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Talking to the World from Point Wilson

Three amateur radio oprators work station N7W
Radio operators Brent, Dane and Tom work amateur radio station N7W for ILLW

Starting in the afternoon Friday, August 19 and running for forty-eight hours, the lighthouse at Point Wilson was host to amateur radio station N7W as Washington and Oregon "ham" radio operators participated in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW).

While they talked to fellow hams around the world, they also chatted with visitors to the lighthouse, introducing them to the world of ham radio, even inviting them to try it out for themselves! While the cheerful and enthusiastic hams clearly love what they do and get a kick out of making contact with stations far and near, their participation in events such as the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend also has a serious purpose.

So much of daily life relies implicitly on instant and always-available communication. It's so reliable and easy to use that we almost never stop to think about how much infrastructure is involved — or what things would look like if a disaster shut it down for an extended period. Unlike cell phones or the internet, a ham radio field station like N7W is completely self-contained. Everything needed for long-distance communication is easily carried, set up and operated by just one or two people. Events like ILLW let hams from around the world keep their field ops skills sharp while having fun and showing the rest of us how it's done!

Thanks for coming out to the lighthouse; we look forward to seeing you and station N7W at Point Wilson for ILLW 2023.

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