Oct 15, 2017

A unique rescue / family re-union which HAM's from Chennai/Kolkata facilitated

In this age of information / internet , no one would imagine HAM radio could help unite a lost person found in Kolkata with his family thousands of kms away near Chennai . Keep reading and you will know for yourself. 

This is the story of Dhanasekar ,a tamil boy, about 27yrs old ,slightly deranged, missing from home in Sholingur about 150 kms from Chennai for the last 4 months ,given up for gone by the family.
A few days after the Gangasagar Mela , the annual religious fair in West Bengal, Ambarish Nag Biswas was told by Kolkata’s health officer about a 25-year-old man admitted in a local government hospital , pining to go home.

When we met him, he could hardly speak. He had head injuries,” said Mr. Biswas, secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club), a group of ham radio enthusiasts.

On 28/3/2017 during the Night Maha meet net , Raju a HAM from West Bengal ,a regular, said that there is a medical traffic , asked to elaborate said he had been to Govt Diamond harbour Hospital in Calcutta and was told a boy has been admitted and nobody can understand his language , however he said Tamilnadu , Raju (VU2JFA) immediately got a recording of the boy and also asked him to write down details and sent it through WhatsApp to my number. 

Could make out a few details and at elephone number was available , tried reaching out but no response , Peter TSF and Clement PQN also pitched in but no avail. The next day Raju again sent some more details on persistent trying reached out to a contact in Padi who was actually the boy’s aunt , she  and her husband who reside in Korattur were very thrilled and in turn gave a tel no. of the boys father in Sholingur, I spoke them and in turn suggested that they go down to Calcutta to get back the boy. Felt they have  a language issue , noticed that there is tamilian Gopinath part of West Bengal Radio society ,he is working with Hindustan motors. 

Spoke to him , Gopitnath assured he will help them out in Calcutta ,Raju promised to co-ordinate and also arranged the doctor at the hospital to speak to their parents . The boys Uncle and cousin left for Calcutta on  2/4/17 , they were received by Raju and his team , in fact Raju has photo document every stage , also co-ordinated with police and also the hospital authorities for successful release of Dhanasekar into the custody of his relatives.

The family arrived back to Chennai on 10/4/17 , they called me up and thanked all for the wonderful help that was rendered. Would like to thank  Biswas , Raju , Gopinath and the entire team of West Bengal radio club for taking their time and putting a great effort in this great humanitarian task.



CHENNAI HAM's provided communications support for this event

Apr 15, 2016

Final Plan : Chennai Hams CARES / ARSI National Field day 2016

The Amateur Radio Society of India’s (ARSI) National Field day will be conducted on 16-17th of April, 2016.


The Chennai Amateur Radio Emergency Services group, CARES, is  participating with details as given below

WHEN: Field day activity time between 12 Noon 16th April to 12 Noon 17th April.
Station setup and antenna Installation will be done from 15th April afternoon onwards

WHERE:  Baker Farms, Anna Nagar, Thenpakkam village, Achrapakkam, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu 603301, a quiet village located about 100 Kms from Chennai. Land mark : Next to Aavin Parlour in NH 45 - Chennai Tiruchi Highway.

HOW: We invite the following type of participants

Visitors : Folks who want to visit the Field day either during 16th or 17th but will not be staying overnight.

Resident participant : Folks who will be participating for the full duration of field day with over night stay.

COST: No registration fee. We welcome donation to defray logistics cost. We also welcome sponsorship in any form like logistics cost, food / coffee.


No food will be provided by organisers. Food purchased from a nearby hotel can be bought AT COST at the location. There are a few vegetarian hotels in a 3 Km radius

Resident participants HAVE to bring their own bedding material and will be provided shelter in the night in either shamiana setup in the mango grove or the guest house terrace. 3 rest rooms are available at the guest house.

Places of interest near by : (For combining as a family outing)
1. Thirumalai vayavoor Hill temple
2. Karunguzhi Hill temple


3 complete stations DC to Daylight class  HF/VHF/UHF Trans receivers with Computer logging and capable of operating all digital modes, with Internet Access, with provision for setting up 1 more station if sufficient interest exists. The location has reliable 3 phase power. We plan to have 2 Gensets and a number of 12 V batterys of 42 AH and 100 AH capacity and Inverter/UPS with similar battery capacity as backup power source

RIGS: TS 2000 HF/VHF/UHF Satellite station, Icom IC7000, Icom IC718, VU2ZAZ SDR HF Transreceiver
ANTENNAS : covering all 9 HF bands (80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 Meter bands), Top Band ( 160m), VHF 6m and 2m and UHF 70 Cm Installed in a sprawling 35 ACRE Mango Grove
1. VU2ABS Hexbeam - 20/17/15/12/10/6 m band
2. Homebrew Spiderbeam covering 20/17/15/12/10 m band
 3. Butternut Verticals covering 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 m band
4. Dipole/Inverted V for 40m/20m to be built and tuned insite as a training opportunity for the newcomer/inexperienced.

If sufficient volunteers are identified

1. Full size vertical for 80 with elevated radials
2. 160m Inverted L with elevated radials
3. 300 feet Beverage Antenna Low band RX antenna installed in 4 directions
4. VHF/UHF antenna for satellite working


Opportunity to see a complete HF station with Best in class antenna's with antennas installed without any space constraint.
To be part of antenna assembly and installation
Install, configure and operate the following
1.Computer Transreceiver interface - Audio In/Out, CW, FSK, CAT
2. Contest Logging - N1MM software
3 Station management software - Ham Radio Deluxe - Last free version and DX Labs Suite which comprise of software for
    3a. General QSO logging
    3b Trans receiver CAT control
    3c. Propagation prediction
    3d. Award tracking - DXCC, CQ WAZ ...
    3e. QSL management - LOTW, EQSL, Paper QSL
    3f Rotator control
    3g. Satellite pass prediction and tracking
    3h. Digital modes
4. SDR Software, Hardware installation configuration and operating
4 Digital modes - CW, RTTY, PSK31, JT65, JT9, SSTV

Web resources for the modern ham : Like pskreporter.info  dxsummit.fi  reversebeacon.net LOTW  Eqsl.cc
Clublog.org and many more ..

Have the opportunity to make atleast 1 QSO in every HF band and every mode.

Learn about propagation changes happening in a 24 hour period. More specifically Grayline propagation. Band opening/closing  to all continents in various bands

How to make, install and tune a simple dipole?

Soldering PL259 connectors to RG213, RG58

Lots of youtube / webinar video's available for viewing and copying/sharing for home viewing

Installation do be done as a pre field day activity. During the field day operating period, rooster will be prepared such that all stations are operational fully making as many QSO's as possible conditions permitting. Remember Field day is ALL ABOUT OPERATING AND MAKING QSO's

Register your participation by filling the form in this link

Any additional info needed pls contact as below:
* VU2MOA-Mohan-9840023391
* VU2ABS-Aravind-9283155706
* VU3VWR-Raghav-9840974543

* Simplex VHF Frequency : 145.500

Mar 20, 2016

CARES (Chennai Amateur Radio Emergency Services) GROUP - Proposed ARSI 2016 Chennai Field Day

Date : 16th & 17th April (Saturday/Sunday) 2016
Venue: Baker Farms , Anna Nagar , Achrapakkam , Kanchipuram Dist (3 kms from Melmaruvathur Temple)  

Below HAM’s joined the planning meeting held at BR Mathsya T.Nagar on 20th March Sunday
o   VU2MOA
o   VU2ABS
o   VU2VAU
o   VU3NKQ
o   VU3VWR
o   VU2CMR
o   VU2DRK
o   VU3GSL
·        Below points discussed and decided as follow-up action items:
o   Organising Team formed ( Would need more people to join/volunteer)
§  Chief Co-coordinator / Overall Event Lead – Raghav (VU3VWR)
§  Technical Team – Lead by Arvind VU2ABS / Deepan VU2DPN / Raghav VU3VWR + Others to volunteer & support
·        Responsible for all technical setup at field day site as well as manning stations
·        Proposed ideas / wish list discussed for HAM Station setup at site for field day
o   2 x HF Low Band Stations
o   2 x HF High Band Stations
o   1 X JOTA Station HF
o   1 x VHF Station
o   Satellite Radio / Digital
o   Orientation session for new HAM’s / SWL's between 4:00pm to 6:00pm on 16th Saturday
§  Logistics & Operations – Lead by VU2MOA Mohan / VU3GSL + Others to volunteer & support
·        Responsible for all filed day related field day site support arrangements  
·        Proposed ideas / wish list discussed for setup at field site
o   Transportation as of now each one takes care of their own , car pooling can be planned closer to date
o   Basic power supply
o   Additional batteries as needed
o   Provision for 3 to four stations across the 10 acre farm house
o   Apart from one residential building , Shamiana’s to be setup suitably across the property 
o   Basic facilities for water / washrooms / whatever available rooms - open areas for stay
o   Food arrangements (To be paid at venue individually need based)
§  Lunch on 16th afternoon
§  Tea / Coffee 16th Evening
§  Dinner on 16th Evening
§  Breakfast on 17th Morning
§  Lunch on 17th evening
o   Proposal to have a basic registration fee of Rs.100 for all participants including HAM’s/SWL’s.
o   Organising team members decided to contribute Rs.1000 each to Logistics team as advance fund
§  Event communications / PR & Publicity / Media – Lead by VU3NKQ Vipin + Others to volunteer & support
·        Responsible for all event related email / whatapp / other medium update communications
·        Creating marketing material for event and sharing it in all appropriate forums
·        Releases to media and trying to also bring in as many dormant HAM’s in Chennai together , new HAM’s , SWL’s to participate in the event 
Same recap also updates on chennaihams.blogspot.com , would like all to contribute their ideas / suggestions also and each of those sections we need more HAM's to volunteers on which portions of Technical / Logistics & operations / PR & Publicity can you join as a team members & support. 

Let's all work together to make this and best HAM field day event organised in Chennai in recent times. 

Thanks & Regards 

G.Vipin Shankar
Team Member 

Mar 6, 2016

Chennai HAM's develop the first India/South Asia based WebSDR for HF bands

Information from SIARS CHENNAI. 

Its great pleasure to announce that South Asia/India's first WebSDR service based in Chennai launched by SIARS on www.websdr.in . Currently HAM HF bands can be listened by HAM's/SWL's in a very simple easy to use web format. 

This service in currently under testing and will soon be available to all from 13th March. The initiative's effort is to promote the hobby and homebrewing among the public , whoever wants to support the initiative pls take a minute to visit www.siars.org.in

Excellent efforts and congratulations to all those involved in the initiative which is a great contribution to the hobby. 

Feb 12, 2016

Help through Airwaves : An interview with VU2DH OM Devdas in media

Post Event Report : Chennai HAM support to Wipro Chennai Marathon 2015/2016

Rated among the top 5 Marathons in the country , from young to old, the Wipro Chennai Marathon 2015 had enthusiastic participants from all walks of life. Originally scheduled for December 13 last year, The Wipro Chennai Marathon was postponed due to the Chennai floods.
The marathon paid tribute to the spirit of Chennai on Sunday, January 31 with about 16,000 registered runners.
NGO Alert, Apollo Hospitals & physio company SPARKS were the official medical partners for the event. Continuing the association which Chennai HAMS had with Alert during the floods, they requested that HAMS provide EMCOM support to the medical aid stations being planned.
With totally 16,000 people participating , the logistics were mammoth . HAM team assessed overall and it was decided to setup as below
·        Base Control at CPT grounds where the marathon would finish
·        10 Mobile stations (named Alfa 1 to Alfa 10)
·        One Lead Car HAM
·        One Sweeper HAM
Basis same a detailed plan was laid out and executed.

On Marathon Day:

Since the race had to start very early at 4:00am on 31st , HAM’s were asked to be at their positions by 3:30am. But since there was a lot of traffic block , most of the HAM’s reached their spots by 3:00am and took position . There were some operating glitches at Base control due to power supply but that was compensated by other mobile stations on car mobile acting as base.

As soon as the race was flagged HAM communication channels were functional with the lead car HAM reporting position and aid station reporting to Base Control on situation and taking inputs on what to be done. Although every year the event happens, this years participation by HAM’s has definitely made a difference with instant communication possible. Below words from organisers. 

·      Below are the words from Marathon Race Director Harishankar Krishnaswamy
o   “I was wondering how HAM would be useful in the day and age of Mobile telecom. But clearly their information and real time updates were beyond compare”.
·     Below are the words from Peter Van Geit who was overall responsible for all aid stations / volunteers

o   “Thank the Ham Radio team on providing a communications backbone for any ops / medical related emergencies during the run. Feedback is appreciated. Not sure if the organizers faced any issues using the regular mobile communications network to sync up during the event. Looking forward also to welcoming your team as part of our August Javadhu Hills Ultra where any other form of communication is nonexistent”

·        HAM’s were able to divert ambulance to pickup a wheel chair participant when his wheel chair broke down
·        Communications were passed on with regards to shortage of ice etc at aid stations and replenishments provided
·        HAM’s co-ordinated with police and passed info whenever there were traffic issues faced

20 HAMS and 1 SWL participated in the event which was an excellent experience for all and we thank all those who volunteered.

Thanks and Regards 

Vipin Shankar