ARRL Petitions FCC for HF Phone Privileges for Technicians

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4KYV, Mar 1, 2018.

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  1. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I never got a 1st phone or telegraph ticket and wish I had now. Who knew they were going to vanish? I still have my Extra class "diploma" certificate on display.

    I accept this and don't argue against it, but if the clubs et al. offering license classes saw what was happening, why didn't they blow off the Technician license, steer folks to General and only hold classes towards that license. ARRL etc. should have abandoned Technician class and quit supporting it. Or on day 1 of radio class, get the folks who are genuinely only there to chase storms and balloons and work at marathons and put them in the Tech. class and get everyone else looking for a hobby to work towards General.
    WD4IGX and WA3VJB like this.
  2. F4WBW

    F4WBW Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's what I had to do - actually, couldn't do anything on the air here until I passed my Extra exams. And on an international level, a US General license is only recognized as a novice CEPT equivalent. But I did notice with this ARRL proposal that the HF frequencies being proposed for phone use by Technicians are all distinctly not available to hams here in Region 1 (i.e. Europe). Not sure about Region 3, but I guess what they're trying to do is to keep the Technicians within Region 2.
    AF7XT likes this.
  3. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are so many holes in this Petition, I would be surprised if they don't withdraw it before the FCC can act. While having lunch Sunday I came up with a few things:

    CLAIM: The ARRL's attorney writes "examination and operating privileges for an entry level Amateur Radio license as currently configured have each become less relevant to the needs and interests of those otherwise interested in Amateur Radio."

    REBUTTAL: There is no profile of such people offered for consideration, including whether the prospective licensees, from outside the hobby, have been asked to list their "needs and interests." So, we don't know whether this proposal would get to the identified problem.

    CLAIM: Counsel's basis for the group's petition relies heavily on the value of recruiting people from a younger demographic, a group that is not further defined in the Petition.

    REBUTTAL: Does the Petition target high school students? College & Vo-Tech students? People in their 20s at their first jobs? We cannot determine from the League's filing. The Petition makes no attempt to draw on the hobby's strongest group -- older people, a constantly replenishing demographic whose constituents have the leisure time and economic status to consider Amateur Radio as a pastime.

    CLAIM: The Petition from the ARRL suggests there is a need for an "entry level" license to accomplish the goal of growth in the hobby.

    REBUTTAL: The Petition acknowledges the FCC's position, maintained now for more than a dozen years, that acquiring a General Class license is a “simple matter of taking a written examination," which represents a viable path to joining the hobby, as do any of the available license classes. The concept of an "entry level" license sets expectations too low for the recruitment of active, enthusiastic hobbyists.
    KR3DX, K1OIK and AC0OB like this.
  4. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    We have seen numerous attempts over the years to "accomplish the goal of growth" in amateur radio. Each one was supposed to bring on a wave of enthusiastic newcomers.

    Novice Enhancement. Volunteer exam system. No-code Technicians. 5 wpm General/Extra code tests. Code requirement eliminated altogether. Each time, maybe a slight bump in newcomers at first, but quickly levelled off back to same old stagnation in numbers.

    If this proposal passes, no reason to believe the outcome will be any different. But I wouldn't hold my breath; the League hasn't had a good track record for getting its rulemaking proposals passed in recent years. Regulation by bandwidth, trimming 75/80m phone sub-band, baud-rate petition, and I'm probably missing one or two others. So far, no action on any of these.
    KR3DX and AC0OB like this.
  5. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good summary, Don. I don't know why they persist in thinking regulatory changes would make the hobby more popular.

    There's an image problem for this hobby, aptly termed "faintly embarrassing" by Time magazine, lumped in with stamp collecting.

    Growth & retention cannot improve much, unless a group like the ARRL can initiate a marketing study to figure out how to best portray what we've already got.

    Attached Files:

    K4KYV likes this.
  6. KA4KOE

    KA4KOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me likee, Kimosabe.
  7. KA4KOE

    KA4KOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    And what angers me is that I can NEVER sit for that test, as I'd love that piece of paper.
  8. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If it's a marketing problem which makes sense, then hams need to undo the damage caused by CB, which wrecked the image of ham radio in the public eye. The general public has for decades lumped ham and CB together, and unfortunately due to millions of CBers and music and movies, they see hams as pudgy guys wearing ball caps holding a hand mic on the lookout for the "smokies." I hate to say it but 2 meter FM and other VHF and UHF two way ham operation, has not helped. There's little obvious difference between a 2 m. FM rig and a CB rig. To the general public they're the same thing. You can argue technical differences but I see squelch and volume knobs and a "channel" knob with a hand mic. and coiled cord. If it looks like CB, walks like CB and quacks like CB, it's CB.

    ARRL and others should deep six the whole VHF two-way thing, and emphasize HF instead, and nothing works better than HF AM for that. DX chasing with big beams and towers is also a good antidote to the CB image. We've been saying for a long time that AM operating with good audio is attractive to non-hams.
    KR3DX and WA3VJB like this.
  9. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I dunno Rob, it feels like the presence of CB has faded in the public's mind in the 40 years since the craze prompted by the OPEC gasoline shortage. Truckers and cabbies are the only consistent users, around here.
    KC3BZJ, WD4IGX and KM1H like this.
  10. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the public see's us as right wing nut jobs, geeks, and survivalist types with a bunker all set up for the melt down.
    (its been coming any day now for at least 50 years)
    I don't think they are far off the truth.
    Software hacking geeks are the new cool types.
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