on air to make noise in another country.

    Some stations use special contesting callsigns, either for speed, or to commemorate another amateur. There are those who collect callsigns like badges, others only ever register one and keep it for the rest of their life.

    There are provisions for applying for callsigns for short duty operation, sometimes as little as 24 hours, to mark a significant event or activation. For example, in 2013 we registered VI6PROF as a special callsign for the then Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor Lyn Beazley, who used that callsign for two hours after dinner during the annual conference held in VK6 that year.

    There are callsigns registered for marking the end of Polio, VI6POLIO, 100 years of the Wireless Institute of Australia VI100WIA. VK100MARCONI commemorated the first direct wireless message from the UK to Australia. There are callsigns registered for activating an island, like VK6WDI to activate Woody Island between the 9th and the 12th of November 2012, or VK6CHI for the Cheyene Island activation in 2007.

    Special callsigns are a global phenomenon. The Straight Key Century Club operates K3Y. K1A gets used by amateurs throughout the USA for many different events, from Boy Scout camps through to the America Recycles Day, from the Georgia QSO party to the ARRL Field Day. The 2012 Olympic Games in the United Kingdom were celebrated with 2012L and 2012W callsigns. RG22RQ was for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

    As with anything rare, there's an active community that collects it. For special callsigns, there are amateurs who collect by trying to make contact with an elusive call, confirm their contact and receive a QSL Card to decorate their shack with.

    In Australia, three times a year, on Australia Day, the 26th of January, on ANZAC Day, the 25th of April and on ITU Day, the 17th of May, a licensed amateur gets a special callsign to commemorate those special days in the calendar.

    Australia Day is the official national day of Australia, marking the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson.

    ANZAC Day is the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars conflicts and peacekeeping operations. It's marked on the anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915.

    ITU Day is the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, commemorating the foundation of the International Telecommunications Union on the 17th of May, 1865.

    On each of these three dates, radio amateurs in Australia can replace their VK prefix with AX and use their special new callsign on-air to make contact anywhere around the world.

    So, for now, I'm Onno AX6FLAB

    TL;DR; This is the transcript of the weekly "Foundations of Amateur Radio" podcast.

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