A passion for radio ignites a thirst for exploration: Ham Radio enthusiasts set their sights on the island(s)

The international amateur radio exhibition will unite industry professionals and enthusiasts from the community of ham radio fans from June 28 to 30, 2024, under the theme: “60 years of Islands On The Air: Where technology meets adventure!”
April 26, 2024

Friedrichshafen – The 47th edition of the amateur radio exhibition will bring together radio amateurs from all over the world in Friedrichshafen from June 28 to 30, 2024, to celebrate “60 years of Islands On The Air: Where technology meets adventure!” The eponymous Islands On The Air (IOTA) program is centered around the competitive concept of establishing radio contact with as many islands as possible across all continents. The supporting program of the collaborative partner Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club (DARC) conveys the adventurous spirit of IOTA fans and enthusiasts through a unique exhibition in the Foyer West and relevant lectures in line with this year’s theme. “The Ham Radio is constantly evolving with its diverse community of enthusiasts. Among other exciting developments, we are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the inaugural exam for the newly launched Class N amateur radio license. It offers a straightforward introduction to the technical hobby,” explains Project Manager Petra Rathgeber. The Innovation Hub of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in Hall A1 and the extension to two Career Days are also new this year.

At Europe’s largest trade fair for radio enthusiasts, over 300 commercial exhibitors (previous year: 276) and associations will be showcasing their extensive range of products and training courses on various radio technology topics in four halls and the West Foyer. A treasure trove of rare electronic items, secondhand accessories, and other unique finds await at the marquee flea market in Halls A3 and A4. Spurring interest in the hobby among young people is a top priority for the trade fair and DARC, which is why the highly anticipated Ham Camp is set to be held once again: Young radio enthusiasts and youth organizations spend the night in the exhibition hall, connecting with like-minded individuals of the same age who share their passion for radio. Other highlights for the amateur radio youth will include various exams, a booth sponsored by amateur radio groups of colleges and universities, the Ham Rally, and the Career Days.

Celebrating 60 Years of Islands On the Air

Since 1964, the international program Islands On The Air (IOTA) has been facilitating radio links with stations on islands around the world, from tiny rocky outcrops in the vast ocean to the largest islands on Earth. A special exhibition in Foyer West will be dedicated to celebrating this friendly competition among radio amateurs. An extensive schedule of presentations and the wealth of information available at the IOTA booth will allow visitors to fully engage with the excitement surrounding this unique program.

Where technology meets adventure

Brand new and the perfect solution for those just getting started, the N license is a newly created entry-level license for amateur radio that enables radio operation on multiple bands using low transmission power. This license simplifies the process of trying out the hobby and allows you to explore various aspects on your own. It takes just a few weeks to determine if the new hobby is for you and what the next steps are if you want to continue. For the first time, the exams for the new license class can be taken at the Ham Radio.

DARC and the Amateur Radio and Telecommunications in Schools Working Group (Arbeitskreis Amateurfunk und Telekommunikation in der Schule, AATiS) are dedicated to sparking interest among young people in computer science and electronics. On June 28, interested teachers will find out how this can be done in a wide range of training courses in Hall A2 under the theme “From amateur radio enthusiast to engineer.” The teacher training courses offer valuable information and methods on current topics in science and technology teaching, from smartphone experiments to the AATiS photonics project. The speakers will focus on the topic of “Where technology meets adventure.” You can register at https://events.darc.de/lehrerfortb-2024/.

Hands-on opportunities and networking

If you are looking to transition your hobby into a career, explore technical training opportunities, or find a new job, the Careers Days event on Friday and Saturday at Foyer West is the place to be. The focus will be on providing career advice and employment opportunities in engineering, IT, electrical engineering, and communications technology.

The Ham Camp and the Ham Rally are full of excitement and adventure. Engaging experiments and hands-on activities provide children with a fun and interactive way to explore and grasp concepts in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology. This year, the newly crowned winners of the “Jugend forscht” science fair competition will also be participating in the Ham Camp. Niklas Ruf and Aurelio Dobmeier will be presenting their projects at the trade fair: a rain break indicator and a flood warning system. For more details and to register online for the Ham Camp, please visit https://www.darc.de/ajw/hamcamp. The Ham Rally will take place on the Friday and Saturday of the fair. The young participants can look forward to winning a variety of prizes.

Tickets and opening hours

The Ham Radio will take place from Friday, June 28, to Sunday, June 30, 2024, and will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The day ticket is available online for 13 euros at: https://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.com/for-visitors/opening-hours-and-prices. Tickets for school classes are priced at 5 euros per person and can only be purchased at the gate on-site. Further information is available at: https://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.com.


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