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New Study Guide for Technician / General / Extra Tests

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

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  1. N5HZR

    N5HZR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Both very true statements, however, I think the point is that the information for, especially the Extra test, would be contained in multiple college courses. That content is very broad, and is difficult to train if we went very deep in any of these areas. For example, there's only a couple questions on a Smith chart, however, to truly understand a Smith chart, would take the equivalent of a couple college courses to derive how they function. However, to learn how to read one for uses in Amateur Radio would only require the information in those couple of questions.

    What I've seen over the 30+ years is that people take the test to 'get in the door', and THEN they dive deeper into the areas that excite them. This hobby is SOOO broad that I still learn lots from even the newest of hams that have tackled a topic that I haven't.

    So much to do, so little time.
  2. KD6VXI

    KD6VXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Give me a break.

    30 years ago, every country sent their students to the USA to be educated. Then we started 'teaching to the test', and now we have no STEM students, except those that can take a test. And the USA is so far in front I regards to engineering and science, huh?

    I'd rather have a quarter the number of ham radio licensees if they actually understood that a single 811 isn't good for 200 watts, that just because they don't have to worry about over the air TV interference, that doesn't mean their Davemade amplifier is now OK on 15 meters.

    I'd much rather have people in the hobby that actually did NOT use cheap Chinese junk, and then explain the virtues of how crappy it really is, but they are getting what they paid for, and it's good enough (but, every time they key the mic, the noise floor raises up a few db for 2 mhz each side). People that understood the difference between even order and odd order distortion in a transmitted signal.

    Yes, I'd much rather go back to an education system where we taught the underlying principals, instead of a bunch of crib sheets.

    Your inflating the ranks of ham radio at the risk of turning it into Cb radio. Period. Half your new operators can't remember 468/F, but a bunch of CBers are able to get multiple ceramic tubes working in a mobile environment, and a bunch of textbook hams refuse to believe a single 2879 could output 200 watts, until w8ji said so. Physics be damned (or, is it just that 80 pct of the test passers today don't UNDERSTAND the underlying physics of our TECHNICAL hobby???)

    KM1H likes this.
  3. KD6VXI

    KD6VXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another thing with incentive licensing. It was never t he intent to go to your local VEC session, and test tech to extra in one day.

    Your supposed to gain the knowledge of an extra through experience. Of building your own stuff, of repairing your broken equipment.

    Yes, that IS the incentive. Learn more, over time. Prove it, in the form of a test. Get new privileges!

    Not, remember a bunch of questions and answers. Here's the golden key!

    Lazy. Pure and simple, lazy!
  4. KI6J

    KI6J Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good job with the manual. I applaud your initiative.

    But, I wouldn't know an 811 if it fell on my head.
    I'm a no-code extra-in-a-month.
    N5HZR likes this.
  5. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    The real dumbing down of ham radio started in the late 70's or early 80's when Dick Bash published his various "guides" and held seminars that duplicated almost exactly the exam questions which were FCC derived back then. He paid others to memorize the questions when taking exams and then do a "brain dump" to someone out on the street. The FCC tried everything to get him to stop but legally they didnt have a prayer. Instead they worked a deal with the ARRL to create the VE system which put Bash out of business and saved the FCC a lot of money in the process; a real win-win situation.

    Now we have a huge ham population with the lowest level of technical competence ever and some new group or individuals attempts to bring it down either more. Most are simple profiteers no matter how sweet they talk.
    Sorry, but all the self aggrandizing and back patting doesnt cut it as they are only feeding their own egos and at the same time destroying the opinion of hams to the general public and our ability to provide reliable communications in a time of need.

    Go to:

    Someone claimed it took a college education to answer the questions, that is the most ridiculous statement Ive ever heard on the subject. The VE organization took pains to make it possible to get a passing grade to anyone with even just a grade school education. Look at all the CBers that made it :rolleyes: and many have done right well at it.
    Even I got a CB call in 1959, 2W1496, as a way to continue using 11M which was a great after school band using a DX-100 and then a Viking I :eek:

  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    This red herring always irritates me. I'm a 20-WPM Extra, rag chew at 25 WPM, Contest up to 42 - been a ham for over 42 years.

    Despite CW being my primary mode. I also enjoy RTTY, JT65 and JT9 - as a "keyboard operator"

    Just strikes me as very smug to say stuff like that.

    N5HZR likes this.
  7. N5HZR

    N5HZR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Forums are a great place to live.
    The coolest thing is the diverse set of opinions.
  8. KA5KXW

    KA5KXW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't mean to be flip, but knowledge of an 811 tube is about as relevant today as being able to adjust the points on a 1957 Chevy. The state of the art is direct DSP chips that can handle the whole HF spectrum and then some in one little bite. Surface mount technology is now the standard and through hole devices, much less tubes, are increasingly obsolete. The future belongs to the newcomers, not the old guys like you and me. The question pool is 10 years behind the technological curve. You can't tell me that the test questions advance the state of the art in communications.
    N5HZR and W9AFB like this.
  9. KD6VXI

    KD6VXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    KXW, that may be the 'state of the art', but not many of the clowns graduating to extra in a single test session are able to design around them. Most can't do 468/F, remember?

    All the dsp chips in the world doesn't mean squat when you have no electronic background, can't understand ohms law, makr statements like 50 ohms is a flat match, no matter the reactance present, etc.

    If they where, everyone would be designing SDR radios out of the junk box, etc.

    Apples to apples, my friend. We are discussing people that are newcomers, who got their technical test passed by regurgitating crib / cliff notes. Nobody doing that is designing for Anan, Flex, etc.

    That is my point.

    N2EY and KM1H like this.
  10. KA5KXW

    KA5KXW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started to put a long post out here about how most people forget most of what they learn to pass the test because they don't use it, etc. I'll just leave it at this: N5HZR is doing a really good job of getting people into the hobby. The people that he has elmered are excited about ham radio, are public service minded and are doing things for the public good.
    N5HZR likes this.

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