How to Started in Amateur Radio?

How to Get Started in Amateur Radio?

Or Where do I start?

Firstly let me explain that if you are planning to use a radio to transmit you need to get a licence and for this, you need to pass an exam(s)

Please don’t let the words Licence and exams put you off, there is always plenty of help and I have yet to find someone in Amateur Radio who will not offer to help you.

Firstly there are three levels of exams and licences:




There is no need to attend a college course, and local as well as online training is available and you can start any time.

If you have some Radio Experience you can go straight to the Full license now, you were a Radio Officer or used Radio in the Forces.

Foundation licence ManualMost people start with the foundation.

We recommend that you take these options first.

1. Purchase a copy of the Foundation License book make sure you get an up-to-date one as things like licensing conditions change from time to time.

The best place to make sure you have the most up-to-date copy is to purchase one from the RSGB and you will be helping the hobby too. Foundation Licence Manual .

2, Join a local Amateur Radio Club or Society ( we would love you to come and join us) if you are within travelling distance do come and see us. Please contact us beforehand to ensure we are not out and about.

3. Consider joining the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) .

The next thing is to start listening to the Amateur Radio Bands and hear what going on, you may already be a ‘Short Wave Listener’ which is where I started.

The most cost-effective way of listening if you don’t have a radio receiver already is to look at a USB SDR and like one of the DVB-T dongles and some software like SDR Play

You could also look at the Airspy and RTL-SDR dongles if you want to spend a little more money.

Or you could purchase a scanner or Radio receiver and start to enjoy listening.

Please don’t let past problems get in the way, we can help with large print, and spoken word and you can also have a reader in your exam if you need one, there should be no barrier that we can not resolve with you.

For a light-hearted look at starting Amateur Radio, you may want to look at Alex Discovers Amateur Radio click here 

More details about the exams can be found in our information for students. –

If you have any questions please feel free to ask, if you come and visit us you can be assured of a warm welcome.