Report from Thailand
Activities of RAST
In Thailand, most amateur radio operators are licensed for the 2 m VHF band, and limited to only receive UHF band. Many are studying and taking exams to get an intermediate or advanced amateur radio operator license in which they can operate on MF/HF/VHF/UHF and other bands. The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King (RAST) has been responsible for arranging intermediate and advanced license examinations in cooperation with the authority organization of Thailand. To support the newly licensed intermediate or advanced operators who have not operated on HF bands, RAST arranged an experience sharing seminar called “HF101” for them on Sunday, the 20th of October 2019 at the King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL). In the seminar, they were taught about related regulations and band-plans by Joe HS2JFW, introduced radio operating modes on HF bands by Nikorn HS5NMF, shared some experiences of DXpedition by Choon E20HHK, introduced electronic logs and awards by Pat HS7WMU, and taught about QSL confirmation procedures and radio DX &Contest by Champ E21EIC. The seminar has received good reviews from the attendees. Please welcome them to the world of ham radio on the HF bands.
RAST is also interested in developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills for the youth and, therefore, it promotes activities for them. The third weekend of October is recognized as the period for the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) and Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI) originated by Les Mitchell, G3BHK (SK). RAST set up HF radios, VHF radios, and Digital radios to promote and join the JOTA & JOTI on Sunday the 20th of October 2019 at the KMITL. Several contacts were exchanged among Thai and international scouts both via CW and phone modes. We believe that the activities promote their STEM skills and let them have international radio experiences.
Beside organizing activities to promote the amateur radio, RAST does some volunteer activities and provides their expertise in radio communication for the society. Being received an offer from the PhuKhiao Wildlife Sanctuary Office located at Chaiyaphum province of Thailand (Grid Location: OK06si), RAST and their partner radio clubs had accepted their request to help them fix their radio communication gears. The survey team had found that their radio tower had collapsed due to the decades of usage. The rigs were as old as the tower and unable to operate with transmitting power higher than 9 watts. Therefore, RAST and their partners told the situation to their members, and as a result, new tower parts, antenna, power supplies, rigs, and other necessary equipment have been donated. During the 7th – 8th September 2019, their members and partners travelled to the office and erected a new radio tower. New antennas and transceivers were installed and tested. We have learned from the officers that the office was responsible for the approximate area of 1 million rai (160,000 hectare or 484,000,000 tsubo). The routine patrols usually last for 5 to 7 days are on foot. The only means of communication to outside is by the radio, and their life depend on it. Without radios, they are deaf and mute. The radio communication is their only way to request for support. Their hand-held and mobile transceivers and necessary communication gears are as old as three decades and highly unreliable. We sadly recognized their circumstances and promised them that we will come back with more support.
RAST and their partners are glad that the technicians as radio operators can help them protect wildlife and our nature.