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ARRL Proposal to Give Technicians More Operating Privileges

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NW7US, Apr 10, 2019.

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  1. NW7US

    NW7US Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is my observation that by giving someone a taste of what can be accomplished on the HF (shortwave) spectrum (especially using one of the newer digital modes) that someone has an opportunity for inspiration. Perhaps that inspiration is enough that the prospect catches the HF fever that is required to move that someone from entry-level to experienced, resulting in a skilled expert.

    Right now, the regulations limit the Technician-level license holder to digital operation only on bands that barely propagate (if at all!) during the weak solar cycles. It is a far stretch to postulate that having privileges on dead bands will inspire exploration and tempt the operator to upgrade to a higher license class.

    I believe that Technician-class priveledges should be expanded so that entry-level amateur radio operators can get a practical taste of effectively-propagating HF signals on lower frequencies than those frequencies currently available to them for digital operation. And, the allowed mode on these subbands should include digital modes. This "would encourage a sustained interest in Amateur Radio and encourage further development of knowledge and operating skills," a concept already proven by General-class operators that get enough of a taste that they then pursue the Amateur Extra license.

    (See and )


    Some comments to me are below the following video section. I also include my response.

    In the following video, I share my opinion regarding the ARRL asking the FCC to grant more operating privileges across the many amateur radio allocations on shortwave (HF, or, High Frequencies). The video is my brief takeaway of ARRL's petition: What is the issue, as a whole, and what the ARRL is addressing--the lack of desire by most current Techs to upgrade. The logic of my perspective concludes that if you give them a taste of lower-shortwave propagation and excitement, then they will want to upgrade. This logic is already proven as applicable by the fact that the General class exists. All this proposal will do is allow the tech to experience what could be very attractive. Just like for the General.

    The next two videos are addendums to the first video:

    I made a few technical mistakes in the first video. The last video contains corrections and further comments.

    Comments Received, and My Response

    I have received many responses--some in opposition, some in support. Here are example contrarian responses along with my reply:

    My response is:

    What the heck is wrong with selling radios?

    But, seriously, which of the many Technicians say that they want to upgrade? That's the point: the majority of Technician-class amateur radio operators are not upgrading. They get on VHF and above, and are stationary, with few realizing that there's so much more than the aspect of the hobby evident in their local community.

    With little to no exposure to other aspects of the hobby, the typical ham in the current ham-radio culture settles for what is presented by local mentors. Weather spotting, DMR, etc.

    Because they have current HF privileges that have so little practical use (e. g., CW only on lower frequencies; voice on 10 meters which doesn't propagate well during this period of no sunspot activity...), they see no incentive to delve into what appears like a waste of time.

    The proposal is not giving away the farm. It simply adds a small slice on a limited set of HF bands (but where a signal has a better chance of propagation), allowing for Technician-class operators to get a real sense of the potential waiting for them if they pursue the General.

    Then, once upgraded to General, they get even more exposure, and hopefully, see why it is great to be an Amateur Extra.


    Your argument that Technician-class operators will kill themselves because the test is so easy that they will end up electrocuting themselves is yet another Red Herring. Technicians play with dangerous VHF, UHF, SHF equipment, with ominous dangerous aspects deserving respect. If you really think that the General test is the difference between life and death, why even worry? The number of technicians will be nicely reduced to a more acceptable, comfortable number.

    I've seen Amateur Extra-class operators do the same sort of dangerous, life-threatening stunts.
    The issue you are highlighting is a different problem that must be solved separately from the idea of creating a more practical incentive; all tests should be improved in such a way as to foster greater technical knowledge and awareness of all aspects of the hobby.

    Better mentoring. Less us-vs-them. More education. More community. All of these should be explored and enhanced. Solve the problem, instead of ostracizing. And, realize that this proposed change is NOT a dumbing-down maneuver to give away the ham radio hobby to the unclean.

    Just my five-cent opinion.

    73 de NW7US

    Reference, PDF: Enhancement/Talking Points 3-14-18.pdf
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
    KM6SIK, KQ6XA, NJ1S and 1 other person like this.
  2. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there any particular reason you started a new thread on a subject that has been been on this forum for quite a while?
    WK0DX, N9YB, NK2U and 13 others like this.
  3. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe that every driver that acquires a learners permit by passing a 35 question exam on rules of the road should be allowed to drive any motorized vehicle, including buses, tractor-trailers, motor cycles and limousines. This will encourage further development of driving skills and a sustained interest in the transportation industry.

    NOTE: ^^^ That's sarcasm folks, S-A-R-C-A-S-M ^^^
    WA3TVH, K5VZD, N3MLB and 25 others like this.
  4. AD5NM

    AD5NM Ham Member QRZ Page

    We have already been here. Similar events in amateur radio history have led to the elimination of the novice and advanced class license. Along with those and the elimination of cw poor behavior has become so common on amateur radio that it's quickly becoming accepted as part of the master plan.

    I strongly support the advancement of amateur radio, however, there has to be a better way. The best and most prized attributes in life are earned. Things given are seldom cherished with the same enthusiasm.
    WA3TVH, WK0DX, N7KO and 30 others like this.
  5. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The opinion of someone who takes videos of himself while on the road driving a car is an opinion I don't take seriously.
    KD0QG, W0AMX, KV6O and 45 others like this.
  6. VA7UW

    VA7UW Ham Member QRZ Page

    testing and licensing doesn't prevent poor operation. I agree with opening it up a little to spark the interest! Up here in Canada, if you score a good mark on the Basic exam, you are allowed on the HF bands. From what I've noticed, there are more people that have Basic with Honours upgrading to Advanced, from having the option to use HF. I've also noticed most Basic with Honours licensed amateurs spend more time listening on HF than operating so they hear first hand how people operate in the other bands prior to actually hitting the PTT. (just keep them off 3840.....)
    remember, It's a RADIO... NOT a car...
    KE1JF, KJ5GUY, W0PV and 5 others like this.
  7. N7AOK

    N7AOK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The ARRL is promoting that a "License" is a "Participation" license. Not and EARNED License. I believe it is all about money.
    KC1OCA, N8YA, WK0DX and 37 others like this.
  8. W2ACC

    W2ACC Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you going to give away the farm the tech test should be upgraded to reflect the level of operation
    most people testing for tech ticket do not have the technical understanding to be responsible operation
    and those who do advance to higher class very quickly
    K0NH, KA0E, KF7CLH and 11 others like this.
  9. NU4R

    NU4R Ham Member QRZ Page

    BEAUTIFUL Man...and spot on!

    "HANG UP" and >>>DRIVE<<< SPARKY!
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
    KD0WGB, KN4QHZ, KF7CLH and 18 others like this.
  10. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, the OP I believe is a CQ Magazine columnist. Therefore he is a ham radio celebrity. Sort of like an "instagram influencer", but for ham radio.
    N7KO, N3MLB, NK2U and 2 others like this.
  11. K6DS

    K6DS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why not have the Extra class license only and eliminate all other license classes. Then when you pass the 35 question test that was called the Tech test, it will now be the Extra test. Then when pass, you will have FULL privilege on ALL the bands. After all, that is the way we are headed in the name of money and radio sales. Remember no matter how many thousands send negative comments, it will mean nothing and you cannot stop this move since corporate greed rules all and runs all!
    KD0QG, N3MLB, WD4DXQ and 4 others like this.
  12. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Like "a legend in his own mind"?
    W3MMR, K8XG, NA1S and 4 others like this.
  13. NU4R

    NU4R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last week, I found my>>>ORIGINAL<<< CB license issued by the FCC in 1975. (KBCG 4455)

    Care to guess exactly where I'm going with this boys & girls?

    It took ZERO EFFORT to obtain one of these and all "the privileges within" as it does todays "participation award/license" for anyone who wants to be an amateur radio operator. To that end, the nonexistent disciplines of the HF bands is reflective of THE EASE to obtain a participation award/ license!

    And AGAIN, the ARRL, wants to give the undisciplined, void of knowledge... MORE?

    Thanks N7AOK. Used your "participation" analogy which also SPOT ON! Nowadays, there's no reward for victory because there IS NO VICTORY void of hard work and discipline. EVERYBODY is ENTITLED to win!

    Carry on America!
    N3MLB, KC1DR, WY7BWR and 7 others like this.
  14. K9TRD

    K9TRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first post to this forum.....I have been licensed for about 4 years now, started as a tech, got the HF bug and got my General. I do enjoy listening to the older guys on Sunday mornings on 40 and 80.
    That being said, some of the conversations are all F bombs and pure out and out racism. These are your Extra class operators!
    My point? Why not open up a small portion of HF that has decent traffic to expose a new user to HF. I was lucky enough to make several contacts on 10m as a Tech and it lit the fire.
    I also believe the portion of the band allowed for "Advanced" users should be open to General operators, since this portion is no longer attainable unless you are an Extra.
    Remember, A lot of the crap on the radio is being propagated by the so called " Professional Extra Class " license holders, who should be setting the example, but are usually the rudest folks out there.
    KJ5GUY, KJ4HRM, K9KXW and 2 others like this.
  15. WL7COL

    WL7COL Ham Member QRZ Page

    With due respect (earnestly!) -- there is so little difference between the Tech and General exams, that I'm not even sure why we have a Tech license, anymore. Expanding the current Tech privileges lessens the motivation to upgrade, rather than increases it, imvho, only because there is so little differentiation between the skillsets, as it is now. I'd rather see the 'influencers' and other 'leaders' in our community work towards solving larger, more difficult problems than whether a given class of licensee should be granted another piece of the spectrum. 73

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