Dedicated to Amateur Radio Enthusiasts
Welcome to Radio Shetland
Whether you’re interested in the history of Radio on Shetland, Amateur Radio, Shortwave Listening, Antennas, Electronics, etc., we hope you’ll find our website a good source for your hobby.
Radio Shetland has been created and is maintained by a group of Amateur Radio enthusiasts who reside on Shetland.
The Shetland Islands is an archipelago and is the most northerly outpost in the UK. We’re located 60° north which is on the same latitude as Anchorage, Oslo, Stockholm and St Petersburg. In fact, we’re closer to the Arctic Circle than we are to London, England! Our climate is generally temperate during the summer and often very windy from November to April. Our shores are washed westerly by the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic and from the east by the North Sea.
Whether you’re an Amateur Radio operator or SW Listener, Shetland is a great QTH (location) for DX’ing the world! With an almost zero noise level, virtually no BCI (Broadcast Interference) or RFI (Radio Interference) and loads of space for aerials, combined with the North Sea to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, makes for a super take-off and an excellent listening post for all radio work.
What is Amateur Radio and why should you get involved?
Amateur Radio and Short Wave Listening today
Unlike the internet that uses wire and fibre-optic cables, the key to Amateur Radio (including Shortwave Listening) is that it utilises “wireless communication” sometimes over a distance of thousands of kilometers by the propagation of radio waves caused by the fascinating, if not mysterious natural phenomena created by the ionosphere that surrounds our planet. ( More info here: Radio Waves and the Ionosphere )
Amateur Radio (ham radio) in its different forms has been around for over 100 years. Its an exciting and popular hobby that brings people, electronics and communications together. People use Amateur (ham) Radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or mobiles phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have to acquire a common and basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and therefore must first pass an examination for their Amateur (Ham) Radio Licence in order to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands”.
Once you’ve obtained an Amateur Radio Licence you can set up and operate your Amateur Radio station almost anywhere! At home, in your vehicle, in a field or even a boat.
Steps to obtaining an Amateur Radio Licence
There are three tiers of Amateur Radio licensing in the UK.
The Foundation Licence
This is your first step to becoming an Amateur Radio operator. The basic Foundation course, which usually takes up to 12 hours of study, is often supported by local Amateur Radio operators who may be members of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). The course is extremely straightforward and doesn’t require any prior or in-depth knowledge of electronic theory. You will learn such things as the basics of electricity, how to set up an Amateur Radio station, how to operate your radio, how to make a call and how a simple aerial works. Unlike in the past, you do not have to take a Morse code test. Your study then culminates in a multiple-choice examination of 26 questions with 55 minutes to complete your answers. Once you’ve successfully passed your exam you will receive a licence from OFCOM allowing you to operate an amateur radio and transmit up to 10 watts of power on most of the Amateur radio bands. Details of what to expect can be found on the RSGB website An excellence source of study for your Foundation Licence is offered by Ham Training
Example of a Foundation Licence mock examination paper: Click Here
The Intermediate Licence
After several months of operating on your Foundation License, you should have gained enough confidence and experience in order to progress to the next stage. Although somewhat similar to your original Foundation studies, the Intermediate course involves a fundamental understanding of electronics and how the circuitry of various components are utilised in amateur radio. This will also include a basic project where soldering a simple circuit using some of the components you learned about on the course This will culminate in an examination lasting one hour 25 minutes consisting of 45 multiple-choice questions each with four possible responses, Once you’ve successfully passed, you’ll be permitted to transmit a maximum 50 watts of power on most of the Amateur radio bands and you’ll be designated an upgraded personal call-sign. Details of what to expect can be found on the RSGB website
Example of an Intermediate Licence mock examination paper: Click Here
The Full Licence
Once you’ve been operating on your Intermediate Licence for a several months (or even years), you might decide to aim for your Full Amateur Radio License. This is also called the ‘Advanced Exam’, and does require a high degree of dedication and study. You will need to exhibit a degree of mathematical skills along with a more integrated and comprehensive understanding and knowledge of electronic theory. The examination takes two hours and the assessment is by a written or online examination paper of 62 multiple-choice questions each with four possible responses Once you have successfully achieved obtaining your Full Licence you will be permitted to transmit up to 400 watts of power (in the UK), and all UK amateur radio band allocations will be available (not all bands allow 400 watts of power) You will also be designed an upgraded call-sign indicating you are now a holder of a Full Amateur Radio Licence. Details of what to expect can be found on the RSGB website
Example of a Full Licence mock examination paper: Click Here