ARRL Proposal to Give Technicians More Operating Privileges

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

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  1. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The purpose of the license test is not to "gain respect" or make the applicant "feel good". There seem to be many in the amateur community that think it was designed to pump up someone's ego.

    The test is there to ensure that the applicant has enough knowledge to become a good control operator, not that he is an electronics guru, or somehow better than other people. The test just proves that the applicant could pass that specific test given on that specific day. Nothing more. It's always been that way.
     
    N4AAB, AC0GT, WJ4U and 3 others like this.
  2. W5UAA

    W5UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, yes and no.

    In the bad old days, it wasn't easy gaining the highest class license. The technical aspect and the morse code was quite a barrier to many folks back then. Those barriers aren't there any more. Those who made it were often admired by some whether or not they deserved it. Those who made it to the top license were often people who were viewed as heros and role models and acted as motivators to those wanting to achieve the same goal. It's not like that today. Today, we don't like seeing someone do something hard that we don't want to put the effort into doing ourselves. It goes by many names today, but the fix is to hand out certificates of participation. No losers -- everyone is a winner. And we're about one or two steps from ham licenses becoming a certificate of participation.

    I would be willing to place a bet it's going to get easier and easier. And I'd be willing to bet we'll just have two license classes in the near future: entry level and full level.

    As for ham radio going away? I don't think so. Some of us older hams need to start viewing things the way younger folks are viewing things today. Like, ham radio is just another disposable piece of electronics if a soft/hard reset or firmware upgrade doesn't fix it and it's just another wireless interface to hook to our phones or computers.
     
    KD0QG and PU2OZT like this.
  3. KF5KWO

    KF5KWO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wait,
    Wait, what? You mean all this time I haven't been eating true donuts? I'm fully licensed to eat all manner of donuts, and this picture shakes me to the core. I hope that donut eaters from back in the day do not look down on me for eating the donuts that are available to me in this age. I can always learn how to make donuts the real way, with those big holes in them, right??? The last thing I would ever want is to be thought of as not a real donut eater.
     
    N4AAB likes this.
  4. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most things become easier and easier as time progresses. I can't think of many things that have become harder to do. In another thread, I posted some sample questions for the AZ driver's license test. Pretty simple stuff, really, but it allows you to drive a car, pull a trailer, and do plenty of things that put yourself and others in real danger. And the test is much simpler now than it was 40 or 50 years ago.

    Ham radio today is different than it was 50 years ago, and the tests reflect that. People that joined years ago had different reasons than people that are interested today. Yes, the tests are easier, so what? People today don't really need to know how to neutralize a tube, or what the schematic for a Foster-Seeley discriminator looks like.
     
    N4AAB, G8FXC, KF5KWO and 2 others like this.
  5. WJ4U

    WJ4U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't they make mattresses? :D
     
  6. KD0QG

    KD0QG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As far as CB, I was as much a CB'r as a Hammer. I say ''was'' because there isn't much on either CB or 2 meters around here anymore like there once was. I got into CB after we quit using blinking lights and hand signals out on the big road but CB was mostly for necessary in close communication for immediate safety and information that is mostly missing now as we saw big unwarned accidents on the roads last year. But 2 meters gave me wide area repeaters for more safety and information and I have never heard of anyone that put in a little effort that could not pass the very basic 5 wpm code test? But the 13 wpm was like the 55 mph speed limit, not fast, not slow, just a damn miserable speed and I knew some that had problems passing it. Code sure was not easy at all for me and 20 wpm took a whole lot longer. So I do understand the difficulty with code but not the final act of removing the very slow and basic 5 wpm proficiency from the Extra exam to be able to communicate in the most basic form of communication there is that the top Extra class should be able to do?..So it is all qualification by knowledge with no proficiency needed and soon qualification by $$?
     
  7. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am a ham radio license holder that isn't an electrical engineer. Some of the test questions I saw for all 3 licenses I gained as I progressed form Tech to Extra, just have no bearing on today's radios. We didn't have digital radar/radios when I was in the US Navy. We had vacuum tubes/valves. I wouldn't require today's electronic techs in the US Navy to have knowledge of vacuum tubes/valves unless they were still required to be in use.

    Morse Code/CW tests were dropped. I took the tests authorized by the FCC.

    While it is nice to know the different types of oscillators in a radio, or the different types of receivers, or the different types of power supplies; none of that knowledge has affected how I get on the air. I bought a used radio. I had enough of cable wrapping when i was in the Navy. I'm glad I no longer have to do that, and I have no longer have a desire to build a radio from scratch.

    Before I moved, I was pointedly looked down on by hams in that area because I am a no code ham. I asked them how many of them use CW these days ? They wouldn't answer. Two said they still did. The rest apparently didn't.

    We also don't use spark gap transmitters anymore either. Any of you proficient in the use of such gear ? I'm not, and I'm not concerned that I'm not.

    I seriously doubt giving SSB privs to Techs below 2 meters will cause any harm at all. I'm sure some of you have listened to freqs below 2 meters and full well know Extras 'from the good old days' who violate Part 97 practically daily.

    I'm all for Techs getting SSB privs below 2 meters.
     
    KF5KWO and (deleted member) like this.
  8. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is not up to you, nor is it up to me, for the most part it may not be entirely up to the FCC either. Much of rulemaking is mandated by international treaty.
    The international bands require cooperation and agreement in the administration of how spectrum is utilized. There must be some sort of baseline or basic basis or standard for those who are going occupy valuable international radio spectrum. I can't imagine if we didn't have some form of vetting those who utilize this resource. What would you suggest?
     
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    It looks like you are asking, is requiring 5WPM Morse code proficiency too much to ask for people to get licensed as Extra? It is too much to ask. Why it is too much to ask has been debated for a very long time and I see no need to repeat that debate here.

    Here's something that I do believe is a problem with the current FCC licensing of Amateur radio when it comes to Morse code proficiency testing is that with the removal of all Morse code testing is that if someone wanted to take advantage of reciprocal licensing agreements with nations that still have Morse code proficiency requirements there is no option to have Morse code proficiency appear on one's license as required by these agreements.

    The one exception to this are nations in the Americas that use the IARP for operating in foreign nations. This allows for the ARRL to produce a temporary license for operating in Latin American nations and the ARRL can certify the person has met the Morse code proficiency required of the nations that this person will visit. The other nations in this treaty allow for their own national Amateur radio clubs to issue a permit for the USA but as the USA has no Morse code proficiency requirement there is no similar issue going the other way.

    I'll bring this issue up and I will practically beg for some help in petitioning the FCC to have a Morse code proficiency endorsement available for licensed Amateurs that wish to operate overseas. I'll see a lot of people bitch and moan about the loss of all testing but won't lift a finger to help me restore some kind of Morse code proficiency endorsement on Amateur radio licensing.

    A few posts back @W5UAA mentions the possibility of a two tiered license system, and I see that as a possibility as well. I look at how Canada does this and I see this as a model the USA could follow. They have a three tiered system, Basic, Basic+HF, and Advanced. To get Basic one must get, as I recall, 70% correct on a 100 question test. To get Basic+HF means having to get an 80% score, again if I recall correctly, on that test or pass a Morse code proficiency exam. Advanced means having Basic or Basic+ and passing a 50 question test. I propose we do something similar and have a 100 question test to get our own version of a Basic license. Then upgrading to the license with full privileges, which we can continue to call Extra, pass another 50 question test.

    In Canada the Morse code endorsement adds no privileges for someone with Advanced or has passed the Basic exam with 80% correct. As the FCC determined that Morse code proficiency should not be considered a means to get more operating privileges this is largely consistent with how Canada operates. To keep the same three written test elements we have now the 100 question test that Canada has can be broken into two 50 question tests. One test can be on rules and regulations and the other on technical aspects. This should avoid the complaints of people finding newly licensed Amateurs in the USA that are lacking in one or the other skillset.

    Can I get some support for bringing my proposal to the FCC? At least for the part on a Morse code proficiency endorsement on one's license for the purposes of reciprocal licensing overseas? Given that not all nations agree on what speed is considered "proficient" then I'll add another level to this proposal, we have proficiency testing at the levels used for commercial licensing, added to the old 5 WPM proficiency.

    The proficiency levels would then be 5 words per minute, 16 code groups per minute, and 20 words per minute. Someone with a commercial radiotelegraph permit can use that to get the endorsement and people looking for places to test for Morse code for a commercial license can use the Amateur radio VEs for it like the FCC allowed for when Extra still had a 20 WPM testing requirement.

    I really do need to stop getting distracted from my posts and return with another paragraph I thought up while away from the keyboard, it makes for long posts that I don't like to edit down too much.
     
  10. WJ4U

    WJ4U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Which countries still require that? (think I know and it's a very small number)
     

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