Amateur radio enthusiasts put Tasmania’s lighthouses on an international map – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


A couple of amateur radio enthusiasts are putting Tasmania’s lighthouses on an international map.

They’ve joined a growing worldwide gathering of radio operators with a passion to light up the world with wireless, at lighthouses everywhere.

More than 500 lighthouses in at least 50 countries connected at this years International Lighthouse and Lightships weekend.

And the list included a ‘virgin’ lighthouse. The Cape Tourville Lighthouse has never had radio broadcast from it before until they set up their radio shack.

 

“We were talking into Ukraine yesterday, Russia, all over Australia and New Zealand,” Kevin Norris said.

“It’s not just a small area, we’ve actually been talking around the world.”

“On five watts. That’s just a little five watt transmitter.

“Once that was set up, we then went up to the lighthouse and set up little antennas we use to light Cape Tourville up.

“It’s what they call in the fraternity a ‘virgin lighthouse’ which has never been ‘lit up’ before by radio waves.”

Mr Norris has bebn a licensed radio operator for almost 20 years, but his wife is a recent convert.

Although it was once a man’s domain, Lyn Norris says she and other women have been welcomed with open arms and encouraged to go on air.

“It’s not that hard, I’m still learning some of the language,” she said.

“Our roots are actually in the old citizens’ band radio.

“But we have to be careful because none of that protocol is not acceptable on the waves.

“Part of the protocols are you have to wait and see if there is anyone on the airwaves.

 

“If there’s not, you must identify yourself, and you must identify yourself and the person you are talking to at regular intervals through the conversation.

“And when you finish you must say that you’ve cleared that band.

“I say “This is VK7FROG calling VK7HKN are you there?”

The Norris’ says it’s a disciplined arena that facilitates communication with people everywhere if the ionosphere is charged up after solar flares.

“It broadens your spectrum of who you meet each day,” Mrs Norris said.

“This is another reason why I like this.

“You meet people, not face to face, but you meet people and you get to hear people.

“There’s a whole world out there that you can have in your lounge room every night.”

Topics: radio-broadcasting, radio, regional-development, community-organisations, national-parks, rural, coles-bay-7215

First posted Wed at 5:28pmWed 17 Sep 2014, 5:28pm

 

via Amateur radio enthusiasts put Tasmania’s lighthouses on an international map – ABC Rural (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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Nice story about Kevin and Lynne Norris, members of the Northern Tasmanian Amateur Radio Club, who are putting Tasmanian Lighthouses on the air.  Their effort is part of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekends, which seek to raise awareness of historic lighthouses and lightships which protect marine commerce.  The personal story of  how they got involved in Amateur Radio is also quite fascinating.  Amateur Radio opens up the world to those who seek it.  Good article.

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Until next time,

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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