Saturday, January 10, 2009

MY 50 years of ham radio :

by VU2SE (Mani) - Bangalore
I feel it a great pleasure to share my experiences in the field of Ham Radio for the past 50 Years. IT is no doubt that Ham Radio is a serious hobby. It gives a lot pleasure and also friendship. It also enhances our knowledge in the field of electronics and other scientific and social field.

After passing my Amateur Radio test during the year 1957.I got the call sign VU2SE.The first ham I met was VU2AC (Raj) who was working in Madras Electricity Board at Erode. I saw his home Brewequipment with which he was contacting many DX stations. He has given me lot of tips about assembling our own transmitter and receiver.With this knowledge I procured a few components from Madras to homebrew my own transmitter. The first rig I assembled was a CW transmitter using 3 nos of 6L6 tubes and 2 Nos of 807 giving a power output of 20 watts.I was fortunate to get a new BC224D receiver from a friend of mine in Madras. I was operating with this setup on CW from Coimbatore for six months. In 1958 I converted this an AM rig and had many contacts on 40 and 20 Mt band. I am happy to say that I developed lot of friendship of other Hams from India and other countries, To mention a few whom I met are VU2RA,VU2BK, 4S7YL,4S7GV and so many others. At the end of 1959 I Joined BEL in Bangalore. With all my equipments and also the fabricated steel items for my cubical quad antenna I started operatingfrom BEL Quaryers. At this time I came in contact with OM Sulu (VU2GV) who was working in the communication side of the Home Department situated at High court Building Complex, We Used to meet frequently and met some of the Bangalore Hams like VU2BZ(Shamrao) VU2SO(Saibal Goash) Mr Sampath and a few SWL's like Mr Sharma of RBI and also Mr Ganesh.During 1960 in one of our get together at Bangalore Hams it was decided to form an Amateur Radio Club in Bangalore. In January 1960 the Bangalore Amateur Radio Club was formed with the following founder members:

1. G.V.Sulu (VU2GV).
2.Subramanyam. S.R.(VU2SE) .
3.Sham Rao (VU2BZ).
4.Sampath (VU2YZ).
5.Shama of RBI (SWL).

During 1961-1962 the BARC Club was functioning from my BEL QTH. Few more SWL's Joined the club. At that time Mr Jayaram(VU2JR) was education secretary to Government of Karnataka and later became the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University and he was made the president of President of BARC Club.In one of the meeting's it was decided to have a club station of BARC and withthe efforts of OM Sulu (VU2GV) the club got the call sign VU2TT from wpc.The club station was officially inagurated by Vu2AJ Mr Dutt of overseas Communication who came specially for this inaguration of this club station at my house in BEL Colony. In 1963 I assembled my own SSB Transmitter modifying my old rig to get an out put of 30 watts and with my BC224 receiver I was very active on all HF bands.With my multiband Zepp Antenna(G5RV) I could work duplex on 80mt and 40 mt bands with Coimbatore which was operated by P.Y.Baba(VU2PI) from Coimbatore.With this set up I could contact 100's of DX Stations. I was also conducting Morse code classes on the Air and the response was very much encouraging. Bharat Electronics Limited being one of the Largest electronics industry in india with a large technical work force I took the initiative to start a Amateur Radio Club in BEL.There were only 4 Hams at that time in BEL in 1964 namelyVU2AO(Gundurao) Vu2BB(Ramachandr a rao,VU2NY (Narayana Rao) and myself (VU2SE).We made a representation to BEL management highlighting the importance of Ham Radioin the company and the advantage of enhancing the knowledge in the field of electronics & communication. BEL management agreed for our proposal and accorded permission for the formation of BEL Amateur Radio Club in 1964.

To start with we were provided an accomodation in BEL Colony with necessary facilities. After
enrolling a few SWLs who got trained took the examination and most of them got the License with thecallsign to mention a few of them are VU2EN (Kelkar) VU2LH(Halbe) VU2NIM(Nimmi) VU2DNR(Rao) VU2GDX (Amal) and others. During 70's BEL amateur Radio Club took part in many Science Exhibition which induced lot of interest amongst the science students of different schools and colleges. By 1980 there were nearly 40 callsign holders as members of BEL Amateur Radio Club. In 1983 I retired from BEL Services and I was made honorary member of BEL Amateur Radio Clubwhich i still continue to hold. During my service in BEL I was staying at company's quarters where i had lot of space to errect different antennas for experimentation. At that time my daughter Nirmala was very active on band with the callsign VU2NMZ and later VU2NIM.

In 1983 after my retirement I shifted to my own Qth at Ganganagar where I made provisionfor erecting my antennas.At present I am operating with my Drake TR4 with my Cubical Quad and Dipole working on all HF Bands. On 2 Mts I am operating with Kenwood TH21 with a slimjim antenna. I have got a small workshop with a few instruments and still continue some assembly work. I maintain the log by entering all the contacts in my pc.I still keep my self busy with Ham Radio activities. Thepresent modern technology in Ham Radio has created a huge gap between the old and the new which I still try to learn the progress and the new technology. Hope I will be able tocontinue for some more time in this hobby.

In my opinion propogation of Ham Radio activities in our country is to be encouraged further especially with the younger generation in the schools and colleges. I wish all the best in the future for the Ham Radio in our country.
VU2SE (Mani)S.R.Subramanyam
No. 137, 3rd Main Road
Ganganagar Layout

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mr Subramanyam,

    I am working as Deputy Manager (Corporate Communication) in BEL. I would like to profile you in our house magazine, Electronica. Can you please e-mail me your phone no at

    Thanks and regards,

    Naveen Namboodiri


Blog Widget by LinkWithin