Monday, February 13, 2012

One of those things

that doesn't make sense to me.

I am about ready to sit down and fill out the log sheet for the certificate for working K6JSS Golden Jubilee Stations.  As I mentioned before, I've worked 47 of the 50.

Anyway, I am looking at the WAS map that the QRP-ARCI so graciously provided along with the log sheet. And I'm noticing something I don't think I've ever really  payed attention to before in all my 30+ years in the hobby. I'd bet good money that someone else noticed this before and that I'm just really slow on the uptake.

We start in the North East - Call section 1.  Next we come down to New York and New Jersey - Call section 2. Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland - the Middle Atlantic states - Call section 3.  The great South East - Call section 4.  Now on to the Central Southern states - Call section 5.  Out West to California - Call section 6.  Up to the great North West and other Western states - Call section 7.

Sense the pattern?  We started in the North East and we're working around the perimeter of the country (more or less) in a clockwise pattern (more or less) - in numerical order.

So now, after the great North West, we move over to the Central Northern and Central states - Call section 0 ?????  What happened?  Why do sections 0, 9 and 8 seem to be backwards?  We were working our way, nicely around the country in a nice numerical order and all of a sudden - chaos!

I'm sure there's an excellent explanation.  Any Amateur Radio history buffs out there that can enlighten me?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Larry, I think they broke the pattern at 8 so that folks wouldn't get dizzy following the map in numerical order. ;-)

  2. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Made my day once once more, fantastic post..two thumbs up!:)

  3. David Ryeburn3:45 AM

    I was only 10 years old when WWII ended and I started listening to my aunt's RCA all-wave radio and discovered strange conversations just above 14,000 kc/s (as frequencies were described back then), but I think W0 didn't exist. It would be interesting to find a map of call areas for say 1946, or whenever it was that radio amateurs were allowed back on the air.

    David, ex-W8EZE

  4. After WWII, the boundaries of the original 9 call areas were tweaked, and a new call area 0 created from a large portion of old call area 9.

    A nice article on the history of US amateur callsigns can be found here.

  5. In the 1920's and 30's my grandfather (Ted Klingel) and his brother (Felix) had a station call of W8AUU in western New York. At some point they got the station call W2AUU, my mother now holds that call sign. I am a third generation ham. They were hams before you needed a call sign.