HAMs are the only available channel when official communication modes fail, says amateur radio activist

Updated - January 17, 2023 10:06 pm IST

Published - January 17, 2023 07:57 pm IST - MANGALURU

Rohit Rao giving a demonstration at the IMA House in Mangaluru.

Rohit Rao giving a demonstration at the IMA House in Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When there is total breakdown of official communication channels during a natural calamity or a similar situation, the informal HAM network becomes useful to organise relief and restore order, said Rohit S. Rao, a member of Mangaluru Amateur Radio Club.

He was speaking on “Emergency Communications” for the benefit of members of Indian Medical Association, Mangaluru Chapter, here on Friday. Therefore, he told doctors that amateur radio operators, also known as ‘HAM’s were often the only communication available during calamities.

Mr. Rao said: “HAMs are licensed radio operators. They are civilians operating radio as a hobby with their own radio sets and exclusive bandwidth, through which they can communicate with other HAMs anywhere in the world.”

IMA member R.K. Ranjan, who is also a HAM radio enthusiast, introduced the guest speaker. IMA-Mangaluru president Venugopala, and MARC president D. Vishnumurthy were present.

MARC was started by Varadaraya Nayak and Mahabala Hegde in 1976. The club participates in a variety of activities, such as amateur radio homebrew, amateur radio awareness campaigns, communication support during land slides and flooding, and providing emergency radio services to government organisations during calamities and disasters.

It also organises workshops for those interested in becoming amateur radio operators and provides annual training. MARC coordinates HAM licence exams in Mangaluru as well as other activities like moving base stations during amateur radio events, disasters, and other exigencies in accordance with the Rules of Wireless and the Planning and Coordination Wing (WPC) of the Union Ministry of Communications. MARC has been running the Disaster Management Repeater of NITK-Mangaluru and its operating frequency is 145.425 MHz on the radio.

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