The purposes of the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society (ARLHS) are to promote public awareness of both ham radio and lighthouses, preserving lights that are in danger of extinction, and paying tribute to the role that hams and lighthouse keepers have played in contributing to maritime safety. A complete statement of our purposes can be found on the society’s Welcome Page.
We sponsor four annual events:
SL: The Spring Lites QSO Party, generally held in April
NLLW: The National Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend QSO Party, in early August
ILLW: The International Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend, held the third weekend in August in conjunction with GM4SUC
LCL: Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party, end of December>January.
Note that the ILLW is a special event and not a contest.
In addition to the above, members take various excursions or expeditions, sometimes with little advance notice, to lighthouse, and they activate the lights for a day or more. These events are usually posted on our “BeaconBot,” an automated e-mail reflector, which you can join for free by signing up on Page 6 of our web site.
Next, we offer an extensive awards program (WAS-LH, WAC-LH, DXCC-LH, etc.). Details can be found at Page 9 of the web site, and a book of awards, rules, and application forms is available for download in PDF format.
Very important is our ARLHS World List of Lights. You should check this list to obtain the official ARLHS number of the lighthouses you work. We update this list every day, and it has become the de facto standard for all known light beacons in the world. When you cite the number on your QSLs or in correspondence, be sure to give the complete number, which includes the letters “ARLHS” in the prefix; for example, cite ARLHS USA-045 and not just USA-045 or 045. Since there are several other numbering systems being used by others, this helps make it clear which system you are using.
If you join the society, you will have access to the complete database of members around the world, along with their mailing addresses for QSLs etc. E-mail addresses are not made public (to avoid spamming), but are available for most members upon request to club officials.
Upon joining, you will be assigned a unique member number that is yours for life. Once given to you, it will never be reassigned to others, even if you choose not to renew your membership. It is used in various events to exchange with others for awards, etc.
The ARLHS club station call is KC2HOU and the ARLHS newsletter is called The ARLHS Lighthouse Lens.
Your membership grants you reproduction rights to the official ARLHS logo and acronym. You may use it on stationery, envelopes, or QSL cards as long as you are an active member of the Society.
Each year the ARLHS holds its annual convention. In the past this has been at St Simons Light in Georgia. This year (2004) it will be on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and in future years we expect to move around the country. Perhaps the Great Lakes in 2005. It’s one or two days of LH operating, demos, food, and drink. A fun time for all (spouses are invited) and one that has grown from a handful of members the first year to over 100 or more.
More info here.