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What does the W stand for in a radio stations call letters?

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March 12, 2009 7:18AM

The International Telegraph Union assigned out the letters for call signs around 1927. The US was represented by the Army and Navy and so obtained the letters A and N. The K and W were derived by adding a Morse Code dash to A and N to get K and W, for civilian call signs. Canada was assigned C but for amateur radio the call signs begin with V (for Victoria...British Empire) as in VA and VE principally, though VY and CY and VO are also used. The VO in interesting in that it was assigned to Newfoundland when it was a colony of the UK, the call signs were retained after they joined Confederation in 1949. So, unlike the rest of Canada, the Newfie stations call signs still begin with VOCM, VOAR etc as they were in use long before Confederation. The reason I know this is I am attempting to get my amateur radio license, so I have been doing a bit of study!