A gathering of ham radio enthusiasts will descend upon Loop Head Lighthouse in Co Clare this weekend, taking part in a marathon 48-hour broadcast for International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW).
The amateur radio fans will begin broadcasting from the 19th-century lighthouse at 12.01am on Saturday, 17 August, and won’t stop until 11.59pm on Sunday, 18 August – which is also International Lighthouse Day.
The 48-hour broadcast hopes to connect radio users in Ireland with those further afield. About 400 lighthouses and lightships in 50 countries are expected to join in the 16th annual ILLW event and, last year, visitors to the west Clare lighthouse heard broadcasts from users as far away as Hawaii and Australia.
“Once again we are hoping to open long-distance communications with regions in Asia, through Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand,” said Simon Kenny, chair of Limerick Radio Club, which includes members from counties Limerick, Clare, Kerry and Tipperary.
A special QSL Card to denote confirmation of communication has been designed to mark the event and two stations will be set up at Loop Head Lighthouse, one of which will be at the entrance to allow members of the public to listen in.
Photo of Loop Head Lighthouse, Co Clare by PHB.cz (Richard Semik) via Shutterstock