Boy Scout Merit Badge
- 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.
- 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?
- Do the following:
- Draw a chart of the electromagnetic spectrum covering 100 kilohertz
(kHz) to 1000 megahertz (MHz).
- Label the MF, HF, VHF, UHF, and microwave portions of the spectrum on
- 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.
- Discuss why some radio stations are called DX and others are called
local. Explain who the FCC and the ITU are.
- Explain how radio waves carry information. Include in your explanation:
transceiver, transmitter, amplifier, and antenna.
- Explain to your counselor the safety precautions for working with radio
gear, particularly direct current and RF grounding.
- Do the following:
- Explain the differences between a block diagram and a schematic diagram.
- Draw a block diagram that includes a transceiver, amplifier, microphone,
antenna, and feedline.
- Explain the differences between an open circuit, a closed circuit, and a
- Draw eight schematic symbols. Explain what three of the represented
parts do. Find three electrical components to match to three of these
- Do ONE of the following (a, b, or c):
- Amateur radio
- Describe some of the activities that amateur radio operators can do on
the air, once they have earned an amateur radio license.
- Carry on a 10-minute real or simulated ham 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.
- Explain at least five Q signals or amateur radio terms you hear while
- Explain some of the Technician Class license requirements and
privileges. Explain who gives amateur radio exams.
- Explain how you would make an emergency call on voice or Morse code.
Tell why the FCC has an amateur radio service.
- Explain handheld transceivers versus home "base" stations. Explain
about mobile amateur radios and amateur radio repeaters.
- Broadcast radio
- 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.
- Listen to and properly log 15 broadcast stations; determine for five
of these their transmitting power and general areas served.
- Explain at least eight terms used in commercial broadcasting such as
segue, cut, and fade.
- Discuss the educational and licensing requirements and career
opportunities in broadcast radio.
- Shortwave listening
- Listen across several shortwave bands for two four-hour periods, one
in the early morning, the other in the early evening. Log the stations
properly and locate them geographically on a globe.
- For several major foreign stations (BBC in Great Britain or HCJB in
Ecuador, for example), list several frequency bands used by each.
- Compare your morning and evening logs, noting the frequencies on which
your selected stations were loudest during each session. Explain the
differences in signal strength from one period to the next.
- Discuss the purpose of and careers in shortwave communications.
- 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 licenses required to operate and maintain the equipment, and the
purpose of the station.
BSA Advancement ID#: 93
Source: Boy Scout
Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002|