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STEPS INVOLVED IN BECOMING A HAM RADIO OPERATOR

There is a general misconception that a person can call herself/himself a ham radio operator if she/he becomes a member of a ham radio club/society. There are of course ham radio clubs and amateur radio societies, which help newcomers by providing guidance to become a ham radio operator. The club station maintained by Vigyan Prasar is VU2NCT.

Why be a ham?
There are many reasons for a person to become a ham radio operator. Some become ham for sheer adventure; some want to build their own equipment; some just want to make friendship by leisurely talking with fellow hams from around that world; some for the sheer belief that if they become ham then they would be able to talk to their family when they go far apart at a very low cost. To some, ham radio is just a simple hobby for the pastime when they have nothing to do. For the techno-savvy, it is an excellent way to fulfill their craving for sophistication. Those who are 'civic-minded' get the opportunity to carry out ‘disaster preparedness’ activities by way of operating their wireless sets during 'mock exercises' so that in the event of a distress they can help their fellow beings when all other modes of communication may fail. An industrious ham with a technical bend may take it as an opportunity to research and develop radio equipment for her/his fellow ham radio operators, which may turn out to be a profitable proposition. For the sailors and for the people who have to go to remote places, becoming a ham is an added advantage. While ham radio provides merriment to the hobbyist, to the sailors and explorers it is an utility. They can even send e-mails to their families/friends right away from the sailboats or vehicles without any internet connection and that too without any cost! This becomes possible through a dedicated global network of ham radio stations popularly known as ‘Winlink’ (for more information please refer to: http://www.winlink.org). In fact, with a technology known as PACTOR-III, ham radio operators can virtually send any file formats from one computer to another using radio waves.
Ham radio has lots of utility, but it is not a replacement of other modes of communication (Landline Telephone, mobile telephone, Internet/e-mail etc.) so long as government regulation does not permit hams to do so. PDF documents related to the hobby with more information may be downloaded from: http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/vipnet/

Licencing Examination

A Licencing examination (Amateur Wireless Telegraph Operator's Licencing Examination) is conducted by the Wireless Planning and Co-ordination (WPC) wing of the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, New Delhi at any one of the 22 Wireless Monitoring Stations located throughout the country. You need to apply to the 'Officer-in-Charge'(OC)/Engineer Inspection of the Wireless Monitoring Station nearest to your hometown (or wherever you wish). The examination consists of a 100 marks question paper (50 marks related to basic radio/electronics theory as per the prescribed syllabus ( http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/SYLLABUS.htm ) and 50 marks related to Amateur Radio Rules & Regulations: http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/asocrules.htm) which is of one, two or three hours duration as per the "grade" of licence you intend to appear. There are 4 grades of licences. A practical test on Morse Code sending & receiving (at the speed of 5 WPM & 8 WPM) is also conducted to examine the candidate's proficiency in wireless telegraphy communication ( http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/MORSE1.htm Morse code learning software can be downloaded from: perso.club-internet.fr/f1orl/cwpeng.htm) You can apply for more than one grades at a time, provided, separate application forms along with the prescribed examination fees, for each grade in the form of Demand Draft issued from a "State Bank of India" branch drawn in favour of the "Pay & Accounts Officer (Headquarters), Department of Telecommunications, New Delhi-110 001, payable at SBI New Delhi Service Branch (Code No. 7687) are sent to the "Officer-in-Charge" of the Wireless Monitoring Station where you will be appearing for the ASOC examination.

Examination Fees:

Advanced Grade: Rs.25/-
Grade I: Rs.20/-
Grade II: Rs.10/-
Grade II (Restricted): Rs.10/-

SWL (Short Wave Listening Licence to listen hams) Licence: No examination (no fees).

The particulars of the "Venue" and "Date" etc. of the examination would be communicated by the Officer-in-Charge of the concerned Wireless Monitoring Station on receipt of completed application form along with the requisite examination fees.

Following should accompany the application form
(To download: Right Click > Save Target As):

(1) Nationality Certificate/ (To download: Right Click > Save Target As)Character Certificate in the prescribed proforma from a gazetted officer.
(2) 2 copies of recent passport size (3 x 4 cms) photographs duly signed by you on the front side.
(3) Examination fees in the form of Bank Draft (DD) drawn from a SBI branch of appropriate amount.
(4) Personal particulars (4 copies) in the prescribed proforma.
5) An attested copy of 'birth certificate' or 'School Leaving certificate' as a proof of your age (the minimum age requirement to appear for the examination is 12 years for Grade II and 14 years for Grade I).

After the declaration of the result, a copy of the result and your "Personal particulars" would be forwarded by the Wireless Monitoring Station to the WPC Wing of the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, New Delhi. The WPC Wing, New Delhi would then  undertake an interministry consultation ( Security Clearance/Police Verification ). After the police verification report is received with a clearance, the WPC Wing would write to you that you are eligible for the award of an "Amateur Wireless Telegraph Station Licence" on payment of the requisite "Licence Fees'. This process takes a few months of time. 'Examination Fee' and 'Licence fee' are different and the 'Licence fee' should be sent only when asked for. This time, the mode of payment is same as above, but you have to send it directly to:
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The Assistant Wireless Adviser to the Govt. of India,
WPC Wing, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology,
Amateur Radio Section (Kind. Attn. Mr. Irshad Ahmed),
6th Floor, SANCHAR BHAWAN,
# 20 Ashoka Road
New Delhi-110 001
Tel# 011-23036181 (Extn. from Reception 6181) and
Fax # 011-2371 6111

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B. Different grades of licencing examinations & licences:

(1) Grade-II (Restricted) Amateur Station Operator's Licence (if you pass Restricted Grade licensing Examination): Permits short distance terrestrial communication using a power output of 10 Watts (dc input power) in the Very High Frequency (VHF) & Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands. The frequencies allocated in these bands ranges from 144 to 146 MHz (in India) and 434 to 438 MHz. Modes of communication allowed are: Radio Telephony(Voice) using Amplitude Modulation (AM), Single Side Band (SSB), SSB Suppressed Carrier, SSB reduced carrier and Frequency Modulation (FM). Communication range is limited to a very short distance (a typical possible range may be 35 km only depending on the height of the antenna or the type of terrain). This type of licence is useful in a place where there are large number of ham radio operators concentrated in a township.


(2) Grade II Licence (if you pass Grade-II licensing examination): Permits worldwide long distance communication in AM, SSB, FM using a power output of 50 watts in different allotted short wave bands (high frequency-HF bands ranging from 1.8 to 30 MHz) including the VHF & UHF bands mentioned above. But entitlement for authorization of voice communication (radio telephony) is on the basis of providing proof of having made 100 contacts with other amateur radio stations using Morse Code (Called Continuous Wave-CW communication). This means that you have to send back your original licence to the WPC wing for "Voice endorsement" along with the photocopies of your log book (see Rules & Regulation Section) after making 100 Morse Code radio contact.

(3) Grade-I: (if you pass Grade-I licensing examination): Power output is 150 watts in short waves (in the allotted HF bands), 25 watts in VHF & UHF (Ultra High Frequency). An additional UHF spectrum from 1260 to 1300 MHz including a range of frequencies in Super High Frequency (SHF: 3300-3400 & 5725-5840 MHz) spectrum is available to this category of licensees. With this licence you can directly use voice including Morse Code. Other advanced modes like Radio Tele-Typing (RTTY), Amateur Radio Teleprinting Over Radio (AMTOR), Packet Radio (-an advanced technique of digital data communication through computer connected to a wireless transceiver), PSK31 (the latest digital communication mode in which a computer equipped with a sound-blaster card can be directly connected to a wireless transceiver for data reception and transmission), Amateur Television (ATV using Slow Scan Telecast: SSTV) are also allowed. You are also permitted to work amateur radio communication satellites with this licence.

(4) Advanced Grade: Same as Grade-I licence but allowed to use 400 watts of power in selected sub-bands. This is the highest grade licence in India.Every ham radio enthusiast in India aspires to get it.

Practical Test on MORSE CODE SENDING & RECEIVING

One of the most frequently used "Important" modes of communication in ham radio is "Morse Code". There is a practical test on Morse Code sending and receiving (except for Restricted Grade Licence where this test is not required). This is a 10 minutes duration test to examine the candidate's proficiency in sending and receiving Morse Code. Minimum specified speed to pass the examination is 5 Word Per Minute for Grade-II licence (5 WPM: 125 letters/characters sent in 5 minutes). To learn Morse code, a Morse Code Practice Oscillator can be assembled along with a Morse Key and a Morse Code learning Cassette can be found useful ( http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/homebrewing_zone.htm ). Morse Keys are only available at some junk markets.

List of Wireless Monitoring Stations. Correspondece for licencing examination is to be addressed to Officer-in-charge, Wireless Monitoring Station.
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LIST OF WIRELESS MONITORING STATIONS for appearing
in the Licencing Examination:

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Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Kotra, Pushkar Road,
Ajmer-305004.
Tel# 2425641, Fax# 2634583

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
18, Padmanabha Nagar,
Banashankari II Stage,
Bangalore-560 070
Tel# 26690102, Fax. 26790300

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
H.No.E-1/149, Arera Colony,
Bhopal-462003
Tel# 2564653, Fax. 2723930

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
International Monitoring Station
Village-Gopalpur, P.O. Sarkarpool
24-Parganas,
Calcutta-734352 ,
Tel# 24012960, 24010151, Fax. 24589407

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Kandanchavadi,Perungudi,
Chennai-600096
Tel# 24960234, 24960811, Fax. 24960235

Officer-in-Charge,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
International Monitoring Station
Ghitorni, PO Mehrauli,
Delhi-110 030,
Tel# 26802380, 26986226

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
7, Oak'S Bank,
Holding No-560,
Darjeeling-734001
Tel# 252383

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Girdharilal Sardarmal Building,
Mancotta Road,
Dibrugarh-786001
Tel# 221238

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Opposite Jagatpark Society,
Ahmedabad, GUJARAT
Ghatlodia-380061
Tel# 27484444, Fax. 27433011


Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Sylvia Building, Chogm Road,
PO Alto Porvorim,
Goa-403521
Tel# 2217245

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Gurauli Buzurg Chhapia,
Khajani Road,
Gorakhpur-273001
Tel# 2333709

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
H.No.1-1-648/4, Gandhinagar,
Hyderabad-500080,
Tel# 27613217, Fax# 27603368

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Main Garha Road,Hardyal Nagar,
Jalandhar-144022.
Tel# 2225210

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
International Satellite Monitoring Earth Station
Indewadi Village,
Ambad Road,
Jalna-431203.
Tel# 230201, Fax# 232200

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Fathima Mansion, Pintos Lane,
Bijai PO, Mangalore - 575004
Tel# 2493960, Fax# 2494249

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
International Monitoring Station, Gorai Road,
Borivilli (West),
Mumbai-400 091
Tel# 28677307, 28672351, Fax# 28672351

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Chindwara Road, PO Koradi T.P.S.,
Nagpur-441111,
Tel# 262114, Fax. 2581807


Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Statio
Harmu Housing Colony,
Ranchi - 834012,
Tel# 2203823

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
PO Umpling, Lapalang, Rynjah
Shillong - 793006
Tel# 2230113, 2230893, Fax. 2233727

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
H.No. 41, Sector-I, Lane 2
Nanak Nagar-180004
Tel# 2430064, Fax. 2433557

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications, GOI
Kachani Post,Nettayam,
Trivandrum-695013.
Tel# 2362202, Fax. 2364333

Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station
39-27-41, Madhavadhara
VUDA Colony
Visakhapatnam 530018
Andhra Pradesh
Tel. 0891-2539365
Telefax: 0891-2542402
Page prepared by Sandeep Baruah
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For information related to joinining the national society for ham radio in India you may download the
Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) application form from the URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ARSI/files/
You can join ARSI newsgroup by sending mailto: ARSI-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
visit the group for old announcements at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ARSI/
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---------------------------Pe prepared by Sandeep Baruah

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