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39,000 visitors over two days at the Ham Fair 2018

The 42nd “Ham Fair Tokyo 2018,” Japan’s largest amateur radio event, was held at the Tokyo Big Sight on August 25th (Sat) and 26th (Sun). Approximately 39,000 visitors attended the two-day event, and this was same number of visitors as last year. However, 27,000 visitors attended on the first day, which was a record for the event, but only 12,000 visitors attended on the second day. The Tokyo Big Sight will be used as the International Broadcasting Canter (IBC) and Media Press Center (MPC) during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

This building is the symbol of the Tokyo Big Sight.

Free entrance fee was given to visitors for students under 22 years old, as well as female visitors. Many female visitors were seen during two days.

The Influence of a typhoon approaching the Japan Islands was a concern before the Ham Fair, but fortunately the typhoon passed, and a safe event was held. However, it was so hot during the two days, as the temperature reached over 35 degree centigrade (95 Fahrenheit). A lot of enthusiastic hams came, and people who wanted to participate made a long queue in front of the entrance gate.

The front of the hall was congested with many visitors waiting for the doors to open. (At 9:30 AM on August 25th.)

The opening ceremony started at 9:45, and Mr. Yoshinori Takao (JG1KTC), the president of JARL (Japan Amateur Radio League), made a congratulatory speech. Other special guests from Japan and many foreign countries were also introduced. Then at 10:00, Ham Fair 2018 opened with a tape cutting ceremony.

Tape cutting opening ceremony.

The first words of a QSO were transmitted by the president of JARL at the special event station, 8J1HAM.

Visitors moved into the event hall or the flea market after the tape cut opening ceremony. They had high expectations for the show, and were anxious to get going to see the exhibits and purchase a few items.

The Icom booth had many visitors.

The IC-9700, RS-BA1 Ver.2, RS-R30, AI Communications Box, and variety of Icom current models were displayed at the Icom booth

This year, Icom again enthusiastically exhibited products which respond to the expectations of amateur radio operators. The IC-9700 was displayed as a pre-release model, which is a 144 MHz, 430/440 MHz, and 1200 MHz base station model. Its receiver construction is built with the direct sampling system, which has been introduced in some Icom HF radios. In the 1200 MHz band, a down conversion IF sampling system is used. The radio has the 1200 MHz band installed as a standard function. Therefore, no optional unit needs to be purchased for the 1200 MHz band. Unfortunately, the model has not been released yet in Japan or other countries, but the FB NEWS staff expects to see it in the market soon. We felt that its design seemed to be in almost the final stage.

IC-9700 144, 430/440, and 1200 MHz Triple band transceiver

Icom displayed and demonstrated a software application for the IC-R30 handheld wideband all mode receiver. The software application can remotely control the IC-R30 through either an iOSTM or AndroidTM device. This software is convenient. Even if the IC-R30 is placed in a backpack, you can remotely operate the IC-R30 with your cellular phone, through Bluetooth.

In-house products were displayed at most of the manufacture’s booths, but Icom exhibited a unique product to be controlled by your voice. We have heard that it is not a product for sale, but is to demonstrate Icom’s research. It is an interesting trial. When you speak a command into the microphone, the AI x IoT system detects the commands and a control interface controls the radio. For example, when you say “Change operating band” into the microphone, the system sends the command to the radio through Icom’s CI-V control line.

The AI Communication Box controls Icom radios using CI-V commands detected from the operator’s voice commands. (Concept products)

We heard good news arrived on the evening of August 24th, which was just one day before opening the Ham Fair 2018. The news was that Icom released a new firmware update for the IC-7610 that enables using the I/Q signals output from the radio. If the radio outputs receive IF signals as I/Q signals, you can use CW Skimmer through the HDSDR application software, for example.

The IC-7610 outputs I/Q signals after the firmware update is done.

To promote the D-STAR system, Icom provided T-shirts if a user brought their D-STAR radio to the show.

JAIA member Radio manufacturers display their attractive new products

JVCKENWOOD displayed the TS-890, which is an HF/50 MHz high-end transceiver. There was a demonstration corner in their booth for users to try out the radio. The transceiver has a large screen and a good operable panel layout.

JVCKENWOOD displayed their new TS-890.

AZDEN displayed newly designed high-power linear amplifiers, the AZR-5002 for 144MHz, and the AZR-5007 for 430 MHz. Both of linear amplifiers output a tremendous 500 watts!

AOR displayed an interface unit for remotely controlling their AR-DV1 wideband receiver with a PC tablet.

AZDEN 144 MHz band 500 watt linear amplifier, especially for EME communications.

JAIA member manufacturer’s booths

We enjoyed not only seeing manufacturer’s new products displayed, but also attending presentations they gave on their product’s new features, or new technology they were using. And of course, searching for old gear or goods in the flea markets is always fun and can add “new to you” things to your shack!

Upper left: Singer and songwriter, Masaco/JH1CBX on stage for a mini concert. Bottom left: Masaco as a DJ at the mini FM broadcasting station in the Ham Fair hall. Upper right: A contest award ceremony for high school students. Bottom right: The girl’s music band ZKB59 performed.

A variety of displays by many ham clubs. An Eyeball QSO party held in the evening of 25th August. 200 people attended. Bottom left: Kids showing prizes that they won in the Stamp Rally.

The monthly FB NEWS web magazine participated with their original booth this year too. To promote the FB NEWS name, they had a game for visitors to play, and also offered promotional goods. Masaco’s music CD and her original mug cup were sold during the fair.

FB NEWS booth. Left: Masaco (JH1CBX) Center: Ah-chan Right: Erii

HAM FAIR 2019 will be held on August 31st and September 1st in a new event hall at the Tokyo Big Sight. We hope to see you at the ham fair next year. CU AGN 73/88. TU

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