Basic Qualification Course Materials

Basic Amateur Qualification Course

We believe in a two-way learning process and welcome discussion and comments from students to improve our course and materials.  The materials are presented freely to the public in the hope that they will help encourage persons to study on their own and become qualified as amateur radio operators.

We can run a Morse Code course if there is sufficient interest but it is not required. If you are interested in taking the Basic course or a Morse Code course please contact us.  We can also direct you to information for the Advanced Course. 

If you think you are ready to write the exams at this time, please let us know.  

Objective

The object of this course is to prepare you to pass the examination that is set by Industry Canada for the Basic Qualification.  By passing the exam you will be able to obtain an amateur radio licence and become a full member of the Society. It is in YARS’ interests that you pass the course and get licensed. There is a shortage of amateur radio operators in the North.

Design

The course consists of modules that follow closely the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009). That guide is available from Radio Amateurs of Canada or from the Yellowknife Amateur Radio Society (YARS).

The level of materials is at about the high school level and you will need to study the materials and put some effort into the course.  The aim will be to prepare you to write and pass the examination set by Industry Canada to become licensed as an amateur radio operator.

We can accommodate students as much as possible with extra classes and tutorials or specific areas of difficulty. You should bring a scientific calculator (or "slide rule"), notebook and pen or pencil to each class.

It is possible to study for the exam without taking the course.  If you opt to do that you may be able to purchase the course manual from the Society or alternatively from Radio Amateurs of Canada.  Following the manual and the materials on this page and trying out test exams will sufficiently prepare you to pass the exam.  Let us know if you plan to do that as we can provide you with guidance and set up a time and date for the writing of the exam. 

Class 1 – Orientation

Location - To be announced

A basic introduction to the amateur radio service. Site orientation. Introductions. Sign up sheet. What is YARS. All candidates become associate members (upgraded to regular member on passing the exam). Expectations. Duration of course and exam details. Materials. Resources. Demonstrations.

Class 2 - Regulations

Location - To be announced

References: Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapter 1, 17 and Appendix 1.

Regulations and policies.  Since the licence is issued under the Radiocommunication Act (Canada) and its regulations, this module covers details about the legal requirements in Canada of an amateur radio operators. 

Classes 3 and 4 - Basic Electrical Theory

Location - To be announced

Location - To be announced

References:  Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapters 2 and 3 (week 3); Chapters 3 and 4 (week 4).

Basic electrical theory and simple circuits.  Resistance, capacitance and inductance.  Ohm’s Law and Power. Q factor.  A bit on impedance.  AC and DC currents.  RMS.

Class 5 - Active Devices and Power Supplies

Location - To be announced

References:  Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapters 9 and 10.

This module covers active devices including diodes, transistors, field effect transistors and vacuum tubes.  A very basic explanation of doping is presented.  The use of these devices in rectifiers and amplifiers is discussed.  This module also discusses power supplies in a very general way.  There is a great deal of information on line, including on YouTub and information that is supplementary to electronics courses.  If interested in building circuits, one should download a circuit simulator such as in Module 2 and try building circuits using that software first.  

Class 6 - Modulation and Demodulation and Receivers

Location - To be announced

References:  Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapters 13 and 14.

This module is an overview of modulation, demodulation, receivers and transceivers.  Such systems for AM, DSB, SSB and FM are considered.   

Class 7 - Wave Theory and Propagation

Location - To be announced

References:  Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapters 5 and 6.

Basic wave theory including their characteristics.  Bands, frequencies and properties of waves.  Electromagnetic waves.  How radio waves interact with different parts of the atmosphere and what it is that allows radio amateurs to communicate thousands of miles on very little power.  Solar effects including aurora.  D layer, E layer, F1 and F2 layers.  Survey of all HAM bands.  

Class 8 - Transmission Lines and Antennas

Location - To be announced

References:  Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapters 7 and 8.

Transmission line theory and antennas.  What is a transmission line is discussed along with characteristic impedance, balanced lines, unbalanced lines, coaxial cable and ladder line, connectors and matching baluns.  Standing waves, VSWR etc. are discussed.  Antennas are discussed and how they function in propagating an EM wave into space.  Voltage distribution and elementary dipole design are presented.  Radiation patterns, various designs, tuning, dumm loads, etc. are all discussed. 

Class 9 - Amateur Radio Station and Safety

Location - To be announced

References:  Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Study Guide (New Market, Ontario: Coax Publications Inc., 2009), Chapters 11 and 12 and 16 (safety).

This module deals with establishing an amateur radio station and its routine operation.  Equipment, location, operating modes etc. are discussed with a physical demonstration of the VE8PAT operating station.  Q-codes, the phonetic alphabet, voice procedure and the use of repeaters (including VE8YK/R locally) are discussed.  CW operation (i.e. Morse Code) is discussed - a seemingly antiquated operating mode that we have discovered to be extremely reliable and robust in the North.  Other modes are discussed including telephony and digital modes.  PSK31 will be demonstrated along with APRS and ATV.  QSL cards are discussed along with time zones.  Emergency communications are also discussed.  Radio operating procedures will be discussed with reference to RIC-22.  Time permitting some discussion of ergonomics may occur.

Class 10 - Exam Study Tactics

Location - To be announced

And for additional classes until we think you are ready to write the Exam.

This will give us lots of time to work through the  Industry Canada Exam Generator.  We can go over particular areas of difficulty and write practice exams.  Exam will be written before mid December.

If you have suggestions to improve the course outline, please contact us.