Become A Ham
Ham Radio – Get Involved!
Industry Canada is the Canadian government department responsible for all Amateur Radio licensing, certification and examiner accreditation in Canada.
To operate radio apparatus in the Amateur Radio Service in Canada (using a Canadian call sign issued by Industry Canada) you must hold an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with Basic Qualification. To obtain this you must pass an examination.
Normally you will take a course to learn the required content to pass the exam – but some motivated people have done so by studying on their own and challenging the test.
There is online basic materials to assist in preparing for the exam, including the question bank, which is a good study aid. The Nanaimo Amateur Radio Club has an excellent online resource for studying for the exam at http://www.ve7na.ca/cms/training
Links to the IC documents
When you are ready for the exam our club will arrange for you to take it from a certified examiner. It is a multiple choice test of 50 questions. You must score 60% to pass. If you score 80% or higher you will be deemed to have achieved ‘honours’ and be granted extra HF operating privileges. The test is considered to be challenging but not beyond the abilities of an average Canadian who has prepared beforehand.
When you have successfully challenged the exam you will choose and receive a radio call sign and then you will be ready to set up a station and go on the air. See http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/025.nsf/eng/h_00001.html
Get Started Operating
You will need to obtain equipment. Most hams start with a hand held radio that operates on VHF and/or UHF. This gives mostly local range operations – and will keep you in touch with other club members.
Those hams who are granted extra privileges can set up a HF station that has worldwide capabilities. This involves an antenna and more sophisticated gear. The gear can often be purchased second hand. Experienced club members can offer advice on purchase and setup. Operating with this equipment offers a very wide range of opportunities and experiences.