NWRS Members attend the Ham Radio Convension in Friedrichshafen, Germany

A selection of photos of the trip can be found by clicking here.

On the 24th June, five members of NWRS flew to Zurich, Switzerland taking a train through Germany to Lake Konstanz and on to Messe Friedrichshafen, the venue for the 2010 European Ham Radio Convention. The Convention took place Friday 25th through Sunday 27th June at the Messe in Friedrichshafen, Southern Germany. Friedrichshafen is a beautiful town of 58,000 inhabitants on the Northern Coast of Lake Konstanz. The Messe is a large modern exhibition center adjacent to Friedrichshafen Airport similar to our own NEC.

Free buses ran all day between the town and the Messe, we arrived around 10am on Friday morning. There were literaly 1000’s of people in the ticket queues and it took us around an hour to get our 3 day tickets and get inside. It was worth the wait. We visited the main exhibition hall first and were treated to such delights as Yeasu’s new FTDX5000MP and it’s big money brother the FTDX9000MP CONTEST! Icom didn’t dissapoint either with IC7600, IC7700 and the ubiquitous IC7800. There was a rare opportunity to experience the stunning Hilberling HF / VHF Transceiver PT-8000, available in any colour you like including transparent!

The Luso LUSO44EU crank up tower attracted much attention with all five of us wishing we lived up a remote hill! Also creating a buzz was the new Australian Emtron DX-5 HF Linear Amp with it’s 9KW pep rating, now then, could we run two in series in the mobile shack, maybe, but we would probably need to park next to a pylon to power them!! Fortunately, Emtron also displayed the rest of the range of sensible (up to 5KW) amps, high quality kit, check their website for full details.

There were two ‘junksale’ halls, each one approximately ten times the size of the main hall at our own Llandudno Rally! Suffice to say at the end of the day sore feet were in abundance!

Overall the event was excellent, far outshining anything we have here in the UK, all the big manufacturers were in attendance along with the national societies of most European countries including the RSGB. It was nice to have the opportunity of seeing and touching some of the new products that we have been reading about this year. We all agreed this was a worthwhile event and have agreed to return next year.

The only low point of the trip was whilst sat in a German bar, having eagerly awaiting the England – Germany match, things statrted to go very wrong and we had to endure the Germans cheering with each subsequent goal, in their defence, when the match was over they did buy us a round of drinks and some food to ease the pain!!

Our trip lasted 5 days and we certainly were not short of places to visit in this spectacularly beautiful part of Europe. We took a catamaran trip to Konstanz, spending our time in the old part of the city. The Rhine river, which starts in the Swiss Alps, passes through Lake Constance and leaves it again, considerably larger, by flowing under a bridge connecting the two parts of the city. North of the river lies the larger part of the city with residential areas, industrial estates, and the University of Konstanz; while south of the river is the old town which houses the administrative centre and shopping facilities in addition to the Hochschule or the University of Applied Sciences.

Our last trip saw us take a hire car along the northern edge of Lake Konstanz down into Austria to the Beautiful town of Bregenz which is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost federal state of Austria. The city is located on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, between Switzerland in the west and Germany in the northwest.

The city is situated on a plateau falling in a series of terraces to the lake at the foot of Pfänder mountain. It is a junction of the arterial roads from the Rhine valley to the German Alpine foothills. It is especially famous for the annual summer music festival Bregenzer Festspiele which unfortunately we were one day to late for!!

The comfortable apartment we rented accomodates 7 people with ease, all five members of this years trip have put their names down for 2011 which leaves 2 places, should demand be greater we will look at the option of a second or bigger apartment. If you are a radio enthusiast, enjoy stunning scenery and have a penchant for German beer, then put your name down quick!! Estimated cost of next years trip including flights, accomodation, car hire and entrance to the rally should be around £200 per person, we will be starting a savings book shortly with £5 per week covering the trip and £10 per week covering spending money also.