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IMA, HAM Radio Club hold talk on ‘Emergency Communications’

IMA HAM Radio Club hold talk on Emergency Communications
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Mangaluru: The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Mangaluru branch, in association with Mangaluru Amateur Radio Club (MARC), organised a talk on ‘Emergency Communications’ for the benefit of IMA members on Friday, Jan 13, 2023, at the IMA House, Railway Station Road, Attavar, Mangalore.

Speaking on the occasion, Rohit S. Rao, an active member of MARC, informed the gathering comprising doctors of the city that during natural calamities like earthquakes, when all other modes of communication fail, amateur radio operators, also known as ‘HAM’s are very often the only communication available. “HAMs are licensed radio operators. They are civilians and ordinary citizens who operate the radio as a hobby. They have their own radio sets and their own exclusive bandwidth, through which they can communicate with other HAMs anywhere in the world. Hence, during a natural calamity, when there is a total breakdown of official channels, the informal HAM network becomes very useful to organise relief and restore order,” he said.

Dr Ranjan R. K., who is also a HAM radio enthusiast, introduced the guest speaker. Dr Venugopala, president of the IMA, and D. Vishnumurthy, president of the Mangalore Amateur Radio Club, were also present.

The Mangaluru Amateur Radio Club (MARC), based in Mangaluru, was started by Varadaraya Nayak and Mahabala Hegde in 1976. MARC participates in a variety of activities, such as amateur radio homebrew, amateur radio awareness campaigns, communication support during landslides and flooding, and providing emergency radio services to civic organisations during calamities and disasters. The members actively participate in international contests like CQWW, CQ WPX, and activities like Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), as well as fox hunts on the radio.

The club organises workshops for those interested in becoming amateur radio operators and provides annual training. MARC coordinates HAM licence exams in Mangalore as well as other activities like moving base stations during amateur radio events, disasters, and other exigencies in accordance with the Rules of Wireless and the Planning and Coordination Wing (WPC) of the Ministry of Communications, Government of India (which issues amateur radio licences in India). MARC has been running the Disaster Management Repeater of NITK Mangalore, and its operating frequency is 145.425 MHz on the radio.

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