At around 2200 UTC, under cloudy grey skies, I arrived at the Ballina Head Lighthouse overlooking Lighthouse and Shelly beaches to put 43DA/AUS-142 on the air.   

This is the first leg of the DA-RC’s Northern Rivers LOTA Tour and I was very excited to get the adventure off and running.

Fortunately, one is able to drive the car right up onto the grassy green lighthouse grounds so satisfying both rules of LOTA activation in accordance with the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society’s Lighthouse Program was easy! 

It also makes for some terrific pictures for the QSL card!

After a few CQ DX calls with my mobile station consisting of the DRAGON SS-485-H 30 Watt transceiver, into a 9 foot DX stick, I was surprised (and happy) to log  3AT103 Eduardo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Overall it was heavy going on the mic though, as the band was not too great and contacts were few and far between.  

Having only 30 watts into a vertical antenna makes it challenging indeed and one needs to rely on the DX Gods and the beautiful location to deliver success.

With such magnificent take offs to the Pacific and the Americas in particular, this truly is a magnificent place for radio operations though. 

In fact, the local Amateur Radio Club conducts their yearly ARLHS Light House Weekend here and the results are always outstanding.

Later in the morning, I was rapt to get good mate 2DA120 Tom (the American Aussie) from Washington State in the log.

Later on, my wife Martina came up the headland with some much needed lunch which allowed me to recharge my batteries for some serious dx work in the afternoon. 

Calling and calling is hungry work!

While I DXed, Martina was working on some T-shirt designs on her laptop for the band I sing for ‘STONE MOUNTAIN’.

It helps being married to someone who loves art and drawing; someone who’ll tag along for company and support you when you’re out and about enjoying the hobby.

Being a mad rugby league fan, I went QRT at 0630 to get home to watch my favourite NRL team, the Manly Sea Eagles, play on TV hi hi.

In all, it was not too bad a day on the microphone; a nice day DXing in fact, in a picturesque coastal location, alongside one of the area’s most delightful old lighthouses.

Thanks to those people who spotted me on Cluster dk, to those who’ve made the log so far and also to all those guys who’ve listed for my LOTA station.

I’ll be back as soon as I can to continue the activity.

73 de 43DA162, Brett