Foundations of Amateur Radio - Episode 110

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Jul 15, 2017.

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  1. KI4AX

    KI4AX Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can not solicit (advertise) as a COMMERCIAL establishment on air. It is certainly within the law to hold a 'Traders Net' and advertise your own used gear on air. At least it is in K, W, and N land....
  2. K3BR

    K3BR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, the USA could reinstitute the code requirment, har, har.
    W7GST likes this.
  3. KR2C

    KR2C Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Holy S-balls. Punctuate for gods sake.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I didn't watch the video, but I read the text transcript. It's not unlike things we hear on this side of the Pacific fairly often. Over here, it's more often some old guys clamoring for improvement, which often seems like spitting into the wind. Occasionally, a light appears at the end of the tunnel, if only briefly before being snuffed out by the kinds of arguments you see in this thread.

    Actually, I think your system is much more modern and relevant than ours. I admire the British system a lot, and other European countries have some decent 'Novice' privileges. But hey, if you lived here, you could easily pass our Tech exam and run 1500 watts output on all the ham bands from 50 MHz and up. Isn't that great? And you wouldn't have answered a single question on high power amplifiers along the way. At least you have access to most of the HF phone bands there, which our entry level does not. I actually would prefer they had digital privileges there, as everyone should have experience with non-voice modes on HF, to learn how propagation really works, and what the differences between digital, CW, and phone really are.

    I didn't know that VK 'F' licensees can't use digital modes - that's sad. Our entry level is likewise very restricted. And yes, it's because our systems were designed by 19th century minds around mid-20th century technology. I'd rather see our newbies have 5 watts on PSK31 and JT65 than the 200 watts of CW privileges they have here.

    I think the most productive way to approach this is to drop the attacks on the system as a whole. People are comfortable with the system, it's derived from what they've always known. Most hams alive here today can't remember a time when there wasn't a three or more tiered license structure. Instead, pick your specific battles. Build an argument and find supporters for some basic reform, such as limited digital privileges for newbies.
    W7GST, VK4FFAB and K2MOB like this.
  5. KI4AX

    KI4AX Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is NO substitute for a firm knowledge of the basics. Even setting up a store bought antenna and rig requires a foundation in the basics; or at least instruction from someone with a grasp of the basics. Additionally, solving ANY problem in life requires a foundation in the basics.

    With that being said.... It depends on how one looks at this. Most hobbies, at least in the past, have been something that a person works at, or works toward, regardless of whether it's collecting Postage Stamps, Coins, and Handcuffs or building and racing automobiles. Let's consider Postage Stamps... If one wants to be a real expert Stamp Collector, even as a hobby, one will study Stamp Books and study Stamps. He/she will attend Stamp Shows and Conventions and learn as much about Stamps as one possibly can. One will learn about misprints and errors, values, how many were printed, how they were made, attrition, how to spot fakes, etc., etc., etc. You know - the basics.

    Now, what says one can't just go and purchase some Postage Stamps and all of a sudden one is a Stamp Collector? Poof... Well, there is nothing that says one can't do that. But, I must ask if this person is really a Stamp Collector? Does this person KNOW what they are purchasing, what it's really worth, and why? Without a firm foundation in all those BASICS I listed above they CAN'T.

    Without a firm grasp of the basics can a Ham Operator get on the air and operate the correct mode, on the correct frequencies, with the correct power level, comply with the laws, and NOT interfere with other Ham Operators (or their next door neighbors)? Can one simply purchase a firm grasp of the basics? The answer is a resounding YES as long as we are willing to relegate our selves to fixed channels, one or two voice modes, restrictive bands, and low power levels with NO experimentation. In other words, as long as we are willing to become a form of CBer then we can get by without all those basics.

    I guess it really comes down to how much respect one has for him/her self and others. Is your Ham Ticket (and license level) something to respect, have pride in, and strive for? Or is it going to be something we purchase just because we have too? Is one motivated by achievement and pride? Or is the motivation the instant gratification one gets from purchasing everything?
    OH2FFY, W7GST, VK6FX and 3 others like this.
  6. W6SDM

    W6SDM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not a VK, so I don't have a dog in this particular fight. In general, I believe in multiple classes of licenses, each being more difficult to obtain, and each coming with more privileges as an incentive. I was first licensed in the 1960s when the Novice class license was the entry level license in the United States. It came with a shelf life of one year, limited power authorization, and was mostly a CW license. It was fairly easy to obtain from volunteer examiners around the country.

    I would like to see such a license return to the American system, similar to the Technician class, but with a one-year expiration.

    Making ham radio licensing too easy attracts more people to the hobby but it also makes it vulnerable to a culture like CB. Anything that requires no effort is worth the amount of work it takes to get there.
    N9ILS, KI4AX, OH2FFY and 3 others like this.
  7. KW0U

    KW0U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Continuing the analogy, there is an old saying in numismatics, "Buy the book before the coin." Otherwise you can end up buying "valuable" items (i.e. junk) from late night infomercials flogging "rare coins". So having basic knowledge can avoid a costly mistake. In coin or stamp collecting it's not being stuck. In ham radio it's not being out of band. Or electrocuting yourself.
  8. N4YCI

    N4YCI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    He is talking about VK land not the USA so listen to the podcast before you comment and jump to conclusions. Personally in the US we need to make some changes. 1) allow digital modes not just CW for Novice (grandfathered) and technician 2) allow techs to use SSB on 25khz of 40m and 80m and 100khz of 15m. This will increase the number of people with HF radios which is a good thing not a bad thing. Hate the idea I know change is bad to many people, but how many of you anti changers are no code licencees. For the record I passed 13wpm and later upgraded to extra and I operate CW more than SSB and I have nothing against no-code. I will say if your no code and don't do digital your hands are about 10-20db down from the rest of us playing. Bet ya did not work Fiji last night during the bottom of the solar cycle on SSB. Your loss is my no pileup ATNO.
    VK8NSB, AE4LH and K2MOB like this.
  9. VK4FFAB

    VK4FFAB Subscriber QRZ Page

    Within the vk f-call syllabus the basics and saftey etc are already covered. Now if you look at the things i listed, no one needs to know how to look up a resistor colour code to set up a station ever, no one needs to understand the theory of how a valve works to safely operate a commercial valve amp and no one needs to understand a block diagram of an FM transmitter to use a 2m handheld, or how to bias a BJT in class A, AB or C to successfully buy a station and get it on the air without hurting themselves. And all but the very rare exception is going to open the box up and do finger poken when the radio stops working, its getting shipped back to the manufacturer for repair.

    Things have changed, they have changed dramatically so that electronic theory is irrelevant to todays hams. Sure in the 50's 60's and 70's when most novices begged, borrowed and salvaged to build their station, learning about serial and parallel resistance, capacitance and inductance and how to bias gain stages would be a very handy thing to know, RLC meters were not all that common im guessing so knowing how to read a resistor colour, or capacitor number might also be a handy skill, but today, these things are all highly irrelevant to all but the rare few.

    I mean how many people do you know that homebrew their entire station? Not a lot of the old guard elmers are using 100% homebrew stations and just about none of the new guys have any interest in electronics, even my own friends would rather rag chew or work some dx with SSB and have no interest in homebrew or CW. Its just how it is.
  10. VK4FFAB

    VK4FFAB Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree, but those differences need to be based in reality not the arbitrary way they seem to get done. To take Onno's example of what is so special about 20m that an F-Call cannot use it? It seems rather arbitrary, we have 80, 40, 15, 10m SSB and CW so why not 20m. It just seems arbitrary, if you have enough skills and understanding to work the tomato net on 80m I am pretty sure you are smart enough and skilled enough to work the tomato net on 20m.

    Fcall gets no digital modes, but our standards and advanced do but are not examined on digital modes either. Since when does knowing how to bias a device mean you now have the understanding to use digital? Again arbitrary. After safety and operating procedure the only real difference between what any licence class can do is power. And long with Onno, I agree that power should be earned and that WARC and the low bands should be earned and probably microwaves also should be earned as there is a fair chance of cooking your head or someone elses.

    But as for the arbitrary things like you can only SSB here or CW there, or which bits of HF you can and cannot use, if you are smart enough and trained enough to use part of it, you should have all of it and what separates the licence classes is power. The WIA here is attempting to move things that way, but the process with ACMA is slow. If i recall off the top of my head, the changes proposed were to remove the 4 letter call, 50w, digital, 20m and some microwaves and some homebrew. Time will tell is that happens.

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