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The Info List - Call Signs In North America



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Call signs are frequently still used by North American broadcast stations , in addition to amateur radio and other international radio stations that continue to identify by call signs around the world. Each country has a different set of patterns for its own call signs. Call signs are allocated to ham radio stations in Barbados
Barbados
, Canada
Canada
, Mexico
Mexico
and across the United States
United States
.

Many countries have specific conventions for classifying call signs by transmitter characteristics and location. The call sign format for radio and television call signs follows a number of conventions. All call signs begin with a prefix assigned by the International Telecommunications Union . For example, the United States
United States
has been assigned the following prefixes: "AAA"–"ALZ", "K", "N", "W". For a complete list, see international call sign allocations .

CONTENTS

* 1 Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Caribbean

* 1.1 Cuba * 1.2 Dominican Republic * 1.3 French West Indies * 1.4 Haiti * 1.5 Netherlands Antilles * 1.6 Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago

* 2 Canada
Canada
* 3 Mexico
Mexico
* 4 United States
United States
* 5 Other regions * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

BERMUDA, BAHAMAS, AND THE CARIBBEAN

Pertaining to their status as former or current colonies, all of the British West Indies islands shared the VS, ZB–ZJ, ZN–ZO, and ZQ prefixes. The current, largely post-independence, allocation list is as follows:

* Anguilla
Anguilla
(in amateur radio "VP2E" prefix) * Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
(uses "V2" prefix) * Bahamas
Bahamas
(has the "C6" prefix) * Barbados
Barbados
(uses "8P") * Bermuda
Bermuda
(also uses "VS", in amateur radio normally "VP9") * British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
(for amateur radio uses "VP2V") * Cayman Islands ("ZF" for amateur operation, "ZF1" for Grand Cayman , "ZF8" for Little Cayman
Little Cayman
and "ZF9" for Cayman Brac
Cayman Brac
islands. Visiting reciprocal for all islands is "ZF2") * Dominica
Dominica
(Commonwealth of Dominica, uses "J7") * Grenada (uses "J3") * Jamaica
Jamaica
(uses "6Y") * Montserrat
Montserrat
(for amateur operation "VP2M" prefix) * St. Kitts and Nevis (uses "V4") * St. Lucia (uses "J6") * St. Vincent and the Grenadines (uses "J8") * Turks and Caicos Islands (typically uses "VP5")

CUBA

Cuba uses the prefixes "CL"–"CM", "CO", and "T4", with district numbers from 0 to 9 to amateur operations.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The Dominican Republic uses the prefixes "HI"–"HJ".

FRENCH WEST INDIES

All of the French possessions share the prefix "F". Further divisions that are used by amateur stations are:

* Guadeloupe – uses "FG" * Martinique
Martinique
– uses "FM" * Saint Martin – uses "FS" * Saint-Barthélemy – uses "FJ"

HAITI

Haiti has been assigned the callsign prefixes "HH" and "4V".

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

The Kingdom of the Netherlands use the "PA"–"PI" prefixes, while the Netherlands Antilles use the "PJ" prefix. Aruba
Aruba
has been assigned "P4" by the ITU .

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
use the "9Y"–"9Z" prefixes.

CANADA

Main article: Call signs in Canada
Canada

Canadian broadcast stations are assigned a three-, four-, or five-letter base call sign (not including the "-FM", "-TV" or "-DT" suffix) beginning with "CB", "CF", "CH", "CI", "CJ", "CK", "VA"–"VG", "VO", "VX", "VY", or "XJ"–"XO". The "CB" series calls are assigned to Chile
Chile
by the ITU, but Canada
Canada
makes de facto use of this series anyway for stations belonging to, but not exclusively broadcasting programs from, the Canadian Broadcasting
Broadcasting
Corporation (CBC).

Several other prefixes, including "CG", "CY", "CZ" and the "XJ" to "XO" range, are available. Conventional radio and television stations almost exclusively use "C" call signs; with a few exceptions noted below, the "V" codes are restricted to specialized uses such as amateur radio .

MEXICO

Main article: Call signs in Mexico
Mexico

Mexican broadcast stations are assigned a three-, four-, five-, or six-letter call signs beginning with "XE" (for mediumwave and shortwave stations) or "XH" (for FM radio and television stations ). Some FM and television stations (like XETV ) are grandfathered with "XE" call signs and a "–FM", "-TDT" or "–TV" suffix. Mexican stations are required to identify twice an hour and to play the Mexican national anthem every day at 6a.m. and midnight local time. Television rebroadcasters are assigned the callsigns of the station they are licensed to retransmit; for instance, XEZ-TV , located on Cerro El Zamorano in Querétaro
Querétaro
, has a repeater on Cerro Culiacán serving Celaya , Guanajuato , which is also XEZ-TV.

Amateur radio stations in Mexico
Mexico
use "XE1" for the central region, "XE2" for the northern region, and "XE3" for the southern region. "XF" prefixes indicate islands. "XF4" is usually used for the Revillagigedo Islands and nearby islets. Special
Special
call signs for contests or celebrations are occasionally issued, often in the 4A and 6D series, although these will follow the usual district numbering system (4A3 for the south, etc.).

UNITED STATES

Main article: Call signs in the United States
United States

The earliest identification, used in the 1910s and into the early 1920s, was arbitrary. The U.S. government began requiring stations to use three-letter call signs around 1912, but they could be chosen at random. This system was replaced by the basic form of the current system in the early 1920s. Examples of pre-1920 stations include 8XK in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
, which became KDKA in November 1920, and Charles Herrold 's series of identifiers from 1909 in San Jose, California : first "This is the Herrold Station" or "San Jose calling", then the call signs FN, SJN, 6XF, and 6XE, then, with the advent of modern call signs, KQW in December 1921, and eventually KCBS from 1949 onward.

All broadcast call signs in the United States
United States
begin with either "K" or "W", with "K" usually west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
and "W" usually east of it. Initial letters "AA" through "AL", as well as "N", are internationally allocated to the United States
United States
but are not used for broadcast stations.

In the United States, broadcast stations have call signs of three to seven characters in length, including suffixes for certain types of service, but the minimum length for new stations is four characters, and seven-character call signs result only from rare combinations of suffixes.

OTHER REGIONS

Call signs are also used in other parts of the world, particularly those which have had significant U.S. influence at some point. This includes the Philippines
Philippines
(which is assigned "DZ", "DY", "DX" or "DW" followed by two letters), Japan
Japan
(which is assigned "JO" followed by two letters), South Korea
South Korea
(which is assigned "HL" followed by two letters), Argentina
Argentina
(which uses "AY", "L2", and "LO" to "LZ") and formerly Australia
Australia
. Another well-known call sign outside of the region is HCJB in Ecuador
Ecuador
, and several radio time sources used to set radio clocks or for audible listening, such as CHU in Ottawa