Foundation Course

Your first steps into Amateur Radio

At the start of any new hobby or career everything is new, terminology, ideas, systems etc. The Foundation course is designed to get you on the first rung of the ladder.

The Foundation Course is designed to gently introduce you to the world of Amateur Radio. You will learn how to use Amateur Radio to make contacts all over the world safely, legally, and efficiently.

There is no actual requirement for you to complete a Foundation Course with us (or any other Amateur Radio Club), however you MUST complete some practical assessments and a multiple choice test in order to obtain an Amateur Radio call-sign, and this MUST be done BEFORE you use any Amateur Radio frequencies. Attendance on a Foundation Course is highly recommended as there is a lot to take in, and you can’t ask a book questions!

The practical assessments are as follows:

  • Demonstrate, using a VHF/UHF transmitter/receiver; correct tuning in to an amateur FM voice signal and a data signal such as packet. Read the signal strength meter (where fitted).
  • Demonstrate correct operation of a VHF transmitter/receiver in simplex mode.
    Note: Controls used shall include frequency, squelch and, audio gain (volume).
  • Make a simplex radio contact and exchange signal reports.
  • Demonstrate, using an HF transmitter/receiver, correct tuning in to an amateur SSB voice signal and a Morse signal. Read the signal strength meter.
  • Demonstrate correct operation of an HF transmitter/receiver in an SSB contact.
    Note: Controls used shall include frequency, the RIT (clarifier), audio gain (volume), RF gain,  microphone gain and antenna tuner (ATU).
  • Make an HF SSB voice contact and exchange signal reports.
  • Demonstrate a CQ call on VHF/UHF, making a contact and initiating a change of frequency  (QSY) off the calling channel.
  • Connecting a transmitter/receiver.
  • Demonstrate connecting a transmitter/receiver to a power supply, antenna and feeder.
  • Demonstrate, using a λ/2 dipole antenna with adjustable elements, that the SWR varies as the length of the elements are varied. Set up the dipole for minimum SWR.
    Note: The elements are not to be adjusted whilst transmitting. Correct procedure for a radiating test shall be demonstrated.
  • Morse Appreciation – this is not a test, all you have to do is copy a message sent in Morse (as slowly as required and as many times as you wish), and then send a message back. There will be a ‘cheat’ sheet available to you at all times, and you may write down your message before you convert it to Morse and send it.