Reports from entrants in the 2017 ILLW event.
Thanks once again to all the entrants for joining in the fun of the Lighthouse Weekend and for making it another wonderful year.
Web Links, Youtube etc.
From Garry, VK2GAZ
Good evening Kevin VK2CE,
Well the weekend as far as radio was concerned was a total disaster. ...... We are arrived at Currarong on Friday afternoon and checked in at military establishment only to be told that permission would not be given for me to operate a portable station at the lighthouse as there were concerns for peoples safety despite the fact it was for the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend.
We arrive the next morning, were granted permission to enter the DMZ and proceeded out to the lighthouse, what a wonderful set old of buildings and of course the light itself. As it turned out the weather was not all that favorable to erect an antenna was the wind was gusting to 69 K/H and the temperature was a little cool 10c.
So we drove to Kiama to scope out the lighthouse there, winds were worse, gusting to 74 K/H and a very barmy 13c.
Maybe next year I will do a little more home work and try for a different lighthouse!!
Thank you for all your efforts in organizing the event here in VK, hope we catch up in the future.
Very best regards,
From Far North Queensland, VK4GHL Grassy Hill Lighthouse:-
Firstly a BIG THANK YOU to all who were involved in organising this event and the necessary PR for itas without you all it wouldn't be the success it now is. The Tableland Radio Group (TRG) once again operated from Grassy Hill Light AU0019 at COOKTOWN in far north Queensland Australia for the 13th consecutive year. The TRG has developed associations with the Mayor of Cook Shire Council Mr Peter Scott who has facilitated, through council, our approval to operate the HF Radio Station on the Hill and ensured that others were aware of our activities. Cooktown History Centre members also have become friends as we publicize the history of Grassy Hill and its Lighthouse and Radio Station VIC and the World War 2 radar station plus we tell visitors to our operating position about the ILLW and the history of the area. Our operating equipment was
FT897D , MFJ ATU,Inverted V antenna, GRM 100amphr battery and a 80 watts solar charger. This year we operated mainly on 20 meter band with QRM noticeable on 40 meters. We had contact with the following Lighthouses
VK2CLR AU0013 Clarence Head Op Greg, VK3ATL AU0028 Port Lonsdale Op Gavin, VK5ARC AU0029 Port Malcolm Op Steve, VK3/GW0VML Au Cape Nelson Op Ian - who we had made contact with at a light in Wales some years ago. ZL2AB NZ 0003 Cape Egmont Op Dave, VK5ZGY AU0121 Cape Banks Op Greg, ZL6CC NZ001 Cape Campbell Op Bill, VK3DX AU0049/96 Lady Bay Upper and Lower Op Kieran, VK3APC AU0017 Eastern Light McCrae Op Ron, VK2EP AU0031 Smokey Cape Op Terry, VK3DJ AU0050 Queenscliff "Black" Light Op Dallas, VK2BOR AU0034 Taking point Op Henry - weather was closing in and they were going QRT, VK3SPL AU0032 Split Point Op Bill, VK3OLS AU0011 Cape Otway Lightstation Op Richard,
We also had a contact with 8J1KA portable 6 special activation in Okinawa prefecture by Hilo on 15 meters. W e hope those stations that experienced the bad weather all managed to not suffer injury or damage. We'll be at Grassy Hill Lighthouse again next year with the VK4GHL callsign.
Thanks to all who took part.
for the Tableland Radio Group
From the Netherlands:-
Report from Schiermonnikoog Island, the Netherlands:
In our continuous quest to activate new and/or hard to get lights we agreed upon the southern tower (NL0028) on Schiermonnikoog Island (EU038). We were on this island before in 2015 to bring the northern tower (NL0027) on the air.
Early Friday morning the crew - consisting of Hans PA3FYG, Henk PE1BSI, Ray PE1GUR and Maus PA3HHT – set off for a 2 hour drive to Schiermonnikoog Isl.
Schiermonnikoog is with just 44 square km and 900 permanent inhabitants one of the smaller islands in the Dutch Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea is unique with tidal mud flats and wetlands stretching from the Netherlands all the way up to Denmark. Despite the small seize the island has two identical 35-44 m tall 19th century lighthouses and standing 1 km a part.
The small island is mostly national park and cars are not allowed, so we had our stuff in a little trailer that could be pushed on the ferry by hand and then be taxied from the dock to the southern lighthouse. Everything but easy.
We decided for a single 40m band multi operator station set up with 500W. The shack was a tent and we had an inverted V and GP on 12m fiber masts erected right next to the tower. It was a first activation of NL0028 and despite disappointing band conditions the response from stations was massive. Nearly 900 QSO’s were logged (using “Paperlog Pro”, hi), but we still had of time enough to have social talks on the radio and plenty of time to explain our activity to the general public and local press. Currently a civil group is in action to do something about the poor condition of this lighthouse and our activity became a small contribution to the preserve the lighthouse for future generations.
The four of us had a most enjoyable time together and we wish to thank everyone who took the time to give us a call. We already looking forward to 2018.
Best regards and 73#,
From Trinidad & Tobago:-
Good evening Kevin VK2CE,
An other great weekend of DXing from PT. Galera Lighthouse TT0001. It was a pleasure once more and the weather held up really nice.
Our working conditions this year was, Icom IC-718, LDG 100 Autuner and an G5RV Antenna. The modes worked were SSB, PSK32 and also FT8.
Keep up the great work guys, and 73 from my family to yours.
73 de 9Z4A, Anthony
Name & Callsign: dl1kvn
that was fun this year! spend our family holiday on dutch island texel this year. of course i had to activate the lh NL0048. my plans ended in a 70th dx-bike expedition,
as you can see in the video, physically maybe the hardest dxpedition in 2017 ;-)
73 de Dirk, DL1KVN
From VK3WI in Melbourne:-
Members of Amateur Radio Victoria (ARV) braved the elements across the weekend of Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 to participate in the 2017 International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend from the Williamstown Time Ball Tower (Point Gellibrand , Williamstown) which has the designation, AU-0036 using the Amateur Radio Victoria call sign VK3WI.
Information on the Time Ball Tower QTH can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamstown_Lighthouse
182 stations were worked across the 2 days including 25 unique VK and 5 unique New Zealand Light Houses. The MV Cape Don, Light House Supply Ship (AU-0023) was also logged. All VK Call areas were worked (except VK9/VK0) and DX calls were received on 20m from USA, Cook Islands, Italy, Dominican Republic, Japan, New Zealand and Montserrat.
Equipment used for the activation was an Elecraft K3 (100W) with matching P3 Panadapter and a 12m “Spider Beam” Pole supporting an End Fed 40m/20m in a “Inverted L” configuration from the 11m region and tied off to a historical display “Fluke” anchor recovered from off shore, near the Time Ball Tower several years ago. This anchor was formerly used to secure one of the Five prison hulks moored off Williamstown in the mid 1800’s.
QSL Cards will be on the way to all contacts via the Buro very soon.
ARV thanks all concerned for their valuable assistance, in ensuring another successful ILLW. We look forward to 2018….. again from AU-0036.
From the Netherlands:-
First of all thanks to everyone (organizers as well as participating stations) for making the ILLW such a pleasant event.
I had a lot of fun in the qrp activation of NL0052
I have been (on and off) planning to activate this lighthouse for more than twenty years but never came to the point of actually doing it. Finally did it this year.
Although I operated for limited time and there was lots of rain and high winds at night I very much enjoyed the event and will be back.
Lat but not in the least I wish to thank the stations that worked me. QRP is a challenge and -to be honest- the biggest challenge is at the receiving end.
BCNU in 2018!
Citadel Lighthouse at the Port Albert Museum was activated on the 19th and 20th August, by Chris Chapman VK3QB and myself Glenn Alford VK3CAM, operating under the call sign of VK3ILH. Operated on HF bands from 10m through to 80m. Radio Icom 775, 2 antennas, Cushcraft R5 vertical and a trap dipole.
Chris also made some contacts using CW. Band conditions were not favourable due to the low sunspot cycle. Contacts made throughout Australia, New Zealand. Notable overseas contacts Japan on CW, USA, New Hampshire, Texas, Cook Islands, Spain. About 430 lighthouses from 50 countries were registered for activation by radio operators.
The museum staff were very helpful and very obliging, we did enjoy also some visits from local interested community.
So another great weekend, at a very interesting location. Steeped in maritime history.
From Sri Lanka:-
All family members and me was traveled by night train to “thalei mannarama” where the “Lighthouse week end” function we organized. After 7hourse travel, nearly 256km from our home, we reach Thalimannarama Light house. It is situated besides beautiful small fishing village.
After having small break, we started to install antenna in the evening. Due to bad weather condition we failed to install them well. It was difficult target, finally at around 6pm we connected more than 16station by using 40M band.
There were 6 no of mature radio licensed holders get to gather in that event.(4S5DSI,4S6PMP,4S7AB,4S7CK,4S7KG,4S7UV) The special thing is all of them ware participated with their whole family.
We specially thanks “Sri Lanka Navy” and “Thaleimannarm thota Station Master” for their support to make this event success. Finally Thank you very much for coordinating such wonderful event with us and hope to join with you again in another lighthouse day event next year.
(This is a story about dedication, love of radio and lighthouses and family. Ed)
Being on vacation in Malta with my family (and FT-100 radio) I managed to receive my visitor´s license on friday. Collected some equipment from Mark 9H1GP and Marco 9H5SN (TNX !) on saturday and went off to Delimara Point Lighthouse late afternoon. It was quite a challenge to get there on the narrow bumpy road but finally I found a suitable QTH near the lighthouse. After setting up a fiberglass pole with the Aerial-51 model 404-UL antenna and the FT-100 powered by a car battery I was then able to operate for about 2 hours before mosquitos and darkness forced me to quit. Made about 100 QSOs on 20m and 40m during this short activity (mostly CW). Enjoyed the portable operation very much and thanks for organizing this event.
73, Win DK9IP / 9H3X
Gd dr Kevin,
The 2017 International Lighthouse Weekend (ILLW) - as every year on the third full August weekend - began with a nasty surprise for the Chemnitzer OP´s under the Club-Call DM2C from the lighthouse Moritzburg (DE0021). After antennas and the pavilions were built, a cloudbreak caused chaos in the night from Friday to Saturday. The carefully constructed QTH dwellings were totally destroyed.
With a lot of adhesive tape and cable ties, at least a roof could be built over the head. So we were able more than 400 QSO's and welcome about 300 visitors every day. We simply insist that we were certainly one of the most visited Lighthouse teams at our inland lighthouse in Moritzburg, because most of the lighthouses / lighthouses are usually in very exposed locations, where there are relatively few visitors. So - good marketing for the whole ILLW project and the wonderful hobby.
A more detailed report can also be found at http://www.dm2c.darc.de/rprt_2017.html
Cu 2018 😊
Best wishes from GERMANY
73 and 55
de Steffen, DM6WAN (op DM2C)
Hello Kevin and thank you for helping to organise the ILLW. The following is perhaps slightly long, so please feel free to edit to size.
This is a report from Shoreham Lighthouse, callsign GB8SL and reference UK0023.
The station was operated mainly by Pete G4LKW, Pete 2E0FVL and Ed M0MNG (me!) and all three of us camped on site throughout. Camping was a first for me, but 2017 saw the twentieth anniversary of the ILLW in its current format. So I wanted to make a bigger effort than my usual trick of just turning up for a couple of hours.
I pitched my tent outside the main operating tent, which earned me the title of “GB8SL guard dog”! (see photo).
We managed just under 300 QSOs on HF, and just over 300 if you include the half-a-dozen that I made on 70cms. Nearly 40 contacts were with lighthouses and lightships.
Most QSOs took place using 40 meters SSB, apart from a handful of contacts on 80 meters, 20 meters and UHF. 20 meters brought us our best DX when a station in Canada called us. Every other contact was inside Europe.
We didn't use our usual pump-up mast this year and the mast we used instead was our tallest ever. It placed our multi-band trapped dipole up at 48 feet. We connected the club's Icom IC-7300 and a 300 Watt linear amplifier.
Propagation was better than I feared it might be. The skip distance was short enough on 40 meters to allow “local” QSOs with other stations in England at times. The defining feature of that band was deep and rapid QSB. Stations could go from 59+ to zero in less than 60 seconds!
A big thank you to everybody who worked us, and particularly to people who spent a long time calling. One 10 Watt /P station spent over two hours before he was successful. Thank you also to people who spent time trying to work us but didn't get through. We had a number of pileups, but I know for a fact that a couple of people tried calling us repeatedly but propagation meant that we simply never heard them.
Overall the whole weekend was an improvement compared to the previous two. In 2015 we closed down a few hours early because propagation was so bad. In 2016 we lost a lot of time shoring up the tent after it was battered continuously by strong winds throughout the Saturday. We had neither problem in 2017; we didn't have any problems at all really. Apart from one really heavy rain shower around Saturday lunchtime, the WX was kind to us the whole weekend.
The weekend flew by, and there were several things that I never got round to – including working through the FM satellites, and putting up a 20m dipole for use with my WSPRLite.
Thanks to the Shoreham Rowing Club, who once again provided us with mains electricity and use of their facilities. Thanks also to fellow members of the Worthing & District Amateur Radio Club who visited us.
I have made a video which appears at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buDpNPSIew8
Let's do it all again next year!
73 from Edmund M0MNG on behalf of GB8SL.
From Andy VK3VKT at Cape Schanck Lighthouse:-
Well the weekend has come and gone and with the guys from WANDARC being invited by “The Lady of History” to activate the Cape Schanck lighthouse. With a little help from Parks Vic it was organized. As there is no accommodation on site at the light house and the ground are locked up at night our options were limited. Myself Andy (VK3VKT) and Rob (VK3KIX) arrived bright and early Saturday morning at about 8am. We spent the first hour or two setting up, the weather was not very nice to us with showers and wind being the setting for the day. so in between showers we managed to set up the 9m tello mast and hoist up the “Buckmaster” 7 band 3kw OCF Dipole. We have used this antenna quite a bit as a club portable and it works extremely well without the use of a tuner. Then we were onto setting up the station in the Museum cottage for the weekend. I had my TS590s and Rob had his TS130s we also had the use of Ron’s linear for the weekend but it was not working to well and only outputting less than 250w so it was packed back into the car so we did not do any damage to the unit.
Setting the tone for the weekend our first contact was made at 11.07am local time and surprisingly was VK3WI down at Williamstown Timeball Tower AU0026 of which members of WANDARC were helping Tony from ARV man for the weekend. With the rest of the day spent calling CQ lighthouse, we managed to log 66 contacts 27 of those being lighthouses with 40m being the band of the day with some 20m contacts as well, leading into a nice 80m evening slot with VK7NWT and the boys on 3.590. We had to close the station at 7pm as we were not allowed to sleep on site. And had to drive 5 mins down the road to Highfields station a Parks Vic site for the night with” The Lady of History” as her guests.
Sunday was a bright and early start we were hoping to start around 6am but opted for an extra hours sleep and arrived back on station around 8am. 40m was again alive with lighthouse traffic VK2, VK3,VK5, VK7 AND VK4 were all heard and logged we kept calling as much as we could till 3pm, then had to pack up and head home as the tour operation closes at 4pm. We will again do this next year but with more people and hopefully permission to stay overnight at both Cape Schanck and Williamstown Timeball tower with a total of over 150 calls and 32+ lighthouses it was a great weekend.
Andy Kay VK3VKT
From Germany, DA0DAG,
We report a wonderful weekend-ILLW this year.
My friend Peter,DK5LM and I worked at Saturday and Sunday
on 14 and 7 MHz with our “one-year-call" DA0DAG in cw mode.
Many visitors at Northsea/river Eider coast estuary visited in a small wooden shack beside the lighthouse St. Peter-Böhl.
Our new SDR Flex Radio-machine did a very good job – was activated first time in a outdoor-event.
So, it was nice this weekend and we think: “After ILLW is before ILLW”. We
will enjoy it again in 2018 from same location.
Thank you Kevin for your engagement.Fotos made by Roman, DL3LBZ.
Greetings to Australia.
Dierk, DL8LD +
Photo at far right shows lighthouse OP's Dierk, DL8LD and Peter, DK5LM
Dear Sir of MARTS Council Tn.Ir. Hj Aris, Tn. Zanirul, Tn.Rabin
Dear President of NESRAC Dato' Helmy
Dear Organizer ILLW.net Kevin,
I've done the Visit Report of ILLW Event at Cape Rachado Lighthouse MY0001 for 2017. Download: 9m4lhn_report.pdf
Attached the 4MB of PDF to be used for MARTS or ILLW.net to be published according to the preference.
This is just a visit report and not an Official Report by Local Organizer or Committee and meant only for reference on the last participated activity as a member of MARTS.
Have a wonderful weekend....73
Marts Membership ID: 9M2-30091
From Spain, EA1RG:-
Dear Kevin, another great illw.
This year we were joined by two new friends, DL2JRM, René and D06XX, Anett
with whom we enjoyed a wonderful place in Cabo Vilano, in company of the lighthouse keeper, Cristina.
A great assembly of antennas of our engineer EA1RG, Jose Manuel.
Until next year!!!
ILLW TEAM FROM SPAIN
From Ian Wright at Cape Nelson:-
ILLW2017. VK3/GW0VML – Ian
New State to visit for this years’ event. This time Victoria, and for 1st time ever to stay at a Lighthouse for the whole of the event. Cape Nelson had the Caretakers Cottage available.
But, to kill time before we were able to pickup the key at 3pm, decision made to do a quick trip to Whalers Bluff. This Light had been registered, but no one was there. Out came the mast and antenna. 1 hour later 30 contacts in Log.
Cape Nelson Lighthouse. Active as VK3/GW0VML. Set up my IC7000 in the spare bedroom, utilizing the Clothes Wardrobe shelves. Only made about 70 contacts during the weekend. Propagation was bad.
Highlight was speaking to Mike at VK4GHL. As mentioned previously, spoke to them a few years ago from Mail Island Lighthouse, Holyhead on Isle of Anglsey in GW land, many years ago. One day Mike, make room at the operators table, I’ll come and “Play Radio” along side you…..
After the event, we carried on out Lighthouse tour and operated from Lady Bay and Cape Otway, then just a photograph visit to Split Point, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff Lighthouses.
Looking forward to next years event. Thinking again of Victoria, East of Melbourne. So if any Station would allow me to Guest Operate with them or even in another State, please get in touch.
73 de Ian VK3/GW0VML. ZL1MVL
Trip to the Baltic Sea to join ILLW 2017
Like last year the team of DF0VK – the club station of the amateur radio group Bergkamen - decided to join the ILLW 2017. Once again, we have chosen lighthouse Schleimuende, DE0073 for this activity.
It is needless to mention that we were prepared much better than last year when we started the adventure somewhat naïve.
This year we used the Bavaria Cruiser 33” sailing vessel from Michael, DL5YAD as our shack. Matthias, Andreas and Michael sailed from the home port in Neustadt in Holstein to Maasholm within two days where the complete crew - Herbert, DF7DJ, Martin, DF1DN and Sebastian, DL1AXX - was taken on board. Matthias and Andreas travelled back home. The distance from Massholm to the Lotseninsel, Schleimuende only is 3 sm.
Herbert, DF7DJ prepared a dipole connected via twin leads (chicken ladder) according to a G5RV antenna with a length of 13.2 m each leg to a 1:4 balun. We used Herbert’s auto tuner and were confident that the efficiency on 160 m still was 60%. The feeding point was about 14 m above sea level on top of the mast. One leg was tied to aft while the other one was fastened to a tree on the waterfront. We assumed that this was the optimum and we were proven right. The success was reflected in nearly 500 QSO even though the condx were really poor. In 2016, we only made about 180 QSO. DX was only possibly in a very few cases.
Again, the local QRM was disturbing. Each OP will be getting nervous if the noise level is more than 35 dB. We investigated this problem and found that the noise was coming via the shore power connection. The noise was noticeably reduced when we disconnected from the shore power and instead used the inverter of the boat. Concerning next year we will think about a line filter.
We finished the ILLW activity on Sunday evening, a couple of hours earlier than the official end of the event.
Herbert was sentenced to transfer the sailing vessel together with Michael back to Neustadt. For the transfer only two days were planned again. On Monday Herbert learned that the Baltic Sea can be a challenging sailing area. Strong wind from astern with gusts of 8 bft and 3 m waves showed the landlubber everything which can happen under such conditions. On Tuesday evening the small crew reached the marina in Neustadt.
We are already thinking about what we are going to do on the third weekend in August next year. DF0VK is already registered. The ILLW was a really nice and fun amateur radio event again!
Best regards and looking forward to next year,