*EDITORIAL* Maritime Mobile — The Perfect Medium for LOTA


Unquestionably, one of the most exhilarating propositions for lighthouse DX enthusiasts would be working through a pile-up as LOTA DX from a boat on open water.

Imagine having one of the world’s 13700+ lighthouses as your idyllic backdrop…  Picture the saltwater lapping at the sides of your anchored vessel, a chorus of chirping sea birds in your aural periphery creating the perfect soundtrack for your memorable dx adventure, a magical red sunset on the ocean’s horizon the perfect dx-scape for a QSL confirmation card… Sighs!

Thankfully, the much respected Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society’s (ARLHS) succinctly tabled ‘Rules of Activation’ means the shack-tingling concept of LOTA lends itself perfectly to maritime mobile (/MM) ops; that is ‘operating a transmitter located on any vessel at sea’, including any manned structure afloat outside of the high water mark.

dmmanlighthouseAs the Earth would have it, a large proportion of ARLHS World Listed Lights are situated on rugged terrain or on rocky outcrops offshore.

Some of these include the spectacular ‘Smalls Lighthouse’ which stands on a group of tiny wave-washed basalt and dolerite rocks west of Marloes Peninsula in Wales; the much photographed Dubh Artach in Scotland, which sits on a rocky crag in the Aran sea; the eye catching Skerrymore Lighthouse, also in Scotland; the remote Tillamook Rock Lighthouse at Rattray Head; the inhospitable Barra Head Lighthouse which is the highest lighthouse above sea level in the UK; and so many more!

As you can see by the pictures, this makes them extremely difficult to not only arrive at but also to transport a dx station to.

As a maritime mobile station, however, you have much better access to these breathtaking DX entities. You’re able to travel off shore, with a station in tow, uninterrupted, and get in close to a light which previously may have been inaccessible. And provided you’re within 1000m or visual sight of that light then you’re satisfying the official ARLHA rules of LOTA ops!

Skerryvore Lighthouse

Given the harsh operating conditions of operating a station at sea, as well as the complex requirements of doing so, maritime mobile ops is accepted as one of the most challenging of all dx procedures. For this very reason, participants in the International LOTA Weekend (ILW) are strongly encouraged to take to the sea for their LOTA activity.

So, if YOU own a boat, or can access one for the last weekend in September, then GREAT! It would be absolutely wonderful if you could participate in the ILW event as a maritime mobile.

To register your LOTA activity for this inaugural event, please email the DA-RC Project Manager, 43DA001 Darren at darren43da001@yahoo.com .
Thanks for your ongoing support!