Lowestoft District & Pye Amateur Radio Club
We offer training for all three levels of the Ham Radio Licence, contact our training team.
The course and exam that leads to the licence provides you with an exciting introduction to the hobby while requiring an acceptable minimum level of skill and experience.Your Foundation licence is recognized by the UK communications regulator Ofcom, and entitles you to take a unique identifier called a callsign which will be used to identify you when you are transmitting. The Foundation courses take place locally in a friendly and informal environment and are conducted by experienced radio amateurs, usually at a local radio club.Most of the training is practical, there is a small amount of radio and electronics theory but only enough for you to appreciate things like using the correct fuses in your equipment and how to build an antenna to get the most out of your radio station. Your course will take 10 to 12 hours to complete, and can be spread out over a few weeks or weekends.Don’t be put off by the thought of having to do an exam. The Foundation exam is very straightforward and consists of 25 multiple choice questions which you have 45 minutes to answer. Your exam paper is marked on the spot by the invigilator straight after the exam so there is no long wait to know whether you have passed or not.What happens after the Foundation exam?If you have passed the Foundation exam you will receive an official result sheet confirming the pass from the invigilator on the day of the exam.The next step is to register your Foundation exam pass with the UK communications regulator Ofcom, who are responsible for issuing amateur radio licences. If you apply for your Foundation licence on the Ofcom website, your licence is free of charge. Visit the Ofcom website to find out more.Once you have your Foundation licence and have chosen a callsign, you are ready to make your first transmission on the amateur radio bands; an exciting moment. You are now free to operate on all the amateur bands, without supervision, up to a power of 10 watts. This does not sound like very much power, but once you have acquired experience operating your radio you will find it is enough to communicate anywhere in the world
Now that you have your amateur radio licence and have gained experience operating, it may be time for you to move on to an Intermediate licence. The Intermediate licence carries with it more privileges and also more responsibilities on you as a radio amateur. The main advantage of stepping up to the Intermediate licence is the increase in permitted operating power. You will be able to go from the 10 watts of the Foundation licence, up to 50 watts as an Intermediate licence holder. It’s actually not necessary to take a course to sit the Intermediate exam, but we would strongly recommend doing so. All our RSGB-affliated trainers have a wealth of knowledge and years of experience to impart to their students. Understandably the Intermediate course is longer and more challenging than the Foundation. It aims to teach many of the fundamentals of radio in a stimulating way by actually undertaking practical tasks such as soldering, building a small project and a variety of other exercises, building on the experience you have gained as a Foundation licence holder. Two methods of assessment are used. First, a practical skills assessment is taken which demonstrates your competence in basic electronics. This involves soldering a rudimentary circuit together using some of the components you learned about on the course. This is followed by an examination of 45 multiple-choice questions each with four possible responses, which covers the remainder of the syllabus. The examination lasts 1¼ hours. Your exam paper is marked on the spot by the invigilator straight after the exam so, as with the Foundation, there is no long wait to know whether you have passed or not
Recognize your talent and experience:
The Full Licence Back You have worked hard to get your amateur radio licence, and have progressed through to being an Intermediate licence holder. Maybe you are ready now to take on the UK’s ultimate amateur radio qualification: the Full licence. A lot of privileges and responsibilities come with an Full licence, not least from the fact that you will be able to transmit at up to 400 watts of power. You will also receive with your Full licence the ability to legally transmit from almost every country in the world. We are not going to pretend that getting an Full licence will be easy. A complex technical exam has to be passed that requires considerable study for success. So you must be prepared to invest a good amount of time and effort in your studies. When studying for the advanced Radio Communications exam there is no requirement to take a formal training course, this is because the examination is entirely theory based, with no practical training element. It is possible to study at home on your own or at a local amateur radio club or at a college; many run courses specifically for the advanced Radio Communications examination. Assessment is by a written examination paper of 62 multiple choice questions each with four possible responses. The examination lasts two hours and it becomes available every two months.