How to become a Radio Amateur in the UK

Kenwood TMV-71E

How do I become a radio amateur?
The best way to start is by listening to other amateurs on any of the amateur bands—frequencies reserved for use by radio amateurs. Try 3.5MHz upwards, or 7MHz upwards for starters. There are ways of doing this even if you have no receiving equipment—see below. Listen to what’s being said, listen to how it’s done and imagine yourself in that place.
For a full list of amateur frequencies in the UK see Band Plans and Information.
If you like what you hear, and would like to become a member of of that community, then you can join the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) as a listener, and receive the monthly magazine RadCom, which keeps you abreast of what’s happening in the world of amateur radio and is full of ideas, tips and useful information. You can then start thinking about getting a licence yourself. It’s easy, and you will find lots of other amateurs only too willing to help you on your way—that’s part of the ethos of being a radio amateur. You can find out more about getting a transmitting licence in the FAQs to follow or by visiting Training.

Paul Leicester | MØFOX | Chesterfield UK | IO93HE | Icom IC-7300

American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

ARRL logo type_17_6The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the largest membership association of amateur radio enthusiasts in the USA. ARRL is a non-profit organization, and was founded in 6th April 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim of Hartford, Connecticut. The ARRL represents the interests of amateur radio operators before federal regulatory bodies, provides technical advice and assistance to amateur radio enthusiasts, supports a number of educational programs and sponsors emergency communications service throughout the country. The ARRL has approximately 154,000 members. In addition to members in the US, the organization claims over 7,000 members in other countries. The ARRL publishes many books and a monthly membership journal called QST. The ARRL held its Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut in July 2014.

The ARRL is the primary representative organization of amateur radio operators to the US government. It performs this function by lobbying the US Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. The ARRL is also the international secretariat of the International Amateur Radio Union, which performs a similar role internationally, advocating for amateur radio interests before the International Telecommunications Union and the World Administrative Radio Conferences.

The organization is governed by a member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors. Each director serves a three-year term and represents the members within their particular region of the country. The national headquarters facilities are located in Newington, Connecticut. Along with the administrative headquarters, the 7-acre (2.8 ha) site is home to amateur radio station W1AW. The ARRL Field Organization carries out local and regional activities across the United States.

Paul Leicester | MØFOX | Chesterfield UK | IO93HE | Icom IC-7300