MREN Activation of Broadhaven/Ballyglass Lighthouse August 2022
Broadhaven/Ballyglass Lighthouse Activation. (ILLW No: IE0006, Call Sign: EI7MRE. WAI: F73. Maiden Head Locator: IO54BH. We eventually got to activate Broadhaven/Ballyglass Lighthouse, North Mayo for Sunday 21st August 2022 the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend – ILLW. The basic objective of this event is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation, restoration and at the same time to promote amateur radio and to foster International goodwill.
We set off at 7am on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. It was exciting once again that we had the freedom to get out on a field day as a club to be able to activate a location of interest for the benefit of other like minded people. It has been four years since we had activated a lighthouse for ‘The International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend – ILLW’ especially this year 2022 as it was the celebration of the Silver Anniversary of the International Lighthouse / Lightship weekend! 25th year in existence, which is normally held on the 3rd full weekend in August. Living on the rugged/jagged West Coast line of Mayo we benefit from having a choice of a number of lighthouses that we can choose from, which are the essential lights to seafarers at night who travel up and down by our treccours coastline. The most easily accessed lighthouse for members of the Mayo Radio Experimenters Network to activate are the lighthouses on the Mullet peninsula, Blacksod Lighthouse and the Ballyglass/Broadhaven Lighthouse. This year we chose to activate a different Lighthouse, the Broadhaven/Ballyglass Lighthouse which is located on the North side of the peninsula, it already had a ILLW number IE – 0006 from it having been activated on a previous occasion by another radio amateur. Our usual Lighthouse was the Blacksod Lighthouse which is located on the south side of the peninsula. Thanks to all those that made the journey to Broadhaven to make the activation possible: Jimmy EI2GCB, Padraic EI9JA, Phil EI9KP, Tom EI4KY, and newly licensed amateur Eamonn EI7LC who travelled from Tuam, Galway to be there for setup. We arrived on site after 9.00am. We then proceeded to set up the field day station for the occasion. Weather conditions were warm and calm giving rise to us being eaten by midgets. Three 10ft sections were coupled together with a doublet antenna attached, raised and secured then anchored at the North and South ends. Using an S.E.M. Z MATCH to couple the ladder-line to the Icom IC-7300 which was powered by a bank of batteries for the day, we used a laptop for logging. All was ready to go on air by 10.30am. Before we started we had developed a big appetite for an open air breakfast. We operated on different bands changing frequency as propagation and conditions changed all day long. All present had turns and times at login and operating the station throughout the day. The fine Sunday brought a lot of visitors to the area looking and photographing the rugged coastline and its beautiful scenery giving rise to traffic jams on occasions. We had quite a few people enquiring about our setup and what its purpose was, even the satisfaction of seeing the joy on the face of a 10 year old lad whose name is Oisin speak to another radio amateur who took the time to communicate with him in English for a few minutes. We are sure this would have been the highlight of his afternoon. We had a very good day all round and enjoyed the get-together as a clubs field day again, apart from the lumps we suffered from bites of the midges. A link to some pictures of the day21/08/2022