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Lions Clubs International & Amateur Radio are closely linked. Internationally there are several amateur radio stations operated by Lions for the purposes of humanitarian aid & disaster relief. Amateur radio stations were very active in relief operations during the Asian Tsunami. In particular the emergency stations in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The former having being washed away, then back on the air within two hours operating under the most appalling conditions, & no mains electricity.

Two Indonesian radio amateurs, Soejat Harto, YB6HB, & Zulkarman Syafrin, YC6PLG, were among the team of volunteers who went to Nias Island to assist following an earthquake on 28 March 2005. The quake measured 8.7 on the Richter scale and around 1000 lives may have been lost. Soejat is a medical doctor and a vice-chairman of the North Sumatra Province branch of ORARI, the Indonesian national amateur radio society, while Zulkarman is a member of the Indonesian Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

Lions clubs in India have a permanent amateur radio disaster station. This is operated by Lion Ajoy - VU2JHM, he is the Disaster Manager & Custodian. This station is Lions Clubs International - Ham Radio Club Station - VU2LCI   (VU2 Lions Clubs International)

Disaster relief post Katrina was aided by amateur radio, some operators being Lions clubs members. Too numerous accounts to be listed. I quote from one reliable news source(18/09/2005):- The important role amateur radio is playing in the relief effort was perhaps best summed up by Louisiana state senator Ben Nevers. After passing on some important information to his emergency manager using radio equipment, he exclaimed: “Thank God for ham radio”

Amateur radio is not C.B., worthy though Citizens Band Radio is. Amateur Radio is a unique & fascinating hobby that captivates millions of people world wide. It encompasses a huge range of activities, from people communicating locally in the same town or city, to people communicating with others right around the world, or beyond by talking with other licensed amateur radio operators in the international space station.
Many amateurs enjoy designing & constructing their own equipment whilst others will use commercially available equipment.

The word "Ham" as applied to the amateur radio dates back to 1908 and it was the call letters of the first amateur wireless station operated by some of the members of the Harvard University Wireless Club. They were Albert Hyman, Bob Almy and Reggy Murray. At first, they called their station Hyman-Almy-Murray, but tapping out such a long name in code soon called for a revision. They changed the call letters to Hy-Al-Mu, using the first two letters of each name. In 1909 H.A.M. was then issued to Earl C. Hawkins, Minneapolis, Minnesota, by the Wireless Association of America.
This was in the days before the structured international callsign system that is now in use, which is regulated by the International Amateur Radio Union.

The amateur radio licence opens up a whole world of radio communications, this includes sending & receiving television pictures, speech, Morse & data, across the world. There are satellites put into orbit by radio amateurs, but it is not all high tech & beyond the average person. Simple working radio transmitters & receivers can be built with few components at very little cost.
In June 2004 Lion Brian's grandson, who at the age of 8, became one of the youngest people in the country to pass his foundation amateur radio course & examination. OFCOM has issued his call-sign M3HBM. Call-signs are unique identifiers, the combinations of letters & numbers are not random nor 'made up' by the operator.

The call sign identifies the station's country of origin, the country the station may be being operated from; if the station is being operated from a vehicle, or a vessel on the high seas & also the class of licence the operator holds. It is quite complex, that is one reason amateur radio operators are qualified by means of examinations allowing them to use the airwaves in a safe & responsible manner. (N.B.) Unlicensed persons may only transmit greeting messages within the terms & conditions of a special event station licence such as GB4BLC.
No licence is required receive amateur radio transmissions, those who do are called shortwave listeners.

Famous Radio Amateurs

A potted history of radio landmarks.

1896  Marconi demonstrates wireless (radio) in London
1898  The first Amateur Radio station licence ever.
          Issued to Mr M Dennis in Birmingham, England
1901  Marconi transmits wireless across the Atlantic
1913  The Radio Society of Great Britain formed
1922  The BBC formed
1934  The first amateur TV licenses issued
1936  First BBC T V transmissions From "Ally - Pally"
1957 Russians Launch the first satellite. Listened to by Radio Amateurs
1962 First Amateur Radio satellite launched
1981  C B radio legalised in the U K
1990  PSK31 is developed by Pawel Jalocha, SP9VRC, and Peter          Martinez, G3PLX
1991  Helen Sharman talks with UK amateurs from the
         MIR space station
2001 International Space Station starts transmissions with
         radio amateurs around the world
2007  1st April The Time signal ceases transmission from Rugby           Radio Station after 80 years, & transferred to Cumbria

Some of the above information is reproduced by kind permission of the Radio Society of Great Britain
Further information about Amateur Radio   The link to RSGB takes you away from this site  visit the Radio Society of Great Britain Website

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