POTA is changing park prefixes and, in some cases, park numbers

I’ve just learned that the Parks On The Air (POTA) admin is in the process of cleaning up and reorganizing the way Programs, Locations, DX Entities, and Parks are stored in its database.

Many thanks to Alan (W2AEW) who shared a link to this document which explains what they’re doing and even links to logs as they implement these changes.

In short, this will have an effect on activators, especially, because there’s a decent chance you will be using a new park prefix, and in some cases, possibly new park numbers.

A number of POTA prefixes have changed already.

In fact, if you’re activating in Canada, you might have already noticed that the park prefix is no longer VE, but is now CA.

As an example, in my activator logbook, what was once VE-1596 (Hog’s Back Conservation Reserve) is now CA-1596.

Here in the States, the prefix will soon change from K to US.

These prefix changes will happen for many other countries as well.

Of course there’s nothing, as an activator or hunter, you need to do other than start using the new prefix when it has been implemented. All of your old logs will automatically update in the POTA system with the new prefixes and/or numbers.

It might take time for logging applications like HAMRS to adjust to new prefixes. Activators might need to use the old prefix while live-logging during an activation, then use a find/replace string in a text editor later to fix the ADIF file.

Again, check out this document on the POTA website which goes into much more detail.

Thanks again, Alan, for the tip!

16 thoughts on “POTA is changing park prefixes and, in some cases, park numbers”

  1. One of our guys here in Atlantic Canada (VE1SK) had the update happen during an activation, hi hi. He had spotted himself with the “VE” designation and it worked at the beginning, but then started to fail. He initially thought there was a problem with the site.

    Anyway, after a period of adjustment it will all make sense again. I’ve advised our local group on PEI already.

  2. HAMRS hasn’t seen an update on iOS/MacOS in over a year. The park numbers are stored within the app when you put them in the MY_PARK or THRIER_PARK field. So when you input a park number that’s recently been added the app doesn’t know what to do with it ie. K-10051. I also belong to the HAMRS forum and there hasn’t been a peep out of the developer. So my opinion is there’s no longer support for HAMRS as emails to him have gone unanswered.

  3. The problem with HAMRS is that the software hasn’t seen an update in nearly two years (v1.0.6 May 2022) and there doesn’t seem to be much, if any, engagement from the developer. I hope he’s OK.

    For field work, I log on paper exclusively and only use HAMRS to generate an adif file for upload to pota.app. I never really got the hang of using an app while copying CW.

    There is the “Manual Log Entry,” a beta feature available on pota.app which will get a lot more use in my after-activation POTA workflow.

    Despite the disruption to my workflow, I’m happy that Parks On The Air is making the necessary changes to continue the sustainable growth of the program.

    1. Have you ever tried Fast Log Entry (FLE) for converting paper to ADIF? It uses a form of shorthand and is by far the best and quickest method I know of for those who paper log.

  4. Thanks for the info, Thomas. While hunting an Ontario POTA station yesterday, I noticed it had the new “CA” prefix.

    73, Vic KB7GL

  5. I’m impressed my their change log they’ve been publishing. It’s a very professional way to communicate the exact changes being made!

    Daniel KD4AN

  6. I hate that there is there a dash in the park numbers. What is the purpose of the dash? Instead of k-1176 we could have k1176. Anybody know?

    1. My guess is that it is part of the ISO requirement. A dash after the country designator permits, now or later, a second-level designator to be added. This might apply in cases of multiple DXCC entities within a single country, such as CY9 and CY0 for St. Paul and Sable Islands. They are part of Canada, but considered separate countries for DXCC, and a dash with a second-level identifier could accommodate that.

      Just a guess…


      1. If the dash is required for whatever reason, perhaps as you suggest then ok. But if it’s there because someone put it there in the beginning for some random purpose and it’s just carried along since then that would be kind of annoying. Tnx!

      2. Doubt it’s for ISO compliance. There has been a dash since the inception, and even back in the WWFF days before POTA. ISO compliance was not even a twinkle in the minds eye back then or they would have used US- from day one. I suspect they used “K-” since WWFF used “KFF-“

        1. Did you read the link that Thomas posted at the top? It is laced with ISO references. But what do I know.

    2. Visual separation is my guess. A dash makes it much easier to differentiate the region from the numerical identifier.

  7. Thank you for the info.

    I see that Spain has changed from EA to ES, but I cannot find the change in any of the changelogs (I may have missed it).

    I’m using HamAlert and I’ve seen that the EA filter I had has been removed and I had to manually add the ES filter. I guess some other programs may be affected as well. Same with existing links to parks.

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