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.
Congratulations John look forward to working you with the very recognizable new call
Hi Rod, thanks for the congratulations. It will be great fun trying VK5PF out in the field. I just hope there will be no pile-ups and that more experienced CW folk will be patient. I appreciate the comment.
Congratulations John,good to catch up with you at the AHARS AGM. Look forward to working you on a summit sometime. 73, Justin, VK7TW
Hi Justin, I am sorry our meeting was so truncated at the AHARS AGM. I would have liked to have a longer time discussing various aspects of our hobby. I’ve had a bit of a shaky start to the year (a couple of holidays in H) but I am looking forward to the Grampians in April/May and some slow CW contacts.
Congratulations John and thanks for sharing your exciting news! Will you retain VK5BJE for a year or two? You now have the same problem as me, what to do with the blog? 😉
I am looking forward to hearing and working your new callsign.
73, Andrew VK1AD
I probably should have applied for a two-letter call years ago. However, VK5BJE is so bound up in my life I am reluctant to let it go! I will retain it for a year or two at least and see where life leads me over the same period. I am working hard at my CW skills and I am sure you are too. It will be great to have a contact! Thanks for the comment on the post – it is greatly appreciated.
Hi John, Congrats and well done with the new call, just seen it used on PNP.
Cheers and 73,
Thanks for the congratulations. I am thinking about how I might use the call and whether I might, in the future, relinquish VK5BJE. I have had the call VK3BJE/VK5BJE for nearly 40 years. I set myself a goal of CW use only and I did listen out for Tony, VK3CAT/P, today on 40m and did give him a call later on 21.058. He was a bit fast for me but I am sure he would slow down. I waited for the pile-up to finish and then I missed him. He seemed to be having troubles on 15m sending just a series of dots.
I do very much appreciate the comments and congratulations. I am not an ‘old-timer’ but I am still trying to make the most of the time left to me!