Cyril Etches M6CRE being presented with a momento by Tony G3RKL on the occasion of him passing the Foundation Course in June 2010
The Eagle Rradio Group will help you train and study for your licence locally, providing the facility to take exam at The Boatshed in Victoria Road, Mablethorpe.
Getting started in Amateur Radio: The Foundation Licence
The Foundation licence is your gateway to amateur radio. 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 recognised 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 course
The Foundation courses take place locally in a friendly and informal environment and are conducted by experienced radio amateurs.,
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.
The Foundation exam
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. For the Foundation licence course exam there is a fee of £22.50
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.
To find out more contact Malcolm at: G3ZUI@yahoo.co.uk.
For many years I have had a spark in my head thinking I would like to get involved with amateur radio. I eventually contacted my sons next door neighbour who at the time had a large aerial in his garden and he kindly gave me his phone number.
I phoned the number and fortunately it was Richard (M0RJP) . I asked him if he could give me some advice on a receiver just for listening on the airwaves and he informed me there was a sale of second hand items at the Motalt Arms pub in Mablethorpe and I might find something suitable there. He was going away that day but suggested I go there and make contact with some of the Eagle Radio Group members who would give me some good advice on what I should perhaps be looking for. When I arrived, there in the middle of the room was a table full of all manner of things for sale. At that time there was only one person stood at the table so I asked him if he was a member of the radio group and if he could help me, telling him that Richard (M0RJP) had recommended the visit. Fortunately for me it was Gordon(G4WEC) he said that in his opinion there was nothing on the sale that was suitable for me. Strangely enough he was from Sheffield Walkley where I also lived many years ago and he kindly gave me his email and phone number and said he had an old transceiver that I could have. Gordon posted it to me complete with the hand book but had locked out the transmitter so it could not be used. On requesting the cost of the unit plus package and postage, He replied "no charge". He also recommended that I visit the Mablethorpe Town Show at Tennyson High School where there would be a Eagle Radio Group stand demonstrating Radio and Morse code. It was there that I met Terry (G0SWS) and Charles (G0CBM) and they invited me to the next group meeting.
I attended the meeting where I met all the people that I have previously mentioned plus many more and the atmosphere was so very warm and friendly I quickly felt at home. I didn't have a clue about some of the things they were talking about but that spark was ignited and I wanted to find out more. Once more Gordon (G4WEC) suggested that I considered taking the Foundation Licence and introduced me to Malcolm (G3ZUI) one of the groups instructors who kindly offered to give me instruction on the way into amateur radio through the Foundation Course. Malcolm and his wife Sarah welcomed me to their home where they gave of their time and hospitality allowing me to study for the coarse. I eventually completed the coarse and thanks to Malcolm's very comprehensive training successfully passed the exam. Neville (G3VDV) kindly gave me a Yaesu log book, perfect because I have a Yaesu transceiver and he was the first contact I made together with Malcolm as part of my training. In the Eagle Radio Group, I am very fortunate to have two mentors Gordon (G4WEC) and Richard (M0RJP) plus a group of very knowledgeable members to guide me on the right path into a future in amateur radio.
Finally, I would encourage anyone thinking of getting involved with this hobby, to take that first step and I am sure you will find it as rewarding as I have.
73, Cyril M6CRE