Happy 70th Anniversary Novices

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0IS, Jul 1, 2021.

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  1. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Novice class license got its start 70 years ago Thursday, on July 1, 1951. Actually, that was a Sunday, so the first test didn't take place until July 2, and the first licenses didn't hit the mailboxes until a few weeks later. But it was made official 70 years ago.

    I got mine about 23 years later. But the questions I studied looked quite similar to the original 28 study questions published in QST in 1951.

    K2MMO, W4LJ, K0UO and 2 others like this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got mine 16 years later (1967).

    The Novice was part of the 1951 restructuring that also gave us the Technician and Extra license classes, and renamed the old Class A, B and C licenses to Advanced, General and Conditional, respectively.

    The original Novice license tests were given at FCC offices, unless the prospective ham was a shut-in or lived more than 125 miles from a quarterly exam point. The new license was so popular that in 1954 the FCC changed the rules to make all routine Novice (and Technician) tests by-mail, regardless of distance from an FCC exam point.

    The Novice test was always multiple choice from the beginning, even though the study guide was in essay form.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    K0UO likes this.
  3. F8WBD

    F8WBD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read of an American Novice radio amateur who remained in that class all his active life, (when Novice was renewable). CW only on 80 meters. Performed all maintenance on his home-brew station. Antennas, etc. Helped others. No doubt could have gone on to a higher level but chose not to. Wasn't pressured. Wasn't insecure. As I recall, now an SK.
    W5ESE likes this.
  4. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's one novice here on the Zed that regularly posts. When I got mine in 1974, it was good for two years and non-renewable, although I think it became renewable within those two years.

    A friend's wife had her novice until recently, although she finally upgraded to technician. For a short time, she would have signed "interim AT" after her call, which I've never actually heard on the air.
  5. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got mine in '89.

    My two "generals" were Joe and John. They put on a great novice class.

    "Eek I Shot Harry!" still resonates today, as does "The Mighty Oak".
  6. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I worked KA3SJK in 2017 and 2018 who was a Novice licensee. I just checked his QRZ page and he is now listed as an SK. I remember that in the QSO he mentioned he was not interested in upgrading and was completely satisfied with his novice class privileges. I got the impression that he also enjoyed the novelty of being a novice in the current era.
    W5ESE and K0UO like this.
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My son got his Novice in about 1985. We moved to the Caribbean about that time and he got full privileges in Nevis and Anguilla and was VERY active. A crack CW operator too. He moved back to the states in 1991 but never became active again or had a reason to upgrade. He still keeps the Novice license renewed.
    W4KYR and K0UO like this.
  8. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got mine 16 years later (1967) also

    It was only good for One year and was not renewable. So you had to get your butt on the Air and learn CW, so you could past the 13 WPM General.
    Incentive licensing does work. .... .. HI

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire in the Air & On the AIR daily
    KC1NY and W4LJ like this.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got mine 18 years after the beginning, in 1969. By that time the ticket was good for two years, so you had a little breathing room. :)

    This is something entirely separate from Incentive Licensing, though. The main effect of Incentive Licensing on Novices? Elimination of 2-meter phone privileges. ;)
  10. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    There was always an incentive for Novices to upgrade in those days. As a practical matter, the concept of incentive licensing arguably hindered Novices upgrading since it perpetuated the status quo.
    W4NNF likes this.

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