The latest edition of Annual Amateur Radio Convention of Mumbai City “CQMumbai2022” successfully commenced on 9 October, 2022 at K.J. Somaiya Institute of Technology and Engineering, Sion. Held after a gap of two years due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the convention saw participants from in and around Mumbai, plus from other cities like Hyderabad.
The excellent venue of K.J. Somaiya Institute of Technology and Engineering laid the ground for a day full of high octane technical sessions by HAMs who are constantly pushing the boundary to make the hobby contemporary and cutting edge. Prof. Umesh Shinde (VU3CDI), Dept. of Basic Science & Humanities, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Engineering & Information Technology helped arrange the venue and logistics for the event.
Under the able compering of Jayesh Kharwar, the convention started sharp at 10.30 a.m. with prayers to seeking blessings of divine, followed by a brief session of condolence for HAMs who became Silent Keys during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ashhar Farhan (VU2ESE) set the tone for the day with his presentation and discussion on Software Defined Radio (SDR). Farhan enthralled the audience with the possibilities when Software and radio come together. After a brief introduction, Farhan spoke at length about his creation sBitx and how it helps automate many manual tasks done separately while handling conventional radio and converges into a single set with the help of sBitx. Besides making QSOs clearer, tasks like CQ, logging and even recording of the QSO has been automated thanks to the capabilities of software powered radio. Farhan credited his friend Rahul Srivastava(VU3WJM), who is now silent key for being his sounding board and helping vet his ideas and give sBitx the form it is in today.
Farhan’s session was followed by Charudatt Uplap’s (VU2UPX) session on homebrewed transceivers and transmitters – ADX and Nano uSDX. The geek par excellence has managed to compress bulky radios into a simple postcard size box and to further compress into smaller size of credit card. Uplap helped understand why small is beautiful and how his creations can help make DX expeditions way lighter and easy to undertake, as carrying his homebrewed radios would be way lighter for such expeditions. Built using the Raspberry Pi the transceivers pack a punch similar to its regular size counterparts, and cost lesser than a quarter of the regular radio set.
Meet and greet followed by lunch continued the enthusiasm of participants. Lunch break also helped participants get a glimpse of the latest ICOM radios in the market, thanks to authorized distributors for the brand putting up a display of the new radiosets.
Post lunch to ensure no one slipped into slumber Quiz time and Lucky draw kept everyone alert and awake. Gopal Kamat VU2JE introduced the world of QO100, radio communications through satellite QO100 and its various nuances.
Prof. CS Kulkarni VU2CHD offered practical solutions to HAMs who wished to practice in the hobby in the constricted dwellings of Mumbai flats, through Antennas for Urban Amateurs. Setting up collapsible Antennas using PVC pipes or using long handle dusters as antenna poles were some of the innovative ideas Prof. Kulkarni shared. Rajesh Huddar VU3RHU upped the ante by talking about Gawant Antenna. Based on the basic construct by JH1QFZ Ariga San, the Gawant Antenna are vertical antennas that are just as tall as 1 litre water bottles, can be mounted atop your radiosets and perhaps provide better mobility options when having to carry your rigs and antenna out of your shack.
Kiran Padiyar VU2XE joined CQMumbai2022 via Zoom to tutor attendants about the Freedom in Operating Radio. His experience sharing about loss of open spaces, advent of multiple high rises around his QTH and difficulty in practicing the hobby inhouse made him venture out in the open, searching for newer pastures where the freedom to setup equipment and enjoy the hobby reaches a different level altogether.
After some hot bhajiyas and tea/coffee, attendees recoveraged for the last demo session on sBitx by Farhan, ADX and Nano uSDX by Uplap.
Customary photo shoot followed by thanksgiving brought down the curtains on CQMumbai2022. With promises of rag chewing and more eyeballs, the event came a beautiful end, breaking the forced gloom brought by Covid-19 and once again recharging HAMs of Mumbai.
CQ Mumbai Sessions : [ Sorry for the Quality ]