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Members of the Evanston Amateur Radio Community and the Metro Amateur Radio Club partnered Saturday to celebrate 2012 International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend, operating their  ham radio gear from the base of the Grosse Point Lighthouse.

More than 400 lighthouses in more than 50 countries and territories, from Argentina to Wales, were expected to be on the air in an annual event started 15 years ago by Scotland’s Ayr Amateur Radio Group.

The event aims to raise public awareness of lighthouses and lightships and the need for their preservation and restoration, to promote amateur radio, and to foster international goodwill.

By midday Saturday, the local hams had established contact with hams throughout the U.S. and Canada, including one ham on a camping trip near the U.S./Canadian border north of Seattle, who was operating on solar power from his campsite.

Top: The Grosse Point Lighthouse is in the background with the 20 meter antenna in the foreground. Above: Hams Larry Wood, N9LCE, and Jerry Schur, KC9POL, man the transmitter at the base of the lighthouse.

The Evanston-based hams were operating on the 20 meter amateur band, where signals normally travel great distances during daylight hours. So while none of the stations contacted were in Illinois or Michigan, they had worked stations in New York, Texas, Cape Cod, and Florida.

The Evanston Amateur Radio Community was organized to work with the City of Evanston to provide emergency communications during a natural or manmade disaster. They meet monthly at the Fire Department Training Room, 909 Lake Street.

The Metro Amateur Radio Club also meets monthly, at the Lincolnwood Community Center in Lincolnwood.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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