A minority of SOTA activators sign /P. Most of the leading activators in the USA don’t send /P. When you are activating and call CQ SOTA, it’s obvious that you are portable - that is part of the SOTA rules.
In general, it’s good to save time during activations. This is true both for CW and phone. The piles are large, and it takes a while to make contacts with all the chasers. Signing /P adds characters, and with the QSB and weak signals, more characters mean more errors - and more chasers asking for repeats, etc.
There are times on summits when threatening weather, cold wind, or other adverse factors demand speed and efficiency.
Most of the regular chasers learn the habits of the regular activators, so signing /P seems like extra stuff. Many of us also eliminate:
- Extra punctuation, such as in the SOTA Ref: W0C/FR-063 becomes W0C FR 063, etc.
- Commas, periods, … etc.
- “UR RST IS”
- “QTH IS”
- “RIG HR IS”
- Extra sending of calls and other useless info
The better chasers also keep things short and efficient, with the result that the piles run more efficiently, and more chasers get more points!
Many activators exchange a few informative words about what they have experienced, especially with other activators, so this adds a personal touch. Sometimes we tell the chasers why we’re having difficulty, or request a spot, etc.
I have no problem with other activators who sign /P. It’s personal preference. Some activators regularly operate from home, mobile, or portable, and the /M or /P makes it clear what their situation is.