The Lighthouse Challenge

Saturday 21st October 2023 at 00:00 GMT to Friday 27th October 2023 at 23:59 GMT

The Lighthouse Challenge is not a contest. It is a very friendly event designed to promote the activation of England’s wonderful lighthouses and the hunting/activating of ELA references in the form of a seven day activity period. The main purpose of the Lighthouse Challenge is to provide everyone with the opportunity to improve one’s individual skills as an 3e or in the field or a hunter at home whilst having fun on their radio, with the incentive of receiving ELA Lighthouse Challenge Awards in addition to our regular awards.

Enjoy whatever time you have on the radio, either activating or hunting, maybe even both, ELA references. There will be lots of activity during this period with the added benefit of additional awards to supplement our regular awards program. All ELA Lighthouse Challenge activations are also valid for English Lighthouse Awards.

Don’t forget each ELA reference has a Worked All Britain Square, probably a Navigational Aid To Shipping (NATS) reference too and could also be a WCA/English Castles Awards reference. They may also be a POTA reference and/or a Flora Fauna, The Lighthouse Challenge can be a great help to those that participate in those programs too!

Simply work as many English Lighthouse Awards References as you can, on as many bands and modes as possible from the activators taking part.

Hunter Registration

Whilst all hunters are welcome to participate and receive their participation certificates at the end of the event, if you are a hunter that wishes to be included in the final hunter tables and have a chance of gaining the three top awards you MUST register your callsign with us. Registration and entry is free, awards and certificates are free, no log sending is required unless you are an activator. Scores are calculated from activators logs

To register your hunter callsign with us please send an email to with your callsign in the subject line exactly like this:


you will receive a confirmation that your callsign is registered and will be scored at the end of the event. Registration for hunters closes the day before the event begins.

Lighthouse Challenge Rules

There are 5 categories of participation.

  1. ELA Activator
  2. ELA Hunter England
  3. ELA Hunter rest of the world
  4. ELA Hunter Outside Of Europe
  5. ELA Hunter Club Callsigns

The rules are simple.

Activate or work as many ELA references, on as many bands and modes as you can in the time specified to gain points.


If you are a hunter you MUST register your callsign with us, see details above.

Remember the LH Challenge is not a contest, it is an activity period where you can very quickly add to your ELA hunter awards totals with the added advantage of maybe gaining additional LH Challenge Awards and certificates.

Accumulating Points

1 point per Qso.

No band or mode restrictions.

Hunters do not need to send logs, your points are calculated from the activator logs.

You can work the same activator for extra points more than once, for example same band but different modes and of course on different bands.

Club callsigns are welcome to participate as a hunter however the club will not be listed in the final tables produced. In the unlikely event there be enough club stations active a new category may be added.


EA2ABC works M0MJA/p at reference ENG 007 on 40m SSB for 1 point. He then goes on to work M0MJA/p from the same reference on the same day on 40m FT8 and 40m CW for another 2 points. After this he works M0MJA/p again at the same reference, same day on 80m SSB for another point and lastly on 20m CW and SSB for 2 points. Making 6 points from just one activator.

Later in the week, he works M0MJA/p from ENG 134 this time he manages 40m and 20m SSB for a further 2 points, then he works 2E0HPI/p from ENG 235 on 40m SSB and CW, another 2 points!

This gives EA2ABC a total of 10 Lighthouse Challenge points by the end of the week.

In the event of a points tie for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, the hunter with the most band slots takes that position. If there is still no clear outcome the position will be shared.

Hunter awards will be issued in digital format only. There are special awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in both hunter categories and a participation certificate is also available for those who would like them that didn’t finish in the top 3.


Apply for your participation certificate after the event has finished via email to with your name and callsign in the subject line of your message. Your certificate will be emailed to you in good time.


Proper Identification

Proper identification MUST be used frequently and at all times – CQ ELA Lighthouse Challenge – Your Callsign – Your Reference Number, logs will not be accepted from activators not using the proper Identification throughout the event!

SES And Nets

Operating as a special event station is not acceptable under any circumstances whatsoever and your log will be declined. Adding Qso’s to your logs whilst checked in to any kind of net will also result in those logs being disqualified. Why? Because SES callsigns are generally more popular than the average callsign/p which is what this awards program is all about. Adding to your Qso totals via a net, is neither activating or hunting. These practices cause confusion for hunters at home. The Qso’s are generally assisted at the very least, with the activator not even having to establish his own working frequency.

Self Spotting, Social Media, Texts & Messengers

Self spotting to dx clusters by an activator is permitted but please do not use the official English Castles & Lighthouse Awards Facebook Group or the World Castles Awards Facebook group as you normally may do to notify hunters you are active. There are ELA hunters that do not use this platform, notifying on Facebook will be deemed unfair by many in this scenario.

The use of social media, phone, text and messenger services such as Twitter, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram etc to inform hunters you are active or to ask for dx spots is also strictly prohibited for obvious reasons! Please DO NOT do it. Activators must work independently. Other than the activators own initial self spotting all spots should occur naturally and organically, without the assistance of other media platforms or their friends! Logs will not be accepted if these practices are discovered or reported.

Accumalating Points

1 point per QSO.

No band or mode restrictions, please do not log same band, same mode dupe Qso’s.

Logging /P, /M suffixes is ok but please / QRP is not a valid suffix and the contact will be invalid if you log the Qso this way.

As an activator if you are /p but also hunting other activators there is no need and in fact it’s not helpful to call in with /p, in other words just use your normal callsign without /p at the end.

Rules for activators are much the same as those above for hunters ie. 1 point per Qso however, there are some important differences.

ALL activators logs must be qualified containing at least 25 Qso’s. Activators also gain additional points per reference activated. Unqualified logs means no point for the activator or the hunter!

Activators can work from the same lighthouse as many times as they wish during the event. However the activator can only operate from the same reference once per day. When working from a previously activated reference on a different day, separate log files must be sent for each seperate activity the file name must include the date of each separate activition.


M0MJA/p submits 7 qualified logs over the activity period containing 700 Qso’s. Therefore he scores 700 points for his Qso’s plus 7 points for references activated, a total of 707 points.

Normal ELA rules regarding the “1km” rule apply however, no multiple activations are permitted. ELA activators cannot activate more than 1 ELA reference at a time as they would normally be able to under ELA rules. If you happen to be at a location with more than one ELA lighthouse reference within range, you must activate them separately, producing a fresh .adi log file for each reference. Activators can operate from references they have activated before but are also encouraged to activate some new references.

In the event of a tie for 1st, 2nd or 3rd positions, the operator with the most activated references wins. If there is still no clear outcome the position will be shared.

Activator awards will be issued in digital format only. There are special awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and a participation certificate is also available for those who would like them that didn’t finish in the top 3.

Apply for your participation certificate once the event has finished via email to with your name and callsign in the subject line of your message. Your certificate will be emailed to you in good time.

Special Activator Awards


As a thank you to all activators that take part in the ELA Lighthouse Challenge and in edition to our regular 1st, 2nd & 3rd place awards, each activator who activates, qualifies and sends logs for one or more ELA references will receive one of our special ELA Lighthouse Challenge Awards. There are four special awards to collect. The Blue award for activating between 1 and 4 ELA references, the Bronze for activating between 5 and 9, Silver between 10 and 14 and Gold for activating 15 or more ELA references. All special edition awards are sent electronically via email and the official English Castles & Lighthouse Awards Facebook Group.

Activator Logs

All activator logs must be submitted within 3 days of the activation taking place, preferably sooner. Logs must be sent to Melanie in .adi format, see the details on our logs page. Please make sure you follow the simple instructions given, but remember to add the words LIGHTHOUSE CHALLENGE to the subject line of your email message.


Logs will be analysed, results published and certificates issued approximately 4 weeks from the end of the event on this page and in the ELA Facebook Group.

Have fun and good luck to everyone.

(If you enjoyed the ELA Lighthouse Challenge why not take a look at our ECA Castles Cup)

Lighthouse Challenge 2022 Results

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