And they keep telling us ham radio isn't dumbed down - Redux

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4KYV, Jun 29, 2020.

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  1. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Depends on how that electricity is generated and distributed. Self-contained, sealed, and autonomous regional nuke "plants" would work, but nobody wants to entertain that idea. :(

  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    And therein lies the rub.
    KI4POT likes this.
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The real solution is commercial fusion reactors. Alas, that technology is a year or two away. Always. ;)
    N2EY likes this.
  4. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mr Fusion? :D

    W4NNF and KA4DPO like this.
  5. K5WY

    K5WY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Once in a Lifetime, from the album Remain in Light.
  6. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thats the thing Charlie, as a newbie you just don't know who or what are trusted sources. You would kind of expect that someone with 10+ years in any hobby would have some clue about what they are talking about, but its not often the case as when it comes to antennas, experienced hams are not immune to antenna conspiracies and voodoo either.

    I do not often get asked for antenna advice, but when I do i keep it simple, if you can fit a dipole in start, there, buy some books and do a lot of reading and then start experimenting with other antenna designs that may give properties that improve on what you already have and that everything is a compromise, time, money and efficiency.
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same as it ever was.
    N2EY and K5WY like this.
  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oh works great and is pictured in my bio. My go to antenna whenever I drive to the site due to the tripod/pole support size and weight.
    WZ7U likes this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed - but that raises the question of "what WAS the purpose of the exams?"

    Looking at the old License Manuals, I get the impression that the old (pre VEC/QPC) tests were mostly based on "problem areas".

    What I mean is this:

    There was a time when some amateurs had trouble staying inside the amateur bands. Often this was because they didn't really understand how to accurately measure their transmitter's frequency - including how to allow for the limited accuracy of the measuring equipment. And of course there had to be questions about where the actual band edges were! So the tests had questions about the band edges, frequency measurement, crystal accuracy, etc., on the tests - and they stayed on for decades.

    There was a time when some amateurs had trouble putting a signal on the air that didn't have hum, clicks, chirps, splatter, harmonics, and/or other problems, etc. So there were questions about rectifiers, power supply filters, key-click filters, low-pass filters, chirp elimination, modulation methods, etc. And again, once they were on the tests, they stayed for decades.

    Same for power input and many other issues. If the power input limit is 1000 watts, licensees have to know what a "watt" really is, and how to be sure their transmitter isn't running more than 1000 of them. In fact, there used to be a rule that any transmitter which could run more than 900 watts input had to have built-in metering of both plate current and plate voltage, so that input power could be calculated at any time. This is why you see HV metering on pretty much every amplifier made before the power level changed.

    And since things like receivers and antennas weren't problems, there wasn't much, if anything, about them on the tests. A poor antenna didn't cause interference but a poor transmitter sure could!

    It's clear to me that the FCC's mindset was partly if not largely something like "you can't hold a licensee responsible for knowing something unless it's on the test." That's why so many questions on certain things and none on others.

    Of course, back-when, a lot of what we use nowadays wasn't invented yet!

    IOW, the old tests were mainly to make sure the licensee knew SOMETHING about what the license allowed them to do. Not a comprehensive test, not even at the highest license level, just the basics.
    VK4HAT likes this.
  10. K5WY

    K5WY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This ain't no party, this ain't no disco.

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