More than 400 amateur radio operators participate in the annual convention
The event displays sBITX which requires less complex circuitry and runs on a low cost computer board
It was a day of devious magic with around 400 amateur operators from across the country who converged on Saturday at the annual Lamakaan Radio Convention (LARC 4) and shared information on frequencies, antennas and wireless technologies. He also witnessed the sBITX, a software-designed, native-designed radio.
Explaining what this means, Ashhar Farhan, who developed the sBITX transceiver and wrote the code, says, “Software-defined radios are more compact. Hardware defined radios are much larger. Otherwise, this radio would have been the size of a safe. Software-defined radios provide data correction and data storage. They also amplify weak signals.
The sBITX transceiver, Mr. Farhan said, was developed on LINUX. The idea was to add more functionality, and this was possible on open source platforms. “With enough eyeballs, all bugs are superficial,” quotes Eric Raymond, a famous advocate of open source software. This implies that the more people have access to the code, the easier it is to identify bugs, fix them and the better the radio.
The sBITX requires less complex circuitry and runs on a low cost computer board in order to process complex signals. “It is the first software-defying radio to be developed from scratch in India,” he said.
LARC 4, a two-day event, was held at Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology. The head of the electronics and communications department, Prof. Mohammed Arifuddin Sohel, described the convention as important for the students as they could see for themselves how the latest technology works.
The event also included technical sessions by those who have made a name for themselves in the field of radio communication, home brewing and the construction of antennas and radios. They shared their views with the attendees, many of whom had multiple questions.
There were also technical sessions. Presentations on the sBITX, construction of a step-up converter and a power amplifier for the QO-100, a first geostationary satellite built by radio amateurs, and allows radio amateurs in Asia, Africa and Europe to communicate , tracking satellites, CubeSats and PCB designs for radio applications.