Alexander’s report from Ham Radio Friedrichshafen

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The Friedrichshafen exhibition grounds. (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alexander (DL4NO), who shared a few notes with me from his visit at the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio convention. Alexander has kindly allowed me to post his notes here on the SWLing Post. Alexander writes:

The first booth I visited was of Dokufunk (http://www.dokufunk.org/). They collect QSLs and other information about wireless history for scientific evaluation. Its head Wolf, OE1WHC, was a moderator for the Austrian shortwave service which does not exist anymore. But ORF still supports Dokufunk. They have a large archive and even the equipment to digitize large quantities if information. I brought them a package of ham radio periodicals, mostly issues of DL-QTC, the predecessor of cqDL, and got some QSPs (magazine of OEVSV) back. I collect those periodicals to gain and provide access. Seehttp://www.dl4no.de/thema/amateurfunk-zeitschriftenarchiv.htm, catalog at the bottom.

The flea market filled three exhibit halls. If you needed a tube heating for your shack you had a wide choice, from radios to ham equipment to scopes. On the newer side you could get Windows XP packages with the appropriate hardware.

Flea Market Photos Courtesy of Ham Radio Friedrichshafen

A3: Stand mit historischem Radiogeräten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Stand mit historischem Radiogeräten

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten, hier zwei Schweizer an einer historischen Feld-Telefonzentrale

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten, hier zwei Schweizer an einer historischen Feld-Telefonzentrale (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Koffer mit Ham-Radio-Aufklebern aus mehreren Jahrzehnten

A3: Koffer mit Ham-Radio-Aufklebern aus mehreren Jahrzehnten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Alte Radiogeräte

A3: Alte Radiogeräte (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Alte Empfänger und Radios

A3: Alte Empfänger und Radios (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten

A3: Stand mit Empfängern und Messgeräten (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

Yaesu, Icom & Co where there, of course. A large part of Hall 1 had booths for most of the European ham radio societies and other entities. Several attractions for the youths were there: A fox hunt around the hall, possibilities to solder simple circuits and more. The exhibit center even provides a kindergarden.

A1: Hilberling PT 8000A

A1: Hilberling PT 8000A (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A1: ICOM

A1: ICOM (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A1: Wimo, BABY Loop

A1: Wimo, BABY Loop (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

A1: YAESU Funkgeräte

A1: YAESU Funkgeräte (Photo: Ham Radio Friedrichshafen)

Hamradio had lots of presentations. The “SDR Academy” run all over Saturday – completely in English. See http://www.sdra-2016.de. Last year’s presentations are on Youtube. Search for “SDRA-2015”.

My presentation was titled “HAMNET On 70 cm – Possibilities and Limitations”. I should explain that HAMNET is our way to use the 44.0.0.0/8 TCP address space reserved for Ham Radio use. Starting in Germany and especially Austria we use more or less standard WLAN equipment to build a ham radio intranet. User access is mostly on 2.3 GHz and links on 5 GHz. Where we have gaps in the wireless coverage we use Internet wormholes. This way you can access for example packet radio sites in Canada. See http://hamnetdb.net.

2,3 GHz and up means exclusively line-of sight connections. Quite some OMs cannot reach access points this way. The only alternative up to now has been VPN connections through the Internet. I think we could provide relatively fast access on 70 cm. Here in Germany we have two 200-kHz channels for such uses. They were defined in the 1980s for packet radio access up to 76 kbps. This technology is next to dead.

Theoretical calculations show that we could provide up to 1 Mbps and cover up to 50 km if we use modern modulation schemes. You could even improve throughput by making TCP/IP less gossipy. I proposed to use SDR blocks like HackRF or LimeSDR and combine them with a RF frontend (filter, preamp, PA, fast switching). The hardware is more or less readily available, but this is mostly a software topic. While HAMNET relies on standard WLAN equipment with all its limitations for ham radio usage, this system could be completely open. We could it adapt to all our needs and ideas. In the end we could port it back to the microwave bands.

Even if we only work on the lowest protocol levels this will pose quite some challenges. We would need programmers with quite varied expertise from TCP/IP protocols to SDR technology. My presentation was to attract such people. Personally I will not program anything. As a technical writer with a quite wide expertise I might be a bracket for the project and write documentation for it.

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A “Peltier Lamp”: The candle heats one side of the Peltier element while the other is cooled by the heat sink. This produces enough electricity to light a LED. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

At the opposite end of the exhibit center another fair went on, called Maker Faire. In former times you would have called it “make it yourself”. The exhibits there went from computer modding to 3D printing, knitting and also ham radio. For this I modified my presentation a bit: “WLAN Below 1 GHz – Do You Want To Program For It?” The technology I talked about is near hot topics like Internet of Things or traffic telematics.

Booth of a high school showing the robots they built. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

Booth of a high school showing the robots they built. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

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Booth of a high school showing the robots they built. (Photo: Alexander DL4NO)

vy 73
Alexander
DL4NO

Thanks so much for sharing your notes from Friedrichshafen, Alexander. I look forward to attending one year myself!  I’m fascinated with the fact that the bulk of the event is indoors–what an incredible venue.

Any other Post readers attend Ham Radio Friedrichshafen? Please comment!

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2 thoughts on “Alexander’s report from Ham Radio Friedrichshafen

  1. DL4NO

    Looking at the picture on top of this entry I must correct myself: Hall 1 is on the right and the rest happened in the row of halls in the background. The lower complex to the left of hall 1 contains the rooms for most of the lectures and the restaurant. Then come the two (not three) halls for the flea market and then the Maker Faire. The lower complex left of the Maker Faire housed the SDR Academy and some other activities.

    Our climate is too wet to organize such a flea market in the outside. Just image what happens when the wind comes from the northwest – the picture looks to the south. The picture was obviously taken when the wind cam from the south and the clouds dissipated after they had crossed the Alpes.

    Behind the fair grounds you see an airport where a Zeppelin is stationed – Graf Zeppelin built air ships here from the beginning of the 20th century and they do it again to this day. On top of the picture you see the “Bodensee”, a lake between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The mountains in the background are in Switzerland.

    If you should consider to visit the Hamradio, the largest ham radio event in Europe, bring your families with you: Your family could visit three very attractive countries by ship and Munich is only 200 km away. You could even drive with a Zeppelin. This is “driving” and not “flying” as a Zeppelin is lighter than air.

    Reply

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