From looking at the amateur radio licensing regulations for Republic of Ireland (EI), the prefix you are meant to use for the Irish Islands is EJ, not EI. However I have noticed some SOTA activations logged on these Irish islands where the EI prefix has been used rather than the EJ prefix which questions as to whether or not these SOTA activations would actually be valid because the wrong prefix was used. It’s most likely that SOTA activators using the EI prefix rather than the EJ prefix when activating SOTA summits on the Irish islands may have not been aware that the EJ prefix was meant to be used rather than the EI prefix, however when you are operating overseas you should be finding out what the licensing regulations are and what prefix you are meant to be using also. Any local knowledge on this would be appreciated.
Maybe such activators maybe read this thread Andy and decide to to delete the activations themselves based on this. Best to give them a chance first before I let you know the callsigns of such activators along with the such activations themselves. I certainly won’t listing such activations or callsigns on this thread either as this is just asking for trouble. Also I believe that chases and SWLs for such activations would have to be deleted also.
I am not 100% sure for Irish Islands that are connected by road or cable car (eg Dursey Island) etc if the EI prefix or the EJ prefix should be used on such licences. Might be worth checking with the Irish licencing bodies.
For visitors holding a primary license from elsewhere and enjoying reciprocal privileges under CEPT T/R 61-01 (such this Yank when I visit Ireland), the ComReg authority mentions “EI/ home call-sign” without note of whether the operation is from an offshore island.
While I can see that a standard Irish callsign is to be modified in this way (section 4.2 of the PDF), I’m not sure that it would be correct to say that the regulations would require me to use EJ/WN3F rather than EI/WN3F when on an offshore Irish island.
non Novice or Intermediate Licence
EI/ home call-sign"
That’s what it says; no mention of EJ for islands.
It’s worth reminding visitors of the convention, and worth ensuring it is clearly stated in the ARM (I haven’t checked). However, using EI/homecall from an offshore island of Ireland, does not appear to transgress any law; just the convention. I personally think it would be unfair to deem such activations as invalid.
I agree that it would probably be unfair to invalidate any activations, particularly those by visiting hams. The ARM doesn’t explicitly mention this requirement, only referring to Comreg and to T/R 61-01 for guidance.
On the other hand CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01 does explicitly state the requirement on Page 6 (Annex 5, 2016)…
No it’s explicit, the EJ is for islands and the “may also” bit means that Comreg can assign it to non island base calls in special cases much like UK hams can use GR/MR/2R till the end of June to celebrate the coronation.
Disagree Andy. The wording implies that EJ is available for use for islands and special events without any suggestion it is the only prefix to be used in such circumstances. Other official documents referenced above actually state visitors use EI/home call and don’t mention the islands case.
I think the criteria for using EJ is ambiguous. “Special prefix” has different meanings. It could be an optional prefix (along the lines of the additional Q and R prefixes we have seen in Britain recently) or it could be a requirement for these “special” cases. There is also the ambiguity about connected islands such as Achill and Valentia.
Until that can be clarified it would be unduly harsh to delete all contacts that have used EI from the island (and even then shouldn’t be applied retrospectively).
I agree @M1EYP Tom, that’s how I read it too! ‘May also be assigned’ is the strong sentence!
Come on folks, SOTA is a great amateur radio hobby! We don’t need to many politics added to the mix - always ends up pear shaped from my experience. Keep it simple and have FUN! The documentation isn’t black and white, so using either prefix looks to be a successful activation. You can’t expect to delete anybody’s logs in this case - if it had been me using EI, I would be pretty damn cross having to delete anything!
From CEPT TR 61/01 - as indicated by John EI3KA, point 9 related just to the EJ prefix says:
9: EJ is a special prefix for offshore islands and may also be assigned, at ComReg’s discretion, to Special National Events.
If we take this as two statements as it is intended to be read I believe, we get
EJ is a special prefix for offshore islands
EJ may also be assigned, at ComReg’s discretion, to Special National Events.
So the CEPT document is in line with the local COMREG rules.
Although countries sign up for the CEPT agreements and therefore commit to them, local rules can always override the CEPT rules, so it is always best to check local regulations when wishing to operate abroad.
I agree with Tom however, that deleting contacts made by stations using the EI prefix on a SOTA EI (offshore) summit when they should have been using an EJ prefix is too harsh. Perhaps any operators who have done this could simply update their submitted activator log and contact his/her chasers to update their logs.
This sounds to me like an honest mistake.
Thanks to Jimmy for pointing this out for any future Irish Island activators.