Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Ham Call AK7DD, The True Meaning

The Call
For years, ham radio operators have had an attachment to their FCC issued callsigns. When I was first licensed, as you upgraded, you were given the chance to check the box on your 610 Form to have a different callsign issued. If you were issued one you did not like, you just upgraded and requested the next sequential callsign. Licence classes back then were; Novice, Technician, General, Advanced and finally the Extra Class. A callsign reflected your "rank" but it was (and still is) not always a true representation of your license class. As an example, back when I passed my Extra Class examination, I had an Advanced Class callsign. I opted to keep my Advanced Class 2x2, even though I had upgraded. Why? I liked my call (KE8RO) so I felt there was no reason to change. So when I operated in the "Extra" portion of the ham bands back in the day, a few may have raised their eyebrows wondering if I was operating outside my license class privilege. Either way, back in 2009, I blogged about where it all began for me and those who helped me achieve my ham radio license. You can find that information here. I've stuck with the 2x2 callsign format and as of now, unless a person is in a restricted region, a shortened 1x2 or 2x1 Extra Class callsign can be very hard to come by and all have been previously issued at one time or another. 


Boston, Charlestown 
Since my blog link above explains my callsign decisions prior to returning to the lower 48, I won't bore you with those details again. When I moved back to "The States", I decided to part with my Alaska callsign just to save the typical headaches associated from operating from a different DXCC Entity (especially during contests) than where your callsign was issued. I applied for and received AK2MA, or Alaska 2 Massachusetts. I possessed a 2'land callsign while living in the 1'land call area. Pretty common anymore these days. It's nice knowing that if you have a callsign you like, you really don't have to part with it even if you relocate to another state or even a DXCC entity (such as I did when I operated a few times from Iceland /TF). 


AK7DD - Crater Lake
When I relocated to Oregon, originally I had no desire to change my callsign. I was even asked if I had plans of doing so and my answer simply was "No". But that planted a seed which began to germinate and eventually, I was giving it some thought. The thought went on to determination when I realized my old callsign (or the meaning of) really had no bearing on current events, not that it really matters. I was glad to put MA behind me so since I was changing my vehicle plates, my drivers license and my address I figured what the heck, why not change my callsign, too. Then began the struggle of what was available and what would I apply for? I knew I was going to stick with a 2x2 callsign but what would I consider?


Dempsey Dog
I started looking at "DX" callsigns again as I enjoy DX'ing. I've been there, done that (KL8DX). I knew I wanted the prefix to be AK for Alaska (I miss that state!!!), and it needed to reflect my proper call area, 7. So, the dilemma began, looking for that good "CW" or Morse Code suffix in  a callsign I had already determined what the prefix would be. For me, it had to roll off my finger and thumb nicely. Having a case of insomnia had me reviewing a tribute video I made of our 15½ year old beagle. She had to put down for medical reasons prior to us moving to Oregon. Anybody who has a heart and a pet knows how you become attached to a four legged family member. Her name was Dempsey, and she was originally named after a location in Ohio, whereas circumstances would have it, my wife and I first met. Often times when we called Dempsey, we just added the word "Dog" to it. It was not long before she was commonly referred to as our "Dempsey Dog" and it stuck.




My new callsign, which showed available at the time I was looking, had no record of being issued and was my only request on my Vanity callsign application. And on December 30th, 2014 my license was issued. And this is where the story begins. Welcome to Chapter 4...

   

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!




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