For some reason I was confused with an event in 1987 or so. I'm not sure why. I was involved in a "stocked VE team" in NE NJ for a while at the time, but seem to remember a lot of the guys being anti-no-code. I still had a box of cassette tapes for the tests back then, so the CW exam was still being administered. For what it's worth, the rest of my family (an extra, a general, and three technicians) are all no-code. I went to the NYC field office to take my general and extra CW exams.Codeless technician licenses started being issued in February/March 1991. I was among the first. I called a VE team leader in January 1991 to see if he would let me just take the Technician written test and he declined. I had to wait until February to sit for the test. I was originally issued N9KRS in March 1991.
The "block" system of callsigns were established in 1978, where novices began to be issued KAxAyy, technicians and generals NxAyy, advanceds KBxAy, and extras 1x2 and 2x1, then certain 2x2 combinations. Most of the new people on the air when I first hit the scene were KA2's and N2's. At one point around 1986, we had KB2's and we thought "there goes the neighborhood." :wink: Some regions, though, were way, way past there. The KB advanced series was gone very quickly and the people had to take the next lower block's sequence, although I only knew a handful of people who actually had a sequence assigned 2x2 advanced call from "back in the day." In the days before the Internet (yes, there was life before this), we looked in QST and Worldradio to see what the latest block was at the time of print. At college, a few of us in the ham radio club discussed changing our addresses to some exotic island in the Pacific to get a cool callsign, then change it back thinking we'd have instant pileup (in retrospect, that's not a good thing). Most of us didn't. I still have my original 2x3 and my kids don't seem to want to change theirs after upgrading. I've never regretted not changing my call, except when working DX. And then it's "too long," but the only 1x2 I'd consider changing to has been taken multiple times over since the original issue.N8IAA said:Not so. N calls existed in 1985 when I was first licensed as a Novice. I had a KA prefix. January of 1986, I took the Tech/General written test and became a Tech. No code Techs followed a year or so later. I could have changed to a N call in 86, but didn't like the suffixes. Waited a year and got N8IAA.
Was grandfathered to General when they eliminated the 13wpm requirement.
Lots of extras and general class licensees had N calls in the mid 80's.
Prior to this, there were a number of WB series callsigns issued, and for a very brief time, WD series, although I don't recall the original run of WD sequence every getting out of the A's before the FCC transitioned to KAs, Ns, KBs, and 2x1s. I'm thinking the WD2 calls (my home call region is 2) never made it past ALx before they were supplanted in sequence by the KA calls. And, of course, WC calls were civil defense organizations that were officially recognized as such, not as clubs, under the Rules of the time.