Harwell Amateur Radio Society (HARS) is a registered Examination Centre with the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). We run Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced courses and examinations on a regular basis. Please contact us if you wish to participate in any training course.
This is very much a beginners' course and concentrates on how to use a radio properly (within the rules of your licence) and above all safely. If you have no background in radio or electronics, or you did not enjoy science and maths at school, you need not worry. The course is designed to teach you everything you need to get your Foundation Licence. Much of the training is practical, and covers essential skills, e.g. how to connect up a simple station comprising a radio, a power supply and an antenna. On the course, you will transmit on different types of Amateur Radio equipment (under supervision) and have a taste of Morse code. There is some teaching of radio and electronics theory but only enough to prepare you for the exam.
The Foundation Licence exam is very straightforward and consists of 26 multiple choice questions which you have 45 minutes to answer. Your exam paper is marked by the invigilator right after the exam, so you will know your result straight away. If you have passed you can apply for your new licence on-line and in a few days you could be on the air as a new ‘M6’, transmitting up to the maximum power of 10W, permitted to Foundation Licence holders.
There are no required qualifications or prerequisites for students wanting to take a Foundation Licence course.
Once you have gained experience at the Foundation Level, we are sure you will want to take the next step up to the Intermediate Licence, which allows a greater degree of freedom in the hobby, including an increase in permitted power from 10W to 50W. Much of the training is practical but, on this course, the emphasis is on constructional skills. You will learn how to solder, recognise electronic components, and build a simple circuit. As part of the course, students undertake a small radio related construction project in their own time. This course also introduces the essentials of radio and electronics theory, building on the start that was made in the Foundation Licence course. It is run over 2 weekends 1 month apart. This is to allow time for the construction project.
The Intermediate Licence exam consists of 45 multiple choice questions which you have 75 minutes to answer. Just as for the Foundation Licence exam, your paper is marked by the invigilator right after the exam, so you will know your result straight away. If you have passed you can apply for your new licence on-line and in a few days you could be on the air as a ‘2E0’.
Any student wanting to take an Intermediate Licence course must first pass the exam for the Foundation Licence.
Many experienced Intermediate Licence holders find that they want to take the final step up to the Advanced Licence, which gives Radio Amateurs the greatest freedom in the hobby, including access to all bands, reciprocal licensing agreements abroad and an increase in permitted power from 50W to 400W. Advanced Licence holders are also allowed to transmit with home-built equipment. The Advanced Licence course is a demanding one and goes into detailed theory of radio and electronics theory. There is no practical work in this course as students will be Intermediate Licence holders and are likely to be active with their own stations and have areas of interest in the hobby, for example, contests or construction.
The Advanced Licence exam consists of 62 multiple-choice questions which you have 2 hours to answer. Unlike the Foundation and the Intermediate Licence exams, these exams are national exams and run to a fixed timetable. The papers must be sent away for marking so it is not possible to know if you have passed on the day. The Advanced Licence course is run over 6 weekends, 1 weekend day per week.
Any student wanting to take an Advanced Licence course must first pass the exam for the Intermediate Licence.