Amateur Radio sometimes known as ham radio.
is both a hobby and a service that uses various types of radio equipment allowing communication with other radio amateurs for the purpose of self-training, recreation and public service.
Amateurs known as hams, ham radio operators or the legal term Radio Amateur.
The source of the name ham is not known but it has been around almost from the beginning of amateur radio radio in the early 1900s.
The name amateur has nothing to do with skill or knowledge but rather implies that ham radio cannot be used for commercial or revenue generating purposes.
Do you need a license?
Yes to operate legaly as a amateur radio operator on designated Amateur bands.
While license application requirements vary by country, Amateur Radio is controlled by international law and agreements because radio waves do not stop for international borders
PMR, CB, radios and LPD are generally licence free subject to very stringent constraints, country of operation, power output, mode of transmission
antenna size and band/frequencies that you can use legally.
The UK Amateur radio Foundation Licence.
The best approach to attaining your foundation licence would be to attend a course at your local radio club.
Find a local club
However this may be not podiblel in some cases due to logistics, disability and other comitments.
Self study may be the only option and attend a short practical course/test
or a local examiner do the practical at your home in cases of disability etc. do contact your regional examiner for
your location for more help
The foundation course is realy easy and straightforward and focuses on safety, how to avoid interference and good operating practice. It lasts about 10 hours altogether, and is followed by an assessment consisting of 20 multiple-choice questions.
The course covers the following:
- The nature of amateur radio
- Licence conditions
- Technical basics
- Transmitters and receivers
- Feeders and antennas
- Operating practices and procedures
- Morse "assessment" don’t be put of by Morse its easier than you think you can use a crib sheet.
Intermediate Radio Amateur Examination (IRAE).
The IRAE is a 75-minute examination, consisting of 45 multiple-choice questions on the subjects covered in the Training Course.
The examination is based on subjects covered in the practical Training Course. The Amateur Radio (Intermediate) Licence Schedule is available for reference throughout the examination. The subjects covered in the examination are as follows:
- Receivers and receiving techniques
- Components, applications and units
- Propagation and antennas
- Transmitters and transmitting techniques
- Operating techniques
- Station layout
- Licensing conditions
Full Radio Amateur Licence
To be updated but some very good links below
- Ofcom Sample Amateur Radio Licence – this is provided in the exam so you don’t need to memorise it but you should understand the layout and what is/isn’t included.
- RSGB Advanced Radio Amateur Examination Syllabus – lists exactly what you need to know for the exam (albeit in a slightly annoying format) but most importantly includes the formula sheet which again you’ll get in the exam.
- RSGB Advanced Exam Sample Paper – includes answers so you can check your work, I wouldn’t recommend trying this until you’ve been through the book at least once.
- QADV: Revision Questions for Radio Amateurs by Murray Ward G3KZB – a small piece of Windows software that contains a staggering amount of questions for you to test yourself against. If you don’t understand a question you’ll get the page number of the book (Steve Hartley & Alan Betts’ book above) that explains the topic. It’s an amazing piece of free software, the only thing I will say is that the questions are more ‘to the point’ than the RSGB ones so don’t let yourself get over-confident.
- Ham Tests website (http://www.hamtests.co.uk/) – again, a very goodt source of test questions and possibly includes a few ‘tricky’ worded ones in the style of the RSGB.