call sign

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call sign

[′kȯl ‚sīn]

Call Sign


a set of characters (code symbols, letters, or numbers) or an audible signal (word, musical phrase, bird call) that serves as the distinctive sign of a radio station—usually for the purpose of identification of the station during reception. As a rule, it is transmitted at the beginning of each period of the station’s operation.

The set of symbols in a call sign identifies the station’s national affiliation. The initial characters are established by the International Radio Regulations. The USSR, for example, uses in this position the letters U and R and such combinations as 4J, 4K, and 4L. The complete structure of a call sign depends on the class (purpose) of a station and differs for broadcasting, official, and amateur radio stations. Call signs for amateur radio stations have a complicated makeup and contain the most information. They often indicate through a code the station’s operating wave band (shortwave or ultrashortwave), the station’s group (a collective or individual station) and site (in the USSR—the Union republic, oblast, and amateur-radio region), and the individual letter symbol or registration number of the station.


call sign

Any combination of characters or pronounceable words used primarily for establishing and maintaining communications. It identifies a communication facility, a command, an authority, an activity, or a unit. A call sign should have at least two syllables (e.g., Red 1, Pan Am 550).
References in periodicals archive ?
The young woman, known only as Tank - her radio call sign on the B1 Lancer Bomber she flies - has already flown at least one 12-hour bombing mission over Afghanistan and came under Taliban fire.
The dial shows the radio call sign and name on a little display just like on an AM/FM radio.
Responding to the radio call sign Zebra Three, Starsky and Hutch spent a fair bit of their working day tearing around the streets of the fictional setting of Bay City.
Mouse on the Move -- derived from Alan's CB radio call sign Scouse Mouse -- provides inclusive dance workshops and presentations on disability issues and employs one support worker.
The radio call sign or program name is shown on a little display, just like on an AM/FM radio.
THE shot colleague of murdered PC Ian Broadhurst paid a poignant funeral tribute to his friend yesterday by "signing off" his radio call sign.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot takes its title from a radio call sign used by Israeli Intelligence services.
They simply left a laminated card marked EB - standing for Echo Bravo - the Bath police radio call sign - on the dashboard and headed off.
The woman, whose name was not revealed for security reasons, is known only as "Tank" - her radio call sign on the 900mph B1 Lancer bomber she flies.