I have received my first QSL card for VK5PF. I obtained this two-letter call to celebrate being an amateur for 40 years. I have kept the call for CW (morse code) contacts only. I am on the way to 200 qsos, most of which have been with WWFF and SOTA stations. These contacts are largely formulaic: exchange of call-signs and signal reports and WWFF or SOTA identification. Some have been confirmed on Logbook of the World (LOTW).
I set myself a goal of working VI100AF and VK100AF and achieved voice (ssb) and FT8 contacts with both stations on a number of bands from 80m to 10m. I thought I would call VK100AF using morse code and a dual paddle, instead of my hand key. I started with a bit of a wobble and had to correct my callsign. Anway I was pleased to check that I had a valid contact and then ordered the splendid four-sided card.
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.