Each year comments from participants in the
event are welcomed and even those who perhaps worked some of the lighthouses
from home. Photos are
particularly welcome. Click on thumbnails for larger view.
The comments and photographs below have been reproduced here with permission of the those who submitted them. This permission does not extend to reproduction on other web sites or publications.
From Far North Queensland, Australia.
From Cape Liptrap Lighthouse Southern Victoria, Australia.
A Few photos of the team and the light at Cape Liptrap light 2008
We used the club Callsign VK3ER and not my own callsign VK3ARK
We had a great time and even the weather co-operated
From the Williamstown Light and Timeball, Victoria, Aust.
VK3WI in the ILLW 2008
Wintry weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of those who took part in the
lighthouse activation at Williamstown in Melbourne’s inner southwest.
For the 4th year Amateur Radio Victoria set up VK3WI portable at the
Williamstown Lighthouse and Timeball Tower AU0036.
Despite depressed propagation almost 300 contacts were entered in the log
including DX in Canada, Chile, Israel, New Zealand and Russia, plus 30
A highlight is the 40m contact with 3G1F, the Arica, Chile lighthouse
CL0010 activated by the Atacam Desert DX Group operators.
That could be one of the longest distance lighthouse to lighthouse contact
from VK from the 40m band on the weekend.
While primarily aimed at the lighthouse weekend activity, VK3WI also
readily exchanged sequence numbers for the Remembrance Day Contest.
The station was put to air over the two days by about ten operators
including five Foundation Licensees who enjoyed the experience of operating
a portable station.
The main station was a Kenwood TS440SAT on 80m, 40m and 20m feeding either
an inverted vee attached near the top of the lighthouse or a refurbished
Werner Wulf multiband trapped vertical that performed excellently. While
70cm and 2m was set-up it achieved only minimal contacts.
There were members of the public who stopped by, with special visitors
being Peter Vaughan and his wife Rhonda, descendants of the tower’s last
time-keeper Richard T. Vaughan who died aged 76 in 1926.
The time-keeper’s job was to haul a metal sphere to the top of the tower
and let it drop at precisely at 1pm so ships anchored nearby could
accurately set their chronometers.
Among the others popping in to see what was happened were two adults and a
teenage boy who expressed interest in learning more about amateur radio
with the view of possibly taking out the Foundation Licence.
Congratulations to the Ayr Amateur Radio Group and its webmaster Kevin
Mulchay VK2CE for a record setting International Lighthouse and Lightship
- Terry Murphy VK3UP, Event Coordinator, Amateur Radio Victoria.
Michelle VK3FEAT and Peter VK3QF inside the tower.
From Burry Point Lighthouse UK
The operator, Mike, battled heavy rain and strong winds this year at Burry Port lighthouse (GB4BPL)to work 51 lighthouses/ships from 25 DXCC including the first activations of A4, P4, and J6. A total of 394 QSOs were made with strong signals this year from the Caribbean, the West coast of Canada, and Hawaii. Nothing at all from SE Asia this year and China was a struggle. Most activity was on 20m with a little on 40m, 15m and 10m. Sporadic E on Saturday provided some excitement on 6m with 11 DXCC worked using just 10 watts to a vertical. Attempts to lift a wire for 80m were abandoned due to "health & safety" concerns given the strong winds and rain (the kite flyer wasn't heavy enough). We were blessed with a formation flying display though (see picture), presumably to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ILLW and my 5th year of activation? Since 2004, Mike, has logged 2,052 QSOs from 118 DXCC of which 43 are lighthouses/ships. Bring on 2009 and more active DXCC!!
From Cape Otway, Southern Victoria:-
2008 International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
Joint operation by clubs, Melbourne Electronics and Radio Club and Geelong Radio and Electronics Society
Arrival at Cape Otway Lightstation was at about 2PM EST on the Friday afternoon. As it was not raining when we arrived construction of the G5RV setup was undertaken immediately. The weather at Cape Otway can be very fickle...... raining one minute and sunny the next. However there is usually some wind. We were very lucky as the wind on Friday afternoon was very light. The G5RV antenna was strung between 2 10M tall Aluminium poles which were held in place using 4 guy ropes on each pole. Positioning of the antenna was in the north / south orientation with the southern end being about 3m from the clifftop, and the antenna running across a small valley making the centre of the antenna about 12m AGL. The cliff is about 40m high, so the antenna ended up about 60m ASL.
Using a 50m length of RG213 style coax as the feeder for the G5RV completed
this antenna setup and brought signals into the shack. Operating at Cape Otway
Lightstation is a joy as the staff there make sure they look after us well. We
were able to set up shack using 2 of the rooms in the old Telegraph Station
building. So once the antenna farm has been built we all hid from the cold wind
and scuttled inside to test out the setup. First contact was with a ZL
lighthouse station, so VK3BD was happy that his FT847 rig was operating
In another one of the Telegraph Stations rooms VK3KVK set up his TEN-TEC Omni VI running into an end fed long wire about 30m in length and 6m AGL.
For most of Saturday afternoon, VK3KVK, VK3FZWA and VK3JUZ operated from VK3KVK's car using the old Marine Beacon antenna which is located some 700m north of the lighthouse. This antenna is quite large, being some 80m end to end, and 20m AGL. It has a single wire open feeder to the centre of the span, plus the remains of the original earthing system to drive the antenna against. It tunes up quite well on any band you choose to try.
Meanwhile VK3BD was busy 'paying the rent' by providing an operating Amateur
Station for the public to see, and with VK3KMA and VK3YME doing most of the
talking to the tourists, who were wondering what the equipment setup was all
about. Quite a few of the WIA 'Calling CQ' brochures were taken by interested
people. On display was VK3KMA's MFJ920 QRP 20m rig, connected to his 'Shack in a
Suitcase' antenna. At one stage when VK3KMA was demonstrating this to someone,
he just happened to tune to the correct frequency to receive transmissions from
one of the NZ lighthouses.
Notes for next year:-
Take Bandpass filters to allow 2 stations to operate from the Telegraph Station at the same time.
Take video footage and more photos.
Make copies of log sheets, so all operators get to keep list of stations contacted.
From_Name: Murray Crandon at Cochin "Lighthouse", Saskatchewan, Canada.
Subject: CA0013 VE5LGT Thanks and Video clip.
Message: Dear Kevin, just a short note from ILLW#CA0013 VE5LGT to say thanks very much for letting us participate in your event, we had a wonderful time and plan to do it again for sure.
I made a 10min. Video on the expediton, and I noticed that you have others listed on your web page...feel free to add our link too if you like.
73...Murray, VE5MC, VE5LGT, VE5ISS.
(Note: While this lighthouse is a faux light, it was permitted to enter due to the special circumstances surrounding it which to a large extent satified the objectives of the event.)
(Not everyone registers an entry and not everyone operates from a real Lighthouse. Here's one example of ingenuity and effort, definitely 10/10. He put the weekend on the air in an inland town and spread the word. I managed to work him through the pile up. vk2ce):-
`Greetings from Cape Clear, Victoria near Ballarat. This last Sat I operated
as a portable station from the Cape Clear light house (faux) on the main road
for about four hours on the Sat. Although not a formal registered navigation
light the local community decided to erect one as it went easily with the towns
name. It has recently gained recognition in local papers and will hopefully be a
tourist attraction in the future. The town has a licenced hotel, a store/Post
office, a disused garage and a CFA fire shed on the corners of the intersection.
There are two stories as to how the township gained its name and both are strongly connected to the Irish. The first two land holders in the district were known to be from Ireland and in particular County Cork which is the bottom end of the country. Standing off from the township of Baltimore is an island called Clear Island. Here there is a cape and its assumed that these early settlers came from there abouts and named the town from their original home. The other concerns the broad accent of the irisah to a English ear and its also attributed that a gentleman was giving a warning to passers by to "Keep Clear" as he either had a gold claim thereabouts or the roadway[sic] was heavily rutted and filled with water and mud. Whatever it is a fact that the township is in the middle of a rural farming community and over 120Km from the nearest open water. The light house will be officially recognised by the Golden Plains shire in Oct 2008 and a local celebration will take place. I have misplaced the Lat & Long at the moment of writing but can send that to you if you wish. I attach some photos of my portable set up in the truck on Sat for your reference. I only used 40M and had a FAMPARC vertical as the antenna although was going to erect a two band trapped dipole if the weatehr had allowed. Although it cleared I decided to keep working the whip although the elevated wire would have made a big difference as when I returned home the signals were extraordinarily strong on my hill. At the moment there is no easy way to attache a antenna from the tower but I hope to achieve that for next time and will probably operate from either the rotunda in the Lions Park or the CFA fire shed which is just behind my vehicle in the photograph. Although I didnt register before hand and gain a number, when some stations asked I used the 000 [triple zero] number without the AU prefix. Next year I may be able to field a team from the Ballarat radio club and operate longer.
As a point of interest my home station QSL card features a lighthouse sitting
out in the paddocks beyond the house and i have been using a light house ICON on
my APRS base transmitter for over five years now and believe I can lay claim to
being the only amateur station able to claim that right as an inland non
navigational lighthouse "keeper". I will send a copy of the card by
snail mail for your perusal shortly.
I hope the weekend activity went as well as you wished for and from what I
heard leading up to the start of the RD contrest there were a lot of stations
out and prepared to get involved for the day.
From the UK:-
I activated 7 lighthouses over the week end for ILLW 2008. Saturday was South Stack, Mail Pier (Holyhead Port) then Great Orme Head
Sunday was Hoylake, visit to GB4LL at Leasowe, Perch Rock (New Brighton) then Finaly Whitby Lock in Ellesmere Port.
Load of stations worked, Many friends spoken too. Lots of Lights contacted.
The highlight was 2 contacts with VK4GHL. ( Both audio clips included, watch
out, I have a raised voice, so beaware of the volume.) (plus the pics of Mail
Pier.) The antenna was a 1/4 wave vertical wire, taped to a 7mtr fishing rod. 100w Kenwood TS-450s
A great event this year. Looking forward to next years. Who knows where I'll
73's de Ian GW0VML/P
Administrator of BARLS
Video clip 1 Video clip 2
From Coffs Harbour NSW, Aust.,
From Bundaberg, Queensland,
G’day Kevin et al,
My effort this year for the ILLW was to activate the New
Burnett Heads lighthouse which is located near Bundaberg in Central Queensland
ILLW No AU-0004
Information on this lighthouse can be found at: http://www.lighthouse.net.au/lights/QLD/Burnett%20Heads/Burnett%20Heads%20New.htm
The New Burnett Heads lighthouse is an active light and is
only one of two Australian Cospas Sarsat satellite receiving stations. The other
one is located at Cave Point near Albany in western Australia. Cospas-Sarsat is
an international, humanitarian search and rescue system that uses satellites to
detect and locate emergency beacons carried by ships, aircraft, or individuals.
The system consists of a network of satellites, ground stations, mission control
centres, and rescue coordination centres.
My station, VK4DMC, consisted of an ICOM IC-7000 at
100watts into a Terlin vertical antenna attached to my vehicle. I was only on
air for 4 hours but managed to work lighthouse stations in every state of VK
plus overseas lights in ZL and USA. Bands worked were 20 and 40 metres.
The weather was perfect with 20deg temp and a light SE
After I closed my station down I paid a visit to the
Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club ILLW station, VK4BW, which was operating
nearby at the Old Burnett heads Lighthouse, a historical site where the original
Burnett Heads lighthouse is located in a park.
My home QTH is in Atherton Far North Queensland. Station
details at www.qrz.com
Attached photographs show the unusual design of the
lighthouse and the location of my mobile setup.
Dale VK4DMC / VK4SIX
From Great South Bay ARC, USA,
From Great South Bay ARC, USA,
Attached is the August 2008 GSBARC Compass Newsletter.
It has pictures and a writeup about ILLW Light House weekend
at Fire Island, NY with W2GSB/LH
Download Newsletter HERE
Anyone wanting to use material in the Newsletter may do so as
long as you give use credit and sent us a copy. We can also
supply copies of individual articles in MS/Word form for republication.
You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to read it.
I've included a couple of individual pictures in JPEG form.
More pictures will soon appear on the above site.
From the Coffs Harbour and District ARC,
The Coffs Harbour and District Amateur Radio Club participated in the 2008 Lighthouse weekend from Smoky Cape lighthouse, 9 members were there for the weekend.
We did not make as many contacts as in other years,but everyone enjoyed the weekend.
We managed to make only 149 contacts 25 of these were lighthouses 3 of those were in New Zealand and also managed to make a few contacts to America,Japan and Russia.
We are already planning next years weekend and congratulations to the Ayr Amateur Radio Group and Kevin VK2CE for all of the work that you have done.
Terry Wood VK2MTW for the CHADARC.
VK7 LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND WRAP-UP
Lighthouse Weekend........The Mersey Bluff.
With permission from the Devonport City Council to camp at The Mersey Bluff
and with a key to the reserve Winston VK7EM arrived around 9.00
am on Saturday 16th and set up his station. He erected a multi-dipole inverted vee antenna for 80, 40 and 20 metres and parked his van near
Winston had five car batteries connected in parallel to power an FT757 and a 2 metre rig.
Well just then Murphy appeared. Winston checked his antenna and cables many
times but when after an SWR check he had a reading of
over 3 to 1. After a hasty check with a dummy load Winston found that a PL259 socket on my SWR meter needed tightening. He corrected
that and 80 and 40 metres were near 1 to 1 but 20 metres was still poor. This was cured by removing the 20 metre loaded whip from his
vehicle. It had been too close to the 20 metre dipole.
So around 11.00 am Winston put out his first call.
The next few hours were most enjoyable as he contacted lighthouse stations
across the country and New Zealand. From Cape Naturaliste in
WA, Cooktown in the north and many others along the east coast of Australia. All had interesting tales to tell. Like the difficult four
hour trip across Fraser Island to Sandy Cape, the storm that flattened ZL2SEA's antenna and dumped a covering of hailstones on
Puniho on Cape Egmont.
Winston kept in frequent contact with Wayne VK7FWAY and Eric VK7FEJE at Table
Cape lighthouse and Bill VK7MX and Duncan VK7FLAK at Low
Head. Bryan VK7KBE paid Winston a visit as did Shirley VK7HSC and Max VK7KY.
Many curious on-lookers called by wondering just what was going on.......and some took away brochures on Amateur Radio.
It was a great weekend .......in a place with a `million dollar view'.
As Winston mentioned above there was a late entry to the ILLW with Bill VK7MX
and son Duncan VK7FLAK activating the Low Head Lighthouse.
I hope to have a report from Bill and Duncan and Wayne and Eric for next week's broadcast. [Ed]
WICEN almost blown away at Cape Bruny
The Cape Bruny lighthouse was activated for the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend by WICEN Tasmania (South) as VK7WCN.
Three operators and two XYLs made the annual trip over the water on the first
ferry in the wee hours of Saturday morning and set up two
stations at Cape Bruny.
One in the car park and another at the lighthouse, both on longwires driven by vehicle mounted Icom 706s and AH4 tuners.
Gale force winds made setting up at the lighthouse interesting and at times
it seemed as if the trailer used as a brew up and lunch shelter
was going to head off on it's own to the more sheltered car park.
Things had settled down a bit weatherwise by Sunday morning but the local soaring eagles were still enjoying the wind.
Happy enough with the lighthouse contacts made, and the social side of
things, the group departed for the mainland following lunch on
Sunday and after fare-welling our host Lighthouse Keeper Andy VK7WS.
From Lake Constance, Switzerland,
Beautiful ativity, 1560 QSO, no problems. Download Log in XLS format here. Best 73, Michel - HB9DLO (HB9LH)
From the Summerland ARC, New South Wales, Australia,
* * LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND, YAMBA, BALLINA. * Bonjour, As said, we did activate the Yamba Lighthouse in name of Les, actually ill. Les did nicely prepare his magic antenna, his generator, and some cables for us. On the Saturday, Keith (VK2IWM) joined me in Yamba, and we did take position at the Lighthouse. It was a fantastic day, with nice warm sun, and no wind. We had difficulties to use Les's antenna and we did start with our car mobile outbacker. In the afternoon, we realized that the problem was from Keith's old tuner. We had no big power, and did not have many contacts. But still it was fun, and finally, we had what we wished : SARC did activate Yamba, with VK2ALH. On the Sunday, we did give up early, as most of the bands were busy with the contest (unfortunately on the same day !), and it was hard with small resources to get through. Best 73's from the Yamba Om's. Jean-Marie DELMAS, VK2IBK, FK8GV
* At Ballina the boys enjoyed a very good weekend. Propagation was not good, but the weather was perfect and in all most enjoyable. Everything went very well, the equipment etc. met every requirement and was erected and set up in a fine manner. Matt. VK2FMCE is to be commended for the way in which he set things up and operated the station. S.Linten VK2DSL provided great assistance and some CW!!!!. Nick VK2ZTY,Carl VK2FCAV and VK2PE from Taree visited. Contacts with VK's, ZL's and Chile. de Wal, VK2YHN.
From the Peconic ARC, USA,
International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend 2008 Report
For the sixth consecutive year, Peconic Amateur Radio Club had an entry in ILLW under the club call of W2AMC. This year we had intended to operate from Huntington Harbor Lighthouse on Saturday, Aug.16th and Horton Point Lighthouse on Sunday, Aug. 17th. Unfortunately, the Saturday operation had to be aborted due to lack of manpower, but Warren, WM2Z, Charlie, K2GLP, and did operate from Horton Point on Sunday. Horton Point Lighthouse was established and built in 1857. It is located in the town of Southold, NY, which is on Eastern Long Island about 100 miles from New York City, and it is an active aid to navigation. The lighthouse sits high on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. The grounds are a public park, so we had lots of visitors at the station.
We operated from the front porch of the lighthouse using a very simple setup consisting of an Icom IC-706 MKII, LDG AT-7000 auto tuner, Astron SS-25 power supply. The antenna was a trapped dipole strung between the lantern house and the flagpole at about 100 feet above sea level. We logged 138 QSOs under fairly good conditions most of the day. After starting on 75 meters to check into a regular morning net just as it was wrapping things up, we switched over to 20 meters and stayed there. Once we got things going with a few CQ-Lighthouse calls, it was almost a continuous string of contacts and active pileups at times. We enjoyed chatting briefly with the stations that called, and it was a pleasure to talk to lots of old friends from previous lighthouse activations. We worked several Canadian stations as would be expected, but only two DX stations. The club's PO box was stuffed with QSL cards within a few days of the operation, and all requests will be filled with our certificate QSL.
de Warren, WM2Z
From Lion Ajoy in India,
From Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society, UK. We'll excuse them for the wrong title for the weekend event,
Fro PI4LDN, Netherlands,
Here from the Netherlands a feedback about the Noordwijk Lighthouse, PI4LDN/L, activity's.
Also it was the first time that the view towards the sea was different because the coastline was changed during last winter and a dyke was build in the dunes.
Each year we have to build our antennas between the antennas of the lifesaving boat station and a wire antenna to the Beach Hotel on the Friday before the beginning of the ILLW.
More than 300 contacts have been made on most off the HF-bands, but also on 70cm, 2mtr and 6 mtr. At sunday afternoon we stopped the activity's and cleaned the lighthouse and finshed it all with a good glass of beer at a beach teracce.
The pictures can be watched at: http://picasaweb.google.nl/PI4LDN/ILLW2008VuurtorenNoordwijk#
Members of the 2008-teem where: Eric PA1EJ, Joop PA1JAV, Hans PA1NB, Ben PA2BEN, Frans PA3CGJ, Bram PA7APL, Fred PA7FB, Loek PA9LUC, Klem PD7KDN, SWL Javier and me: Jaap PA7DA.
Best 73's Jaap PA7DA
Jaap van Duin
Hi Kevin, here is a report from South
ILLW 2008 - Cape Hangklip, South Africa. Call sign - ZS1TB/L (Callsign belonging to Boland Amateur Radio Club)
We, ZS1REC (Raoul) and myself ZS1WDK (Willem) accompanied by the XYL's arrived at about 14h30 UTC, Friday afternoon and immediately unpacked and erected the antennas as the bad weather was approaching fast. We managed to get everything up just in time as it started to rain. Friday night/Saturday morning we had some real nasty weather with very high wind and heavy rain. All the antennas survived the storm and we managed to log 200 contacts by Sunday afternoon at 13h00 UTC.
We were mostly active on 20/40/80/160m. Antennas used were all constructed from wire and fixed at a height of about 22m against the lighthouse. For 20/40/80m we used an OCF dipole and for 160m, a L shaped wire antenna with a few ground radials for TX and a 150m longwire on the ground for RX.
Some of the nice DX calls worked was from VK and YB.
The weekend was a great success and enjoyed by everyone. We are looking forward to ILLW 2009 !
Here are some photo's from the Cape Hangklip station that you can post on your website if you want to.
Greetings form Cape Town, South Africa.
Greetings Kevin, Sorry this took so long in getting back to you. But right after the lighthouse weekend our club lost it's secretary , Larry KC2OZA/SK, Larry was the club member who made it possible for us to use the Sandy Hook Lighthouse for the event last year and this year. His presence will be greatly missed by our club. I am going to attach a few photo's for you of the group and the lighthouse. We have been told by the power that be that we are welcomed back next year so we will be back again, for no other reason than to honor Larry. We had a great time, weather was great, warm, light breeze, no bug's, great scenery( many beautiful women in Bikini's ) walking and riding around, and the view from the top of the light was not bad ether. The first photo( Crew01 is of some of the club member, Larry KC2OZA/SK is the fifth from the left), Antenna, is shot up the side of the light showing the two slopers, N2JJF our chief CW Operator on the top of the light looking north west, Family is a Father, son and new licensed daughter on the air . Hope to hear you on the air. 73's Jeff N2LXM AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR, AMERICAN PATRIOT Proud Father of two US MARINES
The comments and photographs above have been reproduced here
with permission of the those who submitted them. This permission does not extend
to reproduction on other web sites or publications.