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Author Topic: ARRL Committee for New Entry-Level License  (Read 19245 times)
N4OI
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Posts: 352




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« on: April 06, 2017, 04:52:40 PM »

I just read this excerpt from a report about the ARRL committee to propose changes to entry-level licensing:

"[Committee Chair and New England Division Director Tom] Frenaye said a lot of young newcomers don't seem to find the current license manual very enticing, possibly due to the Amateur Radio terminology and the manual's 12th-grade reading level, which he believes should be lower.[...]"

It is clear to me that the term "dumbing down" is not strong enough to describe the current direction the ARRL is going with this new, entry-level license.  I was a respondent to the survey, but I doubt my comment will be considered because it calls for a different direction.  My suggestion was to reinstate the old Novice entry-level approach and quit trying to entice younger age groups with "cereal-box" licensing.  Target the older, technical types who now have the time, money and motivation to put in the work needed to learn (or re-learn) basic electronic theory, practical application and operational disciplines.  These are the enthusiastic new folks I seem to run into on the HF bands.

I am a member of the ARRL and, just like family, I won't be leaving just because I do not agree with some of their actions and directions.  That said, I guess they will take pride in the large number of new sixth grader's they entice into the fold... but will they be active a few months or even a year later?

73  DE KEN N4OI   Huh
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N3QE
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Posts: 4883




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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 05:20:20 AM »

I just read this excerpt from a report about the ARRL committee to propose changes to entry-level licensing:

"[Committee Chair and New England Division Director Tom] Frenaye said a lot of young newcomers don't seem to find the current license manual very enticing, possibly due to the Amateur Radio terminology and the manual's 12th-grade reading level, which he believes should be lower.[...]"

It is clear to me that the term "dumbing down" is not strong enough to describe the current direction the ARRL is going with this new, entry-level license.  I was a respondent to the survey, but I doubt my comment will be considered because it calls for a different direction.  My suggestion was to reinstate the old Novice entry-level approach and quit trying to entice younger age groups with "cereal-box" licensing.  Target the older, technical types who now have the time, money and motivation to put in the work needed to learn (or re-learn) basic electronic theory, practical application and operational disciplines.  These are the enthusiastic new folks I seem to run into on the HF bands.

I am a member of the ARRL and, just like family, I won't be leaving just because I do not agree with some of their actions and directions.  That said, I guess they will take pride in the large number of new sixth grader's they entice into the fold... but will they be active a few months or even a year later?

73  DE KEN N4OI   Huh

In that quote, I think they were just talking about the ARRL license manual.

It has been true, since forever, that the ARRL license manuals generally taught to a much higher standard than what you actually needed to know to past the test. The ARRL books actually helped you understand the material being tested on.

That's why there have always been other non-ARRL study guides out there focused not at all on teaching the material and more on passing the test. The modern equivalent would probably be the question-pool-on-the-internet practice sessions.

40 years ago when I got my ticket (first Novice at age 10, then Advanced at age 13) I didn't think the ARRL study materials were too hard to read. I thought the Advanced test was dang hard, though. (Mostly because I had no actual experience with the tube amplifier/oscillator circuits, or the beam antennas, they were asking all the questions about.)
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 07:54:49 AM »

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

We DO NOT need an entry level license!

What we need to do is REALLY teach the current Technician license vs the one day/one weekend quicky courses.

THEN, we need to Elmer the new licensees.  Show them there is life below 144MHz.
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WA2ISE
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Posts: 1051




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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 04:04:40 PM »

I wonder how bad it would be if the FCC brought back the "all code" novice license. A simple written test, no code test.  Would it be a disaster on the air when new novices fumble with their code keys, or would they quickly enough become reasonably skillful?   Cheesy
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NK7Z
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 05:20:49 PM »

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

We DO NOT need an entry level license!

What we need to do is REALLY teach the current Technician license vs the one day/one weekend quicky courses.

THEN, we need to Elmer the new licensees.  Show them there is life below 144MHz.
We need the old Novice license back....  CW only, reduced tech, then move to General, or Tech...  Just a simple Novice license, like the old days.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
N9KX
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Posts: 2061




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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 11:14:50 PM »

We need the old Novice license back....  CW only, reduced tech, then move to General, or Tech...  Just a simple Novice license, like the old days.

regardless of what the Rolling Stones sang, what we need and what we get are two different things  Cry   Smiley
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NK7Z
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2017, 03:52:20 AM »

We need the old Novice license back....  CW only, reduced tech, then move to General, or Tech...  Just a simple Novice license, like the old days.

regardless of what the Rolling Stones sang, what we need and what we get are two different things  Cry   Smiley
That's like saying the day has light in it...  You never get what you want, is not a reason not to discuss.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
W3DBB
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2017, 04:52:01 AM »

I just read this excerpt from a report about the ARRL committee to propose changes to entry-level licensing:

"[Committee Chair and New England Division Director Tom] Frenaye said a lot of young newcomers don't seem to find the current license manual very enticing, possibly due to the Amateur Radio terminology and the manual's 12th-grade reading level, which he believes should be lower.[...]"

The FCC could automatically issue a Technician Class amateur license to every American citizen on their 12th birthday and probably only a very small percentage of the new licensees would use it, with successively smaller percentages of them upgrading and then remaining interested in amateur radio over the long haul.

I wonder if ARRL does any kind of market research before petitioning the FCC to change the licensing rules. Methinks licensee recruitment efforts would bear more fruit if ARRL would focus on those more likely to be interested in becoming amateurs and sticking with it. I'd like to see them continue to focus on the 40+ early retiree crowd with grown children.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3526




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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 02:48:56 PM »

We need the old Novice license back....  CW only, reduced tech, then move to General, or Tech...  Just a simple Novice license, like the old days.

regardless of what the Rolling Stones sang, what we need and what we get are two different things  Cry   Smiley
   Yep!  What we will definitely get is a license that is designed to significantly increase the number of new ARRL members, and new radio equipment buyers!  Money talks, bupkiss walks!!    Shocked
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AA4HA
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Posts: 2381




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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 08:07:16 AM »

I wonder if ARRL does any kind of market research before petitioning the FCC to change the licensing rules. Methinks licensee recruitment efforts would bear more fruit if ARRL would focus on those more likely to be interested in becoming amateurs and sticking with it. I'd like to see them continue to focus on the 40+ early retiree crowd with grown children.

I doubt they have that level of insight in to the hobby or what is required to grow it beyond the insignificant level of public awareness that it has today.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
W3DBB
Member

Posts: 110




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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 04:34:20 AM »

I wonder if ARRL does any kind of market research before petitioning the FCC to change the licensing rules. Methinks licensee recruitment efforts would bear more fruit if ARRL would focus on those more likely to be interested in becoming amateurs and sticking with it. I'd like to see them continue to focus on the 40+ early retiree crowd with grown children.

I doubt they have that level of insight in to the hobby or what is required to grow it beyond the insignificant level of public awareness that it has today.


I'm confident ARRL leadership knows which demographic contains the most serious prospects interested in becoming radio amateurs. It is good to take the long view with recruitment efforts aimed at young people, as they are doing, but a near term bang for the buck will help them financially to achieve their long-range plans. If they're like most companies the bureaucracy runs the place and effectively controls policy from below. It's all about implementation.
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K0RGR
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Posts: 138




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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 01:27:57 PM »

The problem is that the 'early retirees' are actually people like me who got older and got laid off. Fortunately, I had earned a pension and had a big 401K at the time. Most people in the current generation won't be so lucky. So, I'm a bit concerned that the 40+ group of well heeled people of leisure are dwindling faster than we know.

We do need younger people.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 459




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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 08:13:20 AM »

From my perspective, emphasizing ham as handitalkie has been a road to nowhere, to a world of shirtpocket , global communications users who TEXT more than they talk. The expansion of voice is also pretty dull. The biggest revolution in ham has been digital modes and this would be far more interesting than voice with an HT or on HF: it would also be much more relevant for any possible public service and gaining experience in data networking and other current skill sets which relate to this century.

I love Morse / CW AND PROBABLY ALWAYS WILL,  but a Technician license should be -by definition - "technical".  Add a digital mode emphasis to the present Tech license ( not voice) , maybe some network questions , add how-to operating quick start info to the test like which bands do what, simple antennas you make and let them get started.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 08:19:45 AM by W7ASA » Logged
N9KX
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Posts: 2061




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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 07:14:07 PM »

Probably the surest way for the ARRL to attract newbies would be to do an all out offensive showcasing the mystery & marvels of CW.
anyone with a cell phone can talk to folks around the world -- but check out communicating with dots and dashes using a variety of keying devices!  Grin
show some hams using sidewswipers or paddles outdueling text-messaging teens in a race.  

it sounds crazy -- but that is why it would probably work if the ARRL will just think outside the Newington box ... 

wouldnt it be quite a hoot if Morse code becomes the main reason that new people become attracted to ham radio? LOL
we might even have to restructure privileges and increase the size of CW segments limited to Amateur Extras   Smiley

73 dit dit
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KG6AF
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Posts: 474




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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 08:06:50 AM »

Probably the surest way for the ARRL to attract newbies would be to do an all out offensive showcasing the mystery & marvels of CW.

This would have been an excellent strategy eighty years ago.
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