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Important Facts For Prelims

HAM Radio

  • 29 Jun 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently HAM (amateur) radio operators have volunteered to help a special task force that has been constituted in Bengaluru to ensure that citizens placed under home quarantine follow the protocol for it.

Key Points

  • Amateur radio, also called ham radio, is a noncommercial two-way radio communications. They use many frequency bands across the radio spectrum.
  • HAM radio is a real-time communication network. This is much like wireless communication which is quick and transparent.
  • Amateur Radio operators set up and operate organized communication networks locally for governmental and emergency officials, as well as non-commercial communication for private citizens affected by the disaster.
  • Amateur Radio operators are most likely to be active after disasters that damage regular lines of communications due to power outages and destruction of telephone, cellular and other infrastructure-dependent systems.

Indian Scenario

  • According to the Indian Wireless Telegraphs (Amateur Service) Amendment Rules, 1984, ‘Amateur service’ means a service of self training intercommunications and technical investigation carried on by Amateurs that is, by persons duly authorized under these rules interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. 
  • It is a non-commercial radio communication service. 
  • Amateur radio operators are commonly known as hams. The term “Ham radio” is used to describe the hobby of Amateur radio and not the equipment.
    • Similarly the term “Ham” is used to describe a radio amateur enthusiast and not the equipment.
  • Any citizen of India who is above 12 years of age can become a ham by qualifying in the Amateurs Station Operators’ examination (ASO) and obtaining a valid Amateur wireless telegraph station license.

Radio Waves

  • Radio waves have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • These were discovered by Heinrich Hertz in the late 1880s.
  • These are produced by the accelerated motion of charges in conducting wires. They are used in radio and television communication systems.
  • They are generally in the frequency range from 500 kHz to about 1000 MHz.
  • The AM (Amplitude Modulated) band is from 530 kHz to 1710 kHz. The FM (Frequency Modulated) radio band extends from 88 MHz to 108 MHz.
  • Higher frequencies up to 54 MHz are used for short wave bands. TV waves range from 54 MHz to 890 MHz.
  • Cellular phones use radio waves to transmit voice communication in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band.
  • Radio-wave communications signals travel through the air in a straight line, reflect off of clouds or layers of the ionosphere, or are relayed by satellites in space.

Source: TH

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