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What is Amateur Radio?
Amateur Radio,also known as a HAM Radio is a unique hobby of operating Amateur Wireless Station (Wireless Transmitting and Receivng Apparatus) for communicating with other fellow HAMs anywhere in the world irrespective of Time, Language and Religion. Indulgence in this hobby cuts across the barriers of Caste,Colour, Creed and Country. Since HAMs communicate to each other without foreknowledge or interest in the origins or idelogies of the parties to the communication. Once you become a HAM you are immediately accepted as a member of the global community of HAMs.

Amateur Radio is the spare time hobby without pecuniary interest. It is pursued for the pleasure to be derived from an interest in radio technique, and for the ensuing friendships with like minded persons, throughout the world. It is the most personal, most international and most technical of all hobbies. It is not therefore surprising that this hobby has attracted millions of persons from all walks of life.There are HAMs among Kings, Farmers,Students, Generals, Administrators, Politicians, Lawyers, Industrialist, Cine personalities, Doctors and Housewives too.

What are the uses of HAM Radio?
A Popular acronym for HAM is "Help All Man kind". HAM Radio has been recognised as a Second line of communication. Such as Natural Calamities, Floods, Earthquakes etc . disrupt tele - communication systems and also cause unlimited misery in the form of deaths and injury to people. On such occassions HAMs help to restore normalcy by organising communication network, helping government agencies.

There are numerous occasions in which HAMs have come to the rescue in our country. The Latur Earthquake, the Orissa Cyclones and the Gujarat Earthquake are a few instances. With a number of doctors in the Hamdom, hard-to-get drugs in our country have come through HAM contacts from other countries in time of medical emergency and saved many lives. However, HAMs also have limitations in the use of radio communication. They are prohibited from passing thrid party messages or use it for promotion of business etc. Also it cannot be use for Politics or Religion.

Who can become a Radio Amateur?
There is no minimum educational qualifications, the requirement is that you must be atleast 12 years of age. There is no upper age limit.There are four grades of licence;(1)Advance Grade (2)Grade I (3)Grade II (4)Restricted Grade. To get your Amateur Radio licence, you must appear for the Amateur Sation Operator's Certificate (A.S.O.C.) Examinations which is conducted by the Monitoring Organisation, Wireless Planning and Co-ordination wing, Ministry of Communication, Government of India.

The A.S.O.C. Examination has two parts. The First part is a written examination consisting of two sections - (A) Elementary Electronics and Radio Theory, and (B) International Radio Rules and Regulations. The Second part is a practical examination in sending and receiving Morse code (Restricted Grade Licence do not require Morse code practical examination). For more information about these exams, you could read some of the books available on the subject. A list of some of those books is available through this Link.

The successful candidates are awarded the licences with Callsign by the WPC wing of the Ministry of Communication after due verification by the Police authorities.Only the Licence holder is eligible to operate the Amateur Radio. The detailed rules are contained in Indian Wireless Telegraph (Amateur Service) Rules, as amended from time to time. Checkout this Link for the full-text.

Is HAM Radio Very Expensive?
HAM radio is not more expensive than any other hobby like Photography or Flying. It is definitely cheaper because HAM Radio requires only an initial investment in Transmitter and Receiver after which no future expenditure has to be incurred.
You can make a Transmitter and Receiver for about Rs. 2000/- and talk to HAMs in India and make contacts from outside India. For about Rs. 5000/- you can assemble a powerful equipment with which you make regular contacts all over the world. HAMs are also permitted to Import foreign equipment at reduced Customs Duty.

About Our HAM Radio Society:
Kayalpattinam HAM Radio Society is the First HAM Radio society in the Tiruchendur taluk area. Inaugurated on 22nd of February,1998, it is a platform for promoting Amateur Radio (HAM) activity in Tiruchendur taluk through public awareness days, lectures, training classes for Amateur Station Operators Certificate Examination and many other such activities. On August 8th, 1999, the society conducted its first ever Amateur Radio Examinations. Eleven of the candidates have cleared the exam and are waiting for their licence.

A few years ago, Our neighbouring town Authoor (River side) was ravaged and ruptured by severe floods, many thousands of people made homeless and the refugees sought shelter at our town. At that time some of our Society members actively participated in the relief and rescue works through HAM Radio.

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