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JNA Wireless Association
A non profit volunteer driven organisation.
Exclusively devoted to promotion of the hobby of Amateur Radio
in Mumbai, (Bombay) India.
 
 
Contents
About the Hobby                                                                      Something about JNA
Interested? Become a Ham in Bombay                               Internet and Ham Radio
Amateur's Code                                                                                          Contact us
Thanks a lot.  You are Visitor No

About the Hobby
 

What is Ham Radio?
What is the excitement in the hobby?
History of Amateur Radio
Why are Amateur Radio Operators called Hams?
Various modes of Communications
What is a Call Sign?
What are Phonetics?
What are Q Codes?
Exotic Ham Language
What are QSL Cards?
Equipment used by Amateurs
Public Service aspect of the hobby



Interested? Become a Ham in Bombay
 

How do I become a Ham?

Eligibility Criteria to be a Ham

Exam Syllabus

Class Timings

Course Fees

Licence Fees
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Something about JNA
 

What is JNA Wireless Association?

Membership criteria of JNA

Membership fees

Activities of JNA

What is the  Scramble Team ?

Scramble Team and Latur


What is Ham Radio?

Amateur Radio is defined as
"A service for the purpose of self training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by Amateurs, that is by duly authorised persons, interested in Radio technique, solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."
 
That the legalese. In other words it means that :

Both the persons should be Hams
Both should be licensed to operate
You should be interested in Radio techniques
You cannot use it to make money (No commercial messages)
You cannot handle third party traffic (No non ham messages)
You cannot arouse political, or communal animosity (obviously)

Only hobby governed by an international body i.e. International Telecommunications Union.

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What is the excitement in the hobby?

You  might catch yourself excitedly calling (along with 50  other hams) a NASA astronaut,
Or a sailor on freighter in the Atlantic.
You could be linked with an Alaskan sled dog driver,
Or a ham operating abroad an ocean liner.
A soldier, a king, a Tamil film actor,
An Arab emir, a US legislator or a Hindi film producer.
Or some one who is building the same power supply as you are.
You could be having a friendly chat with  someone from Salem, Tamil Nadu or Salem, USA.
 
 

Amateur Radio knows no political boundaries and brings the  world together as good friends.

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History of Amateur Radio

It is as old as radio itself.

It  was  in 1896 that Marconi demonstrated the  system  of  radio waves.  In fact 1996 was the centenary year of the hobby.

In 1897 Marconi sent signals over 14 Kms.

In 1906 first voice message over the Atlantic.

In 1909 the first Amateur Radio club was established in USA.

In 1925 the International Amateur Radio Union a federation of all national societies formed in Paris.

In 1931 first Ham license issued in India.

In 1940 Bob Tanna arrested for operating anti-British `Azad  Hind Radio' from Girgaum (his clothesline on the terrace was  actually the antenna).
 
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Why are Amateur Radio Operators called Hams?

The origin is lost in the mists of history.

One conjecture is that it stands for the initials of the scientists who developed Radio communications viz. Hertz, Armstrong and Marconi.

Another  version  is that amateur actors are  called  Ham  actors hence all amateurs are Hams

Yet  another version is that Amateurs used the Morse  Key  extensively and hence were `ham' handed.

Whatever  the  story, we at JNA believe that due  to  the  public service nature of the hobby, HAM stands for Help All Mankind

(For  JNA's  role in public service see - What  is  the  Scramble Team'?)

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Various modes of communications available to Hams

VOICE - Speaking to one another.

MORSE CODE - Pounding the Morse Key

RTTY - Radio teletype

AMTOR - Amateur Teleprinting over Radio

PACKET  - Digital using Computers.  Technology  similar  to Internet.

FSTV/SSTV - Fast/Slow Scan TV

FAX - Including weather fax

OSCARs  - Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio.   Yes,  Hams have put up 14 satellites exclusively catering to ham bands.
 
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What is a Call Sign?

Along  with  the license every ham gets a unique call  sign  with which he identifies himself on the air.

The call sign is not duplicated anywhere else in the world.

All hams in India have their call sign beginning with VU.

A  directory  of all hams and their  call signs are listed  in  a book called (what else?) a Call Book.

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What are Phonetics?

A  phonetical expansion of alphabets to be used on the  air  when spelling  out difficult words.  For example the alphabet  `A'  is always expanded as `alpha'.

This is laid down by ITU in order to avoid confusion.

All the phonetics are taught as part of the course.
 
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What are Q codes?

Q codes are used to keep brevity and clarity in communications.

They are called Q codes because they are 3 alphabet codes  invariably starting with the alphabet Q.

As an example, the Q code `QSL' means `I acknowledge receipt' and the Q code `QSO' means `contact'.

To know all of them is part of the syllabus of the course.

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Exotic Ham Language

As in any closely interacting group, Hams have evolved a  colourful insiders language.

A few examples are

YL   =   Young Lady
OM  =   Old Man
73s   =   Warmest regards
(Ask a friendly Ham what 88s means)

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What are QSL cards?

QSL cards are exchanged as a souvenir of one's QSO.  It is  final courtesy and an confirmation of one's two way communication  with another ham.

Hams like to design QSLs cards differently so that it reflects their uniqueness. Collecting them is part of the fun of the hobby.

(To know what QSL and QSO means see `What are Q codes?')

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Equipment Used by Amateurs

A wireless Transceiver (combination of a Transmitter and a Receiver).

Antenna for receiving and transmitting the signals

SWR meters to tune antenna for specific frequencies.

Computers attached to transceivers for digital communications.
 
Interested  to know more? Contact us and visit our club station

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Public Service aspect of Ham Radio

Ham  Radio  operators constitute a pool  of  technically  trained persons capable of setting up wireless communications in  natural disasters and calamities when normal means of communications  are disrupted.

When the telephone lines are down and the cables are broken only a wireless signal will get you out of there.

There  has  been brilliant tributes to Hams for their  hard  work done in public service.
 

A few examples

1911   Distress  signals  of `Titanic' was first intercepted  by  a ham.

1979   Morvi floods in Gujarat

1984   Bhopal gas tragedy

1991   Indian  ham in Kuwait maintained communications during  Gulf war.

1993  Scramble team of JNA were first to reach Khillari  epicenter of the Latur earthquake.

1996  Ganesh Immersion at Mumbai
 
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How do I become a Ham?

You have to get the Licence by appearing  for the Amateur Radio Operator's certificate  examination conducted by the Wireless Planning and Co-ordination wing of  the Ministry of Communications.

JNA  helps  you prepare well by conducting  classes  specifically tailored for the syllabus requirements.

JNA  has over 8 solid years of experience behind it, having  enabled over 125 hams to share the excitement of the hobby.

We are not in it for money and thus naturally our enthusiasm is far greater.

In  fact  we like to say that if you have the  determination,  we will do our best to make you a Ham.

Our  successful  students from earlier batches  (some  were  even visually handicapped) endorse our saying so.
 
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Eligibility Criteria

You should be 12 years of age and an Indian national.

No specific educational background is necessary.
 
What's however needed is you desire and determination.

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What is the Syllabus?

The syllabus comprises of three parts

Part 1. 
Basic electronics  such as Resistors, Capacitors, Simple circuits, propagation etc. which is easy to grasp and learn. Not meant to make you a electronic whiz kid. But enough to ensure that you operate the equipment wisely.

Part 2. 
Rules  and regulations  concerning your conduct  on  the air.  Look at it as learning the rules of the road when you get your car licence.

Part 3. 
Morse code.  Its not obsolete yet. And in a pinch it is Morse Code which will get your signals going. Very useful in the public service aspect of the hobby.
Learning it requires regular practice like any other learned skill such as car driving, cycling etc.

There are two Grades of the  licence itself.

Grade 1 is the best grade to aim for since it entitles you to all modes  of communications on international frequencies.  You  need to pass Morse at 12 words per minute.  We train you to pass  this grade.

Grade  2  requires you to pass Morse at 5 words  per  minute  and allows  you Morse on international frequencies and voice only  on local frequencies.

The  theoretical  component (i.e. Part 1 and 2) is the  same  for both grades.

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Class Timings

Tuesdays and Thursdays
6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

With  extra lectures on some Sundays for intensive exam  preparations.

The classes are conducted at a school in the Nana Chowk area of Mumbai.

The  exams are conducted by the officials of the Monitoring  station,  Mumbai at JNA venue.

The course duration is normally about 4 months.

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What are the course fees?

The course fees for the  entire duration  of the course is only Rs. 750/- (inclusive of class notes).

The examination fees charged by the Government is Rs. 30/-.

We also stock and sell various educational materials such as  text books. Morse tapes, oscillator kits, floppies etc. This are extra and you may pay as you buy.

In order to provide an intensive practical exposure an optional field trip is organised on a cost to cost basis.

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What are the license fees?

The license fees payable to the Government are

For                      2 Years           5 Years

Grade I                    40               100

Grade II                   25                60

Definitely very reasonable

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What is JNA Wireless Association?

JNA stands for the call sign of Jamshed N. Anklesaria a  deceased Ham  whose family gifted a vast collection of  equipment  towards the cause of promotion of the hobby.

The Association was appropriately named in his memory.

Only  non profit volunteer driven organisation working in  Mumbai for promotion of Ham Radio as a Hobby.

The activities of the association represents unduplicated efforts in Mumbai.

Over 9 years of continuos endeavour.

Duly registered with relevant statutory authorities.
 
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Membership of JNA

Membership  of JNA is open to all persons who are  interested  in the hobby.

A ham license is not a pre-requisite and non hams can also  avail of the benefits.

Of course only licensed Hams can operate the wireless equipment.
 
Membership of JNA gets you the privilege of accessing all the benefits of the various activities

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What are the membership fee of JNA?

Members can discharge their financial obligations to the association in 2 ways.

Life Membership - A one time fees of Rs. 3000/-.

Annual Membership - An entrance fees of Rs. 250/- and annual fees of Rs. 250/-

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Activities of JNA
Being highly inspired our activity level is quite high. All of the following are regularly conducted on a periodic basis.

The activities represent unduplicated efforts in Mumbai
 
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What is the `Scramble Team'? 

A  team  comprising self motivated Hams  for  providing  wireless communications  during  natural disasters  and  calamities  where normal means of communications fail.

Constituted and self financed by JNA on its own initiative.

Team members are trained in various aspects of emergency communications.

Earmarked equipment set aside for immediate mobilisation.
 

Special tie up with

Colaba weather bureau for advance intimation of impending calamities.
Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. for use of satellite communications.

Importance of `Scramble Team'

Only means for disaster management when normal means of  communications fail.

Additional channel to handle peak loads.
 
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Scramble Team and Latur

Earthquake at Latur region at 4.40 a.m. on Thursday, 30th September, 1993.

Scramble Team ready to leave for Latur by 10.30 a.m. same day.

Hams  from  JNA first to reach Khillari - epicentre of  the  earthquake.

Communications  established between all regions  and  Mantralaya, Chief Secretary's office.

First feedback to assess magnitude of calamity.

First time satellite communications in disaster control.

Thousands of life saving messages handled.

Continuos  24 hour vigil maintained for over 10 days.

 The only reward - Appreciation all round.

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The Amateur's Code

The Radio Amateur is:

Considerate ... never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

Loyal ...  offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other  amateurs and local clubs.

Progressive ... with knowledge abreast of science

Friendly ...  slow,  patient, friendly advice and counsel  to  the beginner.

Balanced ... radio is an hobby, never interfering with duties owed to the family, job, school or community.

Patriotic ...equipment and skills always ready for service to  the country and the community.

(The  original  code  was written in 1928 and  is  still  proudly upheld.  It embodies the spirit of JNA and its members)
 
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Internet and Ham Radio.

With  the advent of Internet it is confused with HAM  radio.  The following are a few of the major differences :

1. Entry:  Anybody with enough money sloshing in his pocket can  get  on  the internet whereas for HAM radio you have  to  be duly licensed by appearing for an exam.

2. Purpose:  A  HAM  radio  can  only  be  used  for   personal  friendship. You become a Ham because you are interested in advancing your level of scientific knowledge. It  cannot be  used  for  trade  and commerce.   Whereas the internet on the other hand  is  more geared towards E-Commerce. HAM radio is purely a hobby.

3. Hardware:   With  a  wireless  set  you  use  the   nature's phenomena of electro magnetic radiation which carries  waves through  the  atmosphere.   In  the  internet  you  use  the telephone lines which are laid down across the globe.

4. Content:  The content of the internet is not subject to  any censorship.  Pornography of all forms is rampant. Whereas in HAM radio the content is controlled by the terms of licence.  Most HAMs are gentlemen and interacting with them is a  very pleasurable  experience.   Four letter  words  are  strictly taboo.

5. Cost:  The cost of going on internet is around Rs.1,00,000/- if you include the cost of licence fees to VSNL and a modern computer,  etc.   The cost of becoming a HAM is  around  Rs.50,000/-  assuming  you get the latest 'state  of  the  art' Japanese transreceivers.

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Contact Details:

Registered Office and Club Station:

JNA Wireless Association,
C/o Swadi Automobiles,
Ness Baug, Petit Compound,
Nana Chowk,
Mumbai 400 007
India.

Logistics Support office:

3-A, Valmiki,
Near Pharmacy College,
Sunder Nagar, Kalina,
Mumbai 400 098
India

Telephone: ++91 22 613 3023
Fax:            ++91 22 611 9083
EMail:        vitalink@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in
 
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