VK5PF: a 40 year celebration, 8th March 2016

In November 2016 I will celebrate 40 years as an active radio amateur. I decided at the end of last year, as a birthday present, to apply to the Australian Media and Communication Authority (ACMA) for a two-letter advanced call sign. In case you think I am being ‘greedy’, in our small state of South Australia, there are about 200 hundred two letter call-signs remaining, including some highly desirable ones for CW (morse code use).

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), the peak body for radio amateurs, and the agency under contract from the ACMA to administer call-signs, requires an amateur to choose two preferences, in case the first one has already been applied for. I made two call-sign choices and sent off my application to the WIA for processing and forwarding on to the ACMA. I enclosed the fee. And then I got on with other things.

There were, when I first considered this application, about three call-signs of deceased amateur friends of mine available, all amateurs I held in high regard. Indeed one was an employee in my Department. I always thought he had a desirable call-sign, was very technically proficient and a great home constructor of microwave transmitting and receiving equipment, but I didn’t think I could walk in his footsteps as an amateur. The second call-sign was that of an amateur I mention in my blog. He was a 160 metre ‘home-brew’ man! (see About) The third call-sign of an Amateur Television (ATV) colleague of mine was snapped up while I was debating whether to proceed down this path. I purchased crystals from him.

After much thinking I decided to apply for a call-sign with which I had no association and did not know any of the previous owners.

Now VK5PF will present no great challenge to that other well-known ‘Papa-Fox(trot) active in South East Australia!  I intend to use this call-sign both from home and from Parks and Sota Peaks for CW (morse code) low power transmissions only. I think VK5PF is a pretty good CW call-sign! And there is no ‘e’ in this call-sign, in CW a dit!

I would like to express my appreciation to our regulator, the ACMA, and, of course, to the WIA.