By Ray Conrad, NM2O

Leading up to either section of the WPX contests, the question arises: “What is a rare prefix?” In the USA, the question is what calls are active.

This analysis discusses the prefixes in the 2022 WPX CW Contest. The list of active prefixes and the number of logs in each prefix was provided by the WPX Contest Director. Note that there may be a few prefixes active that did not submit a log.

The USA has 930 possible prefixes, including some which may have no active calls. Calls such as KP, NP and WP 0, 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 have no current licensees. When the 21“no licenses” prefixes are backed out, there are 909 prefixes with 3 or more active licenses. There are big blocks of inactive calls. The 8th call area has a big block that’s inactive: KG8 to KT8.

There has been a lot of discussion of calls that can be busted: A prefix where the second letter might be busted as a number are frequently mentioned: KJx, NJx, KVx NVx are frequently mentioned. Some of those frequently busted calls have been turned in for another call. Only NV9 was active of NV prefixes. 

In this contest, logs representing 476 prefixes were submitted, or 52.3% active. 454 prefixes were not represented. 1Xnn calls were well represented. K averaged 25.4, N averaged 21.3, and W averaged 21.5.

A substantial number of prefixes had only one entrant: 1 entrant: 285, 2 entrants: 99, 3 entrants: 37. For 2 letter prefixes, the entrants fall rapidly past 4 entrants.  To work one’s own prefix, the operator might find and schedule a “callsign buddy” with the same prefix to work during the contest.

Perhaps some of these operators can activate a club call with a prefix not in the list below.

Thanks to AA3B for providing the data and to N3QE and KA1IOR for technical assistance in sorting the data for publication.