HamRadioNow: That ARRL Entry Level License Survey

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K4AAQ, Mar 2, 2017.

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  1. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's always entertaining reading all us old guys telling how to get young people interested in amateur radio, as if any of us really know what young people are thinking.

    I don't know how it was for anyone else but back in the day (around 1970 in my case) nobody had to "recruit" me or "elmer" me. It probably would have creeped me out and turned me off on the whole thing if they had.

    Kids can think for themselves. A lot of them are way smarter than any of us. If they're not developing an interest on their own, then nothing you do, no matter how simple the tests, no matter how hard you try to "recruit" and "elmer", it's not going to happen. Accept that and move on.

    Contrary to apparently most people, my opinion that amateur radio's future does not revolve around dragging kids into a hobby they are not finding on their own.

    But if it does, it does. So what.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
    W6FYK, KE5OFJ, W2REA and 1 other person like this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Of course. The bottom line is it would be illustrative to know if someone who is a new ham and walked into quick upgrades is 24...or 14.

    Are we looking at a 3 sigma point, or the top of the Gaussian?

    I know Marty (KC1CWF) could make this claim (he is 15) but very few others at that age.

    BTW Marty has an extended village of very supportive hams--some indirect Elmers-- based in this area. He seldom needs it.

    What's the term...'trim tab'? 'Gentle nudge'?

    Ron, back in 1970, we had a group of 30-40 young hams --teenagers--in the area and we thought it was cool to work with the old guys (yeh, occasionally we made gentle fun of them) and COMMONLY used to show up unannounced at their doorsteps. We were ALWAYS welcome and learned lots and lots. And had major fun doing it.

    The point is that 'radio' is going into hyperdrive with the IoT. Kids are going to be doing radio even more: Look at it as the golden age of radio control. You are incorrect that they are bored by it. Why not focus that 'radio' interest with a new license class?
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
    NL7W likes this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not hard---BORING.

    If it looks like school work they will avoid it like the plague.

    BTW, best on your DX travels. Look forward to working you.

    Chip W1YW
    KF4ZKU likes this.
  4. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    I have been licensed almost 10 years now. I just recently renewed my Amateur Extra License.

    CW kept me away for years.

    I had been reading the old Now Your Talking book that Radio Shack sold in the mid 1990's,
    and taking Online Practice Tests here on QRZ, for about a month before I went to my first VE Session.

    When I arrived I said, after I pass my Technician Test I would like to then take my General test too,
    or do I have to come back another day for that? The VE Team, said IF you pass Tech we will let you take your General too, today.

    I said OK, I am ready and will pass both, and did. I was then offered the Extra exam, and was reluctant to take that.
    I had not looked at any Extra study materials, nor taken any Extra practice tests.

    I was told that I had almost passed the Extra, and that in 10 days there is another local exam, go home and study some more;
    given the time and location, and was told, we expect you to go there and try again, because you are Almost ready.

    I passed my Extra after taking every practice test in the list at least once.
    10 days after passing Tech and General, I upgraded to Amateur Extra and still had no Call Sign.

    In my opinion, we do not need a new Novice class. My 2 cents worth.

    Too many of the newly licensed Amateurs are mic shy, I was not afraid of talking on the radio,
    my "novice" training so to speak was CB when That was still Licensed. ;)

    73 K2HAT
    KB0FKT, KF4ZKU, KE5OFJ and 1 other person like this.
  5. WF9Q

    WF9Q XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Chip, this has to be the most profound statement you have made in regards to Ham Radio. I most certainly concur with you.
    NZ5F, WB9VPG and W1YW like this.
  6. W7ARX

    W7ARX Guest

    Don't understand another level of entry. Easy enough to pass so not understanding the great difficulty. I would be more interested in how to keep licensed ops interested in the hobby, getting them on the air, etc....
    KB0FKT, NK2U, KM4NOW and 1 other person like this.
  7. N1DAY

    N1DAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ranks grew when the rules were changed a few years ago for the entry level technician class. I wonder what % of the technician licensees are still active? When I got my license, I talked 5 friends into getting theirs as well... one even got his extra..... sadly none are active hams..... but 3 of them joined ARRL the first year out. I think all these gyrations in license levels are more about generating revenue for ARRL than they are about advancing the hobby, service, etc etc.
    KB0FKT, KA9OFN, NK2U and 2 others like this.
  8. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, not at all.

    The ARRL is getting involved at the request of several members who are advocating this. Generating revenue is NOT a motivation.

    I know this as a fact.

    The ARRL is not defining a position: they are articulating some options and seeking membership feedback. What's wrong with that?

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
    KG5ILR, WU8Y and WB9VPG like this.
  9. K4RT

    K4RT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here we go again. ARRL is thinking about mucking about in the federal regulatory process - again - not because the number of licensees are dwindling or because there is any compelling evidence that a change is needed, but perhaps because they want to sign up more members and sell more merchandise. We had a Novice license for decades that provided an excellent entry-level gateway to the hobby, and didn't ARRL ask FCC to do away with it? Absent a compelling reason to get involved in FCC rulemaking, ARRL should stay out of it, and if the ARRL directors can't say "no" to the ARRL Executive Committee, which dreams up a lot of this nonsense, then they shouldn't be sitting on the ARRL board.

    Brad K4RT
    ARRL Lifetime Member
    KB0FKT, KE5OFJ and K0PV like this.
  10. AB2YC

    AB2YC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I was growing up the world was a different place and radio was in a way new technology.
    Since then radio has taken a backseat to a lot of different things computers, cell phones etc.

    For me I was hot into radio then along came, girls and then computers, then the Navy and then starting a family.
    It took a while before radio came back around again and I had the time and desire to play with it again.
    even then I had other hobbies that would come along and radio would take a back seat to them.

    The licensing system really does not need to change as it is my son got his Extra at 14 years old (With the 5 wpm code requirement).
    But with him happened the same as me, along came girls, and computers, and work, and his own starting a family.
    I gave him a radio and he has barely had a chance to even look at it, because he has other things that are more important right now.

    Put yourself in the shoes of the average youngster today and you will see that Amateur Radio does not have a huge appeal.
    Why get into radio when a lot of other areas and hobbies are so much more appealing and in a lot of them even more progressive.

    I don't think it's an issue of licensing, I believe it's an issue of to many radio is really not that appealing.
    For many of them the question is once they get it what can they really do with it.

    Well you can:
    Talk to complete strangers in other countries... they can do that now and do it all the time over computers.
    Talk to your friends. they have cell phones and do that all day long.
    You can send messages to your friends, ever see how fast kids can send a text.

    Truth is to many Amateur radio really is not that appealing once they get on the air and see how many
    hams act that's pretty much the final straw they radio gets turned off put on a shelf and they move on.

    Sadly it's the simplifying of ham radio that is actually doing it more harm than good.
    It used to be where the intelligent ones went to to learn, try and share with other like minded ones.
    Now anyone can cram for the test, buy a radio and go on the air with practically no knowledge of radio.
    Sadly it's that lack of knowledge that makes radio unappealing, after all it's amateur RADIO one would
    expect licensed amateurs to actually understand how radio works.

    Want to truly make radio appealing? Then stop simplifying it. Make it a challenge, Let them realize through
    hard work that they actually accomplished something in getting a license. If it's easy then it has no value.
    KF4ZKU, W7VAQ, WA4AJ and 7 others like this.

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