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Amateur Radio in the UK

Serious radio enthusiasts around the world chat unite on the amateur wavebands. On this page, we offer some information about the world of the radio ham


What is Radio Amateur Radio?

Shortwave Radio TransmitterAmateur radio is a fascinating and engaging hobby for anyone with an interest in radio, communication, technology and/or electronics.

Up and down the country, teams of radio amateur ("hams") make use of special frequencies to chat with each other, and their counterparts all around the world.

Years ago, getting into amateur radio required detailed technical knowledge, and the ability to know and use morse code. To keep the hobby alive, and introduce more people into the hobby, the licensing structure was shaken up a few years ago, meaning there are now three license types:

  • Foundation
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced / Full

Our presenter Pete has completed the journey to a Full license holder, and often refers to the hobby as part of the main FrequencyCast show.

Getting into the hobby is easy, and just by attending a short 2 day course (for around £50), you can be on-air trying to "work the world".

Kelly Gets Amateur Licence

In response to a listener challenge, our presenter Kelly obtained her Foundation licence in February 2013. Watch the following video clip to find out how she obtained her licence.


We've been asked to make this clip available in a couple of other formats to help to promote amateur radio training, so here it is:

If you find this useful, we're happy for this video file to be used to promote amateur radio!


Ham Radio Interview

We had the good fortune to talk to the chairman of one of the UK's leading Amateur Radio groups, the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society.

In June 1920, Dame Nellie Melba performed a public radio broadcast from a small hut in Chelmsford, Essex, paving the way for the radio broadcasting we know today. To celebrate 90 years of radio, the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society gathered in Chelmsford to broadcast from the birthplace of broadcasting. We were there, and secured an exclusive interview with the group's Chairman, John Bowen.

Find out more about today's radio amateurs, the challenges faced by new technology, and how the hams view digital radio, in our interview.


MicrophoneListen to our 90 Years of Radio interview with the
Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (June 2010)

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CARS team photo

John G1ZUD (Radio operator), John G8DET (Chairman) and Colin G0TRM (Morse)

We also have a transcript of part of our interview with John Bowen from the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society - Read the transcript.


More information:

For more on Amateur Radio, go to, the Radio Society of Great Britain


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