Dec 31, 2013

Wishing all HAMS lovers a happy and prosperous 2014 from all of us at Chennai

ChennaiHamsBlogspot Team

Nov 27, 2013

VU7AG Update : The Chennai connection in core team!!!!!!

Two of our Chennai HAMS who have also been associated with chennaihamsblogspot development are also part of the VU7AG Lakshadweep Islands DXpedition team. We are proud of this association and congratulate their efforts. 

Nov 25, 2013

Update from Agatti on VU7AG Progess!!!!!

The team reports that all is going well barring the internet connection which has been a real let down. Log uploads to Clublog are proving to be very tedious. All the logs are intact but not all are on the Clublog server. Seems some 30m QSOs are missing and these would be looked into. The team would be setting up the 160m top-loaded vertical today. The last of the antennas to go up would be a Spiderbeam which will be used for the third station.  VU2PAI and VU3DMP join the team tomorrow.  All three stations should be QRV from tomorrow afternoon, approximately 1200z onwards.
The team continues to focus on NA and alternates between working EU and NA, especially on the short path.  They request co-operation from EU when they are working NA and SA which has the largest population of hams requiring VU7 for a new one. The feedback received so far has been passed on to the team and they will pay closer attention to certain band openings.
The team spent the better part of the weekend installing antennas. They now have phased verticals for 80, 40 and 30m apart from a Hexbeam, a 2el Steppir beam and Butternut verticals. They reported working NA on 40 and 75m SSB last night More pictures awaited whenever they are able to get a stable internet connection.
Also some live photos taken by the team till date as below. 
The Agatti airport entrance , possible the smallest airport anywhere in India

The approach view of the Agatti airport/Island

All the gear being loaded onto motor vessel at Mangalore

The beauty of Agatti as a tropical Paradise

Further info available in , we will keep updating further as well.

VU7AG DX Lakshadweep Islands active!!!!!

A team of amateur radio operators are now active as VU7AG from Agatti Island (AS-011) until December 10th. 

Agatti is one of the islands of Lakshadweep group formerly known as the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 kilometres (120 to 270 miles) off the south western coast of India. The archipelago is a Union Territory and is governed by the Union Government of India. They were also known as Laccadive Islands, although geographically this is only the name of the central subgroup of the group. Lakshadweep comes from "Lakshadweepa", which means "one hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit as well as many Indian languages like Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and others. The islands form the smallest Union Territory of India: their total surface area is just 32 square kilometres (12 sq mi). The islands are the northernmost of the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos group of islands, which are the tops of a vast undersea mountain range, the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge.

Agatti Island , also known as Agathy, is a 5.6 km long island, situated on a coral atoll in the Union Territory of LakshadweepIndia. It is located about 459 km (285 mi) off Kochi in the mainland and 7 km to the southwest ofBangaram, the nearest island. Kavaratti, the closest inhabited island, lies 54 km to the SE and the uninhabited Suheli Par atoll 76 km to the south. Agatti's total land area is approximately 2.7 km² (1 sq mi). The small island of Kalpitti is located at the southern end on the same reef.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. The updated suggested frequencies are:

CW - 1812, 3512, 7012, 10112, 14012, 18082, 21012, 24902 and 28012 kHz
SSB - 3680, 7095, 14180, 18155, 21280, 24955 and 28480 kHz
RTTY - 3584, 7032, 10142, 14082, 18092, 21092, 24922 and 28092 kHz
They will always be operating split. 

Please listen to operator instructions carefully.
CW: 2-10 KHz up SSB: 5-15 KHz up RTTY: 2-10 KHz up

The pilot stations have been announced: Stan/KH6CG (Chief Pilot
+ Asia/OC), Gary/DF2RG (EU), Luc/LU1FAM (Central & South America), Mark/N1UK (NA East Coast) and Rich/KY6R (NA West Coast). They also have an ePilot on their Web site through which DXers can get in touch with them.
The Propagation page now includes custom propagation charts thanks to Stu, K6TU, and his wonderful propagation service.

Another callsign has been issued for demonstration purposes on Kavaratti Island ­ VU7KA. This would be used only briefly when team members make presentations to the local administration in Kavaratti and educate them on amateur radio.

QSL Manager is Krish, W4VKU, direct or by the Bureau (see details on the Web page). An Online QSL Request System (OQRS) will be available for all your QSL requests. OQRS will be enabled soon after the expedition. For Logbook of The World (LoTW): QSOs would be uploaded
to LoTW in approximately 6 months time.
The following Web page has been set up and contains bios of operators, QSL details, frequencies and a survey. 

Visit the VU7AG page at:

Oct 7, 2013

Something which could impact telecommunications : Sun set for 11-year magnetic pole flip!!!!

 A special event  is about to occur in our sun, and it could impact our lives. The magnetic poles of the sun — which are like the ends of a giant bar magnet — are about to flip, that is, the polar north will become the polar south and vice versa . According to scientists at the Wilcox Solar onservatory at Stanford University , the sun could be barely two to three months away from this magnetic field reversal. The change is periodic, taking place once every 11 years or so. 

For HAM enthusiasts this would impact upper HF and VHF radio propagation, but might be good and save us from ourselves and the outrageous climate change that we are living through. Or at least slow it down.

The flip also corresponds with peak activity during the 11-year solar cycle. This is when sunspots — intense magnetic field flu ctuations that appear as dark spots on the solar surface — are highest in number. "When the number of sunspots is highest, a time known as the solar maximum, the sun's large-scale dipole magnetic field starts reversing. This reversal is akin to sun'smagnetic poles flipping. It's almost as if a giant magnet inside the sun was turned upside down," said Dibyendu Nandi, an a strop hysicist at Kolkata's Indian Institute of Science Education and Research.

Why does this flip take place? Nandi said that the periodic reversal was linked to the motion of plasma flows inside the sun. The flow of this hot, electrically-charged material tosses and turns one component of the magnetic field into another, eventually changing the sun's dipole field. "This process is technically known as the solar dynamo mechanism and can be studied using computer models which we do in our laboratories," Nandi said. Changes in the sun's magnetic field ripple through the solar system and beyond, a region known as the heliosphere. The weather in space is expected to be most hazardous in the next few months as the flip begins to take place, Nandi said.

"The chances of solar magnetic storms occurring are also high. These storms carry a vast amount of charged particles and magnetic fieldsthrough interplanetary space and can pose a threat to satellite operations , telecommunications , air traffic on polar routes and power grids in countries at high latitudes ," the scientist said.

Scientists are watching the event closely to fully understand the changes that take place. It's also of special interest because the current solar cycle — the 24th since 1755, when sunspot activity began to be recorded — is one of the weakest in 100 years. A strong solar magnetic field also acts as a shield against cosmic rays coming from outer space. "Due to the current weak cycle, we have been recording high cosmic ray influx since 2009," said B N Dwivedi of IIT-BHU.

In India, solar magnetic fields are being observed from the solar observatories at Udaipur and Kodaikanal. Then there are theoretical astrophysicists such as Nandi who build computer models to study and predict solar behaviour.

Sep 30, 2013

Monthly September 2013 meeting of MARS organised!!!!!

The monthly meeting of MARS was held in the conference hall of AASI, Mount Road on the 28th of September. The meeting was presided by OM Balu-VU3CBM. Field Day was proposed to be held on 6th,7th and 8th
of December in Yelagiri Hills.

Since sufficient time to plan has been given, good number of members is expected to participate. A mini (Fun) FOX Hunt will be conducted during the Field day. The regular Fox hunt will be conducted in the month of February.

Prizes were distributed for the August Check-In 2012. Also prizes for the August Check-In Contest – 2013, conducted by the VHF group of Chennai, Was given by MARS. 

Photos taken during the meeting can be seen at the following link MARS MEETING 28th September 2013


VU2VAU Srini / ChennaiHamsBlogspot Team

Sep 23, 2013

HAMFESTINDIA 2014 to be held at Hyderabad!!!!

It has be finalized at the recently held 2013 HamfestIndia at Gwalior that the 2014 HamFestIndia will move back South to the pearl city of "Hyderabad".

Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh . Occupying 650 square kilometres (250 sq mi) along the banks of the Musi River, it has a population of 6.8 million and a metropolitan population of 7.75 million, making it the fourth most populous city and sixth most populous urban agglomeration in India. At an average altitude of 542 metres (1,778 ft), much of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain around artificial lakes, including Hussain Sagar—predating the city's founding—north of the city centre.
More details to follow through, keep visiting this blog. 

May 5, 2013

VU2JTJ Thiagarajan becomes Silent Key!!!!

Vu2 JTJ Thiagarajan (affectionately called Thiagu) was a well known ham in the amateur radio community . He got his licence about 25 years back and was active throughout .The last ham event he participated was Hamfest 2012. His dream project was to have a repeater installed near Maduranthakam near Chengalpattu dist and he worked so hard to get the land near the town for the repeater site . Both  his wife and daughter are also call sign holders. 

Our heartfelt condolences to the family & all of us would miss you so much "Thiagu". 

May your soul rest in peace.


ChennaiHamsblogspot Team

Apr 6, 2013

HAM Radio shop in Japan : Take a look to see how a Paradise on earth for a Amateur Radio operator will be!!!!

The below Video can drive any Amateur Radio Operator/radio lover nuts!!!and if he is in restricted country like India where we cannot even dream of a shop like , this is the paradise every Indian HAM can dream to go sometime and burn his coffers. Pls see the Video and just look at the whole range of amazing products. 

This shop is located in Akihabara Electric Town is a district of Tokyo, Japan. It is located less than five minutes by rail from Tokyo Station. Its name is frequently shortened to Akiba in Japan. 
Akihabara is a major shopping area for electronic, computer, anime, games and otaku goods, including new and used items

Amateur Radio Club Tests Underwater Robot

Apr 4, 2013

Ham radio from the Antarctica area!!!!!

Amateur radio or ham radio call signs are unique identifiers for licensed operators in Antarctica. Call signs are regulated internationally by the ITU as well as nationally by governing bodies within each country who may have nationals operating in Antarctica. Call signs may also be issued by a local Antarctic authority (i.e. base commander) who chooses from a block reserved by their national body for that purpose. The Antarctic Treaty signed on December 1, 1959 (and entered into force on June 23, 1961), established the legal framework for the management of Antarctica, including allocation of amateur call signs.

The Video is a tribute to all those who have worked on HAM Radio in the white continent:

Although Antarctica is considered international by treaty, amateur radio operators in Antarctica are often subject to the reciprocal licensing requirements pertaining to the country under which the camp is flagged.

The Worldwide Antarctic Program keeps a list of special event call signs issued from various countries at various times. TM4IPY was issued in 2007 by France to celebrate the International Polar Year as was IAØIPY, IA8IPY, IA7IPY & IP7IPY by Italy, GB4IPY by The United Kingdom, VYØICE/VE2 in Canada, LZØ7IPY in Argentina, EV5IPY in Belarus, CQ4IPY in Portugal, SNØIPY in Poland, YE2IPY in Indonesia, S5ØIPY in Slovenia, 5DØIPY in Morocco, and others. These callsigns were used by amateurs in their home countries.

Feb 22, 2013

Another memorable Mahabs meet 2013 !!!!!

Kudos to the wonderful efforts by the organizing team to organise another memorable MAHABS meet at the historical town of Mahabalipuram near Chennai. Some photo snapshots for reference. 

Feb 2, 2013

Hill Top contest Experience : A short documentary film from Yelagiri hilltop team

A remarkable effort by this team and something which really shows why this hobby is so special and the adrenaline rush you get when you to a remote reserve forest location , setup communications with very basic infra and then get on air with DX stations . Inspite of all the hardships and difficulties its the commitment  , dedications and love for the hobby I guess drive's all HAM's to do crazy things to have our voice on the air waves.  

Watch and enjoy this wonderfully edited audio visual documentary created by VU2VAU Srini who doles the hat of director , camerman & commentator/script writer for this short documentary , if there is any award for short film on HAM Radio this will be surely a top contender .  

The Yelagiri Hilltop Adventure Team :

Watch & Enjoy : Yelagiri Hilltop Adventure................

Optimizing Amateur Radio's effectiveness in radio power

Article belongs to VU3KPL Kiran

I hold restricted grade Amateur Radio license with voice mode endorsement. It allows me to transmit only of 50W on HF. When I wanted to set my station at Bangalore, I wanted it to optimally use all the allowed power and get on the air. Referring to many internet information available on various subjects, i found that most of the hams(including me!) never optimize their station and take advantage of power. Although power shows up as 50W or 100W going out of their rig, how much is actually transmitted out their antenna in a desired direction is very important.

Lets look at some of the aspects which i considered (the way in which i understand them):
This metal structure everyone knows is very important for transmission/reception.There are couple of important aspects in the antennas 1. resonance at desired frequency 2. line impedance match 3. gain in desired direction
1. Resonance: when the RF wave finds matching length of conductor we call it as antenna is resonating at that frequency. Ideally only resonant frequency should be available to listen or transmit efficiently. However antenna tends to have behavior of acceptable bandwidths. That is the range of frequencies for which efficiency becomes acceptable. For small space antennas like magnetic loops, loaded antennas etc this range is very narrow. When length of conductor is longer(2-3 times) than wavelength of maximum desired frequency wavelength, it can resonate at various frequencies below it. So a tuner can make sure that conductor accepts or transmits desired frequency.  


  • Have your antenna elements cut as per designed frequencies
  • Use high quality conductors (thicker diameter the better)

2. Line impedence (Z): This is collective measurement of transmission system i.e transceiver i/o, line and antenna feed point itself. Normally amateur radio rigs have 50 ohms line connectors and coaxes are 50 ohms rated. Antennas should also will have to have that 50 ohms rating. Else reflection of waves back to rig from antenna will occur which is called SWR (Standing Wave Ratio).  Getting SWR to within 1:1.1 yields in best results.

  • Reduce SWR with proper line balancers like BalUns
  • Reduce surface currents using RF chokes

3. Gain in desired direction (DBd gain in decibels measured with a dipole reference point) Do we require to transmit in a direction which is not intended to be?. Like a 50 W light bub hanging over head without its reflector, antenna would have no focus. Put a reflector all light now with same 50W bulb seems to be with more brightness for the person infront of it. Put a lens in-front of the bulb, light rays gets sharper and intense in-front of it. Similarly in RF, using a single element vs using two or more element has its advantages. All this gain comes with its mechanical and spacial overheads too. Work on a space optimized and gain optimized antenna at a clear height of around 30ft from ground or above.Check nearby obstacles like highrise buildings, mountains etc. these will have adverse impact on signals in their direction.

Chose best available cables for your needs. Onetime investment of few hundred Rupee more will take you through seven sees for years. Chose bare copper over tinned copper braids. 
Typically Indian station antennas are just above the roof level and coax lengths are around 50ft.

Cable loss : refer to

There are other cables which also can be used per availability and technical requirements. Do not compromise on connector soldering joints. Poor joints yields in RF loss as well. If you are using antenna switches, make sure you maintain them for best contacts. Remove unwanted coax hops between trx and antenna like keeping a unwanted coax plug joint or a antenna switch which you rarely use etc.

You may see lots of informative articles on or elsewhere on grounding. A good ground for antenna tower reduces lightening risk. A good ground in your RF channel like TRX body and Cable jacket reduces return currents and RFI. A good ground for the DC/AC power reduces probability of electric shock.

Over all keep your system clean, even if you are running QRP levels, you will make most out of your available power.

All the best, hope to have a QSO with you soon


Jan 18, 2013

Watch Out : VHF Hill Topping Contest 2013

ARSI , Amateur Radio Society of India is pleased to announce the First Vhf Hill Topping Contest for Radio Amateurs in India.
For those who are new to this radio sport, the Bangalore Vhf group conducted the First VHF Hill Topping in Dec 1985 as an exercise to explore the various hills around Bangalore and a feasibility study to put up a Vhf Rptr, VU2RSB was formed and the first rptr was installed at Nandi Hills in 1987.
5 teams set out to the following locations
Nandi Hills    VU2POP, VU2GGM 
Chamundi Hills    VU2CAP, VU2RAV
B R Hills      VU2TS, VU2WP
Tala Kaveri / BramhagiriVU2ZAP, VU2AK, VU2GUY
Doddabetta      VU2JX, VU2RPS, VU2DVP, VU2NTA

To encourage Vhf DXing on a Contest style, it’s planned to revive Hill Topping as a Contest for Ham Teams to operate, exploring new summits, experimenting with various kinds of antennas, contacting various Grid locations across.
As this may be the first experience for many hams, we plan to keep the rules simple as follows.
a)      A contesting Team may consist of one or more hams operating ONE contest station from that particular Hill top location.
b)      We restrict to only Two teams per Hill Top so as not to cause QRM or desense any other contest station in the vicinity, however with a minimum separation of 1 Km aerial distance between Hill top contest stations.
c)       Each Hill Top station should specify their exact Grid location or Point of operation and will not be allowed to shift locations during the period of contest.
d)      It should be mutually decided among the contesters who form their own teams to intimate in writing to the organiser minimum 7 days before the contest date, complete details of their exact Hill top location, co-ordinates,  Team Callsign & members.
e)  Applications should be filed by email only, no SMS or phone application is acceptable.
f)   Location allotment will be considered on a first come first basis and in the event of more than 2 applicants for the same location, the 3rd and so on will be standby in order.
g)    In the event of any Hill top contest station withdrawing in advance, the slot will be filled in by the next station who has applied in serial order.
h)      Each Hill top contest station may be operated by any of the team members but the logging will be for that particular Hill Top contest team Callsign as assigned.
i)        All Hill Top stations should strictly adhere to Amateur Rules, specially with regard to max RF power levels.
j)        Mode of operation will be FM, as most commonly available rigs and used by majority of hams.
k)      Antennas can be any kind but safe, as long as they do not cause harm to the public or co-members of the team.
l)        Each Hill Top contesting team should make the max number of SIMPLEX contacts (Contacts thru Repeater & ECHOLINK INVALID)
SIMPLEX Contacts with other Hill top stations or with other Non hill top, fixed stations from various Cities or towns, etc
m)  Mobile stations contact will be considered as ONE point, as its exact position cannot be determined. NO MULTIPLIER FOR MOBILE.
n)  No Duplicate contact can count as static once and also as mobile in another instance
o)      Only One contact is counted for scoring points. NO duplicate Contact to be logged for points.
    p)      Each contact is counted as 1 point
    q)      Multiplier of 1 for every 10 kms of distance between the contesting stations as Distance Multiplier.
    r)       If you have access to GPS its an advantage to refer the location
    Or accurate Maps online like:
    Download a simple free software WINGRID to calculate distances between two stations by inputting the correct grid co-ordinates.
    s)       Contact Exchange is followed as 8 character the first 2 character will be Signal report and the following 6 character will be the grid designation of the respective stations in contact
    EXAMPLE:  59 MK82SX  is contact exchange VU2POP will give to the opposite stn.
    t)       To curb fudging of contacts & multiplier points, the Organisers will have various Referees Monitoring on different locations and Freqs.
    Hence you need to be true to the spirit of Competition, to avoid disqualification.
    u)      The Contest will be held during weekend 19-20 Jan 2013 and the duration of the Contest will be from 12 noon of Saturday upto 12 noon of Sunday.
    v)      No entry fee for contesting.
    w)    The Organisers are not liable towards any expenses incurred by the contesting teams
    x)      Hill Top contest teams are solely responsible for all arrangements at their respective hill top location and not the responsibility of the organisers.
    Contesting teams should equip themselves with Radios, Antennas, protective gear like tents, rain coats, warm clothing, food, water, First Aid Kit, essential Medicines, transportation, etc.
    y)      All acts of contesting teams will solely be their own responsibility and void of any encumbrances with the organisers.
    z)        Completed logs must reach the Contest manager before the 20 Feb 2013 as per log format.
    bb)  Final ranking & results will be the sole discretion of the Contest Manager & Organiser.
    Logs could be disqualified even if one discrepancy is found.
    Hence prepare your logs meticulously
    cc)    3 Top Positions will be awarded and all participants will receive Certificate of participation.
    dd)  Vhf Hill Topping Contest Manager:  VU2POP
    ee)  Referees List
    By default all Office bearers of ARSI are Contest committee members & Referees
    ff)     ARSI office bearers & Referees can contact the contest stations to add points to contesters but cannot contest for Awards.
    Contester earns Only 1 point for such contacts & No multipliers.

    Four teams from Chennai are fanning out to four differ hilltops including Yelagiri hills , Thirumalai Vaiyavoor hill etc. Pls ensure all listen in to 144.550 Mhz 144.150 Mhz from tomorrow evening and provide all the support. 

    Jan 2, 2013

    Special New Year 2013 Net Audio Visual Recording

    Audio visual snapshots of the special new year net conducted my Madras VHF group on VHF repeater 145.775 on 31st Dec 2012 night to new year 1st Jan 2013 early hours , for all those who missed same......detailed recordings of full net would be published later as well.....