Suffix rant

Its quite annoying when you here the wrong suffixes given out but what do you do. People who say portable when they are obviously mobile is the common one. But to hear someone say Marine mobile quickly followed by on a river 4 miles inland was one that got my head in my hands.

I’m sorry to say it seems to be the G stations that make this mistake regular, I can only assume that the license regulations have changed and no one has read the recent ones.

Rant over have a nice day.

My licence was issued in 1964 (wow! Sept 1964, I’ve been playing this game for half a century!) and /MM on a river 4 miles inland would have been incorrect back then!

Portable and mobile was always a difficult one. Operating a handheld whilst walking - mobile or portable? Not to worry…

Brian G8ADD

I still occasionally hear “/ Static Mobile” and “/ Pedestrian Mobile”.

Neither is as annoying as “/ QRP”!

Walt (G3NYY)

Think before you rant!

Have a look at the current licence conditions, in particular section 17 (1) (v). If the unspecified river was tidal (and tides can reach many miles “inland”), then the operator was entirely correct.

Perhaps it’s not G stations that make mistakes regularly …

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This is true. The River Severn is tidal as far upstream as Gloucester.

You may have heard of the Severn Bore (who used to live near Lydney).

Walt (G3NYY)

Well, I always sign /P when walking, though contacts where I have used this are few and far between - usually bagging an extra contact on the handheld while walking off the hill, but still within the AZ. It would be a nonsense to sign /M when the remainder of the activation was /P. I have always held the view that /M is implies moving at a more rapid rate than walking, i.e. on a bike or by motorised transport.

It’s probably lost on people who have come into radio in the UK since he last licence change, but deciding between /m or /p was very, very easy. In all my copies of BR68 (now superseded) you didn’t need to log /m contacts but were required to log /p. With that it became a no-brainer to figure out which to use… do I have a logbook with me and can I write in it? No, well I’m /M then!

Those who were licenced when Marconi was a lad will remember when /M logging was needed and you could buy small log books for /M logging. Not sure what today’s “elf-n-safety” mob would think about using non-hands free comms gear and trying to write the details at the same time.

I imagine they’d have a litter of lizards! Imagine their response to mobile CW!

You can still buy the mobile logbooks but I don’t suppose they sell many!

Brian G8ADD

I had a KW Valiant and separate home brew receiver. Not only did I have to “net”, but there were Pi tank “tune” and “load” controls to play with too! Still, at least movement wasn’t restricted by seat belts ;o)



To get back to the point, it’s annoying when people use the wrong prefix/suffix etc. You can try to correct them but there are some incorrigible types who refuse to fix their ways. I find a huge amount of satisfaction can be gained by simply not logging them. If people wish to tag all sorts of tat onto their call they can do. If you want me to log you however, you play by my rules! Failure to get a confirmation star (even though we don’t use them on the MT) or to appear in a log does get the attention of people using /QRP or /PM or other such made up nonsense.

It’s not that difficult Brian… but of course the XYL was driving!!! :wink:

They’re a handy A5 size, so they’re the only ones I’ve ever bothered buying, and I use them for all my hard-copy logs (in the dry, anyway - SOTA logs go in slightly more weather resistant books). :wink:

…and yes, questions on the appropriate suffixes for use on boats crops up in licence exams from time to time.

73, Rick M0LEP

Section 17 (1) (v) States:- “Maritime Mobile” means the Radio Equipment is located on any Vessel at Sea;

Section 17 (1) (ss) states:- “Vessel at Sea” means a Vessel operating on the seaward side of the low-water line along the coastline as marked on large scale charts officially recognised by the relevant coastal state;

So I’m slightly confused how far inland does the low water line extend?

It can be quite a way, the centre of the City of London, for instance, is still tidal and so has a low water line.

Colin G8TMV

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IIRC, the Severn is tidal at least as far inland as Gloucester.


On the 25k OS maps, the high and low water marks show separately on the Ribble to your north to a point just a bit up stream from Walton Bridge.

regarding /QRP:

This is what you get from when you select to add /P for example.

“About Secondary Callsigns
A secondary callsign is your callsign with a stroke (/) plus a special identifier. An exampe would be M6VAR/QRP where the /QRP is a special identifier. These can be for domestic (your country) or DX use. For DX use, they will typically be a prefix or suffix of the DX land, such as M6VAR/VP2 where the /VP2 is the foreign suffix.”

To be honest (not very experienced) I did hear on air people say XXX qrp to answer a CQ and I though is ok.


Tasos, you need to be aware that the UK amateur licence has changed a lot in the last years. At one time it was much more prescriptive than now. Some of the changes are welcomed by all, some others do tend to grate with long time licencees.

At one time signing MM0FMF/QRP was against the licence. You could be /M, /P ( also /A but let’s ignore that). Anything else was wrong.The licence was changed so now I could be MM0FMF/QWERTYUIOP if I wanted. The majority of amateurs tend to find made-up suffixes very annoying. So you can now sign M6VAR/QRP in the UK and it’s legal but unacceptable to most.

I have a simple rule, people who append nonsense suffixes such as /PM, /QRP just get pushed down the pileup and have to wait. Depending on how insistent they are about their made-up suffix affects how insistent I am at not logging the QSO. :wink:

Yes but only if you were using a data mode!


I agree on most of what you said Andy, but not the part about not working those stations or condemning them to the bottom of the list.
In my opinion a made-up suffix such as /QRP may be nice as a quick piece of information to be given in the pile up in order to make your call distinctive, easier to be picked up and I personally have given attention to calls/QRP when I’ve been called in big pile-ups with huge QRO signals.
However, despite it’s something I’ve done sometimes in the past and I’m not doing anymore, what I don’t like is logging such callsign with the /QRP as whether this was part of the legal radioamateur station callsign, because it’s not at all, it’s just a piece of information.
Otherwise, we may end up one day having our logs full of callsign/QRP, callsign/QRO, callsign/YAGI, callsign/GP, callsign/DIPOLE, callsign/STRAIGHTKEY, callsign/PADDLE… and this is absolutely ridiculous.


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