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State Callsigns Clearly
by Mark Persons  W0MH
Correspondence letter
Published in
QST Magazine,
March 2009 Issue

You do yourself - and others - a favor by clearly announcing your call sign when you are on the air.  Yes, you know your call sign so well that you can say it twice as fast as you normally talk.  That is a problem for others.  Call signs should be given more slowly than regular speech so that everyone, including people you don't even know, can hear and understand.

I was listening on HF the other day.  One Ham gave the other Ham's call sign clearly, and then zoomed through his own because he knew it so well.  I was unable to get his call sign even though it was 59 copy otherwise.  We should know better than that.   

When you were first licensed, you were issued a call sign.  When you first saw it, you studied it carefully drinking-in every letter and the number.  You didn't race through it, because you could not, it was new to you. 

Definition of a call sign from a dictionary:  A series of unique letters and numbers assigned to a person who has earned an Amateur Radio license. 

Your call sign is a one-of-a-kind.  No two are alike.  You will not find it in any dictionary.  It is your Amateur Radio name, but it is not a word.   

The older we get the more difficult it becomes to hear.  Let us all proudly announce our call signs clearly and distinctly for everyone to hear.  It is a matter of courtesy and good operating practice.

Four e-mails were received within days of publication.  All were extremely positive.  No negative comments were received.  Of the four, three asked if the letter could be reprinted in local publications.   The answer was, "Yes."  The wording cannot be changed and QST Magazine must be listed as the source.

See you further down the road.  I'll leave the soldering iron on for you.

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