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International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

The fact that a light has been listed in official documents such as the "British Admiralty List of Lights and Foghorns" or the "US Coast Guard list of Navigation Aids" and also the ARLHS World List of Lights, does not automatically qualify the structure for this event.

Lights such as range lights, channel markers, skeletal towers ,and breakwall lights will probably not be accepted.

Here are some examples of some lights which have been submitted for the event but

which have been rejected for non-compliance with the guidelines and the spirit of the event.

100 0876 Baliza Clipboard01
Foto_006 IMG_3719 photo_1_faux
savannah BonneNuitBayFront1A A1585 DB BonneNuitBayRear2A_A1585_1_DB
RozelBay1A__A1585_5_DB arg089014 phoca_thumb_l_019
bal1 balizaescollerasurrawson1 pic_0032
reduccion FCDomingo  
G0698 Baliza pedro garcia  
     
     
     
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Guidelines for the Event

and Frequently Asked Questions.

Please read before submitting an entry form. An entry form is optional but it does help to let everyone else know which lighthouses will be on the air.

 

What is the ILLW? Is it a contest?

The event is NOT a contest. There are no prizes, certificates or other enticements to participate and therefore, participation is free. Each station's operators decide how they will operate their station regards modes and bands. Participants are not committed to being on the air during the entire period - only as much as they can. There are no restrictions on aerials or power. We wish operators to enjoy themselves and have fun whilst making contact with as many amateur radio stations as possible. We request that stations take time to work other lighthouses or lightships as well as the slow operator, or the newly-licensed or QRP stations.

How close to the Lighthouse do I have to be?

As most available space in many lighthouses is usually filled to capacity, our activity does not have to take place inside the tower itself. Field day type set-up at the light or other building next to the light is OK. Our guidelines require that the station must be AT or ADJACENT to the light. Adjacent means next to or as close as possible. The intention behind this requirement is that the station should have a visible presence to the passing public who may be visiting the lighthouse over the weekend. Permission to operate from a lighthouse / lightship should be obtained from the relevant authorities. Operation from faux or false lighthouses, lights on poles etc. is discouraged as they are not within the spirit of the event.

What is regarded as a Lighthouse for this event?

Lighthouse : Generally regarded as a structure which is or has been listed officially as an aid to navigation in a recognised publication such as the British Admiralty List of Light and Foghorns, and which falls into the classic concept of a lighthouse. For example, a substantial tower having an internal staircase, a revolving fresnel lens and had or has a designated lighthouse keeper. Also permitted are lighthouses which have been moved to a museum for historic reasons. As stated in the previous paragraph, the lighthouse should also be visible to and visited by the passing public where possible.

The fact that a light has been listed in official documents does not automatically qualify the structure for this event such as range lights, channel markers and breakwall lights. Examples of some lights which have been submitted for the event but which have been rejected can be seen on this web page.

The increase in the popularity of the ILLW has also seen an increase in the number of entries for lights which do not comply with the guidelines or the spirit of the event. It is important that entrants appreciate and understand the concept of the ILLW which is to to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration, and at the same time to promote amateur radio and to foster International goodwill as well as remembering the dedication of those who served as lighthouse keepers. This is why there are fairly strict guidelines as to the definition of acceptable lights for the event.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has this to say about aids to navigation:-

Lighthouses and other aids to navigation can be used to help mariners in determining their position or safe course whilst warning them of fixed dangers or obstructions to navigation. They assist the mariner at sea to make landfall, safely navigate along the coast, avoid (by marking) certain objects and shoals that may be classified as a potential danger or obstruction to navigation and assist in moving through other waterways. · What is the main difference between a lighthouse and an Aid to Navigation. A lighthouse - the principal structure of a lightstation, generally made up of a lantern, balcony and tower. An aid to navigation can be a lighthouse but also includes lit and unlit buoys, lit or unlit beacons, radio navigation aids such as radar transponders (RACON) and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), fog signals, etc.

In other words, all lighthouses are aids to navigation but not all aids to navigation are lighthouses.


Lightships: Similarly, these are those lightships which are or have been listed officially as floating aids to navigation. Lightships that are currently being used as restaurants or other commercial operations are not acceptable for this event.
Faux Lights: Faux or false lighthouses are those which have never been an active aid to navigation and never listed officially as such. They are usually replicas, miniatures or other structures constructed for decorative purposes to satisfy some person's whimsy. Their use in this event is discouraged as they are not within the spirit of the event.

Having said that, it should be borne in mind that the ILLW organisers cannot prevent any amateur from operating at any lighthouse but faux lights will generally not be listed on the official entrants list.

The onus is on operators to act within the spirit of the event, the object of which is to have a visible presence at or near the lighthouse because the event is used to obtain maximum exposure for our hobby. We invite the press and, QTH permitting, also the public and try to underline the obvious parallel between the international aspect in lighthouses, lightships and amateur radio.

What frequencies and Modes can I use?

Because it is NOT a contest you may operate on any authorised frequency and mode as per your licence. It is not possible to specify particular frequencies as there are over 50 countries involved in this event and each has a different band plan so what is legal in one country may be illegal in another. Licence conditions also vary from one level to another and we are also dependent on the propagation gods. 

Digital Modes - FT8

One of the main objectives of the ILLW is to set up portable stations near or adjacent to a lighthouse with the intent of exposing what amateur radio can do by making verbal contact with similar stations at other lighthouses. FT8, for example, is a keyboard to keyboard mode of communication which in my book is not what ham radio is all about and to demonstrate a computer driven mode of communication at a lighthouse is nothing short of giving the visiting public the wrong impression. An HF transceiver and a wire antenna tells the proper story. However if you want to use FT8 go right ahead, there are no restricitons here, just guidelines.

How do I call "CQ"?

To assist other stations we request that participating CW stations add LT for lighthouse or LS for lightship, other stations add 'LIGHT', 'LGT' , 'LIGHTHOUSE' or 'LIGHTSHIP' after their call. Some stations obtain a callsign with the letter L in the suffix to assist other stations identifying them as a participating station in the event.

Why is there a list of numbers for lighthouses at https://wllw.org

The ILLW organisers have compiled a list of lights which have participated in the event for the purpose of allocating an identifying number to each lighthouse/lightship. These numbers are simply there for use when conditions make it difficult for the name of the lighthouse to be clearly understood over the air waves.

The list will gradually be expanded but it will never attempt to be a definitive list of every lighthouse in existence. It will assist operators in difficult conditions to issue a contact number in lieu of the lighthouse name. The list thus far is here. If your lighthouse is not listed, don't worry just enter and leave the number field blank. A number will be allocated after your entry is received providing the structure complies with our guidelines. Our numbers are primarily for use during the event. You may, of course, use any other reference number if you so desire, for example if your contact is chasing an award and requires a qualifying number appropriate to that award.

Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Finally, if you have any questions at all about the event or how to enter, please contact Kevin VK2CE the organiser and webmaster using this link.


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International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend

Statistics - Entries submitted via our on line entry form or email.

COUNTRY 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Aland Islands 1 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - -
Algeria - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 2 1 - -
Alaska - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 - - - - -  -  - -
Argentina 1 2 4 9 9 14 20 20 19 21 30 27 20 11
16 26 18 14 8 5 -
Aruba - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - 1 -  -  - -
Australia 4 5 12 27 25 27 29 25 30 40 51 49 57 66
72 69 66 69 65  61 -
Austria - - - 2 1 1 2 3 3 3 2 3 3 1 3 2 1 2 2  3 -
Azerbaijan - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -  -  - -
Azores - - - - - - 2 - - - - 1 - 1 - - - -  -  - -
Balearic Islands - - - - 1 1 - - - - - 1 - - - - - -  -  - -
Barbados - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 2  -  - -
Belgium 1 3 3 5 3 4 7 9 9 8 11 10 6 5 5 3 1 1 2  3  
Bermuda - - - 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Brazil 1 6 8 7 4 3 3 1 2 - 2 1 - 1 2 1 2 -  1  3  
Bulgaria - - - - 1 - - 1 - 1 - - - - - - - 1  -  -  
Canada 4 7 3 6 6 9 9 5 12 13 8 10 12 14 15 21 14 17 15  18  
Canary Islands - - - 1 - 1 3 6 1 - - 1 1 - - 1 2 1  1  1  
Chile - - 1 - - 1 - - 2 7 3 1 5 10 1 3 6 2 1  2  
China - - - - - - - - - - 2 3 - 1 1 1 1 -  -  -  
Costa Rica                                       1  
Crete - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Croatia - - - 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - - 2 - - 1 -  -  -  
Cuba - - 1 - 1 1 1 - - - - - 1 - - 5 7 13 10 8  
Curacao - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 -  -  -  
Cyprus - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - -  -  1  
Denmark 12 20 19 24 21 18 15 18 9 10 11 6 4 3 8 12 13 11 8 9  
Dominican Rep. 1 - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Egypt - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - -  -  -  
England 15 17 18 23 29 37 38 33 28 32 36 43 41 37
33 38 38 45 34  35  
Estonia - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1 3  -  
Faeroe Island 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 -  -  -  
Falkland Islands - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 - - - 1 -  -  -  
Finland 6 3 6 9 8 7 10 12 9 10 9 12 10 11 12 6 10 8 7  9  
France 3 1 2 2 1 3 4 4 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 4 4 7 8  3  
Germany 8 11 11 27 28 37 39 40 38 37 46 55 60 53 58 72 66 74  69  64  
Gibraltar 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  1 1  
Greece 1 2 3 2 2 - - 3 3 - - - - - 1 - 1 -  1  -  
Guyana - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Hawaii - 2 1 2 - - 1 - 1 - 1 - - - - - - -  -  -  
Honduras - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1 1 1 1 -  -  -  
Hong Kong - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1  -  -  
Indonesia - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1 - - - -  -  -  
Iceland 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 4  2  
India - - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1 2 1 2 4 3  3 3  
Ireland 1 1 6 6 4 1 5 3 2 2 3 3 3 6 5 10 12 7  7 8  
Isle of Man 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 2 1 1 - 1 1 1 - 1  -  -  
Israel - - - 6 2 3 2 2 1 1 - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Italy 3 1 2 3 4 7 6 11 8 11 5 5 6
8 6 9 8 7 5  6  
Japan - - - 1 - - - - 2 - 1 3 3 1 1 2 3 -  -  -  
Jersey - - - - - - 1 2 1 1 - - 1 - - - - -  -  -  
Kalingrad 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Kuwait - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 -  -  -  
Latvia - - - 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 - - - - 1 1 1 1  2 4  
Lebanon - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3 - - - 1  -  -  
Lithuania 1 2 1 3 3 5 3 4 3 2 2 3 - 1 - - 4 -  -  1  
Malaysia 1 - - - - - - - - - 1 9 1 5 - 16 8 8 8  8  
Malta - 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - 1 - -  -  1  
Market Reef - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - -  -  -  
Mexico - - - - - - - 1 - - - 1 3 3 2 - 1 -  -  2  
Namibia - - 1 - 1 1 - - 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 - - -  -  -  
Netherlands 6 7 6 9 10 11 14 15 18 19 21 25 29 22 30 18 21 20  21  20  
N'land Antilles.
- - - - - - - - - - 1 1 - - 1 1 - -  -  -  
New Caledonia - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -  -  -  
New Zealand 8 10 6 9 4 4 5 5 6 2 7 13 8 10 5 8 10 7 6  8  
Northern Ireland 1 1 4 5 2 4 5 4 2 2 2 3 5 4 3 6 5 4 4  5  
Norway 5 7 7 4 5 4 7 5 7 6 5 3 3 2 1 - 3 4  2  2  
Panama - - - - - 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 1  1  
Peru - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Philippines - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - 1 - 1 - -  -  -  
Poland 14 10 5 4 3 3 4 5 5 6 8 2 6 4 6 7 6 7 4  3  
Portugal 1 2 1 2 2 4 3 1 1 4 5 3 5 9 11 9 7 10 8  10  
Puerto Rico 2 1 1 3 3 3 4 2 3 5 5 5 2 3 8 6 7 7 5  6  
Reunion Island - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Romania - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 2 1 - 2 -  -  -  
Russia, Asiatic - - - - 2 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Russia, European - - 1 2 5 2 2 - 4 - 1 1
1 1 3 2 - 1 2  -  
Saint Helena - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - -  -  -  
Saint Lucia - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - -  -  -  
Sardinia - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - 1 - -  -  -  
Scotland 8 8 9 14 9 14 14 11 11 11 8 13 19 16 17 20 17 19 22 18  
Serbia - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - -  -  2  
Slovenia 1 - - 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 1 - - - 1 1 -  -  -  
South Africa 7 5 11 8 13 10 8 12 13 9 12 14 14 17 19 17 17 15 14  15  
Spain - - 1 1 1 1 4 3 6 10 3 4 5
5 2 7 3 2 3  3  
Sri Lanka 1 1 1 1 1 2 - 2 2 1 - - - - 2 3 1 2  2  1  
Svalbard Island 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  -  -  
Sweden 10 14 16 16 15 27 23 29 27 28 26 34 25 21 22 22 22 21 21  15  
Switzerland - - - - - - 1 1 1 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 2 1 1  2  
Taiwan - - - - - - - - - - - - 2 1
- 1 3 -  1 1  
Thailand - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - 1 -  -  -  
Trinidad  1  1  
Turkey 1 - 1 1 3 5 8 8 5 3 1 3 3 3 2 1 3 - 1  1  
Ukraine - 1 - 1 1 3 1 10 10 8 7 2 1
1 3 3 3 -  -  -  
Uruguay - - - - - 1 1 2 1 3 2 2 3 2 3 4 4 3  4  2  
Venezuela - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 1  -  
USA 20 46 68 83 68 72 54 41 47 45 43 47 55 80 71 66 93 72 69 67  
Wales 4 2 4 5 6 1 8 12 11 6 6 7 9 7 7 7 8 8 9  8  
Total: C'tries/L'gts 40/158 36/204 44/255 46/348 45/317 48/369 52/383 48/382 48/377 43/380 50/406 50/442 47/447 55/470 47/473 54/526 56/544 46/507 46/471
47/453  

 

Please note: this list is by no means and does not purport to be, an accurate assessment of the total number of Countries and Lights which participated each year. These are the ones who lodged an entry form.

There were quite a few Lighthouses and lightships on the air each year for which an entry was not received in time for the event. This list is purely for historical reasons as an indication of how the event is growing in popularity each year. The event developed from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses award weekend.



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Please Help

This web site has been personally funded by me since 2000. It is the backbone of the ILLW event which brings so much pleasure to a lot of amateurs and others. Please help, if you can, with the ongoing  expenses of keeping the web site operating.

Thanks in anticipation. lighthouse 24 279677

Kevin vk2ce