Thacher Island Activation

W1T is a special event callsign being used for a 4 day activation in 2013 on Thacher Island (Friday August 2nd thru Monday August 5th). Thacher Island is IOTA # NA-148: USI: MA001S. This event is being organized by the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association ( ), W1GLO. Transportation provided by the Thacher Island Association.
Operation will be from the South Tower (Lighthouse # USA-105) and the North Tower (Lighthouse # USA-1027).
Grid Square: FN42rp.
QSL via W1GLO.
Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association
6 Stanwood Street
Gloucester, MA 01930 USA
Domestic please include SASE
International please include SAE plus (1) IRC
eQSL available for all contacts
We plan be right around these frequencies throughout the event:
CW : 15M (21.040 – 21.065), 20M (14.030 – 14.035), 40M (7.040 – 7.065)
PSK: 10M (28.400), 20M (14.070), 40M (7.035)
SSB: 20M (14.250), 40M ( 7.185)

CAARA Club President Stan Stone W4HIX has created this portable HF Digital station for the 2012 Thachers Island Activation. For those interested in creating a portable HF station such as this here is the list of the Items used for this station:

CAARA Portable Digital Station Inventory

Radio Module (Components Mounted in Tactical Radio Carrier)


HM-103 Microphone

IC-706 DC Power Cable

LDG IT-100 Autotuner

Cable – Radio to Tuner RF Jumper

Cable – Radio to Tuner Control

Power Supply Module (Components Mounted in Tactical Radio Carrier)

Jetstream JTPS30M 30A DC Power Supply

West Mountain RIGrunner 4004 USB Anderson Powerpole DC Power Distribution

AC Power Cord (IEC)

IBM T43 Laptop Computer

Laptop AC/DC Power Supply

USB Cable (Signalink to Computer)

Signalink USB Digital Interface

SLMOD6PM – Jumper programming module

SLCAB6PM – Cable for 6-Pin mini DIN Data / Accessory Port Connector

Generic USB to CAT I/F Cable for IC-706 (Prolific PL2303 based USB-Serial converter)

AC Extension Cord—three outlet

Miscellaneous RF Connectors

Briefcase Style Carrying Case


ICOM IC-7086MkIIG User Manual

LDG IT-100 Operations Manual


Signalink USB Installation & Operations

Sound Card Program Setup Instructions

QST Review of Signalink USB



The Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association’s logo includes a backdrop of Thacher Island. For those wishing to know more about this island located off of Rockport, Massachusetts please go to .


Thacher Island W1T Event 2011

Five of us with all our gear set out at high tide for Thacher Island on Friday afternoon July 29, 2011,  Dick(KR1G), Dave(KD1NA), Al(N1QEH), Marianne(KB1TEO), and myself Ruth(WW1N).  We had good weather and calm seas.    As soon as the gear was unloaded at the Keepers House we set about putting up the first long wire off the South Tower and the Windom off center fed dipole at the North Tower.   We all worked together to get radios, tuners, and laptops finally working.   This year we logged all contacts, IOTA or SE, automated using N1MM, HRD, and FLdigi rather than use paper logs.   We found that some radios worked well and some didn’t and that not all laptops worked well with radios.   My Sony VAIO with Vista for example for some reason resulted in a lot of RF when linked to the FT-897.

PSK operations in the North Tower started the first night.    Dave(KD1NA) set up his station there in the bottom of the North Tower .. quite a cozy spot with its wood floors, brick walls, and beamed ceiling.

The small blue generator purchased by KR1G just before the event ran beautifully and supported the North Tower.   It did have some electrical noise and you have to be careful not to flood it but it did the job.    It was moved to the back of the North Tower at the request of the island’s keeper.

SSB operations at the South Tower started the next morning after the rest of the set up was completed including setting up the R4 just behind the Keepers House.

There was some experimentation with tuners, radios, laptops, and antennas to determine what worked best.    Another long wire was even added behind the South Tower.   It was interesting to see the difference switching from one antenna to the other … sometimes pulling in a contact not heard clearly on another antenna.    BNC adapters made switching antennas efficient.

This trip we had two operators with experience in PSK so there were a lot of contacts made in that  mode.

There was plenty of food.   Everyone brought their own and brought food to share including cheesecake!

Power at the Keepers House went off each night at around 9:30 but of course we were able to switch to the club’s Honda generator.    It worked perfectly and ran nice and quiet.

The new W1T banner was a good idea as well  …  it got the attention we wanted from  island guests.

Overall the event went pretty much as planned.    We worked well together.   Antennas went up, radios came on, logging programs worked, we made contacts, and each of the members learned something new.