Why Generals Don't upgrade

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by KA4EET, May 3, 2011.


Why don't generals upgrade to extra?

  1. Not enough gain in band space

  2. It won't improve my knowledge of ham radio

  3. I am not a contester or DXer

  4. I don't believe in incentive licensing

  5. I just don't have the time to study

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. KA4EET

    KA4EET Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are many generals that do not upgrade.
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    We Generals (Advanced) already know it all, so why bother?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. KF6ABU

    KF6ABU Ham Member QRZ Page

    it makes them feel important and special.
  4. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    perhaps you should "invert" the question and ask why generals DO upgrade.
  5. KF6ABU

    KF6ABU Ham Member QRZ Page

    To gain more bandwith allocation due to passing the modern test du jour allowing more possible contacts would be my answer.
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why don't drivers of private passenger vehicles upgrade and get a commercial drivers license?

    Why don't commercial drivers upgrade and become commercial Fedex pilots?

    Why don't commercial Fedex pilots upgrade and become NASA astronauts?

    etc etc..

    Just because you "can" upgrade something, doesn't necessarily mean you have any particular need to do so.

    Similarly, if I only drive a passenger vehicle all the time, then what can a commercial drivers license do for me that I can't already do with my regular drivers licence?

    ..It's not about being capable or not of doing the road test.

    ...It's also not about being legally permitted to operate larger commercial vehicles with higher gross weight limits either.

    I mean, whats the point really if I only prefer to drive a passenger vehicle?
  7. K8EEI

    K8EEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think soon enough there will only be one class of amateur . If I get the theory down before that I will take the test , but I do not believe in memorizing answers to upgrade .

    I used to look up to advanced and extra hams back when you had to actually know electronics and be proficient at code to get licensed . But most of the new extras of today don't even know how to call CQ or build a dipole let alone build a circuit or tell you about inductive reactance .

    I'm not saying it is wrong to memorize answers to get a license , I'm just saying I won't do it just so I can get some extra freqs or a 1 by 2 callsign .

    Gee Tony , how do you really feel ? LOL HIHI

    " Bestest seventy - threeses " " QSL on your HIHI and I'll raise you one 10-4 "
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  8. KJ4VOV

    KJ4VOV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A better poll might be "Why DID you upgrade?" be it from Tech to General, or General to Advanced or Advanced to Extra. There's a million reasons that can be given for not upgrading, but not so many for upgrading.

    In my case, my XYL and I want to travel a bit and I wanted to be able to operate overseas.
  9. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Although my situation is not one of the answers provided...here goes...

    I would love to be an Extra. I would love the extra bandwidth, not having to worry about where I am int he band etc... However, I simply cannot get the electronics down. It is like speaking a foreign language. I have devoted a couple hundred hours to attempting to learn about diodes, circuits etc... and just cannot seem to get it. I have subscribed to hamtestsonline.com, I have the ARRL guide and the Gordon West book, but i just am not getting it.....

    Maybe in another life....
  10. KA5PIU

    KA5PIU Guest


    Did something like 30 years as a Novice, simply was not impressed by a bunch of snobs in the US.
    This stuff like "Elmer" and Wouff Hung were the equal of hazing to me, and I wanted no part of it.
    Upgraded to expand my horizons.
    Now, as was pointed out, most hams of the new generation know little of ohms law and might think a Smith chart belongs in a British car, and have no concept of Elmer or Rettysnitch.
    Electronics theory is nice, but when the radio you have is a computer with an RF section added and everything is soft pot controlled and SMD even the old hams give up.
    Everything gets sent off for servicing now.
    And I am now a General.
  11. KA4AAA

    KA4AAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why have an HF rig that you can't utilize all of your legal capabilities? I was still a Tech Plus when I purchased my IC-7000. It was to incentive to upgrade to General, then later - Extra.

    Why have a Ferrari when you never leave the 35MPH limit of the city?
  12. KI6USW

    KI6USW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Aside from many of the funny answers and the philosophic answers, there is a serious note to this question. I can only answer it from my perspective - to be honest. None of the above choices work for me. I would say that I would like to understand enough about electronics to be an E.E. and an Extra class Ham - but that will come with time. I'm trying to learn it, as I always wanted a better understanding of electronics. Having taken the Extra test, I realized I have a long way to go before I am ready. This is a hobby - no? I'm taking it one step at a time and enjoying the learning experience.

    When/if I feel I can walk in and nail the exam; I will do so then.
  13. N3HQN

    N3HQN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been a general class for 20+ years. They gave tech guys my general class a long time ago. I do try and learn as much as I can about the hobby. Just getting back into the hobby after a number of years of being off air. I just said to my wife the other night, I think I'm going to go after my extra. That being said. If I wait long enough. They will just give it to me with out working for it.... I am studing my guts out at this time. I kinda feel as though I have lost more info than some of the newbes have ever known. I will strive to get the extra and know what it's all about. After being away from things for as long as I have been it's a shame to see what the bands have turned into to one degree or another. It's not all bad. I'll still do the things I want to do with the hobby. On a side note, anybody out there know of a site on the computer I can copy random cw cost free? I am HF'less at this time and would really like to get back into the cw thing again. I know I could go out and get tape/cd and so forth but, if there is a web site for this type of thing that would be great. Thanks guys. 73
  14. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    No matter what class license or when the test was taken the point is that is just a starting point for you to really start learning. The only way to do that is contact with other hams and hands on building antennas or other projects and always studing.

    The main reason to upgrade is more bandwidth that protion of the band has a lot of the best DX why have radios thet you can't fully enjoy all of the bandwidth that you paid for.

    None of the above answers were correct all they gave were excuses for not doing it and there are many of those.
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  15. W4AFB

    W4AFB Guest

    Upgrading is a must if you enjoy DXing.
  16. NN4RH

    NN4RH Subscriber QRZ Page

    I realized when I read the title of this thread that even though I'm an Extra, I mostly only use Technician/Novice priveledges.

    My favorite bands are 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters. I use phone only rarely, CW almost all my operating. I've lost interest in the data modes (too many macros and not enough people want to actually talk). I don't even have antennas for 20, 17, or 12 meters. Most of what I like to do is CW contests and basically I would not miss that extra low-end 25 kHz in the major contests. In fact I tend to avoid it because it tends to get too jammed up with US stations.

    So even if I had only a Technician license, I'd basically be happy doing 90% of the same things I am now, and General would get me most of the remaining 10%.

    So why DID I upgrade to Extra? I guess for three reasons: (1) I wanted the versatility of working any mode on any band, if some day I chose to do so; (2) I don't like to do anything half-way; (3) It was my dream as a Novice 40 years ago to some day make Extra

    I wish I had done it 40 years ago, though. When I did eventually do it in 2003, I felt it was way too easy. I didn't have the sense of accomplishment I thought I should.
  17. K3TP

    K3TP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I upgraded because I would not have to remember where the band limits for generals are. I did it a month after I got my general, which was two weeks after I got my tech license. The downside was that it cost me about USD$15.00 to take the test, and a waste of 3 hours on a Saturday morning. I am glad that I upgraded when I did.
  18. KB3HRO

    KB3HRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    even memorizing the questions would take at least 20hrs of memorization. i think you would really want extra for that kinda time in todays instant gratification world. wish i had that kind of time now. kinda sucks too. the thin slice of 40 mtrs is shot out at nite with broadcast,and as generals 80 mtr dx is just below the cutoff 3.8? as other countries don't have this spectrum above 3.8
  19. WA8JXM

    WA8JXM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back when I upgraded, it really meant something. Techs were limited to 50 MHz and up. Generals only had access to half the HF phone bands and most (but not all) the HF CW bands.

    Today, I don't see much incentive unless you are a serious DXer.

    FWIW, when I upgraded (1967), the CW test was one minute of solid copy at 20 wpm in front of an FCC engineer. You also had to send one minute correctly at 20 wpm.

  20. 2E0OZI

    2E0OZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    To paraphrase Napoleon, maybe its better to be a lucky General than an Extra?
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