Indian Institute of Hams in association with REVA University, Bengaluru is jointly hosting Hamfest India 2018 - The Festival & Convention of Amateur (Ham) Radio Operators in India

Indian Institute of Hams (IIH) was established as a registered trust in 1993 for promoting Amateur (Ham) Radio in India, has reached yet another milestone of completing 25 years of continuous service. IIH is actively associated with Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka having established Ham Radio Station and training centre at Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium, Kasturba Road, Bengaluru -560 001. Institute is currently headed by Sri Anupam Agarwal, IPS, Director, Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka as its ex-officio and Hon. Chairman under State Government Notification. Indian Institute of Hams is affiliated to National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR), Hyderabad and Institutional Member, Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI).

Since inception, IIH has made tremendous strides in awareness on amateur radio and has contributed to the increase in population of Hams approximately by atleast 10,000 hams in INDIA, with its members spread all over the world. From its early days, IIH was well recognized for its activities and received “RAJIV GANDHI AWARD” for two consecutive years in 1995 and 1996 for best promotion of ham radio activities in India, the award was presented by Smt.Sonia Gandhi who is also a Ham with the callsign VU2SON. IIH has been instrumental in providing vital communication at the time of natural disasters like Udyan Train accident (Yelahanka, Bengaluru), Orissa Super Cyclone, Gujarat Earthquake, Tsunami, Uttarkhand floods, Chennai floods etc and more...

Radcom 100 (Hundred years of Radio communication) in 1995 was conducted at Bal bhavan, Cubbon park, Bengaluru in association with Government of Karnataka has attracted many youths and public in general. Similarly, many such conventions, Field days, Radio Direction Finding (Fox hunts) were conducted for the benefit of Ham Radio. IIH published CALLBOOKS, a Directory of Amateur Radio Operators in India in the years 2000 and 2005. In association with NIAR, we have represented India in major international and national forums including many Hamfests. IIH has been recognized by many awards for its well known Ham movement in India.

To have dedicated, service oriented volunteers to provide vital communication network during natural disasters and calamities, IIH has formed HAM ACTION FORCE (HAF) and is associated with the Karnataka Civil Defence Organisation. The institute is well equipped to handle and provide communication network at any point of time to the nation. To strengthen the communication network under crisis management, Director General of Police, Civil Defence, Government of Karnataka has recognized the activities of Indian Institute of Hams and has nominated one of the Director, Dr. S.Sathyapal, VU2FI as Officer Commanding (Communication), Directorate of Civil Defence, Government of Karnataka. This has been strengthening our Ham movement to extend all communication support to our members. Series of in-house and field training exercises are regularly conducted for the benefit of our members. Several ham members are currently registered as civil defence wardens.

For benefit of our Ham members, we have dedicated two more VHF repeaters to the Silicon City of Bengaluru. VU2IU (145.200+) Morning roll call nets are taken between 6.30 am to 7.30 am daily by Sri G.Varadarajan, VU3ITI and VU2ZO (145.275 -) installed on 17 floor, UB City in central Bengaluru which is linked to echolink during net timings preferably between 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm. This enables our members across the globe to be in touch with each other hams.

Ham Radio training imparted to ham aspirants under IIH, by veteran Ham and ex-air force personnel Sri R.J.Marcus, VU2VTM who has been serving this institute as one of the founder Director-IIH is very much commendable.

IIH has conducted many technical workshops like Software Defined Radio etc under the leadership of Sri Ramprabhu, VU2DEV Ex-BEL R&D personnel, who has a zeal and passion in teaching practical assembling of transceivers have benefited hundreds of upcoming engineers. Presently, Mr. Ramprabhu is the Trustee, Director (Technical), IIH.

INSTITUTIONAL HAM PROMOTIONS: IIH has conducted many training programmes at various educational institutions like VIT University, NITTE Meenakshi, M.S.Ramaiah, PES University, SIDDAGANGA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY-TUMKUR, Nagarjuna Institute of Technology, Devanahalli, Sastra University, Kumbakonam, many more colleges in Karnataka and in other neighbouring states. REVA University is one which has shown very keen interest in taking this particular Ham movement to their faculty members and students in general since past two years. Many faculty members and students have obtained their Ham licenses during 2017 and hence, we have appealed REVA University to associate in hosting Hamfest India 2018. Thanks to Dr. P.Shyama Raju, Chancellor, Dr. S.Y.Kulkarni, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. M.Dhanamjaya, Registrar and Dr. R.Venkata Siva Reddy, VU3UFF Profession, School of ECE for extending all possible support to host this mega Ham convention at their REVA University Campus near Yelahanka, Bengaluru on 29th and 30th December 2018.

HAMFEST INDIA 2018 will witness a grand finale with Ham YL forum, Ham Youth development skill forum, Speakers on innovative developments, exhibits of various technical indigenous developments, commercial radio dealers etc. Our association with ISRO under Upagraha Amateur Radio Club (URC), Amsat-India, IEEE, Karnataka Civil Defence organization, Bharat Scouts and Guides and specially participation and representation from various international Ham clubs will be an eye opener to all our participating delegates.

HAMFEST INDIA 2018 at Silicon City of Bengaluru: 2018 being the Silver Jubilee Year for Indian Institute of Hams, for continuously promoting hundreds of ham aspirants, since 1993, has appealed all the delegates during Hamfest India 2017 held at Kolkata, West Bengal to support Indian Institute of Hams to host HAMFEST INDIA 2018 at Bengaluru, IIH is much obliged and thankful to delegates who were present, for their most valuable support.

Brief Note:
Hamfest is a very popular gathering of hams held annually. The venue of the HAMFEST INDIA 2018 is REVA University, Bengaluru to be held on 29th and 30th December 2018. 'HAMFEST' is a festival of HAMs, the largest gathering of Indian HAMs in one place, conducted every year in different cities of India since 1991. The main objective is to bring all amateur radio operators under one roof to further exchange ideas and new technological skills in the field of communication. The event also seeks to raise amateur radio awareness in the host city. The event serves for social gathering and comparison and sales of radio equipment. Most hamfests feature a flea market, where the delegates buy and sell equipment, generally from and for their personal use as per their licensing parameters.

The basic concept of Hamfest has evolved over the times gaining momentum year after year, so looking back at the history of Hamfest, most of us will remember the humble initiative of few hams like VU2JLX, VU2JIM, and VU2JKV who co-ordinated to form the HI-NET ( Ham Information Net ) in Aug 1991 on 40 meters, with the basic idea of sharing Ham related information like homebrewing, exchanging technical notes, for those difficult to find components, etc., which lead to the idea of organizing a get-together to assist Hams to build their radio transceivers, called it HAMFEST where-in all Hams would come individually irrespective of their club or society but collectively work for the Hamfest and with the spirit of the hobby.

Hence HAMFEST 1991 was conceived to be held at Kuttikkanam near Kottayam in Kerala and the thought of a Ham Festival brought in a lot of inputs and support from all hams within and outside the country. Ham Radio Guild offered to completely sponsor the first Hamfest in 1991 and as the years passed, the BATON of the HAMFEST, travelled from Kuttikkanam in 1991 through Alwaye in 1992, Salem in 1993, Mysore in 1994, Bombay in 1995, Calcutta in 1996, Cochin in 1997, Bengaluru in 1998, Mysore in 1999 and in the New Millennium to Hyderabad as Hamfest Y2K, making it a true national event by bringing in Hams/SWLs from all regions together. We may still remember that during our visit to the Alwaye Hamfest in 1992, we had seen the homebrew exhibits including many hams practically winding RF chokes, modulation transformers, etc., etching BFO & VFO PCBs, wiring them on the spot and many benefiting needy hams by sharing this kind of homebrewing at a common place, while at the Salem Hamfest in 1993 there was a complete homebrew workshop to assemble a HF Tx / Rx. Lastly we would all like to thank the promoters VU2JLX, VU2JIM, VU2JKV and all those individual hams, clubs, institutions and the respective General Convenors associated in conceiving the idea of HAMFEST. So lets all hold hands together and take this wonderful Festival of Hams called the HAMFEST around to all regions of India, spreading the wonderful hobby of Ham Radio and improving the activities and to serve the nation as a voluntary force during natural disasters and calamities.

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