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ARDF competition back again for the second time

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ARDF competition back again for the second time
14/04/2013
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14 April 2013 – The Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) held an ‘Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Competition 2013’ at the Taman Riadah Tasik Sarubing, Mukim Kota Batu.
 
This year marks the second time for AITI to hold the ARDF competition after its successful event last year. Seven (7) teams participated in the ARDF and every team consists of three (3) members. The ARDF competition started at 7:30am and lasted for two (2) hours. During the competition, each team displayed their capabilities in the design of their home-made directional antennas and used their skills to orienteer their way to find hidden transmitters (the "foxes").
 
Amateur radio service is a radio-communications service in which a station is used for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs or hobbyist. Amateur Radio service is regulated by AITI and this includes the equipment used for Amateur Radio service. This is to ensure that Amateur Radio service and equipment are used within the allowed technical requirements and within the code of conduct of the Amateur Radio licence.
 
There are 2 types of Amateur Radio licence issued by AITI; the Standard Class licence and the Advanced Class licence. The Standard Class licence allows licensee to transmit and receive in the ‘Very High Frequency’ (VHF) band in the range of 144 MHz to 148 MHz. The Advanced Class licence allow licensee to operate in both ‘High Frequency’ (HF) and ‘Very High Frequency’ (VHF) bands as stated in the licence. When a licence is issued, a callsign is also given. This callsign act as an identity for the licensee and must be transmitted at the beginning of the conversations. In Brunei Darussalam, the callsign begin with the prefix “V8” followed by a number and a combination of 2 or 3 alphabetic characters. The V8 callsign is allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to enable unique geographical identification of Amateur Radio users when they communicate globally.
 
Other than that, Amateur Radio service is used to provide alternative communication during emergency or in times of natural disasters when fixed line, mobile phones and other conventional means of communications fail. Local Amateur radio operators from Brunei Darussalam Amateur Radio Association (BDARA) and Gemilang Amateur Radio Club (GARC) regularly assist the National Disaster Management Centre by providing emergency communication in remote areas. One notable example is during the 2009 flooding due to abnormally heavy rain during that period, where they provided communications in the remote areas of Tutong and Kuala Belait District. 
 
The prizes for this year’s ARDF competition were presented by Haji Yahkup Bin Haji Menudin, Chief Executive of AITI. The competition is based on the fastest team to be able to find all the hidden beacons located at various points at the Taman Serubing. The first winner of the ARDF2013 goes to Team “Pelanduk Napu” which manage to find the hidden beacons in 34 minutes, followed by Team Pintu Kuning in 1 hour 8 minutes and the third team was Team Q…S…L… in 1 hour 12 minutes. The first place winning team brings back a cash prize of $1,000 with a trophy. The second and third winner gets $750 and $500 respectively and with a trophy.
 
Haji Yahkup Bin Haji Menudin mentioned that through this ARDF competition, member of the public has the opportunity to understand more on the Amateur Radio and encourage the use of Amateur Radio service among the public. He also hopes that this competition will create greater harmonies and network amongst radio enthusiasts.
 
For those who are interested to obtain Amateur Radio licence, the applicant has to pass the Amateur Radio Examination conducted by AITI. AITI conducts two (2) Amateur Radio examinations annually and upon passing, AITI will issue the Amateur Radio licence. This Amateur radio licence is valid for one (1) year and is renewable. The annual Amateur Radio licence fee is B$ 25.00 per equipment. Amateur Radio Equipment can be purchased from local radiocommunication dealer licensed by AITI. Licensees who purchases their radio equipment from oversea will be subject to equipment type approval fee and import permit fee.
 
For further information on amateur radio licence, please contact Mohd Fadzlan bin Dato Paduka Haji Abdullah, Assistant Manager, Type Approval, Amateur Radio & Equipment Testing, AITI, at 2366637 or email at info@aiti.gov.bn or you may visit AITI official website at www.aiti.gov.bn