How to remember the prefixes?

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by N2IW, Jul 24, 2019.

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  1. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a new DXer (about 140 countries worked on CW), I found myself constantly need my logging program to tell me what country a call sign belongs to. I feel frustrated about it! So, how do you remember all the prefixes? Flash cards, ARRL DXCC list? Computer/phone apps or websites? Any suggestions will be appreciated!

    Ming (James) N2IW
     
    K1LKP likes this.
  2. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    First of all congratulations on 140 countries worked on CW !

    When I came back to the hobby in 2012 I simply put up a big prefix map and kept studying it. The more DX I worked the better I was able to associate prefixes and countries. Now, after 120,000 contacts, 300+ countries and 3,300+ prefixes I only focus on the ones that do not seem familiar. Not so easy with thousands of prefixes. But the more experience you have the easier it becomes.

    There are exceptions to the assigned prefixes, however, that can mess you up. Watch out for special event call signs. Yesterday I worked SX94MIKIS thinking it was Crete. Turned out to be Greece.

    In my case, chasing prefixes as well as countries, it is hard to remember the relatively few US prefixes I still need ( they all seem so familiar/similar ). So I have to sort the spreadsheet log by call sign and flag the first call sign worked with a given prefix, and then look for the gaps. Didn't have to do that with countries because there aren't so many of them.

    After a while, for me and many others, it is about band-countries, mode-countries, and band-mode countries ( working all the countries on every band, every mode, and every band-mode combination ). That way you never run out of challenges.
     
  3. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Peter! I guess that's how all seasoned DXers did it.
     
  4. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    G7UQN, K1TGX, N5WVR and 2 others like this.
  5. WA4BCS

    WA4BCS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Go to Icom America, amateur, miscellaneous. Has lists for grid squares and DX prefixes.
     
  6. W7UUU

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

    Good thing he lived long before the Internet or he never would have memorized anything!!

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  7. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, he probably would have loved the internet, because...


    He Had a Terrible Memory

    Einstein’s memory was notoriously poor. He was unable to remember dates and could not remember his own phone number. As a student, one of his teachers claimed that he had a memory like a sieve. Once when he was traveling on a train, the conductor approached to collect his ticket. Einstein began searching his pockets, but the conductor recognized him and said he could ride for free. Einstein responded, “Thank you, but if I don’t find my ticket I won’t know where to get off the train.


    https://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/10-surprising-facts-about-albert-einstein

    ;)
     
    W5BIB likes this.
  8. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Ben! That is some really useful info! Downloaded and printed!
     
    WF4W likes this.
  9. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    yep. prefix maps/list is how I've always done it. Eventually you know the common ones and only need to look up the rare ones...
     
  10. K7RQ

    K7RQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you have a copy of the ARRL paper logbook, on the back pages you will find a list of all the prefix assignments in the world, including commercial as well as amateur (which also includes aircraft registry prefixes.)

    Hal
     
    W5BIB likes this.

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