Lighthouse-Lightship events, both national and international, are annually sponsored by the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society and/or The International Lighthouse-Lightship Week Organization. Two of these events are held during August of each year. The purpose is "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."
During the annual contest, radio contacts are made with amateur radio stations set up at lighthouses and on lightships. These contacts involve exchanging call-signs, names, locations and reports indicating the strength and quality or readability of the signals sent between 2 stations which may be close to each other or hundreds to even thousands of miles apart. During these events, Lighthouse and Lighthouse Society membership numbers may be exchanged. The Lighthouse we operate from is USA 001 also known as US0001 during the international events. The lighthouse numbers are assigned alphabetically and Absecon Island where the Absecon Lighthouse is located is at the top of the list!
A contact in "ham" (amateur radio) jargon is call a "QSO." Often, postcards with the call-sign of the station, contact information and possibly a picture are exchanged. These are called QSL cards. They are written proof that a contact took place and some "hams" collect them in albums or hang them on the walls of their radio "shacks." Modes of communications for these operating events include voice, Morse code, Amateur radio satellites and in some cases, sophisticated digital communications methods.Our local radio club is Southern Counties Amateur Radio Association. We put the Absecon Lighthouse "on the air" for the first time in over 40 years in August of 2004. The pictures below show our operating location on the side porch of the lighthouse.
Click here for more information about the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society.
Click here for more information about the International Lighthouse-Lightship Week.