Exam Information

Please note that before the Foundation and Intermediate exams can be taken there are a number of practical exercises/assessments that have to be completed and signed off by an authorised assessor. You should allow at least four club attendances to complete practical assessments at each of Foundation and Intermediate levels. Silverthorn Radio Club is currently offering practical assessments and exams, arranged on demand during any month.

At least three weeks notice must be given and exam fee paid with application form completed, before the exam can be arranged with the RSGB.

Exams can be taken either written or online. For online exams the candidate must provide a laptop with a connection to the internet, this may be via a tether from their smart phone.

The club at this time does not provide internet WiFi.

Anyone wanting to take a course or sit an exam should contact the exam secretary (Tom M5AJK) by email at m5ajk@blueyonder.co.uk or by mobile 07866 636492.

All Trainees

All trainees attending the Club for Practical Courses.

Are asked to pay £3.00 Subs each week they attend also they are required to join the Club as Trainee Members on Payment of £10.00 which after they have completed their course and wish to become Full Club Members then the £10.00 can be used as that years Full membership payment. Applications for Full membership is placed before the Club Committee for acceptance. Each November Members renew their membership by payment of the Annual £10.00 Membership Fee.

The Club do not charge any other fees for the Practical training courses or for help towards the Trainees Examinations. We collect payment at least 3 weeks before the Exam, all the Fees and applications for the RSGB.

Foundation          £27.50     Questions 26     Pass; 19     55min

Intermediate       £32.50     Questions: 45     Pass; 27     1Hr 25min

Advanced             £37.50     Questions:62     Pass;37     2Hr

Tom Dawson M5AJK The Exam Secretary will collect the application forms and payment for exam at least 3 weeks before the exam date.

The Club trainers will give help during the practical courses for Foundation and Intermediate but the club have no formal training courses. Candidates are expected to self learn with the aid of the RSGB Course books which can be purchased on-line or from the club, saving on postage. Members and trainers will always help if you are stuck on understanding some technicalities. There are several free Internet pre-exam tests and mock exams.


Exam Results for Year November 2017 to November 2018

Foundation passes: 22 - Intermediate passes: 9 - Advanced Passes: 2

Failed: 3

 Foundation Amateur Licence Practical Assessment
Record of Achievement

Item      Details
8e.1        Demonstrate, using a VHF/UHF transmitter/receiver; correct tuning in to an amateur f.m voice signal and data signal such as packet. Read the signal strength meter (where fitted)
8e.2       Demonstrate correct operation of a VHF transmitter/receiver in simplex mode. Controls used shall include frequency, squelch and audio gain (volume).
Know the meaning of signal reports exchanged during a contact.
Make a simplex radio contact and exchange signal reports.
8e.3      Demonstrate, using an HF transmitter/receiver, correct tuning in to an amateur SSB voice signal and a Morse signal. Read the signal strength meter.
8e.4     Demonstrate, correct operation of an HF transmitter/receiver in an SSB contact. Controls used shall include frequency, RIT (clarifier), audio gain (volume), RF, microphone gain and antenna tuner (ATU).
Make an HF SSB voice contact and exchange signal reports.
8e.5    Demonstrate, a CQ call on VHF/UHF, making a contact and initiating a change of frequency (QSY) off the calling channel.
8f.1     Demonstrate, connecting a transmitter/receiver to a power supply, antenna and feeder.
8f.2     Demonstrate, using a ½ wave dipole antenna with adjustable elements, that the SWR varies as the length of the elements are varied. Set up the dipole for minimum SWR. Note: The elements are not to be adjusted whilst transmitting. Correct procedure for a radiating test shall be demonstrated.
10      Morse code receiving.
Morse code sending.

Intermediate Amateur Licence Practical Assessment
Record of Achievement

Item    Details
10d.1     Measure the resistance of a number of different resistors and confirm their values using the colour code.
10d.2    Demonstrate the ability to make good soldered joints.
10d.3    Construct a simple circuit containing a battery, resistor, LED, Lamp and switch.
10d.4    Measure voltages and currents in a simple circuit.
10d.5    Demonstrate that a diode will only conduct in one direction in a simple DC circuit.
10d.6    Demonstrate that a transistor can be used as a switch in a simple DC circuit.
10d.7    Fit a suitable RF connector (PL259, BNC or N-type) to a piece of coaxial cable.
10d.8    Fit a 13A plug to a piece of 3-core mains cable.
10e.1     Construct a simple amateur radio related project (e.g. direct conversion receiver, crystal calibrator, ‘grid’ dip meter, ATU & SWR meter. Morse oscillator, audio amplifier) either from a pre prepared kit or from a published or personal design.
Construction may be carried out either within a course or elsewhere but the assessor must be satisfied that the bulk of the work is that of the candidate.
10f.1     Calibrate a variable frequency oscillator (VFO) employing an adjustable LC circuit. Calibration to show the relevant amateur band edges. The VFO may form part of the project to satisfy 10e.1 or be part of a previously constructed project or provided by the assessor.

Foundation, Intermediate and Full Exams for August 2019

To summarise the main changes:

Software defined radio principles introduced:
• At Foundation level, for candidates to be aware of the existence of this ‘new’ alternative radio architecture where software is used for RF modulation and demodulation
• At Intermediate level an overview of the SDR principles
• At Full level, the different approaches of SDR and the methods and problems of modulation and demodulation

Some older/no longer relevant topics at all levels removed:
• Topics related to thermionic valves (tubes)
• Topics related to high voltage (except in relation to safety)
• Topics related to the physics of semiconductors

New material on safety added, for example:
• At all levels, the safety aspects of using batteries (accounting for the new high discharge rate batteries available)
• At Full level, the use of risk assessment for portable operating and events

In Syllabus 2019 more explicit wording used to (for example):
• Remove multiple learning points within topics (resulting in an apparent increase in learning points)
• Better define difficult areas, e.g. what is ‘broadcasting’
• Update and refine the definitions of topics that have presented queries in the past

We have reflected changes to the licensing requirements since the previous syllabus, which has resulted in additions to the licensing conditions sections. For example, the requirements for:
• Five-year licence re-validation
• Identification of stations
• Use of secondary locators
• Detail of maritime operation

After these changes, the level of difficulty of Foundation as measured by the ratio of the number of points which must be ‘understood’ to the number of points to be ‘recalled’ is unchanged between the old and new syllabus. Furthermore, the ratio of operating points to technical points in also unchanged at 52:48.

The Intermediate level now has an increased focus on practical operating skills and construction. It is more difficult as some technical concepts have been moved down from Full, but it now sits more comfortably between Foundation and Full and, in the view of Ofcom, justifies the increased licence privileges obtained.

The Full level makes more use of concept demonstrations instead of just theory and the mathematical requirements are simplified. It remains broadly aligned with HAREC.

Further update to the changes for Practical Assessments commencing August 2019

will be uploaded here.

The Full licence Manual and Intermediate Manuals for next August are available and the new Foundation  will be available around Easter.