Other States

HAM radio comes to rescue during natural calamities

Group tests its efficacy in simulated conditions on an island

At an uninhabited island near the mouth of Chilika lagoon, 10 members of the Amateur Radio Society of Odisha (ARSO), with no access to electricity and communication lines, tested their skills and technology to use radio for enhancing preparedness for natural calamities.

The three-day-long second annual field camp at the remote island ended on Sunday. Using amateur radio, also known as HAM radios, with minimal power supply was the theme of the camp.

During the devastating Fani cyclone in 2019, Puri district remained without power and telecommunication for several days.

At that time HAM radio became the only means of communication between the Puri collectorate and State secretariat in Bhubaneswar, said ARSO members.

The HAM operators employed high frequency signals to connect with other operators living far away. Participants were able to connect to around 60 such operators in different parts of India and abroad, including three operators in Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE.The operators contacted in India were located at places like Erode in Kerala, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Guwahati in Assam.

“Minimal amount of power was used for HAM connectivity and personal use ... Only 30-40 watts of electricity from portable small batteries were used for the purpose”, said Gurudatta Panda, a participant at the camp.

ARSO members reached the island on the evening of February 14 and remained cut off from the rest of the world till February 16. To simulate situations during a natural calamity, the group operated without power and conventional modes of communication, and used bamboo poles and domestic electrical wires to construct an antenna tower.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:29:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ham-radio-comes-to-rescue-during-natural-calamities/article30838083.ece

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