the format of each call sign (one-by-one) consists of a single letter prefix k, n or w, followed by a single digit numeral 0 through 9, followed by a single letter a through w or y or z (x is not available to amateur stations). Ham radio operators in the united states may apply for a specific callsign, including calls from other zones, so long as they have the appropriate license class for the desired callsign format. The callsign must conform to the prefix standard assigned to that area. In canada, a 2 3 call (a format with two letters, a number, three letters, like ve1zzz) may be freely requested from a list of available calls the shorter 2 2 call has a waiting period in many provinces. Transposed amateur format call-sign hcab2 oax2a the hc series used in ecuador for radio stations is a variation of the amateur service format where characters are transposed. Rather than hc2ab, for example, the call-sign appears as hcab2. The oa series used in peru is another example, where oa2xa becomes oax2a. Here is a list of the various groups, who qualifies for them and the call sign format the format refers to the number of prefix and suffix letters before and after the area numeral. For example a group a 1x2 format indicates the call sign has one prefix letter - followed by (x) the. Amateur radio operators mainly use q codes as abbreviations (see other page on ham radio codes). When we communicate in morse code (cw), we make heavyuse of abbreviations. Here are a few examples of some of the most common abbreviations you will hear on the ham radio bands (assuming you can read morse code -). A first time licensed technician class amateur initially receives a sequentially issued 2-by-3 format station call sign. 2-by-3 means the call sign has two prefix letters, one numeral and three suffix letters. Once you have been assigned a call sign you can trade it in for a specific 1-by-3.