ZS1CT

RADIO AMATEUR EXAM (RAE)

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Affiliated to the
South African Radio League

Copyright © CTARC
2005 - 2014
All rights reserved.

bronwyn.jpg - 42538 BytesTo operate an amateur radio station and acquire an internationally unique call sign, you are required to pass an examination and be registered and licenced with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

A licence can be obtained only after you pass the Radio Amateur Examination - or RAE. This is conducted twice a year in South Africa usually in April/May and October/November.

The exam is organised and conducted by the South African Radio League (SARL) under the auspices of ICASA. It is held at various test centres throughout the country.

There are two classes of licence qualifying one to become a radio amateur or ham:

  • A Class A licence is required for the ZS and ZR call signs. A ZS gives you totally unrestricted use of the amateur bands HF frequency spectrum and 400 Watts of output power. A ZR gives you a slightly restricted licence, this restriction being mainly on the power output of 100 Watts - which is more than sufficient!. On successful completion of the Class A exam you will be given a ZR licence and then there are various methods of upgrading to the full ZS licence.

  • A Class B licence will give you a ZU licence. This licence is restriced to a power output of 20 Watts on only some segmests of the ham bands HF frequency spectrum.
Many clubs around the country conduct 10 to 12 week courses prior to the examination date. Courses are held regularly at the Oakdale Club.

Attending a course is not compulsory and home study is permissible. The examination, however, is compulsory in order to acquire an amateur radio licence.

To find out more about the RAE visit the site of the South African Radio League. You can also download the SARL RAE Manual from the SARL site. This manual follows the HAREC syllabus, a requirement for getting a licence in South Africa.

To be put in touch with the person offering the course in the Cape Town area, please contact the Secretary by email on zs1ct@ctarc.org.za.