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Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:

Cliff Cheng (AC6C) on July 2, 2011
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Today is a special day in ham radio history. It is the 60th anniversary of the novice license. This is the license most of us who were licensed before 1991 started off with.

Starting in 2000, no more new licenses were issued; though holders could renew. July 1, 1951 is when its started. That was a Sunday. The next day was when the first novice exams were given, at FCC offices. It took about 3 weeks for those licenses to arrive. At first the Novice sub-band on 80M didn't have too many people on it.

If you are interested in reading more please read my column on Novice history in QCWA Journal or to be part of the history share your novice story or post your picture on the Novice Historical Society's website, We are in the process of bringing our 3rd generation website with 40 new/revised stories and photos on line. We have a collection of over 300 Novice stories and pictures.

73, Cliff, AC6C

Member Comments:
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Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by N6KB on July 4, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Amateur is poorer for having lost the Novice license. It would be a worthwhile effort to try to get the FCC to bring it back.
Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by N6XI on July 4, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Happy 60th, Novice License! I got mine in 1961 when the license was about 10 years old. It was a great intro to ham radio, encouraging advancement and on-the-air activity. I think it was much more appropriate than today's Tech license.
Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by K4CNW on July 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I believe that a great era of ham radio ended with the the Novice class license was phased out. I became a ham 1955 at the age of 15 as a Novice class Licensee. The 80 and 40 meter Novice bands were full of activity. Many of these operators were teenagers like myself but one of my best on the air friends was Ralph, KN4DXK, who was old enough to be my grandfather. I have lifelong friends that I met in the Novice bands and my Novice ticket is the knob that opened the door to the world for a poor kid from SC.
RE: Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by K5WNH on July 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I first rig was extremely basic (20 watts) with a low dipole antenna and yet the fun and excitement it brought with each contact still is fresh in my memory today.
Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by W2LJ on July 5, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The time I spent as a Novice was some of the best time I've ever had in Amateur Radio! Everything was new and exciting. And the best part was that we cohabited frequencies with others, just like ourselves. We all made mistakes and learned and grew together. The Novice license was the best thing there ever was - it's a shame that it's gone.

Larry W2LJ
RE: Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by AC6C on July 6, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments.
RE: Happy 60th Anniversary Novice License:  
by N2EY on July 7, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The reason the Novice license was closed to new issues was that FCC wasn't issuing many new ones any more. The Technician had become the entry point for most new hams as far back as the late 1980s.

IMHO what we need is to replace the Technician with a new entry-level license that has a better balance of HF and VHF/UHF privileges, low power and a simple test. A "Novice license for the 21st century".

73 de Jim, N2EY

(Novice license arrived October 14, 1967. Heathkit AR-2 receiver and homebrew 10 watt 6V6GT to random wire was first station)
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