The ARLHS Lighthouse Lens Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society • Vol. 4 • No. 1 • Spring 2003 In This Issue ➥ ARLHS FEATURED LIGHT USA-378 ■ Guidelines for operating in the 2003 Spring Lites QSO Party ■ ARLHS Frequently Asked Question ■ Rules changes in the Awards Program ■ Comments on the 2002 Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party Coming Events SL 2003 Spring Lites QSO Party Apr. 19 through 27, 2003 PALLW 2003 Pan-American LighthouseLightship Weekend August 2 & 3, 2003 ILLW 2003 International LighthouseLightship Weekend August 16 & 17, 2003 Check Your File! The ARLHS web site has the membership database available for download in several different formats. It includes member numbers, names, addresses, and membership expiration dates. Go to the ARLHS web page: http://arlhs.com/page8.html Built in 1879, Hooper Strait Lighthouse is now at the Chesapeake Bay’s Maritime Museum’s Navy Point, St. Michaels, MD, a quaint town worth touring in its own right. The light once guided ships past Hooper Strait, about 40 miles south of St. Michael’s. The architecture is known as a screwpile and looks very much like a small cottage built on special iron pilings that screwed into the Bay’s seafloor, hence the name “screwpile.” In their original locations screwpile lights were miles from land and were often damaged or knocked over by ice floes. The screwpiles were a unique method of securing the lighthouse to the bottom. Manned by two keepers, Hooper Strait offered few of the nicer living facilities found on some other (Continued on next page.) 2 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 screwpiles; and, although families sometimes lived on other screwpiles, Hooper was not one of them. Several large containers stored the water that was collected from the roof for drinking, bathing, and cooking.. Supplies from shore arrived once a week. Sanitary facilities were few, and the “head” was located outside on the deck. The house itself consisted of four rooms on the first floor: a kitchen, an office, and two bedrooms. The second floor had only two rooms: a watchroom and a spare bedroom for visiting Lighthouse Board inspectors. The watchroom contained a fog bell mechanism. The bell was wound by hand and sounded with a particular patttern that could be recognized as Hooper Strait. On the third floor was the light. Originally a fifth order Fresnel lens, it now has been refitted with one of the fourth magnitude. There is also a special red glass in the third-floor cupola that shows white to ships at a distance, but appears red as mariners go closer to the Hooper Shoal. Today, the light signals CBMM in Morse Code, the letters standing for Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. After 75 years, Hooper Strait Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1954 and was ready to be destroyed in 1966; however, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum bought it and moved it to its present site in St. Michaels, MD..After restoration, the light was opened to the public in 1967. There are only two other screwpile lighthouse still in existence on the Chesapeake Bay, the others being Thomas Point and.Drum Point Light. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is on the internet at http:// www.cbmm.org and can be found in St. Michaels harbor on Mill Street. The address is P.O. Box 636, St. Michaels, MD 21663; Phone: (410) 745-2916 Fax: (410) 745-6088 ARLHS ANNOUNCES RULES CHANGES FOR AWARDS Award Costs: It has been possible to reduce the cost of ARLHS certificates and awards. The cost for all awards/certificates is $2.00 for members of the ARLHS and $5.00 for nonmembers (includes shipping and handling). The cost for all endorsement seals (and award upgrades) is $2.00 for U.S. stations and $3.00 for DX stations, both member and nonmember. SASE’s are required for all informational requests. All applications require US currency, U.S. checks, International Money Orders, or U.S. Money Orders made payable to: The Weidner Publishing Group. IRCs are NOT acceptable for payments but only for return postage funds. (Continued on page 8.) SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 3 Spring Lites QSO Party Guidelines Purposes: To promote public awareness of ham radio and lighthouses; to contribute to the recognition that lighthouses, lightships, and their keepers deserve; to foster camaraderie within the ham fraternity; and to provide fellowship amongst the members of the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society Registration: Altho not a requirement, it would help other participants if you would register your Spring Lites operation by filling out the “Entrant’s Form” on W8TTS’s web page at http://home.neo.rr/tsarah/www/SL/Spring_Lites_ENT.html Dates & Times: 0001 hrs UTC on April 19, 2003 (=8:01 PM EDST, April 18) through 2359 hrs UTC on April 27, 2003 Suggested Modes / Calling Frequencies: Any and all modes : SSB, CW, RTTY, PSK, FM, SSTV, etc. Suggested SSB freqs: 1970, 3970, 7270, 14.270, 21.370, 28.370 Suggested CW freqs: 1830, 3530, 7030, 14.030, 21.030, 28.030 Note that these are center calling frequencies. To alleviate QRM, spread out +/- 20 kHz. Scoring: Each contact (member or nonmember) = 1 pt. Add 2 points more if contact is an ARLHS member Add 3 points more if contact is at a lighthouse or lightship Example: You work ARLHS member #155 who is at lighthouse ARLHS USA-701. Your score for this contact is 1 pt for the contact, plus 2 points for working a member, plus 3 points for working a lighthouse. Total score for this QSO = 6 points. Answers to some other common scoring questions can be found on the web page at http://arlhs.com/scoring.html (Continued on page 4.) 4 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 Exchanges: ARLHS members send call sign, member number, name, state/ province/country Non-members send call, year of first license, name, state/province/ country Lighthouse Stations send call, ARLHS lighthouse number, name, state/ province/country NOTE: A numbered list of ARLHS lighthouses is available from page 10 of the Society’s web page at http://arlhs.com CERTIFICATES & PRIZES For All Participants: ALL participants are eligible for the following certificates and prizes: A certificate is available with endorsements for those who work at least 25 lighthouses or at least 50 members of the ARLHS. The fee for this certificate is $1.00 + a SASE with sufficient postage (see Log Submissions below). Another certificate is available for those who work the club station, KC2HOU, during this event. All qualifying logs will be entered in a random drawing for a one-of-a-kind wood-carved lighthouse clock donated by members Robin (NG8S, #299) and Gena (KM8J, #293), owners of Nature’s Woodshop. Nature’s Woodshop specializes in scrollwork and wood carvings. They can be reached at 5530 W.Fremont Rd., Port Clinton, OH. 43452; telephone (419)-734-2411 The ARLHS offers several Awards for contacting light beacons (WAS-LH, WACA-LH, DX-LH, etc.). See the Society’s Award Program on web page 9 for details and application forms. Members ONLY Prizes and Awards: The following prizes and awards are available ONLY TO MEMBERS of the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society (ARLHS) in good standing as of March 31, 2003. Be sure you are signed up and your membership is current! Our sponsor, Harbour Lights, is offering a miniature collectible lighthouse to all ARLHS member participants. These exquisitely handcrafted models SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 5 are available in local gift shops for $15-$25, but each ARLHS member entrant who submits a valid log showing ARLHS contact with at least one other member or one lighthouse is eligible to receive a FREE lighthouse from the Harbour Lights “Little Light of Mine” collection (sorry, no choice — selection is random). Applicant must pay shipping and handling of US $5.00. Payment must be in USA funds by USA check, cash, or money order (no IRC’s). All checks should be made payable to “Weidner Publishing.” The ARLHS member receiving the highest total number of points will receive an official ARLHS logo coffee mug and gold lighthouse ornament donated by The Weidner Publishing Group. In addition, the usual series of ARLHS awards is also available, and these are described on the Society’s Awards Program web page. LOG SUBMISSIONS  Put your call & member number on EVERY PAGE of your log and on ALL other material submitted, including envelopes.  Attach a Scoring Summary Sheet (see page 7 for sample) as the cover sheet of your log. It should show the total points for all contacts (1 point per contact)[line A] , total points for member contacts [line B], total pts for lighthouse contacts [line C], and grand total of points for the event [total of lines A,B,C]. Logs without the Summary Sheet will NOT be counted!  All logs must specify the entrant’s call on EACH page of the log and clearly indicate the entrant’s name, address, and member number (if applicable) on the first page, as well as on the summary score sheet.  All checks should be in US funds made payable to “Weidner Publishing.” NOTE: IRC’s are valid for postage only and can NOT be used for cash payments.  See page 7 (following) for sample score sheet.  Send log data to the Contest Manager: Dave Ruch, NFØJ P.O. Box 20696 Bloomington, MN 55420-0696 (Continued on page 6.) 6 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1  Include SASE (60 cents for USA, 2 IRCs for DX), 9 x 12-inch envelope and $1.00 (US) for certificates. Entries received without an SASE will not be acknowledged.  Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2003. Late entries can not be accepted.  No refunds will be made for logs and/or applications submitted improperly or without Summary Sheet and in proper form.  Althought a sample log sheet is shown on the web site, any format of log sheet can be used, according to your preference, but be sure your log shows all appropriate information: Date, time (UTC preferred), station worked, op’s name, member number or year of license, state or province, band, mode.  Only one log submission per call. If you operate from home and later as a portable (from a light, perhaps) or mobile, add the scores from your different logs into one total, final score. That is your entry. Only one mini-light per entry or per log.  Rules, guidelines, criteria, prizes, etc, as cited herein, are subject to change at any time without notice and are at the sole discretion of the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society. NOTE: Failure to observe all rules for log submissions (see below) will result in disqualification. Decision of the judges is final. Further Information : E-mail to Jim, K2JXW@arrl.net SASE to ARLHS, Box 2178, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 SASE to Contest Manager, Dave Ruch, NFØJ, P.O. Box 20696, Bloomington, MN 55420-0696 Telephone to NJ: (856) 486-1755 FAQ #8: What happens if I let my membership expire? Can I renew it? What happens to my member number? Once a membership number is assigned to a call, it stays that way forever and is never given to someone else. If your membership expires, you are placed on the “Expired” list, and your number is no longer valid for those seeking the ARLHS Member Award; i.e., if someone works you and submits your number as one of the qualifying contacts, the application is invalid and is returned. Moreover, you do not qualify for any benefits, awards, or prizes reserved for active members. Your membership may be reinstated at any time, however, by paying the $5.00 registration fee again, along with the first year’s dues (total = US dllrs $20.00 ). SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 7 Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society Summary Score Sheet for ARLHS Log Submissions Name of Event: ____________________________________ Date of Event: ____________________________________ From Station _________________ Member # __________ Name ___________________________________________ Address _________________________________________ ________________________________________________ City ___________________________________________ State / Province/Country _________________________ Postal Code _________ E-mail ____________________ [A} Total number of contacts (1 pt each) = _______ X 1 pt = ________ [B} Plus total Member contacts = ___________ X 2 pts = ________ [C} Plus total Lights contacted = ___________ X 3 pts = ________ = Total event points (sum of A, B, and C) = ____________________ I am applying for the certificates, endorsements to certificates, and prizes listed below; and I am enclosing the amounts indicated. Note: Do not use this form to apply for ARLHS Awards. See the web site Awards Page (Page 9) for appropriate awards application forms. _______ Mini Harbour Lights collectible ($5.00) _______ Certificate for working club station KC2HOU ($1.00 + SASE) _______ Participation Certificate ($1.00 + SASE) _______ 25 lights worked endorsement (cost included with certificate) _______ 50 members worked endorsement (cost included with certificate) Total amount enclosed in US currency = $ ____________ . 8 (Continued from page 2.) SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 QSL Confirmation for Awards: Submission of QSL confirmations is no longer required for ARLHS awards. At an annual convention in October 2002, the ARLHS members in attendance, believing their fellow members, and hams in general, to be basically honest, voted to abandon the requirement that QSL cards be submitted with award applications. Nevertheless, it is assumed that cards or other suitable confirmations will be available for inspection should they be requested by the Awards Manager or the Awards Committee. If actual QSL cards are submitted for an award, however, please send enough postage for their return. QSL photocopies will not be returned unless requested and unless sufficient postage is supplied. The ARLHS assumes no responsiblity for the safety of any submitted materials other than to exercise normal care while such materials are in its possession. When and if requested for verification, QSL’s must obviously certify a lighthouse operation and specify the recognized ARLHS name or the ARLHS number of the lighthouse. QSL’s with only another organization’s LH number can not be accepted. QSL’s with a lighthouse name that differs from the official ARLHS name are subject to individual approval by the Awards Committee on a case-by-case basis. QSL’s with just an island name or IOTA number do not qualify unless proximity to the lighthouse is established by appropriate documentation to be determined by the Awards Committee. Any questions as to whether a particular operation will count for ARLHS Awards should be directed to the Awards Manager, who, along with members of the Awards Committee, will make a final decision. Any altering of QSL cards or fraudulent applications submitted will result in permanent expulsion from the ARLHS Awards program. Country status shall be determined by the DXCC guidelines. All contacts must be made from the same DXCC entity to qualify for a particular award. Submission of Electronic QSL Cards: E-QSLs are acceptable as proof of contact for ARLHS awards only if both stations indicated on the QSL are members of the ARLHS and then only if the e-QSL has both of their ARLHS member numbers and all other information (LH number etc) actually printed on the card and not handwritten after the fact. In other words, all data on the e-QSL, including QSO information, lighthouse name, and lighthouse number, must be part of the original printed version. No data, handwritten after the fact on an e-QSL card is acceptable. Copies of the card must be printed on paper and must then be submitted with the award application. E-copies of QSLs and applications forwarded by E-mail in electronic format are not acceptable. SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 9 Members Report on 2002 Christmas Lights Activity Despite Poor Band Cndx, Many Vow to Return! USA-918 & USA-919 Mike Clayton WDØCJZ Yes Virginia, there are Lighthouses in Iowa. USA 918 and USA 919 are the West Lake Okoboji Harbor Port and Starboard lights. These lights are located at the entrance to West Lake Okoboji harbor. They are, perhaps, not as impressive as some of the coastal and Great Lakes lights, but they serve the purpose of guiding vessels to a safe harbor. Sparkling blue water, impressive points and bays, magnificent trees and long stretches of sand beach mark West Okoboji as one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. The clear quality and bluish tint of the water are shared by Lake Geneva in Switzerland and Lake Louise in Canada. The three have been designated unofficially as the three blue water lakes of the world. All of this became possible because of a visit to northwest Iowa by the Great Glacier some fourteen thousand years ago. The origin of the name “Okoboji” is shrouded in mystery. Many theories have been advanced, but were based on conjecture. One reliable opinion came from the late Dr. Thomas H. Mac Bride who, as a result of his research, defined Okoboji as “A Place of Rest.” Another accepted meaning states that Okoboji means “Reeds or Rushes.” Whatever may be correct, West Okoboji Lake is one of the greatest natural resources and phenomenon of the middle west. West Okoboji is one of five lakes called the Iowa Great Lakes. This beautiful chain of lakes, in Northwestern Iowa, (Dickinson County) extends from the Minnesota line southwest several miles and covers about ten thousand acres. The largest of the lakes is now known as: BIG SPIRIT LAKE...It was called “Minnewaukon” by the Indians, and “Lac D’Esprit” by French woodsmen which translates into “Lake of the Spirits”. According to various Indian legends, this lake was believed to be under the guardian watch of a great spirit. The Indians regarded this lake with superstitious awe. They believed evil spirits haunted the waters. No Dakotah ever dared to cross it in his canoe. In fact no Indian canoes were ever found by the early settlers in the vicinity of this lake. Whether there are demons that dwell in the lake or not, the waters of Big Spirit Lake are never quiet. This lake covers 5,684 acres and is the largest natural lake in Iowa. (Continued on next page.) 10 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 EAST OKOBOJI begins at the foot of Big Spirit Lake, from which it is separated by a narrow isthmus, and runs south for approximately sixteen miles. The Indians called the lake “Okoboozhy”, and the name is presumed to mean “Reeds or Rushes”, and they once surrounded the lake. It has the appearance of a river rather than a lake. This lake covers 1,800 acres. WEST OKOBOJI is the second largest lake in the chain and covers 3,850 acres. West Okoboji is a glacial lake created by the Wisconsin Glacier 14,000 years ago and has a maximum depth of 136 feet. Subterranean springs help provide the cool, clear, blue water of Iowa’s most popular lake. The lake was originally called “Minnetonka” by the Sioux Indians and translated into “Great Waters”. Our first settlers decided to use a version of the name “Okoboozhy” for both lakes known today as the “Okoboji” lakes. West Okoboji is fed by subterranean springs that supply an abundance of clear, cold water throughout the year. A geological characteristic, unknown to other lakes, is the fact that West Okoboji “turns over” twice annually, adding to its quality and oxygen content. A water temperature in the thirty-degree range prevails at the lower level and is protected by the Thermocline Seal from the high level, which is subject to climactic and atmospheric changes in temperature. When the divergence of temperatures between the two extreme levels is greatest, the thermocline deepens. As season-to-season changes narrows the temperature divergences, the thermocline becomes shallow to a depth of inches. When the warm spring winds blow, the thermocline is broken and the water is circulated from the lakebed to the surface. As temperatures rise with the approach of summer, the thermocline forms again and protects the lower level from temperature rises. The same phenomenon occurs in autumn when summer temperatures subside and the fall winds blow. I activated these lights as WDØCJZ/p during the 2002 ILLW. Conditions were horrible on 20 meters. I was limited to a 20-meter dipole made with 2 ham sticks. Contacts were rough to say the least. During the LCL 2002 activation, I was operating mobile and had 10, 15 and 20 meter ham sticks available. Ten meters was not open (only 2 contacts), 20 was very crowded, but 15 meters was great. The band was quiet and not much QRM. I operated mobile from my truck. IC 746, ham stick antennas and power provided by the 2 batteries in my diesel. I know the 746 is a little large for mobile, but you use what you have. The WX was overcast, but the temperature (40s) was mild for Iowa in December. Propagation was good to most of the continental US. I made 61 contacts, 41 of which were members. Unfortunately I did not work any other lights. I operated for about 2 ½ hours. I plan to activate the lights again in the Spring QSO Party. I hope to team up with Bryce, NØSPP. We can work more bands and for a longer period of time. If you are ever in Northwest Iowa, give me a shout and check out the lights of West Lake Okoboji. SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 11 SLASH PORTABLE SLASH FUN Ken, WA8REI, Member # 364 Many of you know I am an avid camper, hiker, and outdoors enthusiast. Although I have never hunted except with a camera, and haven’t fished in about 15 years, I have done my share of travelling: in 45 of the 50 states, including a 10,000 mile journey to Alaska in 1992. I have an old ’86 Suzuki Quad Runner which still runs as good as new and looks pretty good yet, too, in that its plastic fenders don’t rust. I also have a 2000 Polaris Indy Super Sport snowmobile, a 92 GMC conversion van, a ’90 Chevy pickup, and my most recent addition: my 1996 Winnebago Rialta motor home. In summer 1999, I had been very inactive in ham radio for about 15 years. I had renewed my license, but other than 2-meter mobile on 146.52 or 55, or on our local repeaters, I had not been on the low bands, even though I have been a General Class licensee for over 32 years. So on a whim, I pictured myself sitting at a picnic table at one of Michigan’s many state parks operating my Kenwood TS820 using either a home brew vertical or a dipole. I figured they put a nice leather carrying handle on that Kenwood rig for some reason! I dusted off my old 1978 edition of the ARRL “Amateur Radio Handbook,” and decided to build some dipoles. I had several 50-foot rolls of stranded copper antenna wire in a box in the corner of my garage, along with various lengths of RG-8U and RG-58U coax and numerous ceramic insulators. The coax was old, but had been stored in the garage out of sunlight, so I decided to cut the ends off, and the inner conductors as well as the braids was shiny-new. Using the standard empirical formula for the length in feet of a half-wavelength dipole [L (feet) = 468 divided by f(MHz)], I cut each leg of the dipole for a frequency half way between phone and CW,. in that I like to operate both modes. So for 20 meters, I used 14.15 MHz in the formula. I then used my Drake W4 wattmeter to calculate the s.w.r., and using about 40 feet of coax for feed line, had an SWR of no more than 1.5:1 for fone or CW operation. So I loaded up the TS820, the Kenwood MC50 microphone, MFJ-481 keyer, and Deluxe Original Vibroplex bug, dipoles, and some nylon rope into the GMC van, and headed for Tawas State Park. Keep in mind this was before the days of the ARLHS, so the lighthouse was just something pretty to look at, and maybe describe while operating. After securing my camp site (there are over 200 in the state park), one that had some trees on it from which to string the dipoles, I began to set up on the provided picnic table. Using 1/8 inch diameter nylon rope, I tied one end of the rope to a jagged-shaped rock I found along the shore, and tied the other end of the 50 foot rope to the end insulator of the dipole, using two half-hitches. I threw the rock up over a tree branch, being careful where I was throwing so that the (Continued on next page.) 12 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 rock wouldn’t crash through a trailer roof even if the rope slipped off as I threw it. Ditto the other end of the dipole — and presto! a 20 meter dipole with one end at about 20 feet up and the other end at about 17 feet. In my early days of portable operation, I always used standard AC house current from the electric hookup at the campsite. I would tune in a station on CW, and be chewing the rag, when all kinds of curious people would stop by to watch. Everyone from kids on their tricycles to grandpaws on their golf carts. Did you ever try to send code and carry on a conversation at the same time? It doesn’t work! And so I’d be sending “dah-di-di-di-dah” while telling people, “sorry, I can’t send code and talk, too. Just wait a minute, ok?” Anyway, my log book would be filling up with DX. After a few campground outings, I got the idea of buying some poster board; and using a permanent marker, I would list the countries I had worked. People would stop by after going to town or for a swim in Lake Huron and see all the new countries added! Portable operation is a GREAT way to introduce people to ham radio. At the Dayton Hamvention in 2000, I fell in love with the Yaesu FT100D. I thought, “this is just the right size rig for operating portable.” I couldn’t wait to get my new “100-D” home and on the air. I also bought a 30 amp power supply, knowing the rig worked off 13.7 volts d.c. At the time of purchasing the new rig, I didn’t think I would be able to operate it with a 12 volt car battery. Wrong! After numerous portable operations using the new rig, I thought I would hook it directly to the battery in the GMC van. I tuned up on CW. After several QSO’s with reports of no clicks, chirps, or yoops, I was convinced that it would operate using 12 volts. I then went down to K-mart and bought an AC/Delco Voyager Marine/RV battery. Being a deep cycle battery, it can be drained and recharged many times. I have had the same battery for going on 3 years now. It has been charged (with my Sears 8/2 Amp automotive battery charger) probably 50 times, and still charges up nicely. I have been careful to keep the battery off damp cement or the ground. I usually place the battery on the opposite seat of the picnic table from where I’m sitting. A full charge of the battery will allow me to operate at 100 watts output for an entire day (making about 150 QSO’s on SSB). Last year, I added an MFJ-941E tuner and bought a G5RVjr antenna. I have had pretty good luck with that antenna, although it’s s.w.r. can be erratic, probably due to the ladder feed line. Also, the G5RVjr seems to work best when it is at least 30 feet above the ground, and sometimes my throwing arm isn’t that great! I think I will buy a cheap fishing pole with a Zebco reel this summer to get the antennas up higher. I have gone to some very remote QTH’s to operate. My all-time favorite QTH so far has been atop Brockway Mountain on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Keweenaw is that finger of land that juts up into Lake Superior. The top of Brockway Mountain (Continued on next page.) SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 13 is 720 feet above the level of Lake Superior! The view is gorgeous, but the biting flies and noseeums will drive you crazy, especially when trying to send CW. during field day! My rig, antenna tuner, and bug fit nicely in a 12x16-inch aluminum camera case (made by Zero Halliburton). I keep the antennas and rope in a plastic crate (which you can buy at Wal-Mart for a few bucks). I use a folding camping table in locations where there is no picnic table, along with a folding camp chair. I carry a 2"x10"x12" board to set the battery on for “outback” locations. I find that using dipoles as opposed to mobile hamsticks, etc. give me much better signal reports. For Christmas Lights, the pileups would be 20 over 9 in S-units, and I would get signal reports of S-9 plus 20 db or 30 db over. Not bad for an ARLHS dude with a dipole strung between a couple scrawny trees, running a hundred watts using battery power, and freezing in a motor home that I forgot to buy propane for in order to run the furnace! USA-592, 593, 723 Bob, W4RL, Member #739 Being able to activate the Pensacola Lighthouse #592, the Pensacola Bar Beacon #593 (historic), and the Sand Island Lighthouse #723 during the 2002 Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society Christmas Lights QSO Party was certainly an honor and a pleasure for both my wife and me. Using my SGC-2020, 20-watt SSB transceiver, solar array, battery, and 20 meter dipole while on the beautiful Florida and Alabama white sand beaches here on the Gulf of Mexico was a memorable experience. We’ll do it again in a hearbeat. What an adventure we had! Thanks to all the ARLHS members with whom we exchanged greeting. W4RL ARLHS Member #739 Pensacola Florida Thanks de WD4BKD Just want to thank all the members that responded to my CQ Lighthouse calls when I was activating the different Lighthouses. This is what makes it worthwhile. 73’s Bob WD4BKD ARLHS #595 Thoughts & Observations The Lighthouse Christmas Lights contest proved to be a very popular activity and attracted a lot of attention. During the two-week period we were kept busy answering inquiries, such as, “How do I join the ARLHS?” Most hams liked what they heard on the air: we had over 100 new members sign up during that time. Now, if we can only get CQ and WorldRadio to list our events in their mamgazines so more ops are aware of the fun to be had working lighthouses. Write to their editors and ask why they ignore us in spite of all the press releases we send them! S 2003 — V . 4 • I 14 ALB-004 — Sazan Island, Albania PRING OL SSUE 1 de Team ZAØIS & ZAØ/IK7JWX After long and difficult procedures to obtain all the permissions by Albanian Autorities, at last Fatos (ZA1FD), Florian (ZA5G), and I (IK7JWX), began to compile the long lists of materialls needed for the DX-pedition to Sazan Island (EU-169). All the arrangements were made by exchanging a lot of Emails. On 18th of December 2002 in the morning we were at militar port of Valona; in a few minutes all the heavy charge of materials was on the Albanian motorship, ready to leave and cover the 9 miles distance to the island. The first assigned site was very bad, being located in a valley; fortunately, the day after “Battaglione San Marco” Headquarters assigned to us a new location on a 354-meter-high hill — even though the rooms were completely ruined and without frames; so the low temperature of that period was the only problem we had during the activity. Anyway, after a multiband inverted “V” dipole, a Vertical multiband ECO, and a 40 meter band antenna with a Kenwood TS140, a TS680, and an Yaesu FT900 were installed, at 14:15 UTC we were operative on 10 and 20 meters SSB and 40 meters CW, using ZA0/IK7JWX (op. IK7JWX) and ZA0IS (op. ZA1FD & ZA5G) call signs. Many thanks to all the friends for keeping the frequency free during our forced “unfreezing” and thawing QRXs, and for putting spots on the DX-cluster. The total score of the expedition was 4,804 QSO’s. ZA0 / IK7JWX : 2180 (SSB) ZA0IS : 1395 SSB (by ZA5G) and 1219 CW (by ZA1FD). Sorry there couldn’t have been more QSO’s, but the warming-up QRXs by day were a lot ! We should like to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Pandi Madhi, Mr. Gezim Jashari, Major General Pëllumb Qazimi, and Commander Perlat Bylyshi; to the 28th Naval Group of the Italian Navy (Dürres) and Battalion “San Marco” (Sazan Island); to Commander Siragusa, Commander Spinosa, Chief Tambolini, Chief Alemanno, and Chief Coppola, whose assistance was instrumental in making our operation a success. Special thanks to our sponsors: Diamond DX Club, European DX Foundation, Eco Antenne, Pietro Begali (I2RTF), MIDLAND, QSL Printed (IT9EJW), as well as to DEØMST, I7PXV, IK7LMX, IØSBA, and 425 Dx News (I1JQJ) . (Continued on page 17.) SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 15 NEW LIGHTHOUSE LOGGING AND TRACKING SOFTWARE PROGRAM W3REG’s Program Is First of Its Kind This new Lighthouse Tracking and Logging Program provides tracking of the Lighthouses and ARLHS members you have worked and those that have been confirmed. It will also accept log entries of non-members that you work; therefore, you can also use it as your general logging program. It does not, however, track DXCC or WAS etc. — too many bells and whistles just make it more difficult to debug. Reg, W3REG, chose to keep the functionality directed to the ARLHS activities. In this regard you can have separate logs for each event; e.g., Christmas Lights, Spring Lights, ILLW, etc. The default log is “Home QTH”; this should never be removed., as it is maintained as the master log. At present the program has printouts for ARLHS events and will give you the required scoring and Summary Score Sheets. It uses two databases. One named “DataARLHS.mdb,” which holds the Light List (which now has over 9500 entries) and the ARLHS Membership list. The second database is named “LoggingARLHS.mdb,” and it holds all your contacts. The “DataARLHS.mdb” can be updated periodically from data posted on Ted Sarah W8TTS’s web site. This is in the form of a complete replacement database — you download it and replace the old copy. The software comes on a CD . There is the usual “Setup.exe” file and a copy of the Manual in both Word DOC and PDF formats. You can print out the Manual from these files in order to have a hard copy. With this information on the CD there is no reason for a printed manual to be included — it’s easy enough to print your own. Operation is simple: In a QSO you type in the other ham’s call; if (s)he is an ARLHS member, the name, member number and other data are automatically filled in. The same for a lighthouse: type in the number (e.g., USA040) and the light’s name is automatically filled in. The program keeps track of the members and lights you have worked, as well as those that have been confirmed. For operating events and contests, you can print out the individual log for that one event, and then produce a score sheet with all the totals included. An address label printing feature is a nice convenience. Finally, provision has been made to manually add new members to the list as they are posted to the ARLHS web site. All in all, a very handy program and one that greatly simplifies recordkeeping for the lighthouse enthusiast. And the price is right, too. The cost of the CD for the US and Canada is $10.00 USD, Overseas (Continued on next page.) 16 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 cost is $15.00 USD. Updates via E-mail attachments will be provided free. Since W3REG is an ARLHS member (#329), he is readily available to answer your questions and help with any problems. Contact Reg via his callbook address at 942 Langdon Court, Annapolis, MD 21403. Don’t Forget! If you intend a portable operation to activate a light, be sure to post the details to the ARLHS BeaconBot and the calendar on the web site. What!? You’re not signed up for the free BeaconBot! It’s easy — just go to page 6 of the web site and register. You will be on the ARLHS reflector to receive E-mails announcing lighthouse events and expeditions from around the world. The ARLHS calendar is another means available to members for use in posting notices of forthcoming events related to ham radio or lighthouses. Go to page 2 of the web site at http://arlhs.com and click on “Expeditions ...ARLHS Public Calendar of Events.” This will take you to a perpetual calendar, in which you can view the dates in traditional calendar form or as a list. Use the calendar format and scroll to the bottom left corner. There you will find a line that allows you to click on Daily, Duration, or Periodic. If your event is to last only one day, click on Daily. If it is to run for an unbroken stretch of days, use Duration. For events that will take place on sporadic days, not all in a row, use Periodic. This will bring up an entry form where you enter the specifics about your event — date, time, description, etc. There is a block where you can add your web site address so that someone viewing the calendar can click on your event and it will take them to your page. Another check box allows you to put a border around your dates on the calendar. I find it useful, particulary if there are other events happening on the same day as mine. It helps to separate the items. One feature that is often overlooked is the use of color. You can set the background and text color of your calendar block. If you leave it at the default value, the color is so light that it does not show up well against the white background. I have found that a yellow background with black type shows up nicely. If you want to be different, use dark blue background and yellow text or even a red background with white type. Experiment! The more different your announcement looks, the more likely it is to get noticed. Once you have set the parameters for your event, click on “Submit” and your notice will be posted on the calendar. It may take some time, and you may get a “Page not available” message (this happens often during peak hours when a lot of others are accessing the calendar service’s server), but persist and sooner or later you will get thru. If you still have problems, send an E-mail to email@example.com SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 17 The Best Laid Plans ... Peter, MM5PSL, Member #158 Christmas Lights from the Shetland Islands this year was a disaster ! Peter, MM5PSL #158 was not only looking forward to the event, he was also holder of the Royal Signals ARC club call sign, GM3SIG for the month of January. In preparation for all this, he completely renovated his G5RV antanna which had suffered some previous wind damage. Not unusual for his part of the world. There is no shelter from the North Sea and North Atlantic winds once they decide to blow. Over a three week period, the antenna and supporting poles were stripped down to the last nut and bolt and completely overhauled with new guy ropes before being re-erected – just in time for Christmas Lights. He did manage to contacts a few members in the four days before another ferocious storm struck. There now lies a pile of mangled wreckage in his back garden and Peter is waiting for inspiration mutting to himself about the West Indies and sunnier climates … St. Simons & Sapelo Island Lights Jim, K5JIM, Member #150 & XYL Martha, Member #696 In addition to operating from the shack, Jim Buffington, K5JIM (ARLHS #150) and YL Martha (ARLHS #696) enjoyed a pleasant return to St. Simons Island, GA, site of the first-ever ARLHS meeting last October, where Jim operated on Thursday, January 2, 2003. The nearby Sapelo Island Lighthouse was activated on Friday, January 3, 2003, probably the first activation of this recently restored light. . Two Days at Nubble Daniel, K1KU, Member #283 I’m still not sure how I pulled this one off, but I did. December 27, 2002 was our 45th wedding anniversary and I talked the wife into doing two nights in Kittery, ME where there are a gazillion outlet centers, as well as the world famous Kittery Trading Post. You can even get a T-shirt there that says “L. L. Who??” I also managed to point out that there are also several lighthouses in the near vicinity. Hey, this is coastal Maine, right?? Anyway, the idea sounded good to her...shopping, beach walking, fine dining, and all with her OM of 45 years. During the planning process I just happened to throw in the fact that we’d be there during the LCL event. “You know,” I said, “That’s the Ham Radio lighthouse society I belong to.” (As I belong to at least 15-20 different Ham groups, I can’t expect her to remember them all.) “While we’re there I may as well throw in the mobile rig and antenna and activate a light or two.” 18 SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 “Sure,” she said…”That would be fine.” How much more motivation can a guy ask for? We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather, not warm by 4 land standards, but, for a couple that spent over 20 years in Alaska, just the way we like it. So in between the walks on the beach, ogling the goodies in the trading post and stuffing our stomachs on Maine lobster I operated for an hour or so each day on December 27 and December 28. The plan was to be at Nubble (USA #130) on the 27th and then activate Goat Island (USA #325) on the 28th. Unfortunately, there was no parking at the lobster boat dock where one can see Goat Island, so we drove back to York and worked Nubble a second time around. This was my first activation of a lighthouse and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I operated solely on 20 meter SSB using the ICOM 706 MKIIG and a hustler stuck on a mag mount on the roof of the Explorer. Hand logging was a bit cumbersome, what with using a clip board balanced on the steering wheel, but my inventive mind has been hard at work on improvements for the next such outing. Maybe some of the more experienced lighthouse activators have some advice to offer. It would be greatly appreciated. My thanks to one and all who stood by and fought through the mini pileups. My apologies to those who didn’t get “picked up” by these 66 year old ears. My hearty thanks to an understanding YL (I’ve never used the “X” where she’s concerned.) who sat by and read away, sheltered in the car from the cold wind blowing in off the frigid Maine waters. Plans are well underway for a Spring Lights operation from Cape Cod, MA in April of 2003. I hope to spend more air time then when I activate Chatham LH (USA #158) and Highland LH (USA #110). I’m looking forward to working many more of our fine members then. A Plethora of Northern Lights Ken, VY2RU, Member #367 On Dec.21 I went out to the New London Rear Range Light, CAN-341 as VY2RU/M and made 47 contacts in about an hour and a half. The weather conditions were good and no problem getting to the light but conditions were just fair on the bands and after 20 minutes of calling on 20M I had made only two contacts so moved to 15M where the rest of the QSO’s took place. On Dec. 22 I headed off to Cape Tryon Lighthouse, CAN-113 and Cape Tryon(Old) CAN-117. The road to the lighthouse was plugged with snow so I put the truck into four wheel drive and ventured across the adjoining field to the light. Again after 20 minutes of calling on 20M and one contact with W4CEB I moved to 15M where 9 QSO’s took place over an hour so back to 20M and 6 more contacts. Needless to say the bands were terrible with only 16 contacts in the one and one half hour of calling. SPRING 2003 — VOL. 4 • ISSUE 1 19 Seeing as we were going to Nova Scotia for Christmas, operations ceased for a few days and on my return to Prince Edward Island we were hit with a couple of snow storms in a row so no lighthouse activity for about a week. December 31 was the first nice day in a week so I headed out to the West Point Lighthouse CAN-524. Due to the snow I was unable to get to the lighthouse so went the the West Point Wharf which is several hundred yards from the light. Conditions were not bad but again 20M proved poor from this area so after 15 minutes and 3 QSO’s I moved to 15M where after 2 hours I had about 70 contacts in the log for a new lighthouse activation. Due to weather and other commitments I was unable to get out again until January 3 at which time I took along one of the new Amateurs from the Summerside ARC and used VE1CFB and member #482. Myself and Gib, VY2GIB activated two new range lights at Victoria Harbor those being Leards Range Front CAN512 and Palmers Range Rear CAN-515. Both lights are in the same lighthouse structure which was really convenient for activation. Gib really had a good time and did well with the few mini pile-ups, it was satisfying for me and worth the drive and effort involved. As I had experienced at the previous lights the best band was 15M. A couple of things I noticed this event as I had experienced in last years events it is a real problem trying to get the “first year of License date” from the Italians and the French. I noticed that some of the other guys activating lights were running into the same problem. Would there be any way around this dilemma for us out at the lights and I’m sure some of the guys at home. I was also wondering if there could be some kind of award for the guys activating the lighthouses? We have no chance of winning anything by our points total for the simple reason that we are giving out more points than we are getting and now we are required to send in separate entries for home and our mobile/portable operations. Just a thought! Tinicum Light, NJ John, W2AGN, Member #142 The first thing I did was get stuck in the mud! Nice people across the street pulled me out. I strung the antenna up a flagpole using a halyard and a 16’ counterpoise on the ground. The rig was an Icom 706 with an SGC-237 antenna tuner in the back of my Rabbitt. The photo to the right shows Tinicum Light, which I have activated several times. I had 85 QSO’s on SSB, but could only get 23 more on CW. Where are all the CW ops! Hope to work more in the Spring Lites event. Harbour Lights Sponsor of ARLHS Again Offers “Little Lights” to LCL 2001 Participants Prizes and Certificates: Gold lighthouse medallions, coffee mugs, certificates — in addition to all these numerous awards and certificates offered for various categories in the Spring Lites QSO Party, we are happy to announce that, once again, our Harbour Lights sponsor is offering what we are calling a “member participants’ prize.” The Harbour Lights company, makers of miniature lighthouse collectibles, has donated one lighthouse miniature for every SL 2003 member who participates in the SL event. These exquisitely detailed models are approximately 3-4 inches high and are part of the “This Little Light of Mine” series. They are among the most valued by collectors. All you have to do is submit your valid log, along with US dllrs $5.00 to cover postage and handling, to the ARLHS Contest Manager, NFØJ. (See inside, pages 4-6, for contest and logging requirements.) Every member who submits a valid SL 2003 log showing contacts with at least one lighthouse or one ARLHS member will receive a FREE Harbour Lights collectible lighthouse miniature prize. (See the Harbour Lights web site for samples of the “This Little Light of Mine” series of miniatures. Sorry, choice of light is random.) http://www.harbourlights.com/LittleLights/index.htm “This Little Light of Mine” Miniature Collectibles for ARLHS members. See pages 4 & 5 inside.