On June 1st, I posted a blog entry about my contact with SV2/SV1RP/A on Mount Athos. This now turns out to be not Mount Athos at all! What a disappointment!
Today George Vlachopoulos SV1RP made the announcement that his activity on May 27th as SV2/SV1RP/A was not from Mount Athos but from his "alternative shack" in Giannitsa in northern Greece.
Quite a strange story, I must say! Did the mostly negative international attention become too much, and did Vlachopoulos decide it's better to deny having been active again from Mount Athos? Or with the SV2/A callsign indeed used from another location than Mount Athos, was it a provoking action or an action not thought through? Strictly seen the use of the SV2/A callsign by Vlachopoulos from northern Greece away from his home location is correct, but practically no ham operator uses the /A anymore (especially in a contest most hams would decide to omit it). It might be still required by Greek law, but I can't recall ever having seen a Greek radio amateur at an alternative location using the /A before. With the use of the SV2/SV1RP/A callsign, and with his 2015 Mount Athos activation in mind, Vlachopoulos must have expected at least a little that the international ham community would be going to think this was another Mount Athos activation.
The following announcement by Vlachopoulos appeared on the DX News site. Below that is the information that appeared on DX World earlier about his May 2017 and June 2015 activity. I'll let you judge for yourself.
Oh well, while doing research for the blog entries, at least I learned a lot about the troubled ham radio history of Mount Athos and about the magical place itself. The saga continues...
From DX News 02.06.2017
---From DX World
"SV2/SV1RP/A Not Mount Athos
My name is George.
My amateur radio call sign is: SV1RP
I live a quiet life without nightmares and I have never been hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic.
I usually do not fly in the clouds.
Surprisingly, however, I have read recently on many international amateur pages that at the last WPX contest, where I participated, I was on Mount Athos !!! And I transmit from there !!!
I also found that being on Mount Athos was not only mentioned by one person, but more than that, I was even tough criticized for this.
What I want to clarify is this:
In the last WPX contest, I also took part with the SV2/SV1RP/A call, and I transmit from my alternative shack, which is located in the north. Greece and specifically in Giannitsa City.
So my international scorn was deliberately done by people who acted fraudulently to expose me internationally.
All the necessary legal procedures have already begun, so that those responsible for this deceptive act can apologize to the Greek authorities but also for the complete restoration of the truth.
From now on, be more careful with the "information" you publish, especially when it comes from low-intelligence people and who are moving to the limits of legality.
In any case, however, I am cautious about my next actions.
73, SV1RP, George
Information from Bernie, W3UR The Daily DX"
---From DX World
"NEWS UPDATE II – To counter SV1BDO’s remarks below, we now have a new update from Kostas, SV1DPI and we show in full below:
It is shame to post in the DX-World about an operation from Mount Athos when you know (from previous operation) that SV1RP usually has not any kind of license…. Had he a license 2 years ago as SV2/SV1RP/T? Is that operation accepted by DXCC? Of course not…
What is the interest among radio amateurs for an unlicensed operation and you announced it?
Anyway… the (expected?) news is that Holy Council confirmed this morning to several Greek radio amateurs who contacted by phone, that SV1RP has not any kind license from them and they have never given him (or to any other) a license.
You publicized a comment by Sotiris SV1BDO who says among others that SV2RSG’s operation is legal according Greek law. This is totally wrong. Sotiris is not a lawyer, neither me. But this is what SV1RP claims for SV2RSG and himself. ARRL does not accept it after they studied the Greek laws. Do you really believe that ARRL does not know the laws? As I know, ARRL has received the laws translated in English and after this they decided what is right and what documents they need to ask.
Beside this Sotiris’ story is not complete. For example he does not say that all the other Monks who are radio amateurs (yes there are more except Monk Apollo – I know 4 more) have a license from the Holy Council while SV2RSG has not submitted for a license. SV2RSG has a Greek radio amateur license but he needs the Holy Council’s approval also."
---From DX World
"NEWS UPDATE I – Sotiris SV1BDO updates readers on recent SV2/SV1RP/A activity:
“As far as I know, George was really in Mt. Athos, operating from Koutloumousiou monastery. On May 27, he posted the following picture in his Facebook profile.
He claims that he has a licence to operate issued by the Koutloumousiou monastery, but still has not a licence issued by the Holly Council, the document that is required from ARRL for DXCC aproval.
Some history now. After DJ6SI Baldur’s operation, the Holy Council (let’s say that is the “local goernment” of Mt. Athos), decided not to aprove all future requests for Ham Radio operations, that will carried by civilian people (not monks). They said that they will issue licences for amateur radio operations only to monks that are residents in any of the 21 monasteries of Mt. Athos.
Monk Iakovos, SV2RSCG, lives permenently in Koutloumousiou Monastery, but as far as I know, he does not have any kind of document regarding his Amateur Radio Activity issued by the Holy Councli of Mt. Athos. His operations are 100% legal according to Greek ham radio laws, but his QSL cards are not aproved for DXCC credit, as he has not submit the documents that are required from ARRL to validate his activity for DXCC aproval."
---From DX World
"MAY 27 – George, SV2/SV1RP/A has apparently again been active from Mt Athos, particularly during the CQ WPX CW contest. In June 2015, George signed SV2/SV1RP/T while training some monks on ham radio operating practices, noticeably SV2RSG."
"June 14, 2015 – The following news is being circulated around the DX world by Sotiris, SV1BDO. This info is an update to Saturday’s news that SV2/SV1RP/T was apparently operating from Mt Athos.
“Hi to all. I just spoke with George, SV1RP by cellphone. George is really inside Mount Athos and claims that he operates 100% legally according to Greek laws. He has in his hands all relative documentation that he is going to officially translate and send to ARRL DXCC desk for validation as soon as he returns home. He signs /T (training), as he trains some monks to Amateur Radio. Operation hours are not fixed as he follows the Orthodox time schedule of the hosting monastery. He will operate mainly in CW. QSL route will be announced later.”
Earlier today, Monk Apollo, SV2ASP/A, the only resident ham operator at Mt Athos, was also active."
In reaction to Vlachopoulos' announcement, SV1BDO posted the following on eHam. In it he explains how the /A should be used according to Greek law, and how SV1RP used it incorrectly after all.
"According to current Greek Ham radio law (article 12.2.1), a Greek ham (in this case SV1RP) that operates from an alternative QTH in a different call area must sign SV2/SV1RP. He must use the /A suffix only if he operates from Alternative QTH that belongs in the same call area of his call. So, signing as SV2/SV1RP/A does not follow the Greek ham radio laws. The same improper signing also aplies for his Mt. Athos operation. The only correct signing according to Greek Ham Law is the SV2/SV1RP/T.
SV2ASP/A signs so, as in his Greek Ham licence has declared that his permanent QTH is located somewhere in Northern Greece (in SV2 call area) and Mt. Athos monastery is his Alternative QTH, so for this reason he signs /A. On the other hand, SV2RSG signed so, as he has declared as permanent QTH Mt. Athos. Hope that this cleared the confusion.
Please consider that there are 2 total different meanings: Correct signing & Legal operation. In some cases (like Mt. Athos) a correct signing does not means that the operation is also legal.
Quote from: K0AP on June 02, 2017, 03:36:57 PMDuring the WPX CW contest, the DX cluster was full of spots with SV2/SV1RP/A call, allmost all spots saying that he was in Mt. Athos. Does anybody that worked him in this specific contest received any live comment from him regarding his QTH? I guess NO, so everybody thought that they were working Mt. Athos, and probably they would sent him later a SASE with 3-5 USD to receive his Mt. Athos QSL card, that still is not recognized by DXCC. If George made 1000 QSOs, the possible total earned cash should be in the range of 2000-5000 USD, not an insignificant ammount for just a weekend...
From the dxnews.com web site:
If he would've informed the DX/Contest community prior the operation began that this will count only as Greece there wouldn't have been any confusion. Of course people would think that he was QRV from SV/A. In fact, the QSL photo on his QRZ.com page indicates that he used SV2/SV1RP/A from Mount Athos, does it not? On his QRZ.com web page he does not specify clearly and undoubtedly that SV2/SV1RP/A counts only as Greece. JMHO...
73 Dragan K0AP
George wrote a letter to DXNews, 5 days after the contest regarding this. He is focusing mainy on me while saying: "So my international scorn was deliberately done by people who acted fraudulently to expose me internationally. All the necessary legal procedures have already begun, so that those responsible for this deceptive act can apologize to the Greek authorities but also for the complete restoration of the truth. From now on, be more careful with the "information" you publish, especially when it comes from low-intelligence people and who are moving to the limits of legality. In any case, however, I am cautious about my next actions."