Report from Thailand
JARL HAM FAIR 2023
JARL Ham Fair was held again for the second time in a row after the spread of COVID-19. This year the restriction measures were almost completely lifted and traveling to Japan has gotten much easier particularly for those coming from Thailand. Many more foreign visitors were able to make it to Tokyo compared to 2022. The slogan for this year was "Let's go for the new era of Amateur Radio!"
I originally did not planned to attend the Ham Fair this year due to other DX engagement, but because that trip was postponed by another 3 months in the last minute, I was able to make it to the JARL Ham Fair 2023.
Figure 1. (Lower left, L-R) Sam JE1XUZ, JC E20NKB, Champ E21EIC, Kuny 7L1FPU, Masa JH1DQA, Yuri JA1AQD, Moto JE1NDE, and Tomo JQ1OCR, (Lower right, L-R) Champ E21EIC, JC E20NKB, and Bun E25KAE.
My journey together with JC E20NKB started on Thursday 17th August 2023 via TG676, a direct flight from Bangkok to Narita International Airport, arriving in Tokyo at 15:30. Bun E25KAE took the overnight flight and joined us on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon the three of us ventured to Akihabara – a haven for HAM radio enthusiasts looking for gears and transceivers to upgrade their stations – where we amazingly bumped into Ray N9JA, Adrian KO8SCA and Andy 5Z4VJ! What a lovely surprise to see friends who all travelled from afar, all thinking the same thing, “We must hit the radio shops!”. Funnily enough, this all happened right in front of the big ICOM billboard so we could not resist taking a photo there of course.
Figure 2. Ham radio friends from DX-land gathered outside the radio shops in Akihabara. (Lower right, L-R) Champ E21EIC, Ray N9JA, JC E20NKB, Adrian KO8SCA, Andy 5Z4VJ, and Bun E25KAE.
Figure 3. (Top left, L-R) Adrian KO8SCA and Ray N9JA tried their hands at winning the bunny in the arcade shop.
The JARL Ham Fair 2023 was held on 19th-20th August 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition in Hall 3 and Hall 4, in Ariake, Koto-ku. The weather was very hot – just like Bangkok! – as it was still summer time there. From JARL report, there were over 31,000 attendees on the first day, and 12,000 attendees on the second day, thus making a total combined number of 43,000 attendees. Many HAMs travelled from abroad including the US, Italy, India, Indonesia, Australia, Qatar, South Korea, Cambodia, Thai, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Philippines, Brazil, Poland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Kenya. Another special highlight this year was that the event was being livestreamed for the first time for those who were not able to be there through YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/@hamfair/streams
Figure 4. JARL Ham Fair 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight, (Lower right, L-R) E21EIC, E20NKB, JJ1DQR, and E25KAE.
The official Opening Ceremony on Saturday morning included the following honorary guests : President of Japan Amateur Radio Industries Association (JAIA) JH3SED Kenichi Kojiyama, President of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) VE6SH Tim Ellam, President of JARL JA5SUD Koji Morita, President of Korean Amateur Radio League (KARL) HL4CFN Choi Hyeong Moon, and President of Japan Amateur Radio Development Association (JARD) JA1CIN Tetsuya Miki; and accompanied by JARL PR Ambassadors JH1CBX Masaco and JI1BTL Kaori Mita.
Figure 5. Opening Ceremony of the JARL Ham Fair 2023 in Tokyo (L-R), JARL PR Ambassadors JH1CBX Masaco, President of JAIA JH3SED Kenichi Kojiyama, President of IARU VE6SH Tim Ellam, President of JARL JA5SUD Koji Morita, President of KARL HL4CFN Choi Hyeong Moon, President of JARD JA1CIN Tetsuya Miki, and JARL PR Ambassadors JI1BTL Kaori Mita.
This year, we decided to help CWops booth at C-67. The booth was led by Ken JN1THL and other JA CWops members. The atmosphere in this year’s JARL Ham Fair 2023 was very upbeat and exciting. Even before entering the venue, there were huge queues even 2 hours after the Opening Ceremony with both JAs and foreign visitors alike, waiting in line to buy their entrance tickets into the fair. Lucky for the two YLs, JC E20NKB and Bun E25KAE, they were able to get in for free, as JARL aims to promote more interests in amateur radio amongst younger age groups and women.
Figure 6. (Top left) Tim VE6SH and Yosuke JJ1DQR, (Top right) Keith KG4DY, (Bottom left) Koji JL3RDC, Ken JN1THL, (Bottom right) Yoshi JK2VOC
Figure 7. (Top left) Mac JA3USA, Dr. Lee HL1IWD, (Top right) Li VR2IL, Logan VR2XRW, (Bottom left) Russel VK3EZ, E25VMO, (Bottom right) Andy 5Z4VJ
Figure 8. (Left and Top right) 2,466 QSL cards hand-carried from HS to Tokyo Ham Fair, (Bottom right) Ken JA1CJP
JARL had many activities going with the fair including DXCC card checking, QSL Bureau, DIY stations for children to build CW keyer and FM radio, scientific experimental stations for students, stamp hunting from various booths, membership renewal, and small presents for YLs and kids who attended the fair. In addition to JARL, two other national club stations also joined the Ham Fair with their own booths: KARL from South Korea, and MARTS from Malaysia. I also had the chance to drop-off 2466 QSL cards that were hand-carried from Bangkok at the fair.
Figure 9. (Top Left) Adrian KO8SCA, JH1NBN, JF2WXS, AJ3M (4U1WB), N9JA, (Top right) VK3GK, VK3TX, (Bottom left) JA1WPX, KO8SCA, K5GS, JA4DND, (Bottom right) E27TE, HS7QBL
Figure 10. (Top left) JJ1DQR, JR6IKD, (Top right) N2RJ, (Bottom left) VR2KF, (Bottom right) JS1WWR, E22YHG, JJ1DQR, JK1AKA, HS5JRH
From the commercial side, ICOM presented their latest line of transceivers with great excitement from the crowd. The highlights being the ICOM IC-905, ID-52 and IC-PW2. Other prominent models were on display including IC-705, IC-9700, and of course the all-time classic IC-7300. YAESU, Kenwood, and Alinco did not introduce any new models at this JARL Ham Fair.
Figure 11. Atmosphere at the ICOM booth at JARL Ham Fair 2023
Figure 12. Atmosphere at the JARL Ham Fair 2023
Many smaller clubs also set up their own booths thronged with visitors, and the flea market section of the halls were constantly buzzing with ham enthusiasts looking for a good deal.
We left the main Halls just after 4pm, after sneaking in some ice-lollies, to join the DX Seminar and Dinner at 16:30 – 20:30 organised by Far East DX-Ploiters (FEDXP). The event was led by Hiro JA4DND and Joe JJ3PRT. A total of 65 participants joined the DX Seminar which was held in the conference room on the 2nd floor of the Sotetsu Grand Fresa Tokyo-Bay with two esteemed speakers:-
•3Y0J Bouvet Island DXpedition 2023 by KO8SCA Adrian Ciuperca
•TX5S Clipperton Island DXpedition 2024 by K5GS Gene Spinelli
Figure 13. Adrian KO8SCA giving his seminar about 3Y0J DXpedition and 4U1UN UN Headquarter Station.
Figure 14. Gene K5GS giving his seminar about TX5S Clipperton Island DXpedition in 2024
The DX Dinner started at 18:30 at Suien Chinese restaurant on the 2nd floor East TFT Building and was held in a more informal manner, with lots of fun and laughter. 45 prominent DXers and DX-chasers attended the event. There were fun rounds of small introduction and speeches from the guests, and all the foreign visitors were parted with a small Japanese gift of cultural value. Thank you very much Joe san. Both Adrian KO8SCA and K5GS Gene were presented with an award from FEDXP for their significant contribution towards the world of DXpedition.
Figure 15. Atmosphere at the FEDXP DX Dinner, (Top left) Andy 5Z4VJ, Joe JJ3PRT, (Top right) Johannes 5T5PA (PA5X), Joe JJ3PRT, (Bottom left) Adrian KO8SCA, Joe JJ3PRT, and Hiro JA4DND, (Bottom right) E21EIC, E20NKB, KO8SCA and XYL, E25KAE, K6VHF, 5T5PA (PA5X)
The second day of the JARL Ham Fair 2023 was notably quieter than the first day, and some foreign visitors had to catch their flights out of Tokyo already on Sunday including Bun E25KAE. The fair continued until 16:00 before closing. In the evening, we were invited to dinner with JA friends which included friends from Hong Kong and South Korea. We had a great time.
Figure 16. A memorial place for Zorro JH1AJT (SK) at SEISA Head Office in Oiso, Kanagawa
Monday 21st August 2023 was a very important day for us as JC E20NKB, Adrian KO8SCA and his XYL, and myself travelled to Oiso, Kanagawa, in the early morning, to pay our respect to Zorro san JH1AJT (SK) at his memorial site. The journey took 1.5hrs in total. We arrived at SEISA Head Office in Oiso and were given a tour around the campus, and visited Yasuo (Zorro) Miyazawa JH1AJT (SK)’s office which was kept in the same state and serve as a memorial place of the great man. His office also has a little amateur radio corner together with some of his awards on display including the DXCC 10m (368 entities) and World Record. The radios that Zorro san used included ICOM IC-7851 and YAESU FT-101MP. We paid our respect to Zorro JH1AJT’s picture, and had the rare opportunity to meet Yuki san, Zorro san’s XYL, also. We spent 30mins talking to Yuki san before having to leave Oiso as we had another engagement in the evening.
Figure 17. Zorro san JH1AJT memorial place within his office, showcasing his awards and achievements, as well as some of his radio gears.
Figure 18. Adrian KO8SCA, his XYL, JC E20NKB and Champ E21EIC paid our respect to Zorro san, JH1AJT and met with Yuki san (Zorro san’s XYL)
Figure 19. (Bottom left and right) A handmade morse key from Monk Apollo SV2ASP/A (SK) given to Zorro san JH1AJT (SK) when Zorro san visited Mount Athos in 2014
Figure 20. Champ E21EIC/JH1TEQ visited Zorro’s san JH1AJT at his house in 2014
On Monday evening, we met up with Katsu JA1DXA and Isao JH1ROJ at a Japanese restaurant in Ginza area. We exchanged many stories about DXpeditions. Katzu JA1DXA is also the QSL Manager for 5W1SA and XU7AKU and he kindly gave many QSL cards for HS/E2 hams to me for the HS QSL Bureau. Thank you very much.
Figure 21. Evening spent with JH1ROJ, KO8SCA and his XYL, and JA1DXA; together with QSL cards for HS Bureau.
JARL Ham Fair 2023 was actually an unexpected and an unplanned trip for the three of us, Bun E25KAE, JC E20NKB and Champ E21EIC. We had spent nearly a month in Europe for Friedrichshafen in Germany, then WRTC2022(2023) in Italy, and had only been in Thailand for less than a month, but because many friends contacted us about the possibility of being there, plus my work arrangement got re-scheduled, so we were able to make some last-minute bookings and make it happened. But it did mean that our trip to Tokyo was extremely short compared to the previous years.
In any case, JARL Ham Fair is still the highlight of an amateur radio event for the whole of Asia. It is always so heartwarming to meet up with old friends again – and actually make an eyeball QSO rather just on the air – and of course to make new ones. We hope to be back in Tokyo again next year.
Report from Thailand backnumber
- JARL HAM FAIR 2023
- World Radiosport Team Championship WRTC 2022 (2023) Bologna, Italy, 4-11 July 2023
- Friedrichshafen Ham Radio Fair 2023
- Parks on the Air in Thailand
- RAST on The Beach 4
- Fred Laun K3ZO Silent Key (Part II) A great loss for amateur radio
- Fred Laun K3ZO Silent Key (Part I) A great loss for amateur radio
- HF Amateur Radio Seminars Hosted by RAST and NBTC BW/E25KAE, The First Thai HAM Operator in Taiwan
- CQ World-Wide DX Contest SSB & CW 2022 from Ban Ta Bong (The Center of the World)
- POTA Activations in Thailand by JJ1DQR,
Advanced Class Examination for Thai Amateur Radio Licenses
- HS3NBR/p Maeo Island IOTA AS-145,
16th – 19th September 2022
- JARL HAM FAIR 2022
- Inmemoriam to the former RAST President Mayuree Chotikul, HS1YL,
US FCC Amateur Radio License Examination in Thailand, etc.
- 45th International Amateur Radio Exhibition in Germany“HAM RADIO FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 2022”
- E20AX/P Mini-IOTA DXpedition to Samet Island (AS-107)
- Easing of Travel Restrictions for Visitors Entering Thailand,
Tribute to Franz Langner, DJ9ZB and Roger Western, G3SXW
- RAST held its General Annual Meeting, May you rest in peace JH1AJT and W7LR
- RAST Annual General Meeting, March 20, 2022
- The First Intermediate License Examination Since COVID-19 Outbreak
- E20AX/p IOTA DXpedition to Chang Island (AS-125)
- CQ World Wide DX Contest CW 2021 from Thailand
- CQ World Wide DX Contest SSB 2021 from Thailand
- The 18th IARU Region 3 Virtual Conference was a success
- Celebrating 400th anniversary of trade relationship between Denmark & Thailand, etc.
- E2HQ RAST Headquarter 2021, etc.
- RAST will host the IARU Region 3 Conference 2021 online in September, etc.
- RAST Talks, RAST CW Challenge Results
- RAST held AGM meeting and hosted New Year Party, NARIT Astro Fest 2021
- RAST CW Challenge
- KMUTNB and RAST welcome Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation & other news.
- FCC Amateur Radio License Exam, RAST Donated a Tower to Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary,Installation of 2EL Quad at E24OYI
- RAST & G. SIMON BALLOON FESTIVAL 2020 "E2ICOM"
- RAST HF-101, November RAST meeting
- NBTC and RAST presented the callsign HS10A to His Majesty the King
- RAST hosts August meeting at an open-air restaurant
US FCC Amateur Radio License Examination at KMITL, Bangkok, Thailand
- E2HQ RAST-Headquarter, Spirit of the 2020 IARU HF World Championship
Installation of E24EZ, The first DMR Repeater in Thailand
- Global COVID-19 “STAYHOME” Radio Communication Event was a great success
- E2STAYHOME, RAST COVID-19 Special Event
E21EIC inducted into CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame
COVID-19 RADIO COMMUNICATION EVENT
- The E21EIC Station Antenna System Improved for Competition
- RAST Annual General Meeting
April RAST meeting cancelled, YOTA event is postponed
- RAST installs IGATEs to expand the APRS network in Thailand
- First US FCC Amateur Radio License Examination in 2020
- Thailand Amateur Radio Day 2019