ARRL Entry Level License Committee Report July 2017

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

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  1. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I went from a novice to Tech extra before bailing out because of antenna restrictions. When I came back after code requirements were dropped it was easy to come back as an extra because as a degreed and licensed electrical engineer it was a piece of cake. I have always been amazed at the non technical extras. If you really desire a higher license class it is possible if you are a technical person or not.
    As far as the code requirement goes... it was never anything but an artificial impediment. Anyone holding that up as the "true test" of a ham is using a pretty LOW standard of excellence.
    If one is really interested in promoting ham radio one should look at antenna restrictions.
    KK5JY likes this.
  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The FCC likes being consistent. Point out to them that the current license system is not consistent with how they license commercial radio, or how other nations (Canada in particular) license amateurs. Point out that Technician license testing never did sufficient testing for HF operation in spite of being granted privileges there, if they have access to part of the band then would it not be consistent to give access to the entire band? (And define "band" as you wish, being the entirety of HF or just 10 meters.) Point out that to be consistent with emergency communications that people should "train like the fight, fight like they train" as is said in the military. In an emergency a lot of rules go out the window, like what frequencies can be used. Let a licensed amateur use every frequency set aside for them so that in an emergency there is no hesitation to use any open frequency.

    The FCC is lazy and they don't like to make things complicated. Start with enforcement of band limits since I was just there. I'm sure the FCC gets complaints of hams transmitting out of their licensed limits. They may be in a case of an actual emergency, it may not. Either way if the FCC can simply remove the complexity of the current band plan then that makes their job easier. Point out to them that reducing the licenses from the current three to two, or even one, makes their job easier. Part of this laziness though is that they like the status quo, change is hard.

    As it goes to keeping incentive licensing just point out that the past HF privileges were a much greater incentive than they are now. It seems to me that 50,000 amateurs not upgrading is evidence of a failure of incentive licensing. That's just counting Advanced and Novice holders, how many General and Technician licenses have not been upgraded in 20 years? So, let's change the incentive. Instead of offering expanded HF privileges then offer things like Canada, increased power output and the ability to build your own transmitter. Point out that enforcement of power limits would be no different than what they do to enforce limits on Novice and Technician, or for any other radio service like GMRS and CB.

    If the desire is to keep things as the same as possible then propose to get rid of the General. Any future licensed amateur would not need to be concerned about complexities on frequency allocations on any band but the handful that was grandfathered from Novice. If we get rid of General now then we can come back later and offer to replace Technician with something new.

    Given outcry in the past killing what would should have been slam dunk proposals there would have to be some preexisting agreement among just the vocal minority to keep from scaring off the FCC. You claim the FCC is the "king" and we but serfs but they know they ultimately answer to the people. If the people speak then they will have to listen.
  3. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean like they listened to the "people" on the 80m phone expansion. Took a bigger chunk than asked for and displaced a ton of users. Be careful what you
    wish for the FCC genie may just give it to you.

    Oh, and please stop using Canada as a model. If you push that someone at the FCC may adopt their bandwidth segmentation, phone guys might like it but any
    narrow modes will get jammed into the lower 50kHz of the bands if they're lucky.
    KD0TLS likes this.
  4. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Technicians and novices were certainly tested sufficient to use HF bands, I don't know where you get that assumption from. Prior to 1987, the tech and general were the exact same written test. But even after that, the tech has allowed HF use, and the FCC and hams in general realize that they have been tested sufficiently for that privilege.

    True, but the FCC and most hams are not goinmg to be willing to make wholesale changes in the band plan.

    US hams have always been free to build their own equipment, even 12 year old novices from 60 years ago were granted that privilege and encouraged to do so.
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, that part is definitely not true (search Wikipedia for "administrative law"), and I would definitely scrub the part about FCC being "lazy", but otherwise, looks like you are well on your way to forming your argument for an FCC petition. :cool:

    If I was a Commissioner, I would argue that 50,000 amateurs not upgrading is only evidence that they are still in the process of learning. There's nothing that says they have to upgrade within a certain period of time. FCC abandoned that line of thinking decades ago. Some people learn more slowly than others, and this is hobby-based learning in people's spare time, and not a failure at all. How would you answer that?

    They are. Administrative law is used extensively in the US, both at the federal and state level, to "rule over" various areas where subject matter experts are required or are perceived to be required (e.g., FCC, FAA. EPA), or where direct legal regulation is impractical, or the subject material too controversial (e.g., T$A). The beauty and the curse of administrative law is that it creates an autonomy in the administrative agency to act without much judicial review, and to act without much democratic process. They are often required to collect and publish public comments during certain rule-making processes, but they are generally not required to integrate those comments into their rule-making. In other words, you can petition them, because the Constitution says you can, and you can comment on their proposed actions, because the law says you can, but they can still do whatever they want within the limits of their charter.

    In the case of FCC, the Congress gave up long ago trying to do any kind of detailed regulation of matters of radio, broadcasting, RFI, RF exposure, etc., and for the most part has off-loaded all that (with a few exceptions) to FCC. When you look at the range of issues over which FCC has unquestioned and unquestionable control to regulate and act, it might be one of the most powerful agencies in DC.
    KD0TLS likes this.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a very legitimate caution. I really wish the League would take heed.
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, and not only that, but testing has never been about proving that you are qualified to operate the entirety of the privileges you earn. The idea of incentive licensing is about encouraging continuing education. Even a Technician licensee is provided far more privileges than the question pool covers. All ham radio operations are subject to the understanding that you will learn (on your own) what is needed to reasonably know what you are doing so that you won't cause undue interference to others when you operate. Ham radio has access to far too many diverse operating modes and procedures to test people for comprehensive competence before turning them loose on the bands.
    N0TZU and K7JEM like this.
  8. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Pathetic is insisting they use morse when it is outdated and inefficient. Kids like texting, gee PSK31 is basically texting via radio... what is going to draw kids in? Having to use some archaic mode that even the military has dropped or use a more modern digital mode(CW IS digital BTW) that uses computers that kids are practically born with these days?
    KD0TLS likes this.
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    To ham radio? I still don't see why that's a realistic or desirable goal. The target demographic for ham radio is always going to be older adults who have the necessary combination of disposable income and time to assemble and operate a performant station. That demographic isn't going away, and it continues to grow in every first-world country in the world.
    NK2U likes this.
  10. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was licensed at 14 in 1974. Upgraded to tech soon after. Grandfathered to general because I passed the General written and code was no longer required. When I got licensed we had a dozen kids in the class, age 10 to 17. ALL of us earned our money to buy a radio but these days parents will buy it if junior wants it bad enough. I started with a HW-16 and crystals, then an Eico VFO and a 40m dipole that was a whopping 20 feet off the ground. I worked 45 states using that setup. So define a performance station? Not all of us contest, heck I rarely operate HF, I spend most of my time on VHF weak signal. I compete with myself to work as many states/countries as I can using what I can afford to assemble. I had 35 states and 12 countries on 2 meters running a pair of long boom yagis and a crappy Mirage brick amp before I decided to upgrade my 2m setup to what I run today.

    Kids are the future of this hobby, if they are not interested when young they will not be interested as adults when they have the internet, cable TV, computer gaming to compete with it.

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