Radio Merit Badge Boy Scouts of America

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Radio Merit Badge Boy Scouts of America. Module 3 – Amateur Radio BSA National Radio Scouting Committee 2012. Class Format. Three modules – any order Module 1 – Intro To Radio Module 2 – Electronic Components & Safety Module 3 – Amateur Radio & Emergency Communications.
Radio Merit BadgeBoy Scouts of America Module 3 – Amateur Radio BSA National Radio Scouting Committee 2012 Class Format .
  • Three modules – any order
  • Module 1 – Intro To Radio
  • Module 2 – Electronic Components & Safety
  • Module 3 – Amateur Radio & Emergency Communications
  • Key Topics in This Module 9.a.(1) – Why does the FCC have an Amateur Radio Service? 9.a.(1) – Amateur Radio Activities 9.a.(2) – Logging a Contact 9.a.(3) – Q Signals & Abbreviations 9.a.(4) – Amateur Radio Licenses 9.a.(5) – Emergency Procedures 9.a.(6) – Types of Amateur stations 9.a.(6) – Repeaters NOAA Weather Radio Why does the FCC have an Amateur Radio Service? Requirement 9 a (1) Volunteer service - (community service and disaster help). A Scout does a good turn daily - here's another way. International goodwill - A great way to talk to people in far away lands. Experimentation - If you want, you can build your own radio equipment, and many hams build their own antennas. Some hams have come up with new inventions, such as FM, SSB, Packet Radio, Automatic Position Reporting Systems. Communication skills - Because only one person can talk at a time, you learn how to listen! Self-training - You can learn by doing. What is Amateur Radio? . Voluntary, non-commercial radio service established to:
  • Increase the number of radio and electronics experts
  • Improve international goodwill
  • Assist with emergency communications
  • Experiment with radio to improve technology
  • Amateur Radio Activities 1 Requirement 9 a (1)
  • DX
  • Many hams talk to other hams around the world
  • They can collect QSL cards (postcards) to prove they did it. (Collect countries!)
  • It's a great way to have fun and learn about geography.
  • Contests
  • Held many weekends to contact as many people from a certain place or in a certain way.
  • Packet radio
  • Some hams hook computers to radios to send electronic messages.
  • Rather like wireless e-mail.
  • Amateur Radio Activities 2 Requirement 9 a (1)
  • Camping
  • Communications are easy even in the backcountry
  • Can summon help or report back how things are going.
  • “Fox” hunting (Radio Direction Finding)
  • Used to locate:
  • Hidden transmitters
  • Tagged wildlife
  • Downed aircraft
  • Life rafts
  • Stolen cars
  • Jamboree On The Air
  • (JOTA) is the third weekend every October when Scouts all over the world talk to each other on ham radio.
  • Amateur Radio Activities 3 Requirement 9 a (1)
  • Public Service
  • At parades & special events.
  • From small carnivals all the way to the Tournament of Roses Parade.
  • Ham radio operators are often the best to help with communication at large community events
  • Disasters
  • Hams are often called on to help during fires, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters.
  • At these times, telephone lines and cell phone sites are often damaged or overloaded,
  • Ham radio is the only reliable communication.
  • Skywarn
  • National Weather Service uses Hams to report severe weather .
  • .. Amateur Radio & Emergency Communications Cell Phones In The Wilderness From the BSA Field Book, page 78… “Likewise, wireless telephones can be a convenient means for groups to contact emergency response personnel, but phones are useless if they malfunction, the batteries are exhausted, or distance and terrain prevent clear reception of signals. Frivolous use of wireless phones can seriously diminish solitude, independence, and challenge in the outdoors. If you carry a portable telephone, stow it deep in your pack and bring it out only for emergency calls.” . Cell Phones In The Wilderness
  • Music Player
  • BSA Field Book, p78
  • Idle Chit-Chat
  • Video Game
  • . Emergency preparedness tool
  • Keep packed away and turned off
  • Carry extra battery
  • Respect serenity of outdoors
  • Just because Scoutmaster has one doesn’t mean YOU’RE prepared!
  • Cell Phones In The Wilderness From the chapter entitled “Avoiding the Outdoor Emergency”… “Know how to increase your phone’s signal strength by pointing the antenna up, moving into a clearing, gaining elevation, and turning your body (you might be obstructing the signal)…cell phones should neverreplace preparedness.” Wilderness Survival Merit Badge Book, p 15 .. Cellular During a Disaster . Weakness During widespread emergency, Such as 9-11 or the 2005 London train bombings, cell systems busy out and become unusable. TRY TEXT MESSAGES Emergency Communications QST, April 2008, p 13 Athens Amateur Radio Club, Inc. Sending Out An Emergency Call - Voice . You may use any radio at any time to get help during an emergency “Break Break” followed by your call sign to interrupt a radio conversation in progress “Mayday Mayday Mayday” followed by your call sign to call on a clear frequency Emergency Radio Calls Requirement 9 a (5)
  • "MAYDAY" is the international word for requesting help by radio.
  • In the US, "EMERGENCY“ works too.
  • In Morse code, send SOS” ( . . . _ _ _ . . . ) slowly.
  • Speak clearly and give complete information
  • Similar to a 911 telephone call.
  • Give detailed location of the emergency
  • The person helping you on the radio may be in another state or even in another country!
  • Just because you have a radio doesn't mean someone will be able to hear you.
  • You might have to climb higher up a hill.
  • FRS radios and cell phones have less power than ham radios.
  • Technology In The Wilderness From the BSA Field Book, page 436… “Many SAR teams use ham radio technology, especially the two-meter band and the FCC Technician license, to facilitate communications.” . Log Book Essentials
  • Contact’s Name
  • Contact’s Call
  • Contact’s QTH (location)
  • Frequency
  • Mode
  • RST Sent (signal report)
  • RST Received (signal report)
  • Comments
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • _________________
  • Requirement 9 a (2) QRM Log Record of QSOs Man-made interference CW QRN Morse code (means Continuous Wave) Natural noise or interference QRP DX Distant (foreign stations) Low Power (< five watts) CQ QRS Calling any station ("seek you") Slow down Morse code speed OM QRT Old man (male ham) Quitting - off the air YL QSB Young lady (female ham) Signal is fading Rig QSL Radio Acknowledge receipt (card) Shack QSO Room the radio is in Conversation ("cue-so") HI QSY Laugh in Morse code Change frequency 73, 88 QTH Best regards, love and kisses Location (think H for Home) Q Signals and Amateur Terms Requirement 9 a (3) Licensing .
  • License required to transmit, but not to receive
  • Tests given by volunteer examiners
  • No age limit
  • No distance limit
  • Amateur Radio License Classes Requirement 9 a (4)
  • Technician Class
  • Starter license
  • Simple 35 question multiple-choice written test
  • All privileges above 30 MHz (VHF, UHF)
  • Mostly line-of-sight (but includes repeaters and satellites)
  • General Class
  • Standard license
  • Additional 35 question multiple-choice test
  • Adds HF (long distance)
  • Extra Class
  • Highest class of license
  • Detailed 50 question Radio Theory Test
  • A few more HF frequencies
  • Short Call Sign
  • Technician Class License Requirement 9 a (4)
  • Entry level license.
  • 35 question multiple choice test
  • Theory, rules, & procedures
  • Full VHF & UHF use
  • communicate around town and use repeaters,
  • cannot use some of the HF bands which are used for world-wide contacts.
  • This merit badge covers about half of the license test!
  • Books list all possible questions and answers.
  • Practice tests can be found at:
  • QRZ web page WWW.QRZ.COM
  • Who Administers Amateur Radio Exams? Requirement 9 a (4)
  • Hams called “Volunteer Examiners” administer the exams for the FCC.
  • Exam sessions and free study classes are run by local radio clubs such as:
  • The Warminster Amateur Radio Club
  • The Delaware Valley Radio Association
  • Lots of other information on ham radio can be found at the ARRL web page:
  • Ham Radio Station Types Requirement 9 a (6)
  • Handheld Transceivers (HT): Small, light, portable, but not much power. Some can fit in your pocket. Using repeaters, they can be quite useful, and they can go on your hike easily.
  • Base Station Transceivers : Permanent station in a building. More power, easier to use, more features.
  • Mobile Transceivers : Permanent station in a vehicle. More power. That HT antenna doesn't work well inside a metal car.
  • Repeaters: Located on high points (Mountains, tall buildings, satellites) to automatically relay signals. Some have connections to the telephone system or the internet.
  • Which kind of radio is best? It depends on what you want to do. You wouldn’t backpack with a heavy base station radio, but that base station radio will let you talk farther when you are at home.
  • Portable Operation Fixed operation at a location other than your normal home station.
  • Camp
  • Field Day
  • Emergency Drill
  • Requirement 9 a (6) . Types of Radios - Handhelds
  • Bands – VHF / UHF
  • Power – Up to 5 watts
  • Range – 1 to 5 miles without repeater, much more with repeater
  • Price – $100 to $350
  • Single Band or Dual Band Requirement 9 a (6) .. Base Station Operation Operation at a fixed location, usually your home. Requirement 9 a (6) . Types of Radios – Base Station
  • Bands – HF (Sometimes VHF / UHF also)
  • Power – Usually 100 watts
  • Range – Worldwide
  • Price – $700 to $10,000
  • Requirement 9 a (6) .. Two-Way Radio Three Types Of Radio Requirement 9 a (6) . More examples of radios that both transmit and receive (two-way)
  • Police / fire
  • Utilities
  • Businesses
  • WiFi
  • Cellular
  • Mobile Operation The ability to operate while in motion Requirement 9 a (6) . Types of Radios – Mobiles Single Band
  • Bands – VHF / UHF
  • Power – Up to 50 watts
  • Range – 5 to 10 miles without repeater, much more with repeater
  • Price – $150 to $500
  • Dual Band Requirement 9 a (6) . Family Radio Service (FRS) FRS is a radio service in the UHF band for use by the general public.
  • 14 channels ½ watt of output power
  • Range limited to couple of miles line-of-sight
  • No license required General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
  • 22 channels higher output power
  • Range up to 10 miles, line of sight
  • License required
  • . FRS + GPS = Garmin Rino
  • GPS receiver for determining your location
  • FRS radio for voice communications
  • Map showing your location and your buddy’s location
  • Radio sends out periodic location data burst on voice channel
  • Cost – $250 to $400 depending on features
  • .. Get On The Air For Free With Echolink Free software lets you link into distant repeater towers over an internet connection Only a computer, headset and internet connection required. This is called VoIP communications Requirement 9 a (6) .. Get On The Air For Free With Echolink Requirement 9 a (6) . Repeaters
  • Receive on one frequency and transmit on another.
  • Usually in the VHF and UHF bands
  • Allow much longer range for small radios.
  • Located on mountains, towers, buildings and in space.
  • Repeater 146.07 MHz Input 146.67 MHz Output 146.67 MHz Output 146.07 MHz Input Requirement 9 a (6) NOAA Weather Radio Continuous Weather Forecasts & Warnings 162.55, 162.475, 162.40, 162.45, 162.50 MHz Essential for boating, hiking and camping. Most Ham radios can also receive this. Special SAME (Specific Area Alert Encoding) receivers actually turn themselves on when a warning is sent for your county!
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