BY MATTHEW BAKER - KARC SYSTEMS OFFICER - AUGUST 24TH 2016
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla - The International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, ILLW, which came into being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. The ILLW takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year.
This is KARC's first time participating in the event, which was held at the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse located at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
We contacted over 200 stations, including a slow scan TV contact with a station in Spain!
For both days, Saturday and Sunday (August 20 and 21 2016) we operated our Yaesu FT-450D HF Transceiver at 100 Watts feeding a ParZ 40-10m End-Fed antenna. To help out with matching the antenna to the radio, an external antenna tuner was used. Along with the radio, we recently secured through club donations, a Tigertronics USB Radio Interface for digital modes of operation.
At the lighthouse, the setup was protected by a screened canopy (hey, anyone hear of Mosquito Lagoon?), table, chairs and plenty of water.
And, let's not forget all who helped coordinate, setup, operate, tear down and keep everything running. Much thanks to the event coordinator, Mike Williamson and crew members, Kevin Zari, Jeffrey Hamilton, Scott Vangen, Michael Seay and Jim Dumoulin!
About the ILLW: The ILLW takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in existence probably because there are very few rules and it is not the usual contest type event. It is also free and there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. There is little doubt that the month of August has become "Lighthouse Month" due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW. (from ILLW.net)