Proper identification when working form multiple QTHs

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by KD4VOJ, Oct 10, 2018.

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  1. KD4VOJ

    KD4VOJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Like many I regularly operate from multiple stationary QTHs. But in my case they are only about 120 miles or so apart, in the same state, but different counties and of course grids. I would like to properly indicate to contacts when I am at the alternate QTH instead of my primary station location listed in QRZ and other databases., which could help them with awards, especially county hunters.

    What is the proper way to give my call on the air? Would it be appropriate to use /P even though the locations are in the same state? Is there a way to change the station address in QRZ logs to indicate which QTH a QSO was made from?

  2. N2PQW

    N2PQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    It seems to me that the station listed as your FCC-identified address uses no modifier, and each other location you operate from would be defined as "/P" (or in my case, "/M", since most of my operation take place in motion.)

    Naturally, there is no legal requirement, but this should help with clarity for the logs. If the other party (or parties) in the QSO need further definition, then you could certainly offer your Grid as part of the exchange. All of this, in my opinion, depends on the desire of the other station for their goals.

    David / N2PQW
    KA0REN likes this.
  3. KT1TK

    KT1TK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My comment regards an ARO with multiple locations for the same call sign such as when vacationing, having more than one home, having moved one or more times, or when living in an mobile RV.

    Since the FCC requires a single call sign per licensee, QSL confirmations for QSOs while not operating in the original licensed QTH are invalid for remote QSL credits. Don't forget that time of QSO is a factor too! Picture the case where you operate and log QSOs in Massachusetts in Aug 2019, move to Maryland in Sep 2019, and your QSO partner requests a confirmation in Jan-2020. His logging app (be it web-based like or local like AC Log) will use the CURRENT call record data at QRZ/LoTW to formulate the QSL confirmation. That is, his original QSO logging from Aug-2019 will have stored the Massachusetts address. The confirmation match will succeed based on call sign but won't match the QTH data which is now Maryland thereby invalidating his/her desire to get credit for a new state, county, and/or grid.

    Since call record database don't store separate records for the same call sign at different QTHs and dates, the only remedy is not that messy. Without accommodating this problem, when the other party attempts to register the QSO of May-2019, looking for QTH award credits, QRZ or other service will return an error (You Entered This, Party Other Entered That). That means you don't get the credit. You might then correct the error but you lose credit for the original QTH.

    The only way around this is for AROs to use a suffix for each QTH at a different location. Since all but a rare few AROs don't operate in more than 10 or so QTHs over a few years time, then a suffix handily solves the problem by permanently maintaining call sign records for each true QTH. For that reason using suffixes like M0, M1, M2, etc, works nicely and respects the QSO partners by providing bona fide call records to match their QTH. Using 2 digits, you get 101 QTHs (no suffix+M00-M99).

    For this to work and be practical, call database services need to accept the suffixes and allow for individual call record maintenance. QRZ does do this. I've seen some complain about all the subsidiary records then not being contained in a single list. Well, if you think about it, a single list is only a cosmetic convenience for the traveler but is invalid as a representation of QSO credits since the different locations are, in effect, different operations with different characteristics. If cosmetics are the only issues, it is not that hard to combine multiple logs just for the purpose of personal use to display a list that can only say "I worked all these calls but from different locations". It's of no use or value to anyone else.

    This issue was brought home to me quite vividly when I worked a call from a County I sought for 2 years only to have the other party log me at a different QTH entirely. I was essentially mislead and wasted a lot of time trying to log what turned out to be a now non-existent QTH. Argh! I don't hold it against the QSO partner as they didn't know about suffixes and were rightfully concerned about maintaining multiple call logs. The reality is that it's quite easy. That led me to the realization that a huge number of awards for specific Grids, States, and Countries are completely false. That, in turn, reduces the integrity of everyone's logs.

    Another variant of the same case is when I recently bagged the last County in Maine that I was missing. When texting the ARO while in FT8 mode, I asked about the disparity between his QTH and the one that popped up in AC Log from QRZ data. His answer was, "Oh, I was using the repeater in Maine" - Argh! I thought I was the newbie. We need to teach our fellow AROs about what it mean to correctly credit a QSO and that operating a remote transmitter while logging the QSO as a your local QTH is downright unethical and a huge disservice to your QSO partner.

    Suffixes fix all these issues. If allowed, suffixes such as /M00-/M99 handle 101 QTHs. Letters+Digits "/M[A-Z,0-9][A-Z,0-9]" will handle 1,297 QTHs. That's effectively handles ALL possible cases.

    So, that's my 3 cents.

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