A quick reminder, suffix usage on DV use and gateway/repeaters

Just to remind folks that you’re still required on DV to use, as applicable, the correct suffix on spoken ID sends. It’s a bit grey on the call sign alias attached to radio ID as set in your radio - but I alter mine to have suffix added as general practise.

Whilst using a mobile or handheld, at your station (registered) address, no suffix is required, so direct QSO and RoIP (gateway, nearby repeater and hotspot) it’s your unamended call sign used.

If you’re away temporarily from station address, but not operating more than a few days from a one or more semi-static temporary station QTH‘s, you’re ‘mobile‘ and ‘Mobile‘ suffixed to call sign is the required ID. Technically, since we’re talking telegraphic use of voice, ‘/M‘ would be correct on your radio‘s digital send, but I guess since most see that as a RTTY/CW convention, it’s a grey area and subject specific region license rules, apply as necessary for MGM id’s (automated and embedded digital ID sends).

If you’re operating from one or more (a few in other words) locations where you operate static whilst at the location for a few days or so, you’re ‘Portable’ (unless it’s a SES operation where the conventions can vary), so it’s ‘xxxxx Portable’ being the correct spoken ID announce, MGM alias ID’s should have a technical ‘/P’ suffix also.

If you’re operating on a maritime vessel (boat, ship, dinghy) outside of inland waters, you’re ‘Maritime Mobile’ and suffix is as such, or ‘/MM’ for the MGM alias.

I’ve seen plenty of cases where it’s conveniently blind-eyed or ignored, and to the credit of some - recognition and usage of. So I thought it worth pointing out since the written authoritive words have quite caught up with this century and tech yet.

It’s even greyer when you use a non-radio RoIP access, so there I’d say stick with the basic call sign unless you clearly are in the realms of not operating from registered station address.

There is no FCC regulation requiring the use of a suffix. This is an old regulation that was removed decades ago.

Yes - but us Brits should and often don’t do it properly. I actually heard a couple of locals discussing today /MM operation on their sailboards - I’m not totally sure a sailboard is actually a vessel strictly speaking, but we don’t have operation at sea as a mode other than MM?

@jwilkers - Well i did say, where applicable, and since i was talking general internationally recognised usage, where applicable required, the advice and reminder stands as valid.

@paulears - That’s an interesting one to bring up - well it depends on if you’re inland or deep water. Inland where actually on inland waterways then use ‘mobile’ or ‘portable’ depend on your interpretation of how you are operating - on a sailboard, like with any small craft, if you are near the coast and within the 12 mile limit, you aren’t typically in what they classify as ‘deep water’, so ‘mobile’ is applicable - once you are in technical ‘deep water’ or outside the 12 mile limit you go generally to ‘maritime mobile’. However, you could argue that if you are in an area of international waters (say a region on a body of water that bridges neighbouring or adjacent 12 mile boundaries), you’re in a grey area - so then (since i know at least one sailboarder who attempts on occasions to navigate from Brighton to Dublin via the Channel, Bristol Channel and for a short period is actually in the Atlantic) you are really into common sense - so then i would suggest ‘MM’ would be applicable.

Even back in my CB days, when i kept a handheld for occasional talking on FM to shore whilst working on a training ship in and around the deep water of SE England, i reverted to higher wisdom and used ‘mobile’ and ‘martime mobile’ suffixes to my ‘handle’ depending on how far out we were. It was good practise as i was considering (at the time) doing the full professional maritime operators course (for HF operation) - which would have been a good motivator to being proficient in CW and Morse (at much higher than AR requirements needed). But those are other chapters in their own right.

I’m sure the Americans think us Brits have strange rules - but the other snag is over the ‘captaincy’ of the vessel. To have a Maritime Mobile station requires the vessels Master to authorise it, and wonder if you can actually authorise yourself, and if a sailboard actually can even have a ‘master’. It hadn’t occurred to me that the Norfolk Broads would be a mobile suffix for ham radio, but not be segregated status wise on Marine Band? I’ll have to read my demonstration and testing licence in case I cannot operate kit inland? I suspect OFCOM don’t have a clue either. I was the subject of chatter on marine band yesterday - I have an AIS unit on test in the office, and I’m causing collision alarms when vessels come around the corner of the river - I’m at that point in a straight line bearing off their front. My callsign in the office and MMSI come up and it’s confusing people as to why a ship is on dry land - but the AIS unit only gives preset categories and as a vessel laying explosives, or an oil tanker or involved in military operations looks worse - I picked leisure vessel!

Oh they do, Paul, if my experience of having to translate exactly what some of rules and regs actually mean. Mind you, I read the various Acts/statutes as well as the verbatim rules/regs and between the two, assuming you get used to some very unusual legal language and equally legal format grammar and layout etc.

For example, the parts of the license rules in our part of the world over national emergency use and formal use to aid critical User Services is borderline confusing and inconclusive - you need to read mother statute governing wireless and telegraphy use to make sense as it’s better defined there. Then look at what’s defined that User Services we are supposed to assist with when required and it’s a third string of inconsistent context that’s written with no context I can see to the mother telecoms and radio comms legislation.

As to your detail about maritime usage or context - a perfect example of how crazy our overlapping generations of evolved rules can be, and yet ironically outside of CV radio, we typically have far less tangible abuse of radio systems.

Technically, you need the MOV’s consent to bring radio equipment on board, added consent to operate whilst at sea (strictly speaking not required whilst in port) - and where it creates confusion is - you are master of a vessel as a non-professional mariner who’s responsible for conduct etc on your private vessel and yet, you’re not a true MOV - that requires (as acting MOV) being certified and accredited to be able to take Officer rank on a vessel, full MOV status requires you are actively accredited and certified as a Master.

Now when you add in equipment, such as you mention, under land demo testing even the Martine radio conventions get weird at best. But there does appear to be no ‘land’ use status of maritime licensed kit as far as sending ID‘s are concerned. That in itself tells you how out of date the Maritime regs can be - but it’s well known the Maritime community and Navy are virtually laws unto themselves when on board a vessel or a land based site registered as a ‘vessel’ - that’s why in the old dockyards, the ship-named training schools operated Navy and Maritime rules exclusively over all conduct even when it was at odds or against UK law.

So common sense and worst-case scenario fallback rules tend to be the sane route when clarity just don’t exist.

It’s like private calls use of digital radio on ham frequencies - not strictly prohibited as there’s at least recognition it qualifies as a QSO (I conclude that based on exploring this and consulting with OFCOM, but SMS sends are still a grey area) - so it makes sense, where there’s no formal required context on what’s not a conventional QSO, to employ regular QSO conventions but clearly the curtesy breaks for other stations don’t apply, but the nature of the QSO should technically be in line with acceptable QSO context of use.

Mind you, I’m not overly convinced (based on recent instances on simplex frequencies lately in FM and DV) some people ever knew what QSO conventions are and were.

So, there you go - make sense of that without needing pain killers and you’ll be ready to tackle statuate dissection.