What? ARRL Petitions FCC to Expand the Shortwave Privileges of Technician-Class Hams

Discussion in 'Videos and Podcasts' started by NW7US, Mar 6, 2018.

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  1. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The current technician pool expires July 1. Does anyone else find this petition's timing curious ?

    I have read the entire new pool and had some access during it's creation but no input. I believe there are a total of six questions having anything to do with HF and those are related to 10m operation at best and incidental at worst.
    If the intent is to query the examinees concerning HF phone operations via the current question pool or the new pool this not only fails miserably but completely fails to address HF phone operations on other than 10m. Only three questions address HF frequency privileges for CW or RTTY for the technician license.
    The questions that might insure even some HF phone competence are not only inadequate but missing completely.

    The exam questions having to do with HF Phone operations are contained in element three, the general class license exam.

    Any change in technician privileges would have to coincide with a change in the question pool...

    I'm something of an on the air hypocrite. I teach, I test , I mentor as able. However I spend little time in the general or technician portion of any band save for 10m and the local repeaters . Any technician or general needing or wanting help would have to find me here (or "there") , has my call on their '605 , or had been previously introduced some other way. It isn't that I won't answer to the best of my ability , I'm just not there. I find little conversation of interest in the general portion of HF , less in the advanced portion , and virtually none on 10m SSB . So I spend my time in the bottom of 80m and 40m . From conversations with other extra class licensees I find I'm not alone. So where and when can a technician be exposed to accepted HF operation? I suppose SWL is an option but it precludes interaction and requires patience from a generation noticeably lacking in both. I pointed the finger at myself first and foremost before stating this ...

    We as existing advanced, general and extra licensees are failing to support the service .

    If repeater operation isn't boring or contentious I have to deal with ~ https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/vizwarz-or-only-your-barista-knows-for-sure.594793/
    Enough said about that mess.

    The 10m contingent here now legally use their modified amateur equipment on 10m as well as 11m with predictable emissions . It's a fair mix of 11m modified HF transceivers and 10 meter modified 11m transceivers . The modified HF transceivers are used for both 10 and 11m and usually over modulated hack jobs. The modified 11m transceivers with their now legal (non) linear amplifiers also go back and forth between 11 and 10m. Fortunately current propagation does not encourage regular use of the relatively small slice of SSB Phone alloted to technicians. Either of these two groups can not be shook from their belief that what they are now doing is licensed and legal. Questions are few and egos prevail. Answers range from archaic alchemy to myths perpetuated by "Secret CB" , "The Screwdriver's Guide" , and what "My uncle's brother's cousin said... "

    With all that said we have a few that not only play by the rules but are outstanding operators and a welcome addition to the service. These operators unfortunately serve to highlight the gross deficiencies of not only the above descriptions but the inadequacy of the technician exam as it applies to amateur radio in general and HF operation specifically.

    Just , NO.

    Not without a comprehensive rewrite of the element two technician pool .
    Not any time soon.
    Once again...
    $15 , take a seat, #2 pencil provided, calculator optional, 35 questions, 75% or better is a pass.
  2. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Two nitpicks: The current technician pool expires June 30th. And a passing grade is 74%. I wish it was 75% and the number of test questions were 40 - 40 - and 60. Another thing I have no control over and have to accept. But I can complain.

    And according to the ARRL, there is no issue with the timing of the proposal to give Technicians more operating privileges (I don't agree with them, but they did say this):
    The Entry-Level License Committee determined that the current Technician class question pool already covers far more material than necessary for an entry-level exam to validate expanded privileges.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  3. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's a thought. If you manage to blur the lines between license requirements then there is no need for anything other than a single license class.
    That goes counter to everything the FCC has envisioned for the amateur service. That's provided the FCC even has a thought about the future of the service.
    So, if the Technician is closer to the General then one of them has to go. It's that simple.
    It might also be noted, those that seem the most in favor of this are currently Technician licensee's. It's in their best interest. Kind of a sample of greed and coveting.
    I saw the so called survey the ARRL put out. There was absolutely no input what-so-ever about not wanting the proposal. It was slanted. It had only one outcome and the results were more then just a bit predictable. The results were also predictable since there is a majority of Technician licensee's. It's kind of like asking people in a crowded parking lot what they want most, more parking or better health care. Like I stated, predictable.

    Have fun
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  4. W5PN

    W5PN Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. N2RDQ

    N2RDQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not following the resistance or the reasons ......

    I have 2 observations, First is who do you want to attract to he hobby, and second is how modern communication technology and concerns for modern communications dosn't mesh with the current privileges are and the testing.


    Your next generation of folks that are into SDR and modern digital communication techniques and concepts are your typical hacker / maker types that might also be into programming.. So is the idea of moving the radio art forward is to make the barrier on entry such that it does not attract those with the ability to move it forward?

    Technology is changing, and that's a good thing. what each class is should morph to fit modern technology. we should be looking to bring people into the hobby with the skills to move radio technology forward, not making it unattractive for them to enter.

    lets face it...technicians have mostly unused CW privileges on HF. why not let them have digital, and some limited phone. Back when CW was the primarily method of long distance communication, the entry level licenses has that privilege at limited power. now times have changed, primary methods are digital and ssb. Its time for privileges to change with the times.

    Why not allow a tech class licensed amateur from operating wspr on hf in example? Why keep the kid that's a wiz at computers and digital technology out of the part of ham radio that is attractive today as the entry point to the hobby.

    The necessary technical knowledge needed for entry into the hobby has changed a lot ... Long gone are the days when a radio had to be hand build your own receiver and transmitter, or assembling a station required a high level of understanding. Radios from companies like icom and flex can be store bought and are marvels of technology that hook to your computer..

    I could probably make a case that none of the test go far enough into the technology side and allows for those with insufficient knowledge in the technology areas to enter into the hobby. To make an unpopular observation ... why are we allowing tech license's to operate advance digital modes on vhf and uhf when they have not demonstrated competencies to do so. Then, we wont let them operate digital on hf but they can set up data networks on 5ghz, and can communicate via satellites. it needs to be revisited. it used to be where critical communications were occurring on hf now they are mostly vhf/uhf microwave etc. totally flipped from days gone by.

    There should be differences between classes, but, how those classes are defend needs to be looked and and changed to match the modern world and todays technology. Amateur radio exists to further the art of communications as one of its reasons for being. we do noting to further the art by only allowing new licensees to operate on ancient modes of communication on hf and having yesteryear requirements to qualify to use modern technology on hf that is not event tested for.

    yes the concept from the fcc is to have some learning path as a stepped level of privileges that are given to those that demonstrate levels of knowledge. But it is all for the the end goal is to further the art and knowledge of communications, along with providing emergency communications support. The licenses levels and privileges need to reflect the current state of communication technology. What is entry level and what is advanced has changed a lot and some has not changed at all. its past due for it to all be updated to match today world and technology and the future.

    lets look forward, not back...this is a small step in the right direction, but as someone else put it, its dosn't go far enough and its late in coming.
    WU8Y likes this.
  6. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    You have completely missed the point.

    Its not really about increasing modes or bandwidth,................... its about GIVING them away with NO additional effort required to actually earn them.
    K3XR likes this.
  7. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The current Technician examination already covers HF, as well as digital
    and telephony operating modes.

    This is insane. A total of six questions in three (2?) sections that have anything to do with HF.
    I, I ...
    never mind
  8. K0RKH

    K0RKH Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is just one example of why I will never be a ARRL member. They do not and have not represented my views on amateur radio and it appears that the service really no longer has a place if this is how irresponsible it will be used.
  9. KJ4ADN

    KJ4ADN Ham Member QRZ Page

    NO...! Same reason why my driver's license doesn't allow me to just jump into an 18 wheeler and drive off. This is a -bad- idea, IMO.

    There is a learning curve to becoming a decent, respectable operator, whether it's CW, Digital modes, or Phone, the different licenses give the new HAM time to learn, operate, study and either make the commitment to stick with it or quit where they're at. IMO, it's working fine, if ARRL wants to attract more operators, then do so via the active HAMs, let them Elmer the new ones and bring them along - it's a *hobby* with classifications - calling them privileges is probably the wrong kind of language.

    Lamenting over falling membership, ARRL, that's to expected when the value of being an Extra is barely a little more than a Technician. Each classification is EARNED, and each should be progressively more difficult, for for no other reason than to keep the intrinsic value of each level.

    Operator proficiency among HAMs is all-over-the-map - hey, that's GREAT, we're not all equal, right? Are we going to start awarding RF Engineer status to new HAMs next, for the sake of "fairness?" Why not? Let's just turn the HAM bands into 11 meter heaven - sometimes it sounds like it, because there's no policing.
    Plus, I do not fault an Extra operator, CW, Phone (whatever) for having some place they can go and carry on an intelligent conversation apart from a novice, green, inexperienced operator - heck, I've LEARNED a LOT from just listening, without someone interrupting with entry level questions.

    Everyone who thinks this is a good idea, ought to take up the mantle of "Master Elmer", start teaching classes, produce good course material, etc., because that's where the growth of the hobby really is, in mentoring - not in just handing out greater operator privileges. I'm actually sort of glad HF radios aren't dirt cheap, (like a truck stop CB radio) because it keeps some people off-the-air who have no business being on the air. Why not give out a free HF rig to every new Technician? That's what ARRL wants, right? Sort of treat us all the same, because to the ARRL, we are the same - the cost of dues!

    For the guy who worked and worked to meet the minimum CW requirements for licensing, hats-off to you, from me. That is an accomplishment deserving something more than passing recognition - and because I am not a CW operator, I have that much more of a greater respect for those people who are! The typical HF CW operator (Extra/General) is not equal to the Technician, anymore than a Broadcast Engineer is the same as a General class phone operator. In no way, do classifications make one person "better", "more valuable" or "extra special" over someone else at an individual level. It's a classification of at the very least, some proficiency and/or knowledge.

    I have to ask the obvious, "WHY does ARRL want to do this?" To make everyone equal? It surely cannot be to increase interest in HAM radio, because it's not going to... IMO, it's the wrong way to promote a hobby by dilution of the classifications. If the ARRL wants to increase numbers (or membership), go back to promoting the hobby, be the front-man, the organization that distinguishes and recognizes members and their accomplishments - not this lowering the standards and cheapening the classifications.
  10. WA4KCN

    WA4KCN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is that a representative sample? Is it even possible to do so if non ARRL members are not included. Regarding the response rate how many technicians are members verse general and up?

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