Originally Posted by Ram Montana High Country
I'm not real ham smart - why the variance in # of characters for ham ID?
Ram Montana High Country. That is a good question.
In the "Old Days" when there we not so many hams the Call sign structure had two distinctions.
First the number designates the call region the license is issued.
Second the call sign was broken down by the one or two letters before the number and then the one, two or three letters behind the number.
A call with one or two letters, Number and three letters was a Novice, Technician or General class license.
A two letters, number and two letters was issued to an Advanced class license.
A one letter, number and two letters or two letters, number and one letter was issued to the extra class license.
Ham operators did not have to change call signs if the wanted to keep the old one when they upgraded.
I started out as WA2OOZ and when I got my extra I was issued KO4A.
I hope this answers your question.
Safe travels John