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VK7LH Australia flag Australia

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VK7LH or VK7LightHouse, is a special purpose callsign held by Ross Broomhall for activating Tasmanian Lighthouses during the annual International Lighthouse and Lightship weekends (ILLW). In 2016 the event is to be held internationally over the weekend of 20 and 21 August 2016. The team will be on the air throughout the duration of the weekend on all HF bands.



The Admiralty Registration number of the Low Head Light is AU0048 and it is located at Lat: 41 degrees, 03.3355' S Long: 146 degrees 47.3652' E

Details on the ILLW can be found at http://illw.net/



The Operating Team for 2016 are;



Cedric - VK7CL

Geoff - VK7GW



The 2016 team will be using the following station configuration;

TS-850 SAT

TS-590 DSP

FT-101ZD MkI Into Diawa Coupler


100 Watts into 80 Metre Loop


The station is again to be located at the Lighthouse Keepers Residence less than 50' from the Lighthouse. The residence has been converted into very comfortable accomodation catering for up to 8 persons. The rigs will be located in the chart room/observation room in the residence which overlooks Bass Strait and entrance to the Tamar River.

The Low Head Light, one of Australia's oldest lights,was originally constructed using convict labour in 1833 under the supervision of Mr Walmsley who was better known as Bolting Dick. The light consisted of a stone towerwith the lightpowered by burning whale oil.

Sketch of the original light tower.

The present day structure as built in 1888 and stands 21 metres in height and bears a distinctive broad red band which was painted in 1926 to make it easier to see in daylight. The light flashes 3 times every 30 seconds and can be seen up to 26 nautical miles to sea.


Low Head Light, Keeper's Cottage and Fog Horn Shed

One of the unique characteristics of the Low Head Light is its fog horn. The fog horn is a 'diaphone' type which was originally installed in 1928 as the state's only fog horn. The sound heard from this beast can reportedely be heard up to 25 nautical miles out to sea. The light and fog horn were used until 1973 to warn seafarers of the dangers of Hebe Reef which has claimed many vessels over the years. The now fully restored and operational fog horn can be heard at 12:00pm every Sunday for the benefit of visitors. 

2016 Event

Ross VK7LH operating the station in the chart room of the Lighthouse Keepers Residence - Note the very effective use of household items as a mic stand.


One of the support pole for the 80 metre loop.  This antenna is loading up very well on 80, 40, 20 15 metres.


Some Pics of Past Events




The pic below shows the operating position in the chart room of the Lighthouse Keepers Residence. 

After some rearranging two more pics of the shack.This was the youngest member of the 2011 expedition, Ben VK7FBGS.

Albert VK3KLB did two late nights, but somehow managed to hold things together. Albert was most active on 20 metres with several international contacts.

At 1200 EST the operators of the Low Head Foghorn arrive to give the whole area a 15 minute session of the famous Type G Diaphone. At the time Albert was on 20 metres talking to two stations in the Lockyer Valley. One of the comments heard was along the lines of, "I think there is a ship coming through the shack".

The Diaphone has been described as the roar of 10,000 elephants, and personally, I don't think that is an exaggeration. The low frequency ending of the blast litterally shakes the ground and rattles your chest. What a monster. The echo off the water was extraordinary.

As many will know, we played an audio file of the foghorn as part of our CQ call on occasions. Nothing compared to the real thing.

The pic below is inside the fog horn shed showing the Gardner kero engine and compressor which has been faithfully restored by volunteers.



We had visits from a number of members of the public who came to visit the light house and almost all of them asked questions about the ILLW and some even asked to visit the shack which was located at the front of the house.



7516117 Last modified: 2016-08-20 03:03:58, 10355 bytes

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