Remember guys, USA call signs start with either K, W, N, or A. Most of the time vanity calls were used to maximize the ease of sending the call using morse code. For example:
My FCC issued call was KC0TXK, which in morse code was
da-di-dah, dah-di-da-dit, da-da-da-da-dah, dah, da-di-di-dah, da-di-dah.
My vanity call W0IIN in morse code is
di-da-dah, da-da-da-da-dah, di-dit, di-dit, da-dit
If I were to have gotten my grandfathers last call of W0DW(Instead of Bruce getting it) the morse code for that is
di-da-dah, da-da-da-da-dah, da-di-dit, di-da-dah.
Both much easier to send in morse code than the K call.
Now it is just for vanity purposes.
K & W are available to all amateurs with a technician class license. N used to signify "Novice" class, which is no longer used. Grandfathered Novice class licensees may renew their N callsign as long as they like, and there may be some N callsigns available.
First, the FCC does not limit the Vanity call sign choice numeral (0-9). For example, you can be a W1-land addressee(Northeast area), and have a W6 (California) type call if you so desire.
Also, aside from a very few FCC-limited choices, Extra class licensees can choose pretty much any vacant but valid US call sign--FCC call sign Groups A, B, C or D.
Although Advanced class licensees cannot seek the special 1x2, 2x1 or 2x2 (beginning with letter "A") Extra class type call signs, they can seek a 2x2 or 1x3 call sign (beginning with prefix N, K or W), or a 2x3 call sign (beginning with prefix letter K or W)--FCC call sign Groups B, C or D.
General, Technician or Technician Plus class licensees can seek a 1x3 call sign (beginning with prefix N, K or W), or 2x3 call sign (beginning with prefix letter K or W)--FCC call sign Groups C or D.
Novice licensees also have access to the Vanity program. Novices can seek a 2x3 call sign (beginning with prefix letter K or W) of their choice--FCC call sign Group D.
Just as a reminder, Novice, Advanced and Technician Plus are no longer license classes used. Only those licensed amateurs who are grandfathered into those classes may renew and continue to hold those license classes.
Last edited by Groucho; 02-07-2008 at 04:42 PM.