Amateur Radio Explained!
The entry level Foundation Licence continues to be the most popular way of getting into amateur radio.
It is attracting those who have had some previous hobby radio communications interest (CB, 4WD, Scanner Listener) and others who are attracted to ham radio for the first time.
It is an interesting and stimulating hobby enjoyed by millions worldwide. The biggest change with this licence is that it no longer takes about six months of study to get a basic licence.
Gone too is the requirement to pass Morse code tests. The decision to make the move and enter amateur radio is really easy – do something different in 2010, became an active radio amateur.
“Foundation Licence” Your Entry into Amateur Radio.”
(Please note that there is no Morse code requirements in any level of the Australian Amateur License.)
What is the foundation Licence all about?
The hobby of Amateur Radio has a long and proud tradition. The very first radio amateurs were true pioneers of radio technology. Amateurs ‘invented’ and refined much of the early radio technology and were the first to transmit music, radio plays, and information to the handful of people who had the new radio receivers and still do.
The new Foundation Licence provides a great opportunity for people to foster an interest in communications technology and perhaps lead on to a rewarding career in science, electronics, and communications.
But most importantly, amateur radio provides an opportunity to communicate with people. Outback travellers, sailors, retires, or anyone with a little time to spare.
A curious mind will find amateur radio very rewarding. The Foundation Licence makes an amateur radio Licence very achievable with a just few hours study.
What do I need to know to get a licence?
The emphasis is on candidates having the knowledge and skills to demonstrate a practical ability to put together an amateur radio station from commercial equipment and operate it without causing interference to other users and have the knowledge to be a competent radio operator.
You will also need to be aware of how amateur radio relates to other users of the radio spectrum, your licence conditions, technical basics of electricity and electronics, transmitters, receivers, feed-lines and antennas, propagation, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and electromagnetic radiation (EMR).
What bands can I operate on and what modes can I use? (type of transmission)
Foundation licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using the modes listed. The foundation licence operator can only use commercially manufactured equipment.
Permitted Frequencies (and type of transmission)
The foundation licence operator can operate in the bands listed below using the modes listed Amplitude Modulation (AM) voice Single Side Band (SSB) voice Hand Keyed Morse Code the right hand column. The foundation licence operator can only use commercially manufactured equipment.
|Radio band||Frequency||Permitted Emission Modes|
||3.500 MHz – 3.700 MHz||Amplitude Modulation (AM) voice Single Side Band (SSB) voice Hand Keyed Morse Code. (Morse Code is not required for the Australian Licence test)|
||7.0 00 MHz – 7.300 MHz|
||21.000 MHz – 21.450 MHz|
||28.000 MHz – 29.700 MHz||Amplitude Modulation (AM) voice Single Side Band (SSB) voice Hand Keyed Morse Code
Frequency Modulation (FM) voice
||144 MHz – 148 MHz|
||430 MHz – 450 MHz|
Distances You Can Work.
|Radio band||Distance & Coverage|
|3.5MHz (80 meters)||Typically up to 150KM during the day and up to 3000KM at night.|
|7MHz (40 meters)||Typically up to 1000KM during the day and during good conditions world wide at night.|
|21 MHz (15 meters)||World wide mostly during the day.|
|28 MHz (10 meters)||World wide during periods of high sunspot activity and up to 3000km in summer.|
|144MHz (2 meters)||Local coverage and world wide via “IRLP” and EchoLink.
|432MHz (70cm)||Local coverage and world wide via “IRLP” and EchoLink.|
|The mode definitions are explained in the manual.|
|CW||Hand Keyed Morse Code only for Foundation (not required for the Australian Licence) but fun to learn once you got your Licence.|
Is there a book with all the information you need to know to get a licence?
The WIA has produced a book called the Foundation Licence Manual.
The manual contains all the relevant information you will need to know to successfully complete a training course to obtain a foundation licence. It also contains a wealth of information a Foundation Licence operator will need. Items like Band Plans, Electrical Safety information, operating procedures, and much more.
This may seem to be a lot to remember but with a clubs help you will get there, the hardest part is contacting a club.
If you have any other questions whom should I ask?
Remember there are no silly questions just silly people that don’t asked.
A good start would be to contact Jim McNabb VK3AMN club President or the www.vk3kid.org.
Further information on the Foundation Licence can be found on the ACMA website.
Clicks the links below to visit the ACMA website for this information or go directly to the ACMA website.
On passing your exam you can start on air as soon as the ACMA put you name up on there web site, start looking from about 7-10 days after the exam (only a guide) this will depend on there work load at the time.
Sherbrooke Community Radio Club Inc are happy to help any new Amateur Radio operator into the Ham Radio family.
If you would like to become a part of the club come along to one of our meeting or please contact the club
Last update 08/08/2016
Sherbrooke Community Radio Club Inc “VK3KID”
“Only a club can give you on going support once you get your Licence”
Author Jim McNabb 2012.