Call Letters Meaning on Wikipedia

Gary's Ice Cream
Thu Jun 13 20:41:29 EDT 2019

No.  Ham is sequentially assigned based on the area...for example New England is usually a K with a "1", or a W with a "1"....."1" being the New England designator. Ham calls can also start with an "N"  or "AA" in the U.S.      However if someone with a "1" call moves to another part of the country they do not have to change.  If a ham would like a different letter or number in their call they can request it as a "Vanity Callsign" (no charge).      I started off as sequentially assigned "KB1PNT" but when I upgraded to General (and later Extra Class) I went vanity to "W1GFF" (my initials).  Technically as an extra I could go to a 1x2 call.....but W1GF is an active callsign for someone else.       So I kept my 1x3 call.  Always happy to answer Ham (amateur radio) questions....I am the leader of the Billerica/Chelmsford VE Testing Team (we do open testing on the 2nd Thursday of every month).

Gary F.
Gary’s Ice Cream – Chelmsford Creamery, Inc.  Chelmsford, MA
Ice Cream College – classes in Massachusetts and Florida

-----Original Message-----
From: Boston-Radio-Interest <> On Behalf Of Bob Nelson
Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:45 PM
To: Rob Landry <>
Cc: Boston Radio Group <>
Subject: Re: Call Letters Meaning on Wikipedia

Isn't ham radio the opposite of traditional broadcast...those west of the Mississippi start with W and those east start with K (KA1ABC for example?)

On Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 3:33 PM Rob Landry <> wrote:

> My understanding is that the first call signs adssigned to radio 
> stations were military, and began with A for Army and N for Navy. 
> These stations were not broadcasters and used Morse code, in which A = 
> didah and N = dahdit.
> When additional call signs needed to be assigned, somone had the idea 
> of adding an extra dash to the prefixes: didahdah = W, dahdidah = K. 
> After the war (World War I), when the alphabet was divided among 
> various countries for call sign allocation, the U.S. claimed A, N, K, 
> and W (the British got G, M, V, and Z).
> Today the U.S. still has N, K, W, and AA through (AL? I forget). All 
> four are used for ham radio call signs, but only K and W are used for 
> broadcasting stations.
> Rob
> On Wed, 12 Jun 2019, A. Joseph Ross wrote:
> > My father thought the W stood for Washington.  When I saw that some
> stations'
> > call letters started with K, I asked him, and he said it stood for 
> > California.

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