Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Radio Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2021 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Radio Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Radio merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Explain what radio is. Then discuss the following:
Requirement 1a: The differences between broadcast radio and hobby radio
Requirement 1b: The differences between broadcasting and two-way communications
Requirement 1c: Radio station call signs and how they are used in broadcast radio and amateur radio
Requirement 1d: The phonetic alphabet and how it is used to communicate clearly
Requirement 2: Do the following:
Requirement 2a: Sketch a diagram showing how radio waves travel locally and around the world.
Requirement 2b: Explain how the radio stations WWV and WWVH can be used to help determine what you can expect to hear when you listen to a shortwave radio.
Requirement 2c: Explain the difference between a distant (DX) and a local station.
Requirement 2d: Discuss what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does and how it is different from the International Telecommunication Union.
Requirement 3: Do the following:
Requirement 3a: Draw a chart of the electromagnetic spectrum covering 300 kilohertz (kHz) to 3000 megahertz (MHz).
Requirement 3b: Label the MF, HF, VHF, UHF, and microwave portions of the spectrum on your diagram.
Requirement 3c: Locate on your chart at least eight radio services, such as AM and FM commercial broadcast, citizens band (CB), television, amateur radio (at least four amateur radio bands), and public service (police and fire).
Requirement 4: Explain how radio waves carry information. Include in your explanation: transceiver, transmitter, receiver, amplifier, and antenna.
Requirement 5: Do the following:
Requirement 5a: Explain the differences between a block diagram and a schematic diagram.
Requirement 5b: Draw a block diagram for a radio station that includes a transceiver, amplifier, microphone, antenna, and feed line.
Requirement 5c: Discuss how information is sent when using amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), continuous wave (CW) Morse Code transmission, single sideband (SSB) transmission, and digital transmission.
Requirement 5d: Explain how NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) can alert you to danger.
Requirement 5e: Explain how cellular telephones work. Identify their benefits and limitations in an emergency.
Requirement 6: Explain the safety precautions for working with radio gear, including the concept of grounding for direct current circuits, power outlets, and antenna systems.
Requirement 7: Visit a radio installation (an amateur radio station, broadcast station, or public service communications center, for example) approved in advance by your counselor. Discuss what types of equipment you saw in use, how it was used, what types of licenses are required to operate and maintain the equipment, and the purpose of the station.
Requirement 8: Find out about three career opportunities in radio. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Requirement 9: Do ONE of the following (a OR b OR c OR d):
Requirement 9a: **Amatuer Radio**
Requirement 9a1: Tell why the FCC has an amateur radio service. Describe activities that amateur radio operators can do on the air, once they have earned an amateur radio license.
Requirement 9a2: Explain differences between the Technician, General, and Extra Class license requirements and privileges. Explain who administers amateur radio exams.
Requirement 9a3: Explain at least five Q signals or amateur radio terms.
Requirement 9a4: Explain how you would make an emergency call on voice or Morse code.
Requirement 9a5: Explain the differences between handheld transceivers and home "base" transceivers. Explain the uses of mobile amateur radio transceivers and amateur radio repeaters.
Requirement 9a6: Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10-minute real or simulated amateur radio contact using voice, Morse code, or digital mode. (Licensed amateur radio operators may substitute five QSL cards as evidence of contacts with five amateur radio operators. Properly log the real or simulated ham radio contact, and record the signal report.)
Requirement 9b: **Radio Broadcasting**
Requirement 9b1: Discuss with your counselor FCC broadcast regulations. Include power levels, frequencies, and the regulations for low-power stations.
Requirement 9b2: Prepare a program schedule for radio station "KBSA" of exactly one-half hour, including music, news, commercials, and proper station identification. Record your program on audiotape or in a digital audio format, using proper techniques.
Requirement 9b3: Listen to and properly log 15 broadcast stations. Determine the program format and target audience for five of these stations.
Requirement 9b4: Explain to your counselor at least eight terms used in commercial broadcasting, such as segue, cut, fade, continuity, remote, Emergency Alert System, network, cue, dead air, PSA, and play list.
Requirement 9b5: Discuss with your counselor alternative radio platforms such as internet streaming, satellite radio, and podcasts.
Requirement 9c: **Shortwave and Medium-Wave Listening**
Requirement 9c1: Listen across several shortwave bands for four one-hour periods-at least one period during daylight hours and at least one period at night. Log the stations properly and locate them geographically on a map, globe, or web-based mapping service.
Requirement 9c2: Listen to several medium-wave stations for two one-hour periods, one period during daylight hours and one period at night. Log the stations properly and locate them on a map, globe, or web-based mapping service.
Requirement 9c3: Compare your daytime and nighttime logs; note the frequencies on which your selected stations were loudest during each session. Explain differences in the signal strength from one period to the next.
Requirement 9c4: Compare your medium-wave broadcast station logs and explain why some distant stations are heard at your location only during the night.
Requirement 9c5: Demonstrate listening to a radio broadcast using a smartphone/cell phone. Include international broadcasts in your demonstration.
Requirement 9d: **Amateur Radio Direction Finding**
Requirement 9d1: Describe amateur radio direction finding and explain why direction finding is important as both an activity and in competition.
Requirement 9d2: Describe what frequencies and equipment are used for ARDF or fox hunting.
Requirement 9d3: Build a simple directional antenna for either of the two frequencies used in ARDF.
Requirement 9d4: Participate in a simple fox hunt using your antenna along with a provided receiver.
Requirement 9d5: Show, on a map, how you located the "fox" using your receiver.