Tag: rally

Zwolle Radio Rally – Netherlands

On the 2nd November 2019 we completed a new amateur radio rally / convention in Zwollle in the Netherlands.

Travel was via the Hook of Holland Ferry, and the fun began right from the start. I collected Dave G7UVW and we headed up the A12 towards Harwich, leaving a lot of time for any unforeseen issues. That was rather fortunate, as the first issues was a 4 car accident on the A12, a 45 minute delay.

Once cleared we made good progress, right up until some clown decided to close the A120, the main route into the Harwich port from the A12 for roadworks. They had organised a diversion, although it soon became apparent the route was long, complicated and involved country lanes!

Not such a problem in your SUV, but try that in a 60 ft articulated lorry, what could possibly go wrong. Well it did, one of the lorries became stuck in a country lane, and the queue of lorries and cars soon backed up. Now we were stuck in a country lane, Google was trying to take us back onto the A120 (closed) and the diversion was unusable.

The only thing to do, find that Carpenters album on the music system and try and relax. Very, very stressful, and we had left lots of time and we now only had 45 minutes to make the port before boarding closed.

GPS Track from the car

It should be easy to spot on the map the point that the A120 stopped and the diversion began.

Honestly, who in their right mind would close the main route into one of the largest ports in Essex! The journey should have taken 75 minutes, but was more like 2.5 Hrs.

Relax

We made it onto the ship, and decide to head down to the bar for a well deserved beer. The crossing was an overnight sailing, getting into Holland around 8 am the next morning.

Time for a Beer

The drive from the Hook of Holland to Zwolle was completed by George M1GEO, and was around 1hr 30 (around 100 miles) and traffic was light.

The queue to gain entry

The rally was well attended, we arrived around 1030 am and needed to queue for around 15 minutes for entry. Entrance was 9 EU, and the hall was large and stalls well spaced to avoid congestion.

Makers section
View around the hall.

Lots to see, and a good selection of pre-loved equipment, and some new items. The catering on site was good, if a little expensive, I did see quite a few people well prepared with flasks and sandwiches in true radio amateur style.

The Dutch version of Raynet (DARES) had a nice vehicle on display, complete with a telescopic mast.

The return journey was back onto via the Hook of Holland and onto the ship. We had a 3 course meal book, and the standard of food online was excellent once again.

A very busy, but great fun weekend. Its always nice to catch up with radio friends and the rally is a great way to do that.

Rosmalen Radio Rally 2017

 

Once again I attended the radio rally in Rosmalen with George M1GEO, Chris G8OCV, Peter G0IAP and Dave M0MBD. We traveled up from Essex to meet George and Chris in Norfolk and then to Harwich to meet the boat.We boarded the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland at around 8pm, and this left us a little time to chat and sample some of the onboard facilities. The boat sailed around 11 pm and arrived in Holland about 6 am the next morning.

 

The trip includes your own cabin, and breakfast the next morning with an “eat as much as you can buffet”. We always like to take this literally, and with carefully planning the breakfast can include toast, jam, bacon, eggs, beans, cereal, and fruit.  Once arrived at the Hook of Holland you leave the boat around 8 am local time, and the drive to Rosmalen is around 50 minutes.

 

The rally was held once again at Autotron, Graafsebaan 133, 5284 NL Rosmalen.

 

 

 

 

 

Ample parking is provided on site, although you often find the walk can be 5 minutes or so to the conference center. I assume they have more local parking for mobility impaired guests, but this is something to consider if you purchase anything large and heavy.

The selection of previously owned equipment was immense, covering everything from old army surplus equipment to modern computer spares and most things in-between. Some of the main dealers did attend, so it was possible to purchase new equipment as well as old.

It was also nice to meet up with other amateurs from around Europe, here you can see (center) George M1GEO chatting to (Left) Neils PA1DSP and Pieter-Tjerk de Boer PA3FWM

We left the venue around 4 pm and headed back to the hook of Holland. The trip home was equally enjoyable, with a 3-course evening meal on the boat and time to relax after a busy day searching for bargains.

 

 

 

 

 

We car shared with George M1GEO who provided all of the motor vehicle transportation, and the cost for the ferry, breakfast on both mornings, 2 nights cabin and a 3-course evening meal was around £160. Altogether great value, and a very enjoyable weekend.

Special thanks to Lin (George mum) for organising us all and sorting out all our travel arrangements 🙂

Rosmalen Dutch National Amateur Radio Rally

This year I attended for the first time the Dutch National rally in Rosmalen. George M1GEO, Chris G8OCV, Dave G7UVW, Peter G0IAP and myself left via Harwich ferry port for the overnight crossing. The ferry journey was excellent, with a full English breakfast to set you up for the day.

George M1GEO and Chris G8OCV sample the excellent breakfast

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The rally is located in a large hall, with all the stands in one single location. The space also has an elevated section, with a number of traders selling from the balcony.

The rally and flea market is mostly populated with previously owned equipment and parts, with a wide selection of new and second hand components. Here is a view inside the hall. The rally was very well attended with thousands of amateurs from the Netherlands and beyond.

A view inside  the hall at Autotron, Graafsebaan 133, 5284 NL Rosmalen.

25869219541_dbf122d637_k (2) Although the hall was in the main filled with second hand and components sellers you could find some new equipment on sale, including a working display model of the IC7300 at  the Hamshop NL.

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Here are a selection of pictures from around the site. Dave G7UVW purchased a very nice large 23cm aerial that needed a new home.

No rally would be complete without a stop for refreshments, and Rosmalen has a good selection of fast and not so fast food. I selected a healthy fruit based snack.

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I purchased a waterproof / outdoor mounting box and some antenna hardware. As one amateur said to me, i’ve had fun and purchased more than my entrance fee! It was much busier than I expected, and the scale and attendance was much better than anything I have seen in the UK. Thanks to George M1GEO who completed the driving and aunty Google for her navigation. On the route home we even had time for a 3 course dinner and a beer on the overnight ferry.

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Here you can see us sharing a drink with the some of the  Cambridge Hams, Gavin M1BXF, Rob M0VFC and Martin G3ZAY.

73 Dave M0TAZ

National Hamfest 2015

Its been a while since I ventured out to an amateur radio rally, having been to a few at Pickets Lock Enfield and  Canvey over the years, today saw a trip to the National Hamfest at Newark Showground.

21732946465_acbf088b53_k The highlight for me was the launch of Pinky, a high altitude balloon The SSDV payload callsign PINKY transmitted on 434.575MHz USB RTTY 300 baud 880Hz shift ASCII-8 no parity 2 stop bits. The data stream could be tracked either by direct reception of via the internet. Pinky climbed to around 25KM above the earth before retuning. The payload was recovered by the chase car, some 15 miles South near Grantham. You can read the full report on Andrews blog M0NRD with pictures on how the team put together this successful HAB launch.

 

It was really nice to meet up with some of the exhibitors, and I spent quite some time chatting to the Linear Amp team about their new 1KW solid state amplifier, and their range of 300w solid state VHF and UHF amplifiers.

21111906023_c7cbf2c259_kRoger Banks the MD for Linear Amp UK and Chris Bartram (Design Engineer) demonstrated the new 1KW HF amp and also spoke about the design behind the 100% duty cycle VHF amplifiers.

I also spotted some items that I could afford, less than the £2,000 amplifier… I purchased a drive on mast clamp that would hold a roach pole, and also some mast guy rings that would be helpful in the field. 21110230994_6585798bb3_k

Other exhibitors included Icom, Kenwood and the big suppliers W&S and Martin Lynch. I was looking for the new Icom 7300, but this wasn’t available for display. The outdoor area was  quite poor, with just a few stalls and despite a very large area and unbroken sunshine not many people had decided to private sell.

 

It was nice to see the Camb Hams putting on a special event callsign and working a few in Flossie for the weekend.  Flossie (left with the pump up mast) I understand has reached the end of her life, and is soon to go to the big scrapyard in the sky so this could be one of the last few outings.

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A rally wouldn’t be complete without a burger and some chips, here you can see George M1GEO and his dad Chris G8OCV (right) eating some of the delightful cuisine.

21707664096_800a57a94c_zOne last thought, I noticed the new super gainer DX 21546093659_6059c9cb49_k

penetrator antenna called the CHAV1…

Works from 3.5 MHz to 440 MHz …

 

 

 

 

 

A joke, well at £149 I would think so…

 

73 Dave M0TAZ