The Pune HAMs and Amateur Radio Club – PHARC is a club of Amateur radio enthusiasts that encourages and promotes this exciting hobby.
Amateur Radio or Ham radio as is commonly known is a hobby that brings people, electronics and communication together. It’s a technical hobby where people can use a two way radio on designated frequencies to talk and communicate with each other across the town, around the world, or even into space by Morse code, by voice, by text and can even send images to one another without using the Internet or cell phones.
Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles and have a license issued by the Ministry of Communication, Government of India to operate on their radios on designated radio frequencies known as Amateur Bands.
It’s a Contact Sport with fun, is very educating and has social networking, all packaged together. And when normal communication breaks down during times of disasters and natural calamities it can even become a lifeline.
The origin of the club started with members of the ham community from across the city coming together for a cup of tea and an informal interaction. Over the years, the club has become a medium to bring experienced operators and newcomers to the hobby together to exchange ideas and gain knowledge from the more experienced operators. As a group it is dedicated to maintaining high levels of amateur radio communications and it encourages and promotes home brewing of equipment, weak signal operations, contest activities & contact sport.
Due to the tireless efforts of Ashok Joshi, the Elmer of the club, fondly referred to as Radio Dada (RD) by the youngsters and the support and participation of each and every member, the Club has been able to conduct some very good and interesting activities.
The senior most member of the PHARC, 87 years old, Kishor Kelkar was an ardent morse key user and used it till the day before he passed away in Jan’16.
After the devastating earthquake in Nepal, The PHARC helped many to establish contact with those stranded by connecting with ham radio users in Nepal.
The club continues to have its flagship activity; the monthly meeting called the “PUNE HAMs EYEBALL QSO” that is held on the first Sunday of every month at Balgandharva Rangamandir on Jangli Maharaj Road, Deccan Gymkhana, Pune. Besides the monthly meeting, the club also organizes workshops for various types of experimentation relating to the hobby. The club also has a VHF repeater (VU2PHA) that helps hams from across the city to communicate with one another using low power hand held transceivers. It also has a separate Club station call sign VU2PHQ.
Some of the club activities in the last few years are:
- Feb – Apr 2016 – Workshop to assemble a multiband DDS controlled Direct Conversion Receiver (ASH DCR-2) was conducted by Ashok Joshi over Five Sundays
- Jan 2016 PHARC teamed up with Mumbai Amateur Radio Institute (Team MARI) and participated in a two day fox hunt event at Palghar
- Aug 2015 – PHARC conducted a workshop on VHF antenna wherein a 2m Yagi antenna was tuned and participants constructed 4 Ground Plain antennas
- Jan 2015 – PHARC teamed up with Mumbai Amateur Radio Institute (Team MARI) and participated in their HF Antenna workshop at Pauna Dam
If you need more details or want to join PHARC, please access the PHARC Facebook page.