Table of Contents
Choosing Your Callsign
While no longer a requirement, ideally you'll want the number in your callsign to match the historical region, as that will be more expected when you're exchanging callsigns. In a chaotic or noisy environment, hearing a callsign with a 7 or a callsign with 9 might be the difference in differentiating whether someone heard WI or WA during the exchange. The more intuitive your callsign is, the more likely they'll understand you the first time.
Historical Callsign Regions
|1||Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont||1|
|2||New Jersey and New York||2|
|3||Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland and Pennsylvania||3|
|4||Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia||4|
|5||Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas||5|
|7||Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming||7|
|8||Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia||8|
|9||Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin||9|
|10||Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota||0|
|12||Caribbean Insular areas:|
|Commonwealth of Puerto Rico except Desecheo Island||3 or 4|
|13||Hawaii and Pacific Insular areas:|
|Baker or Howland Island||1|
|Palmyra or Jarvis Island||5|
|Kingman Reef||5 followed by suffix letter K|
|Hawaii except Kure Island||6 or 7|
|Kure Island||7 followed by the letter K|
|Wake, Wilkes, or Peale Island||9|
|Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands||0|
|14||(unofficial). Outside the United States|
The following letters are the least likely to be confused with other Morse characters, so from a contesting standpoint should be preferred. The only caveat to the list below is to never choose K as the last letter of your callsign, as you'll find yourself correcting people often that you're not saying “go ahead” or “over” at the end of your call.
If you're planning on contesting, choose the shortest callsign possible using the weights below. 1×2 callsigns (X1XX) are a bit preferred, as they're more expected, though 2×1 callsigns (XX1X) are fine. Obviously 2×2 callsigns will slow down the exchange.
Ideally you'll also want the number to match the historical region, as that will also be more expected when you're exchanging callsigns. In a chaotic or noisy environment, hearing a callsign with a 7 or a callsign with 9 might be the difference in differentiating whether someone heard WI or WA during the exchange.
|Letter||Morse Weight||Voice Weight||Phonetic|