Sit. Rep. # 133, First Aid MB vs Ham / Amateur Radio

1- Have you ever noticed how many Merit Badges (MB) have a Partial Requirement for First Aid?  So once you pass your First Aid Merit Badge you have knowledge that will help you pass many more merit badges.  Amateur Radio has knowledge and requirements that cross over into multiple Merit Badges above & beyond Radio MB.

How many times a day do you touch, learn about, or use radios?  The Microwave Oven in the kitchen,  the AM/FM in the car, every Bluetooth device,  Cell Phones, Remote Controls anything, Internet, TV, Weather Band, Space Telescopes, Satellites, all space vehicles including the ones on Mars, and the ISS.

Amateur Radio is also called Ham Radio as a nickname.  You can even talk to the ISS on Ham Radio.

To transmit on the Ham Radio Bands, you must pass a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) test.  The youngest Ham in North Carolina was 6 years old when she earned her license.  The tests are given by Volunteer Examiners (VE’s for short).  There are 3 levels of Ham Radio: Technician, General, and Extra.  General and Extra levels get you more frequencies to operate on above the Technician level.  The tests get a bit harder for each level that you are testing for.  You pass with 70%.  Each test costs under 20 $.  You can listen for free without a license.

To pass the tests you will need to know some electronics, electricity, FCC Rules, antenna design, safety, usage, and a bit more.  There are multiple free study guides or you can pay for the same information.  Search for Ham Technician Study Guide and download what you need.

Every Ham Operator has a unique Call Sign.  You will get yours after you pass the test.  The Call Sign is issued by the FCC.

ARRL stands for American Radio Relay League.  The ARRL sells study guides for the FCC Tests.    They promote and lobby for Ham Radio enthusiasts.  You can join after you get your license.  The ARRL website ( has testing sites and dates for the FCC Test.  Most areas have Ham Clubs where you can meet fellow Hams.

There are several Ham organizations that support Emergency Services:  ARES, Amateur Radio Emergency Services;  Aux. Com. is short for Auxiliary Communications;  EmComm stands for Emergency Communications.

Here is a link for Ham Radio History:

The technology that the internet and your cell phone operate on was developed by Ham Operators.  That technology is called “packet” communications.

2- First Aid knowledge is required on 45 different Merit Badges like Astronomy, Athletics, Automotive Maintenance, Climbing, Emergency Preparedness, Home Repairs, Robotics, Scuba Diving, Wilderness Survival, Woodwork, and a lot more.

Ham Radio knowledge will help you pass off 25 Merit Badges like Astronomy, Automotive Maintenance, Aviation, Collections, Communication, Dentistry, Digital Technology, Drafting, Electricity, Electronics, Energy, Engineering, Exploration, Farm Mechanics,
GeoCaching, Home Repairs, Landscape Architecture, Nuclear Science, Programming,  Railroading, Robotics, Search & Rescue, Sign, Signals, and Codes, Space Exploration, Surveying, Theater, Weather.  Ham Radio is not a pre-requisite or partial requisite for these Merit Badges.  But Ham Radio knowledge crosses these many disciplines.

Radio MB has several requirements that Ham Radio can help you pass off.  Hint: almost the entire MB!

W: Doctor, Doctor, my hair keeps falling out. Have you got anything to keep it in?
X: What about a cardboard box?


Y: Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
Z: He’s all right now.

Seven Three,
Gaither, W4GCF

Dan Romanchik KB6NU, (Ham Radio)  Technician Study Guide

More Scout Skits by Thomas Mercaldo

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.