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Callsign/P when in SOTA or not

There are many stations using /P at the end of their callsigns when activating SOTAs but many others don’t.
I have noticed that W4DOW usually spots with /P many US callsigns which are activating SOTAs and are not saying /P at the end of their callsigns.
I wonder why.
I wonder whether it’s or not mandatory for US hams the use of /P when in situations like a SOTA activation.
It was mandatory in EA until the last rules were published and now it’s up to the operator. I use /P because it helps me with the administrative work on eQSL, but some other hams in EA don’t use it.
What do you guys/lads think it’s best?
What do you think it should be?

In reply to EA2IF:

If there is no legal requirement to use /P then use what you like. There is no right answer if it’s not a requirement.

My view is the /P stands out when I am called by many CW stations and helps me spot possible SOTA S2S contacts more easily. But that’s my view, others may disagree.


1 Like

I’m SSB. When I’m calling “CQ SOTA”, I give only my call sign. After the pile-up has been worked, I’ll switch to “CQ CQ This is K4KPK Portable”. Occasionally, this will make a non-SOTA contact or two who have been listening, and I take the opportunity to evangelize for SOTA.

I call “portable” both to let them know they’re calling a station with minimal antenna and to make the distinction between my SOTA call and my non-SOTA call more apparent.

In reply to EA2IF:
I started only using my call, but when i tried to add my log to lotw, i noticed that i got few qsl’s, beccause most were logging me as /p. Then i started to use /p, and got more qsl’s in the lotw.

In reply to LA5XTA:

Hi chaps, I’ve seen a few occurances of “/1” as a suffix, like this:


I heard it described as “portable one”… what does this mean?



In reply to EA2IF:

for different reasons i´m now only DF2GN on my activtations. No more use of the “/portable” at the end of the call. I´m only qrv portable and have no shack :-(.
My “Shack” are the summits around and especially DM/BW-228. So i´m more portable if i´m on my balcony with a magnetic loop antenna.that happens not often, only to test my homebrewed rigs. so in future i sign only with DF2GN on the bands. If i call CQ SOTA its clear i´m portable ! :wink:

vy 73 Klaus DF2GN

In reply to EA2IF:

Hi Folks, guess we had this question several months ago.

In some countries (like OE) you have to append it by law.

So if I’m not at my home QTH or any other registered QTH I have to use either /m or /p.
Long time ago we had to append the callsign area (i.e. OE4JHW/1 when portable or mobile in Vienna)…
In the United States i.e. it’s your choice to either use /p or not

Different countries, different rules…

73 and gd dx de
Juergen OE4JHW

In reply to G7LAS:

It means the EA5 is located in the EA1 call area. Analagous to MM0FMF becoming MW0FMF when I visit Wales.


In reply to G7LAS:

EA5XYZ/1 is EA5XYZ in EA1. And then there is the “portable one” version: EA5XYZ/1/p. That’s EA5XYZ in EA1 portable.

These “portable one” suffixes I also hear very often from Italy.

73 de Dominik, HB9CZF

In reply to G7LAS:

I heard it described as “portable one”… what does this mean?

The “/” often seems to be pronounced “portable” on phone modes in parts of the world where their callsigns have a region-related(-ish) digit and they’re expected to indicate when they’re operating in a different region. I’ve heard it used by US and Greek stations as well…

I had some fun trying to figure out how I was expected to give my callsign when I visited Western Australia last year. A web page on the WIA site seemed to indicate that “VK6/M0LEP” was the correct form, but the visitors licence document had rather more (the best part of a page) to say on the matter, only mentioned the use of “VK” as a suffix (not a prefix, and without the regional digit), and required the use of the word “portable” followed by the station’s location.

It’d be nice if there was a single easily understood standard system, but there isn’t…

73, Rick M0LEP

I must confess to getting confused with the /number suffixes - I’m assuming (eg) EA5xxx/1 is equivalent to EA1/EA5xxx/P ?

In reply to M6ADB:

Right, they both are equivalent, but in Spain we add the district number mostly in the end, like EA5xxx/1.
You won’t hear any EA1/EA5xxx here…

As said, rules changed last year in EA and now /1 or /P or /m is not mandatory here any more.

As for me, I like to add the /P when on the summits to point I’m working with a simple station, to focus it’s a kind of special activation, and to help chasers distinguish it’s a Sota.

Ignacio EA2BD

In reply to G7LAS:
Hi Rob,
Spanish ham callsigns have a number related to the specific area of the country where the station is going to be placed at the moment of getting the license:
1 for the North West
2 for the Central North
3 for the North East
4 for the center
5 for the Eastern coast
6 for the Balearic islands. Unique DXCC country.
7 for the South
8 for the Canary islands. Unique DXCC country.
9 for the 2 Spanish cities in Northern Africa. Unique DXCC country.
0 for the King of Spain and special event stations in the air for something related to an official visit or special event carried out by the King of Spain.

Before the new ham radio regulations were published in EA around September last year, it was mandatory for Spanish hams to inform it when we were transmitting from a call area different to that of our callsign.
Not only for portable stations like a SOTA activation but also for base stations in case some have second houses in other call areas of Spain.

I always found this senseless as long as we were in other call area of the peninsula, within the same DXCC country, and absolutely necessary when we were in one of the call areas which were a different, unique DXCC country.

When they were preparing the new regulations, I wrote my recommendation to change this rule and it looks like they took it into account.

This is not anymore mandatory as long as there’s not change of DXCC country, but it’s still up to the operator to keep saying it.

EA5XYZ/1 would be a ham who obtained his license in the East coast area (i.e Valencia) but is currently transmitting from the North West call area (i.e. Pontevedra), either base or portable station.
However, he may also be saying just EA5XYZ while transmitting from Pontevedra and it would be perfectly legal according to current regulations.
In case he transmits from Mallorca, he will be forced by law to say EA6/EA5XYZ.

Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF

In reply to EA2IF:
I think one reason for me to say /p or not is the logging.
If I´m not using /p but the chaser logged me /p , get he his asterix as a confimation in the database??? I´m not sure about this…
Normally the QSO is not valid :slight_smile:
And then the Inbox of the E-Mail Account flows over.

73 de Tom
DL1DVE(/p from the summit)

“stricto sensu”, and conforming the actual amateur radio EA regulations, you “may” use (being optional as stated by Guru):
EA1/EA2CW : If you are on a fixed stn on EA1 district (i.e.: 2nd home)
EA1/EA2CW/P : You know… lost by the EA1 mountains making SOTA.
EA1/EA2CW/M: While going hiking by car?
EA1/EA2CW/MM: mmm, let’s go by boat…

So, EA2CW/1 has strictly no sense, althoug is already used by some of EA operator.

Special cases are while being at EA6, EA8 or EA9, as they are different countries and thus, while not enforced to use them, might be appropiated, I guess.

On my side, I use always EA2CW/P, no matter which district as it allows me to mantain just two database, one for home and other for SOTA, nautical and aeronautical activities!


73 de Mikel /PW (portable at work)

Heh! Changes in rules are a great way to confuse folks. :wink:

At least something like “EA1/EA2CW” follows the CEPT pattern and keeps the actual DXCC prefix at the beginning…

I figure I should log my chases exactly the way the the activator’s working, with “/P” if it’s given, or not if it isn’t. Same goes if I post a spot. The SOTA database confirmations may not need it, but LoTW and it’s ilk are fussier, and getting confirmations by other routes is nice.

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to M0LEP:
But, in my opinion it doesn’t make any sense saying EA1/EA2CW because both EA1 and EA2 are within the same DXCC Country.
In the US, we can hear W6 stations transmitting, for instance, from Florida and they don’t say W4/W6XYZ, because both are within the same DXCC Country. Other story would be if our W6 station transmits from Puerto Rico, as it’s a different DXCC Country and he will then be forced by law to say KP4/W6XYZ.
Coming back to Spain’s case, Mikel will be forced to say EA8/EA2CW/P if he activates El Teide EA8/TF-001, which is the highest Spanish mount and it’s in the Canary islands, which represents a unique DXCC Country different to peninsular EA.

Guru - EA2IF

In reply to EA2IF:

But, in my opinion it doesn’t make any sense saying EA1/EA2CW because both EA1 and EA2 are within
the same DXCC Country.

Yeah, I agree.

Coming back to Spain’s case, Mikel will be forced to say EA8/EA2CW/P if he activates El Teide EA8/TF-001,
which is the highest Spanish mount and it’s in the Canary islands, which represents a unique DXCC

Yep, that’s a case where the “EA8/” prefix makes sense, though you could argue that the “/P” is redundant in that case because it’s obvious from the prefix that the caller’s not at his QTH. However, the rules may say otherwise. For instance, the rules in Kenya say that you must add “/P” (or “/M”) if you are not at your declared address (which, for visitors, is the address in Kenya you gave as the place you would be staying while in Kenya).

73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to M0LEP:

I figure I should log my chases exactly the way the the activator’s

unless he’s using “/QRP”, or “stroke standing on one leg”, or some other redundant option!

In reply to M0LEP:

Hi Rick,

Quite frankly, I’ve never understood why the need to sign /p or /m was removed in the first place or indeed, the need to even keep a logbook.

I’ll always use /p on a SOTA activation. If you’re in a big crowd, you need to stand out.

73 Mike