VY2SW: Woo hoo! I passed!

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been studying for my Canadian Basic license exam.

I’ve been working on this in my very limited spare time for a few weeks now, balancing study from the book above and HamStudy.org–both brilliant resources.

Now that I’m actually on Canadian soil, I scheduled an online exam with my friend, the amazing Vince (VE6LK).

Vince must be one of the busiest remote examiners in all of Canada. He’s professional and has the process down to a science which makes the whole experience very fluid and low stress. His website has a load of resources!

Although I’d been on the road most of the day yesterday and was a bit tired, I was ready to write the exam. I gave Vince my schedule and told him I would even be willing to schedule as early as 9:00PM last night or anytime this weekend.

The 9:00 time worked for Vince, so he sent me a Zoom link and I did a bit of last-minute study before meeting him online for the exam.

The Canadian Basic is a 100 question test, so it takes some time to get through it all.

I was absolutely chuffed to pass with 94% which meant passing Basic with Honours.

Vince started the online process which allowed me to create an account on the ISED website.

Getting a call

I’d been giving my callsign a little thought.

Since my mailing address is in Prince Edward Island, I knew the prefix would be VY2.

Every new call issued in Canada is essentially a vanity callsign and  you’re allowed to choose from available suffixes (and even purchase additional callsigns in the future).

PEI is one of the few provinces that also allows Basic licensees to claim a 2×3 or even a 2×2 call. If I were in Ontario, for example, I could only request a 2×3 as a Basic with Honors license.

This morning, with my first cup of coffee in hand, I finished setting up my ISED account and requested my callsign.


I decided that I wanted my Canadian call to reflect the suffix in my US call, so I requested VY2SW.

As soon as I hit the SUBMIT button on the ISED website, it confirmed that the call had been assigned to me. A couple hours later and I’m showing up in the callsign database.

The Canadian licensing system is incredibly efficient and effortless to use.

POTA and SOTA in Canada

Now that I’m VY2SW, I cannot use my US callsign as K4SWL/VE3 or K4SWL/VE2 while on the air.

I’ve already added VY2SW in the POTA system as my second callsign, so I believe it’ll compile all of my park activations under one account. I suppose there’s a way to do this in the SOTA system too.

Sometime within the next two days, I will be doing my first activation as VY2SW here–a park somewhere in the Ottawa region. I can’t wait and I certainly hope to work you!

31 thoughts on “VY2SW: Woo hoo! I passed!”

  1. Congratulations as we grow our ham radio roster in Canada
    John VE3IPS

    Vince runs a great website to assist new hams

  2. Welcome to the Canadian Ham Community VY2SL! Well done on the exam! Took me two tries to get Honours. Hope to hear you on the air. Meanwhile, amateurs in Canada are being encouraged to use special Queen’s Jubilee call signs until July 14, which includes next weekend’s Dorld Day and the Canada Day Contest. You can use the XK2 prefix in PEI.

  3. Congratulations and welcome to our most selective fraternity.
    If you hear K2PHD in NJ-US give me a call. I aleays like to contact our friends to the north. I spent a lot of time in Canada working with your government from Newfoundland to BC.

    73, Doc – K2PHD

  4. Sincere congratulations Thomas! I put VY2SW in HamAlert, so I can continue the hunt. 73 de Brian – K3ES

  5. Congrats Tom. I will be looking for you. I plan on hitting the parks also in the month of July….all my chores are caught up!


  6. Fifty years ago, it’s next week, I wasn’t offered a choice of callsign. They were going back through the list, so I got a reissue. I suspect I was only the second one to use the callsign.

    But about a decade later, choosing did seem an option. I remember people getting calls that matched their name, too much of a coincidence. But not “vanity” in theUS sense, which came with time.

    Provinces have nothing to do with licensing. More likely population. If everyone is grabbing two letter calls, newcomers have no choice. But prefix area with few hams, more likely to have callsigns available.

    When I was a kid, you had to wait for your results, then apply for a station license, incouding sending the annual fee. So I passed the code test the third week of June, the last week of grade six. And near as I can tell, first on the air July 22nd, 1972. The Rolling Stones had been in Montreal that week, their equipment truck blown up. I got on the air on the Saturday, and it was still big news.

  7. Congratulations, Thomas! It’s always nice when hard work pays off on the first try! It sounds like a pretty sweet process in getting licensed & the call sign of your choosing so fast. Might as well use that XK2SW call while you can, as well!

  8. Congratulations on the excellent pass and enjoy the new call sign.

    Surely worth a Chocolats Favouris followed by a Tim Hortons to celebrate?!

  9. Way to go ! Congrats ! Very happy to see your accomplishment. it would be awesome for you to do some SOTA and POTA activations in the Canadian Rockies 😉

    Diego VE6DPC

  10. Well done. Welcome to the eastern Canada airwaves. EuroDX at the door step!
    BTW, does your Contact Me link work on QRPer.com? When I try it in your About tab, it says “not found”. 73, Scott VO1DR St. John’s, NL

  11. Thank you all for the incredibly kind comments!

    I very proudly put VY2SW on the air yesterday during an activation at VE-1596.

    My muscle memory would kick in and I caught myself sending “K4SWL” on a couple of occasions, but I’m definitely getting the hang of it.

    With any luck, I’ll be activating a park sometime in the early afternoon today in Québec during a break in our travels.

    Thank you & 72,
    K4SWL / VE2SW

  12. Well done, congrats Tom, and enjoy the new call. I’m very happy to see your accomplishment.

    By the way, we wish you A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

    Thomas, havew a great vacation and safe travel to you and yours, and do not forget: HAVE FUN EVERYDAY!!

    72/73 Mike VE2TH

  13. I’m checking RBN to see when you are on the air to try to have a QSO with you, Hi!

    So time will tell

    Have a nice holiday

    73 Mike

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