ARRL Entry Level License Committee Report July 2017

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

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  1. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    We have discussed this at length, and as you know, I mostly agree with your ideas. However, what you propose is in no way comparable to the old novice license in complexity of technical study required, and that is where I take exception.

    If we wanted a 50 question entry level test, maybe it would be better to just reset the general as entry level, and assign a 50 question test. Roll the existing tech questions into the general pool, eliminate duplicate areas, and create a new 50 question test. Eliminate tech totally, as you have described, but have people enter as general, with those existing privileges that generals have. The 50 question test would be the same as the old general had, so there couldn't be a lot of complaints.

    If you wanted a true "entry level" test, it needs to be on the same level (or simpler), than the existing technician, not more difficult.
  2. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Let me guess - he wants the radio for the apocalypse and doesn't want the government to be able to track him :rolleyes:

    I think this is emblematic of many new Techs in the last decade or two. They aren't interested in radio or electronics per se, but have other motivations, and aren't active to any significant degree. Besides of course those who just lose interest after a while because of the Baoefeng Effect. As W2AI pointed out (And Wayne Green way before cell phones ) not that that many people out of the total population are going to be interested in radio anyway, period.

    So what we may have observed over recent years is an artificial increase in licensees driven by these factors, not any real interest in radio or electronics. If that is true, then trying to continue the trend by appealing more to a wider group of people without any real interest will result in nothing good for the the service in my opinion (except perhaps for sheer numbers when lobbying in D.C.).

    One group that I believe IS worth reaching out to are the "makers". Many of them have a technical bent, are interested in electronics, and ham radio is a natural fit, especially building projects. For that reason, some small addition of HF privileges to Tech is probably a good idea, but making the requirements easier than they are already are is not.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like both what DBB and Jim are suggesting. Either has the potential to be better than what we have today. And yes, I'd trade our system for the UK's immediately. But as the ARRL's surveys show, most active hams are opposed to the idea of a new license class, and would instead like to see enhancement of the existing entry level. I think there is a general fear that a new license will be a further dilution of the basic requirements, and I would agree with those who are opposed to that.

    I could see closing off new Tech licensees, and making the General the entry ticket - as DBB says, much like the 'Class B' ticket from history. I teach both Tech and General classes - both take three consecutive Saturdays and lots of homework. I have actually taught a combined Tech/General class in the same time frame, though I would prefer to make it at least four Saturdays instead. To make me happy, the General test would have to be completely revamped and made more relevant to modern operations as opposed to history (I mean, do you really care what a suppressor grid does?). If we did that, the General would make a fine entry level. But I know that selling that idea would be really hard. Yes, Virginia, there are people out there who just want to see numbers and who will freak out at the prospect of people being turned off by the apparently (but not really) stiffer entry requirement.

    If we could get a majority of hams behind the idea of fixing the structure, it would be a great thing, but I think the days of such monumental change are behind us. Instead, I think we have to settle for making what we have as workable as possible. I would grant existing Techs HF privileges similar to what N2EY proposes for his 'Basic', and then, I would beef up the General test in areas that pertain to modern high power operation and those privileges not available to the Tech. We'd have to settle on a meaningful low power limit for HF Techs to provide an upgrade incentive. The UK and VK have 10 watts.
  4. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What does TFB mean?

    Please spell it out in caps.
    N3AB likes this.
  5. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    And if you want an entry level license that motivates upgrade, call it "novice". Nobody these days wants to be called a "novice".
    WQ4G likes this.
  6. KA6IBM

    KA6IBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dropping CW was the reason to try to grow the ranks.

    Now, the ARRL wants to try again

    NK2U likes this.
  7. KA6IBM

    KA6IBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can my cards be over 20 years old?
  8. KA6IBM

    KA6IBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Having a legacy Novice ticket should allow one to take the General Class exam.. NOT downgrade to Tech (CB radio with a license) before taking the General exam
  9. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Obviously you know nothing about the old novice license.
  10. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually he has been a Novice licensee since 1981 and currently holds a the Novice license.

    Of course having held the Novice license all those years doesn't necessary mean that he knows anything about "the old novice license". Just means he's renewed it several times.

    As you know people who held the Novice earlier than mid-1970s or so didn't have that option. They either upgraded or dropped out. Making it a 10 year at a time renewable license kind of took off the pressure to learn anything.
    WD4IGX likes this.

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