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Mobile and Portable

In reply to M1MAJ:

I think your descriptions sound just about right Martyn. in my view the use of /P or /M should portray the kind of station setup. So the vast majority of my SOTA activations are /P with a fishing rod either tied to a fence or supported with guys; not the kind of thing you can just move. Whereas people using something like an MFD and radio from a bag whilst standing by a trig point could equally be /M or /P.

Never heard a /A but I’ve worked 2 /MM stations in 20+ years of activity. One was the QE2 about 17 years ago and the other was from the summit of White Coomb the other week.

MM0FMF/W (well I’m in the office at work not at home as I was earlier!)

In reply to M6ADB:

Ummm… given that /A is meant to represent an alternate fixed
location, as opposed to /P which is portable I hadn’t really thought
of a grey area…

Read the licence and the interpretation notes. The distinction hinges on whether the location has a fixed postal address or not. If you’re in somebody else’s house, it’s pretty clear that it does. If you’re on a hill, it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t (with a small number of exceptions). If you’re set up in somebody else’s back garden, it’s a bit debatable.

The physical portability of the equipment and whether it is using mains electricity or not have nothing to do with the matter as far as the licence definitions are concerned.

In reply to M6ADB:

If you are running off battery/generator you are not fixed?

What about people who’s QTH is off grid? i.e. they have their own generator/battery/inverter system for feeding 240V to their house. They’re most definitely fixed!

See it becomes difficult quickly so a good rule of thumb is
/M = station can be used when mobile or stationary i.e. car
/P = temporary setup but probably cannot be used mobile
/A = not mobile or temporary but not at the main address

Many setups can be equally /M or /P. It’s best to try to pick something that conveys context about the station. e.g. station in a campervan. That could be used whilst mobile or when the campervan is parked up and attached to a mains supply. I’d sign /P when parked up for the night and /M at othertimes.


In reply to MM0FMF:

There is a guy in this area who operates contests using /A.


Brian G8ADD/L (having an early lunch!)

In reply to MM0FMF:

In my old licence /A was “temporary premises” , /P was “temporary location or as a pedestrian”, /M was “in or on a vehicle or vessel”. I thought these were pretty clear in meaning.

Note that “alternative premises” was, oddly, used when a formal 7 days’ notification of a temporary change of address for the main station had been given to the General Manager of the Post Office Telephone Area! It didn’t say specifically, but you then didn’t need the “/A”.


In reply to G8ADD:

Brian G8ADD (who also likes a good argument!)

Fomenting unrest is an odd thing for a Moderator to do.

In reply to G3CWI:

Oh, I agree. It would be.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M0LEP:

I visit my daughter in Cornwall once a month in summer and always use G4SSH/A which indicates that I am at an Alternate location to the one stipulated on my licence. I find it helps activators understand why my signal is weaker than usual(with an indoor antenna). I am using the call this week

Presently in Fowey Cornwall

In reply to MM0FMF:

Why, some fine hair splitting there and probably all because I said I use /P when I am pedestrian portable. I certainly won’t go to /M as I walk around a summit to find the best spot for that 23cms QSO - probably get interrogated as to why I was operating from within a vehicle on a summit and claiming the contact for SOTA :wink: Anyway, once I’ve found the best spot on the summit, I stand still. Sorry Andy, you’ll just have to grin and bear it when you try those 23cms contacts with me - I will forever be portable on the move.

And if 73 means ‘best wishes’, what does ‘best 73s’ mean ??

Actually it means the speaker doesn’t know what 73 means or they
wouldn’t being saying “best best wisheses” :slight_smile:

Technically this is incorrect - it means many best wishes as in best wishes plural. It’s lazy speech anyway - we should be saying “best wishes”, but saying 73s sets us apart from regular Joe Public and makes us feel part of the club. A bit like left handed handshakes and all that.

The biggest annoyance for me is 5 by zero - yes, utter nonesense! I wholly agree with Tom and Jimmy. The reporting system predates S meters by many decades. What’s wrong with those things on the side of your head - do we always need to make reference to a needle sweeping across a scale? (FT480R owners are not permitted to join in this discussion) :slight_smile:

73, Gerald G4OIG
never knowingly having signed /QRP

I have looked at the licence rules several times and just do not understand the need/requirement for /A.

Whenever I’m not at home or not really ‘mobile’ I use /P.

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to G4OIG:

/QRP = What you call in a contest when using UK legal limit when everyone else is running kilowatts ;0)

In reply to G0LGS:

I thought the rule used to be if you gave a /A you had to follow it with an address or at least a locator. No one ever did, which is why I think it disappeared from the licence as a legitimate suffix for a number of years, but that did not stop folk using it. Now the suffixes are no longer compulsory but only ‘recommended’ /A seems to have been slotted back in.

/QRP has never been a legitimate suffix. I find its use mildly annoying particularly when the station they are calling (for SOTA) is using the same or less power than the station calling them. Although not quite as daft as the station who often tells SOTA stations running 5w from an FT817 that they have to use 2Kw to get them.

Steve GW7AAV

I think this is quite easily resolved and think most have been looking at it from the wrong side i.e. look at it from the station who is working you and the information they want to get a quick idea of your situation.

/A - I am at an alternative building to the one stated on my licence. If you look me up on QRZ.COM you will see the home QTH address and not the one I am at at present - and it’s a building or within its perimeter e.g. garden/yard etc

/P - 1. I am on a hilltop not in a building, not connected to a mains electricity supply, or 2. I am walking/static outside of any building or its permieter and I am not lugging a 12v car battery along with me. e.g. using a HT.

/M - I am in a motor vehicle, whether moving or static. BTW, if I’m static I usually say static mobile as this nicely tells the station being worked that I am not going to drive into a bad area and they’ll possibly lose my signal i.e. it gives them confidence to work me.

So the answer to me is simple - give the worked station an immediate quick idea of your situation correctly.

And best 73s to all. :slight_smile:

David G4TUP.

In reply to G4TUP:

I have my first licence issued in 1964 put away so safely that I can’t find it! This is from a re-issue in 1977:

9.(1)(b) at the temporary premises the suffix “/A” shall be added to the callsign.
9.(1)© at the temporary location or as a pedestrian the suffix “/P” shall be added to the callsign.
9.(1)(d) in or on a vehicle or vessel the suffix “/M” shall be added to the callsign.
9.(4) When the station is used at the temporary premises or location, the address of the temporary premises or location shall be sent at the beginning and end of the establishment of communication with each separate amateur station, or at intervals of 15 minutes, whichever is more frequent.

That is how it used to be, and I can add that we puzzled long and hard about exactly what 9.(4) meant!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:
Hi Brian.And that is rightly or wrongly the way that I interprit it now 73 Geoff G6MZX

In reply to GW7AAV:

In reply to G0LGS:
Although not quite as daft as the station who often tells SOTA stations running 5w from an FT817 that they have to use 2Kw to get them.

That may have been the unidentified station I heard today on 40m telling a
SOTA operator (several times) to ‘turn up your power so we can hear you’ then!


In reply to G8ADD:

The license terms and conditions state:-

(d) When operating at locations other than the Main Station Address, it is recommended that the following suffixes be used:

I. If the Licensee operates the Radio Equipment at an Alternative Address, the
Licensee may use the suffix “/A” with the Callsign;

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

III. If the Licensee operates the Radio Equipment from a Mobile location, the Licensee
may use the suffix “/M” with the Callsign;

IV. If the Licensee operates the Radio Equipment from a Maritime Mobile location, the
Licensee may use the suffix “/MM” with the Callsign.

It all seems straight forwards to me if you can move your /M if you are somewhere other than a postcoded address where you physically cannot move the station without some dismantling (however minor) your /P all the others are what they say on the tin.

Thats my 2p worth


Chris M6RWN

In reply to M6RWN:

I think the crucial difference is that the licence now uses the word “may” instead of the word “shall”. Shall is an order, may is a suggestion. As I see it we have been given some discretion in the matter, it is up to us now to use this discretion in such a way that we all know what we mean. Hence, I suppose, this discussion! I quite agree with your interpretation, by the way.


Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

I have to agree, we have been given the discretion to use the suffix where its use will convey information to others that may be benificial to know. Or to identify the type of station you may be operating at the time. ( I have probably said the same think twice there).However I don’t think we need to add other wonderfull suffixes to the mix as any variation can be conveyed in the conversation.


Chris M6RWN

In reply to M6RWN:
Another crucial word in the text is ‘Recommended’ i.e not an order or condition, but more of a helpful suggestion.

In my short time as an M6 (8 months), It seems commonplace for Vehicle users to use /M and other not at their home QTH users to sign /P. Unless it’s a /A or /MM situation of course.

Must admit, I’ve never heard a SOTA activator sign as /M yet. Ok they have to stay within the activation zone, but I guess they could still be mobile within it with a handheld!