Radio Merit Badge

The Radio Merit Badge requirements have been updated for 2017. Here's a quick preview of the changes:

A new option for the Radio Merit Badge is Amateur Radio Direction Finding.  This combines orienteering and foxhunting and opens a new interactive component to this program.

In addition, cellular telephone topics have been added along with different types of radio modulation.  Key requirement changes were dropping open, closed, and short circuits as well as schematic symbols and components as these are covered in the Electricity and Electronics merit badges.

Other revisions include: minor edits and reordering of requirements in the Amateur Radio option; Radio Broadcasting option now includes Internet streaming, regulations, and power levels; Medium Wave and Shortwave Listening option includes both types of listening as well as listening via streaming services on your smart phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the requirements? 

The latest Radio merit badge requirements are at:

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/Radio.pdf

The previous requirements are at:

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/Radio_previous.pdf

You can find all BSA official merit badge requirements in the merit badge counselor guidelines at:

http://www.scouting.org/Home/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/IntroToMeritBadges.aspx

When will the pamphlet be revised?

Work is presently underway on revisions to the pamphlet to bring it into alignment with the new requirements. The publication date is still to be determined but expected in 2017. We will announce its availability on this website and via the JOTA Newsletter.

What has changed?

A new option for the Radio Merit Badge is Amateur Radio Direction Finding.  This combines orienteering and foxhunting and opens a new interactive component to this program.

In addition, cellular telephone topics have been added along with different types of radio modulation.  Key requirement changes were dropping open, closed, and short circuits as well as schematic symbols and components as these are covered in the Electricity and Electronics merit badges.

Other revisions include: minor edits and reordering of requirements in the Amateur Radio option; Radio Broadcasting option now includes Internet streaming, regulations, and power levels; Medium Wave and Shortwave Listening option includes both types of listening as well as listening via streaming services on your smart phone.

Which set of requirements do we follow?

Scouts are encouraged to follow the new requirements although the guidelines may allow use of the previous requirements in some cases.

The stated guidelines for following requirements are as follows:

7.0.4.3 What to Do When Requirements Change

The current annual edition of Boy Scout Requirements lists the official merit badge requirements. Once new or revised merit badge requirements appear in this publication, which is released each January, any Scout just beginning work on a merit badge must use the requirements as stated there.

If a new edition of a merit badge pamphlet is introduced with updated requirements after the Boy Scout Requirements book has been released, a Scout who is starting the badge may choose to follow either set of requirements until the end of the year. At the start of the new year, Scouts who are beginning must use only the new requirements.

If a Scout has already started working on a merit badge when a new edition of the pamphlet is introduced, he may continue to use the same pamphlet and fulfill the requirements therein to earn the badge. He need not start over again with the new pamphlet and revised requirements.

The updated Boy Scout Requirements book is expected to be published in January 2017 with the new requirements. This would mean that Scouts who have already started working on the badge in 2016 can continue with the old requirements. Those Scouts starting on the badge in 2017 need to follow the new requirements.

Will new training resources be available?

The training resources, including slide decks and other materials, will be available in early 2017. The BSA National Radio Scouting Committee will be working on the materials along with the K2BSA 2017 Jamboree Radio Merit Badge Team. We will make an announcement as soon as they are available and publish them on the K2BSA website.

Steve Back, WB2OGY, has done some early work on a slide deck and workbook. Try the links. Thanks, Steve.

What's the difference between requirements and options?

For the Radio Merit Badge there are 8 requirements and 4 options. The first eight everyone must complete. Then they select an option for the rest of their Radio Merit Badge work. Within each option are also several requirements. Here's how it looks:

Core Requirements that relate to all aspects of radio. They are numbered 1 to 8. Everyone must complete all these requirements.
Options or perhaps “specializations.” You only need to complete one of the options.
a. Amateur Radio and it’s related requirements
b. Radio Broadcasting and it’s related requirements
c. Shortwave and Medium-Wave Listening and it’s related requirements
d. Amateur Radio Direction Finding and it’s related requirements

Acknowledgements for the revised requirements:

Thanks to the following for their work on the revised requirements and pamphlet manuscript:

  • BSA National Radio Scouting Committee for their work in making suggestions and reviewing the book: Mark Abramowitz, NT3V; Bill Bode, N4WEB; Doug Cook, KX5DC; Ed Dudley, WA4ISA; Christian Ingerslev, AB2SN; Keith Kaiser, WA0TJT; Frank Kisselbach, W7PAQ; Frank Krizan, K5HS; Grant Laughlin, W5XJ; Russ Mickiewicz, N7QR; Brian Walker, K9BKW; Gary Wilson, K2GW; Ron Wood, K0BRO.
  • Skip Arey, N2EI, for Medium Wave and Shortwave Listening review and update.
  • Michael Thorp for Radio Broadcasting review and revision recommendations.
  • For ARDF requirements development and manuscript suggestions and review: Brian Coleman, KB0MAP; Dick Arnett, WB4SUV; Joe Moell, K0OV; Harley Leach, KI7XF; Marvin Johnson, KE6HTS.
  • Jim Wilson, K5ND, coordinated all the recommended changes and wrote the manuscript.

 

 

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