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Friedrichshafen Hosts 39th Annual International “Ham Radio” Exhibition


What some consider Europe’s answer to Dayton Hamvention®, the 39th International “Ham Radio” exhibition gets underway June 27 in Friedrichshafen, on the shores of Lake Constance in southern Germany. Thousands of radio amateurs and electronics enthusiasts will converge on the Messe Friedrichshafen convention center and surrounding fairgrounds for the event. Some 200 exhibitors and organizations from more than 2 dozen countries will be represented in the exhibit hall. The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) has chosen “Creative Amateur Radio — Build It Yourself” as the theme for this year’s show.

“Building things yourself has played an important role in Amateur Radio for a long time,” said DARC spokesman Axel Voigt, DO1ELL. “Building your own equipment has been part of Amateur Radio since the beginning. [T]he pioneers of Amateur Radio experimented, built their own equipment, optimized it, and laid the foundations upon which Amateur Radio operates today.”

A contingent representing the ARRL will be on hand to greet international visitors and to network with representatives of other national ham radio societies.

“We’re looking forward to bringing the ARRL Centennial celebration to our members in Europe,” said ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R.

The League will offer DXCC card checking at its booth — a service that’s very popular within the international ham radio community. Others on the seven-person ARRL team include ARRL International Affairs Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, and Assistant Member and Volunteer Programs Department Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ.

In its role as International Secretariat for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), the ARRL will host a meeting area for IARU officials and friends at the convention. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, will head the IARU delegation, which will include Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, and IARU International Representative Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS

In line with the show’s theme, Ham Radio for the first time will share space June 28-29 with Maker World, as a “sister event.” The pairing could boost overall attendance, which typically runs between 15,000 and 20,000.

“The event will show off a wide range of individually designed products and ideas for hobbyists and tinkerers,” a Ham Radio news release said. “These range from things like 3D printing to case ‘modding,’ when the appearance of a computer case is [visually] improved or changed, on up to ‘upcycling,’ in which everyday items which have outlived their useful lives are transformed for a new purpose.”

Among other activities at Ham Radio, an Amateur Radio transmitter hunt will be held near the fairgrounds, and a balloon mission and a drift buoy project will be launched, both carrying payloads to collect data from the air and water. A ham radio youth camp will offer 100 young people an opportunity to experience the Ham Radio show up close.

The DARC will hold its 65th Lake Constance Conference during the weekend of Ham Radio. The Continent’s biggest ham radio show will wrap up on June 29.





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