The “Basic” certification can be obtained by the average person by pursuing a self-directed educational approach and partnering with an “Elmer” in the club, by being a member in good standing. We are a strong membership of 60-70 individuals who will assist you in obtaining your Basic Qualification, as you the student, dedicate yourself in study.
Here is some information about study materials for the Basic Qualification and some web sites from which information can be read or downloaded for free.
A good source of information is Edition 9th of the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide published by Coax Publications Inc. The text is available by mail from Radio Amateurs of Canada. See the RAC web page. You can also get the text from Radioworld, 4335 Steeles Avenue West,Toronto, ON, M3N 1V7, phone 1-866-666-8600, search for “study guide“. If you are planning to purchase the text by e-mail directly from Radio Amateurs of Canada, you can order on their web store. You can also visit the RAC table at one of the Amateur Radio Club Flea Market/Hamfest events. A list of Flea Markets can be found on the RAC web site. The cost of this study guide should be around $45.
The qualifying test consists of 100 multiple choice questions taken randomly from a bank of approximately 964 questions published by Industry Canada and identified as RIC-7 which stands for Radio Information Circular #7. You can read the entire question bank (with answers) and/or download it. There are several other radio information circulars (RIC-s) on this same website, the contents of which should be known to Radio Amateurs. You should learn what is in RBR-4, (formerly RIC-2) and RIC-3. You can download the exam generator software program for your computer, which works with the Windows operating system, and which will produce randomly selected test questions for you to use as practice. These questions are the same questions that you will encounter on the qualifying exam. There is one more document not available on the Industry Canada web site that contains information candidates are expected to know for one of the questions on the Amateur Radio Basic Qualification. That question concerns the safe limits of exposure to electromagnetic fields. The document is on the website of Health Canada and is called Safety Code 6. The significant point is shown graphically in Appendix 1 on page 27 of the document. At those frequencies where Amateurs operate, RF energy has the greatest effect heating body tissue. (You know this from using a microwave oven.) Therefore the government has established safe limits of exposure shown on the graphs. To answer certain exam questions you should know what these limits are.
Pay special attention to the legal aspects of Amateur Radio i.e. Regulations and Policies as outlined in RBR-4, (formerly RIC-2) and RIC-3. The legal aspects comprise 25 marks on the final exam of 100 marks, making them a topic of some importance. For parts of the material where math is involved, using a scientific calculator is helpful.
When you are ready to take the examination, our Club has three designated examiners who can give the test by appointment. The designated examiners are Roger Pimm, VE3UFZ, Mike Christmas VE3XMS, and Paul Fleck VE3HTF. If any candidate is not successful writing the exam on the first try the candidate can be tested again at another session. The minimum pass mark is 70%. However, if you get 80% or more on the exam you become qualified to communicate on any band open to Radio Amateurs. There may be a fee for taking the test which is influenced by administration costs. This is a matter between you and the examiner. At the time of the test you may be asked to show two pieces of photo identification.
The resources identified above, namely, the Canadian Amateur Study Guide, RBR-4, RIC-3, RIC-7, Safety Code 6, and the test generator provide essential information for obtaining the Basic Qualification.
Among radio amateurs there is a tradition we call Elmering, (named after Elmer the elephant), where qualified amateurs help candidates learning the material. Many of us have done this from time to time. Anyone interested in amateur radio is invited to attend meetings of the Hamilton Amateur Radio Club which are held on the third Wednesday of the months: Sept., Oct., Nov., Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May., and Jun. At these meetings you will meet other amateurs, and you could possibly connect with a suitable Elmer. The Hamilton Amateur Radio Club currently holds meetings in the Cafeteria in Westdale Secondary School, 700 Main Street West, Hamilton On. Meetings take place starting at 7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:45 pm.
For any additional information or questions regarding the above, or for information on upgrading your qualifications in CW or Advanced certification, contact the executive members:
We appreciate your inquiry and wish you success.
Hamilton Amateur Radio Club
Useful Study Aids…
Visit our Ham Study Aids section on the links page to find resources to help you study. Aids include books and software for various platforms.