Making waves across the world
THE Portland Lighthouse was the temporary home to a small group of amateur radio operators during the weekend as they successfully took part in the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.
Ten enthusiasts, known locally as the Whalers Bluff Amateur Radio DX Group, erected three towers to communicate with almost 90 people across the world, which spokesman Denis McCann said was memorable for several reasons.
The group is a mix of local and visiting enthusiasts.
“The Whalers Bluff Amateur Radio DX Group – call sign VK3DX – used three antennae: an 80m folded dipole attached to ‘Hertical’, a 50-foot fibreglass mast,” Mr McCann said matter-of-factly.
“According to wind strength, the mast was either mostly horizontal or mostly vertical,” he added with a wry smile.
“We also used a 40-metre Spiderbeam and a multiband band Off Centre Fed Dipole, fed through a tuner into an IC-7700 base radio.”
In lay terms, the group used three different antennae to communicate with other radio operators.
“This isn’t line-of-sight communication; we refracted – or bounced – the radio waves off the ionosphere.