Callwin help file


callwin is a program to look up name and address information for amateur radio callsigns for the U.S.A. It uses its own database, so you don't need to be on-line to use it, making it very fast and convenient. A newer version, callwin+, includes Canada callsigns.

The results are in text format, which can be copied into other applications.

The US FCC database is updated weekly, and updates can be done with the autoupdt program provided. The Canadian database is updated daily monday-friday. Check out the help file Update files are also available on the web site or via email. Contact me at


There is no installation per-se. If you received callwin on a CD or thumbdrive, you can execute it directly from that media. Open it using 'Explore' or 'My Computer' and double-click on the callwin (or callwin+) program.

You can copy the files from the media onto your hard disk. The database doesn't take up much room, about 39Mb. And the Extended Search window will come up faster when the files are on your hard disk. It will also make more sense to create a desktop shortcut to your hard disk than to a CD drive (see below).

If you downloaded the zip file from create a folder, perhaps "C:\\calldb" and unzip the files there. Then double-click on callwin (or callwin+) to run the program.

I find it handy to have a shortcut to callwin on my desktop. To do this, right-click on the callwin file and select 'Send to', then 'Desktop as a shortcut'. You could also drag the callwin file to your desktop (left button) which should also create a shortcut, or right-button drag it and specify that you want to make a shortcut.

Callsign Lookup

When callwin opens, it shows you the date of the last update to the US database and the number of entries in it. callwin+ will also show the date and number of entries for the Canadian database. The cursor is positioned in the text box for entering the call sign. Enter the call sign and hit the Enter key. You could also click the 'Srch' button, but it's easier to just use Enter. You can enter calls one after the other just by typing each one followed by Enter. As you type the next call sign, the previous one is highlighed for overwriting.

The results window displays the name and address of each call sign found. As more calls are looked up, the previous ones are bumped down and the new one is shown on top. Scrollbars allow you to see all the output.

To copy the results to another application, highlight the text you want to copy. To select all the text at once, right-click in the results window and click Select all. Then press ctrl-c to do the cut operation. You can then paste the text into another application.

Extended Search

The extended search allows you to search the database for combinations of name, city, state, and zipcode.

Click the Extended Search button to bring up the extended search window. When running from a CD, you might notice some delay here. The program is preparing for the search by reading a portion of the database.

Enter only the data you want to search for and leave the other boxes blank.

Name: To search for a name, enter the last name. If you want to search for first name too, add a comma and the first name. You can enter just part of the name. If you type 'THOM' it would match THOMPSON, THOMAS, and the like. Or 'ALEXANDER,T' would match TEDDY, TIM, TANYA, and lots of other ALEXANDERS that start with T.

City: To limit the search to a city, type in the city name. Because of the way the database is laid out and the search is done, what you type will be matched to the END of the city name. If you type 'SPRINGS' it would match COLORADO SPRINGS, GLENWOOD SPRINGS, etc.

State: You can search all states (with '(all)' in the box), or select a specific state. The list includes US possessions, like PR (Puerto Rico), etc.

Zip: You can limit the search to a certain zipcode if you want. You can't enter part of a zipcode, since it is treated as a number.

Hit the Enter key or click the Search button to begin the search.

The results are displayed as callsign, name, and address. You can copy the results in the same way as from the regular results window. If there are too many results to fit into the window, you will see a warning that not all the results will be shown.

Updating your database

The FCC makes their full database available for download every sunday morning. I download their amateur license file (100+Mb) and squeeze it into call.db, about 20Mb compressed. Even that amount of data would be impractical for my users to download every week. So I create files of just the changes, so that a call.db file for any date can be updated to the latest data. These files are usually under 100kb, so the download time is minimal, even with dial-up.

Just use the autoupdt.exe program provided to update your databases. It will download the update files needed, and incorporate those changes into your call.db file.

With the zlib.dll file present, it can also download the Canadian database and create a cancall.db on your local drive. It does this each time from scratch, since the Canadian database zip file is only 2Mb

For full details, see the autoupdt help file There used to be a full page of instructions here describing the update process. It's a lot simpler now.