What did advanced hams do to become extras

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W6FYK, Mar 20, 2018.

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dr. Don Miller, W9WNV, was a top DXer in the 1950s and 1960s. More than that, he would travel to exotic DX locations and put them on the air, giving many thousands of hams all over the world multiple ATNOs. (All Time New Ones).

    Many considered him the #1 DXer in the world - for all time. By all accounts he was a top notch operator.

    His stories of his travels were legendary. He was the #1 attraction at conventions, meetings, or any ham gathering. Being an MD only elevated his status; in those days, a medical doctor was respected and revered at the same level as a clergyman. He was admired by almost all and practically worshiped by many. Everyone, including ARRL, took him at his word. Everyone listened to Dr. Don Miller with awe.

    But.....there began to be problems. Some of his stories just didn't add up. Requests for documentation and verification were not honored in good faith. There were reports that his signals came from odd directions. He developed "selective deafness" to certain famous callsigns because they hadn't contributed to his DXpedition fund (they said) or because they were "DX hogs" (he said).

    Finally, the ARRL disallowed several of his operations. There was a defamation lawsuit involved....but, under oath, the story came out that at least some of his operations were faked. The one I remember best is the one to St. Peter & Paul's Rocks - which actually took place from a boat 1500 miles from the Rocks.

    And then, a few years later, he was convicted of trying to get a hit man to kill his estranged wife. He got 25 to life in prison, but he's out now.


    He changed DXing and Amateur Radio - but not for the better. If you wonder why LoTW is so complicated, and why there are so many rules about verification of DXpeditions - W9WNV is the cause.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    K7MH, W7UUU, W4KYR and 1 other person like this.
  2. AC3GO

    AC3GO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Gee I thought all amateurs were beyond reproach
  3. WD9GNG

    WD9GNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you look at what the voice sub band improvements are for upgrading from Advanced to Extra there just isn't that much other than the 100 KHz on 80. Nothing on 160, 60, 40, 17, 12, 10, or 6. Just 25 KHz on 20 and 15 each. Doesn't seem worth it after 40 + years to hassle with it other than for bragging rights. When the Extra came out it was THE license to have for proficient CW operators which recognized their skill and earned them the extra bandwidth to do serious DX in the quiet CW DX sub bands it offered.

    I can see the significant voice sub band improvement for Generals to upgrade but for the remaining Advanced class hams I don't see the point of upgrading other than to get people to stop hassling us and name calling us inactive, lazy, stupid or flagellants for not upgrading to Extra. Be proud of yourself for achieving Extra don't use it as an opportunity to belittle your fellow hams that love the hobby and enjoy the fellowship it brings even if they choose to stay at whatever license level they are at.

    K9ALT, KQ4MM, N0TZU and 1 other person like this.
  4. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    What do you care what other people might think on these baloney radio ZED forums, Eric??? They don't pay your bills nor put food on your table.
  5. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, you admit there is something to gain.

    Bragging rights? That's an interesting view of things. I've heard claims of preteen children passing the exams, what's to "brag" about that?

    That was then, this is now. There's no bragging rights any more, only full access to the Amateur radio spectrum.

    Look at it from the perspective of someone relatively new to the hobby. Why would someone after 40+ years not feel the desire to upgrade, and not take the time to upgrade, other than the reasons you just listed? Did you not ever in all that time hear someone on the radio, wanted to respond, but could not because they were out of your transmit privileges?

    There also seems to be a double standard here. Pushing Technicians to upgrade seems to be a very popular pastime in Amateur radio, should that not apply to all license classes but Extra? If the goal of incentive licensing is to upgrade as quickly as one can then you should be able to understand why people might wonder why someone would choose to limit themselves on privileges.

    I don't know you so I can't judge. You also don't know me and so I should be easily dismissed as just the rantings of another random person on the internet. I made my opinion on there being only two kinds of Advanced license holders based on what I've experienced. Perhaps you are a "unicorn", a beast that people will claim exists but is never seen.

    You say you don't see the point in upgrading? That just does not compute. Again, I don't know you. You have your reasons. The first thing that comes to my mind is if you are trying to convince me that there is no point in upgrading or if you are trying to convince yourself. Is that belittling any Advance license holder? Remember, I'm just an idiot with a computer, sitting in his basement, typing in his pajamas. You have no reason to feel belittled by such a person.
  6. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's interesting to me how some folks disregard the gains in CW/data privileges.....

    Pre-teens have completed marathons - does that make it less of an accomplishment?

    For some, there will ALWAYS be "bragging rights". In fact, for some, the reason they DON'T upgrade is "bragging rights".

    One has to listen outside of ones transmit privileges for that to happen. Many do not.

    Particularly when the requirements have been changed so much.

    Historic Fun Fact: When Don Miller, W9WNV, did all his bad stuff......he was a General. (per Fall 1967 and Winter 1971 Callbooks).
  8. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    With all that "sailing" off to far exotic DX locations in the 60s; he wasn't a General but an Admiral of the Fleet!
  9. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Very interesting observations from a psychological aspect. Only on QRZ.com forums and not on Facebook.
    WZ7U likes this.
  10. W7UUU

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

    That's how it came about for me. In 1995, after a 10-year hiatus from amateur radio, for the first time I became interested in working CW DX.

    I quickly realized that most of the "juicy stuff" happens below the 25 KHz outside of my reach as a General. So I spent a lot of time listening to stations I could not work!

    So by Summer of 1996 I was immersed in studying for my Extra. The code part I had down fine but I've always been poor at math so it was a long-ish process to actually learn the material

    I passed with flying colors on my birthday in 1997 and embarked on DXCC efforts.

    Had I never listened outside my General privileges to hear all the great CW DX, I may not have ever chosen to upgrade despite having the Morse skills to do it.

    K8PG, K7MH, N2EY and 1 other person like this.

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