Radio Merit Badge

Notes to help make this merit badge a little easier

By AA6J Bill Jeffrey
Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor

1. What is radio?

Explain what radio is.

Radio is a way to electronically communicate from one place to another without wires.

Include in your explanation:

The differences betwen broadcast radio and hobby radio and the differences between broadcasting and two-way communicating.

Broadcast: One-way to the public.
Could be commercial (music, news, sports) or not commercial (school radio stations, Voice of America)
Hobby: For fun or general interest, but not for profit.
This includes FRS (Family Radio Service) and Amateur radio.
Two-way: Both send (transmit) and receive messages.
This includes FRS, Amateur, fire and police, etc.

Also discuss broadcast radio and amateur radio call signs...

Call signs identify the station and are required by law.
Broadcast: KSWB, WGN
Amateur: KF6AVG, KQ6UK, AA6J, WB6BSA
Call signs can tell you where a station is in the world.

...and using phonetics.

Phonetics: Words used for letters to make spelling more clear.
Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

These notes are designed to help the Scout earn a merit badge that sometimes can seem a bit difficult. They are not intended to replace the Radio Merit Badge book.You will still need to meet with a merit badge counselor.

1Links about this requirement below:

Copyright Bill Jeffrey 2000-2001. Rights to reproduce and use for nonprofit purposes given.
Please do not copy this material to another web page. Thank you.

Call Sign Prefixes by has more information on call signs and how to tell where in the world a radio station is by their call sign.

You can look up amateur radio callsigns on the Internet:
Buckmaster's World Wide HamCallTM Server
I have a few more call sign lookups on my AA6J homepage

Icom Radio's Common Prefixes of Countries Chart to see what country an amateur call sign is from.

AC6V's DX & Amateur Radio - My friend Rod has the world's best collection of links to amateur radio information.

Last update October 6, 2001