Alpha Numeric confusion!


FenDrifter
 

Hi all
As a complete novice to this game, I’ve got to admit to utter confusion about loggings I’ve seen on here. What do they all refer to? If a logging was for instance Radio Romania International etc etc I’d understand it, but when, again for instance, it’s 2BBK (I made that up) it makes no sense to me. Is there a simple explanation please?
Drifter


Peter Laws
 

On Mon, Jan 24, 2022 at 4:28 AM FenDrifter via groups.io
<essexmarshman@...> wrote:

Hi all
As a complete novice to this game, I’ve got to admit to utter confusion about loggings I’ve seen on here. What do they all refer to? If a logging was for instance Radio Romania International etc etc I’d understand it, but when, again for instance, it’s 2BBK (I made that up) it makes no sense to me. Is there a simple explanation please?
Do you mean radio station call letters? On the MF and VHF broadcast
bands these are still A Thing in the USA, but they seem to have passed
into history elsewhere. Canada still uses them as does Mexico, but
the broadcasters only use them to the extent that they are legally
required to. I think Australia still uses them, too, though with
(IIRC) the "VL" stripped from the front.

Or did you mean some other code?




--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


FenDrifter
 


Russ Edmunds
 

As Paul is based in Australia, the majority of those are Australian calls. Some are used on air, others not. New Zealand follows the same format.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of FenDrifter via groups.io <essexmarshman@...>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2022 2:10 PM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Alpha Numeric confusion!
 


Peter Laws
 

On Mon, Jan 24, 2022 at 1:10 PM FenDrifter via groups.io
<essexmarshman@...> wrote:

Hi Peter
Many thanks for your reply, in which I suspect you’ve answered my question. But, to be sure, have a look at Paul’s logging here:
https://ultralightdx.groups.io/g/main/topic/loggings_13_01_2022/88418148?p=,,,20,0,0,0::recentpostdate/sticky,,,20,2,0,88418148,previd=1643048957210730795,nextid=1642113225131194308&previd=1643048957210730795&nextid=1642113225131194308
Drifter
Yeah, so pulling "1332 - 3SH" at random and inserting that into the
google machine, gave me this (among others):

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/58686997

I was surprised to see that the Australians didn't list the prefix
even back then ... but it's possible I'm confused about "VL" and that
AUS broadcast callsigns never had a prefix.

In the US, it's been W and 2 or three letters since the start of
broadcast radio. Before that, ship stations started with K. And then
they started to run out of W calls for broadcasting so they said, 'OK,
those folks out west that are barely in the US will use K'. And then
that dividing line ended up at the Mississippi R where it sort-of
exists today. Sort-of, because I don't believe that the relevant
regulations actually require it any more.

There are "legacy" W callsigns west of the river (WKY here in OKC,
WBAP and WOAI down in Texas and many others) and there are a *few* Ks
to the east (KDKA Pittsburgh because it seems to have received the
first *broadcast* license and KDKA probably meant that the ship
station license earlier that morning got KDJZ, and KYW at the other
end of the Penna Turnpike, which was physically moved from Chicago in
the 1930s and maybe the call letters were engraved on the cabinets?).

In the ham radio world, at least in the US and Canada, early callsigns
started with the radio district number (my alma mater was issued "5YM"
in 1916). Amateurs didn't get letter prefixes (W in the US) until
1927 when it was clear that world-wide transmissions were actually A
Thing. Canadian hams got VE, probably around the same time.

If you scroll around in that link above, you can see a BBC-owned short
wave station with call G5SW.

To me, callsigns are part of what makes radio nerdy for me. I'm sad
to see them dying in favor of "Bob-FM" or "Capital Radio" or "CBS
Sports Radio".

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


FenDrifter
 

Hi Peter
Thanks for such an extensive reply! So these are ham radio call signs? Being totally ignorant of this area of interest I have a couple of questions. As this is an ultralight group I’m assuming these logs are picked up on sideband? If so then it’s something I’ve not yet investigated, although I do have a couple of sideband capable sets. Bear in mind I’m a (very) late starter in this game, added to that I’m in the UK. If I chose to look, where would be a good place to start?
Drifter


Phillips
 

Australia uses a prefix number to represent each state and territory.  Most numbers apply to broadcast and ham call signs with the exception of ACT hams.

0 = Antarctica
9 = Australian external territories
8 = Northern Territory
7 = Tasmania
6 = Western Australia
5 = South Australia
4 = Queensland
3 = Victoria
2 = New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT, Canberra).
1 = Australian Capital territory (ACT, Canberra) - ham licences only eg VK1xxx.

As for the letters of the broadcast call signs; some refer to the operators and some have historical interest.

A few examples;
5DN is a South Australian call sign; the DN refers to Denise and Norman who were a brother and sister who operated a pioneering broadcast station from their flat for half an hour each week when broadcasting was truly new.
2SM is a Sydney New South Wales call sign; the SM stands for Saint Mary's and refers to the catholic cathedral in Sydney which owned the radio station.
5AD refers to the "Advertiser" newspaper that owned the station.

Some letters refer to the geographic location of the station.

Examples;
5PI is Port Pirie, South Australia.
5SE is Mount Gambier which is in the South East of South Australia.
2QN is Deniliquin, New South Wales.
7HT is Hobart, Tasmania

Other call signs baffle me as to their origins; eg  3UZ (Victoria), 4KQ (Queensland).  Somewhere there must be a radio historian who can put it all together.
 






From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Russ Edmunds <wb2bjh@...>
Sent: Tuesday, 25 January 2022 6:01 AM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Alpha Numeric confusion!
 
As Paul is based in Australia, the majority of those are Australian calls. Some are used on air, others not. New Zealand follows the same format.

Russ Edmunds

WB2BJH

Blue Bell, PA

Grid FN20id


From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of FenDrifter via groups.io <essexmarshman@...>
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2022 2:10 PM
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Alpha Numeric confusion!
 


Peter Laws
 

On Mon, Jan 24, 2022 at 4:28 PM Phillips <phillicom@...> wrote:

As for the letters of the broadcast call signs; some refer to the operators and some have historical interest.
Know anything about VL as a prefix for broadcast (not amateur)
stations? The article at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_signs_in_Australia casually
mentions VL but it's tagged [citation needed] ...

US stations in the pre-license era before 1912 were often ops'
initials as well. I believe that I've read that this was still
semi-true after the Dept of Commerce, Bureau of Navigation started
issuing licenses but that it was up to the district inspector. I
guess a search of old US gov't station lists (most of which are online
now) would tell.



--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


Peter Laws
 

On Mon, Jan 24, 2022 at 4:22 PM FenDrifter via groups.io
<essexmarshman@...> wrote:

Hi Peter
Thanks for such an extensive reply! So these are ham radio call signs? Being totally ignorant of this area of interest I have a couple of questions. As this is an ultralight group I’m assuming these logs are picked up on sideband? If so then it’s something I’ve not yet investigated, although I do have a couple of sideband capable sets. Bear in mind I’m a (very) late starter in this game, added to that I’m in the UK. If I chose to look, where would be a good place to start?
The Number-Letter-Letter calls are Australian broadcast callsigns.
Because I'm goofy, now I *have* to know if they were once
VL-number-letter-letter or if that's urban legend. Given geography,
Australian broadcast stations are unlikely to be confused, on air,
with another country, so there wasn't a pressing need to ever have
used them.

Australian broadcasters are like those in North America and --
DAB/DAB+ or LW aside the UK. Medium Wave (520-1710 kHz give or take)
using AM and VHF (88-108 MHz give or take) using FM. Even the few
remaining shortwave broadcasters use AM. Longwave broadcasting, which
was never a thing in the Americas, but that you all still have is also
AM. I think BBC 4 is at 198 kHz?

As for where to start ... you kind of already have. :-)

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!


FenDrifter
 

Hi there
Very many thanks for such a time consuming and informative reply! The ham game is another world and at this stage I’m not thinking of going in that direction, but never say never! From what you say there’s a whole lot of research opportunities in the history, and almost by accident I came across a site today that you almost certainly know about, but I went bananas when I found it! Here’s the link:
https://worldradiohistory.com/index-Bookshelfl.htm
Drifter


Phillips
 

VK, VJ and VL are prefixes identifying amateur radio operators in Australia. 

As of July 29th 2020 - the following AR callsign structure is in place in Australia:[8][9]

Advanced VK$aa, VJ$a, VK$a, VL$a

Advanced/Standard/Foundation VK$aaa-VK$zzz

Repeater / Beacon VK$Raa-VK$Rzz




From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> on behalf of Peter Laws <plaws0@...>
Sent: Tuesday, 25 January 2022 9:21 AM
To: main@ultralightdx.groups.io <main@ultralightdx.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Alpha Numeric confusion!
 
On Mon, Jan 24, 2022 at 4:22 PM FenDrifter via groups.io
<essexmarshman@...> wrote:
>
> Hi Peter
> Thanks for such an extensive reply! So these are ham radio call signs? Being totally ignorant of this area of interest I have a couple of questions. As this is an ultralight group I’m assuming these logs are picked up on sideband? If so then it’s something I’ve not yet investigated, although I do have a couple of sideband capable sets. Bear in mind I’m a (very) late starter in this game, added to that I’m in the UK. If I chose to look, where would be a good place to start?

The Number-Letter-Letter calls are Australian broadcast callsigns.
Because I'm goofy, now I *have* to know if they were once
VL-number-letter-letter or if that's urban legend.  Given geography,
Australian broadcast stations are unlikely to be confused, on air,
with another country, so there wasn't a pressing need to ever have
used them.

Australian broadcasters are like those in North America and --
DAB/DAB+ or LW aside the UK.  Medium Wave (520-1710 kHz give or take)
using AM and VHF (88-108 MHz give or take) using FM. Even the few
remaining shortwave broadcasters use AM.  Longwave broadcasting, which
was never a thing in the Americas, but that you all still have is also
AM.  I think BBC 4 is at 198 kHz?

As for where to start ... you kind of already have.  :-)

--
Peter Laws | N5UWY | plaws plaws net | Travel by Train!






Paul Blundell
 

Here we have / had some interesting callsigns.

7LA was on 1098khz, it stood for Launceston.

7NT was on 711kHz, it stood for Northern Tasmania.

7EX was on 1008kHz, it stood for examiner, this is the name of our local newspaper.

I spend a lot of time listening to various VK7 stations on our various repeaters, VK7RAA and VK7RJG are both local to me.


Paul Blundell
 

I should add that almost all AM stations use either the call sign, 3GG as an example or a more generic call, such as ABC Melbourne. These are more common when the same content is transmitted on different frequencies.