VK2MAV is my amateur radio callsign.

What is amateur radio?

Amateur Radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of the radio frequency spectrum for non-commercial exchanges for purely personal aims.

Amateur radio is different from commercial broadcasting and public safety use like police, fire, maritime, aviation, taxis etc.

What is a callsign?

Callsign is a unique identifier for a transmitter station.

Why do you need an amateur radio callsign?

The use of call signs as unique identifiers dates to the landline railroad telegraph system. Because there was only one telegraph line linking all railroad stations, there needed to be a way to address each one when sending a telegram.

This is still true today in the world of amateur radio. Anyone can talk to anyone else - mostly.


Fully qualified callsigns are unique globally. This means that there is only one VK2MAV.

VK identifies that the holder lives in Australia. All callsigns in Australia begin with VK. 2 identifies that the holder got their license in New South Wales. All callsigns in NSW begin with VK2.

Radio operators with a standard license can choose a 3 letter suffix for their callsign. This uniquely identifies them when they are operating their station.

MAV is short for Maverick. Maverick was Tom Cruise's pilot callsign in Top Gun. If you have not watched Top Gun, you should.

What is the point of all this?

Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It's fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.

Okay, but why do YOU do this?

True story: One day at lunch, my friends were talking about radios and I did not understand much. I had two choices - not hang out with my friends or learn about radios.

Having said that, the biggest personal motivation for me was the opportunity to learn something new. 6 months ago, I did not know anything about radio technology and now I do.

During this journey, I have learnt a lot, got myself a callsign, come closer to some of my friends and made new ones along the way!