Radio Merit Badge - Boy Scouts of America

Radio Merit Badge - Boy Scouts of America

Radio Merit Badge Boy Scouts of America Module 1 - Radio Basics BSA National Radio Scouting Committee 2012 . Purpose Make You a Radio Expert Basic...

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Radio Merit Badge Boy Scouts of America

Module 1 - Radio Basics BSA National Radio Scouting Committee 2012


Purpose Make You a Radio Expert Basic Familiarity With Radio Emergency Preparedness ..

Class Format   Three modules – any order   Module 1 – Intro To Radio   Module 2 – Electronic Components & Safety   Module 3 – Amateur Radio & Emergency Communications

Module 1

Introduction To Radio


Key Topics in This Module

  1 - What is Radio?   1a,1b - Types of Radio Services   1c - Radio Call Signs & Identification   1d - The Phonetic Alphabet   2a - Radio Wave Propagation, WWV & WWVH   2b - The FCC & ITU   3a - The Electromagnetic Spectrum

What Is Radio?

Electronic communication from one location to another without wires 1920s-era Radio Receiver


Where Radio is used

  Radio is used in:            

broadcast receivers two way radios televisions cellular telephones wireless LANs garage door openers


car locks EZPass satellites pagers radar microwave ovens etc, etc Requirement 1

Broadcast Radio

  Broadcast - One-way transmissions to the public. Could be commercial (music, news, sports with advertisements) or non-commercial (National Public Radio, school radio stations, Voice of America)

Requirement 1

Broadcast Radio Towers Examples of radio transmission towers you may see: AM / FM Radio

NOAA Weather Radio Television


Requirement 1

Two-Way Communications   Two Way Radios both send (transmit) and receive messages.              

walkie-talkies Amateur Radio cell phones fire and police aviation ships military, etc.

Requirement 1

Hobby Radio

  Use of the radio by the public to communicate with others or to control models.   Amateur radio is a licensed type of Hobby Radio

Requirement 1

Amateur Radio

  A volunteer non-commercial radio service devoted to educational, recreational and emergency purposes  



Radio Radio

Requirement 1

Why Amateur Radio?

  A place to learn about radio!   Called the Amateur Radio Service because it can’t be used for profit.   An important part of disaster response.   A lot of fun!

Requirement 1

Technology In The Wilderness

From the BSA Field Book, page 436… Many SAR teams use ham radio technology, especially the two-meter band and the FCC Technician license, to facilitate communications. Requirement 1

Radio Call Signs   Call Signs are identification. They show you have a license to transmit.   Broadcast Call Signs   WHO, KDKA, KORA, WNBC

  Ham Call Signs   WW3Y, KB3BOY, VR2DK, 9N1MM, JA1ABC   A92EB/OZ, G4RZC/MM   All ham call signs contain a number

Requirement 1

US Call Signs   Every US station has a call sign issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)   Broadcast call signs begin with K or W KXAS


  Amateur call signs begin with A, K, N or W AB2SN KF5WT


W3ZLP Requirement 1

Amateur Radio Call Signs

Requirement 1

International Call Signs   International*call*sign*prefixes*assigned*by*the* International*Telecommunications*Union*(ITU)*   Countries*issue*specific*call*signs*   Examples:****

•  •  •  •  • 


*XE * – Mexico VE – Canada VK – Australia ZL – New Zealand PY – Brazil


G – Great Britain F – France I – Italy 4X – Israel JA – Japan

Requirement 1

Station Identification Rules

Broadcasters - Once per hour. Amateurs - Every ten minutes and at end of a conversation. Requirement 1

Phonetic Alphabet Alfa AL fah Bravo BRAH VOH Charlie CHAR lee Delta DELL tah Echo ECK oh Foxtrot FOX trot Golf GOLF Hotel hoh TELL India IN dee ah Example:

Juliet JEW lee ETT Kilo KEY loh Lima LEE mah Mike MIKE November no VEM ber

Oscar OSS cah Papa pah pah Quebec keh BECK

Romeo ROW me oh Sierra see AIR rah Tango TANG go Uniform YOU nee form Victor VIK ter Whiskey WISS key X-Ray ECKS RAY Yankee YANG kee Zulu ZOO loo

My name is Tom – tango, oscar, mike – Tom Requirement 1

How High Frequency (HF) Radio Waves Travel (Propagation)

  Ground Wave   Sky Wave   Ionosphere   Skip   Local   DX


Ionosphere (80 km) Sky Waves

Skip Zone

Ground Wave

Requirement 2

How VHF & UHF Radio Waves Travel (1)

Requirement 2

How VHF & UHF Radio Waves Travel (2)

Radio Propagation Characteristics

  HF Wavelengths (160 – 10 meters) -  Generally utilizes skywave propagation -  Affected by solar activity

  VHF Wavelengths (6 meters – 2 meters) -  Generally utilize line-of-sight -  Affected very little by solar activity

  UHF Wavelengths (70cm and shorter) -  Generally utilize light-of-sight propagation -  Affected much by terrain, buildings .

WWV • Provides accurate frequencies, time, and HF propagation forecasts. • WWV & WWVH transmit on 5,10,15 and 20 MHz • WWV is in Ft Collins, Colorado.

WWVH is in Kauai, Hawaii

Requirement 2

Radio Station WWV   Transmits on standard frequencies

2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20 Mhz

  If you can hear WWV, the HF bands are open

Fort Collins, CO ..

Requirement 2

Regulation of Radio   ITU   International Telecommunications Union   Meets every few years.   Sets International Frequency assignments.   Assigns prefixes to countries.

  FCC   Federal Communication Commission   Set Frequency Assignments in US.   Issues Licenses & Call Signs in US.   Enforces Radio Laws in US. Requirement 2

Frequencies (One Hertz is cycle per second)

  DC Power

  0 Hertz (goes in one direction only)

  AC Power

  60 Hertz (Hz)

  Audio (Sound)

  100 Hz to 20 KHz (100 - 20,000 Hz)


  30-300 kHz (30,000-300,000)


  .3-3 MHz (300,000-3,000,000)

  HF or Shortwave

  3-30 MHz (3,000,000-30,000,000)


  30-300 MHz (30,000,000-300,000,000)


  300-3,000 MHz (well, you get the idea)


  Frequencies above 500 MHz

  Visible Light

  400-800 THz (400,000,000- 800,000,000 MHz) Requirement 3

So, what frequencies are assigned to whom?              

AM Broadcast Radio FM Broadcast Radio Short Wave Broadcast Television Broadcast CB Radio Police Radio Amateur Radio


540 - 1600 kHz 88 - 108 MHz 5 - 22 MHz Channel 2 = 54-60 MHz 27 MHz 450-470 MHz 3.5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 150 MHz 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2 meters Freq=C/meters C=300,000,000 or Freq (MHz)= 300/meters Requirement 3

The Electromagnetic Spectrum


Long Radio Wavelengths

Short Radio Wavelengths


Frequency - Measured in Hertz (kilohertz, megahertz, gigahertz) Wavelength – Measured in meters (cm) Electromagnetic Radiation Demonstration .

The Electromagnetic Spectrum Medium Frequency (MF)

High Frequency (HF)

Very High Frequency (VHF)

Ultra High Frequency (UHF)

Requirement 3

DRAW the Electromagnetic Spectrum MF Marine

AM Broadcast

Marine / Navigation

300 Khz

3 Mhz

HF International Shortwave Broadcast

10m Ham

3 Mhz

30 Mhz


6m Ham


FM Broadcast



30 Mhz

300 Mhz


300 Mhz .






WiFi 3 Ghz