[CQ-Contest] Callsign "appendages" in QSO party logs

Doug Smith dougw9wi at gmail.com
Sun May 3 08:01:20 PDT 2009

Tom Macon wrote:
> Some questions with opinions sprinkled in (or maybe vice versa).
> It seems to be common practice to append  /M, /P or /9 (call area) to logged 
> calls.  I'm wondering, what is the value of this?  I don't see that these 
> appendages contain useful information, at least for WIQP.  If a station is 
> mobile, he needs to state this as his entry category, so the log checker 
> will know.  Or, if he roves multiple counties, this will show in his sent 
> exchanges, so the checker will know.  For stations working the mobile, all 
> they need to do is log the correct callsign and county.  It doesn't matter 
> if the station worked is mobile or not - it doesn't affect category or 
> scoring.  Am I missing something here?
> The need to append  /CTY (county) to the received callsign would seem to 
> depend on a contester's logging program.  If the logging program won't allow 
> the same callsign with different counties, then appending the county name to 
> the call is a good work-around for logging roving stations.  But if the 
> program *can* handle callsign-plus-county as a unique entity (I think most 
> current ones do) then why would contesters need to bother with it?  This 
> basically asks for the county to be entered twice.
> In addition, callsigns with appended information are a pain for log checking 
> because they complicate duping and crosschecking.  My thought is to move 
> toward eliminating callsign appendages where possible.  Log check software 
> that reads the log files can/should strip them off unless they contain 
> information that can't be found elsewhere.  Does this make sense?
> Do some Parties have rules that change this picture?  Comments?

(I'm not ignoring your other message but haven't had a chance to compose 
a reply)

Tennessee QSO Party doesn't *require* an appendage to calls, but we 
*accept* it.

Many mobile entrants find it useful to add the county abbreviation as an 
appendage ("W9WI/HANC") and entrants whose calls are in the "wrong" 
district find it helpful to sign /4.  ("W9WI/4" - which I also use in 
the WIQP for the same reason!)  I do find some stations in the "right" 
call area but the "wrong" state sending /STATE.  ("W9RE/IN", in the WIQP)

Software can't *know* what the callsign-plus-county is if the mobile 
hasn't sent their exchange yet.  This is the case when the mobile is 
calling CQ, or if they're answering someone else's CQ.  CQing with /CTY 
takes care of this.

I do fail to see the point in sending /M or /P, or /9 if your call 
already contains a 9.

It would be (IMHO) a worthwhile enhancement to contest software to check 
any appendages entered in the callsign window and, if they match a valid 
county abbreviation for the current contest, enter that appendage in the 
county window.

My logchecking software strips any appendages.  They're useful during 
the contest but of no value in log-checking.  It's also difficult for 
many non-computer-savvy entrants to remove them, but trivial for a Perl 


Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View, TN  EM66

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