ARRL Entry Level License Committee Report July 2017

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

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  1. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think the incentives are working on me. I went from Tech to General in one month because I wanted SSB on HF. Now I'm working on getting my Extra so I can get those slivers of freqs that I don't have access to.
    NK2U likes this.
  2. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can log PIC time as a student pilot flying solo too. SOMEBODY has to be, and with no one else in the plane who the heck else would it be?

    [PIC - Pilot In Command]

    EDIT: Or, you seem to maybe be saying that yourself, so I've really no idea what your point is, other than a blast at the League. Not saying I totally disagree with that, but I still can't connect any dots here to form a point.
  3. KB1PA

    KB1PA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There needs to be some sort of data collection to find out why 80% of newly licensed hams drop out. Once those reasons are known, a solution can be attempted. I would like to see a post
    test passing activity where new hams can see all parts of amateur radio, and are shown how to do things like use the push to talk button on their microphone, and maybe how to use a soldering iron. The local clubs can give a presentation. It would probably take a 1/2 day to do.

  4. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think we do need to find out exactly which of several possiilities there are as to why new hams quit.
  5. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know if this is on target in this post...but I read that someone is lobbying for video games to be included in the next olympics. The argument was that they have to include the sports our youth are competing in if you desire to keep them interested in the olympics. It's amazing what people feel needs to be done to keep youth interested.

    Wow....that's quite a stretch to me. Notice I don't capitalize the word olympics. The olympics have come down a notch IMO.
  6. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bowling and fishing used to be in the Olympics, because those sports wre popular at that time. I believe there are a number of such sports included from time to time. But its the track and field stuff that stays, along with swimming.

    I do wonder from time to time, if once we get a presence on the moon of a few small towns, if space suit repair will be included as well.
  7. W2AI

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

    People get bored very easily; that's human nature. When the Novice License was active, the drop-out rate was 50 to 60% after the license expired [was originally for a one year non-renewable term prior to 1968].
  8. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a good point, and probably today it's usual for "drop out rates" of those newly involved in ANY activity to be higher, for a number of reasons but most boiling down to distractions and all the alternatives there are these days.

    I wouldn't be surprised if 80% of people getting into ANY new hobby haven't moved on to something else within a year or two. I'd say the completion rate for the pilot private rating among those who start training for it isn't much better than 20%, if that, either. And then people do drop out even after they get their ticket and stop flying, though many come back from time to time. Like - well, temporarily, me. I was gung ho for my instrument rating and working on it, flying weekly or more, but haven't flown since April. Ran into a string of unexpected expenses, and the better weather let me get out more on my new toy, my motorycle, as well, AND I decided to get back into ham radio some and...there's only so much time, energy, and money. I'm sure the flying bug will be back for me but for the moment it seems to have gone into remission.
  9. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it is this simple:

    The CW test was a show of proficiency in an area of ham radio that is part of the practice of ham radio. So upon passing, a licensee had already "done" some ham radio, and invested some time in getting to a certain quality level.

    The written portion is an investment as well, but it is the mental part of ham radio, and only a portion of it is directly about operating...about how to make a contact. We deem this important, but with study guides and such, the investment put into learning these parts is not inspiring to becoming an active ham. It doesn't leave one with a sense of what it would be like to get on the radio.

    I do NOT advocate a return of a CW test. But I would advocate a live "driving test" on a radio. For instance, come in and make 3 QSO's on a real radio, using at least two modes...and show an appreciation for the band edges, protocol, ID rules, logging, even filling out a QSL card, etc. That would require the prospective ham to invest some time in the practice of ham radio vs only the theory...and make them better suited (and more eager) to go make more QSOs upon getting their license.

    This isn't about less licensees, this isn't about reducing the # of lids, or any of that. It is simple psychology, the kind that cults use to get members that are really 'locked in' - you make them prove themselves on exercises that aren't meant to be impossible but are meant to show that the person is willing to invest in the practice that we call ham radio.
  10. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As much as you may deny it there is a perception problem of amateur radio. ARRL understands this. I do believe that a new testing and licensing system is needed to fix this.

    Okay, forget explaining this to a 12 year old. Explain this to an adult. An adult tasked with corrdinating a volunteer emergency response center. As it is now...
    So, you can operate a radio? I was told you need a license for that, do you have one?
    <Hands license to coordinator>
    It says here "Amateur General", what does that mean?
    You see here on this band plan <taking FCC band chart from pocket> I can operate on ...
    Stop right there, can you make coffee?

    Let's try again...
    So, you can operate a radio? I was told you need a license for that, do you have one?
    <Hands license to coordinator>
    It says here "Amateur Basic", what does that mean?
    It means I'm licensed to operate an amateur radio with up to 200 watt output.
    Okay, go over to that tent over there and show them your license.

    We need a new license and it can not, I say again CAN NOT, have a name like "Novice" or "Entry Level". That's like someone in charge of finding drivers to deliver food to the home bound, or getting pilots to fly search and rescue, and seeing a license that says at the top "STUDENT DRIVER" or "NOVICE PILOT". They'll be filling fuel tanks and washing windows. You might think that's nonsense, but look at if from the emergency coordinator perspective. They need people that they know can operate the radio. They don't have the time to think about band plans and six different kinds of license.

    We need to simplify the license system, do away with arbitrary frequency limits, and generally make it easy to explain the license structure to 12 year old schoolkids, visiting amateur radio operators, and emergency coordinators. Take the drivers license as an example, there's three or four classes based on the weight of the vehicle. There's endorsements like "passenger", "hazardous material", and so on. There's limitations like "eyeglasses", "automatic transmission only", and so on. Very straightforward and everyone can drive on every road.

    I like Canada's system and I think the FCC should adopt something very similar here. You have "Basic" and three endorsements, "Honors", "Morse Code", and "Advanced". I think we could do away with the "Honors" idea, and Morse Code is not likely to return. Just have "Amateur Basic" and "Amateur Extra".

    Not only is a new license system needed, it is inevitable. The ARRL is only the lead on this, people want a simplified system. It will happen sooner or later, I guess we'll just have to wait for enough of the old curmudgeons to die off.
    N4AAB likes this.

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