ARRL Entry Level License Committee Report July 2017

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NN4RH, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What a contrived example. You talk about someone who is going to be doing some kind of "coordination center", but that person isn't competent enough to understand the difference between two license classes? Every truck driver in the country understands the difference between a driver's license and a CDL. You're just making stuff up. Anybody who is so mentally handicapped that they can't figure out the difference between Technician and Advanced is far too inept to be able to figure out how to operate RIT XIT CALL MR A/B SPLIT BAND MODE BK-IN and so on.
    Maybe so. That's not a problem to be solved with licensing. If ham radio has a perception problem, maybe they should fix ARRL first? That's a far easier goal than making changes to FCC decisions.

    The facts remain: the current system exists in its current form for specific reasons that were explained in detail by FCC as recently as 2005. Those reasons were explained in their historical context, and with respect to the ongoing federal interest in having an amateur radio service with access to HF spectrum. Until you come up with a concrete, substantial reason why this should change, that is in the wider public interest, FCC isn't going to give you the time of day. Period.
     
  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that this is about psychology. There is a perception problem both among those within amateur radio and those on the outside looking in. We need a license structure that can be explained in 10 seconds or less. More complex than that and EGO, eyes glazed over.

    One problem I see is that amateur radio is seen as "unprofessional". I don't mean "not professional" since I think people understand recreational use of a radio. I mean "unprofessional" as in being potential pranksters or troublemakers, little more than CB radio with a piece of paper from the government. That's why I propose some shared testing with the commercial licenses, people looking for "professional" radio operators will know that they can find them in the Amateur Radio Service.

    Having future amateurs take the MROP license test would do this, but it can be done in other ways. If "element one" was shared with amateur and commercial licenses then emergency coordinators would know that an amateur with the new "Amateur Basic" license knows what any commercial license holder knows, at the basic level any way.
     
  3. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    First, it's not two license classes, it's five, each with a different arbitrary frequency limit. Second, I'm not talking about a person that operates a radio, I'm talking about a person that operates an emergency center. They'll have people coming in offering to assist and they need to understand what they can and cannot do with as little time and thought as possible. They're job is not managing a band plan, or understanding the nuance of incentive licensing. They need an answer and if it needs a spreadsheet to explain then they default to having people make coffee and hand out water bottles.

    These are people that need to manage logistics and we, as the amateur radio community, need to make it easy for them or we become more of a burden than we should. A person that shows up to drive vehicles can show a license that says class A, B, or C. If they don't know what that means it can be explained in seconds, "C=small", "B=big", "A=biggest". An amateur radio license needs this simplicity.

    Have you ever tried to explain the amateur radio license to someone new without having to use a chart to explain the differences? Eyes. Glazed. Over.
     
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Okay, well, as much fun as it has been to chat with you and watch you repeatedly not address any of the issues that FCC raised, it's time to move on. 73 amigo.
     
  5. N4GKS

    N4GKS Ham Member QRZ Page

    All one has to do is look at what kids study today and what it was 100 years ago. Unless you keep your head in the sand 24/7.
     
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought I was addressing the issues raised by both the FCC and ARRL. Just in case I missed something I went to re-read the 2005 decision to eliminate the Morse Code testing requirement for getting an amateur radio license. I saw no proposal for a Canada-like license system get proposed or outright denied. I'm proposing a new all frequency, all band, and all mode, license like the Canadian Basic license. Also like Canada this new Basic license I propose would have limits on power output, and whatever else might be appropriate for a basic, not "beginner" license. I think the ARRL, et. al., have been stuck on incentive licensing for too long.

    Getting back to what changed in the last 12 years I saw that in 2005 the FCC expected people to upgrade from the grandfathered license classes. They saw the flurry of upgrades when all Morse Code testing was reduced to the single 5PWM and expected another flurry of upgrades when it was gone completely. That did not happen. Nearly 20 years after those licenses were deprecated we still see roughly 1/3rd of the people holding the license then still holding onto it now. This shows to me a very obvious and easily demonstrable failure of incentive licensing.

    Every proposal made then kept some form of incentive licensing. Seems to me no one has asked the FCC in a VERY long time if incentive licensing still is a good idea. Sure, they liked it in the 1950s or so but I checked my watch and it's long past 1957... six decades past.
     
    KC3BZJ, N4AAB and K8LGY like this.
  7. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the past couple years I've had my head stuck in computer science textbooks. I'm pretty sure that did not exist 100 years ago. I'm also pretty sure that is an improvement.
     
  8. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think this is a good idea and bears some discussion. Let's say we just go to two tests, and have three license classes like described. Eliminate new tech licensing, existing techs could continue same as advanced and novice. Combine the tech and general pools, eliminate the duplicate or near duplicate questions, then go to a 50 question test, like the general was decades ago. I think the pass ratio could be changed to 66% for the basic level, and 80% for the full general level. That means 33 questions right get you a basic license, and 40 questions right get a full general. The basic license could have the same frequency allocations as current general, with restrictions on power at 200 watts (or whatever), no repeater control, no beacons or automated stations, and maybe other restrictions.

    Maybe the new general could pick up some of the advanced class frequency allocations on some of the bands. The basic wouldn't have those added allocations. Maybe revamp the extra to require an 80% pass on testing, I don't think people would object to that, since it is supposed to be the ultimate license.

    Now to get to extra, a person has to take two tests and score 80% or better on both of them.

    These changes would require minimal modification to the rules, and would better integrate all hams into commonly shared bands. The entry license testing would go to the general level of study, but require less right to acquire the license. Since it is a totally new license rank, the privileges can be restricted as needed to continue the incentive license program, yet provide meaningful access to all segments of the bands, from HF to microwave.
     
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    They were also devoted to it in 2005. You just have to read past the no-code portions of the order to find it, and understand why.
     
  10. W8IXI

    W8IXI Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Once the FCC had determined that no branch of the US military saw any further need for a trained reserve of morse code operators, the FCC rapidly ditched their own interest in testing, regulating, or enforcing rules regarding amateur radio. None of that is ever coming back to it's previews levels.
     

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