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Friedrichshafen’s “Ham Radio” Marks 40 Years in June with Space Theme


Ham Radio,” Europe’s largest Amateur Radio event, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The annual gathering, known to most simply by its location — Friedrichshafen — takes place June 26-28 on the shore of Lake Constance in southwest Germany. The exhibition in 2014 attracted more than 17,000 visitors, including contingents from the ARRL and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) is a Ham Radio cosponsor, and its theme for this year’s gathering is “Space stations, satellites, reflections: Amateur Radio contact with space.” The DARC celebrates its 65th anniversary this year.

“Space is seemingly out of reach and very far away,” explained Stefan Scharfenstein, DJ5KX, the deputy chairman of the DARC’s Cologne-Aachen District. “It’s something that’s definitely out of the ordinary, and that makes it attractive.”

Representing the ARRL will be League President Kay Craigie, N3KN; CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ; Membership Manager Diane Petrilli, KB1RNF, and Assistant Field Services and Radiosport Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ. ARRL volunteer Hal Turley, W8HC will assist with DXCC card checking.

Heading the IARU team will be President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA. He’ll be accompanied by IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD.

Friedrichshafen will host a Contest University (CTU) session on Friday, June 26, for beginners and pros. The instructors include some of the world’s leading radiosport enthusiasts. “Since almost all of the participants are German speaking, the lectures will be conducted in German,” advised CTU moderator Uli Weiss, DJ2YA. Advance registration is requested.

Friedrichshafen sponsors say that some 200 Amateur Radio exhibitors from more than 30 countries, including the US, have announced plans to attend the show to exhibit their wares and services. Maker World — a gathering for build-it-yourselfers, tinkerers and experimenters — once again will take place at Friedrichshafen at the same time as the Ham Radio exhibition.

An Amateur Radio transmitter hunt, or fox hunt, will be back again this year on Sunday morning. Participants will attempt to find as many mini-transmitters as quickly as possible in the forest near the exhibition grounds. A ham youth camp will offer youngsters, teenagers, and adults up to age 27 a group experience for exploring the exhibition and getting to know other young people interested in Amateur Radio. Last year, the ham youth camp attracted some 120 young people. The registration deadline is June 10, and more information is available online. The popular Ham Rally will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 26 and 27, offering a varied program for young radio enthusiasts.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Ham Radio, Messe Friedrichshafen will present a retrospective featuring photographs, exhibit items, and recollections from the event’s past 4 decades. “Radio enthusiasts who have creative mementos or unusual photos from past Ham Radio exhibitions can contribute these private souvenirs to the show and will receive a small thank you at the Ham Radio 2015,” the sponsors said. Contact Messe Friedrichshafen to submit items or for more information.




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