Armature Radio (Ham Radio) is a hobby for enthusiasts which is a non commercial radio station with 4 receivers, amplifier and additional equipment for communication with other operators on a specific frequency. In Kenya ham radio is organized by Radio Society of Kenya located in Nairobi where they have a headquarters. Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands.”
These bands are radio frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators. In Kenya it is regulated by the Communications Authority of Kenya.The word “HAM” as applied to 1908 was the station CALL of the first amateur wireless station operated by some amateurs of the Harvard Radio Club. They were ALBERT S. HYMAN, BOB ALMY and POOGIE MURRAY. At first they called their station “HYMAN- ALMY-MURRAY”.
Location And Headquarters
The headquarters of ARSK is on Joseph Kangethe Road, Woodley Estate, Nairobi (off the Ngong Road.) Home of the Society station 5Z4RS. The Shack is next to Moi Girls School on Joseph Kangethe Road behind Adams Arcade, Ngong Road. Access to Joseph Kangethe Road is via Suna Road off Adams Arcade roundabout or Mugo Kibiru Road off Ngong Road. Meetings are held normally on the first Saturday of each month at 10 am at the Shack, Woodley Estate, but sometimes changed for convenience. Visitors are most welcome - contact the Chairman/Secretary for information - by e-mail or mobile 0733 746 788.
Equipment & Infrastructure
NCDXF BEACON The beacon 5Z4B is now under the control of Don Gardner, 5Z4DE, in Nairobi, and is operating satisfactorily. REPEATER 145.675 MHz, -600 offset.It has been serviced recently at its site with Don Gardner, 5Z4DE, where it is working very well.
- Kenya citizens are required to submit a photocopy of the Pass Certificate of an acceptable RAE, or an acceptable, valid and current Full foreign license. The RSGB-administered IARE is the only available exam, which can be taken in Kenya twice a year under the supervision of RSK or another authorized examination centre. Non-citizen residents are required to submit a photocopy of a valid and current license issued by their own country of citizenship, and at present cannot obtain a Kenya license solely on the strength of a local IARE pass. Novice or “Above 30 MHz only” licenses will not be accepted for conversion.
- A photocopy of the passport showing the visa, or Kenya identity card. Instead of supporting documents being certified by a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public, all local applicants must submit a sworn affidavit in the form attached to the application form on the CAK website.
- A Certificate of Good Conduct from the Kenya CID, or a similar document from their home country Police Force in the case of non-citizens, whose countries are also required to have diplomatic relations with Kenya.
- Two local references who must be members of RSK
- The completed application form must be submitted with the fee of KShs.1,000, photocopies of the license, passport and the affidavit with translations of documents where necessary
- The fee of KShs.2,000 is payable on issue of the license. To avoid heavy bank charges it is best to pay these fees in one as KShs.3,000. You can get your documents notarized at Kimani Kimotho and Co. Advocates located at Ground Floor,M1, Njema Court - No 12 Rhapta Road in Westlands, Nairobi.Telephone: 0722214322
- The Kenya Novice license application fee is KShs.200 with no charges for issue or subsequent annual renewals.
- The initial non-refundable Full and Temporary Visitor’s license application fee is KShs.1,000 (about US$12).
- On approval for issue the fee is KShs.2,000 (about US$24).
- The whole may be paid as one lump sum (around US$37) which is likely to be cheaper in transfer charges than paying two separate amounts. Exchange rates are very variable and should be checked. We have been informed that convertible foreign currency such as US$ will be accepted by the CAK as license fees.
- The account for credit is: Communications Authority of Kenya, Citibank (Nairobi Branch) - Sort Code 16-000, Dollar a/c No. 3000-42-007.
- The local CAK Kenya Shilling account is number 1106738608 at the Kenya Commercial Bank, Sarit Centre Branch, Nairobi, Account code 001141.
- Certified bank cheques are sometimes expensive, personal cheques are not accepted by CAK and money orders are not favoured.
- The preferred payment method is cash over the counter, a banker’s cheque or company cheque.
- Please note that both Novice and Full license validity runs only to 30th June in each year, when it must be renewed, and no credit will be allowed for the period of the year prior to issue.
- Visitor’s licenses are issued for up to twelve months from the month of issue but ending on 30th June, validated only for 3 months which can be extended on application free of cost in that financial year.
Types of License
Full licenses renewable annually on 1st July are available to qualified Kenya citizens and foreign residents of Kenya. Novice licenses are at present available only to Kenya citizen students, but consideration on their merits may be given to other resident students. Full visitor’s licenses valid for three months but extendable for up to one year from the month of issue are available to non-Kenyans, with the callsign 5Z4/homecall. These are not renewable as such but fresh applications can be made annually where required.
Applications should be sent to:- The Director Licensing, Compliance & Standards, CAK P.O. Box 14448 Westlands 00800 KENYA CAK Exchange Tel: (+254 020) 4242000, Fax: (+254 020) 4242257. The officer concerned is Mr. Etiko (direct line +254 020 4242240) or his assistant Mrs. Lucy Kungu. The CAK Accounts Telephone number is; (+254 020) 4242365, Fax: (+254 020) 4251866 or through the exchange (+254 020) 4242000.Licenses are issued from the CAK offices near Kabete on Waiyaki Way, the road from Westlands.The RSK will give all possible advice and help to applicants but has no authority in the matter.
While I do my best to ensure that I update our progrsss after every meeting, be sure to visit the society’s website to find out more information. The link is below in the References section.