WSSM Team Activates Squirrel Point Lighthouse for 2022 ILLW

On Sunday, August 21st, members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine activated Squirrel Point Lighthouse, in Arrowsick, Maine, for 2022 International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW). This was the twelfth different lighthouse activated by the team during an ILLW weekend, and the fourteenth altogether.

Squirrel Point Lighthouse is located at the end of a 1.4 mile out-and-back trail, which is an easy hike, but the mosquitoes were particularly vicious, probably due to the time of day being morning and its location along the Kennebec River. Once out of the wooded area, though, and in the clear of the lighthouse property, the bugs subsided.

The team, consisting of Stefania (K1GJY) and Tim (KB1HNZ) Watson, along with their son Elliot, and Brad Brown Jr., (KC1JMH) and his son Jordan, setup two HF radios – a Yaesu FT-991A, connected to a Buddipole tuned to 20 meters, and a Yaesu FT-817, connected to an end-fed tuned to 40 meters. Being a Sunday, we also checked into the Dirigo Net on DMR. All radios used battery power.

The lighthouse is very secluded, and the hike out and back made it one of the more interesting ones we’ve visited.

“The property had a home and a barn to the right side, as one approaches,” Brad Brown said, describing the scene. “The lighthouse sat across from the trail on the water, and a utility shed down by the water far to the left that appears to be fed by a solar panel array. Everything was interconnected by boardwalk.”

Throughout the day, other hikers arrived and asked about what we were doing, and we were also visited by a drone that flew over from across the river. There was steady boat traffic as well, so there was always something to see.

At the end of the day, the team made nearly 40 QSOs, including with other lighthouses up and down the East Coast, and on the Great Lakes. Our location, being a small lighthouse along the Kennebec river, was unique, and it drew a lot of attention on the air.

ILLW 2021 from Doubling Point Lighthouse

Steve AA1HF operates 20m SSB

On Saturday, August 21st, the WSSM team activated Doubling Point Lighthouse, in Arrowsic, Maine, for 2021 International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

Since the lighthouse is accessed by a single lane dirt road, and can only accommodate about 4 vehicles, the Arrowsic Town Hall was chosen as a meeting place, where participants could park and carpool to the lighthouse. Everyone arrived by 10:00 AM, and soon after, Tim Watson KB1HNZ led the group to the nearby lighthouse, where setup of the stations and antennas began.

Jason W1SFS operates 40m SSB

Club members, including Jason Andrews W1SFS, Dylan Bauer KC1PSD, Steve McGrath AA1HF, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, and Stefania Watson K1GJY, took turns operating HF, on 40m, 17m, and 20m throughout the day using Tim’s Yaesu FT857d, Jason’s Yaesu FT-450, and Steve’s Icom IC-705, along with a variety of antennas, including a BuddiPole rotatable dipole, DX Commander vertical, and a portable loop. All stations ran on battery power.

Stefania K1GJY operates 20m SSB

For 2021, the WSSM team used special event call sign, W1D, for ILLW, and it certainly got some attention on the air!

The band conditions were excellent and the contacts came quick and often. Stefania K1GJY maintained a presence on 20 meters for most of the day, while Jason W1SFS, Steve AA1HF, and Dylan KC1PDS, operated 40 meters with equal success. Later in the afternoon, Dylan and Stefania tried different bands with the Icom IC-705 and loop antenna, and Stefania had a QSO with fellow WSSM member Frank KR5N, in Plano, TX, on 17 meters! Jason worked Rick K1OT, who was mobile, on 40 meters SSB, and Stefania also made several DX contacts on 20 meters SSB, the most notable being a lighthouse in the Azores. The team made over 100 contacts by the time the stations were broken down at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Dylan KC1PDS works 17m SSB

Afterwards, Dylan and his dad, Steve and his wife, Marilyn, and Tim, Stefania, and son, Elliot, all met at the Kennebec Tavern, in nearby Bath, for a nice dinner, before heading back to Southern Maine.

Click here to see pictures of this year’s and previous lighthouse activations.

ILLW Activation of Doubling Point Lighthouse, August 21st!

Please join us Saturday, August 21st, as we venture to Doubling Point Lighthouse, in Arrowsic, ME, to activate it for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

Similar to our recent POTA activation, we’ll setup portable battery-powered HF radios, using free-standing antennas. Since this will be the first ILLW activation from Doubling Point, it does not yet have an ILLW designator assigned, but it will very soon.

Doubling Point Light was built in 1898 on Arrowsic Island on the Kennebec River in Maine. It was one of four lighthouses built that year to provide navigational aid for ships on their way to Bath, “the City of Ships.”

ILLW began in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award, organized by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. Usually taking place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year, ILLW attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events each year.

Doubling Point only has parking for 4 vehicles, so car-pooling is necessary!

For more information about Doubling Point Lighthouse, and for directions, please click here to visit their website.

A donation to the Friends of Doubling Point Lighthouse is recommended.


10:00 AM – We’ll meet up at the Arrowsic Town Hall, located at 340 Arrowsic Rd., Arrowsic, ME, where some of us can leave their vehicles, and then drive to the lighthouse.

10:30 – 11:00 AM – Setup HF stations and antennas. We’ll be using special event call sign W1D for the event.

11:10 AM – 3:30 PM – On-air activities.

3:45 PM – Breakdown stations.

Talk-in on 146.580 FM Simplex.

See you there!