On Saturday am Jose VA3PCJ and myself left Ottawa and headed west on Hwy 417 towards Arnprior Ontario where we had a breakfast stop at Mama Rosa’s Restaurant in Arnprior. (Thats the “B” on the map)… The food was fantastic…(highly recomended) and from there headed west on Renfrew County Road 1 towards Braeside-McNabb Township and the community of Sand Point.
We arrived around 11am edst at the Lighthouse and were operational and flooding the airwaves with RF. Jose was using his ICOM IC 703 with his S9 43 foot vertical which was attached to the trailer hitch on his Jeep (we were allowed to drive onto the Wharf).
I was using my FT 817 along with my Par End Fed Antenna(QRP Version 10-20-40m) supported by a 31 foot MFJ Telescopic flimsy fishing style pole support. ( Gosh Darn they work great for lightweight antennas) which I had bungee corded to an attachment on the edge of the wharf…
Although the S9 would load up on 80 m it was not a good day for 80m but we did manage contacts on 15m, 17m, 20m and 40m. I have to admit that the S9 liked 15 and 17m but I made lots of contacts on 20m and 40m with the Par end Fed.
I managed contacts with the following Lighthouses/Lightships in the event
W9CQO- Port Washington Light- US0114- (20m)
W6A- Port of LA- US0031 (20m)
Nw8S- Loraine Harbor Light US0143 (40m)
K2USA- Sandy Hook Light- US0035 (40m)
KC2RA – Coney Island NY Light- US0091 (40m)
W2T- Tukerton NJ Light- US0911 (40m)
N2CMC- Cape May Light- US0011 (40m)
W4LX- Gasporilla Light- US0004 (20m)
W1NLS- Lightship in Boston Harbor- US0102 (40m)
W9LYA- Grosse Point Light- US0021 (20m)
KC2YYL- Ft. Niagara Light- US-0294 (40m)
W2GSB- Fire Island Light- US0019 (40m)
And then the following contacts were made with non Lighthouse stations…
N8AD- Pennsilvania, K7RL- Washington St, W9IMS- Indianna, K5LLA- Texas, W6TK- California, K7LUH- Montanna, VO1KVT- Newfoundland.
From East (VO1) to West (K7) using 5w ssb with a vertical… WOW!
By my count thats 12 Lighthouse/Lightships and 7 other stations… 19 contacts made by a QRP/Portable station using SSB only is not too shabby in my opinion.
Also this is my log only… I’m not sure what VA3PCJ rustled up and I know he was making contacts as well and as his antenna liked 15 and 17m I am eager to see what he got in the log… Also he was also taking some pictures which I will be sharing with you once I see copies of them…
If the Lighthouses had anything updated on their QRZ Pages or their club websites I included the link to them… If it was not updated then… no point…
Shortly after 4pm (1600edst) or 2000utc we noticed that the wind was picking up and the batteries were getting weak so it was the perfect set of circumstances to convince us it was time to tear down and pack up… Shortly after that we heading the Jeep east towards Ottawa and ended up at a local watering hole for a feast of Pizza and a cold beer to celebrate what I would have to say was our most successfull activation of a lighthouse ever…. We were both pleased. From what I can remember from Jose telling me … He was around 10 contacts so that would put us close to 30 for the event… Fantastic…
I really want to thank the community of Sand Point as well… A few of the locals came over to see what the large fishing rods (not in the water) were all about and had a chat with us… We were welcomed and appreciated… They kind of thought it was neat that someone would come around and use the light for radio… They brought back their friends and neighbors so we got to demonstrate amateur radio to some non amateurs and they had something to talk about… It was a fair trade… We were invited back for the next event… Its nice to be wanted and I hope we can return… Some of the local community leaders exchanged contact information with Jose and we hope we can stay in touch till the next event…
Tags: amateur radio, Amateur Radio Lighthouse, Icom IC 703, ILLW event, International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, Jeep, Mama Rosa's Restaurant, Par end Fed Antenna, S9 43 Foot Vertical Antenna, Sand Point Light, Sand Point Lighthouse, Sand Point Ontario, Yaesu FT817