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Why are Vanity Calls applying for MORE Vanity Calls?

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KX4VJ, Nov 18, 2019.

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  1. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it is possible to be way cool without a vanity call. :cool:
  2. KX4VJ

    KX4VJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the feedback, everybody. I took another look this morning and found:

    - There are now 44 applications for this one available call. A vast majority are people who have become Amateur Extra and want to upgrade their call sign. This is what I thought the process was for, and I fall into this category.
    - All of the applicants with four-digit call signs are, indeed, vanity calls requesting a different vanity call.
    - 1 is a 4-digit call so old I can't tell how it was assigned, but it was changed to a vanity 12 years ago.
    - 1 is a vanity assigned 7 years ago
    - 2 were assigned 3-ish years ago
    - 3 were assigned in the last six months.
    - 1 is applying for his 7th vanity call in two years and has 66 records in the ULS in that time frame.

    That's a very neat inverse log function with the vast majority playing nice and a small number of outliers exhibiting hoarding behavior. This is kind of what one expects with humans involved in the process, particularly when there is a constrained resource that is "free." (I wonder if that one guy would see anything wrong with tuning a repeater, keying his mic, and wrapping a rubber band around the PTT for a few days?)

    My response -- based partly on kind responses here -- is to calendar the ones I like that are coming available over the next few months and just let that process "work in the background." Call sign is about my 5th priority with radio and there's nothing I can do about it anyway. meh

    So... today I'm off to start building an antenna! Woo hoo! Good thing that's such a simple topic and nobody has opinions. (KIDDING!)
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is no cost associated with trying (other than filling out the online form), so people with time on their hands have no obstacle to applying for new calls as often as they want. They may get one vanity call, but when a "better" one becomes available, there's nothing to stop them for applying for that call.

    It's a shame that FCC dropped vanity fees. They said they weren't making money, but what they should have done was what every other agency and business does in such cases -- increase the fees. Had they made the vanity fee $1,000 and non-refundable, you wouldn't see what you are seeing.

    It's time to drop the vanity system altogether. It generates endless controversy and ill will.
    AK5B likes this.
  4. WZ1L

    WZ1L Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tim, of what I have seen, their issuance of a next call sign through a call block are not being used. The call issued is not meaningful of the user. The current mindset is make it what I want. And you can see various reasons, such as initials, locations, animals, or whatever.

    I have been licensed since 1981. My hopes were dashed on getting a callsign for Midway Island where I took my Novice Exam and the FCC reason was they canceled issuing from the KH4 Block effective December 31, 1980. I was forced to take a "6" call as my address was FPO San Francisco. I was issued KA6OWC.

    My military orders off Midway was to Washington DC, and I lived in Alexandria, VA. I requested a call change to "4" Land as at the time you were required to work portable if you were outside your area. So sending KA6OWC/4 was not my desire. I was issued KA4WWG and kept that call through my military career. I upgraded to Advanced in 1989 and because I was living in Massachusetts, opted for a "1" call and was issued KC1QI. Three years later, I upgraded to Extra Class. Since the 2x1 calls were running out, I opted to change my call to a 2x1 before they were exhausted. I was issued WZ1L. This is an original FCC issued from the block.

    Changing your call sign may confuse people who know you and when you change it, you need to let them know.

    Good Luck in your choice. de WZ1L
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  5. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My story is somewhat similar to WZ1L. While I was living in Germany, I was issued a "2" call sign, because my address was APO NY. But at the time, early 80s, a US Novice license was sufficient to obtain a German Class-A license. That got me the call DA2EU. When I returned from Germany, I was living in Arizona. So I asked for a new call sign to match my location, "7". I used that call sign for almost 20 years. But in 1999, I decided to upgrade. In a span of 3 or 4 months, I went from Novice to Extra. That was before they did away with the Morse Code requirements.

    However, I could see the signs of change, and knew the Morse Code requirements were going to be dropped. I also knew that, when that happened, there will be a flood of upgrades and applications for 1x2 and 2x1 call signs. So I starting looking at what was available. In the end, I liked the 1x3 call sign that I have now. This call sign works great on voice and CW. No one ever seems to get it wrong.

    If I move out of the "7" area, I am still going to keep my call sign. To me, its just not worth the stress to try and change it again. I already know that all of the "K*MEM" call signs are taken.
  6. AE8W

    AE8W Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is their form of contesting. Stupid. But for me, any radio sport is silly. So what do I know
  7. KB0MLR

    KB0MLR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem as I see it is that there is no financial disincentive for engaging in this behavior. As mentioned before, there was no problem like this occurring when money was involved in the transaction. Hams, generally living up to their reputations of being a bunch of chislers, would not send a check to the FCC 5 times a year to play this stupid game.
    AK5B and WD0BCT like this.
  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    And these same hams would howl like banshees if the FCC ever returned to a cash for service rendered policy!
    AK5B and N9LCD like this.
  9. KB0MLR

    KB0MLR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know, perish the thought of actually having to actually pay for something!
  10. N0NC

    N0NC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had my Vanity call long enough, that I had to pay a fee to get it, and pay a fee the when I renewed it the first time, not a problem. I've had several calls over the years (22 Years in the navy). None of them were any thing special, so I'm good for the duration. At my age, I don't think I'll have to worry about renewing it again.

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