HAM calling in the city of palaces

Indian Institute of Hams plan weekend classes on July 27 and 28

HAM calling in the city of palaces

“Hello VU2FI in...alpha... bravo...”

This is the call sign used for communication on HAM radio. And, if you want to be a part of the network, the opportunity has come calling at your city.

Rise in catastrophe in the nation has forced Indian Institute of HAMS to focus on tier-II cities to expand the network of volunteers. For the first time, Mysore will be hosting a two-day weekend workshop for the interested youth from July 27 at the Institution of Engineers, JLB road in the city. The workshop will mainly focus on teaching the technicalities and allied matters in making HAM.

Coordinator of Mysore branch of the office of the Indian Institute of HAMS, Bangalore, P Prakash told Deccan Herald that till April this year when workshops were hosted in Bangalore, enthusiasts from across the State, including Mysore, had to travel till the State capital to attend the course (workshop). Now that the course is being conducted in the city, it is hoped to bring in more people into the network. Already 50 to 60 people have evinced interest, he said.

The only requirement to be a HAM is fluency in English. Barring these two prerequisites, there are no other restrictions in enrolling for the course.

The course will comprise six to eight hour classes, including an introduction by the director of the institute S Sathyapal. Prakash said that veteran operator Marcus will conduct classes on electronics. The other classes include rules and regulations pertaining to Indian Telegraph Act and operation and procedure of HAM. Exams will be conducted after a gap of two months, mostly in the month of September, according to tri-monthly charter.

Once the exams are cleared, it will take eight months to fulfil the related procedure to obtain the licence. Setting up of a HAM radio station is also economically viable, as it requires only about Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000. A hand held instrument costs Rs 1,000. Licence fee too is affordable (Rs 1,000 for 20 years and Rs 20,000 for life time - 80 years). If the HAM operator wills to be in the loop, the licence will be extended for another five years once the life time membership terminates.

There are 16,000 HAM operators in the country, with a majority of them the State, especially Bangalore. The State capital has 5,000 HAM operators, making it the ‘HAM Capital of India’. There are around 60 operators belonging to Mysore. However with a majority of them having set up base elsewhere, there are only 10 active HAM operators remaining in the city.

The course fee for students is Rs 1,200 and for others Rs 1,500. Classes will be conducted from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. There is no limit on enrolments. Contact 9880807667, 9845752355. Mail ham7388@gmail.com.

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