Operator Rating Strip Alternatives

Since the discontinuance of the BSA Amateur Radio Operator Rating Strip, there have been a number of enterprising individuals who have come up with alternatives.

If you’re not familiar with the rating strip, check out the main page at https://k2bsa.net/operator-rating/ along with the discontinuance announcement including the details of why https://k2bsa.net/2018/10/amateur-radio-operator-rating-strip-discontinued/

At this writing a search of eBay brings up several of the official BSA patches priced from $10 to $15. As noted in the pages above, once a patch or uniform is made available for official BSA wear, it is always allowed for wear. While the price may be a bit high from the original BSA price, they are available and no doubt becoming more rare with each passing year. Here’s what the official patch looks like.

There are also other alternatives. For example, eBay currently shows a rating strip just like the one above but without the fleur-de-lis. They are also showing one in the Venturing green uniform material.

Another option is a Sea Scouts themed patch developed by Doug Mecham, N6DJM. Here’s the patch along with the ordering information.

Doug wants to make sure they go to legitimate Amateur Radio Operators. Given that, here’s what’s required:

  • A copy of their FCC radio license.
  • A copy of an email or paper QSL card from a radio contact.
  • SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope with address matching the FCC license) with $2 in it for the patch.
  • Send to Mr. Douglas Mecham, NW Area Vice Commodore, 8612 Linden Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.

If you’ve produced a similar alternative and are willing to share it with other Scouts, we’d be happy to list it here. Use the contact form to let us know.