Go Back   Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 20th April 2016, 14:37   #46
BHPian
 
Jaguar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 555
Thanked: 141 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
I have a clamp (lip-mount??) on the bonnet of my vehicle. The power is drawn directly from the battery. I have a provision to mount the set on the right side of the front passenger seat. In city I generally fix the 1/4 antenna which is more than enough. On longer trips, I replace it with the 5/8 whip antenna (which is longer). The only problems I noticed is that, at high speeds communication may get a bit cracky (but copyable), and you may have to answer questions when people see a wireless set on a (seemingly) civilian vehicle.
Can you post some pics and links to the mount and antenna you have? I want to get started in setting up my shack while I am waiting for my licesnse.
Jaguar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd April 2016, 21:22   #47
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,091
Thanked: 629 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Can you post some pics and links to the mount and antenna you have? I want to get started in setting up my shack while I am waiting for my licesnse.
I have attached some images to this post. These kind of clamps are also generally sold during various HAM eye ball meet etc. Generally the clamp and the cable assembly comes as two different units (which needs to be purchased separately).
Attached Images
   
sachinpk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd April 2016, 21:44   #48
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
My understanding is that this type of license does NOT test the applicant's knowledge in basic electronics. Or does it?
I did the course in 1996 so don't remember exactly but I'm sure there was not much about electronics as it's a requirement to have a contract for shore based maintenance of equipment.

Quote:
But what is tested is the proficiency in understanding and following a huge set of procedures, call signs, pro-words etc.
Basically sending and receiving Distress Communications by Voice (VHF/MF/HF), Telex and Digital Selective Calling.


Quote:
And in the days of morse code a very high level of skill there. My understanding is that a Radio Officer had to receive and transmit 25words per minute?
Something like it. Not sure but I know it was really tough to pass.
pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 01:44   #49
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

I have finally decided to take the ASOC exam and have already downloaded the study material. Now I have a few doubts;

1. There are 2 grades of licences; Restricted and Genreal. The syllabus for Restricted is Basic Electronics, Rules & Regulations and for the General is Basic Electronics, Rules & Regulations, Morse Code. My doubt is if I apply for General and pass in Basic Electronics, Rules & Regulations and fail in Morse Code, will I be granted a Restricted Licence. Alternatively if I answer on the Restricted and pass, can I answer only the Morse Code at a later date and upgrade to General or do I have to answer everything all over again.

2. I do not intend transmitting or receiving in Morse. Is it worth the trouble getting the General Licence? I read somewhere that the grade of your licence determines the max permissible power of your transmitter. In this case even if I only intend using voice, I'll have to get a General Licence.

3. I am unable to find the examination schedule anywhere on the net. I intend giving the exam in Goa between August and December. Any idea about the dates.

4. One of the sections in the application form asks the details of the equipment. Do I have to buy the equipment or decide on the model before taking the exam? If I select a particular model in the form, can I buy something else (complying with the limitations of the licence) once I get the licence.

Last edited by pedrolourenco : 14th June 2016 at 01:45. Reason: spacing
pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 10:23   #50
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,091
Thanked: 629 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
My doubt is if I apply for General and pass in Basic Electronics, Rules & Regulations and fail in Morse Code, will I be granted a Restricted Licence.
Yes. That is what happens. If you do not clear the Morse code exams, then you would still be issued with a Restricted grade license. The reverse is not possible. I.e if you have a Restricted license at the moment, you just cannot appear for the Morse code part of the exam ONLY, and then try to upgrade your license. You need to take the exam all over again.


Quote:
2. I do not intend transmitting or receiving in Morse. Is it worth the trouble getting the General Licence? I read somewhere that the grade of your licence determines the max permissible power of your transmitter. In this case even if I only intend using voice, I'll have to get a General Licence.
I suggest you appear for General License. If you have the time and inclination you can try learning morse code as well. Both Restricted Grade and General Grade allows voice communication. In VHF and UHF the call sign holder can transmit at 10W (for General it is 25W), and on HF SSB you could transmit at max of 50W (for General it is much higher). With 50W on HF SSB, I have been able to reach Indonesia and once even Cape Town!!

Quote:
3. I am unable to find the examination schedule anywhere on the net. I intend giving the exam in Goa between August and December. Any idea about the dates.
I don't know if any active HAM clubs operate in Goa. Best is to reach out to the local monitoring station. They generally operate out of some telephone exchange. http://www.wpc.dot.gov.in/faq.asp . As per this, the monitoring station having jurisdiction over Goa seems to be at Mumbai.
WPC Wing Regional Licencing Office,Ministry of Communications & IT, Western Regional Wireless Monitoring HQRS Campus, Gorai Road, Borivali (West), Mumbai – 400091
Tel. 91 22 28672351 Fax. 91 22 28672351


Quote:
4. One of the sections in the application form asks the details of the equipment. Do I have to buy the equipment or decide on the model before taking the exam?
That should NOT be a problem at all. Do NOT buy any equipment before the exam. I don't remember giving any such details when I filed the application form. And you are always at a liberty to make or buy your own equipment. You just have to maintain a small register for your equipments (like your call log book). I purchased my first walkie talkie after getting my license.

Last edited by sachinpk : 14th June 2016 at 10:25. Reason: Info on WPC Monitoring station added.
sachinpk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 11:29   #51
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Yes. That is what happens. If you do not clear the Morse code exams, then you would still be issued with a Restricted grade license.
Thanks. That clears one doubt. I will take the exam for the general licence. I will need to practice Morse again. Last time I did it was for my Chief Mates exams.

Quote:
The reverse is not possible. I.e if you have a Restricted license at the moment, you just cannot appear for the Morse code part of the exam ONLY, and then try to upgrade your license. You need to take the exam all over again.
This is a ridiculous rule. Anyways The stuff other than Morse is not really difficult to study. In fact I have actually studies some of it for my GMDSS exam.

Quote:
I suggest you appear for General License. If you have the time and inclination you can try learning morse code as well.
That's exactly what I will do.

Quote:
Both Restricted Grade and General Grade allows voice communication. In VHF and UHF the call sign holder can transmit at 10W (for General it is 25W), and on HF SSB you could transmit at max of 50W (for General it is much higher). With 50W on HF SSB, I have been able to reach Indonesia and once even Cape Town!!
I am only interested in voice. And I'll most probably not buy a very powerful transmitter. But as you suggested I'll try for the General Licence.

Quote:
I don't know if any active HAM clubs operate in Goa.
I don't think there are any. Many years ago when I first heard about HAMS, there were only 2 in Goa.

Quote:
Best is to reach out to the local monitoring station. They generally operate out of some telephone exchange. http://www.wpc.dot.gov.in/faq.asp . As per this, the monitoring station having jurisdiction over Goa seems to be at Mumbai.
WPC Wing Regional Licencing Office,Ministry of Communications & IT, Western Regional Wireless Monitoring HQRS Campus, Gorai Road, Borivali (West), Mumbai 400091
Tel. 91 22 28672351 Fax. 91 22 28672351
As per the Vigyan Prasar website:

Quote:
Goa
Officer-in-Charge,
Wireless Monitoring Station,
Ministry of Communications,
Near Teachers' Training College,
P.O. Alto Betim,
Goa 403112.
In fact this very page gave me another piece of info I was looking for

Quote:
THE SCHEDULE OF EXAMINATIONS

Centres where examination is held every month : Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.

Centres where examination is held in the months of January, March, June, August, October and December: Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Nagpur.

Centres where examination is held in the monnths of January, April, July and October:Ajmer, Bangalore, Darjeeling, Gorakhpur, Jalandhar, Goa, Mangalore, Shillong, Ranchi, Srinagar and such other places where Wireless Monitoring Station of the Ministry of communications is located
Quote:
That should NOT be a problem at all. Do NOT buy any equipment before the exam. I don't remember giving any such details when I filed the application form. And you are always at a liberty to make or buy your own equipment. You just have to maintain a small register for your equipments (like your call log book). I purchased my first walkie talkie after getting my license.
That's good to know. Will not buy anything until I get the licence.

Thanks a lot for all the info.
pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 13:18   #52
BHPian
 
bejoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 626
Thanked: 404 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
I have finally decided to take the ASOC exam and have already downloaded the study material.
sachinpk has already answered the queries, but I would like to add one thing.

I initially applied for General license hoping that if I fail the morse test, I would be granted the Restricted licence. In fact, this was the understanding and was the norm at many monitoring stations. Well, I was in surprise when I failed to clear the morse test and the officer told that he cannot grant the Restricted license even though I cleared the written test. According to him, I should have applied for the restricted grade license also. So better to check with the station officer before planning to apply for the license.

PM me if you need contact of a local ham in Goa.
bejoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 15:54   #53
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
Well, I was in surprise when I failed to clear the morse test and the officer told that he cannot grant the Restricted license even though I cleared the written test. According to him, I should have applied for the restricted grade license also. So better to check with the station officer before planning to apply for the license.
Thanks for this useful info. So this means I make 2 sets of applications and submit both. The fees for each grade are Rs.100/- but for General you also have to pay the restricted fees (Total Rs.200/-). Now since I am applying for both grades, do I pay just Rs.200/- or Rs.100/- for the Restricted + Rs.200/- for the General?

Quote:
PM me if you need contact of a local ham in Goa.
That will be great. Sent you the PM.
pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th June 2016, 23:53   #54
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
According to him, I should have applied for the restricted grade license also. So better to check with the station officer before planning to apply for the license.
I checked with the HAM's in Goa and they confirmed that this the procedure in Goa too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
So this means I make 2 sets of applications and submit both.
All the HAM's in the Goa HAM WhatsApp group suggested that I go ahead and make 2 sets which I have already done. I'll be sending it home with one of the off-signers from the ship. Then someone will attach attested copies of my birth certificate to bot sets and also get the Nationality certificate signed by the same Gazetted officer. Then one of the HAMs will go to the monitoring station and submit all the forms. Apparently there are a lot of people applying. They will decide on the exam dates after seeing the applications. They will accept the forms without the fees. These only need to be paid on the day of the exams.

Quote:
The fees for each grade are Rs.100/- but for General you also have to pay the restricted fees (Total Rs.200/-). Now since I am applying for both grades, do I pay just Rs.200/- or Rs.100/- for the Restricted + Rs.200/- for the General?
No one is really clear on this rule but they will clarify with the monitoring centre when submitting the forms.

I have decided that if I pass the exam, I will start off with the cheapest option which is a Home Brewed Rig. Two of the guys are already using these, so I'll ask them to help me build myself one too. It's basically a BITX40 kit.

Someone also has an ICOM IC720M for sale. But this is a Marine set, so needs to be modified for HAM use. I will need to find someone to do the mod if I pic this up.

I will also consider your suggestion of getting something from abroad as you suggested Bejoy but that will be a bit later.

Any more suggestion for the Home Brewed Rigs. Looking for a VHF too. Also would be nice if people all posted photos of their rigs here.

Since I'm not yet a HAM, posting some snaps of my ships rig.
Attached Thumbnails
The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread-wp_20160614_14_30_22_pro.jpg  

The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread-wp_20160614_14_30_17_pro.jpg  

The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread-wp_20160615_15_34_24_pro.jpg  

The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread-wp_20160615_15_38_55_pro.jpg  

The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread-wp_20160614_14_30_42_pro.jpg  

The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread-wp_20160615_15_38_33_pro.jpg  

pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2016, 10:07   #55
BHPian
 
raghu.t.k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 446
Thanked: 161 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

All the best for the exams. Good to see you have collected all the info including the equipments. Looks likes the cheapest way is to start with home brew, and then move to more complicated ones.

Are you already conversant with morse?

And Nice "toys" there.

One other question in general, with the length and height of the aerials used in this hobby, what is done to protect the equipment and the electrical circuits from lightning strikes

Also how good are SDRs given that they just interface with a laptop, and gives many facilites of a receiver. Are these the cost effective compared to the other rigs?
raghu.t.k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2016, 11:21   #56
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,091
Thanked: 629 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco
No one is really clear on this rule but they will clarify with the monitoring centre when submitting the forms.
Please check the rates mentioned for the licenses (Rs.100 & Rs.200). These seems to have got revised around five years back. One thing which irritated the WPC was the amount of paper work required to give some one a HAM license, while only a pittance gets paid as the license fees. My understanding is that it has been increased to at least Rs.1000/-. I would also try to get the latest license fees.

Quote:
Two of the guys are already using these, so I'll ask them to help me build myself one too. It's basically a BITX40 kit.
And that should give you some good insight into HF communication. For VHF, rigs are available very cheap these days. Chinese vendors have pretty much eaten up that market. You now get rigs for as low as around Rs.2000-3000.

Quote:
Since I'm not yet a HAM, posting some snaps of my ships rig.
Okay, the Marine VHF sets. I was trying to tune into the Port Blair HFRT frequency (some where right after 8Mhz), but was not able to copy any thing. What kind of modulation does the transmission happen on (AM,FM,USB,LSB)??

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu.tk
One other question in general, with the length and height of the aerials used in this hobby, what is done to protect the equipment and the electrical circuits from lightning strikes
"Earthing" is provided for these antennas as well. Just like how it is done for you regular electric wiring. That is, an iron rod is placed into a pit in the mud, covered and a wire is pulled from the antenna to this iron rod. A couple of HAMs in Bangalore had also come up with a small circuit breaker to be placed on the feed line cable connecting the antenna to the set. This also gives good protection to the set from "secondary" lightnings (i.e they are way above the ground level). But if a lighting happens real too close to the antenna, then this device is of no use. But in such cases the occupants of the building would also get a severe shock, and no one would be really bothered on the set. They would have bigger things to do.

Quote:
Also how good are SDRs given that they just interface with a laptop, and gives many facilites of a receiver. Are these the cost effective compared to the other rigs?
Many people are now using SDRs (and even using Raspberry Pie etc.) @bejoy here, can give you more info on that. BTW, I have also seen some SDRs (made in India, but only sold through US) which comes very close to the price of a Nano car.
sachinpk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2016, 13:37   #57
BHPian
 
bejoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 626
Thanked: 404 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu.t.k View Post
One other question in general, with the length and height of the aerials used in this hobby, what is done to protect the equipment and the electrical circuits from lightning strikes
There are lightning protectors available that are connected inline the cable. But the best way to safeguard the equipment is to remove the connections at the slightest indication of thunderstorm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu.t.k View Post
Also how good are SDRs given that they just interface with a laptop, and gives many facilites of a receiver. Are these the cost effective compared to the other rigs?
SDRs are increasingly being used now as the cost is coming down. It can be home-brewed for less than 10k with the similar features compared to the much expensive commercial rigs. But the drawback is the need of a PC/Laptop for operation. Many who like to carry their rigs around prefer standalone rigs that can be operated easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
only a pittance gets paid as the license fees
What you said is correct. Till 2009, the exam fee was ₹10-₹25 !!! And the license fee was ₹25-₹60. I guess the DD processing fee was more than the fee itself.

Now it is revised to ₹100 for exam fee and ₹1000/₹2000 for the license fee (after clearing exam).
bejoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2016, 21:27   #58
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghu.t.k View Post
All the best for the exams. Good to see you have collected all the info including the equipments. Looks likes the cheapest way is to start with home brew, and then move to more complicated ones.
Thanks

Quote:
Are you already conversant with morse?
Yea but a bit rusty. Did it some years ago. Also for our exam receiving morse was by light and not sound, so need to get accustomed to that.

Quote:
And Nice "toys" there.
The VHF (Fixed and black hand held) are the ones we actually use extensively. The orange ones are only for the lifeboats so use them only for drills. The MF/HF is just used for keeping watch on distress frequencies. Not used for routine communications any more.

Quote:
Also how good are SDRs given that they just interface with a laptop, and gives many facilites of a receiver. Are these the cost effective compared to the other rigs?
Most of the cheap SDR's are RX only. The TX/RX ones are really expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Please check the rates mentioned for the licenses (Rs.100 & Rs.200). These seems to have got revised around five years back.
Rs.100/- & Rs.200/- are just the examination fees for Restricted and General. Once you pass you have to pay Rs.1000/- & Rs.2000/- respectively for issuance of the licence.

Quote:
One thing which irritated the WPC was the amount of paper work required to give some one a HAM license, while only a pittance gets paid as the license fees. My understanding is that it has been increased to at least Rs.1000/-. I would also try to get the latest license fees.
Like most government agencies, the most irrelevant departments love to make life miserable for people just to justify their existance. In the US the FCC (equivalent of WPC) has delegated the responsibility of conducting the exams to the clubs.


Quote:
Chinese vendors have pretty much eaten up that market. You now get rigs for as low as around Rs.2000-3000.
Wow. Sounds tempting. I need to hunt for these.


Quote:
Okay, the Marine VHF sets. I was trying to tune into the Port Blair HFRT frequency (some where right after 8Mhz), but was not able to copy any thing. What kind of modulation does the transmission happen on (AM,FM,USB,LSB)??
I think it's AM. Need to check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
Now it is revised to ₹100 for exam fee and ₹1000/₹2000 for the license fee (after clearing exam).
Rs.100/- & Rs.200/- are just the examination fees for Restricted and General.

Last edited by pedrolourenco : 16th June 2016 at 21:29.
pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th June 2016, 21:29   #59
BHPian
 
Jaguar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 555
Thanked: 141 Times
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
Any more suggestion for the Home Brewed Rigs. Looking for a VHF too. Also would be nice if people all posted photos of their rigs here.
The cheapest would be something like a UV3R
I picked up one off ebay for some $30 and am able to monitor the local repeater. Waiting for my license before I can see how well it transmits and then upgrade.

Name:  20160616_213056.jpg
Views: 410
Size:  45.5 KB

Last edited by Jaguar : 16th June 2016 at 21:37.
Jaguar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th June 2016, 01:10   #60
BHPian
 
pedrolourenco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Margao, Goa
Posts: 723
Thanked: 413 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: The Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
The cheapest would be something like a UV3R
I picked up one off ebay for some $30 and am able to monitor the local repeater.
Were you able to purchase it before getting your licence?


Quote:
Waiting for my license before I can see how well it transmits and then upgrade.
Congratulations of passing the exam. Was it General or Restricted. How easy or difficult was it?

Does anyone have question sets? I have started preparing for my licence and would like to have an idea of the questions asked.
pedrolourenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Radio / Remote Control Cars Thread. (RC) paras211 Shifting gears 920 15th September 2015 13:07
HAM Radio in a car joecherian Modifications & Accessories 9 20th September 2013 16:04
Radio Auto Launched! Radio TUK TUK RW9763 Street Experiences 2 24th November 2010 15:17
Amateur racing series in India? VTEC yo Indian Motorsport 4 14th February 2008 22:10
Some amateur questions about modifications... DRC Modifications & Accessories 12 23rd August 2005 09:10


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 16:00.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks