Unraveling the Mystery of 1 × 1 Call Signs

The 1 × 1 Special Event Call Signs system offers a way for clubs, groups, or even individuals to use a short call sign of special significance to the amateur community. These 1 × 1 call signs are reserved in advance for use in conjunction with short-term special events and commemorative operations. The FCC does not assign 1 × 1 call signs, so they are not “official.”

On the matter of special event call signs, the FCC says, in Section 97.3(a)(11)(iii) of the Amateur Service rules: “The call sign is selected by the station licensee from a list of call signs shown on a common database coordinated, maintained and disseminated by the amateur station special event call sign data base coordinators. The call sign must have the single letter prefix K, N, or W, followed by a single numeral 0 through 9, followed by a single letter A through W or Y or Z (for example K1A). The special event call sign is substituted for the call sign shown on the station license grant while the station is transmitting.”

The FCC also says in Section 97.119 (d): “Additionally, the station must transmit its assigned call sign at least once per hour during such transmissions.” This requirement tends to be widely flouted, however.

A 1 × 1 Special Event Call Sign aids other radio amateurs by calling attention to the special event or other occasion. 1 × 1 call signs may be used for a variety of purposes, such as conventions, festivals, dedications, anniversaries, commemorations, and ARRL Field Day. Even local events qualify.

There are 750 1 × 1 Special Event Call Sign possibilities, and radio amateurs of any license class may reserve one as far as a year in advance to use for up to 15 days. Of course, 1 × 1 Special Event Call Signs are recycled. It’s first come, first served. See the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

The FCC has selected coordinators to approve and post 1 × 1 Special Event Call Sign reservations to a searchable database. — Thanks to The Radiogram (Portage County Amateur Radio Society newsletter)

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