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Foundations of Amateur Radio - Episode 95

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Mar 31, 2017.

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  1. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    What defines /Mobile and /Portable for HF ham radio?

    Traditionally, ham operators have used /Mobile for a station that is designed to be easily operated while in motion. A typical example of /Mobile is a transceiver mounted in a car with a whip antenna.

    /Portable is a station that can be carried around, but it is not being operated while in motion. A typical example of /Portable, is a transceiver set up on a table with an antenna supported by a tree or pole.

    But, with the new HF backpack and lightweight transceivers, when is it /Pedestrian Mobile -vs- /Backpack Portable, etc?

    Here are a few common callsign suffixes used by HFpackers:

    • /P = Portable
    • /BP = Backpack Portable
    • /PM = Pedestrian Mobile
    • /M = Mobile
    • /MM = Maritime Mobile or Marine Mobile
    • /AM = Aeronautical Mobile or Air Mobile
    • /BM = Bike Mobile
    • /HM = Horseback Mobile (or pack animal)
    • /KM = Kayak Mobile (or canoe)
    • /HPM= Human-Powered Mobile
    • /WM = Wheelchair Mobile (may also use /PM)
    • /SM = Snowshoe, Ski, Skate, or Scooter Mobile

    Some FAQs... and a more direct answer to the question:
    "When is it Pedestrian Mobile or Backpack Portable?"

    /PM = Pedestrian Mobile?

    HF transceiving system carried by the operator while walking and
    continuously operable while walking (AKA: Backpack mobile).
    Usually battery-powered. Able to move about freely while
    transmitting. Typically uses a whip antenna mounted on the backpack,
    but other types of antennas may be used if they are supported
    entirely by the operator, whether walking, sitting, or standing.
    No mechanical or electrical connection to fixed objects, but
    dragging a wire along as a counterpose is OK.

    /PM = Walking Portable (a form of Pedestrian Mobile) ?

    HF transceiving system carried by the operator but mainly operable
    while stopped, standing, sitting, etc. No connections to stationary
    objects such as trees. Usually battery-powered. Possibly
    holding an antenna mast up by hand, while the base of the mast is
    resting on the ground. It is Pedestrian Mobile if it may be moved
    around while actively in operation, although it may not be
    easy operate continuously in motion for long distances.

    /BP = Backpack Portable or Bike Portable?

    HF transceiving system completely carried to the operating site
    by the operator on foot or by bicycle. Usually battery-powered.
    Antennas can be set up in trees, or tripods, or attached to other
    stationary objects, but if fixed objects are used, it doesn't
    qualify as /Pedestrian Mobile or /Bike Mobile.

    /BM = Bike Mobile?

    HF transceiving system on a human-powered mobile: such as bicycle,
    tricycle, quadracycle, cart, wagon, or other wheeled vehicle;
    that is operable while in motion. Includes all types of /Human
    Powered Mobile. Usually battery-powered. Able to move about
    freely while transmitting. Excludes stations with mechanical or
    electrical connections to fixed objects, such as an antenna in
    a tree, because it would then be /Bike Portable instead of /Bike Mobile.

    /P = Portable?

    HF transceiving system carried by any method, and set up at a location
    that is not the normal home station QTH. Usually with AC mains power,
    generator, or battery power.
    Another variation of /Portable is the "Picnic Table Portable", which
    is usually driving to a park or outdoor location and setting up a
    temporary antenna and transceiver with a battery pack or car battery.
    Yet another variation is the /Field Day Portable: Bring along an AC
    gas generator and a 100W transceiver (or a kiloWatt). Set up a table,
    some chairs, a tent, a tribander on a tower, or a dipole in trees.

    /MM = Maritime Mobile or Marine Mobile?

    Maritime Mobile is usually operation on a ship, boat, or watercraft
    on the ocean (or waterways connected to the ocean). Also,
    technically, when operating under "Maritime" regulations, or
    in international waters.
    Marine Mobile is usually operation on a ship, boat, or watercraft
    within inland lakes, rivers, and waterways. Also, technically, when
    operating the boat or ship under local regulations, not Maritime
    regulations, not international waters.

    A rowboat may be both /MM and /Human Powered Mobile :)
    VK6FLAB likes this.
  2. VK6FLAB

    VK6FLAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    What if I'm eating a bagel while rowing? /MM/Human/Bagel
    OH2FFY and KQ6XA like this.
  3. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, never use multiple suffix / slash strokes!
    A rowing while bagel eating operator would likely use /MMB , both because of brevity, and because hams love confusing initialisms even more than NASA does.
    In some countries, rowing while distracted (operating a vehicle while distracted) is illegal, so that's another good reason to use a secret initialism: to avoid penalties and fines.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    VK6FLAB likes this.
  4. VK6FLAB

    VK6FLAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    You wouldn't be implying that hams like complicating things now would you?

    Also, just for clarification purposes. If I used a man-made-boomerang to erect my antenna, how should I sign, since /MMB is already taken for when I'm eating a bagel while rowing a boat operating my radio?

    Also, is the order important? Does my suffix change if I start eating the bagel before I get into the boat, compared to after getting into the boat?
    KQ6XA likes this.
  5. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, no, no.
    The correct terminology these days is "human-made boomerang" not "man-made-boomerang"!
    You would not use any slash/stroke suffixes for that purpose, because it would spoil the QSO surprise. It would steal your thunder!

    Antenna naming is a whole different subject in ham radio!
    Your equipment brag in the QSO would certainly emphasize the fact that you are using a Boomerang-Lifted Antenna or BLA.
    That may perhaps be confused with Balloon-Lifted Antenna (BLA), but sometimes initialisms are regional or must be used in context. For example, every ham who works an aussie station would assume from the beginning of the QSO that they are using a Boomerang-Lifted Antenna.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  6. VK6FLAB

    VK6FLAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ah, I get it, so it's about where the radio is?

    So having my station in a tree house on an island in a lake on an island would be a /thiotaiota and if it's portable, I would add a p, /pthiotaiota?

    Sorry, forgot to ask, is the suffix different if I'm climbing, or if I'm just sitting in the tree?
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    KQ6XA likes this.
  7. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is recommended to keep the number of suffix slash/stroke initialism alphanumerics below 4 characters. That adds to the mystery, and begs the question. Those who already know what the initialism means, will always show that they know; those that don't know will sometimes ask or else be silently embarrassed at not knowing.

    A few ancillary objectives of suffix slash/stroke initialism:
    • Brevity
    • Entice contact
    • Fascinate
    • Show off uniqueness
    • Confuse the unworthy
    • Obfuscate
    • Attract tribe members
    • Seek accolades and awards
  8. VK6FLAB

    VK6FLAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ooh, so, I can operate my station from a bedroom at the rear of the house in the dark while eating a guava and sign /BRAG?

    I could get extra points for talking while chewing and logging without dripping.
    OH2FFY likes this.
  9. VK6NO

    VK6NO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good morning Onno and others,
    Thank you for replying to your podcast and my comments. Firstly I understand you did not use the word Cretin but the word Lemming. I showed the meaning of the word Lemming as it was put and it clearly shows as being an insult to all VK6 Hams and I quote." 20170312 - VK5 Welcomes Lemmings to Handorf in May" Hahndorf is actually the proper spelling as I used to reside there long long ago.

    "Moron" Thank you for acknowledging its misuse but if you had replied on the 31/10/2016 you would have never heard from me again. Funny how life changes things when people ignore insulting phrases but Oh well its cool now.

    The content of this podcast you have produced is a rehash of another podcast so it is obvious you are not happy with certain rules, procedures and regulations so it is plain to me you really are intent on changing the rules and regulations of AR or you wouldn't bring it up again. Please refer to podcast 01/05/2016

    The use of VK6ARN became a disputed area as you were asked on route "How did you get around the regulations Onno" and refused to answer this question. Club Stations are issued normally as Advanced licences to a specific address i.e. the known location of the club. In this case the known address is in Bull Creek where an advanced call resides. This question was raised with ACMA as to who held the licence by mail and they have responded by phone but it is still being investigated so I failed to get an answer on this day. I am still waiting for the full report from ACMA regarding this matter and now others as raised on here so we must be patient on this. It was also raised with the WIA and their response is in quotes.

    "Dear Lindsay

    The WIA view is that there must be an advanced licensee present to supervise during operations with an advanced licence callsign even if Foundation Licensee operator is operating within their licence conditions. This applies whether this is a club station, or an ordinary station the same requirements for supervision under the LCD apply.



    WIA Office"

    This statement is from one of our governing bodies, the Institute that has the power to teach, arrange examinations, recommend certain licenses should be issued or not and to negotiate on behalf of all operators and not just its members. Am I so wrong in listening to a body that has this power.

    In regards everything Onno you were given the opportunity to respond by private email but as you say, chose not to. This should have been resolved in a peaceful manner if you had taken this option in the first place and not on the world stage.

    I did resend my email addressed to Newswest to another address and was answered with the chance to chat on the phone and I agreed in principle to nearly everything the gentlemen presented and this should have put us on the road to open and meaningful discussions, but you chose to lock the podcast to keep further comments out. Can I ask why?

    This could go on forever Onno so I will say I am open to all discussions that will lead to a peaceful solution but I say here and now in front of all hams I will never agree to any changes to the LCD or its taught operating procedures on the whim of one persons say so, as long as I shall live. If ACMA or the WIA tell me things are a changing I will immediately obey their instructions as it is the law and the only other exception would be if it is the wishes of the entire amateur fraternity.


    Lindsay VK6NO
    VK6APZ and VK6NSB like this.
  10. N2RGA

    N2RGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I posted that I have a amatuer Radio Directory and I was told it doesn't belong in the news feed well it was news that would help other amateurs list their web site. So yes If mine can not belong here there this opinion thread doesn't either

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