Hams Around the World: It’s official, I’m going to Germany for HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen

Joe Eisenberg KØNEB at the 2014 Dayton Hamvention

Joe Eisenberg KØNEB at the 2014 Dayton Hamvention

After waffling about it for a few months, I finally made the decision–I’m going to attend the HAM RADIO show in Friedrichshafen Germany this year in June.  I got bit by the bug when Joe Eisenburg KØNEB (the famous Cat-In-The-Hat hat wearing photog famous for his annual photo montages of the Dayton Hamvention) decided to go last year.  After watching his Dayton-esque Youtube Slideshow of the show (embedded below), I decided it was something that I needed to do at least once.

I was able to swing some free hotel room nights (using a big backlog of Priority Club points) at a brand new Holiday Inn Express within walking distance of the Messe Friedrichshafen (roughly translates to the

The Messe Friedrichshafen, home of the HAM RADIO show in Germany. (Photo credit: Joe Eisenburg, KØNEB)

The Messe Friedrichshafen, home of the HAM RADIO show in Germany.
(Photo credit: Joe Eisenberg, KØNEB)

“Friedrichshafen Fairgrounds”).  I will fly into Zurich, Switzerland and take the train to the ferry terminal at Romanshorn, from which I will cross Lake Constance and land at Friedrichshafen.

Yaesu and Kenwood showing their stuff at HAM RADIO 2013 (Joe Eisenberg K0NEB)

Yaesu and Kenwood showing their stuff at HAM RADIO 2013 (Photo credit: Joe Eisenberg KØNEB)

Last year 17,100 radio and electronics enthusiasts from all over the planet converged into the Messe Friedrichshafen, making it generally recognized as Europe’s largest hamfest.  I don’t know if it is the second largest in the world after the Dayton Hamvention (with a 2014 attendance just shy of 25,000) but I’m guessing that Dayton and Friedrichshafen are the two biggest.

The Messe Friedrichshafen ("Friedrichshafen Fairgrounds") just North of the Friedrichshafen airport and Lake Constance (Google Earth)

The Messe Friedrichshafen (“Friedrichshafen Fairgrounds”) just North of the Friedrichshafen airport and Lake Constance (Google Earth)

From the pictures, the Messe Friedrichshafen looks very clean and bright, and it seems ironic that it is “messe” and the crappy Hara Arena (home of the Dayton Hamvention) is not “messe.”  But I digress.  However, I am fairly certain that the sewer line won’t burst at the Messe Friedrichshafen (and empty into Lake Constance) like it did in Dayton in 2011.

I’m especially looking forward to the food…  sausage, beer, schnitzel, and maybe a dose of Sauerbraten or two at the Hoffbrau.

I’ll be taking my Yaesu HT with me, so hopefully I’ll be able to at least make a few UHF/VHF contacts as DL/AD8BC (in Germany) and maybe HB9/AD8BC (in Switzerland).

Joe Eisenberg’s photo montage from the 2014 HAM RADIO show in Friedrichshafen.  The background music is appropriate as well!


A parallel event occurring at the same venue this year will me Makerworld (English translation of this page here), which seems to be a separate event with separate admission but in the same fairground.  This looks like a lot of fun as well, something like a MakerFaire.

After three days and four nights in a place that looks absolutely beautiful, I will then trade in my Euros and Swiss Francs for Pounds, and my DL/AD8BC for M/AD8BC (it’s too bad I let my UK license MØDCI lapse a decade ago) and spend a few nights in downtown London.  I worked near London back in 2002 and 2003 so I figured I’d drop by while I was “in the neighborhood”.  Again, my Marriott points came to the rescue and I get to spend three nights at the St. Ermin’s Hotel, an historical four-star hotel built in 1887-1889.  I’m hoping to take the train out to Slough and Windsor for a day to visit a few old haunts (for some reason I really miss the chip shop in Langley, and maybe I’ll buy some digestives or Jaffa Cakes at Budgens), and also to spend a full day in downtown London doing the tourist thing again (Double decker bus rides and river cruise, maybe that big ferris wheel thing on the River Thames).


The International Amateur Radio Exhibition is celebrating it’s 40th birthday in 2015. We believe this to be a fantastic accomplishment and we therefore would like to thank all of our yearly participants. To another successful 40!

From June 26-28, 2015 HAMs and electronic enthusiasts from all over the world will meet again in Friedrichshafen.


Facts and figures 2014:

  • 200 exhibitors from 34 countries worldwide
  • 17.100 visitors from all continents attended HAM Radio and MAKER WORLD
  • Europe’s largest professional amateur radio flea market with 297 participants from 25 countries

The following subjects will form the main focus of attention at the HAM RADIO 2015:

  • Big affair in 2015: Space stations, satellites, reflections: amateur radio contacts with space
  • Activities for children and teenagers with the HAM RALLYE and the youth tent camp
  • Instruction and further education for amateur radio enthusiasts
  • 66th Lake Constance Meeting with more than 40 lectures and numerous meetings
  • Parallel running event MAKER WORLD



MAKER WORLD: Do your world, how do you like it

Do it yourself, do it individually, do it original – Messe Friedrichshafen creates the new event MAKER WORLD. The event around the making, tinkering and shapes is parallel to the HAM RADIO and will bring together art enthusiasts, creative thinkers, creatives and DIY enthusiasts. The trend “do-it-yourself” in view, should the new event to provide a platform for art and can be made ​​more creative ideas and experiences, knowledge is exchanged and products purchased and sold. “The World Maker fits well into our portfolio. Our exhibitions at Lake Constance traditionally have an event character and this is evident in the new event. We use the synergies of the Ham radio and the Maker World and appeal to tech-savvy and creative audiences, “says Klaus Wellmann, CEO of Messe Friedrichshafen. The motto “make” – in German “Make” – concludes doing everything in, in which some new arises or something old is individualized and changed. In addition to exhibitors from the fields of 3D printing technology, electronics and DIY is on the Maker World also the take part and try capitalized. “The maker movement emerged in the United States and the subject, make, design and repair itself ‘is also in Germany increasingly popular, “says project leader Petra Rathgeber. “The trend we rely on and provide a meeting place where new business ideas can also be presented.” The issue of “making” speaks every creative head on.From computer nerd who screwed on his PC, via the electronics professional who repaired their apparatus and modified to design end individualists, design and produce the fancy accessories – here everyone can exhibit his ideas that sell and also inspiration for his next Find coup.


(Published from DFW, Texas)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *