INTERNATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE/LIGHTSHIP WEEKEND 2004
FEEDBACK ON THE 2004 EVENT
From Kevin VK2CE, webmaster and Oceania co-ordinator for ILLW:
Hi to all entrants. This year I couldn't fire up a lighthouse because I was in Melbourne for my granddaughters 5th birthday. From my daughters driveway, in my 4 wheel drive, I managed to work K6AA on 20 meters on Sunday afternoon. I managed to sneak out from the party for a few minutes. That contact made my day. It seems that propagation was a lot better this year, the number of entrants was a record. Let's try for 400 lights next year.
Thanks Mike for creating this event...........
From the Summerland ARC - Australia.Hi All, Lismore, Fine, 3-25°C, 45%, 1021hPa.
* * LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND GREAT SUCCESS
Fine weather was enjoyed for a very fine weekend.
We staffed four lights, Cape Byron, Ballina, Evans Head and Yamba.
Haven't been able to get anyone for Point Danger or Fingal Head yet.
An excellent weekend enjoyed by all taking part.
We could certainly do with more operators to make it better or easier on
those who do turn up.
It would be great to be able to operate from all six lights in our area.
It's a pity more won't take part in an excellent weekend.
However, those who do did well and enjoyed it.
Contacts were made mostly in the Pacific and US with some in Europe etc.
Thanks to all who helped and enjoyed doing it.
Things rarely all go right, we had technical and geographic problems.
But all sorted out, thanks to all authorities at the various lights.
At Cape Byron we had enquiries from the public and touring hams.
>From VKs 2,3,4 and 6, from China and JA, who tried to contact home.
An excellent public exposure for AR and SARC.
Pic - Our site from foot of Cape Byron Lighthouse.
We look forward to next year.
David G0VZV operated portable from land adjacent to St Catherine’s Lighthouse (ENG 143) with the permission of The National Trust. Permission to operate on site was refused, as in 1998 a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) was built, one of six such reference stations maintained by Trinity House. Additionally it is a weather reporting station for the Meteorological Office.
David and Ray M3MEM used Ray’s 4-ton Bedford army vehicle as their home for the weekend. Access down the narrow lanes was tight at times, so it was with some relief we arrived on the Friday afternoon and began setting up. Despite poor weather forecasts for Friday and Sunday the WX remained good throughout.
The rig used was an Icom706 IIG, and we ran 100W aided by a footswitch and a
mobile neck microphone which enabled hands-free operation. This was a great asset, especially when the operator was also logging. Ray’s military Tactical antenna was employed at the outset, and found to give good all-round coverage, with the advantage that it matches well on all bands except top-band. David’s nested inverted V dipole antennas also performed well, especially for 40 metre UK and near-continental operations. Computer logging worked very successfully, with Win-EQF making life easy throughout the weekend and afterwards, with the printing of QSL labels.
Band conditions were found to be quite variable, with heavy QRM on 40 metres making life very difficult. At times one or two QRO stations were very wide, occupying a bandwidth of as much as 7 kHz. Additionally, on the Saturday a 20 metre contest seemed to dominate the only other available band making operations virtually impossible. When we had to close down on the Sunday afternoon, however, stations were piling in and we could have worked many more before the deadline. And despite the difficulties we experienced on the Saturday, 507 contacts were made, and 48 DXCC countries worked including VK, PY, VA and VP8 on 14 MHz.
My thanks to Ray for providing much of the gear, helping with the logging, making numerous cups of tea and coffee and remaining positive on Saturday when I felt like chucking it all in and going home!
** It is hoped to activate Needles Point Lighthouse (ENG 083) next month on 25th and 26th September under the same callsign, whilst also participating in Transmission 2004. Details of this charitable event can be found in Radcom, but basically the more contacts made, the more money is raised for the British Wireless for the Blind Fund. So please make a note of the dates, listen out, support my efforts and work another lighthouse!
David A’Bear G0VZV
Dear Mike -- It was absolutely fabulous! Worked a ton of DX lighthouses this year.. of course we never slept, ha! Worked 32 total, and I actually did some chores in between. We decided to leave our home QTH and go to our cabin in East Texas Saturday morning and missed out on a bunch, but the cabin seems to have a much better antenna and because we are right on the lake.. the water helps, too. -- All the best.. you do GREAT work coordinating.
-- de Patty Martin, W5AZO
Just a big thanks for the work you do for the ILLW weekend. I believe it's the first time for the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse (Australia) and we all had a great time.
We worked a total of 200 stations and 28 lighthouse contacts. on 20, 40 & 80 metres. After serving over 100 years out on the Margaret Brock Reef the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse now belongs to the National Trust since it was decommissioned back in the 1970's and moved into Kingston SE. and rebuilt. This allowed us to operate from within the original living quarters of which is divided into eight rooms. Next year we hope to setup two stations in the Lighthouse and work the full 48 hours.
I can e-mail you a copy of our log if it would be of interest.
On behalf of the eight amateurs that took part, thanks again, this was our first time and we will do it even better next year!!
Aust. ARISS Co-ordinator
From King Island, Tasmania:
The Friday night and Saturday morning gave us a fine example of what the ‘Roaring Forty’s’ are capable of. Southwesterly winds gusting around 50 knots coupled with hail, rain and thunderstorms. We arrived at the Currie Light on the Saturday morning expecting major antenna damage but no, everything was fine. Sunday was quite mild virtually no wind and pleasant sunshine.
At the time of writing the log sheets have not been fully collated so I am making some (hopefully) reasonable guesses. Over 400 individual contacts were made and around 25 lighthouses contacted using both voice and CW. Our only VHF contact was Cape Otway Lighthouse on 144.050 but the Beech Forest repeater could be tripped on occasions.
I suspect better results overall would have been achieved if there had not been a high level of solar activity. Bryan’s (VK7KBE) gyro stabilized binoculars (fitted with solar filters) revealed three very visible sunspots on the Sun’s surface.
Carl, Joe, Glen & Jim activated the Cape Wickham Light, AUS-050, on the Sunday morning using the ICOM 775 with a portable generator. At this stage I don’t know how they went.
In all we all had one hell of a good time!
From Bruny Island Tasmania:
You may be interested
Had a great time. Feel free to use if of any value.
Roger Nichols VK7XRN (VK7OTC)
Mike and Kevin,
Just some off the cuff early and quick comments.
Considering, a fairly successful ILLW this year from KY7L, my club station
call for W7WLL.
This year I operated from the Umpqua River LH ARLHS USA-866, located on the
South Central coast of Oregon rather than Cape Blanco LH, where I have
operated since 1998.
Band conditions were terrible to say the least. I was not well prepared,
This and the failure of the G5RV on Friday afternoon, 10 minutes after the
starting time created a difficult weekend. I was prepared for any wire or
insulator breakage or even the necessity of connector replacement. Had to
shut down, pull down the antenna, and drive all the way back up the coast to
my home (54 miles over some very windy and windy coast road hugging the
coast cliffs). Since I had forgot my multimeter (dumb) when I got home and
found a very very low resistance short (.1) on the 200 ohm scale. Strange.
Replaced the connector but no change. Pulled the ladder line loose from
the balun, measured and the antenna was open as it should be. Measured the
coax and there was the .1 ohm short. Examined it and ran my hands down the
70 feet of coax. Found a rather stiff part of the coax (a foot or so long)
about 6 feet from the connector. Working it saw the resistance change as it
was bent. Discovered it was a spot where the manufacturer had overlapped two
braid pieces (apparently the two ends of a braid roll). It appears a strand
of the braid was poking through the center conductor covering and if not
touching had arced, creating a very low resistance path. Cut this piece of
coax out, reinstalled a conductor checked out it was OK and drove back down
the following morning (did not want to drive the coast road at night in a
bad rain storm nor did I want to reinstall the antenna in the dark and rain,
a wimp I guess).
So did not restart until around 1745 UTC on Sat morning. Band died about
0430 UTC Sunday (last contact was ZL6LH) so drove home again on our Sat
night for some rest and food (was not in a good mood and did I fell like
sleeping over at the LH on a cot after fighting the NA QSO QRM and poor band
condx all day). Back on air Sun morning at 1540 UTC.
Spent 95% of time on 20. Only spent a few minutes on 40 which was jammed
with the QSO Party and foreign broadcast Sat and noisy on Sun.
Total on air time: 17 hours 23 minutes
Total stations worked: 268
Total LH/LS worked: 7 (4 from NA W coast, 1 from NA E coast, 1 from NA Gulf
coast and 1 from New Zealand.
Only 3 DX stations worked in Europe, 3 in Asia, and 2 in S Pacific.
Primary band path on 20 was North and South, lots of Alaska and California
stations. Only worked or heard a few US East coast and nary a South
American or African station.
OK, some suggestions.
As you know we US folks don't have access to the 80 and 40 meter freqs that
the rest of the world has and which are suggested on the ILLW site. Also
the ILLW suggested 20M freq at 221 is tough for anyone doing special event
efforts because of the US congestionon the low end. Would suggest listing
suggested freqs for US stations on these bands to help guide the rest of the
world to where we are operating. I spent most of my time around 14.270 for
example, where it is less congested.
Since we cannot operate phone on the 80 and 40 freqs suggested on the ILLW
site, where is best for you when looking for the US (not split!, to
difficult to deal with for a lot of the US stations at LH's). On 20, .270
is typically pretty good. And for the US how about 3775 to 3785 as a center
and 7160 to 65 on 40 and on 15M above 21.225 so that the lower high grade
licensees can participate. I suggest 21. 230 to 240. If so listed then
everyone would know where everyone generally are, taking into account the
differing band limits available to different IARU areas.
And the rule that you have to be on the LH or LS site I totally agree with.
The sight rule is like saying I can claim an IOTA contact because I can see
the island. Any contact with me at any LH I have every put on the air is a
contact on the light station property.
Great time, lousy band conditions, but expected considering where we are in
Don W7WLL / KY7L
Extra Class, Lic 1954
From Barra Lighthouse:
We´d like to say thank you about our inclusion on the lighthouse wekeend !
For us, really was a tremendous success, we had a lot of contacts, with all
over the world !
We are think about activate all the Lighthouse in the Bahia state, we will
send you all the information when we have !
From_Name: David Walker ZL2DW (for ZL2AS team)
Subject: Message for ILLW list manager.
message: Hello Mike, tnx for this L/house w/end opportunity. We worked as far north as Sweden.
Our frustration was hearing, quite well,
GB4HCL 14.195mhz 0935hrs UTC 21/8/04 and
GB2LBN 14.21316mhz 1023hrs UTC 21/8/04 (op. Alan).
Can you please tell them they were heard by us, tnx.
73's David ZL2DW (for the ZL2AS team, NZL009).
The Peconic ARC, W2AMC, participated in ILLW 2004 from Horton Point
Lighthouse, Southold, NY. We had pretty good propagation both days, mostly
on 20 meters, but we did operate for a while on 40 as well. We logged a
total of 338 QSOs, of which 33 were with other lighthouses. The lighthouse
contact were all with USA or Canadian lights. For operations like this, we
tend to run on a single frequency and let the other stations come to us.
They did so in droves and we enjoyed working almost continuous pileups, but
not too much DX.
We will look forward to next year when we will try to activate a lighthouse
where the grandfather of one of our members was once the lighthouse keeper.
More on that next year.
73 de Warren
Another great weekend from the Eshaness lighthouse on the Shetland
Islands (EU-012) Something special this time with Ken, WA8REI/MM0KAL
visiting for two weeks. We had three days living at Bressay Lighthouse
prior to ILLWE, followed by two days days at Eshaness where Ken stayed
over an extra day. Once again an international crew of ops from USA,
Germany, Northern Ireland and England.
At a guess there were around 650 contacts in total. One log book shows
46 countries and 37 lighthouses, with the second log still to count,
which includes at least two more countries, Egypt and Hong Kong.
A great weekend....See you all again next year.
From DA0LH, Hoheweg LH, ARLHS FED-108
Thanks Mike and Kevin for the great organisation of this event, once again!
We activated Hoheweg LH again this year, because our "wanted" LH Robbenplate FED-198 was under renovation. Both of them are offshore in the mouth of the river Weser in the Northsea.
Our tender brought us to the Weser approach on Thursday 19th in the early morning. We reached the edge of the sand where the LH is situated at at low tide and had to leave the tender with the help of a rubber boat in a somewhat rough sea. All equipment and luggage was to be transported about 700 m over the wet beach to the LH. In the afternoon the wind increased to 8 Beaufort and the waves showed white foam all around the tower at high tide.
Weather was mixed with sun and cloudes, fine enough to take a bath at low tides. We installed verticals on the lower constructions of the tower and fixed sloper antennas on the sea ground.
The main band - 40 m - was very noisy in a contest on Saturday and Sunday. The good S/N relation in CW made it possible to get nearly 200 QSOs in the lower part of this band.
A second rig was used on 20 m with 275 contact in SSB. The number of rigs which can be used in parallel on a LH is of course limited but it was possible to operate a third rig on 30m or 17 m without distortion.
We left Hoheweg on early Monday, impressed again by the fantastic nature in the Waddensea.
Thanks all yl and om who contacted us or tried to do it. We hope to meet you again next time.
Our statistic shows :
band 80 40 30 20 17 15 2 m total
cw 3 194 18 24 12 251
ssb 140 275 3 418
fm 1 1
total 3 334 18 299 12 3 1 670
Best regards from
Klaus DF3GL, Uwe DL3BJ, Greg DL1BFE, Volker SWL
Hi Kevin (VK2CE) and Mike (GM4SUC):
It was another wonderful weekend!!!
Gamboa lighthouse, at the mouth of the Chagres river, is one of the oldest lighthouses of the Panama Canal and remains as an historical example of the first lights used at the beginning of the canal.
We were very proud that with HP2L, for a second year in a row, another lighthouse of this important waterway was present in this activity.
We want to thank you for this opportunity and assure you we will be back again next year.
Hasta la vista, amigos,!!!!!
Hank – HP1IBF
Panama Canal Amateur Radio Association.