The 7th Asia Pacific DX Convention (APDXC) was held in Osaka from Friday, November 16th to Sunday, November 18th. Many hams, in Japan and from overseas, joined the convention, and it was a blast! This time, participants came from all continents except Africa and Antarctica.
JA3USA Mr. Shimamoto, the host of the APDXC
On the first day, the “Icom Factory Tour,” which is popular among overseas hams, was held. At the Arida factory in Wakayama prefecture, Mr. Ide, president of Wakayama Icom. Inc, made a welcome speech to the participants. On this day, the well-known compact HF radio IC-7300 was being manufactured, and when the participants heard that, they cheered in delight. After watching the introduction video of the factory, they were divided into two groups and observed the manufacturing line, inspection section, quality control section, and so on. Since it was an amateur radio manufacturing line, they eagerly observed the process. After that, they went to another factory called the Kinokawa factory where land mobile radios were manufactured on that day. It was a perfect beautiful sunny day. They enjoyed a fruitful time while taking antenna tower photos and talking with their DX friends.
At the Arida factory
After the factory tour, they came back to Osaka and visited the Icom Hirano office where the engineering divisions are located. In his opening speech, JA3FA Mr. Inoue, the founder and chairman of Icom Inc. said, “I am very glad to welcome you to Icom headquarters.”
Then the engineering team gave a presentation of the new VHF/UHF transceiver IC-9700. Some features of the IC-9700, standard 1200 MHz operation and other leading-edge technologies impressed the guests. Subsequently, they had a chance to touch a prototype and to directly ask their questions to Icom engineers. The presentation and the engineer talk were great successes.
In the evening of the same day, JA3FA Mr. Inoue hosted a welcome party at the Osaka International Convention center. In addition to the participants of the factory tour, more people joined the party, and they seemed very happy to have reunions and share time with one another. There were unique self-introductions from each country, and they all appreciated JA3USA Mr. Shimamoto who hosted the APDXC.
Welcome Party 1
Welcome Party 2
On the second day, there was a bus tour that is another fascination of the APDXC. At 9 am, the participants boarded a bus from their hotel bound for Nara prefecture. The weather was also perfect that day. They went to Nara park where the leaves were beautifully changing their color. There are many sacred deer in the park, and you actually can touch and feed them. Afterwards, they visited Todaiji, one of the most famous temples in Japan, and saw the great image of Buddha. For lunch, they had a wonderful experience making Japanese sushi, wearing a traditional sushi chef happi coat and cap. A strict rule was set----each time they made a nigiri, they had to shout “Irassha------i!!!” which is a greeting word you always hear at many sushi restaurants. That rule really entertained the participants. Sushi made by themselves, and a glass of beer, of course, were exceptionally nice. In the afternoon, they tried their hard at making a traditional Nara fan. They had a serious look to handle Washi Japanese traditional paper.
The last event of the day was the most important part of the APDXC, the DX dinner. More hams both from Japan and overseas joined the DX dinner, and they passionately talked about DXpedition or contests. The hams from overseas saw Chindonya for the first time ever. They got so excited. A participant said “Wow....That must be traditional Kabuki...,” to see a man wearing a Japanese lord style kimono and his face painted in white. The other members played music and danced with a lot of enthusiasm.
On the last day of the APDXC, seven prominent hams made presentations at in the event hall at the Osaka International Convention center. The topics were about DXpeditions or performance comparisons of the IC-7300 and IC-7610, and the audience was very interested in them. Hopefully they will see each other again in the next APDXC in 2020.
Participants Speak Up ～APDXC 2018～
1. VK4DI Diane (Australia)
This is my fist APDXC. Usually I use an IC-7300, and enjoy talking with my ham friends all over the world. I also like to have QSOs with stations in rare entities, or with special event stations. I also love to have eyeball QSOs and I travel to many countries to see my friends. Once I challenged to make a speech in Japanese, thanks to my Japanese ham friend. Knowing about different cultures is one of amateur radio’s great points, I think. Today I first saw the IC-9700 and my husband and I want to get it. Oh! By the way, the person next to me is my husband and he’s also a ham, of course. Today is also my husband's birthday and everyone just sang Happy Birthday to him! We’ve been enjoying amateur radio for about 40 years together. I’m sure we’ll get along for many years to come...because we are both hams!
Diane (Left) and Bill (Right)
2. DH3NAB Reinhard (Germany)
Though I’ve been to Japan before, this is the first time I’ve been here for sightseeing and I’m fully enjoying APDXC. I quit my previous job about ten years ago, and now I’m the owner of a company that builds power amplifiers. The company is called “RF-KIT,” and of course “RF” means Radio Frequency but actually that is also my name (Reinhard F)! Isn’t it easy to remember? Building compact 2 kW power amplifiers is my work but, it is something more than work. It’s my pleasure! I’m not quite a contester or a CW person but I like to have DX QSOs. My favorite band is definitely 20 meters. If you want to try DX, try the 20 meters band, that’s for sure! I’m using various manufacturers’ transceivers but especially the IC-7300 has an excellent cost performance ratio, and I love it.
3. HL5KY Joe (Korea)
I can have an interview with Japanese since I’ve been studying Japanese for two years. Actually, I’m always reading Monthly FB NEWS in Japanese to study. When I got my first amateur radio license, I was 14 years old so I’ve been a ham for more than 40 years. I’ve been to Japan for many times. I went to Hyogo prefecture on my honeymoon and visited my wife’s ham friend. I met my wife through amateur radio! Because Pusan where I live now always has large noise, I put my transceiver in a shack 7 km away from my house and I usually remotely operate it. I was so into DXCC about 20 years ago but now I prefer talking with my friends on the air. I like to have a voice call but I also like to have a local rag chew in the CW mode.
4. PY2XB Fred (Brazil)
Last time I joined APDXC, I went to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka for sightseeing but this time I went to Okinawa, Kumamoto, Hiroshima, and Kagawa to see beautiful scenery. Especially, Beppu Onsen (hot spring) was wonderful! Do you know the place called Naoshima? Oh, you don’t? That is a very artistic place. You should go there! I love Japanese food...sashimi, sushi, ramen, sukiyaki...and more. They are fantastic! I’m using an IC-756 and I don’t operate VHF or UHF but after I listened to the presentation of the IC-9700, I became interested in the VHF or UHF operation. The next APDXC would be in 2020. I really want to have an opportunity again to see all of my friends around the world.
5. N6MZ Mike (USA)
I’ve been enjoying amateur radio since I was eleven. I love DXpedition and I usually travel to may places. My best rig is absolutely the IC-7610. What else? When I attended the IC-9700 presentation at the Amateur Radio Design Department, I told an engineer that the IC-7610 is truly a masterpiece. I can’t explain how much I love Japan. Particularly I love Nagasaki where people are few but that’s why it is a tranquil place, it has a beautiful nature, and people there are respectful. Well, I love amateur radio as much as I love Japan. Oh, my goodness, I love Japan! I definitely should come back!