1x2 or 2x1 call signs via vanity application: How hard?

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by W3IG, May 20, 2018.

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  1. W3IG

    W3IG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I passed the Extra exam this morning and once my license is upgraded in the FCC database I'd like to get a four character call sign. (Is it 1x2 or 2x1?) I understand the only way to do this is via the vanity application, but how hard is it? I assume when those call signs come available they go quick? Any tricks or advice to make it happen? Would you tell me about your experience doing it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Jason,

    Congratulations on your upgrade!

    To learn everything there is to know about applying for a vanity call, go here: http://www.ae7q.com
    The main take-away is to learn when to apply. If one applies too early or too late...no joy!

    The process is not hard. One just needs to realize that it's a lottery for each call, so there will be one winner and lots of non-winners.
    Just keep trying.

    Good luck!

    Regards,
    -Bruce
     
  3. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    1x2 and 2x1 are difficult to get. personally I'd say don't bother. how about a 1x3 with your initials? K3JPD is available.
     
    W8ARD, W3IG and W7UUU like this.
  4. W7UUU

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

    I've never really understood the fascination with 1x2 and 2x1 calls. Even back in 1997 when I passed Extra, I had no reason to bother. Back then they were readily available, due to the 20-WPM Morse requirement keeping the number of new Extras looking for such calls to a pretty small number. But I just really couldn't have cared less.

    It wasn't until 2012 that I thought about getting a "more fun" call and picked W7UUU (really fun on CW - has a nice pattern to it).

    I agree 100% with @K6CLS - don't bother. Pick a 1x3 that has a fun aspect to it - such as your initials, as he suggested. Like my "UUU" that has fun aspects. Or any other number of combinations.

    Jumping on the 1x2 or 2x1 pile means you'll be in a huge lottery hoping to be chosen, often vying for a call sign that may be nothing you find appealing other than it has the "right pattern" to tell the world you have achieved your Extra - something that's publicly known via ULS, regardless what your call sign is.

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
    KG5ILR and K4AGO like this.
  5. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not every 1x2 or 2x1 call is considered equal. Some are perceived as desirable by quite a few hams, and the odds to win those lotteries are quite slim. Every now and then, a short call draws very little interest. It has happened that there was only one application for a short call because it did not appeal to the callsign seekers. Of course, the winner will probably stay on the lookout for something else short and more desirable to them. But at least they would have a short call right now.

    And if they get lucky, and win a different 1x2 or 2x1 in a subsequent lottery, the old short call they just tossed in the trash becomes unavailable again for two more years. That should not be allowed, but the FCC really doesn't care.

    If getting a short 3 region call is important to you, that narrows down your chances even more. Many will apply for whatever is potentially available to them - no matter what region it is in.

    As far as calls going fast, you got that right. You generally have a precise 24 hour window to apply for a particular call. One day early or one day late, and you have disqualified yourself from the lottery. The only exception is that Saturday and Sunday both count as Monday (unless Monday is a holiday).

    AE7Q is a wealth of knowledge to dig down into all the details, but this post should give you some idea what you are up against. Find a nice 1x3 call and save yourself all that short call stress.

    P.S. Don't post asking QRZ to update any information for your account. Address, Class, Callsign for FCC issued tickets are all automatically imported to QRZ a few days after they hit the ULS.
     
  6. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good afternoon Jason,

    Good advice from UUU and TQ. And to emphasize something TQ mentioned: Don't put in for a Group A call, get it, and then decide a few months later you don't like it and try to get another one. If and when you do get the subsequent call, that 1x2 or 2x1 you won just a short time back is now no longer available for 2 years.
    Only put in for calls you know you can live with if you get it. Your fellow Extras also in the quest for a Group A call will appreciate it.

    Another option is a Group B (2x2) call sign. There are plenty of those available, so it should be easy to find one that suits you.

    And the final option: W3UUU is also available. Grab that puppy and you will be in very company! :D

    And again, good luck on your quest. Please report back.


    Regards,
    -Bruce
     
  7. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Vanity calls.

    I get the attraction. Thing is, if the 2x1 calls had not been available when I upgraded I probably would have stuck with my 1x3 N7 call. As it is, I ended up "wasting" a perfectly good sequential call. I kind of regret doing that, so the advice about choosing a call and sticking with it is on the money. My N7 call was a bit of a pain both for CW and phone.

    Got the current call after jumping thru the various hoops back in 1987.
     
    KU4X likes this.
  8. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Regards,
    -Bruce
    (Who needs to practice his posting/editing skills.)
     
  9. W3IG

    W3IG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the advice folks. My take away is to choose a call thoughtfully before submitting the application. A 2x1/1x2 call still interests me because it is easier / faster. I'm looking at 2x2 and 1x3 options but I'm not the first person to think of the calls that interest me so options are limited either way. Thanks to you fine folks I now understand how to apply for whatever I ultimately decide on.
     
  10. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    @KC3HMJ How do you like your new call sign AC3CX? I think it has some level of coolness.

    BTW, you could apply for K3MC today (5/22/18).
     

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