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Since 22.05.2006
Depuis le 22.05.2006
Dal 22.05.2006

Amateur Radio Club Fribourg, Open Day
This is an article about this event written in 3 langages by Edgar, HB9TRU. Please select another langage if desired.

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French German
Amateur Radio Club Fribourg – Open Day Engineer School Fribourg, April 21, 2007

The Amateur Radio Club Fribourg HB9FG is celebrating this year the 70th anniversary of its foundation. For this special occasion, we obtained from the Swiss Federal Communication Office the special callsign HE70FG (HE stands for Helvetia!), and we have also printed a special commemorative QSL card. Patrick Daidié, HB9HFJ, is particularly acknowledged for the graphic conception of this card. The Radio Club Fribourg will be active on the amateur bands with his special call HE70FG until the end of 2007.  

Similar to the celebration, 20 years ago, at the Technicum, we also publicly celebrated our anniversary with an Open Day at the new Engineer School Fribourg (EIF). Professor Antoine Delley, of the Departement of Communication and Information Technologies, made us available the infrastructure of his school. Our acknowledgements to him, and to all others who have contributed to prepare this day!

The Open Day was carefully planned and prepared, starting with an inspection on-site by the committee of our Radio Club. Countless tasks were distributed: preparation of posters and slide shows, organization of human resources and technical equipment, information to the public, and much more. The organization committee, coordinated by Edgar Müller (HB9TRU), our president Nicolas Ruggli (HB9CYF), our vice-president Giovanni Converso (HB9HFL), and a large number of club members worked hard and gave their best to bring up the event.

April 20, day D-1, we started to equip the large hall of the engineer school with the tables and poster panels made available for the Open Day. Michel Emery (HB9TWR), Cédric Baechler (HB9HFN), Eugène Wolf (HB9BQP) and Daniel Aeby (HB9HFM) “went through the roof” to install equipment and antennas for the work on short waves (HF), VHF/UHF and digital modes. Sylvio Ceruti (HE9ILS) installed a short-wave listener station (SWL). Nicolas (HB9CYF) and Dominique Ruggli (HB9CYY), helped by Christian Wüthrich (HB9TXW), set up a « Morse » booth and hung up posters. Jean-Daniel Baumgartner (HB9MMG) and his wife Isabelle prepared a booth with technical literature and an exposition of electronic construction projects of our last years. The evening approaching, we finally had the thing under control – however, D-day already lurked.  We still had to close up the radio equipment for the night. The last parts of equipment would furthermore only arrive Saturday morning.

Nicolas has brought our new dresses: Sweaters and T-shirts in blue, with yellow, circular embroidery « Radioamateurs Fribourgeois » and the personnel callsign of each one in the center. Embroidery is otherwise used on the traditional costumes of the Fribourg region.

Saturday, April 21, 07:00 in the morning, we were there again, working off the last details: putting the radio equipment in place, connecting everything, and starting it up: It worked; our R7 multi-band vertical antenna on the roof of the engineer school did its job, and HE70FG was « on air ». Paul-André Schmid (HB9RXV) had also arrived with his ATV (amateur television) bus, and Raymond Rapin (HB9DMN) had brought a collection of historical radios and recorders; occasion to listen to a music record engraved in the United States during the 40ies on steel wire.

Herbert Aeby (HB9BOU) and Manfred Oberhofer (HB9ACA) set up a weather satellite receiver. At the next booth, a video-clip recalled us the historical radio contact  of September 22, 2006 between Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier (HB9CN), in company of students of the Gymnase de la Broye (GYB), and the International Space Station ISS (ARISS = Amateur Radio on International Space Station), where his colleague Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, was in orbit. Nicolas (HB9CYF) started the big slide show in the auditory, and Liliane de Blaireville (HB9HLC) took care of the visitors and of the “verre de l’amitié”, of course. Many thanks also to Martine, Nicolas’ wife, who helped us with hands and hart to bring this Open Day up and running..
09:00 : Opening. The first visitors came in, friends: family members of the OMs and YLs present, as well as occasional guests interested or intrigued by that strange thing called amateur radio. The weather was decidedly not with us: a splendid sunshine and summer temperatures were not really encouraging people to visit an exhibition. Despite all, visitors came in younger people and older persons, at a rate which let us time to take care of them, to show them the different parts of the exhibition, and to explain them radio technology.

A large poster near the entrance of the exhibition showed the two founding fathers of wireless transmission, Heinrich Hertz and Guglielmo Marconi, together with a summary of their respective contributions. After reading the poster, the visitors were invited to repeat themselves Marconi’s experiment, using a simple set-up (a spark-transmitter and a coherer-receiver), rebuilt after the original principle by Edgar (HB9TRU).

The next booth, dedicated to Samuel Morse and to his famous alphabet, found much interest among our young visitors: before a large poster explaining Morse-Code and giving some details of its inventor’s life, the visitors could themselves generate audible Morse-Code signals with the help of different type of equipment: i) using a traditional Morse key ; ii) using a ‘iambic’ key,  and iii) typing in the letters in via a computer keyboard. As a fourth possibility, one could listen to the rhythmic sound of the Morse-Alphabet on an MP3 file running on a computer. Nicolas, our compliments for this excellent and very didactic demo-booth, which could serve for a future exhibition!

At the next booth, a VHF/UHF station allowed to work contacts in telephony, using frequency (FM) or single sideband (SSB) modulation. Swiss and French stations came in and were worked by Giovanni (HB9HFL) either in direct, or via one of the numerous available relays: Gibloux, Macolin, Chasseral, et Poele-Chaud. One booth farther, Daniel (HB9HFM) and Christian (HB9TXW) demonstrated the fascinating aspects of radio transmissions in digital modes.

At the shortwave (HF) station, operated mainly by Cédric (HB9HFN) and Eugène (HB9BQP), the callsign „Hotel-Echo 70 Foxtrott Golf“ produced a veritable pile-up on the air ; the visitors at the other end of the wireless link were far more numerous than those at the exhibition. Our printed QSL cards, confirming the 70e anniversary contacts, will quickly be placed with the radio amateurs of the world! A 40 m contact was also established with the radio-club of Rueil-Malmaison, to which our local radio-club is tied in friendship.

The visitors had also the opportunity to follow the activity on the amateur bands by watching the ‘DX-cluster’  (= list of stations heard at long distance), obtained in direct from the Internet and projected with a beamer onto a poster panel. On a second screen, a life SSTV transmission (= transmission of TV images by a shortwave radio link) could be followed. Computers and Internet have become indispensable parts of the amateur radio hobby, bringing it to new heights which were not even imaginable 20 years ago.


The Amateur-TV (ATV) booths of Paul-André (HB9RXV), Ernest Streit (HB9AQN) and Arnold Pasche (HB9STX) also encountered a big interest, in particular the microwave electronics used in EHF transmission equipment  HB9RXV holds the world record of ATV long distance transmission on the 3 cm band (1564 km over water, from southern Italy to southern Spain)..

The construction of radio material and the hereto needed specialized literature were the subject of Jean-Daniel’s booth (HB9MMG). The visitors were also intrigued by the homebrew QRP equipment (for low power transmission) of Eugène (HB9BQP), not the last for the fact that it was “understandable electronics”. In modern electronic equipment, a real forest of integrated circuits and SMD components, disposed on a multilayer circuit board, unluckily too often hides away the basic principles of the circuit. It is, however, always interesting to understand a circuit and to put it in relation with the equipment’s function.

To close our circuit, we shall make a tour at the « old-timers » exhibition set up by Raymond (HB9DMN) and by Daniel Schmutz (HB9CDN). Here, the visitors could admire a historic valve radio receiver, with a large rhombic coil antenna (Rahmenspule) and a horn speaker. This receiver served for the reception of HB2, the radio emitter Lausanne „Champ de l’Air“ of Roland Pièce (400 W, wavelength 1080 m), which started its emissions in 1922, as the second radio emitter on Swiss territory.

Such radio receiver was, however, not affordable for the common people, because of the expensive valves it contained. Commons hat to content themselves with a “popular receiver”, of which some samples were also exposed. These latter consisted in a variable coil of copper wire on a beautiful wooden frame, a fixed condenser, and a galena crystal having a point (needle) contact set upon it. To produce a signal, the galena receiver needed to be connected with a long wire antenna and with a good earth contact. The listening took place with a pair of 4K telephone headphones. The selectivity of such receiver was small, however, there was no disadvantage of this, given the weak density of station on the broadcasting band. The range of reception did not reach far beyond the city borders of Lausanne.

17:00 : Time for closing. Two hours of hard work later, everything was down, packaged and loaded onto the vehicles. The hall of the engineer school was free again, such as we found it two days before. We still had some time left for exchanging impressions at the occasion of a last little drink. What a pity that everything went over so quickly!

21.05.2007   HB9CYF  /  HB9HFL  /  HB9TRU

Postscriptum :

A last little drink…




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