Friday, November 21, 2008

HAM and Mobile Phone Communications

In 1980s I used to tune into both foreign and native radio stations in Short Wave Bands with enthusiasm. I was able to hear the latest news broadcasts before they appear late in the daily news papers. One day while I was combing through the radio bands (SWL), I heard a radio station that was a different one from others. It had a man speaking to another man, and not to the listeners! The words repeated in the end of a conversation were: ‘roger, roger’! In response to this the other man spoke to him next. I was surprised, and understood later that they were the hobbyists, ‘HAMs’ (Amateur Radio Operators) conversing in 40 Meter band! The person’s station name (Call Sign) is VU2TX. Yes, HAMs use and speak in a lot of coded words as they also send such coded messages in Morse code (CW) – like we send now Abbreviated Text Messages in SMS! Their conversations are easy to understand if you listen to them carefully and repeatedly. You can also go through the text books prescribed for appearing for Amateur Station Operator License Examination, for referring to their coded words. (Getting through this exam entitles the candidate to get the license and speak to other HAMs all over the world!).

There are millions of HAMs throughout the world rendering services such as developing communication devices, experimenting on gadgets, helping in emergencies and disaster management through this hobby! Actually the present day’s Mobile communication devices (Phone and Signal towers) are simply the modified form of Hand held transceivers and Repeaters used by the HAMs since 1990s! HAMs’ communication networks are also the forerunners of the present day Word, Voice and Video chats of the internet, as also of the Social Community Networks such as Orkut, Myspace etc.!
We should not forget our wonder HAMs and their hobby, as they are still around us without seeking any publicity, and doing their good services. And we must be always in gratitude to them as they have provided the basis of our present day communication boom and boon worldwide!

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