On the weekend of 20/21st August members of the Bushvalley Amateur Radio Club departed Ballycastle and headed for Rathlin Island to take part in the International lighthouse and Lighship on the air weekend. This year was somewhat different to the previous years as we had no accommodation due to essential engineering works and contractors staying in the bungalow not to mention the lack of availability in the private rentals due to the RSPB staying in them as they are facing issues with rodents eating the birds eggs on the island.
Once the team arrived on the island it was straight to the site and time to erect a Canvas frame tent that was kindly donated from member Robert Pinkerton which was used as a base at the East lighthouse for both operations and sleeping quarters.
Some 45 minutes after getting to the site we were live on air from all 3 lighthouse’s using special event call signs GB2EL, GB2WL & GB1RP
The set up consisted of Yaesu FT857, 2x Kenwood TS2000, Icom IC706 and various antenna configurations - Mostly Dipole.
This was undoubtedly the club's best year for contacts, in the logs the total was 471 QSO’s using both SSB and CW. We were also delighted to make 41 Lighthouse to Lighthouse contacts.
The club would like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in this special event expedition. We are already planning and looking forward to next year's ILLW event.