Friday, July 27, 2007

Back Home

Well, all good things have an end. I am back to Greece a month now. The way back was very easy. My Garmin navigator Nuvi 350 drove me all the way to Ancona ferries without any mistakes. From the entire trip, about 9 hours of driving with our Citroen Picasso, we kept in memory the figure of Mont Blanc with its astonishing glacier. It was very spectacular indeed as we passed by. To all of us, SW8KOJ (my XYL) and two harmonics Nick and Nena, this scenery will be unforgettable. We came back to the hot climate of my country and it took me several days to get used of it. 25 degrees it is quite a big difference. Actually we have a very hot summer this year. Plenty of big fires all around the country make the TV news very unpleasant. The country seams paralysed. Due to this situation everything it is easily postponed for tomorrow. My posts followed this rule.

Among the unhappy things, my brand new ACOM 1000, after a few days running, presented children’s illnesses and I had to send it to Sofia for repair. Stan, LZ1IU assured me kindly that he will take care of it. I hope everything will go well and my baby comes back home healthy and ready to shout again. Unfortunately I will go without its company in the IOTA contest this weekend.

On the other hand it is summer and we live in a Greek island, a dreamy vacation destination for many people around the world. Then I should be not a nagger. Let’s go to a lovely beach, get some cold beers to cheer us up and forget all misery. 24th cycle where are you any way?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Friedrichshafen! Part 2

"For three days Friedrichshafen was the meeting place for amateur radio operators around the globe: 18,100 visitors from as far away as Australia and California came to the HAM RADIO, which finished on Sunday", with these words the organizers of exhibition commented the end of the event. A huge number of visitors indeed. One of them was me! You can get more infos and pictures in ham radio fest page:
But let me continue my story. Nest day, Saturday, I decided to visit the second section which was occupied by the great firms and shops they represented them. YAESU, ICOM KENWOOD TEN TEC and others were there. Big shops as WIMO, APPELLO, CONRAND participated also. All the new equipment in front of you. Too many things to see and admire.
I had a plan coming here: to try to find if it were possible to buy an ACOM1000. I was not quite sure that they would have any in stock. This fantastic amplifier became my dream for the last two years. So I was very anxious snooping around the shops to spot one. Finally I was lucky! I found it in WIMO and after a 2 minutes purchase negotiation, and with the help of a little trailer they borrowed me, I had it in the trunk of my car. After that I was quite happy and everything I show henceforth, it looked to me more beautiful.
I admired the new TEN TEC OMNI VII and ORION II, I loved the famous HIBERLING, I impressed with FLEX radio 5000 and so many other masterpieces of nowadays technology.
In the same place I found the kiosks of amateur associations and clubs, ARRL, DARC, BAVARIAN CONTEST CLUB, RAAG and several others. In the kiosk of RAAG , I met a lot of greek hams that came all the way from Greece just to join this great fest. At noon we traditionally consumed a lot of wurst and bier and we exchanged promises for the next year to come back again.
The fest would close next day but Nick and me we decided that we had seen already enough and that it was time to return back to St Genis before getting dark. Well, not before visiting the campus with those terrible vehicles that amateurs from all over the Europe came along with. Those were our last impressions. Soon we left behind us this amazing place and with our precious cargo in the trunk we got the way back.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Friedrichshafen! Part 1

The ferry left us in Ancona (Italy) at 12:00 local time on Wednesday 20th of June. It took us 21 hours sailing from Patras. And after a 9 hours driving we arrived to St Genis (France) near Geneva. We met there my friend Nick (F5VIH alias SV3SJ) who lives there. The most impressive thing was the difference in temperature. We left Greece with 36 degrees and we found France only in 12 degrees and raining. This weather kept along all the 8 days we stayed in the area. According to the plan on Friday morning Nick and me we drive an other 480Km to Friedrichshafen. It was the first time I was visiting such a huge event. Friedrichshafen Messe is a well organized place for any kind of manifestations or fairs. Once a year it accommodates the Ham Radio festival every last weekend of June. It is located in the center of Europe in south Germany near the beautiful city of Konstanz. Actually you have to take a small ferry to get across the lake to rich Friedrichshafen.
The exhibition is separated in two big sections. One with the surplus stuff and the other with the kiosks of well known firms and shops as well the radio amateur organizations from all over the world. The first day we decided to visit the surplus section as the stock disappears very quickly. This exhibition is very popular. Pileups of hams go there every year to meet each other and collect useful things for their hobby.
Walking around the corridors we met with Patrick (F6IRF) and Philippe (F6IFY) both members, as Nick, of CN2WW contest group. You can get info about their activities in the following link: We have a lot of fun together. By the end of the day we went to Weingarten, a nearby village to spend the night.