ARRL Proposes New Entry Level License Class w/ HF

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N1YZ, Jan 20, 2004.

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  1. N1YZ

    N1YZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ZCZC AG03
    QST de W1AW  
    ARRL Bulletin 3  ARLB003
    From ARRL Headquarters  
    Newington CT  January 20, 2004
    To all radio amateurs

    ARLB003 ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free HF Access

    The ARRL will ask the FCC to create a new entry-level Amateur Radio
    license that would include HF phone privileges without requiring a
    Morse code test. The League also will propose consolidating all
    current licensees into three classes, retaining the Element 1 Morse
    requirement--now 5 WPM-only for the highest class. The ARRL Board of
    Directors overwhelmingly approved the plan January 16 during its
    Annual Meeting in Windsor, Connecticut. The proposals--developed by
    the ARRL Executive Committee following a Board instruction last
    July--are in response to changes made in Article 25 of the
    international Radio Regulations at World Radiocommunication
    Conference 2003 (WRC-03). They would continue a process of
    streamlining the amateur licensing structure that the FCC began more
    than five years ago but left unfinished in the Amateur Service
    license restructuring Report and Order (WT 98-143) that went into
    effect April 15, 2000.

    ''Change in the Amateur Radio Service in the US, especially license
    requirements and even more so when Morse is involved, has always
    been emotional,'' said ARRL First Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN,
    in presenting the Executive Committee's recommendations. ''In fact,
    without a doubt, Morse is Amateur Radio's 'religious debate.'''

    The entry-level license class--being called ''Novice'' for now--would
    require a 25-question written exam. It would offer limited HF
    CW/data and phone/image privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters as
    well as VHF and UHF privileges on 6 and 2 meters and on 222-225 and
    430-450 MHz. Power output would be restricted to 100 W on 80, 40,
    and 15 meters and to 50 W on 10 meters and up.

    ''The Board sought to achieve balance in giving new Novice licensees
    the opportunity to sample a wider range of Amateur Radio activity
    than is available to current Technicians while retaining a
    motivation to upgrade,'' said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. Under the
    ARRL plan, current Novice licensees--now the smallest and least
    active group of radio amateurs--would be grandfathered to the new
    entry-level class without further testing.

    The middle group of licensees--Technician, Tech Plus (Technician
    with Element 1 credit) and General--would be merged into a new
    General license that also would not require a Morse examination.
    Current Technician and Tech Plus license holders automatically would
    gain current General class privileges without additional testing.
    The current Element 3 General examination would remain in place for
    new applicants.

    The Board indicated that it saw no compelling reason to change the
    Amateur Extra class license requirements. The ARRL plan calls on the
    FCC to combine the current Advanced and Amateur Extra class
    licensees into Amateur Extra, because the technical level of the
    exams passed by these licensees is very similar. New applicants for
    Extra would have to pass a 5 WPM Morse code examination, but the
    written exam would stay the same. Sumner said the Board felt that
    the highest level of accomplishment should include basic Morse
    capability. Current Novice, Tech Plus and General licensees would
    receive lifetime 5 WPM Morse credit.

    ''This structure provides a true entry-level license with HF
    privileges to promote growth in the Amateur Service,'' Harrison said.

    Among other advantages, Sumner said the plan would allow new Novices
    to participate in HF SSB emergency nets on 75 and 40 meters as well
    as on the top 100 kHz of 15 meters. The new license also could get
    another name, Sumner said. ''We're trying to recapture the magic of
    the old Novice license, but in a manner that's appropriate for the
    21st century.''

    The overall proposed ARRL license restructuring plan would more
    smoothly integrate HF spectrum privileges across the three license
    classes and would incorporate the ''Novice refarming'' plan the League
    put forth nearly two years ago in a Petition for Rule Making
    (RM-10413). The FCC has not yet acted on the ARRL plan, which would
    alter current HF subbands.

    The ARRL license restructuring design calls for no changes in
    privileges for Extra and General class licensees on 160, 60, 30, 20,
    17 or 12 meters. Novice licensees would have no access to those

    See ''ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free HF Access''
    on the ARRL Web site,, for
    the specific subband allocations ARRL is proposing for each class.
  2. VE3EN

    VE3EN Ham Member QRZ Page

    oh my god.. im the first one to reply..

    well.. nothing new to say here.. this debate will be on-going.

    i love cw.. thats my only thought.
  3. AG4TN

    AG4TN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't believe it took this long to get posted here, but it's a fair compromise. Some of the points are the same as I suggested in comments I made to the FCC during the open comment period, including three license classes and retaining code for Extra.

    I would have preferred to withold HF until General class, but I suppose giving a taste of HF with limited power at entry level is OK and may encourage upgrading, much like the old Novice license.

    This proposal actually puts us very close to having only two license classes: No-Code and Code!
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (gu7uj @ Jan. 23 2004,20:59)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">when will you understand that the morse exam must be eliminated for all license and the CW only portions of the band must be totaly eliminated.

    NCI-3069[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    No, no, no, long live CW!  Operators who take the time to learn this skill are a connection to the rich heritage of ham radio.  The slow but unavoidable movement away from CW should not be rushed, but rather slowly reflected upon like the passing of a favorite uncle.  The day you can't raise someone with a -.-. --.- on the lower 40m band (hopefully, that day isn't here), many of us will indeed shed a tear.

    - Greg
  5. N9ZR

    N9ZR Banned QRZ Page

    I think its a great plan!! keep up the good works ARRL.
    Brent N9ZR [​IMG]
  6. K7FD

    K7FD Subscriber QRZ Page

    QRD:  I am dumbed down.

    QRD?: Are you dumbed down?
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    this is a great "revelation" a well thought out compromised solution to to an old problem TO REVIVE AND BREATH NEW LIFE INTO THE SERVICE. i fully support the ARRL in its effort to do so. MOST REASONABLE RADIO AMATEURS WOULD AGREE that this is the BEST WAY TO GO. so lets make it SO. TOM N2NZJ ARLS #807 [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    As a technician class licensee I am glad to see the ARRL supporting the idea of allowing limited HF operations to new operators. However, I do not feel I am qualified to be "grandfathered" into the existing General class license. Current licensees should have to take the standard written test to upgrade to their new privileges without the code requirement. Also, making the new entry class license test only 25 questions does nothing but dilute the knowledge that is needed to earn your ticket.

    We must remember that this is ONLY a proposal and not written in stone; and of all the proposals I have read this is one of the better ones out there. If the FCC adopts it with a few minor modifications, it will be for the better.

  9. W4DLH

    W4DLH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can live with this.
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RIGHT ON OM. [​IMG]  [​IMG]  [​IMG]  [​IMG]
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