Being the entry-level qualification, the Foundation Amateur Radio Course is designed to get you involved in amateur radio as quickly as possible. However, before you are granted a licence to transmit it is vital that you demonstrate that you know something about how your radio works. This is so that you can avoid causing interference to other users of the radio spectrum and other vital communications networks; such as the emergency services, the military, commercial TV and radio broadcasts and other users of radio communications services for their work.
Method of studying
This knowledge can be obtained in three different ways; self-study, an on-line taught course, or a face-to-face taught course. At the Quantum Amateur Radio and Technology Society (QuARTS) we run on-line training courses where we meet twice a week (Monday and Wednesday).
The need to undertake practical assessments as part of the Foundation course was discontinued in 2020. However, we believe that learning how to assemble your amateur radio station and make your first contact are an important part of the learning process and will give you the confidence to get up and running quickly once you receive your licence.
We run these practical sessions alongside our regular club meetings during the course in Ormskirk. They are optional, but we think you will benefit from them if you can make them.
The test is nothing to worry about; there are 26 questions and it takes no longer than an hour to complete.
There are two options regarding where you take the test …
- We are a registered exam centre for amateur radio exams, approved and regulated by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). The exams are online, but paper exams can be arranged for those with specific requirements. We have to make an additional charge, on top of the exam fee, to cover the hire of the hall
- Alternatively, and most people choose this option to be honest, you can sit the exam online in the comfort of your own home, at a time to suit you.
You will be given your result immediately after you complete the online exam, together with detailed feedback regarding your performance.
How much does the course cost?
The on-line course is completely free of charge.
The practical sessions themselves are free too. However, everyone attending these meetings does pay subs, just like all other members and guests, to help pay for the hire of the venue, refreshments, etc.
What will I need?
To meet with us on our courses you will need …
- A computer with an internet connection, microphone and speakers/headphone.
- A copy of the Foundation training manual.
Everything is provided for you during the practical sessions, there is nothing else you need.
After the Foundation Amateur Radio Course
Once the test has been sat you will be provided with an indicative result, but your test paper needs to be cross-marked by someone at the Radio Society of Great Britain’s (RSGB’s) HQ. Once they have verified the result, they will inform both yourself and Ofcom who will then wait for you to apply for your licence.
This process takes about ten working days, during which time you should be thinking about what your callsign should be. Most people choose the suffix of their callsign (the three letters after the ‘M7’ prefix) based on their initials, name, nickname, or some other piece of information that is important to them. One member of our club has ‘COV’ as the suffix of her callsign because they were born in Coventry. You can can use Ofcom’s the web-based callsign application form to discover if the suffix you want is available.
If you are not successful with the test don’t worry; we will help you with any areas that need more work so that you can reapply for your exam as soon as possible.
Once your new callsign has been issued you will be able to operate an Amateur Radio station, in accordance with the rules and regulations applicable to Foundation Licence holders, without supervision. However, this is just the start of your journey through this fascinating and diverse hobby.
The Quantum Technology Club is an RSGB Brickworks Accredited Club. This means that we have promised to support newly licensed radio amateurs, and those returning to the hobby, and provide them with a range of activities, opportunities and support to enable them explore many different facets of the hobby – rather than just leaving them to get on with it themselves.
Register now for the Foundation Amateur Radio Course
Register now for our next course and we’ll get back to with the specific details.