Elmer Tip

From one of my good friends and my first Elmer, N1BUG.

ELMER TIP OF THE WEEK: Order of Call signs.
Convention on which call sign goes first (calling station or station being called) varies by radio service. In amateur radio the call sign of the station transmitting goes last. Let’s look at an example. I am N1BUG. If I want to call K1PQ, the correct order is “K1PQ, N1BUG”. A tip to help remember this is to imagine the words “this is” between call signs. Sometimes we actually speak those words: “K1PQ, this is N1BUG”. Often we omit the middle part and just say the call signs, but “this is” is always implied. From this you can see the call sign of the station actually doing the transmitting should always come last. The same applies if you choose to give both station call signs at the 10 minute ID interval or at the end of a communication. (Note: you are only required to say your own call sign every 10 minutes and at the end of a communication, but in practice we often say both the call sign of the station we are communicating with and our own call sign).
Why it matters: On local repeaters where people quickly learn to recognize each others’ voices this may seem unimportant. What is important is maintaining uniform operating procedures throughout amateur radio. In other facets of amateur radio call sign order is very important. Getting it reversed can lead to confusion, frustration and misunderstanding. It is better to encourage and learn the proper order of call signs early than risk having to let go of established habits and relearn later on.
Remember it is often kinder to Elmer than to overlook.

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