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Author: Alan, 5B4AHJ


This article traces the history of Cyprus callsigns since the end of the second World War. It is necessary to log in to Club Log to view some of the QSL cards.


MD7 - British Forces in Cyprus in the immediate post WWII period

British forces personnel serving in Cyprus immediately following the end of WWII used the MD7 prefix.

From information in G2MI's "The Month on the Air" column in  the RSGB Bulletin, it seems that this prefix was used from Q1, 1947.

The August, 1947 issue questions the need for the new MD7 prefix for British Forces personnel, given that Cyprus was administered by Britain, and already had the ZC4 prefix.


The last MD7 operation I know of was by MD7XP in late October, 1950.

Other examples of MD7 QSLs can be found on K8CX's Hamgallery and F6AJA's Les Nouvelles DX


ZC4 - Cyprus pre-independence

Prior to independence in 1960, whilst administered by Britain, stations thoughout Cyprus used the ZC4 prefix.

It is not known when the ZC4 prefix was first used from Cyprus  but it is known that ZC4AL was QRV in 1939.

A 1947-48 Call Book does not have a single entry for Cyprus, but does list ZC4 as the prefix for Cyprus.

The ARRL Postwar Countries List published in the February, 1947 issue of QST lists ZC4 as the prefix for Cyprus.

MD7TF, who was QRV on 1950-08-03 had become ZC4TF by 1950-08-20.

There were, perhaps, also some local (non-British Forces) stations who were QRV before 1950? <info required>


ZC4 - The Republic of Cyprus  August, 1960 - June, 1962

The Republic of Cyprus was formed on 1960-08-16, on becoming independent from Britain. The republic includes the whole of Cyprus, excluding the two British Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

The ZC4 prefix continued to be used for Cyprus stations until the 5B4 prefix replaced ZC4 in 1962.


ZC4 - Sovereign Base Areas  August, 1960 - June, 1962

The UK Sovereign Base Areas became a separate DXCC entity with effect from 1960-08-16 (although UK SBAs were not added to the DXCC list until 1985, QSOs count from 1960-08-16).

Stations  operating from the SBAs also used the ZC4 prefix. NCDXF's "The DXer" reports that, following independence, "Certain adminstrative functions of the base areas have been delegated to the RepublicThese include the issue of driving and wireless licences, and explains why hams in both parts of the island still sign ZC4". The entire article is reproduced at the end of this page.


5B - The Republic of Cyprus July, 1962 to date

5B4 callsigns began to be issued from 1962-07-01, and all holders of ZC4 licences switched to 5B4 callsigns on that date, retaining their existing suffices.


<info required> as to the date of issue of the first 5B4xxx callsign, presumably 5B4AAA? This was probably sometime in the 1980s.


ITU has allocated the entire 5B prefix block to Cyprus.

The 5B8 prefix was issued for VHF-only code-free licences starting from 1994-04-08 until <info required-info coming soon from 5B4AFM>. 

Callsigns were of the form 5B8xx, some of which continue to be in use today.


5B4 - Sovereign Base Areas July, 1962 to September, 1964

As was the case for stations in the Republic of Cyprus, all stations in the SBAs switched from ZC4 callsigns to 5B4 callsigns on 1962-07-01, which seems to be something of an anomaly. The answer probably lies in the statement from The DXer, mentioned above, which states that the issue of wireless licences within the SBA had been delegated to the Republic of Cyprus. Whether the issue of 5B callsigns to SBA stations was intentional, or was an administrative error, is not known. Nevertheless, it did happen, as can be seen by viewing the QSLs, by clicking on the callsign links, in the table Early British Forces club stations later in the article.

Stations with 5B4 callsigns operating from the SBAs are not accepted for DXCC for UK Sovereign Base Areas, and counted for Cyprus.


G3PSM, ex ZC4CT/5B4CT, says "The 5B4 prefix came into service on the 1st July 1962 and there were about a dozen of us spaced up 20 metres at the time! You will see from the 5B4PB QSL we worked each other, Famagusta<>Pergamos 30 minutes after the start".


ZC4 - Sovereign Base Areas October, 1964 to date

SBA stations switched back to the ZC4 prefix on 1964-09-17, see section on inter-communal ethnic tensions below.
Stations at British military locations outside the SBA also used the ZC4 prefix. ZC4MO (Mount Olympus) is the only known instance of this.


Inter-communal ethnic tensions, 1963

There was a period of ethnic tension, which commenced in 1963, and which had an impact on amateur radio in Cyprus.

DX News Sheet reported in September, 1964 "All 5B4 stations closed down last Thursday (5B4AHJ:1964-09-17) except those in British Crown Territory; the latter have reverted to the ZC4 prefix". <info required> as to when 5B4 stations became QRV again following this close-down.  See also "The Cyprus Story" later in this article.


G3UCQ, ex 5B4JF says "In 1964, our licences were revoked because of the troubles and our stations were confiscated, with mine ending up in the Limassol police station. Heathkit DX40 and an AR88D!" John also says that Amateur Radio was still banned when he left the island in February, 1965. Here is the licence revocation letter received by 5B4JF:


G3SNN, ex ZC4CN says that amateur radio was banned (in the Republic of Cyprus) during his entire second posting to Cyprus, from March, 1965 to September, 1968. However, as Spyros, 5B4MF also reports, Tony, G3SNN says it was possible to to get a short-term licence for a special event and says "One year, I think it was either '67 or '68, we operated as 5B4SS from Salamis with a special license and were visited by the Telecoms minister. This was set up by members of the Famagusta Radio Club. (we were a front cover photo on a Radcom with me and Jack Hill (G3AUU now silent key) at the rig)." See also the QSLs for  5B4ES and 5B4ES/J


It seems that amateur radio was banned until June, 1971, but confirmation of this is required.


5B special event callsigns


Callsign
Date Operators Event
5B0 prefix 1983 Any 5B station could use the 5B0 prefix with their normal suffix
<info required>
5B25 prefix August - December, 1985 Any 5B station could use the 5B25 prefix with their normal suffix
25 years of  the Republic of Cyprus
5B30 prefix April - December, 1990 Any 5B station could use the 5B30 prefix with their normal suffix
30  years of  the Republic of Cyprus
5B9A 13-14 July, 1991 5B4SA  1991 IARU HF Contest (SSB)
5B5E March, 1992 - September, 1993 5B4ACY 5B4ADX 5B4WN 5B4WS 5B4XF 5B4XN 5B4YN English School Radio Club, Nicosia  WPX SSB 1992
5B80CSA/xx April, 1993 Stations involved with the Cyprus Scouting Association could sign 5B80CSA/own suffix, eg 5B4GJ would sign 5B80CSA/GJ.  80th anniversary of the Cyprus Scouting Association
5B0A 26-27 March, 1994 5B4ADA Contest call
5B40 prefix July/August, 2001 Any 5B station could use the 5B40 prefix with their normal suffix
40 years of the Republic of Cyprus
5B90CSA
May, 2002, May & October, 2003 5B4FL, 5B4FZ, 5B4VX, 5B4SN
90th anniversary of the Cyprus Scouting Association JOTA station
5B90LSS October, 2003  23rd Scout Group, Larnaca 90th anniversary of the Cyprus Scouting Association JOTA station
5B90PSG October, 2003
Pafos Scout Group 90th anniversary of the Cyprus Scouting Association JOTA station
5Bcall/EURO 2008 All Cyprus stations could append /EURO to their normal callsign Celebrating the adoption of the Euro currency by the Republic of Cyprus
5B50J 25 October, 2010 - 25 October, 2011 5B4AHJ Celebration of 50 years QRV
5B50 prefix October, 2010 Any 5B station could use the 5B50 prefix with their normal suffix
50 years since the independence of Cyprus
5B75FOC May, 2013 5B4AGN 75th anniversary of FOC
5B70VE
May, 2015  5B4PRC members 70th anniversary of VE Day


C4, H2, P3 special callsigns

The C4, H2 & P3 prefixes are used for permanent contest callsigns as well as special event callsigns. A list of permanent contest callsigns (PDF download) can be found here. Below are the known special event callsigns.


From DX News Sheet #628, published by Geoff Watts: "C4A - C4Z = calisign block allocation by ITU to the Republic of Cyprus".


Callsign Date Operators Event
C4LWF
September 1986 <info required>
Limassol Wine Festival
H25 prefix May-December, 1987 Any 5B station could use the H25 prefix with their normal suffix.
Known ops 5B4JE, MF, QA, SA, SC, TI plus YU1FW/H25
25 years of CARS
C4GSC/xx May, 1989 Any 5B station could use C4GSC/usual suffix, eg 5B4JE signed C4GSC/JE, 5B4XA/P signed C4GSC/XA/P Small Countries Games
P30 prefix January - December, 1992 Any 5B station could use the P30 prefix with their normal suffix
30 years of CARS
P39 prefix September, 1993 Any 5B station could use the P39 prefix with their normal suffix
39th Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting
C4MI 10 July, 1995  Nicosia Contest Group - 5B4WN Moulia Rocks DXpedition DXpedition - IOTA AS-120 
C4MA
August, 1995 Nicosia Contest Group - 5B4WN 5B4WS 5B4XF, with the assistance of 5B4SF (boat man) Manijin Island DXpedition - IOTA AS-120
C4UWC August/September, 1995 <info required> 5th World University Windsurfing Championship held in Limassol, 
C4MG July, 2001  Nicosia Radio Club Agios Georgios DXpedition - IOTA AS-120
C4EU May, 2004 Pafos Radio Club Celebrating the entry of the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union
       
C4EU July, 2005 & July, 2006  Pafos Radio Club  RSGB IOTA Contest
P3CA
07/08 July, 2007 Limassol Radio Club - 5B4AFQ, 5B4XB, 5B8AP, 5B8BE
Cape Akamas DXpedition - CYP001 Lighthouse Activation
C4MG July, 2007  Nicosia Radio Club  Agios Georgios DXpedition - IOTA AS-120
C4EURO June, 2008 - December, 2009 Pafos Radio Club Celebrating the adoption of the Euro currency by the Republic of Cyprus
C4MG June, 2012  Nicosia Radio Club   Agios Georgios DXpedition - IOTA AS-120
P3EU July - December, 2012  Pafos Radio Club  Celebrating the Republic of Cyprus having Presidency of the European Union
C4HQ July 2015  5B4AFM, 5B4AGN, 5B4AHS/RA3AUU, 5B4AHZ, 5B4AIE, 5B4AII/R2AA, 5B4AIV/LZ3CQ, 5B4ALB/RT9T, 5B4MF, 5B4WN, 5B4XF, 5B4ZN, 5B8AP, LZ2HM, R4FO, RW4WR, RW9QA, UA4FER. Backup: 5B4AHJ. 
IARU HF Championship
H2017PFO
January - December 2017 Members of Pafos Radio Club Pafos - European City of Culture





JOTA Callsigns

A list of JOTA callsigns can be found here 


Club Callsigns

Each  administrative district of the Republic of Cyprus has its own amateur radio Club. Each club is affiliated to the Cyprus Amateur Radio Society.

District Clubs are:

District Club callsign Contest callsign
Larnaca 5B4LC
Limassol 5B4MS
Nicosia 5B4NC C49C. Past calls: P39C, C4NC, H2Q
Pafos 5B4PRC P3R

Other club stations are listed below. Some of these are no longer in existence.
 Club District Callsign Contest callsign
Panagias Theoskepastis Gymnasium Club
Pafos 5B4AID
NJB Westland Electronics Pafos 5B4AIF C4I
Pafos Forest Pafos 5B4AJC P33W 
P3F Contest Group Pafos 5B4AJX P3F
Nicosia Contest Group
Nicosia 5B4AKR C4A
Athalassa Park Amateur Radio Club
Nicosia 5B4AKM C4R
B.E.M.R.S. Social Club Limassol 5B4BBC
 
The English School Radio Club Nicosia 5B4ES  P39P. Past calls: 5B5E, C4FD, C40R, P30S, P33ES, P35S, H20Z, H25Z, H2F
Kykko Gym Radio Club Nicosia 5B4FX  
H.T.I. Radio Club Nicosia 5B4HT  
Ofa Auto Club Nicosia  5B4RN   
Nicosia Contest Group Nicosia 5B4NDX
No 1 (Overseas) Squadron Air Training Corps WSBA ZC4ATC  
ESBA Amateur Radio Club ESBA ZC4ESB ZC4T
King Richard School, Dhekelia ESBA  ZC4KRS  
WSBA Amateur Radio Club, RAF Akrotiri WSBA ZC4RAF   
Early British forces club stations Base Callsign Notes 
R.A.F. Amateur Radio Club, Akrotiri WSBA 5B4AK/ZC4AK  
33 FD SQN RE Army Club Station, Dhekelia
ESBA  5B4CY/ZC4CY  
R.A.F. Amateur Radio Club, Agios Nikolaos ESBA 5B4GT/ZC4GT  
Royal Engineers (Cyprus) Amateur Radio Society
ESBA 5B4GY/ZC4GY  
R.A.F. Heraklis Radio Club ESBA  5B4HK/ZC4HK RAF Heraklis was 12km east of Nicosia. It was outside the Sovereign Base Areas.
R.A.F. Pergamos Radio Club ESBA 5B4PC/ZC4PC
 
2 Tp, 2 Sqn, 9 Sig Regt, Famagusta
ESBA 5B4SG/ZC4SG  
Royal Signals Amateur Radio Club, Famagusta.
ESBA 5B4SS/ZC4SS
RSARS Mercury #5, Autumn, 1963,  refers to ZC4SS as "9th Signal Regiment club station"
Royal Signals Club, Episkopi
WSBA  5B4TJ/ZC4TJ  
259 Signal Sqn (COMCAN) Amateur Radio Club, Episkopi  WSBA 5B4TX/ZC4TX  


Related Article

British military & civilian prefixes, North Africa and Middle East from 1947

ZC4 - British Sovereign Bases in Cyprus - addition to DXCC list

ZC4AK - The Cyprus Situation - see below

The Cyprus Story - see below.


Acknowledgements

Anthony Quest, G4UZN

Barry Carter, 5B4AHO

Chris Wren, 5B4MW

Colin Thomas, G3PSM-5B4CT-ZC4CT

Cyprus Amateur Radio Society

DX News Sheet published by Geoff Watts, Issue #17, 1962-05-09 and Issue #132, dated 1964-09-22

Gintas, LY2YR

John Farrar, G3UCQ-5B4JF

Mercury - The Journal of The Royal Signals Amateur Radio Society

QSL card collector Patrick Rigg

QST published by ARRL, October, 1939 issue.

RSGB Bulletin - G2MI's "The Month on The Air"

Stavros Tsiakkouris, 5B4AFM

Spyros Stavrinides, 5B4MF

Wikipedia Cyprus

Yahoo Groups: QSL Card Collectors



"ZC4AK - The Cyprus Situation"

The following is reproduced from the Northern California DX Club's newsletter The DXer, December, 1960:


The Cyprus Story

The following is reproduced from Mercury, The Journal of The Royal Signals Amateur Radio Society, #11, March, 1965:




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