Please help by providing missing information, indicated by <info required>.
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.
Regarding pre-1940 calls, there were no prefixes until 1927, when Cyprus was allocated the AY prefix (A=Asia, Y= cYprus).
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. The October 1950, iussue of Short Wave Magazine
remarks:"All the MD7's appear to have become ZC4's".
Other examples of MD7 QSLs can be found on K8CX's Hamgallery and F6AJA's Les Nouvelles DX
The following is from the September 1950 issue of the RSGB Bulletin:
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>
A snippet from the RSGB Bulletin, August 1953:
"G3AGF, now ZC4GF, says a 25-watt licence is quite easy to obtain in Cyprus but it costs £5".
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 Republic. These 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>.
Callsigns were of the form 5B8xx, some of which continue to be in use today.
The 1975 JOTA report states that 5B4CSA was the first ever use of a 3 character suffix for a 5B4 callsign.
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
G3ZDW comments: "I operated 5B4AK/ZC4AK [RAF Akrotiri club station] in 1964. During that time I was on the air as 5B4AK and the SNCO in charge of the Akrotiri Club came in and said I was using the wrong call! He said you are to use ZC4AK from now on. So I started a QSO as 5B4AK and signed off as ZC4AK! I must have been on the air the day the call changed from 5B4 to ZC4."!
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
|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||30years of the Republic of Cyprus|
|5B60 prefix||January-December 2020||Any properly licensed 5B station, who was a member of CARS, could use the 5B60 prefix with their normal suffix||60 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|
|5B80FOC||May 2018||5B4AGN, G3RWF||80th anniversary of FOC|
|5B19CWC||May - July 2019||CARS - Pafos District||ICC Cricket World Cup held in England and Wales|
|5B4STAYHOME||08 April 2020 until 08 July 2020||Any properly licenced Cyprus operator||Covid-19 - stay at home|
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".
|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|
|P37T||August 1988||<info required> [QSL YU1RL]||<info required>|
|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|
|H2STT||June 1992||5B4AS, 5B4KH and others, obo Cyprus Wildlife Socie||Save The Turtles|
|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||CARS - Pafos District||Celebrating the entry of the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union|
|C4EU||July, 2005 & July, 2006||CARS - Pafos District||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||CARS - Pafos District||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||CARS - Pafos District||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||CARS - Pafos District||Pafos - European City of Culture|
|C4II||August 2018||DL8JJ, G4PVM, MM0MDX, 5B4AIE||Manijin Island, AS-120|
|C4XMAS||December 2018||5B4ALX||Christmas season|
|P3CG||August 2022||5B4AF, 5B8AP||Cape Greco Light house|
ZC4 special event callsigns
|Callsign||Date||QTH / Operators||Event|
|ZC4HMS||1959||G4MVA/ZC4CZ||25 years of RNARS|
|ZC4BP||October 1970||Dhekelia, ESBA.|
Scout and Guide Movement Dhekelai and Famagusts
|ZC4AVU||October 1971/72/73||Akrotiri Venture Unit||JOTA station - world's first Venture Scout Unit|
|ZC4RSJ||1986||Agios Nikolaos, ESBA. ZC4EE/G3OOE||RSARS Silver Jubilee|
|Episkopi, WSBA. 5B4SA-5B4MF-ZC4AP-4Z4DX|
Episkopi, WSBA. ZC4AP-ZC4KU-4Z4DX-4Z4UX
|CQ WW SSB|
CQ WW CW
|ZC4BOB||September 1990||WSBA||50th Anniverary of Battle of Britain|
|ZC4HMS||October 1990||Dhekelia, ESBAZC4CZ||30 years RNARS|
|ZC4DDAY||June 1994||Episkopi, WSBA||50th Anniversary of D-DAY|
|ZC4DX||July 1995||Akrotiri, WSBA. G3OZF,G4JVG||IOTA Contest|
|ZC4C||05-19 August 1995||Pergamos Camp (OK1RF, OK1RI)||WAE Contest|
30th June 2002
|ESBA ZC4BS (G3KIV)|
ESBA ZC4DW (G0DEZ/5B4AGW)
ESBA ZC4VG (G0UVX)
|Golden Jubilee of|
H.M. Queen Elizabeth II
A list of JOTA callsigns can be found here
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:
|Nicosia||5B4NC||C49C. Past calls: P39C, C4NC, H2Q|
Other club stations are listed below. Some of these are no longer in existence.
| Club||District||Callsign||Contest callsign|
|Royal Air Force Police Amateur Radio Society||ZC4IK|
|Panagias Theoskepastis Gymnasium Club||Pafos||5B4AID|
|NJB Westland Electronics||Pafos||5B4AIF||C4I|
|P3F Contest Group||Pafos||5B4AJX||P3F, P37F (2015)|
|Nicosia Contest Group||Nicosia||5B4NDX||C4A|
|Athalassa Park Amateur Radio Club||Nicosia||5B4AKM||C4R|
|WSBA Amateur Radio Club||Akrotiri||ZC4AKR|
|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|| |
|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|| |
|R.A.F. Amateur Radio Club, Nicosia||RAF Nicosia||ZC4AM|
|33 FD SQN RE Army Club Station, Dhekelia||ESBA||5B4CY/ZC4CY|| |
|R.A.F. Amateur Radio Club, Agios Nikolaos||ESBA||5B4GT/ZC4GT|| ZC4GT QRV from c.1956. ZC4GT was a personal call in 1952|
|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||MD7DC/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|| |
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.
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
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
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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