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When do I log a callsign suffix in the logbook when I hear them say something like portable or QRP after their callsign? I'm specifically referring to cases where they don't use stroke or slash between the two. If I hear AA1AA stroke portable, I would assume I should log it as AA1AA/P, but if they just just say portable following the callsign, I just put the callsign down.

For a more specific case, I had this question for the ARRL September VHF contest. In that contest, I know that marking rovers is critical and I would always add /R to their callsigns, but the rules say nothing about other suffixes of that type. In general I'm curious about any sort of voice contest like this. For a digital contest like RTTY, it's clear exactly what the callsign and suffix is used and needs to be logged. It's just with voice, hearing portable, low-power, QRP, it's not clear if that's part of the call unless there's something in the rules requesting documentation for it. And then, there's satellites...

My goal is to maximize the chance I'll properly get a confirmation with the contest log upload or Logbook of the World. Do they give some leniency in matches if the suffix isn't critical to the contest rules?

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The general rule of thumb is to log what you copy. When the sending station submits their log, they should enter what you copied as the "sent" callsign, which should cover you. If you find otherwise in the log-checking report for the contest, you can challenge it.

That said, I never enter spurious suffixes like "/QRP" and I have never been penalized for this practice. As an experienced contester, I always work these stations last because they insist on wasting my time with unnecessary information.

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if they say "callsign portable" then it's definitely "callsign/p". The /QRP has no 'real' value "callsign/QRP" is the same as "callsign".

In my country (Belgium) according to the law only these suffixes are allowed:

  • /M for a mobile station
  • /MM for a maritime mobile station
  • /P for a portable station
  • /A for a station operating from an other place than the address mentioned in the licence

/QRP etc are THEORETICALLY not allowed. But I don't think this has ever been enforced.

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    $\begingroup$ OTOH, in the US, operator-chosen suffixes are specifically allowed, as long as they don't conflict with any suffix that has official meaning. $\endgroup$ – hobbs - KC2G Oct 27 '18 at 23:28

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