Incentive Licensing Retrospective

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K3UD, Dec 21, 2005.

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  1. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What a great attitude. Welcome to Amateur Radio!
  2. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is wild to see that CB license. I had one of those in the sixties. KKI something. Back then, the CB band was cleaner the HF today. No bad language, everyone used callsigns, and general good behavior, other then those that said kids shouldn't be on the radio.

    I was twelve, and it got boring real quick. Got a radio and antenna, coax and connectors. After the initial thrill of soldering 259's on the RG8, there wasn't much to do but push a mic button. It went downhill from there, and "Smokey and the Bandit" combined with cheap transistor rigs, nailed that coffin. I went back to the Knight Kit SW receiver that I built from a kit for my radio fun.

    Then, I researched ham radio. A whole different world.

    Maybe I could read all of those dot and dashes, that I listened to on the SW with the crappy BFO.

    There was challenge. You had to work toward a goal.

    You learned new things all of the time. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

    My wife's an extra, and the hard part for her was 5WPM.

    She doesn't know beans about RF or electronics, and doesn't really care to. She took the Gordon West books and did in a few months, what took some of us years.

    I think incentive licensing is a good idea, but at this point, it is a sad joke. What is the point of having different classes, if all the next step up requires, is memorizing some more silly questions and answers.

    It was interesting to see the polite 60's CB band turn into what it is today. Anyone see a simular pattern in the ARS?

    Buy a radio, push the mic button, and fire up the PC to send email on Winlink. Wow.

    No talk of learning radio skills, just talk of how we need new "cool stuff" to get new people in the hobby. A bunch of people that don't know a capacitor from a can opener.

    You don't need a crystal ball to see where this is going.

    If you are not interested in electronics and RF, why would you be interested in ARS?

    People that are not interested in electronics and RF, may get licenses, but they won't have much to do, and will get bored quickly. Some will put the rig in the closet, and others will amuse themselves by turning HF into "hell on earth".

    I have nothing against no code techs, and the code requirement is going to go. But if we don't get some kind of buffer, as in tests that require knowledge as opposed to memorizing answers, things could get real ugly.

    Merry Christmas

  3. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page


    You are a real ham. Learning code doesn't make you a real ham.

    You are my poster child. Someone that actualy knows what this hobby is about.

    You also prove that earlier post as to how 11 meters is the novice band.

    The sad fact is, that there are a bunch of people on CB, that know a hell of a lot more about radio, then some hams do. 30 years ago that wasn't the case, but it sure is now.

    Thanks for the ray of hope, when I though we were doomed. There are still people that realize that computers and radios are different.

    73 - W6NJ
  4. WA4GCH

    WA4GCH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I kept it becaues of the date on it Nov 22 1963 ....

    Your right on CB WAS cleaner than HF today but we cant blame that on code / no-code. We need to work TOGETHER to help get this hobby going again and us older ELMERS need to get ELEMERING ......... [​IMG]
  5. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Certainly the ARRL wouldn't try to fix something that isn't broken.

    Wait, that's the Bandwidth Proposal thread.....


  6. NE3R

    NE3R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ham radio test of the future:

    1. Do you want to be an extra class ham radio operator?

    a Yes
    b No
    c All choices are correct
    d None of the above

    End test
  7. KA5S

    KA5S Ham Member QRZ Page

    I retired from the Army in 1983. I'd run away from home in 1962, 17 years old, and enlisted underage. Eventually, my folks found me and we corrected the records so I could stay in the Service. I had already been a Ham operator for a few years, and now I could put a station in my wall locker and operate. Did, too.

    I wasn't a military voice or CW radio operator, but the Army didn't care. If you could do a job they needed done, they told you to do it. And you did it! Over the years my solutions to problems were original enough that someone must have made a note in the files, because when I did retire, my hip-pocket mobilization orders were for the White House Communications Agency at Fort Meade. If the balloon went up, they didn't care that I was missing a degree or was perhaps an erratic genius not much amenable to discipline; anyone who'd suggest running a tropo shot single-channel off the Moon might just get a message across that had to get across.

    Along in there I too got clipped by Incentive licensing, but I upgraded to Advanced in 1978 and Extra in 1979.

    In 1979 I was the de-facto radio interference guy for Fort Hood. I'd gotten crossways of my shop's Warrant Officer a couple of years before and ended up out of Avionics back in the muddy-boot Signal Corps. But when the Special Weapons (mushroom cloud type) shop had a radio interference problem they came to me. They did not ask if I had a degree first.

    Never DID get that degree. But from late 1983 to (whenever I get that next job) I've been working in electromagnetic compatability. If the Army wants me back, they might just put me work doing it, too. 'Cause I've done it.

    What got all that crazy stuff done was Amateur Radio. Oh, not that I was a crackerjack radio operator! I wasn't and I'm not now. It wasn't that I was an Einstein. Ditto there. It's our outlook: "Lets try it and see." (An outlook some of us here seem bent on discouraging.)

    I was Brigade training NCO once, walking down the hallway when a hairy arm grabbed me, pulled me into an office and the S3 said, "Sergeant Richmond, you are now a telephone engineer."

    "Yessir, Colonel. What does he do?"

    I did it. With plenty of help, you bet, but we were short a Major and the three enlisted perssonnel we should have had doing the job. Did you know you can conference eight analog FAX's? No one else did; I tried it and it worked. Thereafter, I sent the Brigade switchboard program out in ten minutes when it took my predecessors an hour.

    THAT is what we get from Amateur Radio. Incentive licensing? Nah. We got incentive. Built in. Scares folks, sometimes.

    You want fries with that?

  8. K5KTD

    K5KTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    "The code is a hardship and if we dropped it we would see explosive growth."

    This reply is in the highest regard and in respect for a fellow Amateur Operator of a differing opinion.

    Regardless the state of code requirements, ham radios, even good used radios, cost a few hundred dollars. A good (Of course, "good" is subject to opinion.) new radio can easily approach $1,000.00, plus the cost of anntenna, coax, grounding, and other safety items. Proper set-up and maintenance is an additional cost. While I will meet you in the middle on your conjecture "...we would see explosive growth.", I must submit that cost is a critical factor, and one I have not seen discussed in the forums. If I may, I consider my station to be modest. My gear is an IC746Pro, Begali Camelback, SteppIR 6/40 Vertical, and a Rohn 25G tower at 50 feet and I'm $3,000.00 into it give or take. I respecyfully suggest that cost alone is enough of an issue to suppress much of the bang in "explosive."
  9. K5KTD

    K5KTD Ham Member QRZ Page


    Congratulations on your ticket!

    That's the spirit we need, and I hope you DO encourage your daughter to listen in.

    I will help you any way I am able...73, Kelly.
  10. KI9G

    KI9G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I dont think the oldtimers are the problem. I think the narrowminded are the problem.
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