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

    Right. The actual post he made indicates that he doesn't understand how the different classes are structured, or why a technician license is higher, and has always been higher than novice.
  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This exactly what the ARRL is proposing as changes to the Technician priviledges but without your power limits. They're just skipping your Steps 1 and 2. If they add these privileges to existing Tech, then why would we need yet another "Basic" license?
  3. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Originally when the Novice license was created in 1951 [along with the 'experimental' Technician Class]; it carried a one year non-renewable term. Drop out rate was 50-60 %. Up until 1968 it was possible to simultaneously hold a Novice and Technician License. Novices had AM phone privileges from 145-147 mc up until November 1968. It was expected back then that Novices would upgrade to General /Conditional or Advanced Class. Technician Class was not seen as a stepping stone to higher classes of licenses. Only a handful of Novice licensees remain in the FCC database currently. Most, if not all; are not active amateurs I would guess.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oh, there are still active Novices, and there are actually quite a few Techs who do CW, some of them exclusively. You run into both occasionally if you're on their bands. When 10 opens up, you hear many of both. I make a point of showing my no code Tech and General students how they can work CW contests pretty easily with a computer and make lots of contacts, and some of them are working on their code as a result. I had high hopes when FCC included the Novice CW privileges in the no-code Tech privileges, but for nearly all no-code Techs there was no real enthusiasm for it.

    The changes proposed by ARRL aren't intended to attract younger hams, though it might. I think in countries like the UK and VK where they have a Foundation license with HF privileges, the newbies have tended to be younger than the ones we're seeing here. But the primary reason to increase the Tech privileges is to try to retain and reclaim Techs who will otherwise just sit around being disappointed with their Baofeng.

    Please do remember that the Tech exam was originally the same as the General, and while they are different now, there is considerable overlap. I think where we really went wrong was when we let them split the test. If that hadn't happened, the nocode Techs would all be Generals now, and that would be the entry level. Case closed. It's not a 50% increase in useful knowledge from Tech to General. More like 20%. Those Techs are qualified to run 1.5 KW on bands where you will cook meat with that much RF, using any mode under the sun. But they have to memorize 20% more (mostly useless) information in order to do it below 10 meters. Weird...

    But I think we're stuck with the current license structure, as archaic as it may be. We have to figure out how to make the most of it.
    K7JEM likes this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Under current rules, upgrading from Novice to General requires passing the Technician written and the General written. Technician is not a "downgrade" from Novice.

    Under my proposal, existing Novices could upgrade to General by taking the General written. They couldn't take the Technican exam because it wouldn't exist any more. And, all of its relevant questions would have been moved into the General question pool.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  6. KD0TLS

    KD0TLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is what we love to tell ourselves, because it reinforces the notion of the Idiot Tech.

    The real situation is that the new Tech gets on the local repeaters and is treated like an idiot. We 'know' in advance that technical issues are the stumbling block, and we know that FM isn't all that complicated. Therefore, we are completely convinced that the newly-licensed Tech is a complete and total moron in desperate need of "help". Since we are Good Guys, we are willing to "pay it forward" and help out these hopeless morons. It's very big of us. And the dumber we can imagine them to be, the more 'help' we can provide.

    What then happens is any innocuous statement, observation, or remark by this new Tech is magically 'heard' as something profoundly stupid, or as an imaginary desperate "cry for help". In our best Mister Rogers voice, we respond to something that the new Tech never said, nor even implied. We don't need to listen to what this other person actually says; we "know what they mean". They're just a little dim, after all, and don't know how to ask the right questions. So, when they attempt to clarify or re-phrase their initial statement, we 'hear' them say, "I'm very stupid, and you need to dumb it down. Please, please help me!".
    Being so very 'helpful' and 'encouraging', we oblige by going into a downward spiral of total idiocy. Eventually, they give up and realise that you aren't listening to a single word.

    It doesn't take long before they notice how very common this phenomena is. And when they actually do ask a real question, the result is even worse. Condescension abounds, and whatever they asked gets ignored and replaced by something dumb that they didn't ask. It becomes clear that there is no one that will speak to them like an intelligent rational adult, except other new hams.

    Combine this with the usual radio snobs sneering at their BaoFeng and pushing them to spend (what seems to them as) ridiculous sums of money to talk to people that don't even listen. Then there are the HF Evangelists, relentlessly pressuring them to upgrade. Let's not forget the "You're Doing It Wrong!" clown cavalcade that endlessly takes issue with whatever they do: using phonetics, not using phonetics, throwing out their sign 'wrong', failing to have a full-quieting signal on a repeater, IDing too often, not IDing often enough, etc. These are also self-designated Good Guys, generously offering their wisdom to the poor Idiot Tech and being ever-so-helpful. And, of course, the elitist cliques that make it clear the new Tech is as welcome as a leper. When the Idiot Tech is no longer an idiot, they will also graciously accept him. But not today.

    And when the newly-licensed Tech complains about this situation, they get spoken down to like a retarded two year-old that just fell and scraped their knee. "Spin the dial!", we glibly offer. Nobody ever thought of that before, right? "Ignore the jerks!", we advise, failing to realise that we just established ourselves as one of the "jerks". "Join a club!", we suggest, as if clubs aren't boiling hotbeds of this very same mentality.

    At that point, his (or her) interest soon ends, and the BaoFeng HT ends up in a desk drawer.

    The really pathetic part of this whole thing is that these 'helpful' Good Guys don't even listen to themselves and realise what they doing. Why should they? They're Good Guys! Admitting that their treatment is counter-productive would make them a Bad Guy, and they 'know' that's impossible. As long as you are 'nice' about it, you can insult, demean and alienate these 'known' idiots with impunity. Don't bother with introspection or self-reflection. That's for idiots.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
    KC3BZJ, WZ7U and W5TTP like this.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Because of what will happen if such a proposal is sent to FCC and gets an RM number.

    Simply adding privileges to the Technician would be the simplest thing to do. But I'll bet you a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster that if such a proposal ever gets an RM number and a comment period, there will be a bazillion "NO!!" comments, saying "NO GIVEAWAYS!!!" and "IF THEY WANT MORE PRIVILEGES, LET THEM GET A GENERAL!!"

    I've seen this sort of thing happen time after time. Somebody proposes a change, it gets an RM number, and the comments against it run 80-90% against it. Then either the FCC tosses it or the submitter retracts it. IMHO, such proposals just tick off the FCC, because somebody at FCC has to read and catergorize every single comment and reply comment.

    The way to get the regulations changed is to propose changes that don't cost the FCC resources, AND which are supported by a clear majority of the commenters. Proposing changest that get 8 or 9 out of 10 comments in opposition is a waste of time.

    Anybody remember "Regulation By Bandwidth"?

    The Basic license completely avoids that because nobody gets any new privileges.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  8. KA6IBM

    KA6IBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have no interest in VHF/UHF ops. I'd rather do the 13 wpm + general class theory.
  9. KD0TLS

    KD0TLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a Tech *by choice* and not really much interested in HF operation. But I'm confident most Technicians would surrender their 200W CW privileges in a heartbeat to get 10W HF digital privileges (e.g. RTTY, PSK31) on those very same bands.
    This wouldn't be getting "something for nothing". It would be trading something for something else.

    I never really understood why I'm allowed to run 200W on 40M, but not QRP PSK31. In most cases, running 200W would require me to use a linear. Why would you trust someone that is ostensibly considered to be drooling moron to operate a linear amp properly? If I could be trusted to do that, couldn't I be trusted to set my levels properly when running QRP PSK31?

    And for those that are already typing out, "Get your General if you want those privileges!", allow me to refer you to the very first sentence in this post.

    In over two years of HF CW operation, I've never found a single operator that responds to QRS with anything other than silence -- or possibly an insult. My 10 wpm code skills are useless, and I'm unwilling to develop them to communicate with operators that are too snobbish to have a QSO at my current level. I've had better luck working CW on 2M -- which isn't saying much. My point is that these CW privileges are basically a hollow sham. Anyone willing to put the work into using those privileges effectively would have gone straight to General, so it's no incentive at all.
    WZ7U and KG4RRH like this.
  10. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Let's keep all these new operator's off of our overcrowded bands!" Overcrowded bands? That has not been my experience since returning to ham radio. The old adage given to Novice and Technicians on HF was to "Listen...listen...listen." That MO today gets you chirping crickets unless their is an event or contest running.
    N2EY and KD0TLS like this.

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