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Coffs Harbour & District Amateur Radio Club

VK2EP only
P.O. Box cancelled
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450


In September 1978 three Coffs Harbour District amateurs, Norm Cameron VK2ZNQ, Brian Slarke VK2ZCQ [s/k] and Max Francis VK2BMK [s/k] felt that as there was a lack of amateur activity in the area, an Amateur Radio Club would assist in the creation of more activity. With the aim of creating a club, they wrote to all amateurs in the area bounded by Macksville, Dorrigo and Woolgoolga, inviting them to a meeting to be held at the Ocean View Hotel, Urunga on 15th October 1978.

the clubhouse lat / long is ...

S 30 20 44.1 x E 153 05 35.5

Rex Hardaker Oval
Hogbin Drive
Toormina. 2452.


International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend.
[ ILLW ] from South Solitary Island. 2022

Three Coffs Harbour Amateur Radio Club members operated their radio transmitters from South Solitary Island during the International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend on Saturday & Sunday, August 20th–21st. A large number of lighthouses throughout the world were manned by similar radio enthusiasts and each attempted to contact others during the two day event.

The three club members were...

Russell Wotherspoon VK4NGN
Fred McSkimming VK2FM
Steve Feeney vk2SPF

using the my ILLW registered callsign VK2FM.

A similar two person group operated from the Smoky Cape lighthouse.

VK2AF Frank Humphreys
VK2VF Tony Jones

using the callsign VK2VF.

The island radio group were given permission by the NPWS office in Coffs Harbour to access Solitary Island by local helicopter company, Precision Helicopters. The 23 acre South Solitary island is 18km north east from Coffs Harbour and is only accessible by Helicopter, the trip taking about 20 minutes. Solitary Island is one of two island lighthouses off the New South Wales coastline, the other being Montague Island on the south coast.

The South Solitary Lighthouse number for the event is AU-0054 and being an isolated lighthouse there will be a large number of radio operators around the world attempting to contact the group on the island. Our presence on the Island was from Lunchtime Friday August 19th until Lunchtime on Monday the 22nd. We were operating from the now vacant head-lightkeepers cottage which is adjacent to the lighthouse

Time on the Island was from 12:00 Friday August 19th until 12:00 on Monday the 22nd. of August and we made contacts before, during, and after the ILLW hours.

HF frequencies were mainly on the 80m, 40m, 20m bands at different times, using one G5RV antenna.
VHF/FM frequencies on 2m via the Coffs 146.850 mhz repeater then switching to simplex on 146.0 mhz. VHF/USB on 144.1 mhz. Using a 5/8 G/plane antenna on a extension tripod.

The ILLW operating hours were ..

Local times 10:00 Sat 20th to 10:00 Mon 22nd.
GMT times 00:01 Sat 20th to 23:59 Sun 21st.

I have been to the island 10 times in my working life as a Telstra technician, looking after the radio telephone system with its solar powered battery system. My first trip was in 1968, by the motor launch "Pamela Star". This 18km trip took two hours from the harbour at Coffs. On arrival at the island we were lifted up 15m in cane basket, by crane, and then swung around onto the steel jetty. A similar operation took place in reverse when leaving the island. This could be quite alarming on a rough day, especially on landing back on the boat on leaving the island. Trips like this were always dependent on sea and wind conditions. This island Jetty has now rusted away and only the base skeleton remains. More recently however, the island is serviced by helicopter and the trip takes about 20 minutes air time. Very different from years ago.

ILLW reference AU-OO54
The IOTA reference is OC-194

webpage with links

fred [ freddo ] McSkimming.

vk2fm. 02-66531511.
updated 23rd August 2022. vk2fm.

Club Activities & Events

h/f nets Monday nights 3.609 mhz + - 3Khz 8pm
vhf nets on repeaters 146.850
Wed and Fri 8pm.
requires a 123hz access tone.
club opening hours are Thursdays 10am to 2 pm
$ 2.00 entry fee for tea / coffee / biscuits

Coffs Harbour & District Amateur Radio Club Meeting Location

Training Courses And Assessment Information

Upcoming Courses and Assessments

Club Contact Details

Coffs Harbour & District Amateur Radio Club only
P.O. Box cancelled
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
Phone : Russell Ashdown VK2VK 0409 155123
Email :


Russell Ashdown VK2VK
Phone : 0409 155123
Email :

Steve Horsfall
Phone : 0418 281045
Email :

Steve Horsfall
Phone : 0418 281045
Email :


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Page Last Updated: Wednesday, 01 Mar 2023 at 12:50 hours by Chadarc


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The National Association for Amateur Radio in Australia
A member society of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)