At the end of May 2011 i became an Amateur radio Foundation licence holder: M6KEB.
This page is to give you an insight into being a new “M6″ in the world of amateur radio.
So whats it all about?.
Amateur radio is a great and wide ranging hobby where people anywhere in the world can communicate via radio.
To be an amateur radio operator or a “ham” you are going to need a licence .
In the past there was only one stage of Amateur radio licensing but now
there are 3 licence classes in the UK; The Foundation (the first step), The intermediate (second rung of the ladder) and finally the Full (third and final step) and as you would expect they each are harder than the previous, but do bring their own rewards.
The first step.
The Foundation licence is the first rung of the ladder and don’t think that because its the first step its not as important or valid as the full licence!.
The Foundation Licence is aimed at anyone who wants to get on the air.
There are many amateur radio clubs offering Foundation courses either on a short two day intensive course or a six week evening basis.
After gaining an understanding of the basics of Amateur radio and you’ve completed a basic Morse appreciation, a practical operating test and a multiple choice exam, the Foundation Licence gives you the opportunity to operate 10 watts output power on a variety of radio frequencies. Before you are allowed to transmit, it is important to understand a little about how your radio works, the dangers of how you could cause interference to other radio users and your neighbours and the rules and regulations of using an amateur radio equipment.
Once you have passed the exam, you will be awarded a pass certificate, then you can apply for an M6 callsign You will then be able to operate on all bands from 135.7kHz up to 70cm (430 – 440 MHz), with a power limit of 10 Watts, except for the 135.7 – 137.8kHz band, which is limited to 1 Watt. This may seem like low power but in fact it is sufficient to allow communication around the world.
Amateur radio is a great hobby with many different aspects, you could just chat to other “hams” locally or you could try getting contacts all over the world or maybe you’d like to make your own antenna!.
I decided to take the plunge and go for the foundation amateur radio licence and I looked around for a course but most of the courses were over six weeks attending one evening per week, this would not have worked for me as I work shifts so I contacted the RGSB who put me in touch with the Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society (MSARS) who were due to run a weekend foundation course with the exam on the afternoon of the last day.
After a very interesting course I passed the exam and shortly after that I had my callsign M6KEB.
I would like to thank the MSARS chairman Alan Cragg (G8YKV) for organising the course and thanks to all the instructors for a very informative course.
Also thanks to Sue and Mike at The Homestead B&B for their hospitality during my stay there, a fantastic place to stay with great facilities and set in a picturesque countryside environment.
Thanks to The training team at LEFARS for a great day on the Intermediate training resulting in me getting my 2E0 call.