amateur radio station (ham
radio station) has its own unique "name"
allotted by the authorities. In amateur radio,
the unique name assigned to a ham radio
station and its owner helps
you to know its operator as well as
the country to which he belongs.
This particular ham radio station is authorized to be operated by that
particular ham radio operator only. However, other licensed ham radio
operators are also eligible to operate his station provided they hold licences
of the same category (and not lower than the
category which he holds) and the owner of that particular station is
physically present during the operation. A
person who does not hold a ham radio licence is not authorized to operate a
ham radio station. This means that only a single station with a
particular call-sign can exist in a particular location.
A person having a ham radio call-sign is not
authorized to set up more than one ham radio stations at different locations.
A call-sign consists of a set of letters and numbers, assigned by the
authority. For example VU2MSY (I was
holding this call-sign for the last 10 years till I upgraded my licence with a
new call-sign: VU2MUE) is a call-sign which belongs to a particular ham in
India. No other hams anywhere in the world can have this call-sign! Similarly,
4S7VK is a call-sign which belongs
to a ham from Sri Lanka. In a call-sign, the letters before the number is
called the prefix. So, there might
be a ham with the call-sign 4S7MSY in Sri Lanka. Similarly, a call-sign like
VU2VK may exist in India! Each country has its own prefix. The knowledge of
prefix helps us identifying the country of origin of a particular amateur
radio transmission. Call-sign of all the ham radio operators are available in
the International Call-book.
When a ham radio station is set up on board a ship, the
call-sign should be followed the suffix /MM. So, VU2MSY would become VU2MSY/MM
(maritime mobile) when it operates
from a ship. If it operates from a vehicle, then the call-sign becomes
Address from which the International callbook is available:
P.O. Box 2013, Lakewood, NJ 08701 USA