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Author Topic: Demonstrating ham radio in Myanmar (Burma)  (Read 4237 times)
HS0ZIB
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« on: February 12, 2018, 01:18:54 AM »

Today was the annual Science & Arts Fair at the international school in Naypyidaw, where I am the English and Science teacher.

One technology project of my secondary-1 (13 years old) students was all about radio signals. So we demonstrated the reception of FT-8 signals from ham radio stations, using a 33 feet vertical antenna, my Icom IC-716 and JTDX on my laptop.  We also demonstrated the reception of marine weather fax maps sent by the Bangkok Weather Centre.

Despite local QRN, FT-8 signals were received from China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Taiwan, Philippines and Russia

Many of the students' parents who viewed and discussed this project hold senior roles in the government, army and police, and all supported my efforts to obtain a ham radio operating permit in Myanmar, as a route to teaching their offspring about STEM, electronics and telecommunications/radio communications.



Ham radio was banned since 1962 in Myanmar. 

Since 2012, when I moved from Thailand to live and work in Myanmar, I have been lobbying the government to allow ham radio.  I am marginally closer to achieving my goal, and this Science Fair project was a deliberate move on my part to keep the concept of ham radio in the minds of the decision makers in the Myanmar government Smiley



« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:21:59 AM by HS0ZIB » Logged
ONAIR
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 01:16:30 AM »

Today was the annual Science & Arts Fair at the international school in Naypyidaw, where I am the English and Science teacher.

One technology project of my secondary-1 (13 years old) students was all about radio signals. So we demonstrated the reception of FT-8 signals from ham radio stations, using a 33 feet vertical antenna, my Icom IC-716 and JTDX on my laptop.  We also demonstrated the reception of marine weather fax maps sent by the Bangkok Weather Centre.

Despite local QRN, FT-8 signals were received from China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Taiwan, Philippines and Russia

Many of the students' parents who viewed and discussed this project hold senior roles in the government, army and police, and all supported my efforts to obtain a ham radio operating permit in Myanmar, as a route to teaching their offspring about STEM, electronics and telecommunications/radio communications.



Ham radio was banned since 1962 in Myanmar. 

Since 2012, when I moved from Thailand to live and work in Myanmar, I have been lobbying the government to allow ham radio.  I am marginally closer to achieving my goal, and this Science Fair project was a deliberate move on my part to keep the concept of ham radio in the minds of the decision makers in the Myanmar government Smiley




  Interesting!  Do you know why ham radio was banned there?
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HS0ZIB
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 05:24:15 AM »

Quote
Interesting!  Do you know why ham radio was banned there?

I had my own ideas about this, and it was confirmed in a meeting with the Ministry who are responsible for licence issues.

In 1962, there was (of course) no internet, email, mobile phones or social media.  Communication was by fixed line telephone and radio comms.

At that time (and sadly still to the present day), there was a lot of ethnic conflict in Myanmar, with various ethnic groups (Shan, Chin, Kachin, Kayin etc) fighting or opposed to the main government of the country.  So the government decided to ban amateur radio as a way to restrict use of radio comms for stirring up anti-government propaganda.

Of course, just because radio comms was banned doesn't stop anyone from using them if they want to, just like banning guns to stop criminals from using them doesn't work...

The ITU was informed of this ban in 1962.

Fast-forward to the present day, and still there is a lot of ethnic conflict in Myanmar, especially in border areas near to Bangladesh, China and Thailand.  Nowadays, if one wants to stir up anti-government propaganda etc, one uses social media and the internet.

No-one in their right mind would ever consider using HF radio nowadays to stir up anti-government propaganda!!

But the ham radio ban was never repealed, and it takes a Minister order at the highest level to do this.  Since ham radio all but ceased a generation ago in Myanmar, no government official at any level (low or high) has the slightest interest in repealing the ban - it's of no importance to them.

So since 2012 (when I moved to work in Myanmar), I've been trying to convince the 'right' people in the Ministry that ham radio IS important, especially concerning emcomms (the country has earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones..), as well as a means to educate the local youth about telecoms, radio-comms, ICT etc (STEM).

My efforts are typically 0.1 step forward, 0.1 step backwards, 0.2 steps forward, 0.15 steps backward!  I have made progress, but it is a hard battle Smiley

Oh, what about the various DXpeditions by Zorro and friends to XZ land?  Did they have ham licences?

No, they did not.  They were issued with special operating permits to use their radio equipment for a limited period, for testing purposes.  Does that make these DXpeditions invalid for DXCC credit?  No, because they were authorised by the correct licencing authority in Myanmar to operate their ham equipment. Their DXCC credits are valid!
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ONAIR
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 06:20:55 PM »

Is any personal radio allowed at all?  Walkie-Talkies, CB, etc.?
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HS0ZIB
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 06:58:00 PM »

Quote
Is any personal radio allowed at all?  Walkie-Talkies, CB, etc.?

Nope, only 2 cans and a long piece of string Smiley
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WB4M
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 08:03:56 PM »

We appreciate your efforts!  Keep it up, it is one of the few remaining I need, lol. 
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