During yesterday’s activation of GM/NS150, Cnoc Mor Highland

I struggled to get 2 contacts

One of my chasers returned to me after qso to ask me if my call was MM6IXE. Or MM6IXE/p

I said it was just MM6IXE,

I don’t want to get mixed up by adding qrp or p

Is this ok?

Many thanx Iain

ADDING letters at end of QRZ is a indication of what your doing other than being at the stationed address such as P in your case, you was Portable and NOT /M 4 Mobile or A at alternative address to your own. Let alone MM marine mobile to which M3 and M6’s licences does not cover

Very reason we add these letters P M or PM or even MM is to show the station in question is NOT at home licencee reg address.

So if using such call sign as you did, was not at the Sota site in question but licencee premises to that call. Hence why we had /P at end of call when in Sota situation as we don’t op /M from Sotas under Certain rules . Said Sota station but not be connected to said motor in any form and must be separate including mounting antennas and the power supply is concerned.

When I got the G/WB-004 on 2m other weekend had to move the station from car to the trig point and hold me beam up work said station and write done at same time needs big practice LOL. Bit of faffing around as was running contest from 2m contest car on summit but when that Sota came up took couple minutes to move the station away from car as HF gear was already moved away. Hence the term Portable to be used.

I find sometimes people still using old system to spot themselves and have problems using the /P or pre pre fix letters say CT/ M3FEH/p not that me licence allows me to op aboard bar within the UK of course.

Hope this of help

So does that mean it’s ok?

Chasers will know I’m not at home when activating a summit

1 Like

Whilst you are entirely within your rights to operate without a suffix, as an experienced SOTA activator I would recommend that you do use /P.


  • It is still the norm in the UK at least. It indicates to others that you are not a base station. Almost every UK SOTA activator does use /P.

  • Old habits die hard. Old timers who haven’t read their licence in decades will tell you that you “should” use /P. They’re wrong, but why risk antagonizing them when it is equally correct for you to use the suffix?

  • If you are de facto portable, some people are bound to log you as /P regardless. As a chaser, if I log an activator without /P, there’s always a moment of doubt later - did he not use /P or did I forget to write it down?

  • If you’re trying for a summit to summit you’re more likely to get through if you end your call with portable. It may be the only thing the other activator hears, and you may well be called in with “portable station please”.

  • If you’re calling CQ, you are a much more interesting station if you sign portable. You may be called by people who are curious about where you are. Without /P they may look it up in and decide you’re a boring weak signal.

I suggest that you do not use “made up” suffixes like /QRP. There are endless arguments about whether they are legal to use or not. It’s not worth getting into arguments. Stick to the suffixes specified in the licence for the circumstances specified.

But ultimately it is up to you. Whatever you decide, be consistent. If can be infuriating if somebody says portable sometimes and then drops it. If you decide not to use /P, try to avoid ever saying “portable” at all.

Martyn M1MAJ


From - Section D, Notes to the Licence

When Operating at locations other than the main station Address, it is recommended that the following suffixes be used,

II. If the Licensee operates the Radio Equipment at a Temporary Location, the Licensee may use the suffix “/P”.

It also covers, /A, /M and /MM.
So you are not breaking the terms of your licence by not using /P, as it is a recommendation.
Ofcom clarified this when they last updated the licence prior to that it was thought that the use of /P /M etc was a licence condition.
However the use of /P has become established practice and it does make it clear that your operating away from your Main Station Address.

For clarification on the air, most use the appropriate suffixes, and Sota is no exception.

I would suggest you print out a copy of the licence, if you have not already done so.

Neil M0WBG

Thanx for replies:

so if i do start to use the /P, do i just sign off with the /P, at end of qso, ie

when qso is finished and i say other ops call sign, then say" from MM6IXE portable"…

or do i need to say from start of call

“cq sota, cq sota MM6IXE portable”, do i also put the /P, on when i add a spot?

Im a bit confused with it all

and the last thing i want to do is confuse anyone else, because of my poor knowledge

many thanx

i want to operate correctly when activating

Think of the /P as part of the callsign, because it is. Ideally you should give it every time you use the callsign to identify the station during the activation. Technically you should really say “stroke P” but the word “portable” is universally accepted as meaning exactly the same thing. And yes, use it in the spot as well. Be consistent.

It may seem a bit of a hassle but it really becomes second nature after a while.

You have gone to a lot of trouble to climb a hill and set up a portable station. Be proud of it!

Martyn M1MAJ


Mind you times i let it slip and forget the P whilst out portable its happens.
But good practice to use it. I find when at home when somebody go’s portable my ears prick up as they could be a rather interesting station in say a Rare WAB square, Sota IOTA etc.


Karl, can I suggest you stop saying “micheal three fox echo hotel” and stick to the NATO phonetic of “mike”.

“micheal” sounds awfully like “mike kilo” when you are weak signal. That’s why I was asking you if you were MK3FEH today because you certainly didn’t sound like “mike three” but “mike ??? three”.

Just a suggestion, you can ignore it if you want.


A few good points, /P station is more exciting than a MM6, "supposidly sat at home on a poor station

from now on i will use /P when operating

thanx for all the help

/P and Portable for SOTA?
I hope we’re all complying with the rules of SOTA which STIPILATS, as noted is independent of /M.
Where is becomes interesting is monitoring the activations and Alerts. We register our CALL and do not append with other indicators. I saw an alert over the weekend ***/P and designated unregistered user. The next time the Op posted he eliminated the/P and his name came up.
In my case, I’m on HT–permanently. I AM the Base Station, unless I’m on a station operated by another owner.

Some Spotting APPs (maybe SMS Gateways?) automatically append the: /P after the suffix. There are ways to suppress this manually.
A period (.) after the callsign suffix, no (space), works. eg: w2se.
I even created a reminder in my Contacts/People list for the various formats.
Here in the Colonies, most Activators omit the: /P

I’d prefer if the Spotting APPs included an option (aka: nerd knob) to automatically append a period immediatelty after the suffix in a callsign. Set once and forget. That way nobody has to remember to add the trailing period.

73, Bruce

The “Ethics and Operating procedures for the Radio Amateur” document says to always use “/P” or “stroke papa” because adding “portable” might not be understood.

In the US, trailing “stroke whatever” is no longer required and seems to be used less and less. The only time I used a suffix was for “/AE”, “as extra” after I passed the Amateur Extra exam but before it was in the FCC database.



73 de G3NYY/P

AE, Is that when in the quack?

I suspect that will be lost in translation.
[In North America, A&E is ER]

Walt (G3NYY)

Not a bad one actually.
Will see if that fairs better :slight_smile:

I got to agree with you on this one Andy, so many times I’ve heard activators get it wrong when Karl uses “Michael” instead of the correct phonetic.

Like you, just my tuppence worth!

Victor GI4ONL


Sometimes it is helpful to use an alternative phonetic to get the information across. But you should still use a word that is in some degree of known usage for this purpose. Something unanticipated is more likely to add to the confusion.

Mexico is probably the best alternative to Mike - if required.

Is there any evidence that Mexico is a good alternative to Mike?

I would go for

Mnemonic one Euphrates Yves Psalm