HAM Radio a Unique Platform – OM. Joshi Dipak Shantilal (VU3DSJ), Gandhi Nagar

As we all know, operating amateur radio is a popular hobby and voluntary public service that uses designated radio frequencies for non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communications.

It is an activity of self-learning, communication and technical investigation carried out by duly authorized persons with a personal aim and without any pecuniary interest.

Amateur radio operators use radio transmitters and receivers to communicate with other amateur radio operators. The things that amateur radio operators do with their radios are as diverse as the people themselves.

Amateur radio operators come from all walks of life — doctors, students, children, politicians, truck drivers, movie stars, missionaries, taxi drivers and even your average neighbor next door. They are of all ages and sexes and have different nationalities and income groups.

The ham radio is a bridge that connects people and makes them friends. Signals from even the smallest equipment can cross national boundaries. The radio amateur literally has the world at his fingertips.

Advanced amateur radio communication techniques include Automatic Position Reporting Systems using GPS information, Internet linking of repeater stations, interface with Internet for exchange of emails and images, and visual communication modes.

Whether through Morse code on an old brass telegraph key, voice communication on a hand-held radio or computerized messages transmitted via satellite, all hams use radio to reach out to the world.

Ham radio brings people, electronics, and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, across the world, or even reach out to space, all without the Internet or cellphones.

Contacting people all over the world by radio often leads to international friendships and exchange of cultural, personal and technical information with other amateurs not only within India but all over the world.

In their free time, amateur radio operators use their radio stations and conduct two-way communication. It’s fun,

social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need. By becoming a radio amateur, and with the right interest, a lifetime of personal growth lies ahead in the field of electronics and radio communication. Many people today owe their career development to their first steps in hamming.

A few amateur radio pioneers have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy today. There are even ham astronauts who take radios with them on space shuttle missions and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space.

Ham radio is an increasingly sophisticated piece of technology, but it calls the user, the ham operator, to learn and improve on his technical knowledge and skill. Communication through amateur space satellites or with the International Space Station is a unique example of this.

Since the beginning of radio, hams have been paving the way for new forms of communication. Many of the leaps forward in radio technology have been initiated by radio amateurs.

Ham radios are vehicles for communication. A wireless communication network of amateur radios is one of the most effective alternative mediums of communication and can play a significant role in providing reliable communication when other means of communication fail.

They provide a platform for the exchange of information or data in emergency situations or in disasters. Hams who use the equipment are sometimes the only links between zones of destruction and the rest of the world.

The skills of the trained amateur radio operator can be used for public service in times of need and emergencies. In numerous occasions, under extreme circumstances, very efficient amateur radio communication and humanitarian assistance were provided by hams.

The ham radio is a tool that a technically equipped individual can use to warn of or report on bad situations, bring people closer together, and open people’s eyes to a larger world.

When natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes


paralyze telephone and cellphone communications, ham radio operators enter the picture to connect everyone together. It is in this regard that ham radio remains the ultimate source of off-grid communications. Ham radio can connect us to one another when no other source is available.

Another great innovation is the introduction of a cutting-edge technology called “amateur radio satellites.” An amateur radio operator can use his hand-held radio to communicate with an amateur radio satellite when it is overhead.

With amateur radio, we communicate directly, “point-to-point”, with no intermediate infrastructure. We also communicate with people in their cars, on ships, on remote islands, and in underdeveloped parts of the world.

Amateur radio is not just about communicating, it’s about exploring the technology that makes radio communication work — the electronics, the antennas, the propagation characteristics of the ionosphere, and even computers that are linked to radio equipment for all sorts of purposes, including specialized modes of communication, station logging, propagation prediction, etc.

With HF radios hams can talk to other hams in literally any part of the globe.

Communicating with “very low power” is a challenge that many hams enjoy. QRP is usually practiced on the HF bands. With small portable VHF and UHF transceivers, hams enjoy extremely reliable communications within their local community.

Amateur television — It’s just like real television because it is real television. Slow Scan TV sends pictures around the world at little or no cost. Hams have their own satellites that are easy to operate. Hams operate with their own satellites for worldwide communication, using a handheld device or a base station. Ham radio operators enjoy a digital network of their own, all without wires!

There are several digital amateur radio communication techniques that allow hams to exchange text messages, send an email or even connect to the Internet.

“Ham telegrams” are used to send messages to people around the world at no cost to the sender or the recipient; all done by ham radio operators volunteering their time and resources.

Amateur radio is the only hobby governed by an international treaty. It is a venture that is still clothed in mystery. Classified both as a hobby and a service, ham radio and its operators encompass the entire world, with over two million people licensed to operate.

There is no better way to explore the fascinating world of radio communications than by becoming a radio amateur. Thank you !!

Joshi Dipak Shantilal (VU3DSJ)

E-mail: vu3dsj@yahoo.com, Mobile : +91 9426742900

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