Radio Merit Badge

The Radio Merit Badge requirements were updated effective January 1, 2017. Here's a quick review 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

Has the pamphlet been revised?

The pamphlet has been updated to address the new requirements. It is order number 35938 with copyright 2017 and designated as the 2017 printing. Make sure you are buying the current version as the order number did not change from the previous version.

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.

What training resources are available?

Phil Westover, WA7URV, has developed the slide decks for the K2BSA 2017 National Scout Jamboree merit badge classes. You can download them at the Jamboree Radio Merit Badge page. Thanks, Phil.

Gary Wilson, K2GW, has also developed prototype slide decks organized into three one-hour modules. You can download them here:

What's the difference between requirements and options?

For the Radio Merit Badge there are 8 requirements and 4 options. Everyone must complete the first eight requirements. 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

What if I have suggestions for the next revision?

The best time to start the next project is the same time you finished the last one. As you discover things you'd like to see done differently in future revisions, please send your suggestions to the BSA Merit Badge Maintenance Task Force at merit.badge@scouting.org

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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