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

Michael Coslo mjc5 at psu.edu
Mon May 4 05:47:13 PDT 2009

On May 1, 2009, at 7:27 PM, 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?

There are several uses for appending to the callsign.

Special event Stations in PAQP sometimes use multiple stations/  
multiple counties. Not all software will accommodate the entry of the  
same callsign - it will insist that the first QTH is the only one, and  
won't let you get past it. So if W3XX is the special event station,  
and a person is using software that dupes it out before the county,  
the addition of the county to the callsign allows software that isn't  
otherwise compatible to work.

The same goes for mobiles. Some software will suspend the dupe until  
the county if invoked, some won't.

> 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.

They don't, if the software handles it. A surprising number of loggers  
need to handle it the other way, especially with a situation like our  
multiple QTH special event stations.

> In addition, callsigns with appended information are a pain for log  
> checking
> because they complicate duping and crosschecking.

	Except for county suffixes, we just ignore what is past the slash in  
most cases, and for those few for which it is important, we can figure  
it out pretty quickly. we had a some stations using a special even  
callsign last year - I think it was N3A/1, 2, and 3. Wasn't much of an  

>  My thought is to move toward eliminating callsign appendages where  
> possible.

I think the issue is that unless the individuals in the QSO know the  
software each other is using, they will have to assume that each other  
needs the longer info.

> 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?

It depends on the party. In PAQSO, we often need the county info in  
the callsign depending on the Op's logging program, so we use it as  
is, or ignore it as need be.

Note that some times the opposite issue happens. There are times when  
an Op doesn't put down the /# in a QSO with someone who is using it.  
It will probably start another argument, but as long as the QSO data  
matches otherwise, I count it.

In the end, the number of stations using an unneeded suffix is pretty  
small compared to those that need to use one because of logging  
software issues, so it isn't a very big issue for us.

-73 de Mike N3LI -

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