Are you thinking about getting your ham licence? Here is some information on what is required to earn your amateur radio certificate.
To get an amateur radio operator call sign you must have a Canadian address and pass the Basic exam. If you get between 70 and 79% on the Basic exam, then you have privileges to operate transmitters on assigned amateur radio frequencies above 30 Megahertz (MHz). If you get 80% or more (Basic with Honours) then you can operate on any amateur radio band.
There are two other exams that you can take. The Advanced exam allows you operate with more power, be responsible for a club station, be a repeater owner, operate remote stations, etc. The Morse Code exam tests your ability to send and receive Morse Code at 5 words per minute. This is not actually a requirement to be able to use Morse on the airwaves, but some folks just like to check all the boxes. If you have a Basic certification then the code will also give you access to all amateur bands.
The OARC usually runs courses starting in the fall, Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 pm ET. We cover all 100 Basic exam topics over 12 weeks. We provide the reading material. For sessions conducted on Zoom, we save the Zoom sessions so you can go back and watch us over and over and over again.
ISED documents of note
There are several useful documents found on the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) site:
- RIC-3 Information on the Amateur Radio Service, section 5 lists the exam topics
- RBR-4 Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service
- CPC-2-0-03 Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems, information on erecting antenna systems
- Understanding Safety Code 6: Health Canada’s radiofrequency exposure guidelines
- Practice the exam on line
Other handy info
- ICAO Phonetic Alphabet
- Q-codes and other ham abbreviations
- HAMpuzzle – a program to practice assembling block diagrams for the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic certification
Ready for a course?
If you are interested in taking a course with us or have other questions please send us an email. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
73 (one of the abbreviations you need to know the meaning of for the exam)