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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Technician Class License Reform

Ernest Becerra (N5DBX) on December 28, 2016
View comments about this article!

Most Elmers agree that the current license structure has diluted the Amateur Radio community, resulting in a loss of prestige, accountability, and qualified operators. For many years we have treaded a slippery slope, making small changes to the rules in the vain attempt to include every possible condition.

To make matters worse, the FCC actually removed the requirement for Amateur Radio gear to be "Type-Accepted". This minor rule change, which was made mostly in secret, opened the door for China to literally flood the market with cheap, poorly made, generic equipment. The combination of these two factors has left us with a surge of new, inexperienced operators, using sub-standard equipment, which in many cases does not meet the spurious content rules set by the FCC.

Clearly, most new licensees do not own Station Monitors, Spectrum Analyzer's, Deviation meters, or even an oscilloscope, so they are largely un-aware that their equipment is "sub-standard". Obviously new Hams need help and encouragement, but the issues described above have created such a large gap between Elmer and Newbee, that experienced Elmers have simply walked away. The Internet does not help this problem, because new hams are under the impression they don't need Elmers, because they have Google. Trust me, Google does NOT replace the experience and insight from a true life Elmer!

I was a Newbee once, so I am not unsympathetic. Here is what I propose:

1) Technician class license should be limited to UHF privileges only.

This limitation would be similar to when we had Novice class, allowing new licensee's to get their feet wet in a simple, un-pressured environment, where they are primarily surrounded by their peers (ie, other new Hams). They would be less fearful of making mistakes, and more willing to be active operators. This environment would also lead to new operators being more aggressive about learning and perfecting their skill, while experimenting with different types of gear, including cheap generic equipment. Believe it or not, many operators are being lost to the overwhelming freedom of the current Tech license.

2) Technician class license should be required to wait ONE year before testing/upgrading to General Class.

The premise here is the same as above. General and Extra class would retain their current standards. This one-year time frame is not only an "incentive", but allows a new operator the needed time to find his/her place in Amateur Radio.

The benefits here are two-fold: First, new licensee's are slowly and appropriately introduced to Amateur Radio, giving them the necessary time to become "acclimated." Second, Elmers will be more likely to go out of their way to help, and create a renewed respect between Elmer and Newbee.

Let's be real for one second. There is a lot of secretive resentment amongst Amateur Operators. No one talks about it. Everyone denies it. But it is there! These proposed rule changes are simple, and yet effective enough to resolve many of these issues. Even a plumber requires an apprentice. Let's RAISE the standard, not lower it even further.

73 DE N5DBX

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N0IU on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
1) Technician class license should be limited to UHF privileges only.

Seriously? I live on the fringes of a fairly major metropolitan area and there is barely enough activity to 2 meters to cause my scanner to stop more than just occasionally and you want to limit Technicians to UHF only?

Then you say, "This environment would also lead to new operators being more aggressive about learning and perfecting their skill..."

Their skill at what.... talking on repeaters?

Then you say, "Believe it or not, many operators are being lost to the overwhelming freedom of the current Tech license."

On what are you basing this statement? And I can't believe that anyone looking at getting into amateur radio would look at the privileges of the Technician license and say to themselves, "No way I am going to get into amateur radio as a Technician. It gives me too many privileges!"

2) Technician class license should be required to wait ONE year before testing/upgrading to General Class.

You say that many newbies are overwhelmed by the Technician license so after a year of UHF only the next license class gives them full access to all of the VHF bands and above plus access to all modes on all of the HF bands (albeit not necessarily full access to all of them). Holy crap! You think they are overwhelmed by the current Technician license but the next step after being limited to one band only then opening up nearly then entire spectrum won't overwhelm them??

Then you say, "This one-year time frame is not only an "incentive".

How is being limited to a single band for one year an incentive to do anything? Good luck! I am guessing that 99% will have long since abandoned amateur radio by then.

That sentence continues, "...but allows a new operator the needed time to find his/her place in Amateur Radio." How does limiting their access to one single band that is pretty much intended to be used for local communications only going to give them any exposure to any of the other bands and modes amateur radio has to offer?

Then you say, "Let's be real for one second."

This stands absolutely ZERO chance of acceptance in the amateur radio community... ZERO!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by NN4RH on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Did you actually submit this proposal to the FCC ?

 
Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Where is the "secretive resentment"? Most older hams seem happy to give help to newcomers. "Restrict them to UHF"? I seriously doubt that the radio manufacturers or the ARRL would ever go along with anything like that.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W3WN on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
And to think, April is still 4 months away...
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N2SLO on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Ernest- great post (not). Your proposal is flawed and not conducive to promoting amateur radio. This thinking makes the hobby more restrictive. You think the bands are dead now on VHF and UHF? In addition, many amateur retailers are going out of business as this niche hobby is on the decline. The "old school" thinking needs to change and advance amateur radio for the next fifty years. The greying community should be promoting the hobby for the younger generation. The way to address your concerns is awareness, communication, and mentoring. Yes - we have some amateurs with bad radio practices. Do you think taking a test or changing requirements will reduce the issues? Go to HF and listen on some of the suspect frequencies. The language is worse then the CB bands, and these are "general or advanced" license holders. Instead of trying to prescribe behavior with "rules", mentor someone so the attitude changes and proper operating practices are understood. For what its worth...
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KK3OQ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Agree with the article in general.

1) should include VHF, don't see much use for Tech to have 10 meter access ( I believe they currently do )since it typically requires HF transceiver, most people start with a VHF HT or Mobile. Some may only want and or need VHF mobile, like my YL.

2) got my extra in a couple of months, one year not necessary, some people already have the technical knowledge to pass extra from the get go, and shouldn't be held back.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KK3OQ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
People should have pretty easy access to 2 meter. For example: Hiking out west in mountains it may be the only way to communicate (there are still places were there is no cell coverage). There are probably other uses like that too, were access to a VHF HT is useful.

In fact for this reason I think that a 5 watt 2 meter HT shouldn't even require a license.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KB2DHG on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
No OM,
UHF is not a good way to introduce a newbe to the hobby...
Honestly I wish they would bring back the old way with Novice, Technician, General, skip Advanced, and then Extra. With these differences no code for the Novice but give a little HF CW and SSB on 10 and 80 meters, and Tech. 10 word per minute code for the General Class and 13 word per minute code for the Extra Class.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NN3W on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I'd actually go the other way and grant techs privileges for voice on 15 meters - say 21.300 to 21.450. They get 10 meter voice now which is currently akin to 6 meters. Let them get a taste for normal operation that the more advanced license classes get on 20 and 40. Similar to Novice enhancement.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4OI on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I guess we are all a little lethargic after the big Christmas meals. Thanks for poking us with this stick to make sure we are still alive!

73 :>)
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4OI on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
And not to leave anything out:

3) Technician class licensee should be required to demonstrate proficiency at sending and receiving morse code at no less than 25 WPM, as administered at the closest FCC field office.

73 di-dit

 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KK3OQ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
@N4OI
"3) Technician class licensee should be required to demonstrate proficiency at sending and receiving morse code at no less than 25 WPM, as administered at the closest FCC field office."

LOL, hey I can remember when the test was at the FCC field office. :-))
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by RFDOG on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
With the exception of commercially built amplifiers intended for use below 144MHz, there was no requirement for FCC acceptance or certification of commercial radio equipment for use in amateur radio.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K5RT on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I disagree completely with this proposal. You can't take away privileges that have been previously earned. The ARRL learned this lesson in 1967.

Paul
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by SWMAN on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
WOW !!!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K4AAV on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. It brings on discussions. Let us not bash, but discuss.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KK5JY on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
OK, before we completely discard this, let's look at the core issue with which the OP takes exception: "loss of prestige, accountability, and qualified operators." Everything else he raises really traces back to this.

Loss of prestige is a function of the fact that hams aren't the cutting edge of tech anymore. Much of what we use is legacy technology now, with more advanced tech being able to everyone for a small monthly fee. Being a ham is just not "special" anymore. I'm OK with that, since I do radio for fun, not glory. But I can see why some people feel that hams aren't as elite as they used to be, and that's a fair assessment. I don't see it as a "problem" that needs to be "solved."

Loss of accountability is a function of western society. Nobody is accountable anymore, and the enforcement structures that hold people to account are a shadow of their former selves. If you doubt that, watch an hour or two of news. Part of it has to do with the fact that tech is so ubiquitous. There was a day when HF voice channels were prime real-estate used for state-critical functions. That required the rest of us to keep it clean. These days, satellites and undersea cables have largely replaced HF for everyone but us, so very few users care if you splatter out of the band, or onto somebody else. Even MARS has been replaced by email and Skype, so accountability in the ham bands is a fairly low enforcement priority. And be honest, when was the last time you met any random person on the street who felt accountable to you for anything at all? This isn't because a driver's license is too easy to obtain, it's just the state of our society.

Underqualified operators are a somewhat different story. This is the one thing that could be somewhat addressed during the licensing process, but only to a point. I have a wall full of federally-issued licenses... that doesn't make me an expert. The more difficult it becomes to obtain those license, the more likely I might be to pick up an extra fact or two, but multiple-choice tests don't measure competency. They measure information storage, albeit poorly. Even pilots take multiple-choice licensing tests. They only difference is that they *then* also have to pass a practical test where they demonstrate competence. Do you really want ham radio to have a "check ride" step where you have to sit down at an HF radio and make contacts, following every single rule perfectly? And FCC can't afford that -- they'll make sure you have to pay for the practical exam.

And a 25WPM exam? That's commercial-standard CW performance, and you are going to expect people to do this as an entry-level skill? And perfectly on the first try? Not only is CW a legacy skill, but you are going to have very empty bands. Requiring 25WPM as an entry-level skill is equivalent to saying, "we don't want any beginners on the bands, only experts." That's a little silly.

One thing I would agree with is that the mulitiple-choice test batteries should be more challenging, but I'm not sure how much. Even for people who do *not* memorize the answers, the tech and general question pools don't offer much opportunity for technical learning. But I found the same thing true of the GROL and GMDSS question pools. Once you get past the jargon, the test battery wasn't technically challenging. In the case of the ham question pools, this is an issue that we can solve on our own, since the VECs are the ones involved in question formation. So the hams (not the FCC) have set the low standard in question quality and content. That's something we can easily fix without engaging FCC.

I would be happy going to a two-tier license structure like some countries do, where we have HF operators and VHF+ operators. The latter is the entry level license. But I would still want to make the question pool for any HF license require a more meaningful test question battery that includes practical everyday issues such as signal purity, diagnostics, etc.

The OP's original point is not devoid of merit, but the approach seems to be more of a time machine, wanting to go back to when tests were "hard" because "back then, things were just better." The issues he mentions aren't just about returning to 1955. They are more complex than that.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K5WKS on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
This makes no sense at all. If you cannot grab a person in this case a ham in the first year, then chances are they will disappear from the hobby and the fewer hams the less products we will have to choose from. Go back under the rock you crawled from. This is not the stone age. As leader of a VEC team, I see what comes to test and most are far advanced to current licensed hams on the bands and there is plenty of room for many more not less. Enjoy this hobby.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KK2DOG on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"3) Technician class licensee should be required to demonstrate proficiency at sending and receiving morse code at no less than 25 WPM, as administered at the closest FCC field office."


This horse has been dead for 10+ years.
Why do people keep beating it?


Mike KK2DOG
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by WB4M on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"Most Elmers agree that the current license structure has diluted the Amateur Radio community, resulting in a loss of prestige, accountability, and qualified operators. For many years we have treaded a slippery slope, making small changes to the rules in the vain attempt to include every possible condition.

No, it's the ARRL that has dumbed down Ham Radio down to CB level to have as many paying members as possible. Add the FCC's lack of enforcement or concern compounds those problems you mention.

I think both VHF and UHF should be available, if they want HF then pass the exam, very simple.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by WB4M on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!

This horse has been dead for 10+ years.
Why do people keep beating it?


Mike KK2DOG

Longer than that Mike. Wayne Green petitioned the FCC to make the CW requirement 40 WPM. This was back in the late 70's when he was all twisted up about licensing requirements. When CW issue comes up, some clown always says make it 25, 40, 100 wpm.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W4HM on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Are you getting into the purple kool aid stash again.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The manufacturers and retailers of ham radio equipment want to have as many new customers as possible. They have deep pockets, and their lobbyists have influence in Washington. Anything that doesn't help to promote their goals would be a very tough sell.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KI4OYV on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
From my 10 years as a ham I do find that some older hams do have a "secretive resentment" toward new hams. Most are upset that code was dropped from the requirements and still badger newbies into learning it, saying that their "not real hams". A lot are just ignoring newer operators all together. I had this happen when I went for my General ticket then again for my Extra. Being partially tone deaf, I can't distinguish the tones, so I waited till code was dropped. I try to help out new hams as much as possible, but I am still learning, despite "old" hams.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K5UNX on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Locking a new Tech to just UHF for a year would do two things:

1) NOT let them find a place in the hobby. How can they really learn about all that ham radio offers by not doing any of it? I didn't start really learning until I got on HF with my General ticket. You expect them to read an article or web page and figure out what they want to do in the hobby??

2) It'll run off more new hams. No access to 2M? Really? They can't help their club with a public service event if 2M is being used?? We get new Techs involved in public service, helping with local bike races etc. They enjoy it and can be productive.

This is an example of the problem with the ham radio community. Long time hams being hostile towards the new people. The FCC made the rules to get a license. The code has been dropped. Things change over time, get used to it!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KC2QYM on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I am on the opposite end of the poster. I submit that the only distinguishable difference between all license classes should be limitations by power levels; techs @100 watts, generals @500 watts, advanced @1000 watts, and extras @ 1500 watts. Everyone gets the same band spectrum and mode privledges. This is done in many other countries now and appears to be an international trend. Why not in the US? When all hams are operating on the same frequencies the possibilities of on air mentoring are much greater.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KK5JY on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
>> I am on the opposite end of the poster. I submit that the only distinguishable difference between all license classes should be limitations by power levels; techs @100 watts, generals @500 watts, advanced @1000 watts, and extras @ 1500 watts. <<

I could get behind this idea. I might space out the power levels a bit more for the HF bands, tho. Maybe 10W for techs, 100W for General, 1.5kW for Extra. That extra 10dB will be helpful when you're trying to make QSOs in the umbrella of some newbie's key clicks.

But I also understand that anything less than 100W is probably unenforceable. since many (most?) commercial rigs can do 100W. Then again, I'm not sure how to enforce any power level. Require vendors to show ham license before buying an amplifier?

Maybe that's how we got frequency-based privileges in the first place. At least if somebody wanted to do enforcement, you are either in your band, or not, and your power level is irrelevant.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KH6AQ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I think this "license reform" would lead to fewer entering the hobby and fewer upgrading and remaining in the hobby. It would not lead to increased technical skill.

If we want more people entering the hobby the entry point should be made more attractive than it is now. To that end I propose that 25 kHz portions of the 75, 40, and 20 meter phone bands be opened to Technician class amateurs at a power level of 100 watts PEP.

If we want more technical skills, new hams need to learn by doing. They need to get on HF, build antennas, and run some power (100 watts). They are not going to learn these skills running low power to off-the-shelf antennas on UHF.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KQ4KK on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Let them keep what they have now, and give them a small portion of 20m.

Letting them talk on 10m is not an incentive currently. No one to talk to.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W3TTT on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I have said it before on this forum.

I think that the best thing for ham radio would be to have just two classes. The HF class and the VHF-UHF class.

The reason for licensing is not for the better enjoyment of the hams.

The reason for FCC/Government licensing is to make sure that the rules are followed, as well as good operating practices are followed too. So if you are good operator at the current General class level, you probably will be just as good an op as an Extra class.

In place of the "incentive" licensing, I would have ARRL or other orgs offer certificates of merit, for passing technical exams and courses. ARRL does offer some courses now, but the courses are not very technical, mostly dealing with emergency communications ECOMS.

And that's it. No need for "incentive" licensing. No need for Morse code testing, but that has already been decided.

I am saving this text so I don't have to re-enter it every time I want to post it when this same question comes up again.

Thanks for listening to my ideas. Hope you like. Hope you don't ad hominem attack it.

73
W3TTT, Joe


 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
WX7G... I agree. Give them small portions of 20, 40, and 75 meter SSB. That will give them an actual taste of long distance HF communications, and would motivate them to upgrade their tickets.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K3CXG on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
To quote the President-Elect, "WRONG!" This is a terrible idea on many levels.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KN4VV on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I basically agree with W3TTT.

I recognize how frequency privileges are an easily administered way to distinguish between demonstrated proficiency, in a way that, say, having a license endorsement to construct a transmitter is not (how to know if using homebrew?).

But today, with every component of a station available commercially - how many homebrew anything more complicated than a dipole? - I think the emphasis should be on station assembly and operation. I'm not saying eliminate theory,but emphasize component integration. With the profileration of tablets and other video players, the test could have a video (or oral description) of the steps a ham takes to install a station, and ask the testee to identify what was done correctly/incorrectly. Or a simulated qso (net, excommunicated, contest, ragchew) and ask about what was done correctly/incorrectly).

Perhaps I am a less-than-average ham. But to the extent I am close to average, and speaking for myself, while I had to learn circuit theory to pass the test, have I ever really used it in operation? No. Wouldn't I have gotten more out of the process if there's been more on, say, the optimal use of RIT vs IF Shift vs AF or IF DSP filtering? Or what to expect when configuring for digital modes?

If possible, I'd also include an annual "continuing ham education" requirement of maybe 1 hour - watch/listen to a presentation about something current (maybe a new digital mode, or sdr), answer a couple of questions, and license is current for another year. Just like many other licenses require. (Yes, it's a way for vendors to get a few bucks from you, but it's also a way to help keep operations current?)

Bottom line: I think that the licensing process would seem more inviting and produce better results if it emphasized actual station installation and operating procedures.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AC7CW on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Everybody complains about Chinese radios but where are all the articles on opening them up and altering them to be better? Oh wait, ham radio is all about appliance ops..
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KN4VV on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"Excommunicated" should be EMCOMM!! Auto correct & I didn't catch it!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K4EZD on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I suggest we simplify (or even eliminant) the Tech test for those who wish to only use a standard HT for UHF and VHF. A simiplified test could include a few questions about procedure, without including any technical questions at all. We don’t need an exam to use a cell phone and certainly don’t need to know how they work in theory so why have one to use its ham radio equivalent?
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by K6AER on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
“To make matters worse, the FCC actually removed the requirement for Amateur Radio gear to be "Type-Accepted". This minor rule change, which was made mostly in secret, opened the door for China to literally flood the market with cheap, poorly made, generic equipment.”

This is tin foil hat time.

All the new equipment being made is still type accepted. If it radiates it must be type accepted. This is under part 15 and part 97. ICOM is working on the FCC type acceptance for the 7610 as we speak. This is true all the way down to cell phone chargers.

Where is this flood of cheap Chinese equipment? Ham are the cheapest people on earth. If there was a flood of equipment we see it.

The UHF/VHF bands are a vast wasteland of unused repeaters. Limiting a new ham to one year on these bands is a punishment. They will walk away from the hobby.

I realize that in America we have freedom of speech but is E-Ham this desperate for articles?
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KK5JY on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
>> I realize that in America we have freedom of speech but is E-Ham this desperate for articles? <<

Well, given how rare it is to see ham-related news that is of general interest, I'm going to have to go with "yes." ;-)

To be fair, I enjoy the discourse, because I learn a lot from reading through the comments both here and in the news threads and in the forums. The exchanges aren't always friendly, and sometimes the sarcasm knobs get turned to the right a little too fast, but they are usually informative at some level.

I don't even mind occasionally revisiting ideas, but then I haven't been at this nearly as long as the average ham. :-)
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N5KBP on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Uhh, No
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by K9RJ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
This is a 'solution' in search of a problem. The system is working now. Perhaps it is up to the more seasoned hams (no pun intended) to reach out more to new hams or hams-to-be and give a little guidance.
Happy New Year. Harris K9RJ
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by K9MHZ on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Well, this one is a beauty.

OK, so what's the baseline problem we're to address with this?

"Resentment", a lack of a formal role for Elmers in today's ham radio, EXACTLY what?

This is ridiculous.

 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N7KFD on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!


Every time a subject like this comes up I can't help but wonder what the model train guys might have to complain about.

 
Technician Class License Reform  
by AF7EC on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
> 1) Technician class license should be limited to UHF privileges only.
Hahahaha -- no.

> 2) Technician class license should be required to wait ONE year before testing/upgrading to General Class.
Just -- really, no.

Ernest, not everyone is the same. Not all Techs are lids and not all Techs are clueless. Holding back a Tech for one year so they'll learn stuff may work for some people, but not everyone.

As far as 'prestige', it sounds like you might have some bitter feelings about folks getting General or Extra licenses because they didn't pass a code test. I've got news for you -- there were lids and clueless hams *before* the requirement for code tests was dropped. Before I got my ticket, I knew some folks who got General tickets for paying 'the right' price to shady examiners, NOT based on knowledge and passing a test.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by WB8ROL on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I think, instead, that we should expand Technician license privileges on several more of the HF bands to include soundcard digital operation (they already have 10 meters) and SSB.

I think reducing privileges is going the wrong way.

I also think we older hams need to be more accepting, less prejudiced, and willing to KINDLY lead the way helping them to become the best ham operators they can be.

 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KG6AF on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"Most Elmers agree that the current license structure has diluted the Amateur Radio community, resulting in a loss of prestige, accountability, and qualified operators."

Show us your evidence that most Elmers believe this.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by WA7SGS on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Go UHF-only and the Kenwood TM-481 would be imported into America and that is the only bennie I can see from this idea...LOL!

Rick
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K1VCT on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
My own thoughts are to just scratch the Technician Class, and make it General and Advanced.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KB1PA on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Problem is not making enough new hams. The problem is what happens AFTER the new hams get their license. There is almost no follow up. Each new ham should get a list of local ham clubs after they pass their test. The new hams should be invited to join and get active in a local club. That is the best way to get a sample of all the areas hams are interested in. I also wonder if the first license should be for 10 years. The old novice license was for a year, too short. 2 years seems enough, then, the first renewal could be for 10 years. Right now many folks get their license and quickly loose interest, but they are licensed for 10 years, and they are counted as hams for 10 years. There needs to be some sort of "graduate" course after you get your license.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by K6CRC on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The 'secret resentment' you speak of may be among SKs plus some hams in their 80s and 90s. And, among the angry old hams who cannot adapt to the modern world... socially or technically.
I an in my 60s, and have no resentment. I think all modes, all bands, or whatever one wants to do within the Ham/FCC regs is just fine.
The world has changed since the days before SSB. Code is a nice, but ancient, skill. Fun for those who practice it, unnecessary for those who do not.
To force the hobby back to the 1950s would be to kill it.
As far as the 'cheap' ham equipment, it may surprise you to know that virtually ALL ham equipment has significant, if not all, content from China. Chips, passives, PC boards, stuffing and testing, little is done elsewhere. You attack on 'cheap' products could be a reason not to have ever used HeathKit Novice equipment. It drifted like a drunk sailor in a typhoon.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KF4WSN on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Another way to Slow growth of our craft,Bad Idea.
I say give them 15m and up. In the one yr wait you will lose most of them, if you open it up they will have a taste of all of what Ham has to offer and maybe want more.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K6CRC on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Make it one license. The current structure is worthless. Merge General and Extra, focus on operating and rules knowledge. Few hams homebrew, so other than some basic electronics, dump most of the theory.
The idea of ham radio use to be a sort of free R&D. Hams broke new ground, created new technology. That was 80 years ago.
Now, Hams are the second derivative users of commercial and third derivative user of military technology. The few hams who COULD design their own modern equipment already do it for their real jobs.
In some parts of the world ham radio a communications lifeline.
But, here in the US, it is a hobby. Stop acting as if we are something more important.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K6CRC on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Make it one license for VHF/UHF and one for all bands. The current structure is worthless. Merge General and Extra, focus on operating and rules knowledge. Few hams homebrew, so other than some basic electronics, dump most of the theory.
The idea of ham radio use to be a sort of free R&D. Hams broke new ground, created new technology. That was 80 years ago.
Now, Hams are the second derivative users of commercial and third derivative user of military technology. The few hams who COULD design their own modern equipment already do it for their real jobs.
In some parts of the world ham radio a communications lifeline.
But, here in the US, it is a hobby. Stop acting as if we are something more important.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N8AUC on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
This whole premise is not only ill-conceived, it is a bad idea on so many different levels that it boggles the mind.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by AJ4LN on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I got my license primarily to do HF. I already had a background in radio and electronics. I took all 3 tests at once and went right to Extra. If I had had to wait a year to upgrade past tech, I might not have gotten as involved as I am.

I also know several other people who went right to either General or Extra class, and who also primarily operate HF. Not everyone starts out on VHF/UHF, and some people never even use VHF/UHF.

And I think it is good that techs have some HF privileges, to give them a taste, to get them interesting in upgrading to expand their privileges.

Also, most of the cheap radios you mention are for VHF/UHF. It seems that most new hams who operate HF operate name brand radios.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W6CAW on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Crappy idea! Are you off your meds?
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AA4HA on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I guess I have to question the judgement or motivations of whomever thought this was an acceptable subject for an article.

Resentment? Sure, every new generation deals with the resentments from the older generations. It's the same thing, "its so easy today, you did not walk in the snow for four miles to school each day" (yeesh!).

If your licensing structure was in place when I earned my license I would not not even bothered. I have "zero" interest in VHF/UHF so I just jumped ahead from nothing to extra. If you wanted to create a "timeout box" for a year then I could of met that with a bit of my own "resentment", by refusing to have anything to do with the self-important people who end up acting like a gatekeeper or the board members of an HOA.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by WB6MMJ on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
My personal opinion is that Amateur Radio is too far gone to try to correct it now.
The F.C.C is, and has been, trying to get out of Amateur Radio especially the enforcement of Amateur Radio for years.
They have turned the testing over to us and their is talk of the OO program becoming part of the F.C.C.`s enforcement division.
Amateurs involved in enforcement.
What`s that saying?
Remember, the F.C.C. is Amateur Radio`s Law Enforcement.
A community without Law Enforcement is a lawless community. It`s the wild west.
OO`s are not going to be able to do any more than we can do right now. That`s make complaints to the F.C.C. where they arn`t going to do anything.
The F.C.C. is playing a shell game with this one.
Then there is the A.R.R.L.
The A.R.R.L seems to want to see Amateur Radio to go the way of CB so they can get more members / money.
Remember, the A.R.R.L is a business. It may be a non profit business but it is a business and is run like a business. The number one rule for a business is to keep the business in business. Their expenses have risen they are trying to grow and they need more money.
The A.R.R.L. has sold us out to keep their business in business.
With the people we have coming into Amateur Radio now, who don`t want to listen to us older Amateurs, who think they know everything, good luck trying to Elmer them. Many have tried.
They are bringing their CB habits and CB slang into Amateur Radio and think they know it all because they were on CB for 20 or so years.
We are getting the bottom of the barrel, from CB, now.
They are the ones that didn`t want to try to learn the code because it was too much work. No code tests anymore !
They didn`t want to have to study to get their Amateur license. The tests are much easier now. !
You can memorize the tests and get your license in two days.
No. I don`t like where Amateur radio is and has been headed.
I`m sure not going to spend more money on it and I have scaled back my time on the radio / air.
I`m tired of hearing "waving a hand at you" "Thanks for the flowers" "What`s your personal" "What am I hitting you with" "Contact" used in place of break. "Station" used in place of break. Oh, and then there is "Your S-20". LOL They have no idea how to read a S Meter.
Wood working is sounding like it would be much more enjoyable, at this point.

 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by WM5L on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
So agree
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4OI on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
WB6MMJ wrote: "Wood working is sounding like it would be much more enjoyable, at this point."

Yes, woodworking is great, but you will not escape controversy.... e.g., machines or hand tools? or dovetails -- which should be cut first - pins or tails?

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI :>)
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K1PGV on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I like W3TTT's proposal for one license for VHF/UHF and another license for everything else. In my experience, we get a lot of hams who JUST want the VHF/UHF privs to allow them to communicate in case of an emergency. They're not interested in "ham radio" per se... they're interested in being able to get help when a storm blows out the phone and cell services or whatever.

As to the OP... no, thanks.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by K1PJR on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The current license structure is fine. There are more hams now than in the past. I believe there are over 2M worldwide. I'm hearing more and more young people on the air. Are there bozo's on the air? Sure there are. Show me an organization of any type and you will find no-it-alls and "yahoos". Turn the knob. If the CB lingo bothers you then say something to the op. You can be polite and explain it's not customary for ham radio. If it still bothers you, turn the knob again.

The ARRL does a fine job. They roll with the times and that is a good thing. They balance ham radio with trying to raise revenue. That's what its all about. What other periodicals are left? They're gone. Some people are so narrow minded. I'm tired of all the naysayers and the doom and gloom. To be successful you have to stay positive and constantly strive to reach new goals. Keep the negativity out of your life.

If you can't lead,then follow. If you can't follow then get out of the way. If that dosen't work then turn the knob...one more time!

Have a Happy New Year!
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NY7Q on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I AGREE WITH YOU.
THE ARRL IS THE NEW ENEMY.
I'LL BE OVER HERE IN MY OVERSTUFF, DRINKING A BEER, WATCHING NETFLIXS, SO,,WHEN THIS CRAP IS SOLVED, CALL ME ON MY CELL. OH,,,,HAM RADIO IS IN THE SEWER NOWADAYS.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AD5TD on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
As one who came from, dare I say it?, CB. Dun-Dun-Dah!

I got in to AR in 2003 after wanting to do it for many years (I was 49 at the time, and yes I had to do code). I'll tell you this, if could only work on UHF for a year, I would have given up after a couple of months. The only UHF repeaters in my area are all closed (pay for service) type. I might as well be on GMRS. One thing I have found, however, is that the worst operators are not the newbys, it's the OMs out there that know better. Rude, nasty, inconsiderate A-holes running WAY over legal limit with the mic gain wide open.

AD5TD Mo-Bill
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KI4ZUQ on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I have been "lurking"some of these forums for a while and listening to the gripes about the newer license-holders. I started in the forties with a Hallicrafters S-38D and a Heathkit AT-1 and a one tube code practice oscillator. Other things got in the way like girls and the US Navy. However, the study of basic electricity helped ease the Class A school the Navy provided for technicians. Seague forward 40 years and I met my second Elmer in an RV park throwing a stick with a wire attached. He had an Elecraft 4-band transceiver in his pocket powered by AA cells! That got me started! So I am one of the new license holders thanks to the ARRL, and the hams that breathed new life into the sport after the FCC decided to do away with Amateur Radio since they were cut back by Ron Reagan in the 80s. Those guys saved ham radio, warts and all. There is a lot of "positive" in that. My suggestion is instead of trying to restrict new hams until "they know as much as you do," figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons instead of griping about the new-bees being ignorant. I grew up in the vacuum tube era. I have little understanding about solid state stuff even though I put together an Elecraft K-2 (and it works!). I can follow instructions and can solder. The point being, there ARE Elmers out there like my John Watkins EV0OH, bunches of real geniuses like Craig Johnson AA0EE and the rest of the Four State QRP bunch, all the people that show up to the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama. All I see is positive people that provide an example of what a good operator should be. Lemonade out of lemons, guys.....

73s
Karl
 
Want more? Upgrade!  
by LONESTRANGER on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Well here we go again. I'll keep it simple, if you want more privileges, simply UPGRADE your license. The present license structure is fine, take advantage of the simple exams.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by WA3SKN on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The basic premiss is flawed.
It goes downhill from there.
But send it to the FCC and see their opinion.
73s.

-Mike.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W2TKW on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
""3) Technician class licensee should be required to demonstrate proficiency at sending and receiving morse code at no less than 25 WPM, as administered at the closest FCC field office."


This horse has been dead for 10+ years.
Why do people keep beating it?"

They keep beating that horse for 2 reasons:

1) They love CW so much they want to FORCE other to be proficient also, no consideration given to whether the person being FORCED to learn CW has any interest in using it in the future. If your love is the challenge of flea power SSB...Fine but you need to be as proficient at CW as someone who has been using Morse for 20 years!

2) They have a problem with their self image. They have a desperate need to feel they are superior to others and want to be able to constantly remind those others about how freaking superior they are!!!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W2TKW on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
As an extra class ham I do agree that sine changes could and probably SHOULD be made to the licensing process and the privileges available to the hams at each level. However I feel the suggestions outlined here leave much to be desired.

"1) Technician class license should be limited to UHF privileges only." -- This is ok from the stand point that interference from the 'sub-standard' would be confined to line of sight mostly. However it does nothing to get those new hams excited about the hobby. Talking on repeaters is not really all that exciting after making the first contact. Making long distance contacts is that which all of us hams work to obtain. Limiting all but the most deep pocketed hams ( moonbounce on UHF is still expensive ) to local communication seem to be a effort to RETARD a new hams growth. Further more Ernest's argument that this would result in a "simple, un-pressured environment, where they are primarily surrounded by their peers (ie, other new Hams). They would be less fearful of making mistakes, and more willing to be active operators." To me his plan sounds like he wants to segregate the new hams from the experienced hams, which would result in the opposite effect. I ask Ernest to answer me this; How does such an environment, surrounded by other new hams, allow them to learn proper operating procedures? If anything it would encourage the poor operating practices he complains about simply because they would not have experienced operators to emulate. For the life of me I can not see how "this environment would also lead to new operators being more aggressive about learning and perfecting their skill, while experimenting with different types of gear, including cheap generic equipment." I always felt that more experienced hams teach new hams by EXAMPLE, and not just in operating procedure, but also in curiosity.

I also take issue with his opinion that "many operators are being lost to the overwhelming freedom of the current Tech license." The privileges offered by the Tech license is not over whelming. Far from it. If any thing the thing that makes many new hams abandon the hobby is the attitude of some hams that Tech licensees are "inferior" and "not worth contacting." I think new hams would stick with the hobby far longer if those more experienced hams with a self-rightousness complex would get off their high horse, and treat new hams with the same respect they treat their buddies on the repeater.

His idea of "Technician class license should be required to wait ONE year before testing/upgrading to General Class" also has shades of grey. While waiting will give a new ham time to gain experience, it does nothing to encourage a new ham to advance; if anything it is a BARRIER to advancement in the hobby. It does nothing to allow "a new operator the needed time to find his/her place in Amateur Radio." How does denying HF privileges for a year to a new ham interested in HF work help him "find his/her place in Amateur Radio?"

I do agree with Ernest about one thing. There is quite a bit of "secretive resentment amongst Amateur Operators." This resentment by some hams who had to pass what they feel were harder exams, or have such a love for a certain mode of operation ( CW ) that they want to FORCE everyone to be proficient is what is hurting amateur radio today. New hams come into an environment that should be welcoming, but in stead find hostility from some. This is the PRIMARY source of what makes new hams lose interest.

While amateur radio has a record number of licensees at this time, the actually use of the bands low. In my area the repeater are pretty much dead except during the drive time. There is just too many opportunities for entertainment in this day. Also many new hams think that radio is unreliable as compared to skype or cell phone. This is true to a certain extent. But the true challenge of amateur radio is not making an easy contact...it is completing a contact that is fading, wavering, and affected by all sorts of atmospheric distortion. The thrill of amateur radio is completing a contact on 10 meters that 5000 miles away while driving to work. Because most new hams are used to instant gratification, having to work for a contact is a new experience to them; frustrating. Yes, the frustration of amateur radio is what drives those who stay with the hobby. Maybe I should say, the desire to over come that frustration is what drives us. many new hams do not know frustration and have not been taught how to handle it. Unfortunately, the coddling of children today will just make that situation worse.

I do agree that the licensing process needs to be changed, as well as the distribution of privileges, the ideas submitted are not the way to do it.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K0VH on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I do not agree we should be taking away anything. I was a new ham 50 years ago when ARRL pushed incentive licensing so wasn't affected by "take aways" but a lot of guys in our local club were and it wasn't pretty. Many current Techs have multiple 2m rigs and are critical for local public service and storm spotting activity that can't be taken away. There are also many places in the US that don't have many UHF repeaters to use. Not a good idea to limit them to just UHF.

I would rather push for Techs to get more HF voice or digital options, eg 21.350-450 or 12m. Digital on 15m as well. Give them a reason to buy a simple HF rig and perhaps they'll hear the busier 20 & 40m operations to incent them to get a General license. Otherwise a Tech can just stay on VHF/UHF with DSTAR, DMR, Fusion, echolink and work the world that way too ; and the way the next 5 years of HF propagation are headed more of us may be that way too, ;-(

I also don't see a need for any 1 year wait time. There is always a motivated well connected ham that takes the General test and passes right after they pass the Tech. What we need to do is elmer them or connect any new hams with local hams to help them get on the air and use a radio. Get over mic fright, don't criticize them not doing something "our way" but excite them and keep them coming back for more.

BTW, I can't fault the author for throwing out ideas either, best way to brainstorm. I just don't agree with them as they stand. 73 Dave in SE MN
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N8EKT on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I've always thought that privileges are set up backwards.

Since many once obtaining vhf and above tech privileges never desire to go any further.

Once they can talk with FM quality audio hundreds of miles away or even around the world via an echolink node and a 30 dollar hand held , its pretty hard to talk them into spending a grand on a radio that hears lots of noise and interference and is only useable during certain times of the day
What we SHOULD be doing is structuring classes in such a way as to put more operators on the bands we ARE in danger of losing.

220mhz, 900mhz, 1296, 2.4ghz, 5.8ghz, 10ghz etc

We are in ZERO danger of losing HF or 2 meters
But we have already lost part of 220 and all of 902-928, 2.4ghz, and 5.8ghz are now over run with UNlicenced wireless

I hear nothing but collective crying and whining every time we lose more UHF space yet NOBODY makes ANY effort to use these frequencies.

The latest generations have ZERO interest in HF.

They are only interested in computers, internet, and hand held wireless devices all of which only
Have application at UHF and above
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W1EUJ on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I wish that we'd throw out all of this complexity and just have one licence class, and that the test is truly to only judge your awareness of the different rules and guidelines and responsibilities - whatever the real minimum level of knowledge is required to keep from messing things up for other band users.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
N8EKT... Good points. Give the newcomers more privs. on HF. Many get stuck on vhf/uhf and never advance, or even go beyond operating a HT! Many will never get a taste of long distance radio propagation.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N5XJT on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Cant really see any reason to limit Tech licensees to purgatory for a year and I think they should be free to upgrade to General. Also I think a Tech should be able to operate voice on small band segments of 20 and 40. Their privileges on 10 are first of all subject to band openings and second when the band is open everyone and their dog zeros in on the 28.300 to 28.500 segment which is the most active. My thinking is if you can figure out how to program and operate today's VHF/UHF rigs you can probably figure out how operate an HF rig. However, I do believe it is far too easy to upgrade from General to Extra. As someone noted earlier, we are getting to the point we might as well skip the testing altogether.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KK5JY on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
>> I hear nothing but collective crying and whining every time we lose more UHF space yet NOBODY makes ANY effort to use these frequencies. <<

That's because those frequencies have very little utility without substantial infrastructure investment. For the normal everyday VHF+ ham, the FM ht is basically a cell phone that can't talk to very many people.

Troposcatter and other weak signal work is/are another matter entirely, but if you think an HF station is expensive, price out an effective tropo station for UHF or microwave... Ouch! An amplifier anywhere near the legal limit, even for 2m, costs more than my entire HF station.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W1KRT on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Getting back to the original topic: Yes, I agree the technician class needs a rework. The old novice license was a more valid introduction to the ham radio of the time - some HF, some VHF. Eventually 10 meter SSB was added. The tech class does not work that way today. Like it or not, cw is no longer essential. The "entry level" license, whatever you want to call it, should have both HF (including fone) and VHF/UHF privileges. Whether you limit the newcomers to just selected bands, or portions of all bands, or by power level, can all be worked out. The important fact is that they need some access to most types of amateur radio, to try them and find their niche. I lived through "incentive licensing;" it almost killed ham radio. Taking away privileges already earned was a huge mistake then and would be again if we tried it, as the OP suggests.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4KC on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!

I disagree with just about every statement made in this "article," beginning with the very first sentence.

"Most Elmers agree that the current license structure has diluted the Amateur Radio community, resulting in a loss of prestige, accountability, and qualified operators."

Show me some research, please. You have none, of course, and are making an ill-informed statement of "fact." Please don't speak for the majority of those of us who consider ourselves to be Elmers without something to back up such a declaration.

Actually, I am of the personal opinion that the current licensing structure is working quite well. I don't sense any loss of prestige, accountability or qualified operators at all.

Sure, we could tweak things a bit. However, the only change I would like to see is giving Technician Class licensees digital mode privileges on HF. This would give many more "Newbees" a taste of HF and would lead many of them to upgrade to explore more of what the hobby has to offer. And to get more out of the hobby we all enjoy so much.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com



 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by WB6MMJ on December 29, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Good point. LOL
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"2) They have a problem with their self image. They have a desperate need to feel they are superior to others and want to be able to constantly remind those others about how freaking superior they are!!!"

You're getting mixed up and have it the wrong way around, so I'm going to correct it for you.


They do indeed have a problem with their self image, the underlings that is. They resent anyone they feel is superior and have an irrational, unearned feeling of entitlement. They want to be able to constantly remind everyone how freaking equal they are, when they clearly aren't.

The very same ones when handed enhanced status (by the liberal elite huggy fluffs) very quickly forget their humble origins and before you know it can be found lording it over everyone else with a superiority like no other.

There you go, sorted.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KF4HR on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
K4RT writes: "I disagree completely with this proposal. You can't take away privileges that have been previously earned. The ARRL learned this lesson in 1967."

The FCC can, has, and does periodically change amateur radio operating privileges, both adding and removing. See: http://www.ac6v.com/history.htm


While I agree that licensing procedures and operational privilege changes could be made to help assist the newly licensed ham's to better transition into the hobby, I also disagree with the OP's proposal. It is not well thought out.




 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AF5CC on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
N0IU writes:

"How is being limited to a single band for one year an incentive to do anything?"

They wouldn't be limited to one band, they would be limited to UHF, which is 4 bands. They are 70cm (420-450mhz), 33cm (902-928mhz), 23cm (1240-1300mhz), and 13cm (2300-2310mhz and 2390-2450mhz). UHF covers 300mhz to 3 GHZ.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AF5CC on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
" New hams come into an environment that should be welcoming, but in stead find hostility from some. This is the PRIMARY source of what makes new hams lose interest."

I am not sure that that is the primary reason they lose interest. I think the primary reason is that 2m/70cm FM and repeaters get boring pretty quickly, if that is all you are doing in amateur radio. At most local clubs, that is all that is discussed, and that is what the Elmering is all about. Get on 2m and chase storms and parades with is. How much time is spent by most local clubs trying to get new hams on HF, maybe other than at Field Day? Probably not much. While public service is important, it shouldn't be the only thing a club or a well rounded ham focuses on.

73 John AF5CC
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KB1GMX on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I'm just aghast. ITs hard to form an opinion about
something that has a high punishment content.

The primary mission was to create a pool of
experienced communicators with technical skills
to take on many things. I do not see how the
proposal would enhance that.

As a UHFer, I"d like to see more activity but other
than 432/440 maybe 900 hardware is mostly home brew
or built up of expensive gear and generally not in
the realm of novices and beginners. Far to many
would see that as too esoteric and out of their
interests. Its not like a 2.4 ghz station comes
out of a box except for networking hardware. The
higher bands have even less gear purchasable as
ready to go.

There are techs that have stayed VHF and UHF as they
can play there at full privileges and power and
technical challenge.

Amateur HF radio has always had the idea of taking
to people around the world as the lure. Even 6 and
10m have that potential. Yet they would be denied.

What is forgotten in all this is Techs have HF, 10m
phone as well, but, I mean CW on lower bands. There
is the incentive to learn CW and even upgrade the
license. Its really simple if you as a tech want
access to 80, 40 and 15M learn code or get the
general.

My only comment is what does it take to get people
that can't seem to leave 2M fm/repeaters for more
interesting bands and activity. Not saying 2M FM
is bad but its such a narrow slice of ham radio.

Very sorry but the proposed changes would break what
is not broken. A large amount of thought has gone
into the current setup and it seems to work.


Allison


 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W5GNB on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"the FCC actually removed the requirement for Amateur Radio gear to be "Type-Accepted"

UM... Ham gear has NEVER been required to be "Type-Accepted" except for perhaps commercially produced gear such as transmitters and amplifiers.

The whole thing was that Hams could build their own gear but had to insure that it met certain specifications such as purity and harmonic suppression.

The Tech license was originally designed for the VHF/UHF hobbyist for use with R/C airplanes, propagation studies and the like. It probably should be returned to that status.

 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KI3R on December 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with AF5CC. We effectively closed the HF spectrum to beginner hams via elimination of the novice ticket. This was done, I feel, in the misguided idea that CW was the "buggy whip" mode. The mode really isn't the issue now as the novice ticket provided a simple basis to get on HF and consequently would provide more HF operators. We need more HF ops not techs who have a ticket and who are never heard on the air. I just found out that there are 2 hams within a block of me that I did not know existed. I have to do a little reaching out and see if they are or can get on the air.

73 and Happy New Year Tom KI3R Belle Vernon PA
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KJ4DGE on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
All very informed opinions. I wanted to get on HF so upgraded to General in 2008. As to reform of the tech license, No. Reform of the general and advanced, yes with more questions related to current tech, IE: digital modes, bandwidth usage etc. I will not get into the CW argument. I personally had no interest in learning it but as time has moved on this has changed, it is another digital mode. Had a conversation last night on a round table about 160 meters. This is a perfect band for digital as voice is often hard do to prop or antenna restrictions. Running a watt or so on 160 will get you on the playing field with CW, JT65 and other modes.

No leave things as they are and work with what you have. The FCC has bigger things to do like getting their game together..

Greg
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AD5TD on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
N0IU writes:

"How is being limited to a single band for one year an incentive to do anything?"

"They wouldn't be limited to one band, they would be limited to UHF, which is 4 bands. They are 70cm (420-450mhz), 33cm (902-928mhz), 23cm (1240-1300mhz), and 13cm (2300-2310mhz and 2390-2450mhz). UHF covers 300mhz to 3 GHZ."

There is not one single repeater or anyone that works simplex on 33, 23, or 13Mhz, there are three or four 440 machines within 50 miles, of those 3 are closed.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N0NB on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
First off, the OP contains a couple of factual errors. The most egregious is the assertion that the FCC removed the requirement that amateur radio equipment be "Type Accepted". Fact is that our equipment has never been subject to Type Acceptance (now known as "Certificated"). Certain amateur gear is subject to being "approved for sale" but that is far from the process involved in Certification (mostly it has to do with not being able to transmit on Part 95 frequencies out of the box and that the equipment meets Part 15 requirements).

Radio amateurs are responsible for spectral purity of their transmissions and are to assure that our transmissions meet the minimum standards present in Part 97. If Certification were required, that would put a severe crimp in our unique position in all of the FCC services of being able to design and/or build our own equipment.

The second major factual error is the assertion that there was a "secret" meeting removing the Certification requirement for amateur radio equipment. Please show where and when you think this meeting took place or when the rules were amended, otherwise this looks more like something that evolved out of a late night round table discussion.

If these facts, as presented, are in such error, I cannot take the rest of the "proposal" as the basis for serious discussion.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
" New hams come into an environment that should be welcoming, but in stead find hostility from some. This is the PRIMARY source of what makes new hams lose interest."

"I am not sure that that is the primary reason they lose interest."


Neither am I.....it is either something that is in you, fascinates you and grabs you for life or it isn't.

Couldn't care less about the professional hobbyists that drift in and out of umpteen hobbies and ham radio is just another box to tick.

In fact it gets mildly annoying watching those getting their panties in a twist to get the red carpet out for those that normally reward the hobby with.......

"the personal here would be"

"you're hittin me with"

"I'm pushin 50 big ones"

"using a magitenna here and gettin good shwaarr"

"runnin a shack in a box here"
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N8TI on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
At this point, I did not think we are going to get swamped with people wanting to get on the bands. As a result, having one class of license might not be a bad idea. The bands are not exactly loaded up with operators. Perhaps limiting new operators to certain bands for three months would be ok, but then they should be welcomed on all the bands. I think the internet has attracted most of the jerks, so I don't think that we have to be worried about turning into CB.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W3UEC on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
First off, I object to the idea of a year between upgrades. I was first licensed in 1955 and went all the way to advanced. QRT for 60 years and decided to get back into ham radio at age of 74. Did technician, general and extra within 2 months. I believe this is the case with many hams today.

As far as improving the qualification procedure, I think the best thing would be a "practical" part to the exam. Back in 1955, the code test and the form of the exam (draw circuit diagrams in blue book etc) partly took care of that. Even with the exams being given by VE's I see no problem with putting a candidate in front of transceiver (dummy load, of course) and asking things like: "Call CQ" "Show me what you do if you hear 'up 1'" Tune to workable end of 30 meter band." "Show me where to attach antenna." "What to do if you see/smell smoke." Show her/him some components and ask to identify -- maybe even to read resistor value code.

When I went to test for my veterinary license (back in 1964 ) part of the exam was to go into barn with 6 cows. We were told to do rectal exam (nice and warm on cold morning) and write down which cows were pregnant. We also had to read tuberculin tests, make and identify microscopic slides etc. Except that one colleague lost his wedding ring, this was a good addition to the written and oral parts. Now it is mostly computerized and the examiners sometimes can't explain outcomes. I have seen similar thing at VE test when the celluloid strips get misnumbered. :-)

I agree (if that was what he said) that much imported equipment is inferior. There is still very good US equipment like Elecraft. Sure it is a little more expensive, but still excellent and company is highly responsive. Although I will cry all the way to Harbor Freight, I look forward to aggressive approach to foreign trade that looks like will happen in 2017.

VY 73 ES Happy New Year de W3UEC
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AF5CC on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"There is not one single repeater or anyone that works simplex on 33, 23, or 13Mhz, there are three or four 440 machines within 50 miles, of those 3 are closed."

There are quite a few 23cm repeaters in larger cities, and even some 33cm repeaters in Dallas, and probably many other large cities. Also, there are quite a few people doing 23cm and 33cm SSB/CW which is simplex. Some of the ham satellites have a 23cm uplink as well. Not sure how often that mode is turned on, though.

73 John AF5CC
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K5UJ on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
<<<virtually ALL ham equipment has significant, if not all, content from China.>>>

I guess you never heard of, or operated Collins, RCA, National, Hammarlund, Johnson, WRL, Hallicrafters...
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AA4PB on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The FCC never has required Type Acceptance (now replaced by Certification) of amateur radio transmitters or receivers with the following exceptions, which still exist:

1) External amplifiers - the intent is to prevent them from being used on CB.

2) Scanning receivers that operate between 30MHz and 960Mhz. This Part 15 requirement applies to many amateur VHF/UHF receivers that have scanning capabilities outside of the ham bands. The primary intent was to prevent them from being used to monitor analog cell phones (which have now been replaced by digital).

 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K0SBV on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
At one time (early 50's I think), wasn't the Tech license limited to just 220 and above?
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The newbies who live outside of big metropolitan areas will often find few repeaters, and very sparse activity. Limiting them to Vhf/Uhf may leave them with very few people to talk with over the air, especially if they only own HTs.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by AA4PB on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Tech was introduced July 1, 1951 with privileges only on 220 Mhz and above. In 1955 6M was added. In 1959 145-147 Mhz was added.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by AA4EZ on December 31, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
What, is there a test for Technician? The questions that I read do not constitute a test about knowledge of electronics. I have seen young kids pass the test that could not even fill out the forms. Their parents had to fill out the form about their name and address and yet they passed the test. It is time to make the test mean something other than memorizing printed test questions. The ARRL is behind most of the license give away.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
With the radio manufacturers, dealers, and the ARRL trying to get as many humans as possible into the hobby, attempts at making the tests harder will have about a zero chance of getting off the ground.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by F8WBD on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"Technician Class License Reform Reply
by K5RT on December 28, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I disagree completely with this proposal. You can't take away privileges that have been previously earned. The ARRL learned this lesson in 1967.

Paul"


Can't agree, Paul. I believe it has happened to American General license holders. Last time, some years ago with CW allocations on 40 and 80 meters. Correct me if I am wrong.

73
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NN3W on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
If techs had access to 160 meters, does anyone think that they'd use them?

Just curious.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by WW6L on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why have a code requirement? why not require a design submission requiring analog and digital with a full theory description?
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KB9ZB on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
While I agree with some of your thoughts, the reality is the ham community and the FCC is going in a different direction. I do agree with the wait time, as well know it is not just the theory and the exam that matters it is the operating on the air time that matters. Let’s face it; time on the air develops the operator, not just his/her knowledge of the rules. Lets look at how many extra class stations we have and most have no clue about amateur radio what so ever, as extra class stations we are the one who should me mentoring the new guys/gals. I believe when we lost the Elmer in the equation, we lost the ability to instill respect and good operation procedures. We will never get that back, but we can provide more on the air time before the new folks get into bad situations they are unaware of due to lack of on the air knowledge.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KG4RUL on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"2) Technician class license should be required to wait ONE year before testing/upgrading to General Class. "

So, the several times I witnessed an examinee pass the Tech, General and Extra exams at one sitting, I should have waved my finger angrily at them and said NO NO!

In the immortal words of Mr. B. Bunny, esq.:

"What a maroon!"
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KB1PA on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I could see giving the old novice HF sub bands to current techs. It would be an incentive to learn cw at 5WPM. And give a taste of HF propagation.

Unfortunately this will be scoffed and laughed at because 85% of the new tech licenses are not "hams" but are "appliance operators" who refuse to learn how to program or use their UHF/VHF radios. They have 0 interest in the radio hobby. HF is too complicated for them.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KC3JV on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why CW it is an outmoded type of communication. Just like AM. For those that like it and want to perpetuate this legacy of HAM Radio. Go ahead and enjoy yourselves.

Mark
KC3JV
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KB1PA on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
CW is FAR from outmoded.

from K7EXJ

The military has come close to abandoning Morse but recently the USAF took over the Morse code training facility at Fort Huachuca and moved it to a base in Texas. It seems that the Air Force has become nervous about the vulnerability of its communications satellites to hacking and realized that they are far too dependent on that one line of communications. Plus the military of other countries (coughRussiacough) still make widespread use of Morse code networks.

And there are more hams trying to learn Morse now than in the past 15 years. CW Academy, which offers group classes in Morse code using Skype reports that their classes routinely fill up with a waiting list.

The main advantages of CW (the radio term for using Morse code) is that it’s simple, cheap, requires no huge infrastructure, and is extremely efficient.

These advantages also apply to ham radio where you can find low power CW transceivers that fit into your pocket for under $300 that cover several bands to provide both close in (NVIS) and distant (DX) communications ability. One of these can give you hours of enjoyment or even save your life if your car breaks down in the winter with no cell towers within 100 miles.

And Morse code is the very foundation of amateur radio. For the first 20 years of amateur radio there was no “voice” communications; it was all CW. In fact, for about 100 years after the invention of Morse code (by Samuel F.B. Morse) the job of a telegrapher was the fastest growing job category in North America! And one of the best paying. Between Western Union and the railroads, a young man who knew Morse code could get a job anywhere.

We know that our modern infrastructure is widely susceptible to adversarial hacking and the entire power grid could come under attack. And while that won’t affect SSB or digital, both of those modes are more complex than CW and those that are more efficient in terms of bandwidth and communications in high noise levels are arguably far less efficient in information transfer.

During the cold war, when U.S. embassies were all using encrypted radio teletype communications, they routinely used Morse code links to set these links up every morning and reconfigure them when propagation conditions changed.. Radio operators stationed all over the world would tune in to the Morse signals from Washington, D.C.(and other major relay stations) and pick the strongest frequency in order to get their communications back up and running.

So learning Morse code gives you a sense of history and also the ability to use the least amount of gear and power for the most communications.

But why not just use a computer? After all, a computer can copy and send Morse code.

Well, for one thing, just as landing an airplane on Flight Simulator doesn’t make you a pilot, using Morse code on a computer does not make you a “CW operator”. But computer CW is also not as good as human CW. Interference, noise, fading and poor sending are all common problems in copying Morse code on the radio and computers have difficulty with all of them.

Plus, of course, now you have to have some sort of computer handy and a means of connecting it to the radio and a radio that is more complex; more gadgets that a CW operator doesn’t need. All a CW operator needs is a simple transceiver, a resonant antenna, and a key (which can be as simple as a hacksaw blade and some fasteners on a wooden board).

So, while you no longer have to learn Morse code to get a ham license, there are still some advantages to learning it and using it on the air.

Plus it’s fun! Trust me.
&#65532;

de K7EXJ
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N7SZF on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
First, let me start with the fact that the following proposal is incomplete. Far more knowledgeable people than I would need to give their wisdom to make this proposal a workable system.

I'm going to go the other way on this one. It's not the Technician class license that needs reform. It's the Extra class. As our experienced hams turn gray, we are losing knowledge. Losing some of that knowledge is inevitable. But as younger generations come of age, what some of us saw as a miracle, becomes more and more mundane. Our hobby needs continual outreach and instruction beyond "just get a license" and advice on what radio to buy.

So, let's keep the Technician class just the way it is. Let's also keep the General, but the Advanced class license spectrum should be lumped in with the General class. All of the existing Advanced and Extra class licenses would become the new General class. Yes, I said that out loud.

If a ham wished to receive an "Extra" class license, he would have to reach a set number of hours spent volunteering in ham radio related education. Call it 20 hours within a two year period to receive the Extra class license. After that, 10 hours in each consecutive two year period to maintain the Extra class license.

Non-instructional volunteer hours like club operations, EMCOMM deployments, bike races, check-in and swap nets would be worth nothing.

Scouting instruction, presenting licensing classes and formal elmering or teaching to groups would be worth hours.

Administering Licensing exams could be used for no more than 8 of the required total hours.

Elmering to individuals is fantastic. It's how many of us got started in ham radio. A signed "elmer ticket" from the person receiving help would be required to be submitted. For the purpose of this proposal, let's say that individual instruction could be used for no more than 15 of the required total hours in a period.

The licensee's submission of volunteer hours would be reviewed by the VECs and certified as meeting the requirement for the Extra class license on a two calendar year basis.

Thus, if the applicant meets the 20 hour requirement at any time within a two year period, he may use the extra class spectrum until the end of that two year period. If he fails to meet the 10 hour maintenance requirement, his extra class add-on lapses at the end of the following two year period.

The previously mentioned smart people would need to decide if an activity, published article or presentation counted for volunteer hours. Perhaps detailed technical activities might count for more than simple ones. The fact is that no system could perfectly represent the vast number of topics that our hobby includes.

On the negative side of this discussion, there are roughly 200,000 current Advanced and Extra class hams who would be affected by this change in licensing. That's about a quarter of our number. I acknowledge readily that this proposal is ripe for abuse by hams worried about the "status" of their license class. It also creates a serious burden of paperwork for whoever has to deal with the accounting for volunteer hours.

On the favorable side, this system would incentivize the idea of talking to, educating and helping our fellow hams. The mentoring is what we claim to value from our past. Many of us feel it is missing from our hobby now. So, why should we require just a paper test of book knowledge for the Extra class license? Maybe the ham community can convince the FCC that the dedication of time and patience should be what sets "Extra" class apart from the "General" class HF license.

Respectfully,
Mike - N7SZF
Yuma, Arizona
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K6BRN on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, lots of input on this topic. Here is another set of ideas, just food for thought.

1. Establish Technician class with nearly full UHF/VHF privileges (some limitations on remote operations) and low-power (say, 25W) digital-mode-only privileges on 6M/HF bands.

2. Keep General Class as it is, unchanged.

3. Establish a real technical exam for Extra Class, to include antenna theory, digital communications theory and basic circuit theory, with written word and math problems where work must be shown, and NO "exact answer" or multiple choice answer pool. Today, "Extra Class" simply means "Able to memorize more multiple choice answers", not "More technically capable". Time to have a REAL "Extra class" that can function as a ready pool of better qualified "Elmers" for the rest of the community. Yes, some will simply not be able to enter this class, but at least those that do will have real and relevant "Extra" knowledge as they are supposed to. And those that cannot make the Extra grade will still be able to achieve major operating privileges with the General Class multiple choice, no-code test - a low enough bar and high enough privileges to ensure continued broad interest in amateur radio. Code expertise is just not that relevant anymore, except as a special interest mode and for historical purposes, whereas general comm theory, antenna theory, circuit theory and especially weak signal digital communications understanding is highly relevant.

Brian - K6BRN
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KA9EGW on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I took all 4 of my Amateur exams [Tech, General, Advanced, Extra] as well as my Commercial ticket exam at the FCC Chicago office on Dearborn Street...those were the days!
And it is already possible to get a 5-watt HT without a license. They operate around 27.1 mc.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by ONAIR on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
27.1 "mc."?? But that's CB!!!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KC2MJT on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Ernest, while you are well intentioned your recommendations are the last thing amateur radio needs. I'd suggest a 20 question test for a technician's license, and would be open to no test at all.

Most amateur radio operators can't solder, can't build their own radio without a kit, and have no clue how to tune their radio. Yet, they have fun, are polite on the air, and enjoy the hobby. I enjoy the fact they participate. They'll learn as they go, miss a few steps, but get it in the end. And, perhaps they'll add to the hobby without all the stick in the mud nay sayers that have antiquated ideas of what it takes to turn on the power switch, hit tune, and have fun.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4KC on January 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

I often wonder how many of those who argue for a more stringent Amateur Radio license exam could actually pass the current Extra test. Or how many who are so upset about the code requirement being removed could copy 20 WPM. Or even 13.

Yes, ours is a technical hobby, but the test should not be--nor has it ever been--intended to assure a high level of technical knowledge or ability in order to earn a license. Not everyone interested in the hobby wants to build amps or design transmitters. There are many, many other aspects of our hobby that attract newcomers and that keep old-timers interested. The Amateur license is merely a license to continue learning...if you want to.

But learning should not be required. I suspect many who moan and groan about the "give-away" exam or the lack of a code requirement would be in serious trouble if they were required to stay current with technology and code speed every few years in order to keep their tickets.

Non-technical interests in Ham Radio may not be your cup of tea, but don't deny others their enjoyment just because you lean that way.

Or want people to think you do just because you passed what you want to believe was a tougher exam.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com



 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think"
Albert Einstein

It seems that many on here want ham bands filled with those that can't or don't want to think.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N8TI on January 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
In 1964, I got into CB radio for a few years. Because of that, I always wanted to be a ham and enjoyed an interest in electronics. In 1992, I got my ham license. I knew several people who enjoyed ten meters as technicians and went on to full HF licenses. It is OK to have a entry level license with a relatively low bar for admission. If a person is inteeested, he or she will pass whatever test is required. Nowadays, we should be worried only about whether the person can properly operate the equipment and follow the rules of the road on the air.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KC7MF on January 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"""Clearly, most new licensees do not own Station Monitors, Spectrum Analyzer's, Deviation meters, or even an oscilloscope, so they are largely un-aware that their equipment is "sub-standard""".


This is far from clear. If you want to find substandard equipment, look at the boat anchors. They are the ones which need careful monitoring. New hams usually use modern equipment.

"""Technician class license should be limited to UHF privileges only."""

Nonsense. Why discourage them? They have very limited privileges as it is and fairly thoughtfully allocated to give them a chance to taste a cross-section of the hobby.

different types of gear, including cheap generic equipment. Believe it or not, many operators are being lost to the overwhelming freedom of the current Tech license.

2) Technician class license should be required to wait ONE year before testing/upgrading to General Class.

Why? Do you really think that a guy who has only operated UHF is going to be "better" in a year?

We do not suffer from too many hams. I spend a good deal of time on the radio and I am not seeing new hams causing problems. I do frequently see old-timers who are very poor operators and/or rude to new people. The bands are far from full as it is. Except for the odd contest day there is never a time I can't find a spot to play.

I think the FCC has done a good job keeping amateur radio alive and relevant. The last thing we need are solutions in search of problems.

IF there are any new hams reading this please note... If you hear KC7MF out there you give me a call. I would be honored to talk with you. And I am not issuing a grade.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W9OY on January 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
This proposal is silly. The present Tech license includes all of the privileges of the previous novice license, so
from a historical perspective the license is just about right for entry level. It's only 35 questions, and it's only another 35 Q's to general.

As far as experience and seasoning that simply comes with time and engagement and that's the way it should be. It's not the rules that make the hobby fun it's what you do within the boundaries of the rules rules that is fun.

73 W9OY
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"The last thing we need are solutions in search of problems."


The last thing we need are people so blind that can't or don't see, preaching that to those who can.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"As far as experience and seasoning that simply comes with time and engagement and that's the way it should be."

Set the entry threshold too low and it never comes - experience is not what happens to you but what you do with it.....and that requires the capability to think.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W8BYH on January 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I stepped away from Amateur Radio about a decade ago because of some competing issues in life, and just a month or so ago decided to dive back in. Here's the perspective of someone who took a ten year 'nap' and views the issues confronting our hobby from that perspective.

1. UHF/VHF analog is dead. I live in the Atlanta area, with some of the most dense amateur radio repeater infrastructure in the US, and the repeaters are dead, dead, dead. About the only time I hear activity is during scheduled nets, and participation in those is way down from a decade ago. Limiting new Tech's to UHF/VHF only is the equivalent of banishment to the wilderness. Yes, I know there's a lot more than can be done with UHF/VHF analog than just ragchewing on a local repeater, but nobody in the ATL area is doing any of that so there's nothing there to catch and hold a new Tech's attention.

2. UHF/VHF digital. Everybody's all a-twitter over DSTAR, and I'll admit to dabbling in it, but it's little more than VOIP. It's an interesting technology application but it's ho-hum technology in today's 'internet of things' world. There's really nothing there to grab and hold someone interested in Amateur Radio. Want to talk over the internet? Go get a free Skype account.

3. HF. I think that HF and HF privileges are the long term salvation of Amateur Radio. HF point-to-point, either voice or CW, is the one thing that most of today's technology and internet soaked youth have not experienced, and really can't experience any other way - there's no smartphone app for HF communications. This is why I'm now a big supporter of opening more HF privileges to the Technician-class license holders. Give them a taste of what makes ham radio magical (and keeps it relevant) - carve out small pieces of 20 & 80 meters where they can play and learn, and make sure those sections of the bands are well monitored or 'elmered' to ensure they learn good operating practices and not let it descend into 'CB land'.

4. I know mentoring or 'elmering' has been a long tradition in our hobby - going back to the first spark gap transmitters, but it's been very informal and haphazard. If Amateur Radio is to survive and grow we need to make 'Elmering' a more formal process. No potential ham radio license holder should go in to take an exam without being mentored by a real live Elmer. No new ticket holder should make their first QSO without their Elmer being at their side, and no new ticket holder should participate in their first formal net without their Elmer being part of the net too. The personal touch/encouragement/steering is absolutely critical to the long term success of new license holders. Of course this requirement can't be written into legislation or law so it's up to the local Amateur Radio community to identify those interested in joining the hobby, bringing them into the fold and holding their hand until they are well established.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"there's no smartphone app for HF communications. This is why I'm now a big supporter of opening more HF privileges to the Technician-class license holders. Give them a taste of what makes ham radio magical"


They've got the next best thing to an app - they will gravitate to an IC7300, auto atu and HRD software - then they will be happy texting, tapping, point and clicking their way through HF.

How magical.......and sadly, predictable.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"I know mentoring or 'elmering' has been a long tradition in our hobby"


Now of little value as today's club elmers are often yesterday's ex CBers or proteges of them that were handed entry via dumbed down routes.

Their "revert to type" habits get passed on in blissful ignorance.

 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by WS4E on January 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
This is going the WRONG way.

If anything the Technicians need to be given MORE OF a taste of HF.

A little voice privs in 20m and maybe adding some digital capabilities to their CW on 80 and 40.


Not taking stuff away.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KG7CSS on January 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Most Elmers agree that the current license structure has diluted the Amateur Radio community, resulting in a loss of prestige, accountability, and qualified operators. For many years we have treaded a slippery slope, making small changes to the rules in the vain attempt to include every possible condition."


As a Furry, Science Fiction and Anime fan, we always run in to the holier than thou selfish old timer who thinks we need to limit the involvement of new fans who they do not like in the fandom. Ham radio is the same.

To that, I thank god the Fcc is the authority not arrogant elmers who need shut up and stop trying to screw up the hobby for the rest of us.

Limit tech to UHF,You have the gall to think all we tech licence do is talk to each other.
Not only you want to deny us six and two meter but many other modes a technician class can use including.

APRS
EMCOM
RC and drone control
UHF and VHF Repeaters
Weather balloon Tracking
Rocketry
TV slow scan, fast scan and digital
digital, echolink, IRLP, WINS system and other reflectors.
EME bounce
Satellite and ISS
Ham radio broadband
even cosplay, (radio in costume) and LARP.
As you see many of us do not need to go beyond a tech licence.

If you do not like it,deal with it sell you gear and leave us alone.



 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W5BBB on January 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for your recommendations, Ernest! It's certainly generated many, MANY comments!
I have no opinion with your article, just happy to be a ham. That's the great thing about our hobby, everyone can operate, participate and vegetate at their own rate!
You've given much thought to chew on...73 and hope to meet you on the bands.
Frank
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K3YEO on January 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I have some general comments and observations for consideration after having re-read the current question pool. If any of them seem to be something you can endorse please send in a comment to the committee reviewing the question pool. If you disagree, that's okay, no need to debate the issue because I don't make the final decision. After a half century of involvement its heartening to see so many have genuine interest in helping interested persons become radio operators.

A) General regulations:

1. Maritime operation and ITU regulations are overly weighted in the question pool. It seems to me that the clear majority of licensees will not ever operate maritime or in other ITU regions. What is important is that all licensees know there are regulations and agreements that govern such operations, not to immediately know those nuances when initially licensed.
2. Similarly, it is more important for a new licensee to know that there is the FCC and Part 97 regulations, rather than certain specific regulations. For example, that a grace period exists is more important as general knowledge than knowing what may happen ten years after they are first licensed – ten years is a long enough time to reread the regulations. Give them a chance to get their license before we start talking about licenses lapsing.
3. Using the same logic, starting club stations is beyond entry level/entrance level licensing. Knowing that regulations cover such topics is more important.
4. Likewise, remote operation. Give new licensees a chance to get a radio built or bought before requiring them to know how to control it remotely. More importantly, it seems to me, are the aspects governing control operators, identification, interference, and the like.

EXAMPLE: The FCC Part 97 Regulations govern how amateurs may operate, including the following:

a. Maritime operations in other ITU regions.
b. What happens if a licensee lets their license lapse ten years after issuance.
c. Licensing a club station and remote control operations of club stations and repeaters.
d. All three of these areas are covered by Part 97 regulation.

B) Morse Code


I know that Morse Code was removed as a requirement, but it seems to me new licensees should know the benefits of CW operation/emission during challenging operating times.

EXAMPLE: The International Morse Code is used by radio operators around the world because:

a. A continuous wave signal can often be heard above noise and interference more effectively than voice communication.
b. It provided the fundamental basis for digital communication when transmissions were limited to only on and off carriers.
c. Identification can be facilitated by merely transmitting a pre-recorded CW ID string.
d. All these answers justify the use of International Morse Code.

C) Repeater use seems more important than repeater control. I would question examinees on dual band, dual frequency, imbedding simplex operation as the preferable standard. Awareness that there is regulation is important.

D) There seems to me too much on towers. Many and many hams start with vertical, handheld directional and long wire antennas when they begin. New technicians most probably should know more about vertical polarization and the use of micro strip, horn, parabolic, plasma and MIMO antennas for UHF and microwave work. Towers are an expensive option, and in this age of antenna restrictions, Homeowners Associations, and pre-emptive rights/parity, it may be best to focus on safety, proper equipment grounding, and lightning protection.

E) Safety, particularly antenna placement and installation, transmission lines and lightning arrestors are all practical items that could be expanded in the question pool. Danger of RF to spectators, falling stuff, guy wires under tension and unseen injury may all occur in and near a radio station whether base or portable field work. The safety aspects of power poles could be included.

F) I would expand the question areas to include more on recent technology: interfaces with computers, communications programming and control, and digital modes of operation. Most new technicians will set up and operate with little home brew gear, but they may build ancillary add-ons using Arduino and Picaxe, and design ergonomic devices to make their operation more personally satisfying. This is an interest we grow into not go into when first licensed I believe.

G) Lastly, and this may be a personal preference and reflects more on my Elmer from many decades ago, but a thorough knowledge of electronic circuit relatedness goes a long way. Signals originate, are amplified, filtered, modified and pass through many stages/phases before they reach our headphones. More basic radio electronics would be better I think.

Summary: It is important to remember a Technician license is more like a driver's license than a business license to engage in international trucking. Licensees need to know the traffic signs and signals, how the pedals and knobs work, and how to cooperate with others on the road. It is also important to know what makes the brakes and engine work since we are our own mechanics at the side of the road.

Nice to read so many thoughts on how we can help others join the radio community.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by VK3MEG on January 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
over here in vk the basic license like tech has 80m 40 15m 10m 2m and 70cm but 10 watts. the 10 watts is tough in a big country like vk with big gaps in population centers but the guys get by they work dx on 10m 15m and 40m this gives them the taste then they want more power so they upgrade and they get 20m as bonus no limitations in band like you guys you get the whole band makes sense to me.
our biggest problem is the low uptake of new licensees
cheers
steve
de vk3meg
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W5PJW on January 4, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
As an OF bearing down on 50 years in the hobby, having traversed in the snow, uphill, both ways, to an FCC office to take tests I thought I'd weigh in with my two cents:

I think revising the Technician class has merit, but I'd go in the opposite direction. I'd expand HF SSB privileges with small slivers on 75, 40, 20, 15, and what's already on 10. 100W limit. Who going to buy a multiband HF rig to operate on only one band that's usually dead anyway? On 75 & 20 give them 25-50khz or so covering the net areas. Might jibe with those with an ECom bent. In addition, since they usually have defined watering holes, allow digital access of PSK and JT65,JT9. And, gasp, for those interested, CW (my fave BTW) in a small section. Maybe the 40M novice band.

Plus their existing VHF/UHF privileges.

Again, for HF, small 25-50khz sections, 100W limit, no WARC bands, and maybe like the old novice, you have 2 years to upgrade or you lose you HF privileges.

We need to get people more interested, not chasing them away. Give 'em a taste of what's possible. VHF/UHF is generally a wasteland these days and if that's all I had access to back in the day, my ham career would have died early.

Just some thoughts.... $0.02
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"our biggest problem is the low uptake of new licensees"


Biggest problem is quality not quantity.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NK2U on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"I think, instead, that we should expand Technician license privileges on several more of the HF bands to include soundcard digital operation (they already have 10 meters) and SSB.

I think reducing privileges is going the wrong way.

I also think we older hams need to be more accepting, less prejudiced, and willing to KINDLY lead the way helping them to become the best ham operators they can be"

No, I think that this is just another gimme, gimme, gimme. If Techs want more they should study more and upgrade; simple as that. Everyone else did it, they can too!

de NK2U
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NK2U on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Another way to Slow growth of our craft,Bad Idea.
I say give them 15m and up. In the one yr wait you will lose most of them, if you open it up they will have a taste of all of what Ham has to offer and maybe want more."

Ha! Another gimme, gimme, gimme! No, let them EARN more spectrum by studying and upgrading! Everyone else did it.

de NK2U
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NK2U on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Yet another gimme, gimmie, gimme: "If anything the Technicians need to be given MORE OF a taste of HF.

A little voice privs in 20m and maybe adding some digital capabilities to their CW on 80 and 40."

I can see that the word STUDYING is now a dirty word. God forbid someone should study to get more privileges! No, just give them more...

de NK2U
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NK2U on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"I think revising the Technician class has merit, but I'd go in the opposite direction. I'd expand HF SSB privileges with small slivers on 75, 40, 20, 15, and what's already on 10. 100W limit. Who going to buy a multiband HF rig to operate on only one band that's usually dead anyway? On 75 & 20 give them 25-50khz or so covering the net areas. Might jibe with those with an ECom bent. In addition, since they usually have defined watering holes, allow digital access of PSK and JT65,JT9. And, gasp, for those interested, CW (my fave BTW) in a small section. Maybe the 40M novice band."

You're so generous! How about giving all Novice, Techs and Generals full Extra class privileges? Give them the whole enchilada! Work? Study? Hell no, just give it to them so that their self esteem is not hurt nor their pride!

de NK2U
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"I say give them 15m and up. In the one yr wait you will lose most of them"


Great, they can go feel "entitled" elsewhere - they were never enthusiasts in the first place if they are not prepared to wait and earn privileges.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KC7MF on January 5, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
All of this talk of entitlement sounds like a new broadcast. We have a good balance now. We do not need fewer hams. We need more. We do not have a problem with poor operators. Or rather, we do not have a problem with poor operators that can be tied to their being new operators.


The question is not whether people want to study or not. The real question is what contributes to the effectiveness and popularity of the hobby? Knowing that a henry was named after Joseph Henry and that he died in 1886 serves no purpose. Having a skilled operator with good operating practice and effective equipment....is. Gone are the days when an operator will likely have to build and maintain his own equipment. If he wants to there is nothing stopping him but we need not force him to learn to do it in order to never use that skill....ever.

I have yet to hear a good reason to make the hobby harder to access. Not one. Somebody want to try, keeping in mind that it is far from a foregone conclusion that we get to keep what spectrum we have.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"The real question is what contributes to the effectiveness and popularity of the hobby?"

Understanding the problem is not that what you think the problem is.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K0RGR on January 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I would say that this proposal is 180 degrees out of phase with what I'd like to see happen. Sadly, not everyone will understand what I just said.

I do admire the British and Australian 'Foundation' licenses. The material required is very similar to our Technician exam, but the privileges granted are quite different - with very significant HF privileges, but at very low power - 10 watts. They can do phone, digital, or CW.

Now, I can tell you that with a modest antenna, 10 watts of SSB will make lots of contacts on the higher HF bands. Digital modes like PSK31 and JT65 open up far more possibilities.

My biggest beef with the current exams is the publication of the exact questions and answers. Apparently, this is a federal regulation that applies to any exams given by volunteers instead of Federal employees. Don't blame ARRL or FCC - call your congress person instead.

There is currently a proposal before FCC to refarm part of the 75 meter band back to 80 meters, for CW and digital use, and to establish a digital subband there for Technicians. While not the ultimate solution, it would certainly help matters.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by K0RGR on January 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I would say that this proposal is 180 degrees out of phase with what I'd like to see happen. Sadly, not everyone will understand what I just said.

I do admire the British and Australian 'Foundation' licenses. The material required is very similar to our Technician exam, but the privileges granted are quite different - with very significant HF privileges, but at very low power - 10 watts. They can do phone, digital, or CW.

Now, I can tell you that with a modest antenna, 10 watts of SSB will make lots of contacts on the higher HF bands. Digital modes like PSK31 and JT65 open up far more possibilities.

My biggest beef with the current exams is the publication of the exact questions and answers. Apparently, this is a federal regulation that applies to any exams given by volunteers instead of Federal employees. Don't blame ARRL or FCC - call your congress person instead.

There is currently a proposal before FCC to refarm part of the 75 meter band back to 80 meters, for CW and digital use, and to establish a digital subband there for Technicians. While not the ultimate solution, it would certainly help matters.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KM4ODW on January 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Really!

1) I'm a newly licensed technician (last year) and find fault with your thinking. I live in a rural area and can barely reach a repeater. Closest one to me is 145.39000 and 145.10500 that I can get a response from SOMETIMES. So if I only had UHF I would be out of luck and lost interest. Not a good way to keep ham radio going. All the "old guys" will not be here forever! I'm new to ham radio but an old guy.

2) Why?? If you know the material what's the problem?

BTW My first radio was a Boefang HT that my examiner showed me and recommended. Ordered one the next day. Now I have a Icom 2350 in the truck and a new ID-880h for D-Star as a base. Planning to get a General ticket sometime soon, so bought a IC-7200 new. Just because someone starts with cheap China stuff, does not mean they will always s use it. And I have had many Elmers here and other places have help me a great deal. THANKS!!

So let's be real for more than a second. This proposal would extinct the hobby in the future!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KC8EQF on January 7, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Their is a reason the radio hobby is called amateur radio. New hams "get it" by practice or the leave the hobby with their peers giving "constructive" criticism. This can be used to get with the program or get out of the hobby (conformity of operational practices). 73
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by NW0LF on January 7, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
new model train engineers would only be allowed to run in an oval until they can show proficiency in keeping the train on the tracks in the curves at speed :)
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KA8ZYZ on January 7, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I always felt that this was a hobby that performed a public service when the need arises. I have been a ham for over 30 years, took the Novice when we had to copy 5WPM. Took the Technician a couple years later,allowing me to use 10 meter SSB (29.300 to 29.500 only). Talked around the world on a 25 watt Radio Shack 10 meter rig, using a 1/2 wave dipole I built. I proceeded to get my General license around 15 years ago. Put up a Icom 718 connected to an AH-4 with 50 foot of wire.
Fact is, I have never owned or used a spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope or deviation meter. But I do have several Chinese Baofeng UV-5R's along with my FT-60R, FT-270R and FT-250R HT's. I have checked all the Baofengs with other hams on simplex and duplex compared to my FT-60R. Transmission and audio appeared to be the same. A scope or spectrum analyzer may say different, but I really don't care, as I can give one to a new ham and do a little elmering to help them set it up for operation, as I can't afford to be giving away hundreds in ham equipment.
And changing the Tech license will not, and should not stop the influx of inexpensive Chinese radios. I paid 279 dollars for my first 2 meter HT (Icom IC-2AT) that had no tones, no memories, you changed freq. by the thumb wheel on top, and had a three position toggle switch to pick offset direction or simplex. Max power was 2 watts.
I sincerely believe that the cheaper radios helped bring down the price of Yaesu's, Icom's and Kenwood's. For new hams with a tight budget I have found the Baofengs to be a great start.
On another note, I chose not to communicate by CW. So I have not used CW but to copy during my exam. There went my prestige. In ending, I find it hard to believe that all, most or any new hams are not fine people with an honest interest in amateur radio. As a matter of fact, I have never met a new ham that I didn't like. And I believe that there is no room in Ham Radio for arrogant, all knowing people who believe they know what's best for us all. Just my two cents.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"I find it hard to believe that all, most or any new hams are not fine people with an honest interest in amateur radio. As a matter of fact, I have never met a new ham that I didn't like. And I believe that there is no room in Ham Radio for arrogant, all knowing people who believe they know what's best for us all. Just my two cents."

.....like arrogant all knowing people that think all these dumbed down new entrants are the best for us all.

It is revealing (but not surprising) that some find it hard to believe "that all, most or any new hams are not fine people."
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KC2PBK on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Your idiotic proposal would spell the end of amateur radio
Evidently you didn't put much thought into what you wrote.

Nuff said
73
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by HAMNCHEESE on January 8, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I fully support this proposal.

The only people who would probably find fault with it are those who slid in on the "easy track" after the ham license was diluted. Hams who had to show initiative to get and keep a license have all noticed how the ranks have been decimated. The license needs to be tougher because we do not need swarms of warm bodies just to have numbers; we need quality and integrity again.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4KC on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
HAMNCHEESE,

Congratulations on the best troll post on eHam in months. Even so, I'll take your bait and run with it:

"The only people who would probably find fault with it (the author's proposals for saving a hobby that does not require any saving) are those who slid in on the 'easy track' after the ham license was diluted."

I find fault with every single provision of the OM's original proposal above. And I'm a 20 WPM Extra who took the test 40 years ago when, I assume, even you hams that "have quality and integrity" would not have considered it to be an "easy track." I challenge you to go right now and take any of the practice exams online for General or Extra and report back your score. Go ahead. We'll wait. Can you copy 20 WPM? 13? Can you prove it?

"Hams who had to show initiative to get and keep a license have all noticed how the ranks have been decimated."

Again, I think I meet your wonderfulness criteria but I have not noticed the ranks being decimated at all. Activity is plentiful. I meet truly remarkable people on the air all the time, and they often are relative newcomers. What is this "decimation" of which you speak? Give some numbers or representative examples, please.

OK. I bit. That was your likely goal, to get somebody stirred up to keep this thread going. If you truly believe your statements, though, I am more than a little worried about you, your ability to observe, and then to attempt to logically state your case.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com





 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

I am worried about the motives of people that have books to sell.

....."Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain"........

 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by N4KC on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

GM1FLQ:

You should properly be wary of the motivations of everyone in this life and time, not just those of us who write and sell books. But if you intend to be unduly wary of book writers, you are automatically questioning the motives--and thus the ethics--of everyone from King David to Harper Lee, the late Elie Wiesel to Mark Twain, Shakespeare to Mickey Spillane, Tom Clancy to Agatha Christie, Dr. Seuss to J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ernest Hemingway to--yes--N4KC.

And I add myself to that list not because I believe myself to be equal to the others in talent, but because you made no distinction in success when you painted all of us with such a broad brush. If you question the integrity of every single one of us who writes for a living, you are doomed to remain one ignorant and dangerously prejudiced individual.

73,

Don Keith N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com

(And twice in one day I have been suckered in by very effective trolls!)




 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

Thought that would take the supercilious look off his face for a brief second or two.

Of course he is quite correct, many great writers most likely don't have ulterior motives.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W7DAH on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
While you're at it maybe you'd like to restrict voting rights to only white land owners? Wowzers, it must be hell inside your head.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

.....whilst "ignorance is bliss" inside your head.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"(And twice in one day I have been suckered in by very effective trolls!)"

And twice in one day the effective use of the label troll.

Used by those that would prefer opposing views to be silenced.

Very typical of the huggy fluffs with their self acclaimed "inclusive" and "diversity" values that seemingly go right out the window whenever someone dares challenge them.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KC8YXA on January 10, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like the old guard don't like new things like Internet,D-Star and DMR. Every time something new comes along all you hear is License Reform....
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KB1PA on January 10, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio has been that way since the very beginning. The first "change" from Spark Gap to CW caused all kinds of upset. Many of the "older" hams have been involved in Digital back in the beginning of Digital (many say that without Ham Radio, lots of modern technology wouldn't exist). The problem with DMR, DSTAR and the internet is they are 100% dependent on wire links.
Ham radio should be radio based. That is our strength, no dependance on wired infrastructure, because wires are a serious point of failure. We as a society have become to dependent on wires.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 10, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"Sounds like the old guard don't like new things"

Thankfully they are not near as impressed with everything new as those not so long out of their nappies.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W2UIS on January 11, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing wrong with the Technician Class License.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W2UIS on January 11, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The Technician license, newly created in the 1951 structure decision, was awarded to applicants who passed the General Class theory test, known as Element 3, but only required a 5 WPM code proficiency. It was initially intended for radio control of model aircraft, etc. but at that time, usage of the band for such a purpose was rare. Technicians were granted all General Class privileges in the 50 MHz band and all bands above 220 MHz; on 2 meters they were limited to 145–147 MHz. An applicant was permitted to apply for and hold both Technician and Novice licenses simultaneously (for the first year). In the 1950s and until the late 1960s, a US ham could hold both Technician and Novice licenses at the same time, thus having two callsigns (WN 2x3 for the Novice and a WA or WB 2x3 for Technician).
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KB0RDL on January 11, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Fortunately, this proposal will go nowhere.

In the Kansas City area the VHF/UHF bands are far from overwhelmed. There have been times when I've scanned the 12 or so repeaters I can hit and went over an hour before I heard anyone on them.

My impression is that the repeaters get 70% of their use from a relative handful of operators, not all of whom are Technicians. Many times I've heard guys say, "There was nothing on HF so I thought I'd see what was going on down here."

It's a rare event when I find a new ham or anyone else operating poorly or acting inappropriately. What few problems that I've observed have been from upper level hams. If you watch the FCC enforcement actions the vast majority are older extra class hams getting senile and flipping out.

I wouldn't worry about Technicians running down the hobby. Generals and Extras seem to be doing OK at that by themselves. Fortunately, it's not a huge problem in any event.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 12, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

"It's a rare event when I find a new ham"........

observing long standing ham protocols, they can normally be found waltzing along in a world of blissful ignorance.

It is a rare event when I find one of their supporters that does not share that same world.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W0MSN on January 12, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

It's hard to speculate as to how many Technician class are truly interested in more privileges? I personally would be inclined to allow more privileges not take away.

A pole on eham asking this question to Technician class certainly wouldn't give any real data.

I think an interesting study would be to allow Technicians to have full General class privileges one day a month (ie..the first Wednesday). Of course they would need to understand and abide by the same rules as all General class hams. This would allow them to experience HF and possibly have an incentive to upgrade. Wouldn't it be great if the bands were full of excited Technicians every first Wednesday. Let's do something to improve the hobby not complain about it.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W0MSN on January 12, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Oh.. that should read poll not pole in the above post. I know the English majors will ball me out:)
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 12, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Wouldnt it be great if the bands were full of excited Technicians...."

and

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”


Charles Bukowski
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W0MSN on January 13, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
– Mae Jemison
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KG5QHX on January 13, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Amateur Radio has to compete with Cell phones, smart phones, the internet, tablets and computers. The hobby is aging quite a bit. If you go to various local amateur radio club meetings, most everyone is retired or going to retire soon. Seldom do you see younger folks at the club meetings. So one should be trying to get more people interested in the hobby and not trying to get them to leave it. Otherwise there won't be anyone left to talk to with a radio.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by WN2C on January 13, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Why don't we have just one license class...the Extra.
We could test using the questions from the Tech pool and maybe some the the General pool. Just those that have to do with regulations, purpose and scope of amateur radio.
Here comes CB.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 13, 2017 Mail this to a friend!


"Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
– Mae Jemison

yeah but....

“Don’t confuse my personality with my attitude. My personality is who I am. My attitude depends on who you (& others) are.”

Frank Ocean
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by 4Z4DR on January 14, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
In Israel, we have a select list of MoC (Ministry of Communications) approved "elmers" who sit with a ham and administer a practical "exam" after they have logged 50 contacts on HF (hosted by another ham at their QTH or club station). Only after the "elmer" signs off on the newbie, that they know their stuff, will a confirmation be sent to the MoC coordinator, to approve the upgraded license class.

 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KC3NG on January 15, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I know...Reintroduce the code requirement
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KC3NG on January 15, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I stop and think about it...I got into radio because I was interested in radio, in casting my voice into unknown places, What good will a smart phone do?

KC3NGt
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by VE3ES on January 15, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Did APRIL 1st come early this Year?

 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KD8DVR on January 15, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that there should be a time period prior to upgrading to a higher class. No more Zero to extra from someone with only test memorization.


I'd positively comment on any Proposal for rulemaking, regarding this.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by KD8DVR on January 15, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
KN4VV: Actually, many EMCOMM people should be excommunicated... but that's another topic entirely :)
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KM4JOJ on January 16, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
First of all...speaking as someone who's been licensed for barely two years; I still feel as if I'm somewhat "new" enough to chime in on this.

Limiting techs to UHF is just going to create a bunch of people who further think ham radio is useless. Maybe in your area there's tons of activity on UHF; but not where I am...and certainly not in some of the more rural areas.

Is someone going to want to continue with a hobby if they can't actually make any contacts and are stuck on a very limited communication band? No.

"Let's be real for one second. There is a lot of secretive resentment amongst Amateur Operators. No one talks about it. Everyone denies it."

Which way do you want that resentment to go? If you take a tech...who is limited to just UHF and has to wait a whole year to do anything...while being limited to actually doing stuff with an elmer..it's going to create this resentment of "why should I bother? They obviously don't want me in the hobby with these restrictions."

Like others have said...you want to kick those people out of public service events? You want to keep them from discovering things like operating satellites...or APRS? Deny them the ability to get on 6m during an opening?

I'm not saying UHF is boring...but it is a very limited band that won't do much to help people get convinced to stay with the hobby. I don't think I ever had a contact on a UHF machine till a public service event...they just aren't used very much.

And..again...with the year...just another thing that's going to add resentment in the wrong direction. The new guys will become upset that they can't play like the other guys.

If you have the knowledge, and can pass the test; then that should be all there is. I started out as a General...I didn't really start making actual contacts till I got on HF. You know what I found? Most of those guys were more than happy to welcome me to the hobby and help me get more acquainted with having a QSO in the world of HF.

There's also something to just sitting there and listening to how people conduct themselves on the air...well..maybe not everyone.

You talk about the "secret resentment"....but from your very proposal; you sound like you're in that group that resent new operators and want to limit them.
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by GM1FLQ on January 17, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Which way do you want that resentment to go? If you take a tech...who is limited to just UHF and has to wait a whole year to do anything...while being limited to actually doing stuff with an elmer..it's going to create this resentment of "why should I bother?"


“Anything that comes easy, comes wrong.”
Josephine Tessier


.....so, to those who feel "why should I bother" my response is not "secretive"....it is - Goodbye.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by KA5EBL on January 21, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I have a Technician class license and have had it since 1978. I just operate 6m, 2m and 70cm. All on SSB only. If I was to upgrade to General class, I'd still just operate where I do now. Never wanted to operate HF. I enjoy the challenge of VHF and UHF SSB.
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by FORMER_K2OOL on January 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think the only thing valid here is the part about the FCC not making FCC type accepted radios that put out clean signals.They should also step in and force Amazon and other places that freely sell ham radio capable band radios to the public without a license to cease this!
If you are buying a radio,and you dont have a license for it,isnt that like selling a gun without a user having a license for it?A license should be required!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by W8MLC on January 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
it is no wonder why it is so hard to get new techs when you have people like this dictating the radio service
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by N4AWP on February 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
You forgot to take your Meds!!!
 
Technician Class License Reform  
by AE9C on February 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Oh Boy!!Another one that has a lot of time on his hands!! I dont like it so it has to be Changed*** BOO-HOO ,GROW UP !!!
 
RE: Technician Class License Reform  
by W3DAM on February 7, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I Think they should not have General class and just go from text to Extra class and be done with all the bickering. Code is gone now if you want to do code it can be done with electronic senders. So lets just go from Technician class to a harder written test to full privileges...

Dave
W3DAM
 
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