| 29 Jun 2022
"Ham Radio no longer just a hobby"

GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat Institute of Amateur Radio (GIAR) hosted HamfestIndia-2008, the annual gathering of radio amateurs from India on 11 and 12 October, at the sprawling Town Hall, Gandhinagar, capital of Gujarat.

Over 300 delegates from different parts of India, mostly from the western parts of the country, attended it.

Gujarat Assembly speaker Ashok Bhatt lighted the inaugural lamp for the Hamfest. During his brief speech, he emphasised that amateur radio ( or ham radio as it is popularly called) is no longer a hobby , and is a necessity now.

GIAR vice chairman E Radhakrishna, IPS, VU3LRE, GIAR chairman Dr S K Nanda, GIAR Joint Secretary P C Valera,VU2CPV and President of Amateur Radio Society of India Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, adressed the gathering on the occassion.

The chairman of Gujarat Institute of Amateur Radio (GIAR), S K Nanda said that the government should incorporate radio communication as an optional subject in schools and colleges. He also emphasised that having radio communication as a subject in educational institutes will help develop people's interest in Ham radio. In this age of convergence, where many communication options are available, HAM Radio has been most reliable during calamity situations for years, he said.

Presentations made during the Hamfest included:

1) "The joy of homebrewing" by Prof.S.P.Bhatnagar, Bhavnagar University Radio Forum.

2) BGAN (Broad Global Area Network) by VU2JJJ, Jinofer Bhujwala

3) Satellite Communication - Basics & Application by V.S.Palsule,Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad

4) The new generation all band HF Transceiver by VU2HMY, Dr.P.Rajshekhar

5) Global ALE High Frequency Network by VU3RSB, Sarath Babu

6) Propagation conditions & dxing by VU2DSI, Datta Ji

7) Demo of Airmail software by VU2GMN,Gopal Madhavan

The evening culminated with a cultural programme highlighting the culture and traditions of Gujarat.

On 12 October, bidding was held for Hamfest 2009 in which Bangalore Amateur Radio Society won the bid to host Hamfest 2009. The Bangalore Amateur Radio Society is celebrating its golden jubilee next year. VU2YZ Sampat (Convener of Hamfest 2009) and VU2JHM Ajoy talked about their plans on hosting the next Hamfest.

Governor of Gujarat Naval Kishore Sharma released a souvenir highlighting the importance of HAM activity and attempt of different clubs in promoting it on the occasion. He also honoured senior ham Narendra Nanda, VU2NG, son of late Prime Minister Guljari Lal Nanda and also presented the awards for best presentations.
Dr Rajasekhar, VU2HMY won the first place for the best paper presented on HMY2K8, Multiband HF Transceiver.

The winner of the Eyeball Ball contest held at the venue was VU3RSB, Sarath Babu.

This time, parallel sessions were held especially for wives and children of hams and an event manager took care of the entertainment of the group who were not interested in technical sessions.

Pics by Alokesh Gupta