2017 INTERNATIONAL
LIGHTHOUSE AND
LIGHTSHIP WEEKEND

OUR 5th YEAR OF
ACTIVATION!
THE CONVAIR/220 AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
WILL BE ACTIVATING THE OLD POINT LOMA
LIGHTHOUSE (US 0067) SATURDAY AUGUST 19
AND SUNDAY AUGUST 20, 2017. WE WILL BE
USING THE SPECIAL EVENT CALL W6L.
THE OPERATING PLAN FOR THIS SPECIAL EVENT STATION IS INCLUDED BELOW
THIS IS AN ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR RADIO EVENT

This global event is conducted under the sponsorship of the AYR AMATEUR RADIO GROUP
(AARG) of Ayr, Scotland. The event is held on the third full weekend in August of each year. This
year’s event is held on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday August 20, 2017. The official duration is
from 0001 UTC Saturday to 2359 UTC Sunday. However, it is customary to operate all day
Saturday and Sunday local time as band conditions and facility availability permits.

EVENT HISTORY

This annual amateur radio event was started in Scotland by John Forsyth (GM4OOU) and Mike
Dalrymple (GM4SUC), both members of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group (AARG). Through the years
the event has grown far beyond what John and Mike envisaged for it all those years ago.
Regrettably, Mike passed away in 2005 and the job of running the event fell to Kevin Mulcahy  
(KV2CE) who had been the Oceania event coordinator since 2000. Kevin, who lives in new
South Wales, Australia, is now the event's organizer and webmaster.

The fact that some 85 countries have been represented in this event since inception clearly shows
that it is well on its way to becoming a premier event on the ham radio calendar. Last year (2016) a
total of 471 lighthouses participated world wide. There were 74 participating lighthouses in the US
and 9 of them were in California.

The event evolved from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses Award Weekend, a biennial event,
which was first held in 1993 and became the ILLW in 1998. Their website is
ILLW.net – click here
to check it out.

The event is always held on the 3rd full weekend in August starting at 0001 UTC on Saturday and
finishing at 2359 UTC on Sunday. It also coincides on the Sunday with International Lighthouse
Day an event organized by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers whereby many world
lighthouses which are normally closed are open to the public for the weekend.

THE GLOBAL OBJECTIVE

The basic objective of the event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and
their need for preservation and restoration, and at the same time to promote amateur radio and to
foster international goodwill.

Lighthouses are fast becoming an endangered species with the introduction of Global Positioning
Systems and Satellite Navigation. Automation of the light source and solar power has also
resulted in the requirement for less management personnel (Keepers). It is hoped that this event
will highlight this situation and help preserve these magnificent structures all around the world.

LIGHTHOUSE ACTIVATION

Lighthouse “activators” as they are called travel the coastlines of the world setting up portable
operations at lighthouses or lightships. The term “activation” is used when these amateur radio
operators establish a portable base of operation.  Sometimes operators are back-pack portable
and sometimes a site will use a canopy to protect the operators from the elements. Often
activations take place from within a mobile radio station where the lighthouse activators simply
use the mobile radios and mobile antennas. Others use the radios in their vehicles but put up more
substantial antennas for better performance. Special commemorative QSL cards and certificates
are often printed as acknowledgements of lighthouse or lightship contacts. National and
international awards are also available from many participating clubs and organizations.

2013 was the first amateur radio activation of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. This was especially
significant since the Cabrillo National Monument celebrated 100 years as San Diego’s only
national monument.

The ILLW lighthouse number for this lighthouse is US0067. The lighthouse location is 30° 40’ N
and 117° 15’ W and the elevation at the base of the lighthouse is approximately 422 feet. The focal
height of the lens is 462 feet so that the light could be easily seen 30 miles or more out to sea.

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is both the highest and the most Southwestern lighthouse in the
continental US.

LAST YEAR'S RESULTS (2016)

There were more than 35 operators, club members and guests that visited the W6L Special Event
Old Point Loma Lighthouse Station for our 2016 activation.  Everyone enjoyed the weekend.

During this activation, we made 241 contacts on HF during the two day event including 14
lighthouses. We made 15 of the contacts with a bicycle mobile including one lighthouse in Texas.
Utilizing satellites from the US, Japan and Saudi Arabia we also made 39 contacts via satellite in
addition to 22  two meter simplex contacts using the satellite antenna.

Our W6L QRZ page has received over 10,360 hits since we started activating the Old Point Loma
Lighthouse in 2013.


GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SPECIAL CLUB EVENT

DATE AND TIME

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday August 20, 2017. The
official duration is from 0001 UTC Saturday to 2359 UTC Sunday. However, it is customary to
operate all day Saturday and Sunday local time as band conditions and facilities availability
permit. The operating times for this local special event station located at the Old Point Loma
Lighthouse are yet to be finalized.

However, given time that we need to set up the stations each morning and to take them down each
afternoon, we expect to be operating from about 10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day local time. We also
hope to be able to operate our mobiles just outside of the lighthouse entry gate for a few hours
each morning and afternoon when the lighthouse premises are closed. This will give us a better
chance at contacting some lighthouses in Europe in the morning and in the pacific area in the
afternoon.  

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS EVENT?

The basic objective of the event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships a
nd their need for preservation and restoration, and at the same time to promote amateur radio and
to foster international goodwill.

In addition, the event will provide club member and family participation, interest potential new
members and create public awareness.

This is a great opportunity for our members and their families to visit or revisit the Old Point Loma
Lighthouse and to work a few Lighthouse special event stations at the same time.

The park features walking and hiking trails, tide pools, a visitor center with guided tours, free
programs and rest rooms. There is a book and souvenir store.  Many special events are available
to the public. The Lighthouse parking lot is open from 9 am to 5 pm.

For everything that you want to know about the lighthouse, available activities, tours, special
events, scheduled times and more, just Google the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. The park
entrance fees, which includes parking, were increased last year to $10.00 per automobile, $7.00 for
motorcycles and $5.00 for walk-ins or bicycles. Many passes and discounts apply, so check the Old
Point Loma Lighthouse website for the latest information. Also, many of our club members already
have passes such as the Interagency Senior Pass that will allow free entry.

SPONSORSHIP

This special event is sponsored by the Convair/220 Amateur Radio Club and is hosted by
Bob (W6SDO) and Mert (AF6HF).

EVENT CALL SIGN

The special events call sign W6L has been granted and will be used for this event. Check out our
QRZ page at W6Lfor the latest information.

IS THIS A CONTEST?

The event is NOT a contest. Each station's operators decide how they will operate their station
regards to modes and bands.  Participants are not committed to being on the air during the entire
period - only as much as they can. There are no restrictions on antennas or power.   Every
operator should enjoy themselves and have fun while making contact with as many amateur
radio stations as possible. Stations should take this opportunity to work other lighthouses or
lightships as well as QSL hunters, mobiles and QRP stations. The idea is to keep this event
simple and fun.

HOW CLOSE TO THE LIGHTHOUSE DO WE HAVE TO BE?

As most available space in many lighthouses is usually filled to capacity, our activity does not
have to take place inside the tower itself.  A field day type set-up in the adjacent parking space is
OK.  The intention behind this requirement is that the station should have a visible presence to
the passing public who may be visiting the lighthouse throughout the weekend.  

WHAT IS REGARDED AS A LIGHTHOUSE FOR THIS EVENT?

Lighthouses are generally regarded to be a structure which is or has been listed officially as an
aid to navigation in a recognized publication such as the British Admiralty List of Light and
Foghorns, and which falls into the classic concept of a lighthouse. For example, a substantial
tower having an internal staircase, a revolving fresnel lens and had or has a designated
lighthouse keeper. Also permitted are lighthouses which have been moved to a museum for
historic reasons. The lighthouse should also be visible to and visited by the passing public
where possible.

HOW WILL WE CALL "CQ" AND WHAT STORY WILL WE TELL?

Handouts with information describing the event, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and our operating
location have been prepared and will be given to all event station operators.  

HOW MANY OPERATORS AND STATIONS?

Every guest and Convair/220 club member will have the opportunity to get on the air and make
some contacts. There should be at least 30 hours of on-air time available among the three stations.

Up to three independent HF stations are planned:

(1) W6SDO:  IC-7000 with ALS-500M amplifier, all-band screwdriver antenna, uhf/vhf antenna and
a 2 to 20 meter horizontal dipole (push-up pole mounted).

(2) AF6HF:   IC-7000 with an all-band screwdriver antenna, vhf/uhf antenna and a 2 to 20 meter
horizaintal dipole (push-up pole mounted).

(3) In addition, we are also planning to make contacts via satellites again this year.

EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES

The operating group will set up the equipment and operating location each morning (Saturday
and Sunday). The facilities will be disassembled and the area cleaned up both Saturday and Sunday
afternoon.

ANTENNA LIMITATIONS ON THIS SITE

Due to public safety, plus flora and fauna considerations at the site, we will not be able to use long
wire antennas. We can, however, have masts that are secured to our automobiles as antennas or
antenna supports. We currently plan to use a horizontal dipole attached to the top of a push-up
pole for 10 through 20 meters and a screwdriver antenna with an extended whip length for 20
through 80 meters bands. However, these modest antennas may not turn out to be a significant
limitation since we will be operating at a point 400 feet above the ocean below with a clear view in
all directions.

BANDS, FREQUENCIES, MODES AND OPERATING SCHEDULE

Our goal is to have all of our club members and guests make at least a few contacts. We also plan
to work as many lighthouses as possible and to make are least a few contacts on each band from
10 meters through 160 meters. We will also have the capability of making contacts on 440, 220, 2
and 6 meters.

We will have up to 30 hours of operating time available at this special event station.

The following range of SSB phone frequencies (+/- QRM )will be used during the
Lighthouse Weekend.


40          7.250  -    7.290
20        14.250  -  14.290      (14.285 for the bicycle mobile)        
17        18.145                   
15        21.350  -  21.390      
10        28.300  -  28.400      


The latest information about operating times, frequencies and the procedure for getting QSL
cards will be posted on the W6L QRZ page in addition to the Convair/220 Amateur Radio Club
web site.

The band of operation, frequencies and mode of operation as will antenna placement will be
controlled for each operating station in order to minimize the chance of damage to the various
receiving equipment

LOGGING CONTACTS

We will be using paper logs for this event. Let’s try to keep it simple.

WHAT ABOUT QSL CARDS?

Special photo cards have been designed and printed. These QSL cards feature a full color picture
of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse on one side of the card and the lighthouse story (and the
contact information) on the other side. If you are in the US or Canada, you can get a QSL card by
sending your confirming QSL card along with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to W6L
Special Event Station, PO Box 22094, San Diego, California  92192-2094. International requests
should send your SASE and QSL card along with one IRC or one green stamp to cover the
return postage.


























PUBLICITY

This event is heavily publicized by amateur organizations around the world. We expect that
promotion of the event will include registration of the event with the ARRL, posting on the
Convair/220 club web pages, the club news letter, the club QRZ page, on a special W6L QRZ page
and with the ILLW organization.

Chris O'Connell, Publisher of the Clairemont Times has often included a story about this Old Point
Loma Lighthouse event in his newspaper. Thanks Chris.

CLUB HANDOUT

Convair/220 Club brochures will be available and a club member will be on hand throughout the
event to explain ham radio and this event to visitors and guests.

PERMISSION TO OPERATE AT THE OLD POINT LOMA LIGHTHOUSE

A permit to operate a club special event station near the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is being
requested from the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, National Park Service.
We want to thank the Visitor and Resource Protection and Permission Chief and Staff at the
Point Loma Lighthouse for helping us to secure a special use permit for this special event.  We
consider it a privilege to be permitted to operate at this beautiful and historic site during the
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.   

SAFETY

We will maintain the highest safety standards for this special event station similar to that which the
Club practices at our annual field day.

ORGANIZING THE EVENT

Bob (W6SDO) and Mert (AF6HF) are doing the legwork again this year for this special event and will
take on the responsible for the overall organization and coordination of this special event. Contact
them with your questions, comments and suggestions. Help from club members as well as from our
many other ham friends in the San Diego area will be welcomed again this year in order to insure
that the event run smoothly.

This is a fun event and we want all of our guests, club members, their families and visitors to
take part in what we intend to be a fun outing.

A SPECIAL CLUB PRESENTATION

At our August 8, 2013 Club meeting, we were treated to a presentation by Becky Wieder. Becky is a
volunteer guide at the Point Loma Lighthouse. Her presentation was titled "The History of the Old
Point Loma Lighthouse - A Link to the Past". This provided our Club members  with an excellent
introduction to the Club's Special Event.

SPECIAL EVENT PHOTOS

Photos of our Lighthouse and Lightship Special Event weekend for can be viewed at the Gallery
Special Events page of this web site or you can cleck
here. Over 2358 visitors have viewed the
photos from this special event. Also, our Convair 220 W6LSpecial Event photos were chosen to be
one of the worldwide links (for the USA) on the Wikipedia Lightship and Lighthouse Weekend page.
Click
here to go to the Wikipedia Lightship and Lighthouse Weekend page.

MORE DETAILS ARE COMING

The preceding is offered as the initial plan for operating this special event station. We think that
this will be a fun event which everyone can enjoy. More details will be presented and discussed
at the Club meetings between now and the time of the event. Check this web page from time to
time for plan revisions and for the latest information.

CONTACTS                                                                                    

Bob (W6SDO) at w6sdo@aol.com
Mert (AF6HF) at mtaylor2@san.rr.com

                                                






                                                                    Last revised July 11, 2017
LAST YEAR WE ALSO BE PARTICIPATED IN
THE NATIONAL PARKS ON THE AIR EVENT BY
ACTIVATING THE CABRILLO NATIONAL
MONUMENT (MN09) WHICH IS LOCATED NEXT
TO THE OLD POINT LOMA LIGHTHOUSE.  
FOR THE FIRST TIME, WE ALSO MADE
39 CONTACTS BY SATELLITE
AND 15
CONTACTS BY BICYCLE MOBILE