Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator

Amateur Radio operators are people from all walks of life – no matter what age, gender or physical ability. There are around 68,000 in Canada & about 4,000,000 around the world in almost every country. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier!

With an amateur radio licence & your own transmitting station, you can talk to people around town, around the country, or around the world. You can also talk to astronauts on the Space Shuttle or aboard the International Space Station. You can become involved with communications for Civil Defence & for Search and Rescue.

Amateur Radio is a great stepping stone into a career in electronics, communications or other technologies. There are many satellite systems and digital communications systems that you can experiment with or just enjoy the hobby.

There are many different and exciting aspects to Amateur Radio communication that can involve people of all ages. Canadians as young as twelve become radio amateurs and senior citizens study and succeed too! About one person in 600 of the Canadian population is a Radio Amateur.

Amateur Radio Equipment is not difficult to obtain & setting up a radio station need not be expensive. There is plenty of good used equipment available & it would be easily possible to get on the air with an investment of less than $100. It is equally possible to build a “Super station” costing much more!

In Canada, the licences are issued by Industry Canada. They open the world to you! Your licence gives your station a unique CALLSIGN beginning with VE6 or VA6 in Alberta.

The Basic  (70% or higher) will get you on the vhf/uhf bands write away, Basic with Honours (80% or higher)  gives you all the amateur radio privileges to operate in all the allocated amateur radio bands of frequencies. Morse Code is not a requriement

You can enjoy using small 2-metre hand-held radios to stay in touch with other amateurs in your area or you may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes to talk around the world. You can even make international radio contacts via amateur radio satellites, using relatively simple equipment or Whitecourt’s local IRLP network.

Whitecourt Amateur Radio is a group of every day people that love this hobby & you will find that the members of this & other groups surrounding Whitecourt will be very helpful in answering your questions and assisting you to get “On the air”

To earn a licence, you’ll need to pass the written examination. This is a computer-generated test made up from questions taken from a public-domain question-bank. You can usually find an amateur radio class in your area sponsored by friendly volunteers who will help you to learn the ropes, or you can successfully study on your own, as many others have done.

The examination is 100 multiple-choice questions. The examinations are administered by volunteer supervisors appointed by Industry Canada. Your result is given to you on the spot following the conclusion of the test.

Whitecourt Amateur Radio members would be happy to help you get on the air and talk to other amateur radio operators around the world.

Where Do I Start?
You can order the self study guid, or you more then welcome to contact us and we can set you on a path for sucess.