DG7ACF is one of the worst callsigns you can imagine: It’s 2x3, AFC is a well know acronym in RF technology, etc. After all, two out of three stations don’t get the callsign right. I’ve wanted to change it for a while and last week I finally asked German regulator BNetzA* if the F is needed or if I could just leave it. They agreed to take off the F and so my new callsign is DG7AC.
Today was perfect winter wx at my DM/TH QTH, cold and dry, blue skies, -5 °C and 15 cm of fresh snow. Having checked the BNetzA online query every morning for the past week, today the new 2x2 callsign has been assigned and I was keen to try how it feels to use it. But I had to work until 1400 loc and after the hours passed very slowly, I finally called it a day, packed my rucksack, alerted on SW and off I went to Kulm DM/TH-832. Not the nearest summit to my QTH, but a drive-on with a viewtower which promised the best afternoon view of the wintry scenery.
Usining the freshly assigned callsign felt very good most of the time, however I found myself twice giving “Alpha-Charlie-Foxtrot” and recognised my fault only after chasers asked me what my actual callsign was.
Condx on 28 MHz were fb with many big signals from NA, ZS and EA8. I was using 40 W into an DK7ZB Oblong antenna which wasn’t in a perfect rectangular shape, as I would have needed one more segment of a fibre glass pole to make the lower horizontal section of the antenna properly. But I left it at home. So the lower section was only 1 m instead of 1.8 m, which didn’t seem to have too much effect on the SWR and radiation.
After sunset it was time to pack my things and leave the tower. But the fun wasn’t over then. The first kilometres of the way home are empty snowy mountain roads with tight bends and two hairpin corners. After ESP has been turned off, the left foot braking and handbrake fun started! Rather seldom you have the opportunity to experience such in a safe way on a public German road with a FWD 102 BHP VW Caddy! I’m still amazed how beautifully the car oversteered in corners.
Only one third of the story, Rob.
From my old callsign you could tell that it was issued in a past century, that I didn’t pass a morse exam before 2004, and that the callsign was issued in Hannover region (including Peine-Ost).
Yes, you’re right, Pom - although this Wiki entry might cover that:
which I thought might have been too much for a casual Reflector conversation!
I’ve personally had some strange looks from seasoned OMs who have asked me how I could possibly have been assigned a DM prefix - my present callsign was chosen by me, after consulting with the BNetzA, to simplify calls made when engaging in SSB contesting - it’s five fewer syllables than my previous call DK1ROB, meaning my voice would not fail me as quickly as it had previously while calling in the contest. It has nothing to do with the previous/historical assignment of prefixes…
When I learnd for my license 10 years ago, I thought about a suitable call sign for a long time. There is an open database Rufzeichen
with all assigned German call signs. There I checked to see if the call I was thinking of wasn’t already taken.
So I was free to choose, noted my wish on the application and lucky received it.
German amateur radio call signs consist of a 2-letter prefix (DA - DR without DE and DI), a number (0-9) and a usually 2 or 3-letter suffix. For club stations there are also call signs with 1-letter or 4 to 7-digit suffixes according to numbers.
Even the administrators don’t understand it. I well remember a phone call with the amateur radio department of Ofcom in which it was explained to me that an M3 prefix meant that the station was located in Manchester…
I said “Thank you, that explains everything”. I doubt they interpreted that remark in the spirit intended!
Heh Heh, This has morphed into a whole different thread. But I can relate
to getting rid of the “F” at the end of your callsign. My original call was W6YKS
and I had endless problems with folks getting the “S” wrong, especially on SSB.
They would get “F”, “N”, “M”, etc. anything that sounds like “S”. It was awful.
So, in those days when I had enough “time in grade” I changed my call to
K6YK, which was as close as I could get to W6YKS. (W6YK was taken).
(“Time in grade” at the time meant you had to have an Amateur Extra Class
license and 20 years service" before you could request a “2-letter” callsign).
Back in 2015, when I activated DM/TH-853 for the first time, it was rather a crap summit. Dense Woods, no place to deploy an antenna, not even a bench. To my surpirse, this time I found not only a picnic table at the viewpoint, but also a shelter built around! Its roof kept half of the table snow-free which I probably gets this summit in the top 10 of the unofficial list of DM GLOTA summits.
11 QSOs were made on 28 MHz SSB around noon and an s2s on 144 MHz SSB with DB7mm/p on DM/BM-345. I only had the 28 MHz oblong with me and was using only 5 W, but it was good enough to exchange 59/57 reports. Sorry, I didn’t make it in time. I wanted to give Michael some points in the 144 MHz GMAC, but was 2 mins late at 1202z. Michael noted that DG7AC/p felt a bit odd with the F missing.
Second summit of the day was DM/TH-001. On weekends, it’s always a good idea to activate this summit in the late afternoon, so it’s not that crowded anymore. And the sunset view of the western slope is just nice. The slope also hopefully gives some ground gain to the western directions.
What I’ve been wondering for years is, why people probably think that I was a park ranger. On this activation I was asked by members of the public which way would be the one not too steep and if there was an accessible point higher than the viewpoint. One guy even acknowledged “very nice working place”. He was definitely not talking about working DX stations.