Radio

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{{Merit Badge header|Pulp and Paper|Railroading|[[Radio]] teaches you about professional and amateur radio.}}
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{{MeritBadgePriorApproval|7}}
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<br>
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{{Infobox_MeritBadge_Green
{{Infobox_MeritBadge_Green
|name= Radio
|name= Radio
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|status= Elective
|status= Elective
|created= 1923
|created= 1923
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|discontinued= N/A
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|source1= Replaced
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|requirements revision= 2002
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|source2= [[Wireless]]
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|pamphlet revision= 2001
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|requirements revision= 2009
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|pamphlet revision= 2008
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|field = Hobbies
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|id = 093
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|quote=Radio is a way to send information, or communications, from one place to another. Broadcasting includes both one-way radio (a person hears the information but can't reply) as well as two-way radio (where the same person can both receive and send messages).
}}
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{{Merit Badge introduction}}
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== Merit badge requirements ==
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:1. Explain what radio is. Include in your explanation: the differences between broadcast radio and hobby radio, and the differences between broadcasting and two-way communicating. Also discuss broadcast radio and amateur radio call signs and using phonetics.
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:2. Sketch a diagram showing how radio waves travel locally and around the world. How do the broadcast radio stations, WWV and WWVH, help determine what you will hear when you listen to a radio?
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:3. Do the following:
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::a. Draw a chart of the electromagnetic spectrum covering 100 kilohertz (kHz) to 1000 megahertz (MHz).
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{{reqs||merit badge }}
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::b. Label the LF, MF, VHF, UHF, and microwave portions of the spectrum on your diagram.
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::c. Locate on your chart at least eight radio services such as AM and FM commercial broadcast, CB, television, amateur radio (at least four ham radio bands), and police.
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::d. Discuss why some radio stations are called DX and others are called local. Explain who the FCC and ITU are.
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:4. Explain how radio waves carry information. Include in your explanation: transceiver, transmitter, amplifier, and antenna.
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:5. Learn the safety precautions for working with radio gear, particularly DC and RF grounding.
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:6. Do the following:
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::a. Explain the differences between a block diagram and a schematic diagram.
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::b. Draw a block diagram that includes a transceiver, amplifier, microphone, antenna, and feedline.
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::c. Explain the differences between an open circuit, a closed circuit, and a short circuit.
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::d. Draw eight schematic symbols. Explain what three of the represented parts do. Find three electrical components to match to three of these symbols.
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:7. Do ONE of the following: (a OR b OR c )
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::a. ''Amateur radio''
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:::1. Describe some of the activities that amateur radio operators can do on the air, once they have earned an amateur radio license.
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:::2. Carry on a 10 minute real or simulated radio contact using voice or Morse Code; use proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations. (Licensed ham radio operators may substitute five QSL cards as evidence of contacts with amateur radio operators from at least three different call districts.) Properly log the real or simulated ham radio contact and record the signal report.
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:::3. Explain at least five Q signals or amateur radio terms you hear while listening.
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:::4. Explain some of the Technician Class license requirements and privileges. Explain who gives amateur radio exams.
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:::5. Explain how you would make an emergency call on voice or Morse code. Tell why the FCC has an amateur radio service.
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:::6. Explain handheld transceivers versus home "base" stations. Explain about mobile amateur radios and amateur radio repeaters.
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::b. ''Broadcast radio''
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:::1. Prepare a program schedule for radio station "KBSA" of exactly one-half hour, including music, news, commercials, and proper station identification. Record your program on audio tape using proper techniques.
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:::2. Listen to and properly log 15 broadcast stations; determine for five of these their transmitting power and general areas served.
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:::3. Explain at least eight terms used in commercial broadcasting, such as segue, cut, and fade.
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:::4. Discuss the educational and licensing requirements and career opportunities in broadcast radio.
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::c. ''Short-wave listening''
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:::1. Listen across several short-wave bands for two 4-hour periods, one in the early morning and the other in the early evening. Log the stations properly and locate them geographically on a globe.
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:::2. For several major foreign stations (BBC in Great Britain or HCJB in Ecuador , for example), list several frequency bands used by each.
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:::3. Compare your morning and evening logs, noting the frequencies on which your major foreign stations were loudest during each session. Explain the differences in signal strength from one period to the next.
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:::4. Discuss the purpose of and careers in short-wave communications.
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:8. Visit a radio installation approved in advance by your counselor (ham radio station, broadcast station, or public service communications center, for example). Discuss what types of equipment you saw in use, how it was used, what types of license are required to operate and maintain the equipment, and the purpose of the station.
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''Source: 2007 Boy Scout Requirements (33215)''
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== Notes ==
== Notes ==
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<!-- Add general notes here, such as the link to the worksheet. -->
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{{Merit Badge Notes}}
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<br>
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{{Worksheet|merit badge}}
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== Requirement resources ==
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<!-- Answers, cheatsheets, and answer keys will be removed. -->
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<!-- * [[Internal Link]] or [external link] description -->
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{{Merit Badge Requirement resources}}
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'''1: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio Radio (in General)]<br>
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'''1a: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio Amateur radio] &nbsp; [http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=service_home&id=amateur Amateur Radio Service] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcasting Broadcasting]<br>
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'''1b:''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_broadcasting Broadcasting (commercial)] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_broadcasting Broadcasting (public)]<br>
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'''1c: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_sign Call Signs] &nbsp; [http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=call_signs_1&id=amateur Amateur Radio call signs] &nbsp; [http://www.fcc.gov/ FCC (Federal Communications Commission)] &nbsp; [http://www.radioing.com/hamradio/callareas.html Amateur Radio call sign map (radioing.com)]<br>
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'''1d: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet Phonetic Alphabet] &nbsp; [http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq101-1.htm International Phonetic Alphabet (US Navy)] &nbsp; [http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/MAEL/ag/phonetic.htm International Phonetic Alphabet (NASA)]<br>
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'''2a: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_propagation#Tropospheric_modes Radio Waves in the Atmosphere] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV WWV] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVH WWVH]<br>
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'''2b: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DXing DXing] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DX_communication DX (distance) communications] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC FCC (Federal Communications Commission)] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITU ITU Overview] &nbsp; [http://www.itu.int/ ITU Website]<br>
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'''3: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_frequency Radio Frequency Spectrum] &nbsp; [http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.html United States Frequency Allocation Chart] &nbsp; [http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/ Radio Communications Sector]<br>
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'''4: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modulation Modulation to carry information-animated graphics] &nbsp; [http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html Radio Propagation] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transceiver Transceiver] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmitter Transmitter] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier Amplifier] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antenna_(radio) Antenna]<br>
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'''5ab: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_diagram Block Diagram] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_diagram Circuit diagrams] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_symbol Electronic symbols]<br>
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'''5b: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone Microphone] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed_line Feed Line] (also see 4 and 5a above)<br>
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'''5c: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-circuit_voltage Open Circuit] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_theory#Open_circuit_vs._closed_circuit Open vs. Closed Circuit] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_circuit Short Circuit]<br>
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'''5d: '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_components Electrical components]<br>
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'''6: '''[http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/pdf/AntBk.pdf Electrical Safety] – Including Lightning, Antennas, etc.
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: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_current Direct Current] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_(electricity) Grounding]
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'''7:''' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcasting Broadcasting] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_station Amateur Radio Station]<br>
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'''9b:'''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave_listening Short-wave Listening] &nbsp; [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_broadcasting International Broadcasting (Short-wave Listening)]<br>
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[http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges.aspx Per the BSA:] ''You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject.'' Merit badge pamplets are available at your local [http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/storeloc.aspx Scout Shop] or online at [http://www.scoutstuff.org/ ScoutStuff.org].
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== Related awards ==
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<!-- Note similarities with other award requirements here such as: -->
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<!-- * [[other award]] requirement ## -->
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* [[Radio]] and [[Electronics]] share similar requirements.
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* A registered youth or adult Scout who has a valid radio license of any class issued by the FCC may wear the [[Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip]].
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* The largest Scout activity in the world is "Jamboree On The Air' (JOTA), held on the 3rd Saturday of October. Sponsored by the World Scout Bureau, about 500,000 scouts around the world talk to each other using Amateur Radio that weekend. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers and Leaders who take part are eligible for a [http://www.scouting.org/international/highlights/22-218.aspx BSA JOTA Participant Patch], available from the International Division of BSA.
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* Participation in the national Amateur Radio Emergency Drill called "[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_Day Field Day]" on the last weekend of June each year can meet the requirement 7 for [[Emergency Preparedness]].
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{{Science Award Links}}
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{{Hobby Awards Links}}
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You may want to consider working on the Radio and Electronics merit badges together, as there is some overlap.
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== See also ==
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If you wish to take a step past the merit badge and dig deeper into radio, the amateur radio Technician license is a natural next step. See the "External links" section for the ARRL entry on getting a license.
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<!-- * [[other article]] -->
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== Help with these requirements ==
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1: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Broadcasting Broadcasting]
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{{Merit Badge See also}}
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio Amateur radio]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_broadcasting Broadcasting (commercial)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_broadcasting Broadcasting (public)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_sign Call Signs]
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2: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio Radio (in General)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV_%28radio_station%29 WWV station]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVH WWVH station]
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3: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio#The_electromagnetic_spectrum Radio spectrum (LF, MF, VHF, UHF, microwave)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DXing DX]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DX_communication DX (distance) communications]
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6: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_diagram Block Diagram]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_diagram Circuit digrams]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_symbol Electronic symbols]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_components Electrical components]
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7: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave_listening Short-wave Listening]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_broadcasting International Broadcasting (Short-wave Listening)]
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'''1.'''
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Radio in general, broadcast and amateur: Radio waves travel farther and faster than sound waves, so if you want to talk to someone far away, using a radio is better than yelling. Broadcast means one way, their radio only transmits, your radio only receives, you can hear what they say but can't answer back (for example, a station that plays music). Two way means that both people have both transmitters and receivers, so you can carry on a normal conversation (for example, amateur radio or CB). See the "External links" section for Wikipedia entries on Radio (in General), Amateur radio, Broadcasting, Broadcasting (commercial), and Broadcasting (public).
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Call signs: radio stations use call signs to identify themselves because radio waves can travel far and wide and there is no easy way to tell where the station is transmitting from. It is possible to listen from several different places using special directional antennas and use trigonometry to calculate where a radio station is transmitting from, but it is much easier to simply wait until they say their call sign and then look up the call sign. See the "External links" section for the Wikipedia entry on call signs for a broad overview, the FCC entry on call signs for the official rules for amateur radio, and the Miscellaneous entry on call signs for a map of the amateur radio call sign areas in the US.
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Phonetic alphabet: The phonetic alphabet is used to prevent confusion between letters like "b" and "d" that sound similar enough to be easily mixed up. When talking over a noisy, static-filled radio (or cellular telephone) link it is even more easy to get letters mixed up, so one "code word" is substituted for each letter. For example, if Alice is introducing herself to Bob she may say "My name is Alice, I spell alpha lima india charley echo." See the "External links" section for a list of the "code words" in the international phonetic alphabet.
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'''2.'''
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How radio waves travel: Some frequency waves travel only in a straight line (line of sight), which doesn't travel around the curve of the earth and are therefore short range. Some frequency waves hug the ground and can go around the earth's curve, but these tend to die out quickly and are therefore mostly short range (unless you have a monster transmitter like the navy uses to talk to submarines, but very few folks have a transmitter that powerful). Some frequency waves bounce off the sky and then bounce off the ground and then bounce off the sky and continue to bounce again and again and again, which means they can go a very long ways, sometimes going all the way around the world. The details of how radio waves travel can be complicated, see the "External links" section for information on radio propagation if you want the entire, long story.
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WWV and WWVH: WWV and WWVH can be used as beacons (the radio equivalent of lighthouses) because they are in well known geographical locations and transmit on well known frequencies and because they broadcast constantly. If you can hear them you will probably be able to hear stations that are close to them (close meaning both close in geographic location and close in frequency). WWV is in Boulder, Colorado. WWVH is in Hawaii. Both transmit on several frequencies. They transmit the official time of the US Government, meaning they are an excellent place to set your watch to.
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'''3.a., 3.b., & 3.c.'''
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See the "External links" section for the ARRL band plans and amateur frequency allocations, the NTIA frequency allocation chart, and the Wikipedia entry on radio spectrum.
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'''3.d.'''
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See the "External links" section for the Wikipedia entry on DX, the FCC, and the ITU.
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'''4.'''
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An electronic circuit called an "oscillator" generates a radio frequency signal (oscillate means to wiggle back and forth). This RF signal is mixed with the information the sending operator is trying to send (this is called "modulating" the signal). For example, when sending Morse Code, the radio operator's key simply turns the signal on and off. Hold down the key and the signal is sent on through. Let the key up and the signal is shut off and is not sent on through. To send a dot, the operator presses the key down for a short time, meaning a brief signal is sent. To send a dash, the operator presses the key a little longer, meaning a longer signal is sent. The operator looks up the sequence of dots and dashes for the letter of the alphabet they want to send. Oscillators produce weak signals. These weak signals are strengthened by sending them through an electronic circuit called an "amplifier" (amplify means to make larger). Often the oscillator, modulator, and amplifier are put inside the same box, which we call a "transmitter." The signal is sent to an antenna, which takes in the electrical signal (which needs wires to travel through) and sends it out as an electromagnetic (radio) signal that does not need wires to travel (thus the word "wireless"). The signal has now been transmitted and is waiting for someone to receive it. The signal runs into another antenna, which converts the electromagnetic (radio) signal into an electrical signal. Often by this time the signal is very weak again, so it is sent through another amplifier to strengthen it. This signal is unmixed to separate out the information put in by the operator who sent the message (this is called "demodulating"). This demodulated signal is sent on to the operator receiving the message. In the case of Morse Code, the demodulated signal is simply sent to a speaker --- the operator either hears something or they don't. Hearing means the sending operator had the key pressed down. Not hearing means the sending operator did not have the key pressed down. Hearing a short pulse is a dot. Hearing a longer pulse is a dash. Look up the pattern of dots and dashes to get the letter of the alphabet the sending operator was trying to send. (Voice, television, fax, and computer information are sent the same way, the only difference being that the modulator and demodulator circuits are a bit more complicated than the simple "on/off" switch of Morse Code.) The box holding the receiving side amplifier and demodulator is called a "receiver". Sometimes the transmitter and receiver are put in the same box, which we call a "transceiver" (TRANSmitter + reCEIVER).
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'''5.'''
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'''6.a.''' See the "External links" section for the Wikipedia entries on block diagrams and circuit diagrams.
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'''6.b.'''
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'''6.c.''' Short circuit means two points in the circuit that you don't want connected are connected (for example, if you solder a wire to the wrong place, if you drop a screwdriver across the terminals of a battery, or if a tree branch falls on a power line). Open circuit means that two places in the circuit that you want connected are not connected (for example if a wire breaks or if you forget to hook up the load). Closed circuit means that the connections are all where you want them to be, meaning the current has a path to flow where you want it to flow and do what you want it to do.
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'''6.d''' See the "External links" section for the Wikipedia entry on electronic symbols and electrical components.
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* A battery is like a water tower --- it holds electricity (water) and provides the voltage (water pressure) to make the electricity move. (Electricity in motion is called electric current).
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* Wires are like pipes --- they give the electric current (water) a path to flow in.
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* Switches are like faucets --- they turn the flow off and on.
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* Resistors are like rust in pipes --- they restrict the flow of current.
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* Capacitors are like the kitchen sink --- they store and release current (water).
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* Diodes are one-way valves --- current can flow one way but not the other.
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* Photodiodes (also known as Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs) are diodes that give off light when current flows through them. Think of them as very small light bulbs.
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* Fuses are automatic safety shutoff valves that protect against dangerously high current by blowing (creating an open circuit) when too much current flows. The open circuit prevents any more current from flowing, effectively turning the circuit off.
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* Transistors and tubes are like water pumps --- the amplify (make stronger) the voltage and/or current.
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* Transformers are another kind of water pump --- the step up the voltage (water pressure). If the transformer is connected backwards it steps down the voltage.
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'''7.a.''' You may want to consider contacting a local amateur radio club (see the ARRL web site in the"External links" section) about joining them for Field Day, [[Jamboree On The Air]] (JOTA), or any of the many contests that happen throughout the year. These events are often well attended in the amateur radio community and are a good chance to make some "QSO" contacts. On Field Day, many clubs operate a GOTA (Get On the Air) station that is dedicated to helping people with no radio experience get on the air and make contacts (GOTA station contacts get the club extra points, so the club will be happy to see you).
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# On air activities:
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# Contact and log:
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# Q signals
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# Technician class license and exam:
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# Emergency calls (why amateur radio?):
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# Base station vs mobile vs portable vs repeater:
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'''7.c.''' See "External links" section for the Wikipedia entries on Short-wave Listening and International Broadcasting.
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== External links ==
== External links ==
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<!-- Add general information links here (no advertisements) -->
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<!-- use this format: * [http://somelink.com description] -->
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<!-- ------------------------------------------------------- -->
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* [http://k2gw.tripod.com/radiomeritbadge/ Radio Merit Badge Website ]
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* [http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/jota.html JOTA (Jamboree On The Air, third weekend of each October)]
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* [http://www.arrl.org/ ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League)]
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* [http://www.hello-radio.org/ How to get an amateur radio license (above and beyond the merit badge)]
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===Dedicated Radio Merit Badge Websites===
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{{Merit Badge footer}}
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*[http://k2gw.tripod.com/onlineradiomeritbadge/ Online Radio Merit Badge site for Boy Scouts]
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*[http://k2gw.tripod.com/radiomeritbadgeday/ Resources for Radio Merit Badge Counselors]
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*[http://www.botkin.org/dale/troop435/index.html Troop 435's Radio Badge Merit Course]
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===[http://www.arrl.org/ ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League)]===
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*[http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/clubsearch.phtml Club search]
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*[http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bands.html US Amateur Frequency Allocations]
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*[http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bandplan.html Amateur band plan]
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*[http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/ Field Day (fourth full Weekend each June)]
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*[http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/jota.html JOTA (Jamboree On The Air, third weekend of each October)]
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*[http://www.arrl.org/contests/calendar.html Contest calendar]
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*[http://www.hello-radio.org/ How to get an amateur radio license (above and beyond the merit badge)]
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*[http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html Radio propogation]
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===[http://www.fcc.gov/ FCC (Federal Communications Commission)]===
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*[http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=wtb_services_home List of wireless (radio) services]
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*[http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=service_home&id=amateur Amateur Radio Service]
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*[http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=call_signs_1&id=amateur Amateur Radio call signs]
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===[http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration)]===
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*[http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.html United States Frequency Allocation Chart]
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===[http://www.itu.int/ ITU (International Telecommunication Union)]===
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*[http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/ Radiocommunications Sector]
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===[http://en.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia]===
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio Radio (in General)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio Amateur radio]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Broadcasting Broadcasting]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_broadcasting Broadcasting (commercial)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_broadcasting Broadcasting (public)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_sign Call Signs]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DXing DX]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC FCC (Federal Communications Commission)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Telecommunication_Union ITU (International Telecommunication Union)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DX_communication DX (distance) communications]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio#The_electromagnetic_spectrum Radio spectrum (LF, MF, VHF, UHF, microwave)]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_diagram Block Diagram]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_diagram Circuit digrams]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_symbol Electronic symbols]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_components Electrical components]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV_%28radio_station%29 WWV station]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVH WWVH station]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortwave_listening Short-wave Listening]
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_broadcasting International Broadcasting (Short-wave Listening)]
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===Miscellaneous===
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*[http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq101-1.htm International Phonetic Alphabet (US Navy)]
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*[http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/MAEL/ag/phonetic.htm International Phonetic Alphabet (NASA)]
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*[http://www.radioing.com/hamradio/callareas.html Amateur Radio call sign map (radioing.com)]
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[[Category:Boy Scouts]] [[Category:Merit Badges]]
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Current revision

Resources include the Radio merit badge worksheet Adobe Acrobat PDF, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.  Prev  -  Next  

Radio requires prior counselor approval for requirement(s) #7.


Radio merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1923
Replaced: Wireless
BSA Advancement ID: 093
Requirements revision: 2009
Latest pamphlet revision: 2008

Contents

Radio is a way to send information, or communications, from one place to another. Broadcasting includes both one-way radio (a person hears the information but can't reply) as well as two-way radio (where the same person can both receive and send messages).


Radio merit badge requirements

  1. Explain what radio is. Then discuss the following:
    a. The differences between broadcast radio and hobby radio.
    b. The differences between broadcasting and two-way communications.
    c. Radio call signs and how they are used in broadcast radio and amateur radio
    d. The phonetic alphabet and how it is used to communicate clearly.
  2. Do the following:
    a. Sketch a diagram showing how radio waves travel locally and around the world. Explain how the broadcast radio stations, WWV and WWVH can be used to help determine what you will hear when you listen to a shortwave radio.
    b. Explain the difference between a DX and a local station. Discuss what the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) does and how it is different from the International Telecommunication Union.
  3. Do the following:
    a. Draw a chart of the electromagnetic spectrum covering 100 kilohertz (kHz) to 1000 megahertz (MHz).
    b. Label the MF, HF, VHF, UHF, and microwave portions of the spectrum on your diagram.
    c. Locate on your chart at least eight radio services such as AM and FM commercial broadcast, citizens band (CB), television, amateur radio (at least four amateur radio bands), and public service (police and fire).
  4. Explain how radio waves carry information. Include in your explanation: transceiver, transmitter, receiver, amplifier, and antenna.
  5. Do the following:
    a. Explain the differences between a block diagram and a schematic diagram.
    b. Draw a block diagram for a radio station that includes a transceiver, amplifier, microphone, antenna, and feed line.
    c. Explain the differences between an open circuit a closed circuit, and a short circuit.
    d. Draw eight schematic symbols. Explain what three of the represented parts do. Find three electrical components to match to three of these symbols.
  6. Explain the safety precautions for working with radio gear, including the concept of grounding for direct current circuits, power outlets, and antenna systems.
  7. Visit a radio installation (an amateur radio station, broadcast station, or public communications center, for example) approved in advance by your counselor. Discuss what types of equipment you saw in use, how it was used, what types of licenses are required to operate and maintain the equipment, and the purpose of the station.
  8. Find out about three career opportunities in radio. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
  9. Do ONE of the following: (a OR b OR c )
    a. AMATEUR RADIO
    1. Tell why the FCC has an amateur radio service. Describe some of the activities that amateur radio operators can do on the air, once they have earned an amateur radio license.
    2. Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10 minute real or simulated radio contact using voice, Morse Code, or digital mode. (Licensed amateur radio operators may substitute five QSL cards as evidence of contacts with amateur radio operators from at least three different call districts.) Properly log the real or simulated ham radio contact and record the signal report.
    3. Explain at least five Q signals or amateur radio terms you hear while listening.
    4. Explain some of the differences between the Technician, General, and Extra Class license requirements and privileges. Explain who administers amateur radio exams.
    5. Explain how you would make an emergency call on voice or Morse code.
    6. Explain the differences between handheld transceivers and home "base" transceivers. Explain the uses of mobile amateur radio transceivers and amateur radio repeaters.
    b. BROADCAST RADIO
    1. Prepare a program schedule for radio station "KBSA" of exactly one-half hour, including music, news, commercials, and proper station identification. Record your program on audiotape or in a digital audio format using proper techniques.
    2. Listen to and properly log 15 broadcast stations Determine the program format and target audience for five of these stations.
    3. Explain at least eight terms used in commercial broadcasting, such as segue, cut, fade, continuity, remote, Emergency Alert System, network, cue, dead air, PSA, and playlist..
    c. SHORTWAVE LISTENING
    1. Listen across several shortwave bands for four one-hour periods - at least one period during daylight hours and at least one period at night. Log the stations properly and locate them geographically on a globe.
    2. For several major foreign stations (BBC in Great Britain or HCJB in Ecuador, for example), list several frequency bands used by each.
    3. Compare your daytime and nighttime logs ; note the frequencies on which your selected stations were loudest during each session. Explain the differences in the signal strength from one period to the next.


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2014 Edition (BSA Supply No. 33216 - SKU# 619576)

The text of these requirements is locked and can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.

Notes

Worksheet A FREE workbook for Radio is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Radio requirements.
meritbadge.org has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks,
Webelos workbooks, and Cub Scout workbooks.


Requirement resources

1: Radio (in General)
1a: Amateur radio   Amateur Radio Service   Broadcasting
1b: Broadcasting (commercial)   Broadcasting (public)
1c: Call Signs   Amateur Radio call signs   FCC (Federal Communications Commission)   Amateur Radio call sign map (radioing.com)
1d: Phonetic Alphabet   International Phonetic Alphabet (US Navy)   International Phonetic Alphabet (NASA)
2a: Radio Waves in the Atmosphere   WWV   WWVH
2b: DXing   DX (distance) communications   FCC (Federal Communications Commission)   ITU Overview   ITU Website
3: Radio Frequency Spectrum   United States Frequency Allocation Chart   Radio Communications Sector
4: Modulation to carry information-animated graphics   Radio Propagation   Transceiver   Transmitter   Amplifier   Antenna
5ab: Block Diagram   Circuit diagrams   Electronic symbols
5b: Microphone   Feed Line (also see 4 and 5a above)
5c: Open Circuit   Open vs. Closed Circuit   Short Circuit
5d: Electrical components
6: Electrical Safety – Including Lightning, Antennas, etc.

Direct Current   Grounding

7: Broadcasting   Amateur Radio Station
9b:Short-wave Listening   International Broadcasting (Short-wave Listening)

Related awards

  • Radio and Electronics share similar requirements.
  • A registered youth or adult Scout who has a valid radio license of any class issued by the FCC may wear the Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip.
  • The largest Scout activity in the world is "Jamboree On The Air' (JOTA), held on the 3rd Saturday of October. Sponsored by the World Scout Bureau, about 500,000 scouts around the world talk to each other using Amateur Radio that weekend. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers and Leaders who take part are eligible for a BSA JOTA Participant Patch, available from the International Division of BSA.
  • Participation in the national Amateur Radio Emergency Drill called "Field Day" on the last weekend of June each year can meet the requirement 7 for Emergency Preparedness.
Science-related awards
Hobby-related awards


See also

Boy Scout portal
Varsity Scout portal
Venturing portal
General Merit Badge information


External links



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