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11. Practical Assessments Part 1

8e Competence in making radio contacts.

This part of the syllabus is carried out as a practical assessment by registered assessors and may be part of a training course.

This section is an introduction to the practical assessments which are designed to test your practical knowledge of the operating practices and procedures of this course.

The detail given below limited with much greater explanation given in the section on Operating Practices & Procedures. Please read through and become familiar with that section before attempting your practical assessments as it will make is so much easier for you.

As part of the BRATS training when these assessments are done you will NOT be expected to know in detail the transceiver (rig) that you would be using. The tutor in charge of the assessments will first show you all the controls that you have to operate and then ask you to carry out the assessments. The tutor will still be on hand to help out and coach you further so that you achieve a pass at the assessments BUT the tutor must be certain that you understand the operations that you have to perform before the paper work can be signed off !! Nobody has failed yet !!


8e.1 Demonstrate, using a VHF/UHF transmitter/receiver, correct tuning in to an amateur FM voice signal and a data signal such as packet. Read the signal strength meter (where fitted).

For this assessment you will need to know :-

  1. How to set the rig into FM mode of operation.

  2. Identify the main tuning control and tune to and FM voice signal and an FM data signal.

  3. Where fitted locate the signal strength meter and be able to read the meter to provide a signal strength as part of the RST report


8e.2 Demonstrate correct operation of a VHF transmitter/receiver in simplex mode.

Note: Controls used shall include frequency, squelch and, audio gain (volume).

Recall the meaning of signal reports exchanged during a contact.

Make a simplex radio contact and exchange signal reports.

For this assessment you will need to know :-

  1. How to ensure the rig is in simplex mode

  2. The location and function of Main tuning of frequency control, squelch control and, audio gain (volume) control.

  3. Be able to show you know meaning of signal reports exchanged during a contact.

  4. How to make a simplex radio contact and exchange signal reports.


8e.3 Demonstrate, using an H.F. transmitter/receiver, correct tuning in to an amateur SSB voice signal and a Morse signal. Read the signal strength meter.

Mainly similar to the VHF rig but this time you have to tune to the slightly more difficult to resolve (hear) SSB or single side band signal.


8e.4 Demonstrate correct operation of an HF. Transmitter/receiver in an SSB contact.

Note: Controls used shall include frequency, the RIT (clarifier), audio gain (volume), RF microphone gain and antenna tuner (ATU).

Make an H.F. SSB voice contact and exchange signal reports.

Mainly similar to the VHF rig but this time you have to additionally :-

Be able to identify and operate :-

  1. The RIT ( Receive Independent Tuning or clarifier) this is the control that allows you to change the Receiver frequency but leave the Transmit frequency as on the main tuning indicator.

  2. The RF microphone gain control increases and decreases the amount of audio signal that is modulated onto the carrier. Too much gain and over modulation will occur causing distortion of the received signals and possible out of band harmonics

  3. The antenna tuner (ATU) to match the antenna and feeder impedance to the 50 ohms input impedance of the rig.


8e.5 Demonstrate a CQ call on VHF/UHF, making a contact and initiating a change of frequency (QSY) off the calling channel.

  1. You need to be able to demonstrate that you understand where on the 144MHz band plan the calling frequency is located. If you have not already read through the main section on operating practice and procedure now is the time to do it.Click Link

  2. make a CQ call on that frequency

  3. Understand that you need to and carry out a change of frequency (QSY) off the calling channel immediately after the initial contact with a station has been made.


8f Connecting a transmitter/receiver.

This part of the syllabus is carried out as a practical assessment by registered assessors and may be part of a training course.

If the candidate has any disability that reasonably prevents the carrying out of these procedures, he or she may talk another person through the task or describe it to a competent assessor.

8f.1 Demonstrate connecting a transmitter/receiver to a power supply, antenna and feeder.

A simple exercise where you will have in front of you a transmitter/receiver, a power supply, antenna and feeder together with all the necessary interconnecting cables and all you have to do is connect them up in the right order.

The diagram below shows a typical HF station. In a VHF / UHF station the Low Pass Filter would be changed for a Band Pass Filter and there is not the need for an ATU.

The cables to the rig from the power supply would be the 13.8V DC supply all the other interconnections between the units would be co-ax 50 ohm cables but to the antenna from the ATU it could be open wire feeder or co-ax.


8f.2 Demonstrate, using a /2 dipole antenna with adjustable elements, that the SWR varies as the length of the elements are varied. Set up the dipole for minimum SWR.

Note: The elements are not to be adjusted whilst transmitting .Correct procedure for a radiating test shall be demonstrated.

The BRATS club has a suitable /2 dipole antenna with adjustable elements which you will be shown the exercise and then have to repeat it. By doing this exercise you will be demonstrating that you understand the need for a "tuned" antenna to give least SWR reading.


The origin of some of the text on this page is from the RSGB with additions by the web master

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