For those with a difficult callsign I offer this advice

While chasing via CW, I often re-send my call at the end of my transmission back to the activator. Why? For some reason, other hams get their “tang tongled” when attempting to confirm my call back to me. This happens on SSB, FM, and CW. So if I chase you, especially on CW, it is my habit to respond to you with RR, TU, UR, your RST, followed by, 73 de N4HNH. This gives the activator a second chance to be sure they copied my call correctly. I want both of us to have accurate log entries, especially in case the activator was only able to make 4 contacts.

If you have a call-sign that is often misunderstood, you might try my method of sending it once more at the end of your QSO. If using SSB, or FM, be sure to use standard phonetics, so the activator hears words they are familiar with in any language. Here in the U.S., prefixes KN and KM sound so much alike via phone that people often mix those two up when logging. My brother changed his call from KN4LFT to W4KWM, but he still finds himself needing to clarify the last letter of his call. He uses “Whiskey 4 Kilo Whiskey Mike”, or “Whiskey 4 Keep Walking Mountains”, in case the other station still doesn’t understand his call-sign.

73, de N4HNH


The non phonetic alternatives totally confuse me as I have to think about them.

Having said that I don’t do SSB!

CW fine but if you send good morse it shouldn’t be necessary but should you, the chaser want to make sure the activator has it copied correctly then that sounds good to me - I’m sure I’ve done it myself when I wasn’t sure the other operator didn’t copy my callsign properly.

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You aren’t the only one who does that. @N4EX comes to mind. Is it an N4 thing? :rofl:

I like it… it’s a part of your ‘fist’. I can recognize a lot of chasers by operating habits. For example, when I hear a chaser end with: Dah DiDiDAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s @K6HPX (:wave: Ken).

And when I hear ‘DiDiDit DiDiDahDahDah DiDiDit’ it’s almost always @KX0R (:wave: George).

All joking aside, it seems like a decent operating practice.



Good advice Doug. Or maybe we could just banish H’s!
Scott kw4jm


I’d support that. The H in my vk2 call is often a nuisance, mainly when others send it as an s or a 5. That requires asking them to repeat. The pressure makes them make more mistakes.

It’s almost enough to make me change the callsign again.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


Hi Doug (N4HNH),
Well, one thing you have going for you is that many of us activators and chasers now know your callsign after hearing it quite often! I may mess up and send an “S” rather than an “H” but I always write it in the log correctly ;-).

73, Brad


I concur with the tough call signs. KB7HH gets a whole bunch of translations with weak signal and noise. I have the emails to prove it . :upside_down_face:I:upside_down_face::sweat_smile:.I do agree that sending “de KB7HH” at the end usually solves the problem but there are those who do not get it due to the noise levels and weak signal conditions. Sometimes an email is required to straighten out the recipients log.

73 Jack kb7hh


Oddly enough, I get N4HH sent back to me on SSB. They miss the N, or they think I meant H&H. But on CW I get N4SNS, N4SNH, or variants thereof. It may be that they wrote it down correctly but left out a dit in the H when returning.

I should also confess that I am often chasing stations 1500 to 2500 miles away who are running QRP. Were it not for APF and good filters, plus a 250 foot doublet, I probably wouldn’t hear them at all. They may be struggling to hear me, thus they miss a dit or two in my call. I don’t mind though. I really like the challenge of chasing QRP stations.

In digital comms you have checks to be sure the data was received and translated correctly. I guess my method is somewhat of a parity bit.

Ha Scott! Says someone with no H in his call. Thanks brother!

I have considered changing my call, but there is a bit of family nostalgia that prevents it. When my kids were little, they had an electric powered toy Jeep that they could ride in. It had a fake CB radio. They would grab the mic while riding around, and they would say “this is N4HNH, roger, roger.” One of those kids is now a licensed ham and the other is married to one.

With my main call I have more trouble on SSB than CW. The number of people that transpose the O and I … well I’ve lost count. Usually resolved by saying “Onwards I Go”. However, the prize goes to someone that called me on CW thinking I was a special event station: G48G. Hmm. :grinning:

With my other call, I have more trouble in CW. Quite often I have to repeat the X K part as the variation on dits squashed between dahs seems to throw people, despite it being sent at less than 20wpm and on a straight key.

73, Gerald G4OIG / G8CXK

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That’s a great story about the Jeep and I get it. My method for sending an H is to hold the dit key down a long time and hope for the best.


Certain calls just seem easier to pull out the first time. W2SE is an easy one to pick up the first time. Maybe Bruce chose it because of that. Or maybe it isn’t even a vanity call - I don’t know. But when Bruce sends, I always know it from the rhythm. He has a good fist too. 73 to Gerald, and thank you for contributing.

Addendum: I just read Bruce’s bio on QRZ. It is a vanity call, previously held by Wilbur Fulton (SK), from 1972 until 2013. So Bruce chose a very good call for CW.

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In the DX world, resending your call should occur only if the DX station got it wrong. The assumption is if you resend, it is because you are correcting your call as sent back to you. So resending when it’s been copied correctly risks a "correction: that gets it wrong!

Because I have spent so much time DXing, when a chaser sends me his/her call again, I immediately think I need to correct it. More times than not, what’s resent is what I copied/sent and nothing needs correcting.

Not resending your call when it’s already been copied correctly saves time and avoids any ambiguity as to whether the activator got it wrong.

73 Paula k9ir


I always feel a bit sorry for Gerard, EI5IH.

He doesn’t use CW much. I wonder why.

Walt (G3NYY)


I’m sure you meant this in jest but it seems quite common in reality :frowning:

I have terrible problems copying CW and in an attempt to advance to the stage where I feel competent enough to give it a go have lately been practicing with “real” off-air signals rather than the bland machine generated stuff. The number of spurious dits you hear is quite frightening :scream:

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Only one dit away from a full house of dits… :wink:
(Curiously, neither EI5SH nor ES5IH are in, for what that’s worth…)

EI5HJ is in my logs plenty of times. A little tricky at first both to copy and to send.

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I hear that quite often too.
I think some operators do it deliberately as well because I’ve heard 6 in a callsign sent with 5 or more dits on the end by the same operator call cq and 5 with multiple dots too. Hyphens/dash also with 5 dits

Obviously some folk just make mistake with a paddle.

Sending with gloves is harder than not.
Sending with early stage diabetic neuropathy in your fingers is hard.
Sending with early stage diabetic neuropathy in your fingers and gloves is harder.

Some people send way too fast for their dexterity. There are some wonderful speed demons or send six or seven dits when five is what they want. I’m used to them much as they are used to my godawful sending as well. The Yin and Yang are balanced and Karma is conserved.

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All these years, I thought it was proper to close out tx with your call sign, and CLEAR, so other oberators could use the frequency.
I guess that’s a habit I’ll need to break
Kilo India Seven Mike Mike Zulu.