Dropping a prefix letter when upgrading.

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by K9KXW, Mar 17, 2019.

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  1. K9KXW

    K9KXW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone,

    I am studying for my General class upgrade and wondered if the the FCC automatically drops the second letter in the prefix of your callsign to make it a 1x3 to show the upgrade or if it remains the same?

    I would like to drop the "C" off of my prefix and go to K9KXW instead just to shorten it especially for CW work. If they don't do it automatically, will I have to request a vanity callsign after my upgrade is complete and the K9KXW callsign is available by then?

    Thanks and 73 de Jim
  2. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC will not change call signs, unless you request it on upgrade. But you will just get another sequentially issued call sign, similar to what you now have. If you want that K9KXW it looks like it might be available, just go ahead and apply for it now. You don't have to wait for general to get a vanity call.

    Also, if you want a short call for CW, check out calls like N9AEA or something similar, that have light CW weights.
  3. K9KXW

    K9KXW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Joe for info especially the "light CW weights" comment. I never thought about that on. I will look up some some call letters and figure out what I like.

    I'm not familiar with the FCC website anymore and not sure where to go to get all of this done though. Any hints would be appreciated.
  4. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You need to apply for a vanity call. Instructions are available all over the web. But in your call area, N9 calls have the lowest CW weight. Then choose suffix with A,E,I,T,M, or whatever you want. Then apply for a bunch of them, in order of preference. The FCC will issue the first preferred call from your list. You can check out availability on different websites, some will obviously be used, but many will be available. I got my call as vanity as a tech, it matches my initials, but I could have got one with lower CW weight, if that had been important to me.
  5. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    K9KXW likes this.
  6. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My call has a lower CW weight than yours, but probably not enough to make a difference. I have found, however, that it is very efficient. I don't think I have ever had a contact where they got my call wrong. It's very quick and easy to send. I got my call after I upgraded to Extra (1999). I could have had my choice of dozens of 1x2 or 2x1 call. But I chose this one.

    In the end, just pick one you like. And, if it turns out to be terrible, you can change it again. When I obtained my vanity call sign, there was a $18 charge. But now it's all free.
    K9KXW and K7JEM like this.

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