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Etiquette question: when to call /Mobile?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by HB9FUH, Jan 10, 2015.

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  1. KG5FXD

    KG5FXD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok newbie here.... So if you're using a mobile at home (inside, powered by converter) but in a com box is it still a portable or base?
  2. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    In this case, "mobile" refers to the type of operating, not the type of radio. If you are in a "brick & mortar" structure, you are not mobile.
  3. KD8ZWI

    KD8ZWI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would call mobile anytime I am using a setup that is mobile, which to me means a non-fixed installation that can be moved from place to place and uses a "non directly attached" antennae - and not running while attached to commercial power (for example, from a car with an antenna lip-mounted to the hatchback, from a boat with a mast mounted antenna, or from a bicycle with the antenna mounted on the bike - but not directly attached to the radio). Calling from such a station has it's dis-advantages - which is the reason I think that receiving stations tend to be more patient and/or consider mobile calls different than that of fixed station calls.

    Personally, I differentiate portable from mobile - in the following way: portable to me means a rig with a directly attached antenna and on battery power (i.e. an HT, or an 817 with a rubber duckie). If I was camping with an 817 on battery power, but with a buddypole/buddystick external I would consider such a setup "mobile" (again, powered by non-commercial power). If I made a mobile pack, with battery, rig and antenna all attached and self contained (where the antenna is directly attached to the rig) to be portable as well.

    I think any installation that is powered from commercial power (i.e. brick and morter building) never to be considered mobile, even if the antenna is directly attached to the rig.

    But that's just me and how I think...

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  4. K4ISR

    K4ISR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mobile is just that, in a vehicle (being a car, truck, go kart or 4-wheeler), moving or not. It is a mode. So even if you have a big expensive base or a $30 HT being used in your vehicle, it is mobile. Once you get out and are walking (usually with an HT), you then become "portable". If you are setup like at a field day or campground, that is a fixed location for the time and no longer mobile.
  5. F5VHZ

    F5VHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The rsgb ruling on this is that if you are in a car /van etc mobile then its xxx/m but if you operate from a vechicle in a static position ( not at traffic lights) but parked up at a beauty spot, high hill etc then you are portable.. if i use my radio rack from my half size landrover ( see my qrz page) in my shack, im on a base station, even if im using my portable equipment. if the radio rack is in the half size landrover in my garden and static then im portable, even though im on my property, and if i drive the half size landrover and use the radio then im mobile... there are many odd situations where for example on vhf if im on a ship, and with the captains permission allowed to transmit from my walki talki then im portable...not maritime mobile...but would be maritime mobile if he let me use the ships radio, on any band..
    but on my own boat i would be maritime mobile regardless if i was using a walkie talki or a ts750. but many will argue that as well.....but just use a little common sense. portable covers most things that are otherwise doubtful...
    and that has just prompted me to do a new post......about wierd places to operate from..
  6. F4WBW

    F4WBW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just another POV from a newbie (awaiting my call sign from the FCC): Here in France they are real fussy about the /M and /P designation.

    The way I understand it here is that a "naked" call is only appropriate when transmitting from your home address and thus in your "home" station. (France licenses both the ham and the station at their residence. Same call sign, but that's how they describe it.) If you transmit from any vehicle, or just wandering around with a hand held, you are supposed to add /M for mobile. /P is for when you go someplace and set up a stationary rig or if you transmit from a station that is located anywhere else by your registered home address. They very specifically indicated that if the radio is in a vehicle of any sort, it's always /M (even if the car is not moving).

    Was surprised to find that the suffixes are optional in the US. Then again, everything seems to be a little bit more complicated here in France.
  7. N7GH

    N7GH Ham Member QRZ Page

    rule of thumb: if you are in your shack it does not make any difference what you are using, you are at your registered location of operation.

    If you are not, then you need to ID that you are not at your registered location of operation. I took my rigs on vacation through WA, OR, ID, UT and lest someone thought they were getting my 2M/440/6M signal direct from my home locations I always ID as mobile--in the car, portable--out walking or even if I am fixed since I am not in my home location.
  8. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is no such thing as a "registered location"... at least not any more. All you need is an address where you can receive mail from the FCC, even if it is a PO Box. Personally, I think operating from a PO Box would be pretty uncomfortable!
    VK2CCR likes this.
  9. K5GHS

    K5GHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I only sign /mobile when I'm actually moving (or the car is in Drive at least).

    On the rare occasions I leave the state, I'll sign /mobile 7 (or whatever call district).

    I don't say it every ID. Usually my opening "hey I'm out here" one and when I'm signing off.

    I don't operate mobile HF so I don't usually log calls in the car, unless its simplex. Most of the time I'm within 25-50 miles of home so if they ask for it to be logged I just log it and note what it was.

    I guess if I ever get more than whatever the miles away from my home QTH is to log something, I'll have to setup another "location" in LOTW, etc. Or just list them as mobile and not use them for awards.
  10. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    But, if an earthquake strikes while you are operating, causing the structure to move off its foundation, you can consider yourself to be operating mobile until the motion stops. At that moment, you are operating fixed again. (Until the aftershocks strike...)
    VK2CCR likes this.

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