Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by W3IG, May 20, 2018.
I received N2SUB in 1992.
That is all.
I was the original holder of both a 1X2 and a 2X1, and I let them both go, in favor of the 1X3 I have now. I keep watching one of my former calls, because if it becomes available again, I intend to pounce on it - it was available briefly a while back, and I missed it.
The more I read the more I get confused.
I am looking at an expiring sign.
The rule is 2 years and one day grace, correct?
So a sign expired on 7/1/16
would become available 7/2/18
Do I apply on the 2nd or the 3rd (does the lottery happen on the 2nd or the 3rd?)
In other words are cancelations or expirations processed before change request applications?
Do they say 2years and a day to cover the processing so the sign expires 7/1 but is not available til 7/2? In which case I would apply on the 2nd, correct?
I had absolutely no problem requesting a vanity call sign. Since I quit ham radio in 1996 I just requested my original call sign after getting relicensed in 2016. It was a piece of cake. Apparently WD0BCT was not a coveted call.
Every now and then there are confusing data snafu's - so lets say the system works 99.999% of the time.
A call that expired on 7/1/16 becomes available for the vanity application process on 7/2/18, which is the date to apply. Applications are ONLY officially accepted Monday through Friday, so if the available date falls on a weekend or a holiday, the application date is extended to include dates up to the next open for business day (a weekday that is NOT a holiday). The two year and 1 day rule gives the most recent owner a full 2 year grace period to reclaim it.
Applying on the correct date only makes you eligible for the Lottery. The actual Lottery won't take place for about 18 to 21 days. If there is competition, that is how long you will have to wait to see who wins the call in the Lottery. If there is NOT any completion, you still have to wait 18 to 21 days to be awarded the call, but you would know that you are most likely to get the call (unless something weird happens).
The AE7Q site does a very good job of taking much of the confusion out of the process.
7/2/2018 is a Monday. So the sign that becomes available on that day would need to have an application dated that day. Since the application acceptance process only runs Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), when it runs at the end of the day on Monday, it will pull in all applications submitted Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Then, 18-21 days later, the lottery runs and randomly works through the applicants. Once the application process runs, you can go to the AE7Q site, click on the callsign of interest and scroll to the bottom to see the predictions. Any entry that says "competition" will be in the lottery. You can also see the "process date" which is the day the lottery will run.
My 1st vanity after many applications for many different 1x2's over ~6 months, my win was N1CZ. Initially I naively only wanted a 1x2 starting with "W" ... a real man's man call sign. HAHAHA! Those days are long gone. I thought N1CZ great until people kept screwing up the CZ. That C & Z sounded too much alike to too many hams and even on DMR. I use DMR as I cross the country from time to time.
Soooo, what the heck. The process is free. After all my 1st General call sign lasted over 40 years and I was not planning to rotate or anything. I just wanted a call sign that old guys can understand. So I started the process again but being very selective and included 2x1 that I did not before.
My criteria was to be in my call zone == "1", end in a dash, and have a low CW weight. When using CW, a dash at the end is less likely to be lost in QRM than a dot, "they" say. To my great surprise and ensuing razzing from my local ham friends, I won NE1U the 2nd time I tried. This luck was completely opposite the 1st try that ended up with N1CZ that took at least 20 applications trying for maybe a 100 call signs. In a word, "luck".
So my advice, if you have noooo interest in CW then the dits & dahs are not important. What would be important then are letters that do not sound similar as not everyone is going to use phonetics. Be picky and eventually or sooner you will get what you consider a winner.
You had reasonable expectations and a little luck on your side. This post is a textbook example of properly managed expectations. Congrats on navigating the system and coming out of it with a good enough call to live with. Anything more than that is like asking to win a million dollar jackpot twice in the same month. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.
Quick follow-up question. I've noticed AE7Q's website lists the dat a call becomes available but doesn't show the call as available till the next day. Which is the correct day to apply?
You need to submit your application on the Available date. If you submit on the end date, your application will not be in competition because it was submitted too early.