Journey Of Ham Radio


“How did I get inspired towards Ham Radio? “

The beginning…


“My Dad was going to Dayton International Hamvention-2013, Ohio, for a ham radio convention and I wanted to come with, and I got inspired by the convention, and later that summer I got my license,”

“My  Greatest  Inspiration : 

I  was  mostly  inspired  by  Dr.  Kelly Hall (K1LLY),  Mr.  Ram Mohan(VU2MYH) Director NIAR Hyderabad,  Mr.  Satya Adiraju (VU2SAX) and  my  dad,  Hari Rebba(VU2SPZ/KD9LLR).”

  • “My DAD  VU2SPZ  being  a  ham  for  28  years  and  actively  involved  in  Ham Radio, during natural disaster, like floods and earthquakes. He worked during LATHUR earthquake in the state of Maharashtra in India with Richter scale 8.
  • “During LATHUR  earthquake  in  the  state  of  Maharashtra  in  India  with  Richter  scale  8 !! “

Built  AM  Radio  in  less than 10  min  at  the  ARRL  Youth  Lounge – 2013



Youngest HAM Radio Operator of Indian Origin


Dhruv received his Technical Class License at the age of 9, becoming the youngest Ham Radio Operator of Indian origin, which landed him a spot in the Limca Book of Records. Later that year, he broke his own record by attaining his General Class License.  While Amateur Radio is a hobby, it is also a service which brings people, electronics, and communication together. One example is The ARISS Project Dhruv envisioned and helped create.

  • ‘LIMCA Book Of Records’ officially declared the same in ‘LIMCA Book Of Records – 2015’ (started by LIMCA, now run by Coca Cola.  
  • This gave him an opportunity to inspire the youth to get into the world of ham radio by letting them know the importance of ham radio. The youth includes Dhruv’s school students, local communities and also school students in India.





Amateur Radio on the International Space Station  ( ARISS )

Dhruv Spearheaded ARISS (Amateur Radio on International Space Station) contact to talk to the astronaut Joe Acaba on board the ISS, at Chiddix Junior High School on Oct 23rd 2017 at 10.31 am.

On October 23rd 2017, Dhruv initiated the contact for an Amateur Radio on the Intenational Space Station(ARISS), with Astronaut Joe Acaba, on board the International Space Station (ISS). Through his efforts,  students from Chiddix Junior High School got a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk to astronaut Joe Acaba on the International Space Station. The driving force behind the ARISS project was Dhruv’s determination and will power. Having been rejected  2 times as a 6th grader, Dhruv pursued this idea for more than 2 years and succeeded. It is his imagination and vision that led the students get an opportunity to talk to the astronauts on the International Space Station! To get his project off the ground, Dhruv worked with Chiddix Junior High School, Central Illinois Radio Club, Children’s Discovery Museum, Challenger Learning Center, Central Illinois Radio Club (CIRC) members, AMSAT  and NASA. Dhruv’s work is a phenomenal example of a student dreaming big, and following through to the end. Just as the space station is a multinational effort, each ham radio contact requires groups from various cultures, careers and countries to work together.

The ARISS project’s mission is all about Community Youth Outreach, student’s personal success and engaging students hands-on, dynamic activities while increasing interest in STEM careers, helping the whole community gain the STEM insights and progress in education. It was a great opportunity for the community, as they held a plethora of space related educational activities related to the program, and space enthusiasm in the school and community reached an all-time high. We are proud of the program as CJHS is one among 8 schools selected nation-wide and one among 50 schools worldwide selected for this program. The contact was broadcasted live to the entire school and Unit 5 school district and a live broadcast was held internationally as the program itself is to educate all the students worldwide promoting the interest in STEM.

Dhruv was featured in ‘Talk Show with Astronaut Douglas Wheelock‘ about ‘Chiddix Junior High ARISS Program’ on W5KUB.COM in 2017

Presentation at AMSAT-NASA Space Symposium, US Space Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama about Chiddix ARISS program – 2018

ARISS Co-Mentor for 24th World Scouts Jamboree

NASA-ARISS forum panel –  Youth panel member – discussion on ‘Choice of Studies/Careers’ 2019




Amateur Radio Exploration (AREx)

NASA’s Deep Space Gateway : A visit to the AMSAT booth at Hamvention 2019 prompted him to sign on for Amateur Radio Exploration (AREx) , NASA’s Deep Space Gateway. Dhruv is currently deeply involved in designing an amateur radio system that will be placed on the Deep Space Lunar Gateway Space Station orbiting around the moon. The Gateway is a space station that NASA and other international organizations are working on that will serve as a ‘Gateway’ to the moon and beyond, and will serve a crucial role in the Artemis missions. The amateur radio system will not only serve as a radio for astronauts to talk to civilians with, but also as experimental radio frequency equipment, and as a contingency communications system


Lead – 4-H in Space Mission Command Team


Dhruv has been working with Illinois 4-H, LASSI, and the University of Illinois Dept. of Aerospace in order to develop a program that will enable youth to build and program microsatellites that will be launched into orbit Q32022. 4-H in Space is a program that gives students around Illinois the opportunity to collect data directly from satellites in space. Dhruv is able to bring valuable knowledge and experience to the 4-H in Space Mission Command Team by working directly with the IL 4-H STEM Specialist, and LASSI (Lab for Advanced Space Systems at Illinois). This project will potentially reach 10K+ Illinois youth during the first 3 years; a success Dhruv is proud to be a part of.


ARRL Illinois State Youth Coordinator


ARRL YSC(Youth Section Coordinator) for Illinois 

Provides youth related ideas and resources to amateur radio individuals and clubs within the section. Collaborates with the Affiliated Club Coordinator to assess youth activity with ARRL affiliated clubs: providing resources and ideas as needed; encouraging youth related programs and activities within clubs. Collaborates with other Section Youth Coordinators in other ARRL sections to exchange new ideas. The other responsibilities include promoting youth-related on-air activities including ARRL Kid’s Day, Jamboree on the Air(JOTA), and Field Day.



ARRL Field Day Youth Participation


Achieved additional points for CIRC Club for youth participation in CIRC (Central Illinois Radio Club) Field Day since 2015.  A 20-point bonus(maximum of 100) can be earned for youth participation for the club.

A field day can be called a campout, an informal contest, an emergency practice(emergency response capability), and all fun. The radio amateurs contact as many stations as possibe, learning to operate the radio gear in abnormal situations, and less than optimal conditions.


Youth DX Adventure 2018,  Curacao Islands


Selected for Prestigious ‘Dave Kalter Memorial 

Youth DX Adventure 2018, PJ2T Curaçao

The YDXA(Youth DX Adventure) is an organization that sends young hams age 12-17 with a parent, to an exotic destination during the summer to operate as DX. The purpose of operating DX and learning the finer points of handling pile ups, working gray line and atmospheric wave propagation and antennae. He traveled to Curacao Island in July 2018 where the PJ2Y team made a record 6,262 contacts with 135 countries over five days. The team completed a record 6,262 contacts from 135+ countries in 5 days in the Island of Curaçao, even though they had 2 power losses in prime band opening times, amounting to a total of 8 hours of power loss. The team had one FT8 station on the air for a fairly good amount of time. They had two other stations with one on SSB and the other alternating between CW and SSB.


Dayton Hamvention – International Relations Committee


Dhruv is an integral part of the International Relations Committee of the Dayton International Hamvention.  The Hamvention is a global amateur radio convention with around 25,000-30,000 visitors from around the world every year.




International Wireless Communications Expo – RCA Youth Award 2021


Received the prestigious IWCE-RCA YOUTH Award 2021 at Las Vegas International Wireless Communications Expo for his Amateur Radio activities on 9/30/2021.


‘ Young HAM Of The Year ‘ Award 2019


Dhruv received Prestigious Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Memorial Amateur Radio Newsline ‘Young Ham of the Year 2019

The Young Ham of the Year was inaugurated by William Pasternak, WA6ITF, in 1986. Upon his passing in 2015, Bill’s name was added to the award as a memorial to his commitment to recognizing the accomplishments of young people to the amateur radio service.
Amateur Radio Newsline, CQ Magazine and Yaesu USA are primary sponsors of the award, along with Heil Sound Ltd. and Radiowavz Antenna Company.

Dhruv Rebba is 2019 Young Ham Of The Year’ Amateur Radio Newsline News

Teen from Normal Earns Top Ham Radio Honor, Talks Space Exploration WGLT Radio Interview


Youth Keynote Speaker – Pacificon 2019

San Ramon, California


Dhruv was honored with the opportunity as a Youth Keynote Speaker at the PACIFICON Radio Communications Conference in San Ramon, CA 2019, to speak about youth in technology, and thereby was presented an award in recognition of his contribution as a Keynote Speaker at the Pacificon 2019 Annual Banquet.


‘ Young HAM Lends a Hand ‘ Award 2019

International Hamvention, Dayton, Ohio


Received ‘Young Ham Lends a Hand 2019‘ Award, at the International Dayton Hamvention Youth Forum for his outstanding community services using Ham Radio from Carole Perry, Director of RCA.


NASA AMSAT Presidential Award 2019

U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Hunstsville, Alabama


Dhruv was selected for AMSAT Symposium for presentation on ‘Chat with International Space Station’ at the US Space and Rocket Center, on Nov 2-4, 2018, which has been broadcasted live.

He received AMSAT (Radio AMateur SATellite Corporation)- Presidential Award and Special Plaque from International Space Station Crew for his “exceptional outreach performed professionally by a young person of skill and poise” as said by the AMSAT President Mr. Joe Spier.



Keynote Speaker – SIT Conference 2019

Students Involved with Technology (SIT) – For the Students, By the Students


Keynote speaker to a large crowd of around 600 students. Dhruv delivered the speech about ‘Ham Radio’ and ‘Robotics ‘ at Students Involved with Technology(SIT) Conference at Heartland Community College, Bloomington IL


‘Youth Award’

Hamfest Bangalore, India, 2018



Dhruv was honored for his exceptional community services, and offered to deliver a speech on ‘Inspiring Youth’ at the Hamfest India 2018, under the aegis of Indian Institute of Hams, VU2IIH at Silicon City of Bangalore in commemoration of their ‘Silver Jubilee ‘ year and in association with REVA University.


Young Achiever’s Award  from Radio Club of America, 2016 & 2017

International Hamvention, Dayton, Ohio


Received Young Achiever’s Award in the years 2016 & 2017 from Radio Club of America (RCA) at the youth forum at International Hamvention at Dayton, Ohio. The RCA Young Achiever is a youngster 18 and below who has demonstrated technical excellence and creativity in wireless communications.


Andaman DXPedition – HamTech Award 2015

National Institute of Amateur Radio(NIAR)  India


Hams are an essential requirement for the islands especially during natural disasters like hurricanes for maintaining contact/communication with the rest of the world to convey the requirements and situation during those crucial times.

Received HamTech (NIAR) 2015 Andaman Island DX-Pedition Award

Youth Speaker at Andaman Islands HamTech 2015

Ham Radio Awareness Program to school students at the Central School at Andaman Islands.

Interacted with International HAMS at the HamTech.

This awareness program has brought in several people to become HAMS.

HAM Radio Awareness Programs

These programs help the community know the importance of wireless communications, disaster and relief management during emergencies.

  • Illinois State University Technology and Science Fair
  • CIRC (Central Illinois Radio Club) Ham Radio Awareness Program
  • Conducted ‘Ham Radio Awareness Program’ to the local Engineering College Students with NIAR (National Institute of Amateur Radio) India in 2014 and demonstrated how Ham Radio can be useful to the community during natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. Several college youth were inspired and have been into ham radio since then. 
  • Youth Presenter at Great Lakes HamCon 2017 at Michigan International Speedway
  • Ham Radio Awareness program at a rural village school, ZPH School, NP Kunta, India in January 2018 conducted by GSSO organization