To celebrate International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend on 20-21 August, the Manly-Warringah Radio Society once again operated a portable shortwave radio station from Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach.
The Society aims to make radio contact with as many lighthouses and lightships as possible over the course of the weekend. Last year, we took to the airwaves and linked up with 93 Amateur (or “ham”) Radio stations around the world, including 35 operating at other lighthouses.
International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend is held on the third weekend of August every year, to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their preservation. Barrenjoey Lighthouse is a prime example of Australia’s lighthouse heritage, and a beautiful building in its own right.
The Radio Society has been participating in these weekends since 2003, and the radio station has been popular with visitors to Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
Geoff VK2MIA reports on Saturday’s operations:
A very successful day, we were on the air just on 10am despite some early rain squalls and with 40m firing all day and 20m getting some attention after lunch we spoke to plenty of people. AU and USA coming in particularly well.
We have Bruce’s 40m dipole off the northern side of the lighthouse, 80m OCF dipole off the southern side (needs a bit of trimming to bring resonance a bit higher) and the TH3 beam which started firing on all cylinders after a few watts went through it and dried it out.
Even the general public seemed impressed with the improvements we made to Barranjoey headland!
Report from Ben VK2GHZ:
Many thanks for a great day at the lighthouse (Sunday). Weather was kind, band conditions reasonable, wildlife fun. First time Samantha touches a radio and she’s talking trans-Pacific to Oregon! She spent half the journey home reciting “CQ CQ CQ VK2MB lighthouse”… etc!
I particularly enjoyed seeing the digital modes in operation, 20m firing, and meeting some members who I haven’t seen around much. Was that you Connie doing the acrobatics (in a plane) before lunch? [It was!]
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to a great time, especially the careful planning and effort to lug up/down hill and construct / clear up. Thanks also to Mike the National Parks keeper who once again enabled it for us all. Sorry to miss you on Echolink Jim [G4WAO].
Geoff VK2MIA had this to say:
Echo of thanks to all who participated, the weekend is what we make of it and I don’t think the radio was ever idle. I’d particularly like to thank the club regulars on behalf of Carlo, Glen and myself we gave the radio a solid thrashing over the 2 days to the detriment of a fair roster but wow what a gift for us newbies to have a good go at it.
Was great to get Samantha on the radio although I think I just ruined any chance of you getting some “me time” in the shack Ben – sorry about that!! Could be another youth grant in the making?
Thanks to all who contributed equipment and carried it up and down, Dom please thank Peter (VK2IT) from all of us being able to put a beam up his mast was sensational. I think Dom is short for Dominator too, solo carry of the mast up and down the hill! Bruce’s 40m dipole was a winner on Sat arvo it was singing with a wide open band. I particularly liked Bruce’s HF radios as well, they were very enjoyable to use on Saturday when conditions were good and a simple radio is all you could want. Glen’s IC-7000 filtering came into its own today with a very crowded 20m band at times. Matt’s digital mode interface was really interesting too.
Many thanks to the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service and the volunteers at Chase Alive for facilitating access to the lighthouse.
Check out a video from the day
And here is some photos