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Picking 25 Good Calls
banner.gif Picking 25 good DX calls was a complex task. I approached it in a methodical, objective way, yet personal tastes and experience did play a part. The selection process was like solving an algebraic formula with many variables. I believe that certain letters have better overall CW plus phone intelligibility, and that certain others are best avoided by the DXer, if possible. My guiding principle was the belief that the best CW calls have letters with all dashes or 'outside' dashes, and the worst have 'outside' dots. (Notice that KY1H chose K1TTT, for example. Further proof- K3HH turned in his vanity call and reclaimed K3YDX) I developed these prejudices after years of struggling with K3YGU, which has a trailing dot character "G" followed by a leading dot character "U" at the end. They tended to run together in noise. Often DX ops lost or added dots, under poor conditions. (If you hear W4DR on CW some time, listen carefully to the dramatic pause he inserts between the "D" and "R". I often did the same with "G" and "U".)
A lot of my first choices were K3Y calls- they seemed more familiar, and many were still available. I expanded that list with 'reversals' like K3YK/KY, YO/OY, YM/MY, etc. I weighed many factors to rank each call.
K3KY seemed to have the fewest problems and was soon my top choice, beating out early favorites like K3YK and K3YY. "Y" is a bit long on CW, however, and is sometimes a problem in heavy static crashes. Furthermore, some older phone ops hear "Nancy" when I say "Yankee" ("Nancy" is in some older phonetics lists.) I have to resort to "Yokohama" for a phonetic in this case. I wish everyone used the same phonetics. While I prefer CW, I go where the DX is, so phone is important, too. Looking back, I may have put too much emphasis on phone, and might have been happier with K3OT or K3MM, or perhaps W3KM or W3OM for CW. Who knows- I may have been chosen very early in the first day's batch (randomly selected by computer,) and might have had any of the calls in my list if I had put it at the top. I am nonetheless delighted with K3KY, and it does make competitive DXing a little easier.
My 25 Choices
01) K3KY 06) K3MY 11) K3WK 16) W3OY 21) K3ZK
02) K3YK 07) K3YY 12) K3WO 17) W3OM 22) K3ZY
03) K3YO 08) K3MM 13) K3YT 18) W3KK 23) K3TY
04) K3OY 09) K3YW 14) K3OT 19) W3TK 24) K3YC
05) K3YM 10) K3WY 15) W3KM 20) K3AO 25) K3YG

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