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ILLW Portland (and the move to the Nothe Fort)


The South Dorset Radio Society was the first Radio Club to operate from the Lighthouse at Portland Bill during a Jamboree on the Air weekend and the location was an obvious choice for the Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend. The pictures below were taken at the event in August 2000 when the callsign used was GB2PB.

GB2PB Radio Shack

GB2PB Aerials

Pat, G1XJH and Mark, M1EPD with Carol

Pat and Richard operating GB2PB

Power supplies!

Robert re-charges his batteries!

Mark and Alyson at the Packet Radio Station


2002 would have been the third year that SDRS had operated from Portland Bill for this event. Unfortunately however we were forced to cancel operations at the last moment owing to the unavailability of the site. At very short notice, SDRS set up an alternative station using our club callsign GX3SDS/P from the north end of the Isle of Portland as close as it was possible to get to ENG256. This light is located at 50°35'N 2°25'W on the Portland Outer Breakwater marking the South Ship Channel into Portland Harbour, approximately 3/4 of mile and line of site from GX3SDS/P. The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society number is ENG256.

International Lighthouse / Lightship Weekend 2003

As the Portland Bill site was no longer available the decision was made to move the Radio Shack to the Nothe Fort.

There are lots of pictures of this event here:

A Report by Mark, M5MKW

Feet up again with a glass of wine. It’s the usual picture after the International Lighthouse / Lightship Weekend. Another successful event and well worth the effort. This event I had decided to make the shack more visitor friendly, so a few ground rules were dreamt up.

1) No ones back will be presented to visitors when entering the door.

2) There must be something for the visitors to look at / do whilst visiting.

3) There should be leaflets / information for them to take away.

4) Reduce the noise generated within the room.

After some discussion at Neville’s shack, the idea of a presentation running on a PC informing what is going on. A PowerPoint presentation was made with pictures and sounds of the stations, explanation of the event and other information on how to become a radio amateur.

Friday, Richard (M5RIC), Bob (M3DPQ) and myself gained accesses to the Nothe Fort to erect the aerials. 3.5 & 7 MHz nested dipole, 14,21,28 MHz trapped dipole and an 11 element beam for 144 MHz on a rotator.

Saturday and everyone arrived at the fort (including Rob Micklewright G3MYM from Yeovil) for a days operating. The HF (High Frequency) bands were not in very good shape so I did some searching for other lighthouses/lightships; Richard started RTTY (Radio Teletype). Not much operating was done as a continuous stream of onlookers visited the shack. They watched the presentation, asked questions, listened to the operators (using a second set of headphones) and took leaflets away. The 144MHz station developed a problem which was sorted out and some limited operating ensued. Talking to one amateur on 144MHz after telling him my name and QTH (where I lived) ask if I did archery. I subsequently found out that he was an old archery friend and a quite long contact ensued. The Morse key, perhaps something to develop at future events, generated a lot of interest?

Sunday all arrived for hopefully better band conditions. Clive (G3XIG) from Dorchester helped out this day along with Alex (G3KKJ). Richard on RTTY, Jon (G2FHF) USB and Alex/Clive on CW (Continuous Wave). Still the continuous stream of visitors entered the shack asking questions, watching the presentation, etc. The contacts were coming thick and fast. The DSP on the 870 was working overtime to reduce the QRM (interference for other stations) and several small pile-ups developed. At about 16:00 hrs (local) the shack was dismantled and 16:30 hrs the main station closed.

So the results are:

(Frequency (MHz) and number of countries worked)

7 - 10     14 - 27     21 - 40     28 - 5     144 - 3

Summary: 357 contacts, 46 different countries, 14 lighthouses/Lightships.

Many thanks to (in alphabetical order):

Alex (G3KKJ) CW and PR.

Bob (M3DPQ) giving up his holiday and putting the station up.

Clive (G3XIG) operating, logging and packing up.

Graham (2E1GOQ) operating, logging and packing up.

Jon (G2FHF) supplying equipment, operating and packing up.

Neville (M5NEV) for assistants with the PowerPoint presentation and PR.

Richard (M5RIC) supplying equipment, putting up, taking down and operating.

Rob Micklewright (G3MYM) PR and CW.

The Nothe Fort for supplying the venue.

QinetiQ for the loan of the projector and screens.

Fayre Shootynge.

Mark M5MKW (GB0PBL Station / QSL Manager)