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ON4KDE is a Radioamateur Callsign
 
The radiomateurs in the world have callsigns which permit to identity them
 
Every country uses a prefix
 
For example :
 
ONxxxx  is a belgian station Fxxxx is a french station Gxxxx is an english station
the countries list is very long
A click on the button will show you what is used in the world
 





For Belgian station the prefix rules are :
 
ONL Listening station, can not transmit
ON1 150 watts in VHF, UHF et 50 watts in HF
ON2 VHF et UHF only with a maximum power of 50 watts
ON3 Same as ON2 plus 10 watts in HF. This is typically a beginner station
ON4 ON5 ON6 ON7 ON8  this is the highest licence in Belgium, all bands and 1000 watts.
note that the numbers 4 to 8 means nothing else than disponibility on date of licence
ON9 Not European citizen living in Belgium
 
The letters which follow are often the initials of the radioamateur name
 
Thus ON4KDE is : a belgian station  (ON)  with full licence (4) and with initials KDE
 


Most of the countries in the world have contracted a reciprocity agreement
the owner of a valid licence may use his radio to transmit while in another country
in this case the standard rule is to use the local prefix followed by the radioamateur national callsign
For example if ON4DKE transmits while in France he should use F/ON4KDE as callsign
If F4ABC transmits while in Belgium he should use ON/F4ABC as callsign.
 
Note that some countries require a special authorization.
What means "ON4KDE" ?
 
What about Citizen Band (CB)?
 

It's true that both radioamateurs and citizen banders have in common the radio passion, but that's very different
 
The CBer buys his material and is cleared to use only 27 megahertz with a very low power
He choose himself a callsign which may be anything he likes and he uses his radio mainly for telephony
 
The radioamateur may also buy his equipment but very often he will build it himself.
He is allowed to use many frequencies with a large amount of power
The main goal of radioamateur activity is not telephony but everything which concerns waves transmissions
he often uses non phony modes as morse, fax, telex, television, packet, ...
 

There is no exam required to use a CB transmitter while there is a very serious exam required to get a radioamateur licence.
 
Many Cbers became radioamateur after some time
Terms used by radiomateurs
 
As for most of special activities, there is a special vocabulary, I explain you here the 2 terms used on this site
 
QSO : That's just a bilateral contact made between radioamateurs
Carte QSL : That's a card which confirms a contact
 
These cards may have importance since leagues, clubs, ... may organize contests in which the radioamateur has to proove contacts and the best way to proove that is by the mean of a post card.
 
Of course in our communication world some people have very fast though that these cards may be less expansives and much faster if we send them by the mean of Internet and that's exactly what sites as Eqsl and Lotw do. This is very efficient but will never replace the charm of a post card coming from far countries.
 
If you want to become an radioamateur or just to collect more information, we suggest you to visit the league web sites
Here are a few examples :
 



(please note this countries may have other leagues than the one mentionned)
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Belgian radioamateur around the world