Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator

Amateur Radio operators are people from all walks of life – no matter what age, gender or physical ability. There are around 68,000 in Canada & about 3,000,000 around the world in almost every country. About one person in 600 of the Canadian population is a HAM.

With an amateur radio license & your own transmitting station, you can talk to people around town, around the country, or around the world. You can also talk to astronauts on the International Space Station. You can become involved with communications for Civil Defence & for Search and Rescue.

Some examples of how Amateur radio has helped in a time of emergency, High River Floods & Fort McMurray Fire.

Amateur Radio is a great stepping stone into a career in electronics, communications or other technologies. There are many satellite systems and digital communications systems that you can experiment with.

Amateur Radio Equipment is not difficult to obtain & setting up a radio station need not be expensive. There is plenty of good used equipment available & it would be easily possible to get on the air with an investment of  $100. It is equally possible to build a “Superstation” costing much more!

In Canada, the licenses are issued by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada,. They open the world to you! Your license gives your station a unique CALLSIGN beginning with VE6 or VA6 in Alberta.

You can enjoy using small 2-meter hand-held radios to stay in touch with other amateurs in your area or you may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes to talk around the world. You can even make international radio contacts via amateur radio satellites, using relatively simple equipment or Whitecourt’s local IRLP network.

Whitecourt Amateur Radio is a group of everyday people that love this hobby & you will find that we & other groups surrounding Whitecourt will be very helpful in answering your questions and assisting you to get “On the air”

To earn a license, you’ll need to pass the written examination. This is a computer-generated test made up of questions taken from a public-domain question-bank. You can usually find an amateur radio class in your area sponsored by friendly volunteers who will help you to learn the ropes, or you can successfully study on your own, as many others have done.

The examination is 100 multiple-choice questions & is administered by volunteer supervisors appointed by Industry Canada. Your result is given to you on the spot following the conclusion of the test. The Basic Qualification  (70-79%) will get you on the VHF/UHF bands right away 50mhz +, covering such topics as radio operating practices, basic electrical theory, and the Radiocommunication regulations that apply to amateur radio. A mark of 80% or more gives the candidate the additional privileges of Basic Qualification with honors as well as amateur radio privileges to operate in all the allocated amateur radio bands. 1.8mhz+ Morse Code is not a requirement

Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier!

Where Do I Start?
You can order the self-study guide, or you more than welcome to contact us and we can set you on a path to success. Cold Lake Amateur Radio Society offers a great online program to self-study with as well.


What is Amateur Radio?

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Monthly Get Together

2nd Sunday of the month
A&W Whitecourt 12pm
All are welcome