International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend 2008

The 3rd full weekend in August has been established as the International Lighthouse and Lightship weekend. The event starts at 0001 UTC on Saturday and finishes at 2359 UTC on Sunday. The basic objective of the event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration, to promote amateur radio and to foster International goodwill.

Check the ILLW Web page for more details.

 DXpedition announcement

DXpedition info
Duration 28 hours
Actual operation time 24 hours (approx)
Contacts around 450, mainly on 20 & 40m
HF Radios Yaesu FT-897, Yaesu FT-ONE and Icom 7400 pro
HF Antennas 10-15-20m Vertical, Cushcraft R8 , Butternut HF2V
VHF Antennas Diamond X-50
Power source Mains power supplied from the lighthouse premises
Operators 5B8AP (Andreas), 5B4MF (Spyros), 5B4AFQ (Manos) and G0TSU (Demetrius)
QSL info Via home calls

The complete story
There are officially eight lighthouses in Cyprus. Three of them are in the area occupied by the Turkish troops. Of the five remaining lighthouses, the Cape Kiti Lighthouse (ARLHS CYP-004) is probably the easiest to access and activate. It's located near the village of Pervolia in the Larnaca district, in a residential area so it's very easily accessible.

In the early stages of planning this activation we asked the Cyprus Ports Authority to allow us to operate from the lighthouse premises and/or use electric power from its premises. We were allowed to operate from outside the lighthouse premises and use electric power.

I set off from my QTH in Nicosia at around 6:20AM on Saturday (16 Aug. 2008) morning. Normally it would take about 45 minutes to get to the lighthouse, but with the pieces of three long vertical HF antennas loaded on the roof rack of the car I had to be more careful and drive slower.

I arrived at the lighthouse at around 7:30 and met with Demetrius (G0TSU). We found a good spot and started with setting up the operating tent. We then set up a small vertical antenna for 10-15-20m, stations for APRS and HF and contacts begun at around 9:30. There were strong winds blowing from the moment we got there on Saturday until late at night, threatening to blow away the operating tent and making operating more difficult.

5B4AFQ (Manos) joined the team early in the afternoon, helped us set up his Cushcraft R8 antenna and operating continued. 5B4MF (Spyros) joined the team a while later and the Butternut HF2V antenna for 40-80m was erected. Myself and Spyros set up our tents behind the shack. We stayed at the location for the night and continued operating for (almost) all night.

On Sunday the situation in terms of winds was better, but the, but the temperature under shade was 2-4 degrees higher, rising to 32-34 degrees celsius. We stopped operating at around noon and after disassembling the station we headed home.
We made around 450 contacts, mainly on 20 and 50m.

 Pictures from the activation Page 1 Page 2

 For more information about ham radio and lighthouses, check out the Web page of the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society
 To learn more about lighthouses in Cyprus check out the page of the Cyprus Ports Authority in Greek (with pictures) and English.