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Old 12-13-2011, 03:44 PM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Larimer County
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There's a long history with call signs, not just amateur radio, too. It's your unique identifier, no one else in the world has that call sign, so you should rightly be proud to use it. Some are very famous, MGY was the Titanic, DEKKA was Hindenburg, GBTT was the Queen Mary. In the case of the MGY, it had a wireless that was so new that its call was given by the Marconi company itself, for example. BTW, MPA was Carpathia, which had a very limited radio range so most of its traffic was handled third party through MEA (Franconia) to CPR (Princess Royal) to reach MSD (Camperdown shore station at Sable Island, Nova Scotia). MSD then relayed messages to New York and the White Star Line offices.

Even on VHF and UHF, you are transmitting a signal that has the potential to travel long distances and be heard by Goodness knows who and using call signs eliminates confusion. You don't need to know an easily misunderstood name or even care where the two stations are physically situated, all you need to know is a call sign and that you have a RF path.

The 10 minute rule is important, but no FCC monitor is going to time you with a watch. Be sure to ID when you sign off and periodically during use. They use 10 minutes because propagation can change quickly and if you don't ID enough your signal might fade in and out without anyone ever hearing your call sign. Sometimes 10 minutes is not enough (like 10m openings!), sometimes it's really redundant (like repeaters rag-chews). So it's a compromise for the rule book.
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