RM-11828: FCC invites comments on ARRL petition to give Technicians HF phone privileges.

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by K4KYV, Mar 15, 2019.

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  1. AB2RA

    AB2RA Ham Member QRZ Page

    K7JEM: Sailor bogeyman working overtime today. It's hard to follow how illegal operation by foreign participants is germain to a discussion about modifying privileges for American hams. I hope you guys do send this argument to the FCC, since it is so ludicrous.

    Read it.
    We did file it.
    FACTS. Evidence.
    And it does document the whole thing.
    Waterman said he planned 100 stations per band, in his filing.
    ARRL said it would cause interference, in their filing.
    RM-11828 is just a method to get some of the boot leggers legal, if they can pass the tech.
    Dont have to do the General.
    AC0OB likes this.
  2. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Still nonsense..
    WA5VGO likes this.
  3. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sent my formal Comment to fcc.gov/ecfs overnight. The five pages seem a bit wordy, but I used 15pt font size for the hard-of-seeing. In essence, my Opposition remarks criticise the ARRL proposal for failing to ask outsiders what would motivate them to get a license. My best line? The ARRL is "trying to use regulatory action to address a marketing problem."
    WB2GCR, AC0OB and K4KYV like this.
  4. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    The FCC received a lot of comments over the weekend. The count went from 88 Friday, to a total of 530 by this morning.
  5. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll try to be objective and factual. What I think of as traditional ham radio (HF operating, phone and CW with analog gear) has a problem. Every month around 200 to 250 hams are listed as Silent Keys. A whole page in QST. 30 or 40 years ago it was half a page. Before 1950 it was a list of at most ten hams taking a few column inches. We've all observed that activity is declining. It's rational to see that the status quo will result in a population of active hams unable to sustain what we might consider an enjoyable operating experience every day within another 15 years or so. Then management of vast amounts of HF by national governments is placed in jeopardy because it isn't getting used. Alright, that last part is conjecture, but the population problem is real, observable, and continually getting worse.

    I don't see any other ideas or plans or proposals to fix this out there apart from what the ARRL has come up with. Maybe there's something and I missed it. What I see here is a lot of obsessing about Techs. on HF slopbucket, code words like Sailor Bogeyman whatever that is, and other negativity and doom and gloom. The ARRL has had a lot of dumb ideas and this one is probably not perfect, but it's some sort of attempt to get more folks operating on HF. Rather than kill it, why not improve it, or propose something that's better and justify it. Or we can flood FCC with negative comments, deep six it, and see a consistent death spiral going forward of 2400 to 3000 hams SK per year. In a decade, that's 30,000 hams, mostly OTs who were hams like us, regulars on HF, probably operating analog gear and analog modes. Meanwhile new hams mostly get Tech. tickets, and either chase balloons and storms, or if they're in it for the joy of radio, get bored with 2 m. CB and drop out. Is that what you want? I hope my fellow AM operators are not that obtuse and stupid. Here's a question: What would you rather be doing in 10 years, listening to band noise, or coaching a new to AM operator who got bored with SSB? I don't like it, but I can't stop hams dying either, so I know what my answer is.

    This isn't about bandwidth, or some subband allocation or some other half-baked petition we've all opposed before.

    I can't make you do anything, but I think it's pretty misguided to shut the ARRL's (you know, the group with all the AM gear who are supportive of AM now?) initiative down if you don't have a petition or proposal of your own to put forth to the FCC. Why don't you use your time to come up with a better plan instead of commenting here or drafting tedious filings for the ECFS?

    Why not become part of the solution instead of part of the problem?

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    K7JEM and W2VW like this.
  6. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rob, you don't say it explicitly, but I presume from your posting that you support RM-11828, so I don't expect to see your own idea that could be better than theirs.

    In my Comment in Opposition to their proposal, I suggest improved marketing of the hobby is a better way for recruitment and retention of new licensees, which are the goals of the ARRL's petition. The value the hobby has always had for its participants includes a sense of achievement at having earned a license. I don't agree that there is an "entry level" license class at all, since anyone can come into the hobby at whatever testing challenge they can pass. I can't quantify whether more or less satisfaction exists among classes of license, but we all share some level of accomplishment in our participation.

    The people behind RM-11828 failed to provide any evidence that they will achieve the goals of recruitment and retention through weaker testing standards. I say as much in my Comment filed into the FCC's public database, and I would have told the League the same thing, had they asked for my input before submitting this misguided proposal.

    Their petition is misguided because it does not identify what outsiders would list as incentive to become licensed. Prospective licensees, not today's subscribers to the ARRL, are the ones who need to be reached. There is nothing in RM-11828 that supports the premise more people will join us if the tests are weaker. The petition even acknowledges that a previous weakening of testing standards (dropping CW) did not lead to sustained growth at a level the ARRL desires.

    I point out that the League is in the best position, at its own expense, to utilize marketing research, independent polling, and other means to ask prospective candidates why they have not joined the hobby. Such research would showcase the range of activities available to licensees, class notwithstanding, and then match those activities to selected outsiders as salesmanship. College campuses are a prime target. Any number of undergraduate majors involve expertise one can get in the hobby. RM-11828 is mute on this kind of approach, and instead seeks regulatory action to solve a marketing problem. A change in regulations won't sell the hobby to outsiders, and draining away the sense of accomplishment will alienate existing licensees.

    This problem is all about the image of Amateur Radio. We've got a range of activities that could be interesting enough to motivate more people to join us, if only they were "sold" on what we can do.
    AC0OB likes this.
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding going on with many hams. The proposal doesn't change the testing at all. It will be neither weaker, nor stronger. It will not change. The proposal is about adding benefits to a license class, in this case the technician. But in the past, many benefits have been added to general and extra, with no change in testing either.

    So, again, there is no change in testing standards, only an enhancement to privileges, much as general and extra have been enhanced through the addition of the 2200M, 630M, 60M, 30M, 17M, and 12M bands, and the changes in phone and data privileges over the last many years.
  8. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    If benefits from a higher class license become available to one with less challenging testing, the "test" to obtain those benefits has become weaker.

    AC0OB and WA5VGO like this.
  9. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, the tests didn't change. Benefits or privileges are not the same thing as tests. This seems to be something many hams do not understand. They equate the test with the privileges, but they are two separate things.

    It could be argued that the new privileges add an increased value to the tech license, which would be true. But that is the reason for the proposal. The general has had increased value added to it over the past years and decades, also. So has the extra. Every time a privilege is added, the value of the license increases. Every time a privilege is taken away, the value decreases. Ideally, the entry level class should be valuable enough for people to want to get it, but restrictive enough to require an upgrade to get better benefits. I think this proposal meets that goal. It is not ideal, or perfect, and many people will not like it. But many hams will automatically oppose any change to the status quo, that seems to be the nature of some folks.
  10. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Nope, this proposal doesn't make it any easier to pass a test and become a "ham", so in its present form it would affect those already licensed more than it would attract newcomers. I don't see the privilege to operate scratchy-sounding HF SSB as something that would make a lot of non-hams eager to take out a ticket, especially millennials and younger. Most kids these days don't even spend much time chatting with their friends on their smart phones; they prefer to text each other and post messages and pictures on Facebook and other social media. Computer-assisted data and other forms of keyboard communication within Technicians' existing HF frequency allocations would make a greater enticement to younger non-hams, than would joining the 75m SSB gang or exchanging five-nines with DX on 15m. I don't see CW as much of an enticement either.

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