Changes to Australian amateur radio licence conditions

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK3YE, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. VK6ZGO

    VK6ZGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well , I'm not a 2 letter call---I'm a 3 letter call!

    Us "Z" calls, for the heinous sin of not passing the Morse test, were despatched to "6 metres & above".
    We watched enviously whilst Novices, who had passed an easier exam, went from strength to strength, getting more bands, & increased power.
    Of course, they had passed a reduced speed Morse test, so obviously were more to be trusted on HF than us "No Morse"folks!

    Many"Z" calls had the bare minimum equipment in the form of 2m Mobile FM rigs------multimode 2m radios were costly, as were 6m & 70cm rigs.
    We were hence, mainly on 2m FM.

    Imagine our delight when "N" calls were given access to 2m & 70cm FM, & a new "No Morse" licence called the "Limited Novice" appeared, with no Morse, Novice level theory & also with access to the those two bands

    Oh, I forgot, ACMA "threw us a bone" in the form of 10m FM only--- Wowie!
    Finally, in 2004, the Morse test was dropped & our qualifications recognised as "Full Calls" (now "Advanced")

    All was good, but I have noticed recently, people who came through the "Foundation" system,when agitating for inreased privileges, comparing that to the above, saying "Limited licences were upgraded "with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen".

    Even with the best wishes towards "F" licences, such nonsense does "rankle in the breast".

    That said, silly old sods are always with us.
    I remember, years before I became a ham, on old bloke on 80m AM referring to Limited licence holders:-
    "They can say what they like ----- they're not real Amateurs".
  2. G0JUR

    G0JUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    To quote from Gorky's The Lower Depths, "miserable being must find more miserable being then he's happy"
  3. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree what you went though would have sucked big time. But just because some people had a crap time of it, does not mean we have to perpetrate those same injustices on others. I tend to look at things more in the terms of what is best for the hobby, not what it best for me or what fits best with the crap i have dealt with in this hobby. I think when it things are added up, the changes made so far certainly are a positive step for the license structure in VK.

    but I have noticed recently, people who came through the "Foundation"

    When considering changes that effect those coming into the hobby, its not the 30 year veterans we need to consult, its the guys coming into the hobby who are going to be able to identify the things that the fcall does well and the things where it frustrates or the things it just ignores, they have first hand experience. I spent 4 years on the fcall and it does a lot right, but it was certainly missing somethings, it needed some digital and it needed homebrew. I dont think it needs more power and i dont think std needs more power either. Power is not a requirement of those experimenting and self educating.

    Homebrew is fundamental to self education and self education is meant to be a corner stone of this hobby, even if it is mostly ignored by the peak bodies and that most people are appliance operators. In fact, saying to fcalls you cannot homebrew setups the next generation of hams to be nothing more than appliance operators.

    And digital was required because that is where all the serious action is. Unless fcall has modes other than talkie talkie modes, the license is nothing more than glorified CB. Ham radio is much more than talking on the net. They can now at least try everything before they retire to the afternoon net to tell everyone they are still alive and their canker is playing up.

    Mostly I wish people would not look at this from self interest and poor historical experience and look at this from the perspective of what is going to fulfil the needs of future hobbyists. The question then is, do we want to leave a legacy and a vibrant and prospering hobby, or do we want to look at our own self importance and be the last one to call cq. Personally I think what made the hobby great in the past will make it great again in the future. And in that regard homebrew is the cornerstone.
    N0TZU likes this.
  4. VK3VM

    VK3VM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have that reference before you provided it .... Being a comms engineer with CCNP and also being a CCNI I know where it came from .... But I beg to differ quite heavily on your position....

    But is this an appropriate way of expressing things for people? Is it user friendly? Is it simplistic?

    We are Amateurs; The background philosophy is that we are not Academics or Engineers .. and We are jusrt everyday people requiring everyday language and everyday guidance.

    Is it in our syllabus - and in the syllabus that you studied when you sat your F-call? Is it in Standard? Is it even in Advanced? I have been training and assessing Australian Amateurs to Australian Standards for 10 years now and I can say most definitely not.

    Huge gaps in the skill sets with materials just delivered now exist.

    I have 30-odd years experience in The Academic and TAFE sectors - so I know how to develop, read and implement technical syllabi.

    As for the concept used (that came from OFCOM) - How is spectral density to be measured in The Amateur shack? Does that mean that EVERY Amateur now needs a RF field meter? Do we need our SWR and power meters now re-calibrated to different scales? Are our transceivers compliant to provide data to monitoring devices? What guidance is there to ensure that Amateurs remain compliant? How much will it cost for you and other Amateurs to meet these compliance levels?

    The US materials that you will have studied - including regulations - provide ground-level guidance all the way through ...

    That is the point here - and the fact that The ACMA provided NO EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTATION WITH IT TO EDUCATE AND GUIDE and that concepts delivered are OUTSIDE EXPECTATIONS AND SKILL SETS of the 10,000 people (and yes there only 10,000 individuals) with licences.

    [ Sadly mathematics is one of the great fears and great reasons why many do not progress.... ]

    So "Houston ... we have a problem...." (it was really "Houston ... We've had a problem").
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  5. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A couple of points, most of us are radio amateurs, not nasa rocket surgeons, as such, a simple interpretation is generally good enough. Why, because the complex math required and understanding of fourier transforms etc is way beyond the scope of what most people can accomplish. My position on most things is "Good enough for the kinds of girls i go out with" and this is one case where near enough is really good enough. Many hams do not have the ability to measure PEP any better than + or - 5% and well this simple way of calculating spectral density is going to be at least as accurate as the instruments many use. So i just dont wet the bed if i cannot achieve perfection.

    Second point. The syllabus. You know what, I would hazard a guess that something like 70% of the things we do are not examined. So the fact that spectral density is not in there is of no great surprise. The reality is an exam should not be a memory exercise of remembering a million useless facts, it should be examining your ability not to harm yourself and others, followed by the ability to find and use information. No one is going to learn all of ham radio by sitting an exam. The notion that passing the exam makes you captain ham radio is stupid and misguided at best. So, we have a hobby build on the corner stone of self education. These new aspects of the LCD present themselves with an opportunity for people to expand their knowledge and understanding. Some will do what I have done and find simple but good enough ways to comprehend what the LCD says, others will deep dive down the rabbit hole and try to understand the complex math behind it. And many will get on their radios and chat on the daily net and not give 2 hoots because they wont do anything other than SSB or CW and so have no interest.

    Third Point: Its not the acma's roll to educate us, we are a hobby built on the foundation of self education in the art of radio. It is up to us, to educate ourselves in the knowledge required to follow the laws as outlined in the LCD. On this point, the f-calls seem to be doing a really good job of asking lots of questions and listening to the answers. The f-calls i know and associate with are all very engaged with what is happening and how it effects them. That is self education at work. Many of those very same people are considering their options to upgrade. A couple looking at STD and 1 going straight to ADV.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    N0TZU and K7JEM like this.
  6. N6TDG

    N6TDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know, I hang out a lot on the Winsystem here in the states. From Australia, there are quite a few that connect via Allstar or IRLP. Quite frankly, I wouldn't know a F-Call from me it is a chance to talk to someone from across the ocean while sitting in my recliner in my RV parked on a piece of dirt somewhere. To some that may not be radio, but is its a way to connect fellow amatuers from around the globe, albeit radio and internet.

    I am a General now...probably in line with your Standard level. We may have the same thing here in terms of fellas acting like they are the Lord's gift to RF, but in my experience, I have not run across any of those guys...But when I do run across ding dongs, I like to ask if they were born that way, or do they take a medication that causes it...

    All I can say is work with with you got and continue pushing for a little more... Good luck and Godspeed! Hear you on the air!

  7. 9A5BWT

    9A5BWT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow I read the whole thing.
    I think this a shame that Robert was allowed back on the air. Bad thing for everyone is government ineffectivness. That guy might have been mentally ill. In his mind he might have believed all that. I have an uncle that is mentally ill and i also face some amateurs playing children on the bands. Both the illegals nad legals trying to be band cops. If only they just had him medically treated repetedly and took away his gear. Too bad for all the court costs he made to others and too bad for him. To him, maybe all the others were crazy.
  8. VK4JJJ

    VK4JJJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am a very late comment amateur radio in my mid-sixties and I arrive with no baggage . The managers and bureaucracy that administer this hobby need to remind themselves that it is a hobby and the future of this hobby is the younger members , not us old has beens .
    How do we encourage new younger members to the hobby ? .
    Not by making entry difficult when there are so many technical distractions to choose from .
    I believe that ACMA should find the strength of character to allow Foundation Licence holders to transmit at max 100watts , not this ridiculous 10watt , what a mechanism to discourage HF transmission .
    Oldies take a step aside allow some sunlight in , freshen the breeze and allow for new thought to encourage new interest .
    Personally I have little interest in the technical aspects of unscrewing the lid of my Icom 7300 .
    I seek out the social , healthy aspects of ham radio and this maximum 10watts can be a little frustrating .
  9. VK1FMGG

    VK1FMGG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been active on 40m FT8 since learning about the changes in the Foundation licence conditions (I must admit I could never understand why it wasn't allowed in the first place) and have made quite good number of contacts over surprising distances with a very modest set of equipment (FT-450D, FC700 and OCF dipole @ 10w). I find that being able to sit down and "play radio" quietly after getting the kids settled is quite relaxing.

    I am not concerned that we are still limited to 10w as I will be using digital modes almost exclusively, but that is only my viewpoint. The licences do need to be separated and those who are willing to take the time to study should be rewarded with additional privileges though.

    Perhaps one day I will be in that position, but for now FT8 and the other digital modes will keep me going for quite some time :)


  10. PA3GCU

    PA3GCU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Sean.

    Yes FT8 is a great mode, but unfortunatly i can't work you with a call like ea5/pa3gcu which is what i have for about 5 mounts of the year.
    It means you cant work me and i cant work you, we cannot work most speical callsigns as they have more than 6 chars.
    I have not read the whole thread so dont flame me if this text is found to be off topic.
    Have a nice day and 73 from Spain.

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