Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Name calling

Something that's been puzzling me for the last couple of years, particularly on the digital modes, is the number of people who address me by name before I've told them. These are not stations I've worked before - KComm will alert me to those. But increasingly often when I reply to a station they will come right back with "Good afternoon, Julian." I've even had people end JT65A contacts with "TU JULIAN 73", despite the fact that the operator's name is not part of the exchange.

I'm not egotistical enough to think that half of hamdom know my name because of my blog. I've had people address me as "Mr Julian Moss" which I think is a bit formal for the amateur bands. But it makes me suspect that some database is involved.

It would shake my faith in the parsimony of hams to think that 50% - because that's about how often it happens nowadays - have stumped up for a subscription to QRZ. But if they haven't, where do they get the information from? Is there a free callsign lookup database I haven't heard of? And if there is, doesn't the fact that you can access a station's details at the click of a button render somewhat pointless the rest of the QSO?


Anonymous said...

Hi Julian,


vy 73 de Dirk DB6EDR

Larry W2LJ said...


Same thing happened to me the other day, when I worked an Ecuadorian station that came back to me with, 'Hi, Larry".

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

73 de Larry W2LJ

Paul Stam PAØK said...

I'm a little bit old fashion, so I am still amazed how they do that. It happened to me also. 73 Paul

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Well, I use HRD V5 and still I get the first name as soon as I fill in the call in the log! I'm not a XML subcriber of QRZ. But it get's the name there for shure... 73, Bas

James said... has a neat API that can be used to look up by callsign. It has a limitation that it apparently doesn't handle club callsigns at all.