What did advanced hams do to become extras

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

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  1. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some accomplishments are more noteworthy than others. I "accomplished" brushing my teeth this morning, is that praiseworthy? Passing the tests required by the FCC to get an Amateur radio license is not some great mental feat, at least I don't believe it is, not for an adult. I'm sure that there's some pride in passing that test on a first try, or at a young age, or some other condition. I passed the exam for a driving license on my first attempt, I was proud of that at the time. I don't think much of it today though, just like I don't think much of passing the tests to get my Amateur Extra license.

    People can claim some "bragging rights" but that's only going to go so far, like my driving test example. That's going to wear off, or wear out, real quick. There's not much to brag about of millions of other people accomplished it before. Especially an exam that is required for a license. That's like a university professor hanging their high school diploma on the wall of their office. Of course they graduated high school, everyone that comes in that office likely did the same. Where's the "bragging rights" in that?

    If someone is serious about Amateur radio then they are going to listen for propagation beacons, no? Some of the foreign beacons reside inside frequencies exclusive to Extra. Maybe not listen for beacons exactly but some other activity to see how far they can hear and therefore how far someone else is likely to hear them. Claiming to be an "active" Amateur radio operator for 20, 30, or 40, years and not tuning over to frequencies that they can't transmit onto out of some curiosity is a bit difficult to believe. I don't just mean Amateur bands either, I'm pretty sure that it's highly probable that a licensed Amateur will try listening for broadcast radio on bands adjacent to the Amateur bands to test their gear, test for propagation, or lots of other reasons. They're going to cross over the Extra exclusive frequencies at least on accident.

    You mean Morse code testing don't you? If you don't then you'll have to be more specific.
  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    True, but if my access to post here and irritate the masses were restricted, I would be unhappy. Besides, the graphic I had in mind would be considered political and since I respect the wishes of management to keep politics out of this forum, I chose not to post it; relevant as it is in this thread and many others. If I had access behind the paywall to post these sorts of things I would. But then, the relevance to certain posts and posters would be lost. A lose/lose situation no matter the course. :p
    W2AI and N2EY like this.
  3. W2AI

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

    If you are a paid ZED subscriber; you would have access to QRZ "Just Talking" threads that permit political expressions of written and graphic material.

    I see where you're coming from; howeve
  4. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    The tab says Subscriber under my call, yet I have never been able to see let alone post political. I guess as to why but it's just a guess. Perhaps I have a box checked somewhere I am not aware of?
  5. KA0GKT

    KA0GKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    One should remember that while ageing is inevitable, MATURING is not a prerequisite. :D
    K7MH, AC0GT and WZ7U like this.
  6. WD9GNG

    WD9GNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm surprised the April Fool didn't post yet today! You all know who that is by now if you have been following this thread. If not you will see my comment in his reply. Just waiting to see if I can tempt the Fool to reveal himself. :)
  7. W7UUU

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

    Have you gone to the "Forums" tab:


    Then scrolled down to Discussions > just talking:


    Then click on that, you should then see this:


    that is the official "Flush Handle" of QRZ...

    You should be able to "flush yourself" into the Sewer by clicking it

    HOWEVER - the exit showers are only available to Lifetime Members....:eek:;)

    K7MH, WZ7U, KU4X and 1 other person like this.
  8. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's where I was looking. Nope, I'm not high up enough on the ladder to see over the rim into the abyss. My list jumps right to rag chew central ll.

    It's probably for the best; my PPE's aren't rated for sewage and the few threads I've had put there by moderation aren't so exciting I can't live without. Now I just wait for the official party line in that other forum. Oh well ....
    W7UUU likes this.
  9. W3WN

    W3WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Count your blessings.
    K7MH and WZ7U like this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    All depends what your "baseline" is. If you're a typical functioning adult, that's not much of an accomplishment. But if you were, say, recovering from a disability or accident, being able to brush your teeth in the morning might be a major milestone.

    Again....it all depends on someone's "baseline". For some adults, the idea that resistance, current, voltage and power are all related by simple formulae is trivial. For others, it's a really arcane and difficult concept. I'm not kidding or putting anyone down; hang around with enough people and you'll see they have a wide variety of "baselines".

    Or consider this problem:

    You are given a 5 microhenry inductor and a 100 picofarad capacitor, connected in parallel. What is the resonant frequency of the circuit?

    How many hams - of all license classes - can figure that out in their heads without looking anything up?

    All depends on one's baseline.

    That's because of your baseline.

    That's because their baseline is very high.

    My grandparents were all born in Italy and came to the USA in the first decade or so of the 20th century. I don't think any of them graduated elementary school. Their children graduated high school - that was a very big deal for them. Their grandchildren - my generation - graduated college. Some got master's degrees. The next generation......

    Not at all. Not everyone is so curious. You'd be surprised how many folks NEVER go outside their accustomed watering holes. (That's a big reason some folks don't like contests).

    Maybe. But don't count on it.

    Partly - but not completely.

    OK here goes....

    Let's go back to 1968 - 50 years ago.

    There was the Novice license, which was pretty easy to get - simple written test, 5 wpm code, send and receive. But the 1968 Novice was a very limited license and only good for 2 years. Once it was gone, you couldn't get another.

    There was the Technician license, which required a more-comprehensive written test plus 5 wpm code like the Novice. But the 1968 Technician had no HF at all, and didn't even have all of 2 meters.

    There were the General and Conditional licenses, which used the same written exam as the Technician plus 13 wpm code. Only difference was General exams were at the FCC exam sessions and Conditional, Technician and Novice were "by mail". The General and Conditional gave a lot of privileges but not everything.

    There was the Advanced and Extra licenses, which could only be earned at FCC exam sessions and which required another written exam (Advanced) beyond General, or two written exams and 20 wpm code, for Extra. Plus a 2 year experience requirement.

    The written exams were all multiple choice, but they were secret. You had to pass all the exams for a given license at the same time; no partial credit (CSCEs). Exams taken by mail did not count towards an Advanced or Extra. Fail an exam and you had to wait 30 days to retest unless you could convince the FCC Examiner to waive the waiting period.

    For several years the system stayed like that....and then the requirements began to change....

    Let's put aside the code test changes and just look at the other changes.

    1) The secrecy of the written tests was loosened by a fellow named Bash in the late 1970s, and eliminated by the VE system in the early 1980s.

    2) The experience requirement for Extra was reduced to a year and then eliminated in the 1970s.

    3) By-mail exams were given credit (1970s) and the Conditional phased out.

    4) The written test requirement for Technician was reduced in 1987 by splitting the test into two parts - one for Tech, both for General.

    5) CSCEs meant you could pass exams one at a time and retain credit.

    Still, by 1999 there were still 5 written exams, and to be an Extra you had to pass every single one.

    6) In 2000, the number of written exams was reduced from 5 to 3. The total number of questions required to get to Extra was significantly reduced as well.

    See? Even if one ignores code testing completely, the overall requirements have changed dramatically.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    K7MH, W2AI and WD9GNG like this.

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