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Report from Thailand

POTA Activations in Thailand by JJ1DQR
Advanced Class Examination for Thai Amateur Radio Licenses

Champ C. Muangamphun, E21EIC

POTA Activations in Thailand by JJ1DQR

Figure 1. (L-R) Champ E21EIC, Bun E25KAE, JC E20NKB, and Yosuke JJ1DQR enjoying some ice cream at Swensen’s in Central World, Bangkok on 20th October 2022.

Figure 2. Yosuke JJ1DQR activating Sri Nakorn Khuean Khan Park (HS-0339) under the callsign E20AX/M on 20th October 2022.

During our visit to Japan for the JARL Ham Fair back in August 2022, we were introduced to the world of Parks on the Air (POTA) by Hiro san JS1WWR and Yosuke san JJ1DQR. We get to experience the peace and serenity of the parks in Japan whilst at the same time come to understand the objectives of POTA and how fun it could be.

On 20th to 23rd October 2022, Yosuke san JJ1DQR came to Thailand for a holiday and to enjoy POTA activities. We have decided to operate from parks that have never been activated before to add to the excitement.

Figure 3. (L-R) Champ E21EIC, JC E20NKB, Bun E25KAE and her father, and Yosuke JJ1DQR enjoying a coffee break.

Figure 4. (L-R) Champ E21EIC, JC E20NKB, Yosuke JJ1DQR, and Bun E25KAE activating Benchakitti Park (HS-0154) on 21st October 2022 under the callsign E20AX/M

Yosuke san JJ1DQR arrived in Bangkok on 20th October on flight NH849 at 04:35 am where he was greeted by JC E20NKB and Champ E21EIC. After settling down for the day, we spent the early evening activating JJ1DQR’s first ever POTA in Thailand at HS-0339 Sri Nakorn Khuean Khan Park under the callsign E20AX/M with the following operators: JJ1DQR, E20NKB and E21EIC. This was the first activation ever for HS-0339. Unfortunately, we were troubled by heavy QRM from the high voltage power lines in the area, and despite moving our QTH several times, the noise made it difficult to complete each QSO. We snagged a total of 12 QSOs at HS-0339 before calling it a day.

Figure 5. Activation of Bung Nongbon Park (HS-0149), Suan Luang Rama IX Park (HS-0150) and Benchakitti Park (HS-0154) by E20AX/M on 21st October 2022. Ops included Yosuke JJ1DQR, Bun E25KAE, JC E20NKB, and Champ E21EIC.

On the second day of our POTA activation, we had 3 parks in mind: HS-0149 Bung Nongbon Park, HS-0150 Suan Luang Rama IX Park and HS-0154 Benchakitti Park. In the morning, we went to pick up Bun E25KAE from home to join the team. We again used E20AX/M callsign again with the following operators: JJ1DQR, E25KAE, E20NKB, and E21EIC. Our first activation of the day began at HS-0154 Benchakitti Park. Benchakitti Park is a 450 Rai (72 hectares) public park located in the center of Bangkok between Sukhumvit Road and Rama IV Road, and is adjacent to Queen Sirikit National Convention Center where the APEC 2022 meeting took place. It is the first forest park to be built in Bangkok and includes a large lake, wetlands, wild areas, and a 1.6km Sky Walk that is also connected to a 1.3km elevated pedestrian walkway called The Green Mile that links Benchakitti Park to the famous Lumphini Park. We made a total of 36 QSOs from this Khlong Toei District in the space of an hour before we moved on to the next park in the afternoon.

POTA HS-0149 Bung Nongbon Park and HS-0150 Suan Luang Rama IX Park are located in the same area on the east side of Bangkok, and 10km away from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Bung Nongbon Park is 644 Rai (103 Hectares) in size and forms part of the Late King Rama IX’s Royal Initiative Project called “The Kaem Ling Project” in 1996. Its purpose is to act as a water retention zone to prevent any inflow of water coming from the east from flooding Bangkok and its Metropolitan areas. In 2015, the park went through some renovation and now serves as the centre of water sports for the locals including sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding and wind surfing. It also has a dog park which is quite rare for Bangkok. Right next to Bung Nongbon Park is the 500 Rai (80 hectares) Suan Luang Rama IX Park. The park was built to celebrate the Late King’s 60th birthday in 1987 and features botanical gardens, fountains and lakes, and pavilions including The Ratchamangkhala Pavilion that exhibits the Late King’s history and his achievements on the Royal Projects. All in all, we made a total of 28 QSOs from HS-0149 and HS-0150.

Figure 6. Activation of Phutthamonthon Park (HS-0334) and Nakorn Chaisri Intersection Park (HS-0345) by E20AX/M on 22nd October 2022. Ops included Yosuke JJ1DQR, Bun E25KAE, JC E20NKB, and Champ E21EIC.

On the 22nd October 2022 which was our third day of POTA, we had also planned another 3 parks for the day that have not been activated before and involved a 35km drive to the West of Bangkok: HS-0334 Phutthamonthon Park, HS-0345 Nakorn Chaisri Intersection Park and HS-0343 Lat Pho Park. We started the day with Phutthamonthon Park, a 2500 Rai (400 Hectares) Buddhist park that has the highest free-standing Buddha statue in the world at 15.87m. Our E20AX/M team completed 21 QSOs in total from this park. From there, we made a lunch stop at Don Wai Floating Market. The market was thronged with locals and foreigners looking for authentic Thai food, snacks and desserts, Chinese stewed ducks, fresh fruits and vegetables. We spent 10 minutes feeding the fish with freshly baked bread as a meritorious deed before travelling another 10km to activate POTA HS-0345. Nakorn Chaisri Intersection Park is a small park located where Borommaratchachonnani Road, the main gateway to the south of Thailand, intersects with Petchkasem Road. We made a total of 25 QSOs here before rounding our trip off with the final activation at Lat Pho Park, a little oasis underneath Bhumibol Bridges and Industrial Ring Road that connects Samut Prakan Province to Bangkok, and is not far from E21EIC station. Unfortunately, this last activation was done under poor conditions with heavy thunderstorm and strong wind. We managed to snag only 12 QSOs before retiring for the evening and completing Yosuke san JJ1DQR’s POTA activation in Thailand.

Figure 7. Lat Pho Park (POTA HS-0343) where the conditions gradually worsen and we were operating during thunderstorms.

All in all, E20AX/M activated 7 parks over 3 days, totally 134 QSOs in CW, SSB and FT8 modes. We made the most contact with Naoto san JF7RJM. On the morning of 23rd October 2022, all three of us; E25KAE, E20NKB and E21EIC dropped Yosuke san JJ1DQR at the airport where he travelled safely back to Japan.

Figure 8. (L-R) Yosuke JJ1DQR, Bun E25KAE, and JC E20NKB showing Kei an JK1AKA ‘her’ restaurant

Figure 9. (L-R) Bun E25KAE and Yosuke JJ1DQR at E21EIC station. JJ1DQR made a total of 300 QSOs on SSB under E20AX Club Station callsign.

Arigato gozaimasu Yosuke san JJ1DQR for visiting us in Thailand!

Advanced Class Examination for Thai Amateur Radio Licenses

Figure 10. Advanced Class Examination for Thai Amateur Radio Licenses held at Rajapruk University on 15th October 2022 (photos by HS1FVL)

The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand under the Patronage of His Majesty the King (RAST) together with Thailand’s regulator National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) conducted an amateur radio Advanced Class examination on Saturday 15th October 2022 at Rajapruk University in Nonthaburi Province.

Figure 11. Registration desk at Advanced Class Examination for Thai Amateur Radio Licenses held at Rajapruk University on 15th October 2022 (Photos by E29TGW)

The qualifications for those who wish to sit this Advanced Class examination include:
・Be of Thai Nationality
・Held an Intermediate Class amateur radio license for at least 1 year
・Be a member of an NBTC-approved amateur radio club

Figure 12. Candidates filling up before entering the examination hall (Photos by E29TGW)

The exam, the first to be held in 2022, which had 89 candidates in total, began at 13:00. There are 100 questions in total splitting into 4 topics, and the candidates were given 2 hours to finish the paper. The exam topics include:
1. General rules and regulations concerning amateur radio
2. Communications of amateur radio
3. Various theories that apply to amateur radio
4. Main practices of amateur radio

This Advanced Class examination was the third such exam to have taken place since the first one back in October 2018. RAST tries to organise an Advance Class examination at least once every 2 years.

The exam session went smoothly and the NBTC finally made an announcement on 14th November 2022 that a total of 70 people has passed the Advanced Class Examination. Congratulations to all and we hope to hear more of you on the air.

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