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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

    You can do that, but you don't need to pass the code. The general theory test is divided into two sections, the first part is a 35 question test, commonly called the technician written. The second part is a 35 question test commonly called the general written.

    You pass those two tests and you get a general license. The code tests don't count for anything now towards a license upgrade.
  2. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sad but it seems society is moving from Effort = Rewards (work ethic)
    Give me I'm entitled and that Whining=Effort
    Therefore I propose option 4
    Keep testing structure the same.
    Give Techs HF privileges
    Raise General power levels to 3000W
    Raise Extra power levels to 5000W
    Win Win Win Grin
    KA6IBM and N3AB like this.
  3. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Whining = Rewards.
    N3AB likes this.
  4. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    ARRL purpose: Perpetuate the ARRL.
    K4MZR, NK2U and KD8OSD like this.
  5. WG8Z

    WG8Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    TNX for the correction Charlie
  6. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    From the 2016 ARRL annual Report. ARRL/Annual Reports/ARRL 2016 Annual Report.pdf

    "We all need to be thinking about that forward motion, and at no time is that more apparent than when talking to young people about Amateur Radio. Last year, I had the opportunity to speak to a high school group. I prepared my usual talk about some interesting ham radio stories over my 50 years as a ham, how we can talk all over the world, and I brought some QSL cards from rare places to show the group. I have given that talk many times, and it usually impresses people — but not this time. I was surprised to see flat, uninterested faces. I realized that I had to change my approach to the presentation if I was going to keep the attention of these young people. After all, what could ham radio offer people who grew up in homes that had computers hooked up to the internet? Today’s young people are used to riding down the interstate at 70 MPH as a passenger while watching high-definition videos on their iPhones. I quickly shifted the focus to discuss how ham radio has changed, the new technologies, the computerization of ham radio, and Raspberry Pi. I explained the newer digital modes, and talked about ham radio experimentation. The group lit up. I found the topics where ham radio touches that world — their world — and told them what was possible. They responded. That was a wake-up call for me.

    What we’re hearing from what I call the “new-generation ham,” is that they don’t view ham radio as being about talking around the world, contesting, or traditional aspects of our hobby. This next generation of ham radio operators view ham radio as a communications medium. Ham radio has value as the means to accomplish an act — the value is not in the act itself. So the question is, how do we extend the appeal of Amateur Radio to recruit people who view it as a means to an end?

    Many hams are traditionalists. I count myself among them. Change generally doesn’t come easy to us. But when I looked out at that group of young faces and saw their disinterest in traditional ham pursuits, I realized that I had to change. We have to change. It won’t come easy, but it’s essential that we get to work on it now.

    The initiatives you will read about in this report show hams bringing people into Amateur Radio in new ways, and from points of entry that maybe you hadn’t thought of: college clubs, citizen science, and Maker Faires. Hams just like you are making these things happen. Let these stories inspire you to reach out to someone who doesn’t know about ham radio, and remember, it may not be what you yourself are interested in. How great we can be, for the next generation of hams, if we approach them offering the knowledge they truly want, rather than the knowledge we think they should want!"

    All the proposals in this thread are based on "traditional" ham radio. If we believe K5UR, they will most likely fail. In my opinion, the Technician class license is ideal for the "new-generation ham". Unfortunately, these "new-generation hams" are unlikely to join ARRL and will be on modes that nobody else hears (either too advanced, too low power or on microwave bands).

    Adding digital modes on HF to the Technician license is the only thing that makes sense to me.
    N0TZU likes this.
  7. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think this is the crux of the problem. Hams hanging on to their insistence on Morse Code is the same thinking that put the buggy whip manufacturers out of business.
    Yeah us dinosaurs "worked" at learning the code. Big deal. Youth of today are working at different things. Appreciate that and move on.
    N0TZU likes this.
  8. W2AI

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

    I don't think there is a "foam" dielectric coaxial cable that can safely handle that kind of RF power without breaking down.

    I can only imagine the electric bill running 5 KW output! at least 10 kw of electricity is going into the amplifier's transformer.
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just as there have always been, there is a very small segment of the general population that is interested in the 'traditional' ham radio - that is, learning how it works and using it to make contacts. We must treasure and encourage these folks to find, embrace, and sustain our hobby, because in the future, they will be the ones developing the radio side of things.

    There has been a much, much larger group out there for decades that wants to use ham radio as a utility. Once upon a time, I thought that was a problem, and the coming of the cheap cellphone has eliminated most of that problem.

    What we are seeing is more interest in new technologies, and we are seeing some progress in that direction, in the form of amateur mesh networks.

    I've been advocating giving Techs limited digital privileges on at least one good night time band for a long, long time. As it is right now, it's not easy for a Tech to find a QSO much after commute hours, unless they are into moonbounce or meteor scatter. When I was a Novice, I could crank up my peanut whistle, and plug in one of my precious 40 or 80 meter crystals, and call CQ at almost any hour, with the expectation of getting an answer. Actually, that's very traditional, just replacing Morse Code with PSK31 or JT modes. Digital modes can work well in a highly compromised environment, with very limited antennas and low power to avoid RFI. It's something that should hold the interest of new hams - certainly the younger ones around here enjoy digital modes once they can do them on HF.

    At Field Day, I and the other two CW curmudgeons shared a tent with our digital station. While the CW op was usually solitary, there was a steady stream of our youngest members throughout the 24 hour period waiting to work the digital station. I think it was more popular than the SSB station.

    I do not see this as a panacea. I agree that we need to look for things with more general appeal that we can do with our privileges. Digital voice is very promising, but the price has to come down.
  10. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, it's nice to know that people are still bitter over the loss of Morse Code testing for amateur radio licensing.

    I was just thinking about why I hung up my mic so long ago and effectively abandoned amateur radio. I got my reminder in reading this thread. Face it, Morse Code died almost 20 years ago when the Coast Guard stopped listening for Morse Code traffic. Those that hang on to Morse Code like some child with a security blanket are ruining the amateur radio service for everyone else.

    I remember thinking some time ago on why there isn't such as thing as a "radio club", not an "amateur radio club", but just a club for people interested in radio as a means for communication without regard of licensing or frequency of operation. No one needs an amateur radio license to enjoy the technical aspects of radio communications. No one needs a license to listen to the radio. I'd think an activity like a "foxhunt" would have a much wider audience than they currently do since it can be done on just about any frequency, with an inexpensive receiver, and an antenna that can be built with little time, money, and effort. Even if done on amateur radio frequencies only the "fox" in the "foxhunt" needs a license. I've seen on the web where clubs perform foxhunts on the citizens band. Directional antennas on CB would of course have to be much larger than on the 2 meter band but that just adds to the challenge, at least in my mind. I'd think that transmit power limits would add to the challenge too.

    There's people out there interested in radio communications but the general attitude among licensed amateurs can be a turn off. The condescending tone to CB users certainly does not help. I have a pair of CB radios and they come in handy once in a while. Despite the view of the CB user as a troublemaker among most licensed amateurs the common CB user is a professional. Many of these people are professional truck drivers, cab drivers, farm workers, and more. They are a valuable resource in reporting weather, traffic, and other emergent events of general interest. I can imagine a lot of these people might see the value in learning how amateur radio works so that they can add to their skillset and the tools available to them. Seems to me that amateur radio rarely even occurs to them. It's like these two groups live in different worlds, each an "untouchable" to the other, separated by some self imposed caste superstition.

    Would it really be so difficult or "demeaning" to have a CB radio in the control center for your storm spotting operations? Advertise a weekly test net for participants? Invite these people to a storm watchers training session? These people can only add to the coverage of a storm spotting net.

    While we are at it, could this not be opened up to other means of communications? Storm spotting reports don't have to come over a radio, though I do see why this is preferred. Give out a phone number for people to call, or text. Set up a website where people can give reports and send photos. Amateur radio licensees can take the lead in storm spotting but not to the exclusion of those not licensed. Perhaps even better is to have a non-ham lead the storm watching but hams participate as equals or subordinates.

    It's this nearly pervasive attitude in amateur radio that just seems to drive away anyone new. I'm not sure if being condescending is the right word since the amateurs I meet tend to be very polite, at least on the surface. I think that the first thing that hams could do to be more welcoming is to speak English, even among themselves. Once the radio is off, and you are speaking face to face around a table, drop the radio lingo. Even when on the radio, speak in English unless certain "keywords" are needed to maintain proper protocol.

    To get a better understanding of how annoying this "radio babble" is to another just imagine a SMS addicted teen speaking in "SMS speak" when face to face. Rather than giving a chuckle they must say "LOL" or "ROTFL". Don't be like those code talking teens. You know English, SPEAK IT.

    I could go on. Amateur radio can grow but it takes a change in attitude. The focus needs to stay on emergency communications, advancing the skill and technology in communications, encouraging others to join the pool of skilled communicators and technicians, and to enhance goodwill locally and internationally. I read something to that effect somewhere. Perhaps someone can remind me where I saw this before.

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