Some countries around the world are now allowing Radio Amateurs to use special “STAYHOME” call sign suffixes.
Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using VC2STAYHOM to raise awareness for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and global public health emergency. He is a member of Radio Amateurs of Canada and is based in Montreal.
“In Canada we are unfortunately limited to a 7-character prefix, hence the VC2STAYHOM without the last ‘E’. I would like to thank those at Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) for expediting the process and allowing me to get this call sign up and running within a couple of days, without the traditional 60-day wait period.
I’m hoping that by using this call, I can help promote social distancing across the globe (or as far as my 100-watt rig will get me!) and remind people that we each have a role to play in helping contain the spread of this virus.
I will begin using the call on Monday, April 6, once the issued authority to use it begins, until the time it expires on Wednesday, May 6.
As a full-time undergraduate student in microbiology transitioning to Graduate studies in the fall, my schedule is quite busy over the next few weeks but I will try my best to get on the air and make contacts with those who would like this unique VC2 prefix and suffix in their logs!
I am usually most active on 20m and 40m, split between SSB and FT8.
Before the COVID-19 crisis arrived to Canada, we were already discussing its possible implications in classes. That’s when I came up with the idea to get a call sign set up, and with the recent ‘stay home’ and ‘shelter in place’ orders issued by many governments worldwide, the time felt right to do so, and it would give those who are stuck at home one more fun aspect of the hobby to work on!”
Michael will operate on HF Bands and QSL via Logbook of the World (LoTW).
In addition to Canada, Australia has permitted the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA) to use the special call sign AX2020STAYHOME. At 14 characters, that may set a record for world’s longest call sign.
Here are some other special event call signs:
- 8A1STAYHOME: Indonesia
- 9K9STAYHOME: Kuwait Amateur Radio Society
- A60STAYHOME: United Arab Emirates
- HZ1STAYHOME: Saudi Amateur Radio Society
In addition, Turkey has permitted the use TC1STAYHOME as a special event call sign for the awareness of COVID-19 pandemic.
“For a couple of weeks; stay home, stay safe please. We’ll be on air between March 27 and May 25. Hope this threat leaves our World before the date ends.”Alan Griffin
MarCom DirectorRadio Amateurs of Canada