The premier ham radio fun-event that began two decades ago

17:12 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments

The annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend went global in August 1998 with 158 stations, and has since grown to more than 500 registrations.
It was based on the earlier Scottish Northern Lighthouses Activity Weekend, founded by John Forsyth GM4OOU and the late Mike Dalrymple GM4SUC (sk) - both members of Ayr Amateur Radio Group GM0AYR.
This biennial event from 1993 had portable stations at lighthouses.
From the beginning and still participating is Scotland's famous Turnberry Lighthouse GB2LT, that dates back to 1873.
The Scottish event was later joined by Denmark, Germany, South Africa and France - before it underwent a name change in 1998 to become an annual international fun-event.
The organisers hoped that by going international it would be the start of a major event on the calendar - and they have been proved correct.
Growing in popularity the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend last year had a staggering 526 registrations from 54 seagoing nations.
The Association of Lighthouse Keepers has named the third weekend in August as the International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend, to highlight the structures to the public.
This fits the basic objective of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend to increase public awareness, preservation and restoration, plus promotion of Amateur Radio and to foster goodwill.
The main reason for its popularity is that it's not a contest, although contesting as an activity does have a major role in gaining skills and measuring individual station performance.
The relaxed fun-event has simple guidelines, and those taking part need to obtain permission of the marine navigation structure owner.
Event statistics are maintained online, and from 2002 those who take part are able to share experiences with others through their reports. It has been joined by Facebook and Google Earth Maps.
To see them, read the guidelines or register online for this year's event on August the 16th and 17th, joining those in 26 countries already, visit the website
Jim Linton VK3PC

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