18 April 2006

Back on the Air - Almost

After nearly 6 years since I went off the air, I will finally be heard on the air-waves. It was a long self imposed exile from the on - air operations. I continued to keep in touch with the Hams. That kept me informed about the activities and the progress of the hobby.

The reasons were plenty for me to go off the air.

The hobby was going a little out of control with certain grade of operators 'pushing' themselves into the activities. They were getting a little unruly. Operating ethics were thrown to the wind. Language, was at times, not palpable. Having come into the hobby the hard way (an altogether different story- to be narrated later in a separate post), I just could not come terms with the unruly behaviour on the air.

The homeliness and comoradeship was missing. People were getting into too many small groups discussing petty matters which was in contravention to the set ethics of the hobby. It was difficult to make new friends.

My work was getting too hectic. I was travelling almost 5 days a week giving me no free time.

It was also during this period that my life took a spirtual turn. I started certain spritual and religious actvities in the mornings.

There was also the possibility of my getting transferred from Mysore.

To top it all, the final nail on activities was - I got MARRIED!!!

Enough reasons to end all my radio activities. I have now finally come into Bangalore.

This weekend, I happened to come to Mysore. I pulled out the antenna and cables to be carried to Bangalore. I intend to put up the antenna on Sunday and should be making the good old ham radio "galata" - not to be linked to MGP's other acronym.

Will keep the info coming

01 April 2006

Changes in the Amateur Radio Licence Rules

There has been recent announcement in the Amateur Service Rules which has already been gazetted by the Govt. of India. There has been a general outcry by the Hams on the changes. The changes are very vague and no details have been made available.

Two major changes that have been made are : 1. Change in the categories of licences - reduced to only TWO from the previous FOUR grades (General and Restricted). 2. The licence fees have been fixed for periods for either LIFETIME (upto the age of 80 of the licence holder) @ Rs. 2000/- (approx. $40) and TEN YEAR ( from the date of issue or renewal)@ Rs. 1000/- (approx. $20).

While the changes in general are welcome, it is still not clear as to what categories of the previous grades have been merged. It is also not clear as to the operating facilities and frequencies that have been authorised for the new grades.

Regarding the licence fee structures, considering the lifetime licence cutoff age at 80 years, a Ham who is about 65 year of age will have to pay Rs. 2000 for a period of 15 years whereas he would have paid under Rs. 200/- (approx. $4) under the previous licence fee structure.

It is also going to stop newcomers - especially the youngsters who have to shell out such a huge amount just to get started in the hobby.

Such arbitraial changes in the rules, without taking the opinion of the persons who would be affected, and gazetting the changes, will certainly "KILL" the hobby which has been of great help to the country in providing a second line of communication especially during natural calamities, major sporting events, etc.