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 Amateur radio station construction

Imagine you have been marooned on a desert island. You need to call for help, but there is no mobile phone coverage. You have salvaged some of the ships radio equipment, but there is no antenna and everything is in a total mess. You will have to test everything first to see if it still works. It is up to you to get things connected up and save the day. Quickly get your team together and work on a plan. Your survival may depend on it!

Introduction

Getting Started

Every radio station is different. Be sure to check out all the equipment and cables you will be using today. Put all the equipment on a table and ask a licenced Amateur Radio operator what everything is called, what it is for and how to connect it up. Then, as a group, create a parts list and draw up a block diagram showing how everything should be connected. Then you can then copy the information into your booklet on the following pages and start setting up your station. Here is an example of a parts list and block diagram for a typical Amateur Radio station:

Safety Briefing

 Before going any further, a licenced Amateur Radio operator will explain to you any potential safety hazards and what precautions you should take to protect yourself including:

  1. Electrocution:
  2. Lightning:
  3. Electro Magnetic Energy:
  4. Short Circuits:
  5. Lead Acid Batteries:
  6. Structural Collapse:
  7. Tool Slippage:
  8. Wood Splinters/Rope Burns:
  9. Tripping:

 Write down the precautions you should take in the space provided above.

Remember: It is always better to be safe than sorry

Test Questions

  1.  Who can you talk to with this station?
  2. What band and frequency does the radio work on?
  3. What voltage does the radio work on?
  4. How powerful is the transmitter?
  5. What type of signal does the radio receive and transmit?
  6. What does “Look up and live“ mean?
  7. Where is the best place to stand when erecting a mast?
  8. What can happen when a screwdriver slips?
  9. What happens if you short out the power leads?
  10. What type of feed line is used for the antenna?
  11. What sort of connector is used?
  12. What type of antenna is it?
  13. Is it a vertical or horizontal antenna?
  14. How high is the antenna?

Setup Procedure

Once you have everything you need, have drawn up your plans and when it is safe to do so: Set up and test your Amateur Radio station, under the supervision of a licenced Amateur Radio operator, as follows:

  1. First build and erect the antenna
  2. Arrange the radio and other equipment on a table
  3. Connect the microphone to the radio
  4. Test the power source with a multimeter
  5. Connect the power source to the radio
  6. Connect the antenna meter to the radio
  7. Test the antenna with a multimeter
  8. Connect the antenna to the antenna meter
  9. Turn on the radio and adjust the volume and squelch
  10. Select an unused channel
  11. Test the antenna by briefly holding down the Press To Talk button. Observe the antenna meter.
  12. The antenna meter will show you if the radio and the antenna is working
  13. If everything is working correctly, test your Amateur Radio base station with some hand-held radios
  14. Test your Amateur Radio base station with some hand-held radios again, this time via a repeater

Preparation

Activity

Classroom group with transceiver and laptops Busy classroom group with transceiver and laptops

Homework