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Report from Thailand

RAST on The Beach 4

Champ C. Muangamphun, E21EIC

The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King (RAST) joined hands with the Amateur Radio Association of Phetchaburi (HS7AP) to organize “RAST on the Beach” Round 4 (ROB#4) on 11th – 12th March 2023, at the Army Hotel on Chaosamran Beach in Phetchaburi Province.

Figure 1. Atmosphere from the US FCC Examination on 11th March 2023 with notable mentions to 2 Thai youths: Supalerk Puangpaka (E25RAW) (picture in lower left) and Tharitawan Sorsomboon (E25RRU) (picture in lower right).

Figure 2. Many successful candidates who have passed the US FCC Examination for Technician, General and Extra Class including two candidates who have passed all three exams in one day : Cherd Torchote (E25SLQ) and Dr Charles Symons (9M2CS). Pictures from left to right, and top to bottom: E25HGQ, HS3OY, HS4OFE, E25RAO, E24WKV, E25OSW, E25SLQ and 9M2CS.

RAST took the opportunity to organize the first US FCC Examination of the year on Saturday 11th March with a total of 29 candidates. The number of successful candidates were as follows:
Technician Class: 5
General Class: 6
Extra Class: 6 (including 2 One Day Extra candidates: 9M2CS and E25SLQ)

There were 18 Volunteer Examiners (VEs) present at the venue and the exam was overseen by Champ E21EIC.

Figure 3. Testing 10 GHz FM mode on the beach front by Supalerk Puangpaka (E25RAW; upper left picture) and HF station on the side

In addition to the exams, RAST also organized many other interesting activities including a portable station set-up for IOTA and POTA, and communication through amateur radio satellite. One of the events highlights was the experiment on the 10 GHz band for the first time in Thailand. For this, RAST stationed the two transceivers 200m on the beach front and many attendees joined in to exchange contacts on FM mode. This marked a good beginning for the 10 GHz mode for amateur radio in Thailand.

A Trip to Japan in Spring

JH1TEQ/1 Activated POTA JA-0016

Figure 4. A view of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko

I was lucky enough to take my nieces and their family to Japan between 13th and 18th March. This time things were a little different in that I was usually only ever there in Summer because of the JARL Ham Fair, however, this time I got to visit the country during Spring time because of the school holiday in Thailand and thus were able to witness Japan’s national flower, Sakura, blooming all around Tokyo.

The trip was simple. With two teens, we planned to visit all the popular attraction site of Tokyo including Asakusa Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo skytree, Shinjuku area, Harajuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, Ginza, Odaiba and Tsukiji fish market.

Figure 5. Champ E21EIC, JC E20NKB, Ryu, E20JTW, Tum, and Jiro on a trip to Japan to see Senso-ji Temple, Godzilla at Shinjuku, and Akihabara – the dream land of amateur radio enthusiasts including ICOM transceivers

For this holiday, I have also secretly sneaked in a POTA trip amongst the full itinerary Tokyo had to offer. VHF/UHF bands looked to be most promising given the hikes and the kids I had with me. The equipment is small, lightweight, and easily fit in my luggage from Thailand. I scheduled a trip to see Mt Fuji on 15th March 2023. Our group met up with Yosuke San JJ1DQR and together we travelled to Lake Kawaguchiko (POTA JA-0016) located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The weather conditions were extremely favorable with clear sky and a perfect view of Mt Fuji. Using the equipment I have prepared for 145/433 MHz, I made a total of 11 QSOs on FM mode and this POTA trip was a success. I immediately organized for the QSL cards to be posted out the following morning.

Figure 6. Yosuke JJ1DQR, JC E20NKB/JH1TEP, and Champ E21EIC/JH1TEQ doing POTA activation at Lake Kawaguchiko (POTA JA-0016-KN) located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park on 15th March 2023. All successful hunters will receive QSL cards from JH1TEQ/1

We chose to stay at Ueno as it was close to many restaurants, shopping area and easily accessible by public transport. On top of that, it was close to Ueno Prefectural Park (POTA JA-1221) – a perfect POTA bonus for me. I visited the park many times but unfortunately because my transceiver was only a handheld with rubber antenna, its capability was somewhat limited. I only managed to make 2 QSOs on 145/433 MHz. Despite this rather unsuccessful activation, I hope to be back here again in August 2023 for another try.

Figure 7. Activating Ueno Prefectural Park (POTA JA-1221) by Champ JH1TEQ/1

Figure 8. Hand-carried QSL cards from Bangkok by Champ E21EIC and posting them to JARL QSL Bureau and KFRR QSL Bureau in Kazakhstan from Ueno post office.

With this trip, I was also able to hand-carry 1,805 QSL cards from RAST QSL Bureau to JARL QSL Bureau. And because Thai postal service does not accept any parcel to Kazakhstan yet, I was able to post another 450 QSL cards from Japan to Kazakhstan instead.

I hope to be back in Japan again for JARL Ham Fair 2023.

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