International Lighthouse/ Lightship Weekend

Reports/Feedback from 2009 entrants

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 the crew at Cape Nelson Lighthouse, Victoria, Australia.

Well another great International Lighthouse weekend, draws to a close, and another 12 months to wait. Cape Nelson was fabulous, conditions tough at times due to weather, but great operating conditions. Worked lots of stations. very low noise, it was ideal.
Thanks to Rob for allowing access.

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Some web site articles about the weekend:-,evanston-hamradio-082509-s1.article,0,5805491.story

From a Home based amateur in South Australia:-

Message: Hi Kevin,
This was the first year that i made a special effort to work the lighthouse stations. 
I was apprehensive at first because i assumed that traffic was restricted to between 
lighthouses, however after working several stations i continued to find and work as 
many as i could. I thoroughly enjoyed it and i am already looking forward to next year. 
I have a fascination for lighthouses and could not think of a better way to enjoy 
a weekend than operating an amateur station at a lighthouse. many thanks for your 
website it has been most informative. 
73,s Roger VK5NWE

Dear Station Masters and Hams...

thank you very much for the great weekend during the MLHW / ILLW 09...
lets not worry about how many contacts we all made,
but the idea on the possibilty of all working together as Hams under 1 Malaysia,
had taken place, and i believe everyone enjoyed themselves..

syabas and well done guys,
u all created history by supporting and activating the 8 light houses here in Malaysia..

some links of interest that i found: Video clip is well worth watching:
Pictures and reports to follow soon,...

thanks again everyone for supporting and making this event a success..
you have shown that we can all work together as 1 Malaysia thru Ham Radio!!

73 de Rabin, 9W2PD - Port Dickson, Malaysia.
Malaysia National Coordinator for MLHW 09..
Coordinator for 9M4LHN - Rumah Api Cape Rachardo, Tanjung Tuan Port Dickson..

Report from Grassy Hill Light -Cooktown
We had 16 Amateurs and family at the event this year. We had reasonable conditions - the first time in 5 years that it wasn't blowing hard !!
We had good contacts in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, China,Russia, Finland and USA BUT the previous openings into Europe didn't happen this year. We also experienced rapid and deep fades on 20 meters which was frustrating as we heard stations calling but we couldn't get back eg East Timor and Spain to name but two.
Overall though the contact with 33 other lighthouses was satisfying plus other stations.
The Tableland Radio Group had a dipole for 80 and 40 and a 3 element beam at 10 meters for 20 meters -  which allowed us to DF for contacts. Transceivers were FT897D and power was supplied by batteries with a generator for lighting.
There was an increase in visitor numbers to our site this year and it was interesting to see the interest in the event.
It was also the Cooktown Arts Festival as well that weekend and one of our ladies did a lighthouse theme with the decorated Bra section which won first prize - it was decorated with the Grassy Hill Lighthouse theme and now is on permanent display in Cooktown.
We'll be back next year.
Mike for the Tableland Radio Group VK4GHL

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Hi all,(From ZL6LH)

Well it's all over for another year. 
What a great time we had with ZL6LH at East Cape NZ0010 
We left Auckland at 5am on the Friday and arrived at East Cape around 2pm. (510 km) 
It was generally fine over the weekend but QSO's were hard to get. 
We did have lots of contacts into VK to operators at Lighthouses and others in the RD contest 
but other DX contacts were not easy, especially on phone. There were CW contacts made on 30m
at times 
Sunday evening (local) I had a couple of DX contacts on 20m phone that were armchair copy.
First a call from Dan JA2FDX in Nagoya that was followed immediately after signing, a call 
from Ian GM4YSN over the North Pole region.
In all, we worked 44 lighthouse stations from Australia, 11 New Zealand Lighthouse stations 
and LU6WG at Acantilado, AR0043 in Argentina.from our total of 895 QSO's made over the weekend.
There were occasions when we gave out both the ILLW Lighthouse number as well as the 
NZ Marine Safety number. The latter is relevant for local awards.
The QSO's from other DX lighthouse stations is sadly missed. 
From our local Papakura Radio Club, I am pleased to advise that we had 5, yes 5 stations at lighthouses. 
We had Nigel ZL2SEA with Cape Egmont LH, Franc and Willy with ZL1KBR Bean Rock LH, Cliff and Fred with 
ZL1GHT Manukau LH, Ian ZL1AOX/MM at Rangitoto LH and ZL6LH at East Cape LH.
More to follow on the ZL6LH pages at the site and also a link to this years video on YouTube shortly.


David ZL1DK

Hi all!
We have taken part this year again with our club call DF0WLG from the island and lighthouse
 "Greifswalder Oie" (DE0009). Our team this year consists of 10 people, we have build up three 
short wave only stations and one station for VHF with the ability to work on short wave too. 
We have worked on 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m and 2m. I can't say, how many QSOs are in our logs, 
but I think, more than 500. Our farthest QSO was on CW to Japan and our farthest QSO to 
another lighthouse was on CW to a lighthouse in South Africa.
I'll update our club homepage under the next days with a report and 
some pictures. Unfortunately is the whole page available only in german  :(  
But have a look unter "Fotos", I think, the pictures are self explaining...
73, Helge (DG0NF)

Williamstown Lighthouse weekend report

John Karr VK3FMPB

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend 15-16 August only had
one Timeball Tower/Lighthouse registered which is located at Williamstown just 12km
form central Melbourne by road.

This year VK3WI’s chief operator was Ian Downie VK3XID, who initiated the
first Amateur Radio Victoria activation with others including ARV
President Jim Linton VK3PC who was there once again.

Everyone was made feel most welcome with those attending including Tony
VK3VTH, Wayne VK3VCL, Peter VK3QM, Victor VK3DKM and myself Johnno VK3FMPB
The various tasks including antenna erection and operating were shared.

The weekend saw the first on air contact made by 0930 hrs and soon after
the first of many lighthouses were logged, which was the Manly-Warringah
Radio Society VK2MB at the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in NSW.

By 1630 hrs 60 contacts had been made despite a QRN level of S9. It was
hard going so VK3WI took extreme patience with a number of foundation
stations and mobile stations that managed to just get their signal heard.

Equipment being used was an ICOM IC706 MKiig, AT7000 automatic ATU, and a
Yaesu FT-897 and AT-897 ATU. Antennae which are set up include an 80m and
40m dipoles with their centre points at the top of the lighthouse creating
inverted vees, a 20m vertical and a 2m and 70cm colinear vertical.

Visitors are numerous and quite a few of them stopped to have a chat about
what is going on. Perhaps we have managed to plant a seed and sign up a
few future foundation callsigns in the process.

With closing VK3WI at 1600 hrs on the Sunday all agreed it was a
worthwhile operating event and social gathering and I\'m sure most will
return for ILLW 21-22 August 2010.

From DA0L

Tnx for your mail, Kevin. I got it when being on the lighthouse "Hoheweg" and used the number.
We had a nice time. The contest made us nervous but we had about 400 QSOs in cw and ssb on 40 and 20.
We have not been on Robbenplate LH.
greg bl1bfe

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Hello Kevin,

The Cape May County Amateur Radio Club completed its eleventh consecutive year of ILLW participation.  As is our custom we worked from the base of the Cape May Lighthouse at Cape May Point, New Jersey.  2009 was a banner year for participation, 20 club members and guests were involved.  This year we used a mixed bag of antennas including: a Hustler vertical, G5RV, dipole, bazooka and a Buddy-pole.  We operated 4 HF stations, both phone and CW, as well as a 2 meter station for talk-in and to maintain contact with the SCARA club operating at the Absecon lighthouse up the coast.  Our contacts ranged from Estonia on the Baltic to the state of Washington on the Pacific.  Over 140 contacts were made.  Enclosed are a few of the many pictures that were taken.  We are already talking about ILLW 2010.

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Bill Cole, N2CSA, North Cape May, NJ 

Hello from the North Kitsap Amateur Radio Club - KC7Z,
Again this year we had the privilege to operate from the Point No Point Lighthouse (US0061) located in Hansville Washington. The Point No Point Lighthouse is also the headquarters for the US Lighthouse Society. The Society is happy to have us each year and are very accommidating and supportive. Well this year being only my second as a newly qualified operator was one of the best amateur radio events I have attended. We did not make a lot of contacts, 72 of which 6 were other lighthouses, but we did have a great time talking to those that we did contact, local visitors and of course many stories and training provided by the more experienced operators. We operated with two HF rigs this year one going to a 10-40 meter vertical about 10 feet off the ground with 8 radials and an off-center fed Windom 10-80 meters. It worked well as a NVIS antenna for Pacific Northwest Contacts (WA, or is MT). Far end slopped down to about five feet on an old farm fencepost. There was a wet grassland below, making NVIS very achievable. Not to many big trees or tower available and the bands were not to favorable. We put up a tent but the weather was great. Well, I hope all those that participated had as much fun as our group did.
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From Les VK4VIL at Sea Hill Lighthouse

Hello Kevin,  

Two members, Jason Schlenker VK4FJGS and Les Unwin VK4VIL, of the Rockhampton and District Amateur Radio Club set up shop at the Sea Hill Lighthouse (AU0060) on Friday 14 August following a 30 nautical mile trip by boat from Yeppoon. The weather was calm to about 12 knots for the whole weekend and our thoughts are with those from the south who suffered gale force winds.Sea hill is near the mouth of the Fitzroy River, Central Queensland, just about on the Tropic of Capricorn.

While the wood framed, galvanized iron lighthouse is still fully functional, it has been heavily infested with termites, consequently permission to enter was not allowed and the station was set up beside the light. The one kilometre walk from nearby Pacific Creek was interesting with rigs, wires, tarps, generator etc being carried up the hill by two wheeled trolley.We used a 706 ICOM with a 40m full wave quad antenna, hung from the lighthouse and also suspended from a 5m gamefishing outrigger atop a windsurfer mast.40m and 80 m dipoles were also erected.   Saturday was great.  Lots of VK Lighthouses and a couple from ZL.   Also lots of call- ins from other stations interested in the lighthouse weekend. Unfortunately, the RD contest commenced late Saturday afternoon and we could not compete with the strong signals from other stations.  Just one of those things in radio. VK4VIL changed to 20m and we then communicated with several overseas lighthouses including Japan, New Zealand,USA and Malaysia. Good stuff!

Sunday morning saw more RD contest and we found a couple of lighthouses and helped some other stations lift their contest score as well as talking to more private stations. By lunch we packed up and went back to the boat, this time setting up an inverted Vee on the boat and operated from below the lighthouse with some good propagation. We’ll be back next year and the RADAR club is interested in hiring a large vessel to more distant Cape Capricorn (AU0059) which is more comfortable and ideally suited for comms.  The nearby Gladstone Radio Club is also keen to travel with us.  

By the way, a professional fisherman member of The Rockhampton and District Amateur Radio Club donated 2 kg of prawns for a raffle to assist my fuel costs for the weekend. Rather than accept the money, I put it to the club that it would be better to put the money to a plaque, to be set at the Sea Hill Lighthouse indicating the lighthouse was registered with ILLW and that it had been activated by club members for the ILLW weekend.  Also to include our 2m repeater frequency so visiting amateur radio boaties (common in the area) can use the repeater for local contacts, IRLP and echolink.  The raffle raised $78 so we should be able to place something reasonable. Thanks to the AYR club for organizing the weekend; what a great concept to promote lighthouses and amateur radio.

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Hallo From OR9W Team Again a Great Weekend even the first day the condition were very poor we mange to make Band Mode QSOs 3,5 LSB 517 7 LSB 616 14 USB 779 Total from 1912 contacts Not too bad result for this bad condition even the most of the contacts were inside Europe. The last day ( Sunday )

 finally we have some nice opening outside Europe and work some operators from Japan and Usa We hope to be present again next year in this greet event .

 Regards OR9W Team More info on: 

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Lighthouse Event a Huge Success for the Metro Amateur Radio Club, Chicago, USA.

It was a beautiful day on August 15, 2009 when a dozen or so members of the Metro Amateur Radio Club participated in the "International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend."

We met at the Grosse Point Lighthouse at 8:30am to set up a 4 band Hustler vertical antenna. We set up a few tables, plugged in some radios and we were on the air. Contacts included a few other lighthouses, along with nice signal reports from British Columbia to Fire Island, NY. When we switched to a low power 35 watt solar powered system the first contact was another lighthouse from Denmark! Over 40 contacts were made as members took turn being the operator. At least one contact was made using CW.

Steve Little was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune (see link):

Because of the article in Saturday's Tribune, we had a steady stream of visitors to our location, which was literally in the shadows of the lighthouse. One lady said her son and grandson were hams in Florida and wondered if we can talk to them.

For pics go here.

Our club, Northern Ireland DX Group, (MN0NID) activated Lightship Petrel on the sunday 16th.

The conditions seemed to be quite good with a constant pileup of european stations and some nice contacts to Asia and the Far East and alot of other lighthouses and lightships worked.

We were even featured on BBC Radio on their prime drive time slot.

Pictures and news on the club webpage .

Hi dear Kevin,
As annonced, we was QRV from 7th Aug. - 17. Aug. 2009 from LH Schleimünde  ILLW DE-0073 (first activation). On the foto at the Lotseninsel, my YL Judith (HE9UUY), OM Jérôme (our cook), and the operators: HB9SMU (Pedro), HB9DLO (Michel) and HB9OMI (Pierre-Yves). It was a beautiful week.

More infos:

73, Michel - HB9DLO (manager HB9LH)

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Dear Kevin,
Here a report from the Noordwijk LH team Netherlands QRV with the callsign PI4LDN/L.
This year we had a big and great team and we were not willing to be a contest station.
340 contacts have been made with stations in 35 countries.
The builders and operators this year where: PA7DA, PA0CFW, PD7KDN, PE1PYZ, PA7FB, PA1ENG, PA1EJ, PA9LUC, PG9W, PH7M, PD3GYS, PE7WFS, PA3CIB, PA7ADA, PA1NB and 3 SWL-amateurs. The weather was good only to much wind. We has a lot of fun.
The Floweparade did pass and we had a lot of visitors
PI4LDN/L was active on 70 cm, 2 Mtrs, 6 Mtrs and HF.
Please watch the photo's and the video's
Jaap PA7DA

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This is a perfect example of what the event is all about. A classic lighthouse in a public location with a station inside the tower and another outside in full view of the public.

We was 3 boys  SM7EQX, SM7FCU, SM7UCZ out on the lighthouse UTLÄNGAN south east sweden,  wich is still in operation
Send you some pics with information about the lighthouse
SM7UCZ, Johnny

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Just uploaded this from the Cape Schanck Light operation.

Thanks for organising a great weekend, Jack.

Sender:VK3WWW  John (Jack) Bramham

From Japan:-

Hi Kevin
I operated it from the lighthouse front though very short time.
QSO  7MHz CW  Three  JA  station only.
The operated day was a very bad condition.
The operation from the lighthouse is planned next year.
Thank you very much
73' Masa JO3AXC
(JP0003 Maizuruko Miyosaki)

Click here for map

From Peter MM5PSL,

Eshaness Lighthouse, GB2ELH on the Shetland Islands took to the airwaves again this year. The usual crew of Hans, MM0XAU, Roger, MM1FJM and myself, MM5PSL did the honours for the ninth year running. Two additions to the crew this time. An invitation extended  to the Radio Amateur Invalid and Blind Club (RAIBC) to field an operator was quickly snapped up by David, G3YXX from Guildford in Surrey. David who is totally blind, flew the 700-miles with wife Liz to take part, bringing with him his laptop Braille logging program.
Over the two days the crew contacted just over 650 stations mostly in Europe and as far as Japan.

(picture 2, David, G3YXX.
Caption: David. G3YXX, blind op (RAIBC) operating from the L./H workshop

Two other newcomers to the weekend were Michelle, granddaughter of Peter MM5PSL and great granddaughter Amy. At 8-weeks old, Amy found a 200-mile flight, living at a lighthouse and all this radio business...well.....quite uninteresting!

Picture. Michelle & Amy
Caption: Baby Amy found it all too boring!
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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.