Commentary on the state of license testing

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K1VSK, Apr 8, 2018.

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  1. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is true.

    But it's missing that time, like money, is finite and its use must be carefully prioritized.

    No hobby should take time or money or other scarce assets away from The Important.

    Most people have no idea what The Important is.

    Thus, I have yet to learn code.
  2. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, you have a REASON, not an excuse.;)
  3. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Important is variable and swings wildly from person to person.....your The Important may be meaningless to others and vice versa. I learned CW because I had to so I could get my Novice and then Tech license so I could then play on Packet VHF...Packet VHF was The Important to me at the I did what it required. Now 30 years packet, no vhf at home...I run strictly QRP CW and that's it. If I was told that would be me 30 years ago I would have denied it.
    AG5DB and W0VRA like this.
  4. W9BFZ

    W9BFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't think of anything in my personal life I would put radio in front of. Certainly not my friends and family. But you are right, everybody has different priorities.
    WZ7U likes this.
  5. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You want to make that distinction? No excuse? Well, what excuse does an Advanced license for not upgrading? They also have reasons but no excuses.

    I grew up on a small farm in eastern Iowa. I knew about ham radio in grade school from movies, books, and such. I didn't know any hams personally, so I couldn't get anyone to teach me anything on it, including Morse code. I knew my parents weren't going to drive me to any testing session, assuming I knew how to find one in the days before the internet. I went off to university in 1992 to study engineering and I ran into the Amateur radio club once in a while before joining. While in the club I had plenty of people around me, mostly engineering students and instructors, that could teach me plenty on electronics. No one knew Morse code.

    In saying that no one knew Morse code meant that while they may have passed the 5 WPM test they did so only to the point of getting the license and forgetting it. I'd ask how to learn and they'd talk about software for Windows they used, but I didn't have a Windows computer. On the one Field Day event I attended while a student there was only one operator that even attempted to do CW. People just called him "Chip" or "Skip" or something like that so I'm not sure what his real name was. I'm not sure if he was a student or faculty, or just a member of the community that hung out with the university club, as he was obviously older than the typical student. I remember one student with a Technician license that seemed adamant to learn Morse code, but had problems with the written tests. He'd grab whomever he could to drag into being a control op so he could get on HF, but I don't recall him actually using a telegraph key. I recall he was studying animal science or something like it, because he made mention of it on keeping food safe as we'd cook the meat on the grill.

    After university I found a couple clubs to join and I can recall only three licensed operators that knew Morse code well enough that they used it on the air. One was an engineer that did a lot of IT work on his day job, and liked to restore old gear in his spare time. The other two were also engineers, they liked to go on these long vacations at sea and had commercial radiotelegraph licenses so they could stand radio watch as working passengers.

    So, what's my REASON for not taking the Morse code tests? Because very few of the licensed Amateurs I knew actually used Morse code. I'm a product of the generation before me. If anyone wants to complain about "the kids these days" then look in the mirror on who to make that complaint to.

    What REASON does anyone with an Advanced license have for not upgrading? Did people around them not bother to teach them the rules, regulations, and technical material for the tests? I had plenty of that, very few of the licensed people I knew had anything less than Amateur Extra. There's no excuse for not upgrading.

    Yes, that's a long post but I'm not taking the time to trim it down.
  6. W5TTP

    W5TTP Ham Member QRZ Page

    And yes, also hilite the correct answers. Ignore the others.
  7. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did someone ask you to? That's really weird.
  8. W9BFZ

    W9BFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did you read the text I quoted? And the other context leading up to it?
  9. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, going over the questions and answers long enough to recognize the answer is an effort. And I don't think they put the choices in the same order so recognizing the letter won't work.
  10. W9BFZ

    W9BFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yea, because cluttering up the process by learning the WRONG answers makes more sense. Knowing that G5 doesn't mean a "low solar activity" is just as important as knowing that it means "an extreme geomagnetic storm."

    Shhhh..... don't interrupt the tilting at windmills.
    W0VRA likes this.

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