[CQ-Contest] WPX portable prefix question
andrew.faber at gte.net
Thu Jun 3 18:39:33 EDT 1999
I know there have been prior discussions of this topic, but I'm still a bit
confused about how to handle in-country portable prefixes. The full text
of the official rule is as follows: (sorry for the bandwidth, but it's
necessary to the analysis):
"(a) A PREFIX is the letter/numeral combination which form the first part
of the amateur call. Examples: N8, W8, WD8, HG1, HG19, KC2, OE2, OE25, etc.
Any difference in the numbering, lettering, or order of same shall
constitute a separate prefix. A station operating from a DXCC country
different from that indicated by its callsign is required to sign portable.
The portable prefix must be an authorized prefix of the country/call area
of operation. In cases of portable operation, the portable designator will
then become the prefix. Example N8BJQ operating from Wake Island would sign
N8BJQ/KH9 or N8BJQ/NH9. KH6XXX operating from Ohio must use an authorized
prefix for the US 8th district (W8, K8, etc.) Portable designators without
numbers will be assigned a zero (0) after the second letter of the portable
designator to form the prefix. Example: N8BJQ/PA would become PA0. All
calls without numbers will be assigned a zero (0) after the first two
letters to form the prefix. Example XEFTJW would count as XE0. Maritime
mobile, mobile, /A, /E, /J, /P or interim license class identifiers do not
count as prefixes."
Here's my question: What is the prefix for stations operating portable
within their own country?
E.g., is K6LL/7 a K6 or a K7? Is JS1XXX/3 considered a JS1 or a JS3?
I believe the proper answer is K6 and JS1, but I've seen statements that
you take the letters from the original prefix and change the number, so,
e.g., K6LL/7 would be K. I don't read the rule to require or even suggest
that and also feel that it is inconsistent with the basic definition of a
prefix as the first part of the callsign. K6LL is not required by the rules
or the FCC to sign /7, so why should it change his prefix (unlike operating
in a different country, where both the rules and international radio law or
operating practices do require the portable designator).
Furthermore, since I believe it is understood that JS1XXX/3 cannot choose
to sign JS1XXX/JP3 (or some other such Japanese prefix), it would seem that
the intent is that within one's own country, the prefix does not vary. And
the statement in the rules that "The portable prefix must be an authorized
prefix of the country/call area of operation" seems to refer only to the
case of a portable in another country, such as the example given of
KH6XXX/W8. If that statement refers to in-country portables, then it would
imply that, e.g., "3" or "7" is a prefix. This would also not be
consistent with the rule that /p doesn't count as a prefix, since it
indicates portable in your own country (without specification of call
Sorry if this seems long-winded, but as I use my own software to log WPX
(CQPWIN ver. 6.5), I would like a definitive answer to make sure the
software is finding prefixes correctly.
Thanks and 73, Andy, AE6Y
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