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The Intermediate Course

This is a six day course, undertaken over three complete weekends.  Course days start at 10:00 and end at 16:00.

The next Intermediate course takes place on 22, 23, 29 February, 1, 7, 8 March 2020.

Please dress warmly in cold weather (the shack is a wooden hut), and bring a packed lunch.

Topics included in the course are

  • Diodes & Transistors
  • Measurements
  • License Regulations
  • Operating
  • Transmitters
  • Receivers
  • Antennas
  • Feeders
  • Construction
  • EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility i.e. interference issues)
  • Propagation

One day of the course is for practical exercises.  These are mandatory – please note that if these are not completed, a student may not sit an exam.

The practical exercises include

  • Make five or more soldered joints
  • Make circuit with switch, 2 LEDs or bulbs and resistors.
  • Demonstrate transistor as switch; measure gain
  • Student project (MW radio)
  • Measure V and I in series and parallel circuits
  • Measure resistors; compare with markings
  • Determine R by measuring V and I for two or more resistors
  • Demonstrate that a crystal oscillator is stable when subjected to reasonable temperature changes and mechanical shock.
  • Demonstrate that a variable frequency (LC) oscillator is not very stable when subjected to reasonable temperature changes and mechanical shock.
  • Find at least 2nd and 3rd harmonics of oscillator using a receiver or spectrum analyser
  • Demonstrate the reduction in harmonics by using a low pass filter or AMU, measured using either a receiver or spectrum analyser
  • Calibrate variable RF oscillator using a receiver, frequency counter or spectrum analyser.   Band edges and two intermediate points are required to be marked at zero beat.

The exam consists of 46 multiple choice questions, with a pass mark of 28 (61%).   The time allowed is 1 hour 30 minutes but most students complete the exam in half that time.

Exams are taken online – you need to bring a laptop computer.  Students get their results there and then on completion of the exam.

Successful students can apply to Ofcom for a licence and callsign.  This can be done by post, but a £20 fee is chargeable.  Most  people apply on-line, which is free.