FCC license numbers 3/15/05

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K3UD, Mar 15, 2005.

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  1. kd4mxe

    kd4mxe QRZ Member QRZ Page

    k9reh thanks for the kind words , just maby some day i can pass some of it on , I hope to some day , thank,s again for the kind words , good luck to you 73 Bill
  2. kd4mxe

    kd4mxe QRZ Member QRZ Page

    ka5fap well sir that,s good I am for you 100% go for it one more thought the Bellyacheing thing if i am right you are Bellyacheing about the code and up on enco -link bellyacheing about them to , and if the fcc drop,s the code you will still bellyache about them to , so good luck with your code and your bellyacheing to 73 Billy Boy
  3. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    KA5FP and others,
    You write how it doesn't matter to you whether I upgrade or not and yet you try to convince me to learn the code.  It would seem that my opinion does matter to you in some way as we are having this exchange here.

    It's about priorities.  You may place a higher priority on learning IMC and operating CW with proficiency than say operating FM, or learning how to build an RF amplifier.  My priorities in my hobby of Amateur radio puts technical knowledge above IMC knowledge.  Amateur radio is a hobby of hobbies.  My hobby may be different than yours which may also be different than any one else's in this forum.

    I have a desire to get a new LCD monitor for my computer.  However I must place that desire in proper perspective and give it an appropriate priority.  I have a working CRT monitor right now that, while large and power hungry, is more than sufficient for my current needs.  While I still have a working monitor I will spend my money on things with a higher priority, such as food, clothes, and gas for my car.

    I have placed similar priorities on my time and my hobbies.  Right now I place operating HF and/or CW quite low on my list of priorities.  I have a desire to learn about radio and would like to show proof of my knowledge in getting an upgrade to my Amateur radio license and obtaining a commercial radio license.

    I have ham friends that have their own set of priorities as well.  One wished to get access to HF, so he passed the IMC test and written tests and now with his Extra license he is happy in talking around the world.  He had no intention of operating CW but the IMC test was required of him so he took it.  Another ham wished to operate CW and participate in contests, he passed the tests and also operates happily.  He learned IMC not because it was required by the FCC but because that is what he wanted to do.  I also have a friend that spends more time building radios and related electronics than he could ever spend on the air.  He also passed the tests, but mostly because of what it allowed him to build than what it allowed him to transmit.

    I find the discussion of Amateur radio on the internet just as much a part of the hobby as operating a radio and building an antenna.  I have found the rules requiring IMC knowledge to be no longer appropriate and have therefore placed a priority in its discussion.

    During a bout of insomnia last night I was looking over the Amateur radio license numbers that started this thread.  I found a site that gave more detailed numbers than the original post of this thread and used those to see if I could find trends.

    For the Novice class I noticed a steady downward trend in numbers.  That would be expected for a license that is no longer granted.  However I noticed the trend to be much faster than that of the Advanced class.  I guess that would also be expected as I would imagine the Advanced license holder much less likely to upgrade than a Novice, as well as be more likely to be active and therefore more likely to renew.  The numbers of licensed Technicians seemed to drop, but only as quickly as the numbers of total licenses.  Because of this trend the ratio of Technicians to total licenses tended to be steady at about half.  The Extra class license was the only license class to gain in number and in ratio.  This trend seemed to be largely at the expense of the General class which seemed to, in recent years, drop quickly in number.

    Using my observations of the trends I did a little back of the envelope math to predict what would happen in five years.  I though that if current trends continue that Novice licenses will be zero or less than one percent of licenses.  Extra licenses will make approximately 1/3 of the total and Technician will likely still make up half.  What I found surprising is that Advanced licenses may outnumber General licenses in five years, that is if current trends continue.

    What conclusions can be drawn from this?  Many I would assume.  One is that few feel the desire to operate HF justifies the effort in learning IMC.  Another is that the population at large is either unable or unwilling to expand their knowledge of radio technology and therefore cannot or will not get licensed or an upgrade to their license.  Perhaps Amateur radio no longer holds the fascination it did in the past now that radio communications can be had so readily and cheaply without testing or a license.

    I suspect the truth is some combination of the above conclusions.  That is why I support the elimination of IMC testing.  Few people see a reason for knowing IMC.  Telling population at large of how fun CW operation can be, how vital IMC knowledge can be, and so on carries little weight when the examples of the merits of IMC knowledge is nearly impossible to find in every day life.  If increasing the length or difficulty in the written tests is needed to keep out the "Extra class CB'er" then do so.

    I think the Amateur radio community has to place an appropriate priority on IMC knowledge and testing.  It seems to me in my conversations with current and potential hams, and in the trends I've seen in licenses granted that Amateur radio could face extinction in a matter of a couple decades if changes aren't made.  Some may call that "the sky is falling" thinking, others would seem to think that it would be better for Amateur radio die out than face the "indignity" of eliminating IMC testing.

    It's not about stacking the deck of Amateur radio with warm bodies.  It's about the preservation of the service and the frequencies it uses.  It's about bringing Amateur radio in line with the realities of the 21st century.  It's about attracting people with the interest in Amateur radio and radio in general.  It's about advancing the art and science of radio technology, providing a means of emergency communications, and improving international goodwill.  If that means letting a few bad apples into the basket then so be it.  It's not like there weren't any to begin with.
  4. W5MJL

    W5MJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    LOL.  I cannot be bellyaching about the code.  I knew what was required to get my license.  I studied and passed.  What is your point?  If the fcc drops the morse requirement I will not think any less of anyone.  I only think less of people that don't try when they knew full well what the requirements were.  When you don't try, you never reach any goal.

    Maybe I need to define what I call bellyaching in this forum.  Everyone who enters amateur radio knows what is required of them before they enter.  Bellyaching is using every excuse in the book to complain about the testing.  Bellyaching is not even trying to pass the test and hoping for the government to bail your ass out.  

    Now talking about whether echolink is good for amateur radio is not bellyaching.  Echolink is not required in amateur radio.  See the difference?
  5. W5MJL

    W5MJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let's just end this right now, please.

    You are a very intelligent person. I know you could pass the test. You have waited 4 years, and you still haven't passed the test, or perhaps not even taken it. I am using your words now, so let's cut the BS. You said you are not learning code for the principle of the thing. That is what got me going. You have done everything in the book to convince people why the code should be dropped, when the truth of the matter is you could of just gotten off of your ass and passed the test. You missed 4 years of enjoyment because you're a hardhead. It's just not logical, and yet you try to show everyone the logic of it.

    I keep looking in the rearview mirror, and I see lots of dust. You're intelligent enough to make the dust, instead you choose to eat it. Use that intelligence. Wasted intelligence is a crime in my eyes.
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure, end it here.  I will be working out of town for a while any way so I doubt I'll return to this thread.

    I haven't even taken the test, don't intend to.  Like I said, because of principle and priorities.  I have plenty of ways to occupy my spare time.  Being active in Amateur radio is low on my list right now.  When the rules change to match my priorities and those of my friends and acquaintances I'll likely be more active and be able to convince my friends to get a license and be active as well.

    I don't think I missed out of anything because of my attitude.  I might have missed out of operating as a ham but  that is because in the time since I got licensed I've found other things to occupy my time, its because of priorities not attitude.

    I also don't think I've wasted my intelligence, I feel I've used it well even if that didn't mean learning IMC.  I haven't been eating dust, just making dust on a different path than you.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Has Handi-Hams petitioned for the elimination of code testing?

    The "receive by ear and send by hand" verbiage is not meant to be taken that literally. It has always been interpreted to mean that the person must send and receive using methods that do not remove the necessity of knowing the code. For example, the use of a bug, keyer or sideswiper is OK for a sending test because you still have to know the code to use them. The use of a keyboard is not OK.

    Same for the use of a flashing light or feeling the vibrations of a speaker cone. You still have to know the code to do those. Using a code reader is different.

    I knew a ham who was partially paralyzed and used his foot to send code, with the aid of a keyer. That was more than 30 years ago, before a lot of the helping technologies we have today existed.

    If we accept your war veteran appeal to emotion, what about this one:

    Consider a war veteran that served our country years ago as a radio operator. After getting out of the military, and not knowing much about ham radio, s/he worked in a field unrelated to radio, raised a family, etc. S/he knew something like ham radio existed, but thought it was all voice, or that it died out in the 1970s or became cb, or something like that.

    Now retired, this hypothetical veteran discovers that ham radio still exists and that lots of hams use Morse Code. After some listening on an HF receiver, s/he wants to get a license and hang out on the low end of 80 and 40 meters, ragchewing with some of the folks s/he served with so long ago. Which requires an Extra class license.

    This operator still remembers a lot of basic theory, antennas, etc. But it's all from the time of tubes and analog dials and meters. His/her eyes aren't that good anymore, and when presented with the study guides for the Tech, General and Extra class, the amount of material seems enormous.

    Why does this hypothetical veteran have to learn all about VHF/UHF, AM/SSB/PSK/SSTV, repeaters, satellites, solidstate electronics, etc., etc., just to fire up a low power CW transmitter on 7020 kHz and work some of the gang? Why must s/he learn all that stuff that s/he will never use?

    If you accept the idea that the code test must be eliminated for *your* hypothetical veteran, then you must logically accept the idea that most (not all) of the written test must be eliminated for *my* hypothetical veteran. Otherwise your making an Appeal to a Special Case.

    Why not? Sure, it's not a perfect test, but it gives a good indication.

    And the written tests do not truly reflect one's ability to operate *any* mode, nor to build or repair a ham rig.

    They are simply tests of basic skills and knowledge.

    The treaty never required such skill. And by the same token, the written tests do not guarantee adequate radio knowledge, either.

    How has the FCC "bent the rules to the breaking point" other than the sending test waiver?

    Removing the test completely is *not* a small step. If it were, you wouldn't be arguing for it so much.

    The more I read of the issue, the more convinced I am that
    one of the big problems many anticodetest folks have with
    the test is the fact that it requires them to learn something
    totally new and different, just to get the license. And it's
    something that can't be learned by reading a book, watching
    a video, or attending a one-day cram class.

    Except for a few who have learned Morse Code outside
    amateur radio, new hams who want HF privileges all start
    at the same place when it comes to the Morse Code. A
    Ph.D. in EE and a First Class Radiotelephone license with
    all the endorsements count for nothing in the code test. That
    fact seems to really bother some people.

    Anyone can join the amateur radio service without passing a code test. People with all sorts of disabilities have managed to pass 5 wpm and faster tests.

    The removal of most *written* testing could improve the lives of those handicapped by allowing them to join the hobby of Amateur radio, too.

    I don't see any errors in my logic. If they exist, point them out for all to see. Otherwise you're just assuming your conclusion, which is a fallacy.

    A conclusion without valid logic behind it isn't a conclusion - it's just an unsupported opinion. Of course you can hold amd express any opinion you like, but that's a different thing than saying you have a convincing argument or proof of something.

    Another Appeal to Emotion. If a person wants special treatment because they have a disability, they need to own up to the disability. That's the price of the special treatment - if you want to park in the special parking places, you need the plates or other indication. It's not a stigma, it's a statement of fact so non-handicapped people don't park there.

    I find it interesting that you cut out so much interesting stuff, like the facts on where medical waivers actually came from, and the business about autism.

    73 de Jim, N2EY

    And I do recommend Temple Grandin's books.
  8. kd4mxe

    kd4mxe QRZ Member QRZ Page

  9. W5MJL

    W5MJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bill I wasn't getting nasty with you.  I was giving the definition of what I call bellyaching in this forum.  It had nothing to do with you whatsoever, so calm down.
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Translation: "I am not willing to put forth the efffort."
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