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Upgrading to Extra?

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by N7TOX, May 6, 2010.

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  1. K5BDH

    K5BDH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    goodluck on the extra exam, with scores like that on practice tests you oughta come plenty fine. A big plus on the hamtestonline, I went that route as well and it sure made the info sink in much quicker and at a level just about anyone can understand. I must admit that I used the gordon west book for last minute "maintenance".
  2. N7TOX

    N7TOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. :) I'm not nearly as nervous prepping for this on as I was for my first set of tests. I also feel like I have a much better grasp of the concepts, not just the answers. I almost felt like I was cheating on Tech and General, because I basically just memorized the answers.

    I /may/ have a radio. Waiting to hear. Someone else asked for it first, but it looks like they may fall through, so it'll go to me instead. :) Now to start eying short callsigns, and pick a few to apply for once I have my extra class privileges. :)
  3. KB5IAV

    KB5IAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's great. I went to Extra in 2003 and studied using an old ARRL manual, a current Gordon West study guide, and free practice at and The best I did on a practice exam was 42/50(84%), getting an average of 40/50(80%) whenever I took them. When I went to a VE session to take the actual exam, I scored 45/50(90%), better than on any practice exam.

    If you are consistently scoring 90%, you are probably ready. Good luck!
  4. N2GRI

    N2GRI Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can get a shorter vanity call without passing the extra. I'm only a general, too, but I like the vanity call I got and I'm going to stick with it, even after I get my extra (hopefully in June).
  5. N7TOX

    N7TOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm pouring over the lists of available short callsigns (2x1's, mostly) and I'm a little unclear on what exactly is available to /me/.

    As I read it, the region number isn't restricted for vanity callsigns, but is the prefix region-restricted? There's a few places that imply it is, but other sources don't say anything. For example, one of the callsigns I like starts with KH, but it looks like that might be restricted to Hawaii?
  6. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The shortest callsign you're likely to find, even as an extra. is a 2x2. Something like NF7XX or similar. Most of the 1X2 callsigns have been taken. Obviously there are some 2x1's left.

    BUT, there are plenty of 1x3 callsigns, and as a general, you are eligible for one of those, right now. Most OT hams prefer the 1x3 to the 2x2, since they were much more common in the olden days. A 1x3 is the same length as a 2x2, and is usually easier to remmber by others.

    I picked a 1x3 which is my call area, and my initials. A lot of people do that. Many more choices, and you can get an "old sounding" callsign to boot.

  7. N7TOX

    N7TOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I'm looking at a few 1x3's as well, and may end up going that route. I was just trying to figure out what the limitations of the prefixes were, so I know whether I should even bother looking at the 2x1's.
  8. W6ONV

    W6ONV Ham Member QRZ Page

    It all comes down to personal preference. While mine is not the shortest or easiest on CW, I took it for a specific reason (my father's former call sign). Sure, for contesting it would be nice to have a 1x2, but it's not worth the waiting and application process when it comes down to a lottery type process when one becomes available. I am also not fond of looking out of district when it comes to finding a 1x2. But again, those are my preferences.
  9. N7TOX

    N7TOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah. I'm not even going to /try/ for a 1x2. They're too hotly contested for me. I just found some fun 2x1's for geeky hidden meanings, and figured I'd try for one. I'll probably still put some of them on my application, just to see what happens, and throw some 1x3's on as well just to be safe.
  10. KE0MD

    KE0MD Guest

    In regard to your question of allowed prefixes, Here are the restrictions:

    AL#, KL#, NL#, WL# - Reserved for Alaska
    KP#, WP#, NP# - Reserved for Caribbean Islands (PR, USVI, etc)
    AH#, KH#, NH#, WH# - Reserved for Pacific Islands (Hawaii, Guam, Marianas, etc)
    KG4xx - Gitmo (2x2 calls only).

    JLF - if you don't mind having a callsign out of your region, there's a number of 2x1 zero-land calls that are immediately available for assignment. can help you in finding something you like.
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