Incorrectly logged callsign (/P issue)

Would somebody who possesses knowledge and authority on the subject, please clarify this little dilemma:

If an activator A uses a callsign with /P at the end, and a chaser C logs a QSO with A without /P at the end of the A’s callsign, is that QSO valid for SOTA points for both A and C guys? Similarly, is the QSO valid if C logs A’s callsign with /P, although A hasn’t used it?

I would hope for No answer, because Yes means that C is allowed to disrespect A’s decision on his/her callsign structure, on one hand, and such a QSO will not be recognized by the increasingly popular LOTW QSL system, on the other. Not to mention A’s dilemma about how to respond to C’s QSL card request…

Best 73’s!

Zoran / E70AA

Hi Zoran,
In some countries it’s mandatory to use /P when portable, others it’s optional or event not normal.

When scores within the database are checked for awards, the /p if there is ignored. So either works on both the activator and chaser sides for SOTA - no problems. If LoTW has problems - then that’s an LoTW problem that the ARRL should get fixed.

73 Ed.

Speaking for myself, I don’t use the /P for SOTA activations as ALL SOTA activations are required to be portable. However, if I have to use an SMS Txt to get my spot out due to poor cell signal, the SMS Txt system always adds /P to my spot by default. When I log the QSO’s, in the SOTA database I log them without the /P.

Dave, AE9Q

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Ed and Dave, thank you very much for taking time to comment on my post. Please note that my intention was not to open an old issue of using /P or not. I think we all agreed that one is free to decide on the use of /P to his or her personal liking and with respect for the relevant national policy, of course.

I simply wanted to ask if the incorrect activator’s callsign in the chaser’s log (missing /P when it was used by the activator or adding /P when it wasn’t part of the activator’s callsign) could be valid for SOTA points. That, I think, could be best answered by the people who have authority to make and break SOTA rules. Read: the MT guys :slight_smile:


Zoran / E70AA

It doesn’t matter for SOTA and we don’t check. In a perfect world the chaser and activator logs will match. In reality they don’t and when we check, we don’t check for such detail. We do check band, mode, time, date etc.

Easy. Don’t QSL. Or you put on the “card” what you heard on the air. For people who love QSLing, if their “cards” dry up because they send something different to what they log, they will soon start logging what they send.

So what does the fine manual say? :wink:


Fair enough, Andy. Although I beg to differ for the reasons mentioned above. No biggie, though.

The rule (and the law in some countries) is very simple.

Log what you hear on air, nothing else matters.

Well, Colin, it’s not an issue what I write in my activator log. Some of my chasers persist in ignoring the /P suffix of my activator callsign, which makes my quest of reaching a DXCC award while operating from E7 SOTA summits more difficult. It wouldn’t be so if fuzziness in activator/chaser callsigns matching would not be allowed in our primary storage facility: the SOTA database.

I had the same /P problem for my earliest activations A very helpful chaser explained what I was doing wrong. That started my quest to write the best, most comprehensive, SMS manual I possibly could. Check out that SMS manual in the FAQ. The solution to your problem is in there.

Of course I was once told that SOTA operators just figure things out. That didn’t work for me though.


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The problem we had in the past Zoran was some chasers (not all) would change their chaser log to match the activator log even when the activator log was wrong. As the activator made ammendments to their log, the chasers would follow making changes. I have seen people change the callsign logged to something entirely different ( not a missing /p ) to what was sent simple because the activator changes it to somethign else.

You can’t win and I can understand the frustration. If people would just log what they copied…

I was sure there had been a reason for the things being done the way they were. Thanks for the clarification, Andy.


It is the operator’s responsibility to operate within the rules of the country in which they are operating. I am certain that SOTA rules do not conflict with operating rules in a country (or they would be changed). What an activator logs into the SOTA database and what a chaser logs into the sota database are two independent action, neither dependent on the other, so it is irrelevant if the logs do not match.

I know that.
You know that.
Sadly, some chasers will amend their logs to match what the activator enters even though they heard and know they heard something different.

Except one part of the website hasn’t gotten the news. Last night, I noticed documentation for the “*” is still on the S2S page.


Agreed, absolutely. But operators are not always consistent about what they use on air, even within a QSO.

Less experienced operators are sometimes a bit tentative about it. They may have been taught by their course instructor not to bother with /P, then come on air and found that people do, or may even have been told by some well-meaning old-timer that they must. They may end up saying portable one minute and forgetting it the next. Generally I will log /P if I hear “portable” at least once (even if it wasn’t in my QSO), but I have really no idea what is going to be logged at the other end.

I think that a good design principle for awards and contests is that one should not be penalised for the errors and omissions of others. In this respect I think SOTA has got it right and the ARRL/LoTW exact match approach is a bit unhelpful.

Martyn M1MAJ