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What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio, also known as "ham radio", allows enthusiasts to communicate with other amateurs around the world, and experiment with all aspects of radio. If you have an interest in anything to do with radio, communication or electronics, then amateur radio could be the hobby for you.

How do I get started?

A licence is required to operate an Amateur Radio Transmitting station. The Licence is issued by OFCOM (the government regulator) when you pass an exam. It is much easier than it ever used to be to get 'on air' as there are now 3 levels of Licence (Foundation, Intermediate and Full).

The Foundation Licence is the starting point and serves as an introduction to amateur radio. On passing the exam you will be issued with an amateur radio Licence and your own unique call sign. This entitles you to transmit on certain amateur radio frequencies at a low transmit power. Amateur radio is a hobby where you continue to learn and expand your knowledge over time and whilst most people do progress through the three levels of Licence and therefore gain access to greater privileges with your Licence, this is not mandatory (although definitely recommended!). So, don't be concerned by three exams at this stage as they can be taken over time to suit your preference.

Even with a Foundation Licence you will be soon making contacts with other amateurs around the world.

Your Introduction to the Hobby

The Foundation licence is the first step into a great hobby. It has an easy syllabus designed to allow anyone to operate an amateur radio station. Training for this course is to ensure that the student knows the basic rules of amateur radio and safety when using radio equipment. It is suited for anyone from school children or anyone with or without knowledge of radio.

The Intermediate is the next step up and is more detailed.

The Full licence is very detailed and requires a good understanding of the subject.


Training can be done by the individual using the well written course manuals written by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB)

For online training we recommend using the excellent online facilities offered by Essex Ham

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our training then contact the NADARS Training Secretary

The first step into this amazing hobby couldn't be easier!

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