Hyderabad: From making headlines when he used his Ham radio skills to extend help to those hit by the Hud Hud Cyclone three years ago, 18-year-old Tom K Jose is now a busy person. He is gathering youngsters to join his clan of Ham radio operators.
Tom, who became an amateur radio operator at the tender age of 13, is a third generation Ham operator, with his grandfather beginning the hobby, followed by Tom’s parents and now, Tom and his brother.
In 2015, he was invited to the world’s largest gathering of Ham operators — the Dayton Hamvention in the US. Here, he earned many fans after he gave a presentation at the event’s Youth Forum in front of 25,000 people. This saw him securing an annual scholarship of $2,000 from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which he is now using to spread the word about Ham radio in the city.
Conducting awareness sessions in colleges and schools in Hyderabad, while he juggles with his studies, the electronics and communication engineering student of SVIT College says more youngsters are showing interest in the hobby. “Tom’s efforts during the cyclone gave inspiration to the many young students across the country. US-based amateur radio associations also included his name among students promoting amateur radio to students across the world,” said Ram Mohan Suri, executive vice-chairman and director of National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR).
Tom, who contested in several amateur radio contests and won over 50 prizes, boasts of contacts from 175 countries. ARRL presented him with the prestigious Diamond DXCC Challenge award for communicating with 100 countries in a calendar year. But Tom says his best moment was when he interacted and dined with famous US astronaut Edward Michael Fincke. “After interacting with Fincke, I got first-hand information about the use and role of Ham radio in space,” he said. Bridging distance with Ham radio