What is Amateur Radio

Amateur radio is an experimental radio communications service.

Experimental

Experimental means we can design, build, operate and modify all the equipment we use to communicate on the frequencies allowed by our licence conditions. This is a definite privilege in Australia that is not the case in other countries like Canada.

Radio Communications

It’s a form of technical communication. This links with the experimental side of the hobby too. The regulations state that due to the international nature of our hobby all communication in relation to religious, political or of a culturally controversial nature are not to be transmitted on amateur bands. That leaves us with discussions about those technical matters and general conversation that make up most of what you hear on the bands!

Non Commercial

Amateur radio is non-commercial, meaning we don’t gain any financial benefit, it is an intellectual, leisure and recreational activity. We get other benefits like:

  • the challenge of getting something working like communicating through a satellite or a QRP (low power) transmitter;
  • the pleasure from talking with like-minded people locally and internationally, nets, collecting QSL cards, equipment, participating in contests and certificates;
  • the self improvement and experience gained through operation of different equipment, modes and mediums;
  •  making contributions through experimentation to the fields of science, technology and engineering;
  • the self-training and educational value; and,
  • providing skilled personnel in emergency situations and community service with activities like Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and the Targa tarmac rally.

International Telecommunications Union
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) the world governing body for telecommunications recognises the amateur radio service and amateur satellite service in section 25 of their Radio Regulations:

1.56 Amateur service: A radio communication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorised persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

1.57 Amateur-satellite service: A radiocommunication service using space stations on earth satellites for the same purposes as those of the amateur service.

Licencing requirements
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for issuing Amateur Radio Licenses and supervising the standards of examinations. The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) Examination Service is responsible for syllabus setting, issuing, marking of examinations for Australian amateurs and maintaining the standards of examinations.

Within Southern Tasmania there are currently two accredited WIA Assessors and three Learning Facilitators who can administer an examination in conjunction with accredited invigilators:

Contact Callsign Contact
Assessor & Learning Organiser Reg Emmett VK7KK Please use online contact form
Nominated Assessor Ian Ellings VK7QF
Assessor Justin Giles-Clark VK7TW
Learning Facilitator Alan Jeffrey VK7KAJ
Learning Facilitator Ben Short VK7BEN

Please contact us about when the next examination is being held and the form and fee requirements.

In the South examinations are normally held as required in the clubroom on the Queen’s Domain Hobart.

Please note: If you want to sit a Standard or Advanced examination you must book and forward the appropriate fee 14 days before the intended examination.  A Foundation Licence can be requested at shorter notice.

Examinations
Amateur radio examinations cover a combination of the following areas dependent on the licence grade:

  • Electronics & radio communication theory;
  • Government radio regulations;
  • Practical examination;

Not all examination elements need to be taken at the same time. You may focus on the theory and do the examination then focus on the regulation, etc

The following table summarises which examinations need to be taken for each licence grade:

Regulations Foundation Theory & Regs Standard Theory Advanced Theory Practical Exam
Foundation X X
Standard X X X
Advanced X X X

Please check with the examination officer for confirmation or update on when the next course will be run.

Foundation license booklets (and call books) are stocked at the Caltex Service Station which is at 136-138 Main Road Moonah thanks to Clayton VK7ZCR. Please note that only cash can be used to pay for call books and foundation manuals at the Service Station or they can be ordered through the WIA, see the Foundation Manual Page.

Courses available
There are a range of options available to study for amateur radio examinations:

  • A Self Study Manual is available for the Foundation Licence
  • Other self study options – self study – there are many courses of study available through books, the Internet and CD-ROM; or,
  • By completing correspondence courses; or,
  • Study in a radio class.

Please contact us for more information

We recommend the Radio and Electronics School courses. More information can be found at: www.res.net.au

Happy Studying