ARRL Band Plan suggestions

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KX4O, Feb 4, 2020.

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  1. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most interesting statistics...

    Could the explanation be that the Foundation licence holders actually are somewhat interested in amateur radio, and that the exam makes them better prepared for upgrading than the corresponding Technician exam?

    Are there any statistics about how many of the Foundation and Intermediate licences that actually become active?

    KP4SX likes this.
  2. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is what I think and posted earlier, so you be the judge. How does your opinion stack up?

    "Well BJ I could consider an amateur operator who is knowledgeable regarding the operating procedures, regulations and behavior followed by the implementation of those skills pertaining to their license class as being accomplished. I'm glad we can agree upon the educational process to achieve it, at least partially. 73 Rich"

    So digesting this post......... one does not have to hold the top license to be an accomplished OP. For those who do not wish to upgrade that alone does not necessarily reflect upon their abilities or lack of them. You can be a respectful Novice license holder if that is your desire. It's not about what others think you should accomplish. 73 Rich
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
    KP4SX, F8WBD and WA7WJR like this.
  3. G8ADD

    G8ADD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think that it is the preparation for the exam that makes a difference. They are taught face to face by accredited trainers who are hams, in a ham club atmosphere. The training is mainly practical, they get some experience soldering and on the air, and until last year there was a morse code appreciation unit in the Foundation course which is now an option, with the alternative a practical introduction to a data mode - including setting up the rig and making a contact. The Intermediate candidates actually construct a kit, for instance a VFO. They reckon on ten to twelve hours tuition before the Foundation exam. As I say, it is this that makes a difference, they learn with others from experienced hams, they have already faced a mike before going solo so they are less likely to freeze up, though we older hands do have to help them along a bit during their first QSO's, which tend to be characterised by very short overs! They become familiar with the local club and have a pretty good idea what to expect, and should have fewer illusions than when I took my course and exam back in the paleolithic era! (Ye Gods, that was 1962!!)
    K8PG likes this.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You mean "stolen by a bunch of SSBers who pulled the wool over the FCC's eyes. " That was always digital/CW, and it was quite busy at night. That's where all the nets hung out, and Canadian digital nets still meet. I've been an Extra since 1972, and I don't feel that I 'earned' that part of the band for SSB. I had been using it since I got my General for digital modes like RTTY and AMTOR. The RTTY was in the 60's. I want to go back to that status quo.

    If you want the 'status quo' I would argue that you don't really care much about improving the service. Granting Techs limited digital privileges on the bands they already have, which doesn't include the WARC bands or 20 meters, seems to be a logical extension of dropping the code requirement. Yes, I worked long and hard to get my code speed up for the 20 WPM test, and sending at 20 on an old Navy pump handle key was an interesting challenge. I handled traffic on HF CW, and used to copy UPI news at 25 WPM late at night. I wish the 5 WPM code test had been kept for the Extra, but that didn't happen, either.

    Techs currently have HF CW privileges. I keep saying they need to establish a 'watering hole' for computer CW, but that hasn't happened, either. It's not enough to get most of them excited. A very few of them do learn the code and use the privileges. I think our entry licensees should have some non-voice modes on HF that they can actually use. They should be able to learn about propagation and operating procedures, the same way we did as Novices.

    The dropout rate for Techs is abysmal. It always has been. This should help retain more of them, by giving them more in common with the traditional hams. I think if we can show new Techs how the digital modes can be used for Public Service work, that will light a fire under them. We can go back to having discussions of HF stuff at our meetings without half the people walking out because it doesn't pertain to them.
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wish we could adopt this system wholesale. I am certain that face to face instruction and demonstrations yield far more active hams than those who study on their own. I know this because I teach classes, and my students get to see as much of what ham radio can do as I can possibly show them. I've read the syllabus for the Foundation License, and it is virtually identical to our Technician exam. But with our current entry level privileges, on the air activity wouldn't yield us much. Unless it's pre-arranged, a random contact on the local VHF repeaters is somewhat unlikely. I demonstrate the digital voice modes which all involve repeaters that are linked into statewide or larger networks.

    As part of the course, and to meet questions on the test, I show them how my main station is put together. I'd love to do as you do, and have them put one together and put it on the air.

    Based on how many new Techs show up at our club meetings, my students are probably about 50%, and most of those will eventually upgrade. One interesting fact is that women have outnumbered men in some of my recent classes, and I typically have at least one or two women.
  6. NK2U

    NK2U Ham Member QRZ Page


    No no no, if you want to improve the service, have people upgrade; simple as that. The 3.500 to 3.600 is underutilized as it is, no need to steal spectrum from Extra class hams who've earned it fair and square. Obviously, you don't see that; I don't know what you're doing...

    I still did not get an answer to my simple question: why is upgrading to General so difficult? The general consensus is that the current exams with the question pools published is very easy. Perhaps if they had any real interest in ham radio, they'd upgrade eh?

    Digital is very narrow band so if anything, the band should be reduced!

    de NK2U
    K0UO likes this.
  7. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Something the UK system does rather well is build community. People who join hobbies want to feel like they are welcome, feel like they are represented and their participation is valued by others. They are encouraged from the very beginning to try new things and to experiment, both by their mentors and by a system designed to allow for that to happen. Ham radio is a hobby of radio, electronics and communications, to be a complete ham you need all three of those things, in this regard I think the UK does a better than average job of turning out complete hams. Other counties could learn a lot by taking a close look at the things the UK does very well and implementing those.
  8. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The British system is far too good to be implemented in most countries.

    In fact, it became the template for the system that was proposed to replace the "broken" system with one licence class with an elementary exam that we suffered about 10 years ago.

    The mere thought of implementing a better system was vehemently opposed by the national society, who feared a drop in membership numbers.

    Lord Nelson did famously say:
    "Only numbers can annihilate" but in amateur radio there is a definite advantage of examining fewer but better amateurs.

  9. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think we can have more amateurs and better amateurs both at the same time. But first we need to define the things we value in the hobby. I think the pendulum (at least here) is starting to swing back towards more traditional values of amateur radio. The national magazine is chock full of home brew related articles as an example and they want more of that type of material in there, not because there are more constructors, but because they are placing a greater value on this aspect of the hobby. If they can sustain that and grow that attitude to a wider audience, then we might see more and better amateurs at the same time as we go after the maker market in a more serious way. Culturally the wacker emcom thing does not resonate here, we value community and mateship much more than individualism, which is a very US thing, so we do not have to overcome that to get anywhere.

    Its funny, fcall gained digital and home brew for free here a few months back. It was overwhelmingly supported by more than 70% of amateurs here, most of whom are Advanced. They got something for nothing and then there was a spike in upgrades. When you give people a taste of what can be done with ham radio, when you treat them as radio amateur equals with different permissions rather than keeping them separated and treated as lessers, people naturally move up because they are inspired to.
  10. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    FT8 is where the action is. On most days and nights the FT8 segments are packed to the rafters while portions of the CW and SSB portions of the bands sit idle.

    It stands to reason that more band real estate should be granted to the mode(s) that most of the activity is found on. You can pack a lot of FT8 QSOs in the amount of band space that a single SSB QSO takes up. FT8 makes the most use out of limited band space but it's popularity is causing overcrowding. Expansion is inevitable

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