Vanities Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions

  1. Does this duplicate AE7Q.com?
  2. Chance of assignment? What does that mean?
  3. What cases are handled that other sites don't handle?
  4. What are all the possible outcomes predicted, and their meanings?
  5. There's a 5-way competition for this callsign, and some applicants have 20.2% chances, while others have 19.7% chances. Sometimes it changes when I refresh the page. Why?
  6. There's multi-way competition for this callsign, but not everyone has the same chances. Why?
  7. Are there any known problems with the predictions?
  8. What do I do with this data? How is this useful?
  9. The page footer says "applications as of" a couple days ago. What is the latency of this data?
  10. Have the application states been updated to reflect the required payment of application fees which began on April 19, 2022?

Answers

  1. Does this duplicate AE7Q.com?

    There is some overlap, but my intention is to expand on what AE7Q offers for predictions. This site doesn't display the full history of the call or FRN like AE7Q does, so please go there for that data. This site just does predictions of pending applications. The prediction handles a few more cases than AE7Q, and produces chance of assignment, which is not something that AE7Q offers.

  2. Chance of assignment? What does that mean?

    The site simulates the randomized process of FCC assignments, running tens of thousands of times, and adding up the result. That is used to produce chances of assignment. It takes into account all outstanding applications at the time of running the simulation.

    Each application is not processed independently. The outcome of an application depends on the results of previous applications. The simulation handles that, producing the predicted chances for all valid applications and vanity requests.

  3. What cases are handled that other sites don't handle?

  4. What are all the possible outcomes predicted, and their meanings?

  5. There's a 5-way competition for this callsign, and some applicants have 20.2% chances, while others have 19.7% chances. Sometimes it changes when I refresh the page. Why?

    The simulation runs use random ordering and produce small shifts in the numerical output. If you refresh the page after a little while, you'll also see the numbers shift from a new simulation of the chances. Current output is accurate to approximately ±0.4%.

    Higher precision output is possible, but computation time would be prohibitive, as accuracy scales with the square of the number of iterations.

  6. There's multi-way competition for this callsign, but not everyone has the same chances. Why?

    The chances of prior assignments affect later assignments. So if an applicant had requested a callsign with two other competitors and each had no prior requests, the chances of assignment would be 33.3%. However, if the applicant had prior requests, either in the form of a previous application, or higher priority callsigns on the relevant application, the chances of assignment would be reduced, perhaps to a very low chance of 5% or less. How much the chances of assignment would be reduced could be figured by probability computations, but the simulation that is being run derives an approximation of the value using numerical methods.

    Try clicking on the applicant callsign with reduced chances to see what other applications or vanity requests they have that are also pending.

  7. Are there any known problems with the predictions?

    The FCC has a rule about duplicate applications: it will not honor multiple applications from the same applicant with the same receipt date. FCC procedure is described by the rule in §97.19(d)(1):

    In the event that the Commission receives more than one application requesting a vanity call sign from an applicant on the same receipt day, the Commission will process only the first such application entered into the Universal Licensing System. Subsequent vanity call sign applications from that applicant with the same receipt date will not be accepted.

    The predictions for Duplicate applications follow this rule. However, the FCC does not always apply it consistently. There are are a minority of cases where the prior application is dismissed, and the latter application is granted.

    If you have applications pending that have a predicted Duplicate outcome, consider withdrawing unneeded applications in order to have a more predictable result.

    Examples of this bogus duplicate ordering occurring:

    Receipt date Earlier application
    (dismissed)
    Later application
    (granted)
    Dismissal reason
    2022-02-28 0009930747 0009931092 Callsign requested not available
    2022-02-28 0009930088 0009931224 Callsign not active
    2022-02-14 0009910762,
    0009910110
    0009910887 Duplicate
    2021-11-22 0009804743 0009805322 Duplicate
    2021-10-14 0009753667 0009753669 Callsign not active
    2021-07-19 0009625713 0009626098 Duplicate
    2021-06-21 0009591664 0009592168 Duplicate
    2021-04-26 0009515839 0009516825 Duplicate
    2021-04-19 0009500806,
    0009501260
    0009501612 Duplicate
    2021-02-22 0009423554,
    0009423895
    0009424021 Duplicate
    2021-02-16 0009415206 0009415999 Duplicate

  8. What do I do with this data? How is this useful?

    Firstly, it's interesting to see if the chances are in your favor. By looking at many applications, you can see patterns and plan a more successful application. Second, if you have multiple applications pending, you can consider whether to withdraw some applications to improve your chances or to be certain of receiving a preferred callsign. Also you can add up the chances of assignment for each of your applications and if they reach 100%, you can choose to stop making further applications. You can also use it to look for callsigns that have a less than 100% chance of being assigned, and consider putting in an application for that callsign.

    In short, this tool can provide you more information to help you make an informed decision about your applications.

  9. The page footer says "applications as of" a couple days ago. What is the latency of this data?

    This site uses the FCC data published on their website and ftp site. Unfortunately, the FCC doesn't publish data very quickly, and so this site is, at best, able to calculate predictions for applications and licenses with a receipt date of one day prior. However, data may be as much as three days out of date on Tuesdays of typical weeks. This has to do with how the FCC batch jobs are scheduled. Additionally, due to federal holidays and the occasional operational SNAFU, the data may be even more out of date. This site checks for updates every two hours, so if the FCC does publish the data, it should be a couple hours at most before the site reflects it.

    The following table describes data latency for typical weeks without federal holidays or FCC processing errors.

    Current
    calendar day (ET)
    Application receipts
    as of
    Application grants
    as of
    Application
    Latency
    Licenses
    as of
    License
    Latency
    Sunday* prior Friday prior Saturday 1 day prior Friday 2 days
    Sunday 5pm prior Friday prior Saturday 1 day prior Saturday 1 day
    Monday prior Friday prior Saturday 2 days prior Saturday 2 days
    Tuesday prior Friday prior Saturday 3 days Monday 1 day
    Wednesday Monday Tuesday 2 days Tuesday 1 day
    Thursday Tuesday Tuesday 2 days Wednesday 1 day
    Friday Wednesday Tuesday 2 days Thursday 1 day
    Saturday 5am Thursday Friday 2 days Friday 1 day
    Saturday 9am* Friday Saturday 0 days Friday 1 day

    * Not valid for predictions, since application grants are newer than license grants. This data will not be used for prediction runs. The previous run with valid data will continue to be shown.

    Please remember to check the dates listed on page footers.

  10. Have the application states been updated to reflect the required payment of application fees which began on April 19, 2022?

    Yes. Applications without the necessary fee paid are flagged as Awaiting payment. To manually verify these in ULS, see the application's "Admin" tab and look for "Payment Confirmed" under "History" (code FVPCNF in the FCC data export).

    Please note that payments in the FCC system don't always get reflected in the application history of ULS immediately, but usually show up by the next business day. It may then be several days until the payment status is reflected in the FCC data exports. See the data latency topic above.


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