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Report from Thailand

Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023

Champ C. Muangamphun, E21EIC

Our travelling group consisting of Nopanant Jira (HS0JSB) and his son Petch Jira (KC1SRA), Bun (E25KAE), JC (E20NKB), and Champ (E21EIC) set off from Thailand on flight TG920 on Tuesday 21st June 2023. After 11.5 hours, we were greeted at Frankfurt airport by Ralf Klingler (DF6RK) and Benjamas Klingler (HS6SSE, DJ5BK). With one car and one camper van, the seven of us headed straight to Friendrichshafen making one quick stop at Technik Museum Sinsheim along the way. We arrive at the camping site by Wednesday evening fall and were quickly welcomed by old friends such as Hans PB2T and his XYL Margreet (K2XYL), Stephan Buttner DG6DBV/HS0ZPV, Peter DH8BAT and his XYL Elvira, and Dr. Gert DK5FJ. Sadly, Egbert ON4CAS and his XYL Elsa were not able to join us this year.

Figure 1. (Top left) Bun E25KAE, JC E20NKB, and Champ E21EIC in front of the gate at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. (Bottom left) Petch KC1SRA, Nop HS0JSB, Bun E25KAE, JC E20NKB, and Champ E21EIC at Technik Museum Sinsheim. (Right) Welcome sign to Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023.

During our stay at the camping ground, many friends also pop by to say hello including Emil DL8JJ the famous Rockall 2023 DXpeditioner who came together with Vesko LZ2JE, Dietmar DL3DXX, Dany YO9FNP, and Frank DL1KWK and George DL4SVA from P29RO DXpedition.

Figure 2. ICOM stand at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023.

The Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair was held between 23-25th June 2023 and attracted exhibitors and exhibitors from more than 52 countries around the world. On Friday, we made an early start to the fair and so many old and new friends greeted us like it was only yesterday we last met. The first stop was the almighty Bavarian Contest Club where we said hi to Manfred DJ5MW – the super CW contester, Matt KC1XX – my long time friend, Dietmar DL3DXX, Chris DL1MGB – the President of BCC, Uli DM5EE/ZR2A, Irina DL8DYL and her family Ralf DL9DRA and Robert DM7XX, Rob DM6DX, and many more. And this was only after walking 3 steps in to the fair!

Figure 3. (Top left) Booth display in Hall A1. (Top right) SPECTRAN V6 by AARONIA. (Bottom left) A wall of QSL cards from all the attendees. (Bottom right) Display by Kenwood at Friedrichshafen Ham Fair 2023.

As well as all the major European IARU member societies, other prominent organization, amateur radio clubs, DXpeditions, and private telecommunication companies that were presented at the fair include: DARC, IARU, ARRL, IARU Region 1 YOTA, IOTA, JARL, FEDXP from Japan, CDXC, GDXF, EUDXF, MDXC, Swains Island DXpedition 2023 (W8S), Clipperton Island DXpedition 2024 (TX5C) led by Jacky ZL3CW, Icom, Kenwood, Elekraft, OMPower, ACOM, Microham, and 4O3A. All these made up one Hall. Europe’s largest flea market with over 300 participants from 25 countries selling second hand gears and old equipments filled up another one and a half Halls. Many conferences were held throughout the event with one major highlights being “MMØUKI - Rockall DXPedition - on the lookout for the possible in the impossible” by Emil Bergmann (DL8JJ).

Figure 4. (Top Left) Emil DL8JJ. (Top right) The Thai gang before entering Messe Hall at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023. (Bottom Left) Dany YO9FNP. (Bottom right) Tomi HA7RY.

ICOM displayed a whole array of transceivers including IC-7300, IC-9700, IC-7610 as base stations, ID-50, ID-51, ID-52 handheld devices, and IC-PW2 linear amplifier. The highlight this year was IC-905, the industry first VHF/UHF/SHF transceiver that boasts the following specifications:-

•VHF/UHF/SHF all mode transceiver with 144/430/1200/2400/5600 MHz and 10 GHz* coverage.
•Output power of 10 W for 144-1200 MHz, 2 W for 2400 and 5600 MHz, as well as 0.5 W for 10 GHz*.
•Colour LCD touch display, waterfall and intuitive menu modeled after the IC-705.
•Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology improves the RF-module installation.
•ATV (Amateur TV).

*10 GHz is possible with the optional CX-10G transverter.

Figure 5. Champ E21EIC giving t-shirts to Shinsuke san and ICOM (Europe) GmbH representative as a token of his gratitude for ICOM lending 2x IC-7610 to Team AS#6 to participate in WRTC2022, in Bologna in July 2023.

Champ E21EIC took this opportunity to thank the ICOM Europe GmbH team at ICOM booth for their support in providing 2x IC-7610 for Team AS#6 in World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) 2022 in Bologna.

Figure 6. (Top left) WRTC t-shirts made by Champ E21EIC in memory of Uncle Fred K3ZO who provided the site sponsorship for AS#6 before he sadly passed away. (Top right) Max ON5UR, Francis ON8AZ, and Alex PY2SEX/PC3T. (Bottom left) Matt KC1XX. (Bottom right) Cezar VE3LYC.

Throughout the event, we also met up with many old acquaintances, some of whom I have met over the air for the past 30 years but never in person. They included Ghis ON5NT, Mark M0DXR, the IARU team including Tim Ellam VE6SH, Dave Sumner K1ZZ, Joel W5ZN, and Rod W6ROD, the ARRL team including David NA2AA – CEO of ARRL, Rick K5UR – President of ARRL, Bob W5OV – DXCC Manager, Bob NQ1R, Swains Island DXpedition Team including Hans DL6JGN, Roland PA3EWP and Gerben PG5M, Cezar VE3LYC, Charles M0OXO on IOTA booth, Jun JH4RHF and Hiro JA4DND at FEDXP stand, Thierry FT8WW (F6CUK). We also met up with the upcoming DXpedition team such as W8S for Swains Island 2023, and Clipperton 2024 led by Jacky ZL3CW. We bumped in to so many great HAM individuals that listing them all here will never justify.

Figure 7. (Top left) Tim VE6SH, Joel W5ZN, Rod W6ROD. (Top right) Lacy HA3NU, Dave K1ZZ. (Bottom left) Charles M0OXO. (Bottom right) David NA2AA.

On Saturday evening, we attended the Bavarian Contest Club (BCC) Buffet Dinner 2023. The club held a special silence in memory of Ben DL6RAI, ex-president of BCC, who tragically passed away from a tower accident in Aruba earlier this year. The dinner took off from a great start with a brief introduction of the history of BCC as they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year, an award was presented to BCC Member of the Year Award, and the evening rounded off with a quiz between 5 teams about the history of BCC. The overall atmosphere was great and always full of laughter.

Figure 8. In memory of Ben DL6RAI who tragically passed away from a tower accident in Aruba.

Figure 9. (Top left) Jacky ZL3CW and Lada OK2PAY. (Top right) Hans PB2T and Margreet K2XYL. (Bottom left) Izo E74ZZ and Darco E70A. (Bottom right) Ghis ON5NT, Jun JH4RHF, and Hiro JA4DND.

We asked Mr Nopanant Jira (HS0JSB), the big boss from G. Simon Radio Co., Ltd. and also the largest distributor of ICOM in South East Asia, for his insight about the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair since this was his first time visiting the event:

Figure 10. Mr Nopanant Jira (HS0JSB) of G. Simon Radio Co., Ltd in front of ICOM booth at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023.

Question : “This has been your first time at Friedrichshafen, what were your thoughts about the fair?”

Answer : “An incredible amount of effort has been put in to bring all the equipments together for the fair, especially by the folks from the US including Elecraft, HamCation, and ARRL. I get a real sense of creativity, but more importantly, a strong sense of community and friendship that exuded from everybody at the fair. I see HAMs using their own initiatives to come up with new ideas and solutions, and people walking around the fair to share their new knowledge with others who share the same passion. I also appreciate that the flea market was distinctly separated from the main exhibition hall compared to the fair in Japan making it easier to walk around.”

Question : “What have been your highlights about the fair?”

Answer : “I was excited to see SPECTRAN V6 by AARONIA, a real-time spectrum analyzer, that I think could be beneficial for Thailand especially for the regulatory body responsible for monitoring the frequency, and also the big amplifiers from OMPower and ACOM with 4K and 6K output. Another aspect that made an impression on me was seeing how amateur radio managed to unite people from across the world together into one big family and the joy that that brought with it.”

Figure 11. (Top Left) Maria YU3AWA. (Top right) Thomas DF2OO. (Bottom Left) Champ E21EIC, JC E20NKB, and Bun E25KAE at Swains Island DXpedition W8S Booth. (Bottom right) Nodir EY8MM.

Question : “Do you think it will be beneficial for Thai people to visit Friedrichshafen Ham Fair in the future?”

Answer : “Definitely. I think if an opportunity arises, Thai HAMs should at least visit Friedrichshafen once in their lifetime. It is shorter in travelling distance than Dayton Ham Fair and there is a real sense of ham radio community here in Europe that is hard to see in Asia. I wish there was something similar in Thailand.”

Figure 12. (Top left) Ranko 4O3A. (Top right) Alexey UT5UY. (Bottom left) Thierry FT8WW. (Bottom right) Nigel G3TXF.

Figure 13. (Top left) King Dima RA9USU. (Top right) Irina DL8DYL. (Bottom left) Andy 5Z4VJ. (Bottom right) Ulf DL5AXX.

Figure 14. (Top left) Dietmar DL3DXX. (Top right) Braco E77DX. (Bottom left) Alex LZ4AX. (Bottom right) Allen N2KW.

Figure 15. (Top left) Henri OH3JR, Seppo OH1VR. (Top right) Ron DU3T. (Bottom left) Zvanko Z35W. (Bottom right) Mark M0DXR.

Figure 16. Bun E25KAE operated CW under DL/E25KAE/p with IC-705 and IC-7100.

We conclude our trip to Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023 by getting on the air using a portable station from the camping site. Bun E25KAE operated under DL/E25KAE/p with an ICOM IC-705 and then later IC-7100, with an end-fed antenna and running at 10W. She managed to make 21 QSOs on CW mode altogether before it got too dark.

Overall, we had a great time at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023. For readers who still wonder why contesters, DXpeditioners, and HAM enthusiasts keep on going to Friedrichshafen year after year? Above all else, it is because of friendship.

See you all again in 2024!

Figure 17. Champ E21EIC, Bun E25KAE and JC E20NKB with the Zeppelin flying in the sky above the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023.

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