Activating EA2/NV border summits during current CV-19 restrictions

I’ve been in contact with Chris F4WBN a few days ago because his friend Alain F5ODQ wanted to find out if it was possible for him to activate summits in EA2/NV during these days of Covid19 restrictions. I explained him that, unless justifed reasons (and a SOTA activation is not) it’s currently not allowed for anybody to cross the border to enter into Navarra (EA2/NV) from either France or other territories of Spain.

Having explained this, Chris F4WBN asked me if Alain F5ODQ would then be allowed to activate border summits, to which I replied there shouldn’t be a problem with that as long as he makes sure he operates from inside the French territory. Chris confirmed to me that Alain will do it that way.

I’ve seen these spots on SOTAwatch today and I fear that Alain might have got confused and used the EA2/ preffix because the summit he was activating had an EA2/NV reference.

This is the summit he activated today. It’s located right on the F-EA border,

So, assuming Alain F5ODQ did what he said he would be doing of activating from the French side of the border, he shouldn’t have added the EA2/ preffix to his callsing and he should have only used his French callsing F5ODQ/P, despite having to pass a SOTA reference EA2/NV-094.

Adding the EA2/ preffix means that he operated in the EA side of the border, but that’s not authorised for him right now and would make his activation invalid.

I have already written an email to Chris F4WBN for him to forward it to Alain F5ODQ, but I also post this info here for the general knowledge.


P.D. Chris just responded saying thanks for the explanations and confirming he already passed my message on to Alain F5ODQ.
My recommendation for Alain’s chasers is to wait and see his activator log, as I guess he will probably correct his callsing into just F5ODQ/P without the EA2/ preffix.


I hope I can eat some gorgeous fruits from Spain without this big problem …
Where we are going ?? :smiling_imp:


Hi Éric,
Fruits, as well as cars, machines, aircraft assemblies, medical stuff and many other great products from Spain will surely reach to you as good and reliable as my 60m CW signal this morning from EA2/NV-092 :wink:
Thank you very much for your QSO.


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Me, that does not make me laugh! there are more important things in life

Dear Guru, TKS 4 QSO

What I wanted to say earlier :

  • Should I review my way of buying products from elsewhere that do not come from my home? (with a presumption of infection with COVID-19)

  • Why next week I can go to Barcelona without any problem …

Where are we going ?

I remember an activation of Andy @MM0FMF which was in OK and activated a summit in SP … Did you QSO him ? :wink:

I am not looking for a controversy but we can reduce the occupation of the server disks, by simply sending an email to Alain who would have taken his responsibilities, rather than making it a matter of state !


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Is it really such a fundamental problem? I know it is lighter at heart when you can show your oracle to everyone. The slave will ask, “Is it legal?” A free man will ask, “Is it justified?” If he was 50 cm beyond the French border on the side of Spain, how many lives did he risk by his shameful behavior? How far from the top are the closest buildings on the Spanish side? and on the French side ?? Who did he threaten more? To his countrymen or to his neighbors from beyond the southern border? If he returned the 50 cm, wouldn’t he threaten the neighbors beyond the southern border?

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After reading these last posts, I have the feel that the purpose of my message has been misunderstood.

I didn’t pretend to open discussions and I’m not going to argue in favour or against current restrictions being implemented in different ways, in different countries, regions, landers, autonomous comunities or whatever. That is law and all we can do about it is obeying.

I didn’t pretend to open discussions and I’m not going to argue in favour or against whether being on one side or the other of the border will put at risk the life of anybody. I have my opinion about that but it doesn’t matter at all at the moment because there are laws and regulations dictated by the people in power so our opinions have to remain for ourselves, our pub/bar conversations or maybe other forums.

I’m pretty sure that Alain operated from the French side of the border and I fear he got confused and added the EA2/ preffix to his callsign because he thought he should do so because the SOTA reference was EA2/NV-094. All I wanted is warning Alain and his today’s chasers, as well as other possible future activators of border summits, that the fact of having a certain reference in the activated summit doesn’t necessarily force us to include in our callsign the preffix of the country having the reference of that SOTA summit if we are operating from the other side of the border.

In the case that Alain operated from the Spanish side of the border, his callsign EA2/F5ODQ/P and the SOTA reference EA2/NV-094 would be correct, but his activation today would be invalid.

In the case that Alain operated from the French side of the border, his callsign should have been F5ODQ/P and the SOTA reference EA2/NV-094.

That’s it.




I agree with Guru.

The summit is listed as an EA2 summit. But the activity zone is also in France. So you can also activate an EA2 summit from France and then of course you don’t have EA2/-Call… and you don’t break any rules. Everything is fine!

When you activate a border summit, you don’t necessarily have to cross the border.

73 Armin

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I don’t really think it’s necessary to explicitly show you’re not breaking any rules by explicitly using your home country prefix instead of the other one just to show the world that you’re standing on your side of the border during activation, especially if the summit area is spread across 2 countries.

It’s more practical and less confusing for the chasers if the summit prefix and callsign prefix match, as simple as that. I always do it that way.

OM/OK and OM/SP have lots of border summits and I always use a callsign prefix to match that particular summit.

Obeying the regulations, I think, that’s a matter of one’s conscience and common sense. Apart from some very special/rare ocassions when you have a licence class that doesn’t allow you to operate abroad. (Is it still the case that Italy doesn’t recognize Cept N, so if you only have an N-class you wouldn’t be able to use transmit there?).


This :point_up_2:. Initially when on border summits, I made sure my callsign matched my actual location on the summit, but I found this created too much confusion. Now I make sure summit reference and callsign match, even if I am in the “other” country.

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This is true - I used to use the “correct” callsign when operating on the English side of the border to activate a Welsh Summit. Correct according to Ofcom rules but confusing and of no great significance.

However, on a fairly recent trip to a border summit between EI and GI there was the added problem of an M6 (UK Foundation Level) callsign; this is invalid for operating in EI. So, we were both careful to set up on the GI side of the summit and use the MI callsigns . UK chasers would be aware of this difficulty. Use of the EI prefix would have implied an illegal operation - not unlike the example highlighted by Guru.

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I am also aware that an activity as FXXXX of an EA2/XX summit can lead to confusion. (That’s why it should be an exception in my opinion.But better that way - than no activity.).

But I’m sure that more experienced chasers can certainly handle it and in ssb it can be explained quickly.

Nevertheless, there will be chasers who will log the call as EA2/FXXXX/P. :blush:

73 Armin

The very fact that there are people incapable of logging what they hear is worrying.

It may be confusing to hear SP/M0FMF/P ( A UK station operating in Poland) giving a ref as OK/KR-010 (a summit in Czech Republic) but that is what you log. You don’t log what you think I should be sending (OK/M0FMF/P) because I was sat right by a border marker in SP whilst in the AZ of an OK summit. That’s how it works, your callsign identifies a radio station and it’s national location and the summit ref identifies the summit.

I read this current issue as probably confusion giving a French call and a Spanish ref doesn’t sound right. With border restrictions because of Covid it stands out like a sore thumb.

I love finding corner cases so, like a child, will always operate such summits with the “wrong” call :wink:

We have some super delicious summits we could roll out that are like this. Andorra C31 does not issue visitor licences and is not in CEPT. We have a list of all the Andorran summits that are valid for SOTA and there are several summits that would have a C31/XX-nnn type reference that have AZ’s into France and Spain. They could be activated with French and Spanish calls. The rest of C31 would need an Andorran licence which is anything but easy to obtain. We’ve held back because we don’t like having associations that don’t allow visiting hams to activate.


Please see the “Border summits” section lower down on this page:

Obviously you must use the correct call sign for the territory from which you are transmitting, regardless of the SOTA reference. If you don’t agree with this take up your argument with the relevant licensing authority, not us!


Nice sigs from Markus today :+1:

HB15SOTA on F/JU-018 | post_add
Op. Markus HB9DIZ, KX2 10W QRV now [] (by HB9DIZ)
5.363 ssb


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And he caught out Nick G4OOE with that F summit and HB call :slight_smile:

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can we have this pinned with big bold font, please?
According to several posts in this thread, it’s clear many activators don’t know this very basic elemental thing.



Pour info, j’ai rectifié mon erreur le jour même sur mon log d’activateur.

Cependant il est regrettable de constater autant d’énergie déployée pour si peu. C’est peut-être votre mode de fonctionnement ou votre façon d’exister, ce n’est pas l’état d’esprit que je cautionne.

En conclusion je dirai beaucoup de Bla Bla Bla Bla… pour RIEN


Bonjour Alain,
J’ai vu dans la database ton log d’activateur corrigé. Il y a aussi des chasseurs qu’ont corrigé ton indicatif, mais pas plusieurs d’autres.
Le Reflector est un espace très interesant pour échanger des idées et commentaires, aussi que d’apprentissage.
Je ne dirait pas qu’on a fait du bla, bla, bla pour rien dans ce cas, parce que plusieurs activateurs pourront se beneficier des infos ici.
Depuis votre première contact par email mon seule intention à toujours été de vous aider et le fait d’avoir écrit sur le cas ici dans le Reflector reste toujours avec le seule intention d’aider à une plus grande part de la communauté SOTA.




Hi Eric

This activation was funny for me for several reasons:

  1. A really funny summit name. Investigated for it, answers still missing.
  2. A strong and cold wind from the South on the top.
  3. Using a Swiss callsign from a French summit
  4. Not being able to provide a Swiss canton for the HB15SOTA award.
  5. The special callsign restricted to the use on the Swiss territory only, contrary to a club station call.
  6. … and being mentioned for nice sigs on a band that my antenna is not made for, hi. Tnx!

Indeed, one of my last QSO partners of that day insisted that my procedure (Swiss callsign from a French summit) was not correct according to the SOTA rules. I could clarify this but he judged then the rule to be bad, hi.

Just started another investigation with our admission authority what is considered the place of transmission and triggers the callsign, as there are several possibilities: position of the operator, position of the transmitting device, position of the foot of the antenna mast, used air space by the antenna wire. If they don’t reply they may have thought that my question was a joke, what is also an answer, hi.

Main thing and most important: I enjoyed Le Meix Musy and all the fun it could create! This to close the loop since I was a bit off topic … ehm: bordering.

Vy 73 de Markus, HB9DIZ