Our current, time limited, contest call HB2T started a big discussion in the Swiss amateur radio society. Until now we acted reluctant with comments in discussions but since some planning is ongoing, where rules regarding contest calls will be set for the future, we have to list the facts and clearly point out our situation.
How it started.. A couple of years ago, at the “KW Tagung” in Lucerne there was discussion about the disposal of contest calls in Switzerland. Since the attendees were discordant, the USKA told that they will discuss it with the Swiss Federal of Communication “Bakom” at their next meeting. HB9ELV and I were pretty happy because we saw a chance to get a short pretty contest call like the contest ham radio operators of the rest of the world can have except Japan and Australia 😛
The years went by and nothing happened. This caused us to ask at Bakom directly, since the CQWW WPX (this means: work prefixes for the non-contesters) was just a few weeks away. Finally we got the exclusive license of HB2T limited for one year as an experimental call. Additionally we are only allowed to use it during a contest. Since regulatory authority only has the law to give calls starting with HB this action was fully legal! All other limitations like HB4 for army stations etc. are guidance rules, no law at all as Bakom says.
And now.. Our effort shows that contest calls are demanded in Switzerland as the call request at Bakom shows. Also a current poll in the USKA group on Facebook definitely shows that this is something ham radio operators especially contesters want to have.
The criticism that HB2T is to close to HB9T is simply not acceptable.
– HB2T is a unique call as HB9T is
– HB2T only does QSL via LotW and this is clearly defined on the internet
– HB2T does only Contest – The Argument that the USKA QSL bureau is not informed is simple to solve. Use the stamp “Non Member” and return the card.
– If a QSL card goes directly to HB9T, do whatever you want, we simply dont care.
As a comparison, in Germany exists DR1A, DR2A, DR3A, DR4A, DR5A, DR6A, DR7A, DR8A, DR9A. For us this argument is just nonsense.
And the Future.. The example above shows that this is a wish and so the Bakom and especially USKA must react now. At the moment it looks like that the USKA wants to give HE calls for contest stations. As an argument they say that HB1,2,5,6,7,8 has to be kept for special calls. Like HB2 was a special prefixe for the year 2000, they want to keep the other numbers of HB. In the year 5000 we are might allowed to use HB5 (remember HB3 is for the small license and HB4 for army stations). One thing we don’t get is HE8? This was the anniversary call for USKA where HB9 Radio amateur could use this as prefix for a year. So what happens if somebody wants HE8 for a contest prefix? This was also once a valid call for many single letter suffix callsigns. Do we not we have the same problem again? Additionally HE9 stations are SWL amateur operators. HE is nice for SSB. But in CW it is difficult especially in a contest. When we do CW at HB9EE every CW operator complains about the EE and for sure we have very skilled CW operators, no beginners! This is contest skill, they don’t have to learn.
We are a bit afraid that decisions get taken behind the backs of the contest stations and all the ham radio operators. So what we would like: Involve us and the others as well! Make a meeting or similar but don’t do it just somehow. For sure we find a solution where everybody will be happy.
Feel free to make comments here, one of the latest possible Swiss HAM platform to make comments since the good old hamnews.ch website doesn’t exist anymore 😉 We are happy about every discussion.
73’s de HB2T HB9EE HB9ELV HB9EMP.
PS: I wrote it in English that our friends from the Ticino and from the Western part of Switzerland also understand it. If somebody wants a translation into German, just ask.