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Getting used to a new Vanity call sign

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W0RIO, May 22, 2019.

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  1. W0RIO

    W0RIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just received confirmation that my old call sign WB0RIO has been changed to my new vanity
    call sign W0RIO. I ditched the "B" because the new call is shorter to send in my favorite mode, CW.

    I decided to use the similar call sign to make it easier on myself, I could have elected for a shorter
    call, but I always liked the RIO part. Radio Into Ocean, a.k.a. Boat-Anchor.
    W0RIO has been unused since 11/2004. I wonder if other ops will think I'm 25 years older now ;-)

    I sent out a couple of 30 Meter CQs yesterday and did not manage to get any contacts, but I did get
    a chance to break in the new call sign. It's interesting how strong physical memory can be, luckily the
    B and the 0 both start with a dash, so I can recover from a mental slip before the rest of the character is sent.
    I suspect that it will take a few weeks of use before I'm completely used to the new call sign.

    The administrative side of a call sign change is another side of the call sign change, QRZ was automatic and
    easy. I had to re-register my 10 meter beacon and change the Arduino code running on the beacon. I changed
    a bunch of online articles on my web site, the schematics and photos still have my old call. I still need to change
    my Ten-Ten registration and will finally get my SKCC number, which I've been holding off on until the new call
    sign arroved. I'm sure I'll find more stuff to change as time moves on.

    Anyway, what are other's experiences with changing a call sign, especially when related to CW?
     
    W0AQ likes this.
  2. W1BR

    W1BR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can relate. I could have changed my call eons ago (K1ZJH) although it was a fairly easy call to send on a paddle. One thing
    that held me back was call-sign recognition--after writing columns, articles, etc. for several mags over a 40 year period, and
    having a repeater presence in the local area for almost 40 years most hams knew me by my call.

    Fast forward, almost all of my ham buddies have either become SK or moved south. I managed to reprogram my repeater
    controller, but still have to program the AEA memory keyers. I suspect I'll be reverting to the old call by mistake when
    I have time to get back on CW. Waiting for some DX, and 160 is closed for the season. SKCC was easy, as well as eHam and QRZ.
     
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    @W1BR

    You ain't foolin' me Uncle Pete... you're hiding from someone, aintcha? :D
     
    W1BR likes this.
  4. W1BR

    W1BR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Jeff--Working on some new eBay scams selling old pin type boilers... LOL
     
    WR2E likes this.
  5. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    On average Americans move, from one living place to another, every five years.
    Paperwork, online changes are endless.

    Changing call signs is absolutely nothing in comparison.
     
  6. N5CM

    N5CM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had my old call, KA5GEX, for nearly 40 years. The new one came through in Feb. of this year. I wanted a shorter, better, call for CW after returning to the hobby after retirement. An initial issue with the new one was recognizing it when it came back to me from the DX station a pileup. Also, I slipped a few times and started out sending the old one during QSOs, contests, pileups etc.
     
    N7BKV and W1BR like this.
  7. N1NA

    N1NA Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I passed my Extra, a long time ago, I was told to write down 20 callsigns I would like, at the Boston FCC office. 1-19 were not approved. I received #20 which has proven to be a great CW call , (N1NA) and good on phone, if I disobeyed the phonetic rules a bit, and used November one North America. (I know I need a spanking for that), but it worked well - Tom Christian )VR6TC actually called me on a CQ! Then the pileup started. Was a good feeling, and humbling. Not meaning to brag, just replying to the posting. WB1ASW to N1NA. Retreating now to my cave, to avoid the QRM over this.
    73 from Florida, Chuck
     
    W5BIB and W0AQ like this.
  8. W0AQ

    W0AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting thread.

    I remember WA0RIO, who used to check into the Wichita Amateur Radio Club net on the old 146.82 repeater. He was an interesting character! I am sure a SK by now.

    Congratulations on shortening the call. I like it, especially the idea of just removing one letter from the prefix.

    I was very active with my old call but I received my vanity call on the first day that they were issued, now about 25 years ago. You'll get used to it quick enough. :)
     
  9. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of my pet peeves is the FCC having abandoned the requirement to have calls that represent approximate locations.

    I've changed calls each time I've changed disticts. I'm on my 4th call since 1962. The first time was when I got out of the Navy and settled in Virginia in 1975. With my permanent change of address from WI to VA, the FCC changed my WA9 call to KC4PK. I felt like they moved me to Antarctica!

    From the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s I was quite CW proficient. One of my many part-time jobs was working commercially as a shore based radio telegrapher for a marine supply company on the Great Lakes from 1965-1969. While in the Navy from 1969-1975 I volunteered to take shifts as a telegrapher when deployed at sea.

    During those years, sending and receiving CW was mostly subconscious. I could hold a conversation with someone while automatically copying CW on a "mill" (typewriter) with a headphone on my left ear, and the right earphone on my cheek. It was kind like being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    The KC4PK call really messed with my mind, especially if I was working portable (like adding /3, etc.) or even calling CQ DX. If I'd give any thought to what I was sending, I'd lose track of which K or C that I was at.

    When I moved across the border to WV from VA I chose the vanity call sign K8KJG. That change came real easy.

    About 18 months ago we moved back across the border from WV to VA. I changed to W4KJG because I was now splitting my time between VA and NC -- both in district 4.

    I wish I would have kept my K8 call. For some reason, I've always had a problem with sending 4, 5 and H. All the other characters are easy, but not those three! And then changing from K to W didn't help.

    Sometimes I still start to use my old KC4 or K8 call. Getting old is sometimes frustrating.

    •••• ••••- ••••• ••••••••
    •-- ••••- -•- •--- --•
     
    W1BR and W5BIB like this.
  10. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In 2004, after 43 years as WA5BIB, I dropped the "A" from my call. Even now, 15 years later, I catch myself almost sending that "A" while I'm sending the 'W" !!!

    I really had to pay attention from 1988-1995 when I was a CW operator for Coast Station WLO Mobile Marine Radio. I worked the 0400-1200z shift, for almost eight(8) years, @ WLO, & if I had been on-the-air from home an hour or so before going to work, I'd catch myself starting to send WA5BIB instead of WLO :eek: It worked just the opposite when I got home in the morning. After 8 hours of sending WLO, I'd catch myself sending WLO instead of WA5BIB !! (It got kinda embarrassing on several occasions) ;)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    K3EY likes this.

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