Wednesday, March 22, 2017

EI call signs and the missing 'FU's

When licencing authorities in various countries are issuing amateur radio call signs, they tend to avoid ones that might be associated with bad language or any inappropriate word. These would usually be 3 letter words that would be part of the suffix after the number.

In Ireland, there is less of a chance of this happening as the Class A calls have just two letters and the Class B calls all end in B.

I heard of the following story some time back but I never knew if it was true or not.

Back in the mid 1980's, one person from Cork kept ringing the then Department of Communications about getting a licence once he had passed the 12 word per minute morse test. The Radio Experimenters licence as it was back then would have been a very small part of the workload for the staff in the Department and it probably got very annoying for someone there to have someone from Cork constantly ringing about his licence.

He was eventually issued the call sign EI3FU.

So back to the inappropriate calls. The suffix FU could also be seen as shorthand for 'F*** YOU'.....You can fill in the blanks yourself! :o)

It could be seen as someone in the Department sending a subtle message to the recipient,,,,,,and they even issued the number 3 to let the person know the number of letters missing ;o)

It was hard to know if the story was true as while the current call book only shows one FU suffix, others might have gone off the air in the meantime.

That was until recently! The IRTS published some old newsletters on their website in March of 2017 including an old EI call book from 1986. All of the late F call signs would have been new then so they would all be shown.

Upon examination, sure enough there is a pattern. From EI2 to EI9, all of the suffixes are listed... FQ, FR, FS, FT.......FV, FX, FY and FZ. All there except for FU......except of course for EI3FU! :o))

It seems as if there was someone with a mischievous sense of humour working in the Deptartment back in the 1980's.

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