New Study Guide for Technician / General / Extra Tests

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N5HZR, Oct 4, 2016.

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  1. KB1PA

    KB1PA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    yes, lots of clubs are working hard at getting new hams. but that is only ¼ of the problem. ¾ of the problem comes AFTER new hams get licensed. 99% of new hams are ignored, and have no one to turn to to get advice and have questions answered. They feel uncomfortable and unwelcome at clubs. There are no post license classes, or programs in most of the US. There are very few up to date books that cover "You just got your ham license, Now What?". If we all don't do something, our hobby will take its place in the history books within 10-15 years.
    W6GRD likes this.
  2. KO2LA

    KO2LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    There must be SOME threshold, otherwise we will have Citzens Band. And as has been said, passing the test is not the finish it's the beginning.
    N5HZR likes this.
  3. N5HZR

    N5HZR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Aw no you didn't... Sounds like that's our next project!!!
  4. KA4PNE

    KA4PNE Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've enjoyed reading the comments and can both agree to disagree. Nevertheless, I like the idea of the non-cluttered study guide, well, anything that would at least get one motivated and "started" - in any class of license - seems to be the right thing to do. Most likely, the starting point for the newcomer is going to be the Technician Class. But, once they get a 'taste' of Amateur Radio, they'll dig into the study books and 'learn'. There are many study guides on the market - that are simply question and answer memorization books. And, most don't 'teach', they just offer a question and answer. But to simplify the "motivation" process is something that I can agree to. And, even to the already licensed Amateur Radio operator, if a condensed question and answer manual motivates one to upgrade, so be it. And when I say 'Study Guide', even a question and answer manual is bound to influence one to dig deeper into the technical world. You can't help but not to. And, sure, the Edison and Einstein appliques will come later. Even though I'm one that doesn't like the memorize and get a license idea, the CRAAM Manual seems to be a practical fair starting point. I've studied and worked hard and earned all of my knowledge. I've been an Amateur Radio operator for 34 years this November and am only a General Class licensee. Even as a Certified Electronics Technician, I remained a Novice class licensee for 20 years. Yet, I earned - and I mean 'hands on' - the First Class Radiotelephone License with Ship Radar Endorsement (now the GROL License) but have not bothered to upgrade to Amateur Extra license ... yet. I personally believe that what is keeping the newcomer - who might be interested in Amateur Radio - is the fear of all the 'Technical' material. I also believe it was the intention of the FCC to do things in increments anyway; Novice, Technician, General, Advanced, Extra. You ever wonder if the word 'Technician' is scaring away the potential Amateur Radio operator because they are required to be somewhat of a 'Technician'; physicist, an Albert Einstein? If a simplified question and answer study guide brings in a newcomer, well, so be it. Once they step into the Amateur Radio world, they'll want to 'learn' ... more. Since I recently retired, I believe I should now go and take the Extra test. Even though I'm a CETma, it's nice to have a simple study guide ... just to have a general idea of what to expect on the test. And, for the newcomer, your CRAAM study guide is just the right "motivator" to get one started. I like what you've done. Keep the 'distracting' or confusion at a minimum. By the way, I'm confused, did I erroneously read in one of the posts that: " ... Amateur radio is a hobby that is slowly dying off ... " ??? That's news to me. Take a look at the ARRL article dated 03/04/2015 " US AMATEUR RADIO NUMBERS REACH AN ALL-TIME HIGH". If Amateur Radio was/is 'dying off', I don't remember [that]. 73
  5. N5HZR

    N5HZR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yisrael, first of all, holy cow, what a great QRZ page you have. That's a way to make a difference!

    You have a lot of really great suggestions, and that ARRL article about record numbers made me really double down on my activities to get more people involved in the hobby, when it came out. It really disappoints me when people spend time talking about gloom and doom, instead of spending that time getting someone else involved. If the first half of the 20th century was the golden age of radio, this must be the Platinum Age of Radio. Equipment is cheap, information is free, and plentiful, and the interest in makers, builders, and preparing for loss of communications has never been higher.Thanks for your info, and I hope you weathered hurricane Matthew!
  6. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think it's fear. It's simply aversion.

    Back in the day, having technical knowledge was considered to be a good thing, not something to fear or have an aversion to.

    The term "Technician" used to attract people to the hobby.

    We have to face facts. In today's world, people, especially younger people, interested in technical hobbies and "technology" have a lot of better choices than ham radio.
    N5HZR likes this.
  7. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're kidding right? College courses to pass a ham radio exam?

    The tests have never been easier but it's never been a problem for teens and even younger to get amateur licenses if they want to. There are 7 year old kids passing the Extra test !

    You don't need "a lot of time taking many college courses". You just need to want it enough to learn a few basics.

    If there's a problem with the tests, it's that they don't challenge our young people enough. Dumbing down ham radio testing even more is not the solution.

    Our young people are not getting dumber. Just the opposite in my view. We do them a disservice and we're killing the hobby by assuming they are dumb.
  8. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    A good analogy with the wrong perspective - drivers license ,
    You can not memorize operating a motor vehicle , you may be able to memorize the written test , but you still have to pass a driving test with a examiner in the car with you .
    I got into ham radio late in life , even though my parents handed me a Heathkit catalog in 1962 , they also sent my off to military boarding school , nobody there was a ham so I forgot about it , ten yrs. ago I got my ticket and wish now I would have gotten in earlier , electronic is a huge subject and I regret having a short time to learn it as much as I would like .
    I think there is a mix of issues here , there is room for hams to have different approaches , ie I like DX and fixing gear , many others in multiple clubs I belong to are very interested in volunteer side of things , thats all well and good , but many of the members are not interested in technical stuff and can not put together a station and get it working well , that's aside from building radios , amps , skills etc.
    I am a little disappointed that I find myself helping many hams with the basics , and I do not not know near as much as I want , I need lots of help diagnosing issues , but buy [ when I can , test gear ] .
    I do have the skills to do surface mount components and many of the tools .
    But this is a technical hobby .
    I think there is a value to getting rid of the wrong answers , trick questions etc.
    If you can not change your , maybe that is part of getting a drivers license ?
    N5HZR and N0IRS like this.
  9. VU2KDS

    VU2KDS Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is all fine and a great help to those really interested. Why this commercialization, if at all you want more people to appear for the exam and like to encourage all why don't you provide a e-book.

  10. N5HZR

    N5HZR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great idea, thanks. This is in the works! Our initial request was for a physical document.

    Standby, more follows<g>...

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