The international event, which sees over 500 light houses and lightships activated in over 40 countries, helps promote the preservation of lighthouses and lightships, and at the same time, gives the community an opportunity to experience Amateur Radio.
The Wireless Society of Southern Maine has participated in ILLW since 2011, activating several lighthouses along the Maine coast and Canada. Past activations have included Pemaquid Point Light, Portland Head Light, West Quoddy Head Light, Cape Neddick “Nubble” Light, Spring Point Light, and Rockland Breakwater Light, among others.
The event also qualifies as a Parks on the Air activation, since the lighthouse is located within Owls Head State Park. The POTA number is: K-2399
We plan on operating mostly HF, on 40m, 17m, and 20m throughout the day. For the latest frequencies during the activation, look for WS1SM on DX Summit.
On-Air Activities begin at 0000 UTC, July 12th (Saturday night at 8PM)!
Thanks to the everyone who checked-in to our kick-off / coordination net last evening. Some good topics came up, including questions about a script to use, QSL information, logging, and how chasers and operators can earn a certificate.
We’ve created a simple fillable PDF for certificate requests, which is available here.
Tips for operators:
Since this isn’t a contest, it’s okay to self-spot! We suggest spotting on DX Summit to help chasers find you.
Feel free to use social media to post your operating frequencies and modes, and to tell a story about your operating conditions, etc. If you tag us, we’ll be sure to share your posts.
Please use electronic logging, and send your logs, in ADIF format to: firstname.lastname@example.org when complete. This is so we can upload to LoTW, eQSL, Clublog, etc.
Operations are not limited to HF. You can get on 6 meters, VHF/UHF, DMR, and D-STAR as well.
Although we don’t suggest any specific frequencies, try to stay around the lower end of the General portion of the bands, when on HF.
We suggest the following for a script:
“This is Special Event station W1V, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine. For information about obtaining a certificate or QSL, please visit www.ws1sm.com“
Most importantly, Have fun!
To help encourage participants to activate as many bands and modes as possible, we’re offering certificates to operators as well as chasers. More information can be can be found on the event website.
If you’re interested in operating W1V during the event, please click here to request access to the operator signup sheet.
On Saturday, August 17th, the WS1SM team activated Rockland Breakwater Light, in Rockland Harbor, ME, for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). Club members operated from 10am-5pm, using call sign WS1SM.
2019 marked the ninth year that WSSM has participated in ILLW, which sees over 500 light houses and lightships activated in over 40 countries. The international event helps promote the preservation of lighthouses and lightships, and at the same time gives the community an opportunity to experience Amateur Radio first hand.
The morning started out with breakfast at Moody’s Diner, in Waldoboro, before the team met up at the parking lot for the lighthouse. Ahead of them was task of carrying the radio equipment across the 7/8-mile long breakwater. This wasn’t easy, as one of the heavisest items, a marine battery, had to be brought out in a cart that wasn’t well suited to the rough surface of the rocks that made up the breakwater. It required two to three people at any given time to help it along. Once at the lighthouse, however, the setting was a beautiful place to spend the day on the radio.
The WS1SM team operated 2 stations full time from the front porch of the lighthouse, which overlooks the breakwater, including a Yaesu FT-857d with a 40m dipole, and an Icom IC-706 MKIIG connected to a BuddiPole (for 6-20m) antenna. Both stations operated on battery power, with solar assistance. 40 meter conditions were excellent and contacts were plenty there. Band conditions were a little more difficult on 20 meters, but it improved later in the day to even include a few DX contacts.
Particpants included Eric Emery KC1HJK, CJ Carlsson W1CJC, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, Brad Brown, Jr. KC1JMH, and Peter Warren KC1DFO.
“This year’s ILLW has been a lot of fun,” said Tim Watson KB1HNZ. “It was fun working all the other lighthouses on the bands and also demonstrating ham radio to the public. We even met some other hams in person, who stopped by to say hi.”
Brad Brown KC1JMH said afterwards, “We’d really like to thank the folks from Massachusetts who helped us carry the cart back,” referring to a gentleman and his two grandsons who saw Brad, Tim, CJ, and Pete struggling with it and helped carry it to the mainland. “The extra help meant a lot at the end of a long day.” Earlier, Eric KC1HJK, brought the battery back on his kayak, so it was a little easier than it could’ve been.
Click here to see more photos from this and previous lighthouse events.