Friedrichshafen 2011

Logo Ham RadioLast weekend we made our yearly ‘pilgrimage’ to the Friedrichshafen HAM RADIO in Germany. For the last few years there were always 4 of us, Andy ON7TS, Luc ON7KZ, Jan ON4KB and me. As Jan had to cancel at the last minute there were only 3 of us this year. (Jan, we missed you!)

For me it was the 18th year in a row and I can say I have seen a steady decline of the rally over the years. Every year there are less vendors at the flea market and at the ‘new’ market. I guess there are a few reasons for this: the prices for the rental of the fairgrounds and the competition of the internet sales.

This year there were only 2 halls of flea market with the second hall filled about 60%, last year it was 3 halls with the third hall filled about 50%. The following well known companies did not come back to the fair this year: Conrad, Classic International, Kabel Kusch etc. The room these companies took last year now seemed to be taken over by companies selling toy helicopters, handbags and even *very* cheap riflescopes…

But of course there were a few highlights for me at the Ham Radio:

  • it was the first time I could see and feel the Elecraft K3 + P3 and the brand new KX3 + the Yaesu FT-DX5000. A few months ago I had set my mind on an FT-DX5000 but now I’m more inclined to buy the K3.  (That is if I can decide whether a 2 year warranty is worth €1000 more than a 1 year warranty…)
  • K3 and P3 FTdx-5000MP

  • on friday afternoon I attended Contest University but I’ll probably write a separate post about this.
  • as every year I met a few good old friends I hadn’t seen in a while
  • the Schnitzel, Zanderfilet, Bratwurst and Hefeweizen 😉

One more thing that struck me this year: there were at least as many (if not more) companies selling portable fiberglass towers as there were selling regular aluminum/steel ones. Is this indicating the trend of more and more portable operations or do the HAMs in all european countries have the same trouble to get a building permit for a steel/aluminum tower?

Now the final question: will we go back next year? I guess so… no, OF COURSE WE WILL!

One thought on “Friedrichshafen 2011

  1. Hi Jurgen,
    After 17 Friedrichshafen visits, it was painful not to be able to join the crew this year. I hope my health will be up to par next time for another 17-something visits until we are good and well in ‘QCWA’ hi !
    Looking forward to your elaboration on Contest University perhaps in a next post,
    kb

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