Perhaps you thought about it years ago, but the Morse code requirements scared you off? Were you fascinated by radio as a kid but as life went on and jobs and family filled your life you forgot about it? Are you now and empty nester or nearing retirement and looking for an interesting hobby? Do you wonder how these new electronic gadgets work? Would you enjoy meeting new friends every day without leaving home? It is said that the key to happy later years is having an ever increasing circle of friends. Ham radio may be the answer for you. You meet friends of all ages, professions and avocations on the air and in person during your ham activities.
The Canadian amateur radio licencing requirements have been restructured. The Basic Amateur Radio Operator’s Certificate does NOT require Morse code proficiency and allows operation on all assigned amateur frequencies above 30 mhz. (the shorter range frequencies). In fact, there is now a way to get HF (the longer range frequencies) privileges without having to learn Morse code. The pass mark for the Basic certificate is 70% but if you achieve a mark of 80% or higher, you are awarded Basic with honours which includes access to all amateur bands with some restricted privileges. However, your ham radio experience will be much expanded and enriched by the learning and use of the code. After all, a CW (Morse code) station is still the simplest and most effective under the most difficult conditions.
IT IS EASIER TO GET AN AMATEUR RADIO LICENCE NOW.
Cheap too. Ham licences are free as of 1 April 2000. Study material is available at the Lloydminster Public Library and self teaching courses are available on the Internet for reasonable fees. Examinations are given locally by an Industry Canada appointed examiner at no charge. All communications with Industry Canada are now done on-line via the Internet so action and response times are reduced to minutes.
SARC conducts instructional courses for the Basic Certificate every winter. See next post. A fee is charged to include study materials. However if you find it inconvenient to attend these weekly classes or prefer to set your own pace, here is a website with free training courses designed by a member of the Cold Lake Amateur Radio Society. Click here.