So I recently decided, like many others during lockdown to get my Amatuer Radio Foundation license, which is the first of three possible levels. Each subsequent level allows you to transmit on more frequencies and with more power. It also allows you to use more types of transmission such as personal hot spots and build your own equipment.
There is plenty of information online on how to pass your tests and I include some links to those resources below. Be sure to search for amatuer radio clubs in your area. Even with current restrictions you can get support and participate in Zoom or similar meetings or listen on the airwaves.
Many people are scared to take an exam. The online training and books will give you all the information that you need to pass. The exams are multiple choice with 4 answers and you will need some basic maths skills. You can use a calculator in the exams and will need a basic 4 function one for the Foundation, and a £10 scientific one for the other two levels. But it must not be a programmable one. The exams can currently be taken online via Zoom and invigilated by an RGSB official on Webex. You will need two devices or webcams for the Intermediate and Advanced tests. There is currently no practical test.
The number of questions in each of the Foundation and Intermediate papers remains the same, 26 for the Foundation and 46 for the Intermediate. For the Full licence exam, the number of questions is reduced by 4, from 62 to 58. The pass mark percentages remain the same so that a successful candidate will require 19 marks to pass the Foundation (73%), 28 for the Intermediate (61%) and 35 for the Full (60%).
https://rsgb.org/ The Radio Society of Great Britain - the first stop for all information about radio. Once you pass the Foundation exam you can get first year membership for £20, use the voucher in your complimentary RADCOM magazine after registering with them for free. You can apply for your exams and see the rates here. Retesting is free.
https://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/for-students/online-training-resources-for-students/ This is where to find courses and exam information.
https://ofcom.force.com/licensingcomlogin Amateur radio in the UK is licensed and regulated by Ofcom. You can register straight away and as you pass each license you can enter your candidate number and get a callsign. You can choose the last three letters, subject to availability, but they are not guranteed when you move up to the next level.
https://repeaterbook.com List of all repeaters worldwide, very accurate and up to date, also has apps. Be sure to only select modes that you can receive. A repeater making a hissing noise may be transmitting in a digital audio mode that you can't receive.
|Baofeng UV-S9, around £25 will get you started on 2M and 70cM with 5 watts|