HAM radios have wider reach at lower costs

Delegates at the Lamakaan Amateur Radio Club conclave held at Muffakam Jah Engineering College in Hyderabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: KVS Giri

Amateur radio operators or HAMs, who have proved to be a lifeline in times of natural calamities, are of limited use during government-enforced communication shutdowns.

“This is a hobby which requires a licence. We have certain norms of communication. News, songs are a no-no. However, we can share emergency information during our morning and evening radio meetings,” said Ashhar Farhan (callsign VU2ESE), at the two-day Lamakaan Annual Radio Convention in the city. He was responding to a question about the Internet shutdowns being imposed in many parts of the country.

The LARC has become a platform for sharing expertise on radio communication and the technological changes. “We don’t need equipment worth billions to communicate. If you have this radio and antenna you can communicate with the world,” said Mr. Ashhar showing the uBitx-V3 that has been assembled by his team from locally available printed circuit boards and paraphernalia.

“This costs about ₹ 4,000 but functions like the most expensive radio. You can buy it if you have a licence,” informs Sasi Bhushan, another HAM enthusiast.

HAM operators have been the first line of rescue in multiple natural disasters and emergencies in the country including the Orissa cyclone and Latur earthquake, setting up equipment and guiding the initial relief effort. The licence to operate a HAM radio is issued by the government of India after passing the Amateur Station Operator’s Certificate.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 11:11:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ham-radios-have-wider-reach-at-lower-costs/article30368666.ece

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