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WS1SM Amateur Radio Lighthouse Activations

2011 Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, South Bristol, ME  FN53fu
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0124   ARLHS: USA589

On Sunday, August 21, 2011, the 18th annual International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend was our first ham radio lighthouse activation as a club. The WS1SM team, consiting of Thom Watson W1WMG, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, Frank Krizan KR1ZAN, Frank Allen WA1PLD, and Jason Andrews KB1UXB, operated for 7 hours and tallied 96 contacts. Bruce Howes W1UJR, from nearby Wiscasset, and other local hams, also stopped by to join the fun. The expedition is best remembered for Jason Andrews making his first HF QSO.

Pemaquid 1
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Pemaquid 3
Thom W1WMG at the operating point while others look on

Pemaquid 5
Frank Allen WA1PLD, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, and Jason Andrews KB1UXB, hold the WS1SM banner

Pemaquid 7
Lots of guests stop by, including Bruce Howes W1UJR
Pemaquid 2
Thom Watson W1WMG, and Jason Andrews KB1UXB

Pemaquid 4
Tim Watson KB1HNZ at the mic while Jason KB1UXB logs

Pemaquid 6
Thom displays the banner from the light tower


Pemaquid 8
Frank Krizan KR1ZAN takes a turn at the mic

2012 Wood Island Lighthouse, Biddeford Pool, ME  FN43uk
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0141   ARLHS: USA905   IOTA: NA137   US Islands: ME103S

On August 19, the WS1SM team, consisting of Thom Watson W1WMG, Sam Webber N1WIG, Dave Wood KB1FGF, Rory McEwen KB1PLY, and Tim Watson, activated Wood Island Lighthouse, off the coast of Biddeford Pool, ME, for the 2012 International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). Since the lighthouse is also on an island, the activation also qualified for Islands on the Air (IOTA) and US Islands on the Air, having designators for each.

The day began with a trip on the "Light Runner," which is an aluminum landing craft which is primarily used by the Friends of Wood Island, who maintain and care for the lighthouse and surrounding area.  The weather was fantastic throughout the day, and there were many visitors on tours who stopped by as well, including Tammy Wells, a writer for the Journal Tribune newspaper, in Biddeford.

Altogether WS1SM made 97 QSO's contacting several lighthouses throughout the country and around the world, as well as many chasers. The stations consisted of a Yaesu FT857d, and Icom IC7000, using a 40m dipole and Buddipole rotatable dipole antenna, on 100% battery power.

Wood Island Light 1
The "Light Runner"

Wood Island 3
Wood Island Lighthouse

Wood Island 5
The light tower

Wood Island 7
Thom W1WMG holds up the banner in the light tower

Wood Island 9
The Oil House

Wood Island 11
BuddiPole and Banner

Wood Island Light 15
"I sail"

Wood Island 14
All hands on deck

Wood Island Light 17
Debriefing at Run of the Mill 
Wood Island Light 2
The 1/2 mile long boardwalk

Wood Island 4
Thom W1WMG logs a contact

Wood Island 6
Rory McEwen KB1PLY at the mic

Wood Island 8
Wood Island Lighthouse with antennas setup

Wood Island 10
Herald VE2HRP, and Rory KB1PLY, check out the IC7000

Wood Island 12
The light tower and fog horns

Wood Island Light 16
Captain Mel

Wood Island 13
"I sail"

Wood Island Light 18
Waiting for the dinner crowd

2013 Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, South Bristol, ME  FN53fu
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0124   ARLHS: USA589

On August 18, 2013 the WS1SM team, consisting of Steve McGrath N1EOE, Frank Ktizan KR1ZAN, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, Charlie Shepard W1CPS, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, the Dumont family (Dakota KB1YYC, Annette KC1AMQ, and Bert KB1ZLV), and Dave Wood KB1FGF, returned to Pemaquid for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). The team made over 200 QSO's using multiple stations, including Steve's "go box" outfitted with a Yaesu FY897, tuner, and battery pack. We also used Tim's Yaesu FT857d on battery power, Ryan's Elecraft KX-3, and Charlie's Icom IC-7000. Antennas included a BuddiPole rotatable dipole, a G-Whip end fed zepp, a 40m dipole, and a multi-band fan dipole. 

Pemaquid 1
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Pemaquid 3
Charlie Shepard W1CPS on the air

Pemaquid 5
Fan dipole in the air

Pemaquid 7
Ryan KB1YTR operating 40m on his KX3

Pemaquid 9
Annette Dumont KC1AMQ, and Dakota Dumont KB1YYC

Pemaquid 11
View from the light tower
Pemaquid 2
Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR sets up an antenna

Pemaquid 4
Strategy Meeting

Pemaquid 6
Steve McGrath N1EOE's station in a box

Pemaquid 8
The Yaesu FT857d on battery power

Pemaquid 10
Fresnel lens

Pemaquid 12
L-R: KB1HNZ, KB1YTR, KB1YYC, KB1FGF, KC1AMQ, KB1ZLV, N1EOE, and KR1ZAN

2014 Seguin Island Light, Seguin Island, ME  FN53cr
RSGB Islands on the Air Contest (IOTA)
ILLW: US0139   ARLHS: USA746   IOTA: NA137  US Islands: ME104S 

On July 26, an international team of hams set off to Seguin Island to activate it for the 2014 RSGB Islands on the Air Contest. Team members packed their gear abourd the Leeward, which departed from Fort Popham early Saturday morning.

Once at the island, our planned operating position, which was Seguin Island Head Light, vanished from view, since it was situated atop a large hill on the far end of the island. Gear was packed aboard an inflatable dinghy and a few people at a time were rowed to shore by one of the ship's crew. Once everything was unloaded on the small beach, the heavier equipment was piled onto a tram that was pulled to the top by a chain-driven diesel engine. We hiked along a trail on the side of the tram line, and made it to the lighthouse about 15-20 minutes later.

Once there, we began to setup our 4 stations (3 HF & 1 VHF). We used a variety of wire antennas, a BuddiPole, and a mast and beam for VHF. We had many contacts with participating stations, including several other island expeditions around the world.

The WS1SM team consisted of: Sam Webber N1WIG, Frank Krizan KR1ZAN, Thom Watson W1WMG, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, Charlie Shepard W1CPS, Cindy Shepard W1CJS, Sean Binette W1GFD, Stefania Chiruta YO9GJY, the Dumont family (Annette KC1AMQ, Bert KB1ZLV, and Dakota KB1YYC), Bill Richardson NG1P, Willie Richardson KC1AKU, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, and Dave Wood KB1FGF.

Seguin 1
Stefania Chiruta YO9GJY, joined us all the way from Romania

Seguin 4
Getting everybody on board

Seguin 7
Ryan, Willie, and Bill watch as the first dinghy is loaded

Seguin 3
Beach landing

Seguin 10
Stefania operating 20 meters

Seguin 12
Ryan programs APRS

Seguin 14
Snack time
Seguin 2
Thom W1WMG, Sam N1WIG, and Dave KB1FGF

Seguin 5
Frank, Steve, Sean, Dakota, Ryan, Thom, and others

Seguin 6
Bert, Dakota, and Annette, being rowed to shore in the dinghy

Seguin 8
Seguin Island Light

Seguin 11
Bert KB1ZLV, Dakota KB1YYC, and Sean W1GFD work the 40m station

Seguin 13
Thom, Frank, Annette, and others wave from the light  tower

Seguin 15
Tim, Stefania, Dave, Sam, and Dakota, in the light  tower

2014 West Quoddy Head Light, Lubec, ME  FN64mt
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0041   ARLHS: USA880

On the weekend of August 16-17, the WS1SM team, consisting of Charlie Shepard W1CPS, Cindy Shepard W1CJS, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, Thom Watson W1WMG, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ, activated West Quoddy Head Light for the 2014 International & Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

Operating 3 stations simultaneously on mixed HF with battery power, the team made over 200 QSO's, many of which were lighthouse-to-lighthouse contacts. Stations consisted of a Yaesu FT857d with BuddiPole rotatable dipole, and Icom IC706MKIIG with a SOTA Beams 40m dipole, and an Icom IC7000 with a fan dipole for 10/15/20m.

West Quoddy 1
West Quoddy Head Light

West Quoddy 5
Ryan KB1YTR operates from near the lighthouse

West Quoddy 7
Ryan visits the 17m station

West Quoddy 10
Yaesu FT857d

West Quoddy 3
Ryan KB1YTR operates 20m


West Quoddy 12
Charlie works 17 meters

West Quoddy 14
Ryan talks to Frank KR1ZAN on 40m

West Quoddy 16
Cindy W1CJS makes a contact on HF
West Quoddy 2
Thom Watson W1WMG

West Quoddy 6
The famous striped light tower

West Quoddy 8
The lighthouse and the BuddiPole

West Quoddy 11
Thom W1WMG operates HF

West Quoddy 4
L-R: Charlie W1CPS, Tim KB1HNZ, Cindy W1CJS, Ryan KB1YTR, and Thom W1WMG

West Quoddy 13
Charlie W1CPS, and Cindy W1CJS, operate the 40m station

West Quoddy 15
Andy, a local ham, stops by

West Quoddy 17
Charlie W1CPS at the mic, while Thom logs

2014 Head Harbour Light , Wilsons Beach, NB  Canada  FN67nw
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: CA0047   ARLHS: CAN166

On Sunday, August 17, WS1SM team members Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, Thom Watson W1WMG, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ, ventured to New Brunswick's Head Harbor Light Station, to activate their first Canadian light for ILLW. Using call sign VE9/WS1SM, the team setup Ryan's Elecraft KX3 with random wire antenna for HF, and also used a Kenwood TMD710 to make several contacts on VHF, including a member of the Swallowtail Lighthouse ILLW team on Grand Manan Island.

East Quoddy 1
Tim KB1HNZ, Thom W1WMG, and Ryan KB1YTR hold the banner
East Quoddy 5
Thom W1WMG, and Ryan KB1YTR, operating 40m QRP

2015 Cape Neddick "Nubble" Light, Cape Neddick, ME  FN43qd
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0201  ARLHS: USA130 

On August 16, the WS1SM team, including Charlie Shepard W1CPS, Cindy Shepard W1CJS, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, Annette Dumont KC1AMQ, Dakota Dumont KB1YYC, Thom Watson W1WMG, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, and Jason Andrews W1SFS, activated Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse for the 2015 International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

Operating 3 stations simultaneously on mixed HF with battery power, the team made over 100 QSO's, many of which were lighthouse-to-lighthouse contacts.

Stations consisted of a Yaesu FT857d with a BuddiPole rotatable dipole, an Icom IC7000 with a SOTA Beams 40m dipole, and an Elecraft KX3 with random wire.

Nubble 1
Foggy morning

Nubble 3
Thom W1WMG tugs on a rope

Nubble 5
Dakota and Jason still on the air

Nubble 7
Thom W1WMG and Charlie at the mic

Nubble 9
Jason W1SFS, and Thom W1WMG

Nubble 11
Annette KC1AMQ, and Ryan KB1YTR, take turns at the mic

Nubble 13
Tim KB1HNZ at the mic
Nubble 2
Dakota surveys the site

Nubble 4
Dakota KB1YYC, and Jason W1SFS operate separate bands

Nubble 6
Closeup of Dakota working a pileup on 20m

Nubble 8
Different angle

Nubble 10
Thom, Charlie, and Annette

Nubble 12
BuddiPole, with the lighthouse in the background

Nubble 14
L-R: Thom W1WMG, Charlie W1CPS, Cindy W1CJS, Jason W1SFS, Annette KC1AMQ, Ryan KB1YTR, Tim KB1HNZ, and Dakota KB1YYC

2016 Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, ME  FN43vo
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0201  ARLHS: USA661

During the weekend of August 20-21st, the WS1SM team activated Portland Head Light for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). 2016 marked the sixth year that WSSM has participated in the event, which sees more than 500 lighthouses activated worldwide.

Portland Head Light is an historic landmark, having been commissioned by George Washington in 1787. It was first illuminated on January 10, 1791 using Whale Oil Lamps. Surrounded by rocky ledges that extend to the sea, the lighthouse is located within the picturesque Fort Williams Park, in Cape Elizabeth.

On Saturday the 20th, we setup on the lawn just to the right side of the lighthouse, eventually including three HF stations, operating exclusively on battery power. The first was comprised of a Yaesu FT857d and a 40m inverted-V antenna. The second was an Icom IC7000 and a windom for 20m and 17m, and the third was truly a "station in a box," including a Yaesu FT897, tuner, battery, and external speaker, using a portable loop antenna.

The day started out foggy and mostly cloudy, and that lasted until about 2pm, when the sun finally broke through. Most of the operators weren't prepared for the sun, as they intended to use EZ-ups for the shade, but park officials gave us last minute notice that they wouldn't allow them. Therefore, for Sunday, we moved operations closer to the tree line to take advantage of the shade.

We saw the most activity on 40 meters, as propagation on the higher bands was not very good. This improved, however, on Sunday, as wel doubled the amount of QSO's on those bands over the prior day. We had fun chasing other lighthouses, and had QSO's with many over the two days, including lighthouses in Scotland, Austria, Greece, the Great Lakes, and more. We also enjoyed having QSO's with the various chasers who were collecting lighthouses over the weekend - many who were happy to work Portland Head Light for the first time.

Portland Head Light 1
Stefania K1GJY operates 40m

Portland Head Light 3
Dakota operates while Ryan and Bert look on

Portland Head Light 5
Ryan, Charlie, and Bert setup an OCF dipole

Portland Head Light 7
Dave KB1FGF, approves

Portland Head Light 10
Visitors

Portland Head Light 12
Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light 2
Our operating position near Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light 4
Bert KB1ZLV, and Dakota KB1YYC

Portland Head Light 6
Stefania K1GJY, Pete KC1DFO, and CJ W1CJC (at the mic)

Portland Head Light 9
CJ operates 40m as the fog rolls in

Portland Head Light 11
The light tower

Portland Head Light 13
Jim KB1SDK operates 40m

2016 Bass Harbor Head Light, Bass Harbor, ME  FN54tf
National Parks on the Air (NPOTA)
ARLHS:  USA041     NPOTA: NP01       

On September 10th, 2016, Stefania Watson K1GJY, and her husband Tim KB1HNZ, activated Bass Harbor Head Light as part of their National Parks on the Air expedition to Acadia. The station consisted of an Icom IC706 MKIIG, on battery power, with a BuddiPole antenna. Bass Harbor was one of three locations within the park that they operated from, which included the Natural Seawall, and Cadillac Mountain.  

Bass Harbor 1
Bass Harbor Head Light

Bass Harbor 3
The Yaesu FT857d
Bass Harbor 2
Hidden in the trees

Bass Harbor 5
Stefania K1GJY operates 20m

2017 Portland Breakwater "Bug" Light, South Portland, ME  FN43vp
International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
ILLW: US0225  ARLHS: USA659 

During the weekend of August 19-20th, the WS1SM team activated Portland Breakwater Light for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). 2017 marked the seventh year that WSSM has participated in the event, which sees more than 500 lighthouses activated worldwide.

Club members who participated, included Charlie Shepard W1CPS, CJ Carlsson W1CJC, Eric Emery KC1HJK, Frank Krizan KR1ZAN, Fred Ward W4FWW, Dakota Dumont KB1YYC, Rory McEwen KB1PLY, Dave Wood KB1FGF, Stefania Watson K1GJY, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ.

We operated two full-time HF stations, including an Icom IC7000, on battery power, with an Off-Center-Fed dipole antenna, and an Icom IC706 MKIIG on battery power, with a BuddiPole antenna. Team members also used various HTs for QSOs on 2 meters and 70cm.
The expedition is best remembered for Eric Emery KC1HJK, making his first HF QSO.

Bug Light 1
The BuddiPole with Bug Light in the background

Bug Light 3
CJ and Charlie, with the OCF dipole setup

Bug Light 5
Stefania is still busy on 20m

Bug Light 7
Fred, Frank, and Rory make adjustments to the OCF diploe

Bug Light 9
CJ operates 17m

Bug Light 11
Stefania operates 20m


Bug Light 13
Bug Light
Bug Light 2
Stefania K1GJY works a pileup on 20m

Bug Light 4
Dakota at the mic while CJ looks on

Bug Light 6
Stefania, Frank, Fred, Rory, and Dave

Bug Light 10
CJ W1CJC operates as the Cat Ferry goes by

Bug Light 12
Tim KB1HNZ has a turn at the mic

Bug 14
L-R: Charlie W1CPS, CJ W1CJC, Dave KB1FGF, Rory KB1PLY, Stefania K1GJY, and Tim KB1HNZ

Bug Light 15
Eric KC1HJC makes his first HF contact!




  

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Wireless Society of Southern Maine, P.O. Box 6833, Scarborough, ME 04074