Following on from getting my foundation amateur radio license in January i wanted to continue my learning and go for the Intermediate license.
I took the exam on the 2nd March and passed pretty well with a score of 41/45. I’m now the proud owner of the call sign 2E0JCQ. Below i’ve outlined what’s involved in taking the step up from the foundation to intermediate level.
There are two components to getting the intermediate license:
- Multiple choice exam (45 questions, 1.25 hours)
- Practical assessments:
- Wiring a plug
- Making an antenna feeder cable
- Calibrate a Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO)
- Building a radio related kit
So, what are the benefits of getting the intermediate license if you already have the foundation?
- Increased transmitting power (up to 50W from 10W allowed for the foundation license)
- Access to all amateur radio bands
- No restriction on construction/repair/modification of equipment (you can design your own transmitters)
- Remote operation
- Unattended beacon operation
I decided to do things the awkward way and do the practical element before i had even got my foundation license, back in November last year! This was a little hard going as you need to have learnt the theory of electrical theory before you can really appreciate the practical exercises. I did however manage to pass the assessments, but i was certainly glad i wasn’t taking the exam on the same day!
In preparation for the exam i had been revising from the RSGB’s Intermediate License: Building on the Foundation. This is quite different from the Foundation book in that the content is certainly of a more technical nature. It covers the foundations of electronics and how various radio circuits work, all interesting stuff but a definite step up from the foundation level.
So is the Intermediate license enough? No, not yet! I consider this another stepping stone as i approach the final Advanced license. As you might imagine this goes into a lot more depth and includes a fair bit of maths, scientific notation and in depth radio theory. The advanced license has some big benefits though:
- Full transmitting power (400W)
- Access to all amateur bands
- Operate in foreign countries
It’s the last point which is driving me to get the advanced license, i’m unsure of which country i will settle in one day and secondly i like to travel. So, on both counts this will be a useful benefit!
Now, i just need to remember maths lessons from school and find my scientific calculator….