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Author Topic: Do we have a "caste-like" system on the ham bands?  (Read 58596 times)
KI4AX
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« on: June 17, 2011, 01:15:40 PM »

It was recently stated by a licensed Amateur Radio Operator that:

Unfortunately, all the FCC's stupid "incentive licensing" nonsense has really done for amateur radio in the United States over the last five decades has been to firmly institutionalize a “caste-like" system of "mine is better than yours" within the hobby, a system that, even to this day, is still chock full of meaningless government-sponsored "hazing rituals" and largely bogus achievement tests that have absolutely nothing to do with the operating privileges they grant, let alone measuring our real learning about such things.

This same operator also stated that:

The Amateur Service in the United States is administered by a US Government agency (the FCC) that’s publicly funded with tax dollars!  And the frequency spectrum they administer (and which we hams now freely use) belongs to all of us, whether we’re licensed to use it or not.

That fact also makes the FCC’s rules and regulations for our Service now subject to a whole set of 1990s-era federal equal access laws…some of which (like the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995 as amended and the Rehabilitation Act) now expressly prohibit federal agencies from perpetuating blatantly discriminatory access requirements to federally controlled resources…like the ham bands.


I would like to know if other ham operators think and feel the same way. Do others believe that we have an “institutionalized caste-like system of mine is better than yours” within the hobby?

I would also like to know if other operators think and feel that the licensing requirements and structure in the U.S., as administered by the FCC, are “perpetuating blatantly discriminatory access requirements to federally controlled resources….like the ham bands.”

I would also like to hear from others on whether they think the testing and licensing requirements for Amateur Radio should be dropped completely.

Dan KI4AX
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 08:49:21 PM »

Good Lord!  Has this not been beaten to death!

The licensing structure as it exists is just fine.
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N2EY
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 05:46:09 AM »

In my opinion, no, we don't have a "caste-like system" in US amateur radio.

What we do have in US amateur radio is a wide variety of opinions, experiences, and varying definitions of things. We also have a wide variety of factual knowledge, urban legends, misinformation, etc.

For a non-license-related example, consider the Software Defined Radio (SDR)

First off, there's disagreement about the exact definition of an SDR. Some hams will include any rig that has a microprocessor in it, others will include only those with some form of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) - even if it's just a DSP audio. Still others will include only those rigs where all or most of the signal-processing functions are done in DSP.
Some folks will add in clauses about whether the rig needs a PC to operate, whether it has a front panel with knobs, and more. The definitions are all over the map, and about the only universal agreement is that certain rigs are truly not SDRs.

Second, there's an even bigger disagreement about whether SDRs are "better" than non-SDRs. At one end are folks who state categorically that SDRs are the future, and that anyone who disagrees is a luddite who will got the way of the neanderthals. At the opposite end are folks who insist that SDRs are not "real radios" and that they're more about hype than high performance. And everything in between.

Third, there are folks who don't really know/care what all the fuss is about.

Combine all these factors and you have quite a discussion. Which is really a good thing, because it indicates that we are not all in lock-step nor heading toward a sterile, channelized, overcontrolled amateur radio.

The same goes for licensing discussions.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W5GNB
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 05:54:07 AM »

Seems to be a little on the Sour Grapes side of things.... Maybe he FLUNKED the Extra Exam and is now venting his fury.....

Although I do agree with his comments, we must not forget the all mighty ARRL for our Incentive licensing requirements...

 Back in the 60's they really pushed for it and I well remember being a General Class with ALL band priviliges then one day, all of a sudden, I had band restrictions.

I was NOT happy that I Lost what I had however, I took the exams and got it all back.

The biggest "Caste-Like" issue lately has been the "NO-Code EXTRA" also known as the "CB-PLUS"  I suppose no-one will ever be happy with whatever system of licensing comes around.....The "EXAMS" are a Joke anyway, just open your book, read the answers, and go pass the stupid test.... It only takes a couple of hours to be ready for the EXTRA these days.

73's
Gary - W5GNB
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KC9TNH
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 07:29:56 AM »

Seems to be a little on the Sour Grapes side of things.... Maybe he FLUNKED the Extra Exam and is now venting his fury.....

Although I do agree with his comments, we must not forget the all mighty ARRL for our Incentive licensing requirements...

 Back in the 60's they really pushed for it and I well remember being a General Class with ALL band priviliges then one day, all of a sudden, I had band restrictions.

I was NOT happy that I Lost what I had however, I took the exams and got it all back.

The biggest "Caste-Like" issue lately has been the "NO-Code EXTRA" also known as the "CB-PLUS"  I suppose no-one will ever be happy with whatever system of licensing comes around.....The "EXAMS" are a Joke anyway, just open your book, read the answers, and go pass the stupid test.... It only takes a couple of hours to be ready for the EXTRA these days.

73's
Gary - W5GNB

Gary, licensed just since January and having a blast.  Passed Tech, had donut/coffee, passed General, another donut, then a free head-splitting look at the Extra 'cause they made me (and looked pretty resolute about me not leaving till I at least tried).  I have the Extra study guide next to my chair and will be working on it as time permits. And I've not (yet) met another ham (whatever ticket) who interacted in a manner that actually could be called 'caste-like' so I don't buy into that term. I don't think Extras should live exclusively up in their penthouse either, otherwise they wouldn't be around for me when I've got QRS stamped on my forehead. Grin

But I'm truly curious as to what might be the view of others of what's needed in terms of knowledge to pass the Extra, that directly relates to the spectrum privileges granted?  Not talking the old code/no-code thing.

I'm referring here - for the extra (no pun) spectrum allocated to only those with an Extra license - to what skill/knowledge proved on the exam is essential to one's survival in the dark waters from one end of a band to the other, where a General (or sometimes an Advanced holder) cannot tread?  If I want to use an o'scope or a spectrum analyzer, for example, I have to learn how to use it whether I need a license for something or not.

Just curious because, again maybe just my perception, there does seem to be a notable leap in terms of study between a General and the Extra.
Also, did Advanced holders also wake up one morning with band restrictions?

Thanks.  Smiley
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 08:39:16 AM »

Seems to be a little on the Sour Grapes side of things.... Maybe he FLUNKED the Extra Exam and is now venting his fury.....

Not at all.  

I've already jumped through all those stupid hoops.

My principal "beef" is that those who have yet to obtain full privileges in our Service still have to jump through all those meaningless "Extra Class" hoops just to get access to frequency and operating mode privileges that are not fundamentally or operationally different than those ALREADY granted to General Class licensees.

Any way you cut it, Gary, that's a meaningless "hazing ritual" that serves absolutely no useful regulatory purpose.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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N2EY
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 08:56:52 AM »

Also, did Advanced holders also wake up one morning with band restrictions?

Sort of.

It's a long story that I have recounted several times. Here's a short version.

Before Feb. 16, 1953, only Advanceds and Extras had full privileges. Everybody else had various mode, power and/or frequency restrictions.

From Feb. 16, 1953 to Nov. 22, 1968, Generals, Conditionals, Advanceds and Extras had full privileges.

On Nov. 22 1968 the rules changes known as "incentive licensing" went into effect. The rules changes were discussed for 5 years before, so they weren't a surprise. Thousands of hams sent in comments. There were at least 10 different proposals from a variety of groups and individuals, not just ARRL. The rules changes that resulted were a mix of various ideas from several of them.

Generals and Advanceds lost some privileges, with Generals losing more than Advanceds. What was lost was mostly HF 'phone space, plus some HF CW/data space. For a CW op, the Advanced gave no additional privileges over the General or Conditional.

The reasons for subbands-by-license-class as the incentive were two: First, more spectrum is what hams usually want. Second, it was the most easily enforced.

The Extra isn't all that hard if you know a little radio. I got mine at 16, between 10th and 11th grade, at the FCC office in Philly. Only reason it took me so long was that, back then, you needed 2 years' experience as a General or higher before you could try the Extra.

Doesn't seem like 41 years ago. 

73 es GL de Jim, N2EY




 
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KB1SF
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 09:29:57 AM »


But I'm truly curious as to what might be the view of others of what's needed in terms of knowledge to pass the Extra, that directly relates to the spectrum privileges granted?  Not talking the old code/no-code thing.

I'm referring here - for the extra (no pun) spectrum allocated to only those with an Extra license - to what skill/knowledge proved on the exam is essential to one's survival in the dark waters from one end of a band to the other, where a General (or sometimes an Advanced holder) cannot tread?  If I want to use an o'scope or a spectrum analyzer, for example, I have to learn how to use it whether I need a license for something or not.

Just curious because, again maybe just my perception, there does seem to be a notable leap in terms of study between a General and the Extra.

As I've noted above, Wes, you've asked the fundamental question. 

The truth is that there IS no operational difference between the privileges granted to an Extra Class licensee in our Service and those granted to General Class licensees.  The former license is more about "bragging rights" and stoking the egos of the "I'm better than you" crowd than in fulfilling some regulatory need.

Furthermore, I do not expect you will get straight answers to such questions from many of other characters posting here. For, to answer such questions truthfully would undermine this crowd's near obsessive quest (via post after post of frantic references to "we're turning into CB") to justify the infinite perpetuation of the last vestiges of "incentive licensing" in our Service in the United States.

Unfortunately, over the years since all this "incentive" foolishness was written into our regulations, ham radio in the United States has morphed into a closed, "good ‘ol boy’s club" run by far too many such people who remain blissfully content for our Service to keep "eating our young" by forcing newcomers to adhere to the same arcane (spelled:"increasingly irrelevant") "hazing rituals" that they all did. 

Sadly, the ever-aging proponents of such unmitigated regulatory nonsense are now desperately clinging to a plethora of systemically discriminatory (yet largely still federally-enabled) "lid filters" and "hazing rituals" left over from those bygone days when such clearly illegal approaches to access and licensing were not only allowed, but were actually encouraged in federally-administered programs like Amateur Radio. 

Thankfully, as the old saying goes, the 'times they are a changin'. 

But our "regulatory fundamentalists" are not about to go down without a fight.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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KC9TNH
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 09:57:23 AM »

Jim, appreciate the history lesson, tnx.  Smiley
First, more spectrum is what hams usually want.
That's precisely the only reason I'd go after it, so I'm also very attuned to Keith's comments. Not whining, I just got a look at the exam 'cold' 'cause the VE's said it would make their day if someone walked in w/ no ticket and walked out with an Extra; giving it a shot & scoring 50% satisfied them. (This was all done in a very good natured way & it was a fun morning.)

I just was trying to get a sense of what portion of the exam (if any) relates to filling in the spectrum notches. I'm old enough to know that there are alot of modes I'm not getting into (I know never say "never" but you'll have to trust me on this). Guess I was just a little surprised to find stuff there that seemed less about proper on-air procedures and the teaching of others than outer space & electronic component theory and Smith charts etc., which I'd need to learn on my own anyway if I was gonna go extra-terrestrial or build something for myself. I may go for it anyway, just for the spectrum. It's originally the reason I went for the General, and that I do CW on my own even if it's not required (and a brief CW QSO is for me more satisfying). Winters are long up here and the study guide sits by the chair and there are practice exams. I'll just nug it through I suppose & then forget about it. That may - till the next restructuring - mitigate the following pet peeve:

[petpeeve]I wish, for example, they'd made the frequency 'floors' the same. (Had been bouncing around one night on 40m phone for awhile, from one end of my General to the other, then went to 20m, and was about to answer someone on 14.219 and had to tell myself "oops, don't pull that trigger.")[/petpeeve]

Thanks again all.
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
AE4RV
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 10:10:56 AM »

Wes, that's one of the reasons I went for Extra right away - I didn't want to remember where I wasn't allowed to go!

As Keith has pointed out once or twice, the testing material isn't necessarily related to the increased spectrum. The way I look at it, the FCC wants to encourage you to learn and study more than it takes to get an entry level license, and increased spectrum is one of the few carrots they have to give.

Some people see nothing wrong with that, some are appalled.  I don't think about it anymore...

As long as this system, right or wrong, is in place, I encourage you to get the extra. I know you like CW and the DX at the bottom of the bands is quite fun.

73, Geoff AE4RV
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KB1SF
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 10:30:44 AM »

I just was trying to get a sense of what portion of the exam (if any) relates to filling in the spectrum notches. I'm old enough to know that there are alot of modes I'm not getting into (I know never say "never" but you'll have to trust me on this). Guess I was just a little surprised to find stuff there that seemed less about proper on-air procedures and the teaching of others than outer space & electronic component theory and Smith charts etc., which I'd need to learn on my own anyway if I was gonna go extra-terrestrial or build something for myself.

Wes, as you have discovered and as I have previously noted in these and other forums, the entire FCC approach to differentiating between one license “class” and another in our 1950’s-era license structure has absolutely NO direct tie to operational or safety considerations.

And, the problem isn’t necessarily that our tests are “too hard”.  In the case of the Technician license, I firmly believe that particular test has now become far too easy, so much so that it has become downright dangerous.

That is, our current Technician Class License grants the holder, after passing a horrifically simple 35 question multiple-choice test, the privilege of building a 1 KW amplifier for 2.4 GHz, aiming the dish at their (or their neighbor’s) eyes and causing permanent eye damage.  And most Technician Licensees wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to what they’ve done or why.

On the other hand, since the 1950s and 1960s, our higher-class licenses (particularly the Extra Class License) have been based entirely on granting “exclusivity” (that is, access to “exclusive” frequencies and “exclusive call signs) to those who successfully qualify.  Unfortunately, such federally underwritten foolishness has now become quite illegal under a whole plethora of US equal access law.  

That’s because our licensing system currently withholds full participation in our Service (an Extra Class license) based on applicants passing ever-more-irrelevant written examinations that are not only internally duplicative (as I will show below), but also go well beyond what the international guidelines suggest should be the minimum qualifications for full participation in the Amateur Service.

The term we educators use to describe such tests is "invalid" because such tests measure skills and abilities that bear little or no relationship (or go well beyond) what candidates actually need to know in order to successfully perform in their new roles. When constructing such tests, one must always ask the question: "Does the test actually measure what it is supposed to measure and does it require a level of knowledge and skills commensurate with the privileges it grants?"  

When such tests require a knowledge of predominantly "nice to know" rather than "need to know" information, then, according to a whole host of 1990s-era equal access legislation in the USA, such federally-mandated tests become what's called "systemically discriminatory". That's because, taken together, they create a SYSTEM of rules and regulations that makes a federal license grant contingent on applicants successfully answering questions that have little or no direct relationship to the privileges they grant.

Perhaps an example from the Federal Civil Service will help illustrate my point.

In the rest of the Federal Service, when hiring a person to, let’s say, stack boxes in a US Government warehouse, you can no longer legally make that person's hiring decision based on them successfully completing an examination over how boxes are made. The job they are applying for is to stack the boxes, NOT to make them. And while a knowledge of how boxes are made is "nice to know"; it is not an essential element in the job they are being hired for. Therefore, under a whole plethora of newer federal equal access laws, such applicants cannot (legally) be required to know such information.

Likewise, making the grant of an Extra Class License in our Service contingent on an applicant correctly answering a question like: "What is the direction of an ascending pass for an amateur satellite?" is an absolutely invalid (and therefore illegal) question under current US equal access law.

It's an invalid question because satellite operation is NOT an operational privilege granted exclusively to Extra Class license holders.

And it is certainly NOT a requirement in order to be qualified to operate in the last few kHz of the HF bands now reserved for Extra Class operators. In fact, anyone with a valid Amateur License in the United States (including Technicians!) can operate via our fleet of amateur satellites.

Likewise, making the grant of an Extra Class License in our Service contingent on an applicant correctly answering the question: "How many times per second is a new frame transmitted in a fast-scan television system?" is also an invalid question.

That's because, once again, amateur television operation is NOT an exclusive operational privilege granted solely to Extra Class operators.

As with satellite operation, anyone with a valid Amateur Radio License in the USA (again, including Technicians!) can legally operate an Amateur television transmitter. This test question is, therefore both invalid and illegal under US equal access law because it creates an "unnecessary regulatory barrier" (to use the FCC's own words when they dropped all forms of Morse testing) to license applicants.

Note once again, Wes,  that the "easiness" or the "hardness" of the questions on our exams is not the issue here.

Rather, it's the relevance of the questions to the specific privileges a particular class of license grants that is important in determining the legal validity of our tests under today's federal equal access laws.

And, sadly, even a cursory review of our current question pools shows that both the General and the Extra Class exam pools are now chock full of these equally "nice to know" questions that often bear absolutely NO direct relationship to the added privileges they grant. True, such questions discuss Amateur operation in general. But, under today's federal equal-access laws, that's simply no longer good enough.

Quite frankly, I believe our Question Pool Committee would be hard pressed to even come up with a 50-question Extra Class exam if the only subjects being examined related directly to the added privileges the Extra Class License grants.  At most, they might be able to come up with a question or two about where the new HF band edges are, but very little else.  

And it certainly doesn't take a 50-question exam over how to fill out a request for a so-called "exclusive" Extra Class call sign to make sure candidates know how to do that.  Indeed, that particular activity occurs while an applicant is filling out their paperwork to take the exam!

Clearly, BOTH of the questions I've shown above belong in the Technician question pool, NOT in the one for Extra Class. And making correctly answering such misplaced questions contingent on the grant of an Extra Class license becomes systemically discriminatory because it perpetuates a system of illegal discrimination by forcing all applicants…not just the handicapped….to demonstrate knowledge and skills that are either irrelevant, or are not required for the exclusive privileges associated with the class and type of federal license being sought.

Fortunately, most other countries in the world never bought into any of this "incentive" and “exclusivity” foolishness for their Amateur Services. Elsewhere, the safety issues of power output (vice frequency and operating mode) as well as being allowed to build and operate transmitters "from scratch” are often the central factors that differentiate one license class from another.

And, as one would also expect, the rest of the world's Amateur Radio licenses DO NOT grant "from scratch" transmitter construction and/or high-power operational privileges to inexperienced beginners like we so freely do with our Technician Class License!

In Canada, for example, and as in many other countries in the world, their top license (the Advanced Certificate) requires the successful passage of a very technical, 50-question exam.

But, in exchange for passing it, Canadian Hams who already hold a Basic Certificate are given just a small number of very specific additional privileges that are far more commensurate with the material examined.  These include being able to build transmitters "from scratch", run a KW of power (vice 250 Watts), be the licensee of a club or repeater station, and give exams.  

Clearly, the latter pursuits involve a great deal more potential risk of physical harm to either one's self or to others (running high power), or are activities with much greater probabilities of causing harmful interference to others on the Ham bands or other services (building transmitters from scratch or running an in-band repeater).  

And, quite naturally, in Canada one has to also have an Advanced Certificate in order to give exams to others along with a Morse endorsement on their licenses in order to do so.  This logic, too, makes perfect sense because how can one administer and grade a (now optional) Morse test to a candidate if you, yourself, don't know Morse?

By contrast, (and as you have found) in the United States, unless a person is already an RF engineer, a candidate for an Extra Class license must plow through up to 600 (or more) pages of often highly technical (to them) gobbledygook in a license manual and then pass a 50-question exam over material that is almost entirely unrelated to the meager added privileges that license grants.  

Indeed, because the primary purpose of the Extra Class license IS to grant such baseless elite "exclusivity", all it really does is enable and underwrite all the "I'm better than you" snobbery and blatant bigotry that is still clearly present in our Service in the United States.  

And THAT, in my humble opinion…more than anything else…is what's REALLY killing Amateur Radio in the United States today.  The largely baseless and overly technical advancement requirements for our Service have now become a HUGE “turn off” to today’s youth because such requirements have become largely meaningless in an age when most (if not all) of the equipment they will ever use comes already assembled out of a box.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 12:06:40 PM by KB1SF » Logged
KI4AX
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 10:42:43 AM »

According to the FCC:

The class for which each licensee is qualified is determined by the degree of skill and knowledge in operating a station that the licensee demonstrates during an examination to volunteer examiners (VEs) in his or her community.

Shall we open the ham bands to unlicensed (and thus unskilled) operators? Shall we allow the command and control of Amateur Satellites by such unlicensed operators?

Dan KI4AX



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KB1SF
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 10:46:25 AM »

Some people see nothing wrong with that, some are appalled.  I don't think about it anymore...

Geoff, it's not just "appalling".  

As I have shown, it's ILLEGAL under current federal law!

Quote
As long as this system, right or wrong, is in place, I encourage you to get the extra.

And therein lies the problem.  

Unless and until enough current hams rise up and stop encouraging others to continually kowtow to such federally-mandated (but nonetheless illegal) activity, the "system" absolutely WILL NOT change for those that follow.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 10:57:48 AM by KB1SF » Logged
KB1SF
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 10:52:41 AM »

Shall we open the ham bands to unlicensed (and thus unskilled) operators? Shall we allow the command and control of Amateur Satellites by such unlicensed operators?

Dan,

Apparently, you didn't bother to read the part of my post where I shared my firm belief that the current Technician examination is not comprehensive enough.

And would you please show us where I (or anyone else posting here) has said anything about "opening our bands to unlicensed operators?"  Such a notion is an absolute non-starter as BOTH the ITU AND the FCC regulations clearly specify that users of our bands must be both examined AND licensed.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 10:56:41 AM by KB1SF » Logged
KI4AX
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 01:05:18 PM »

Keith: I am having a hard time following you. You seem to indicate that your main concern is the survival of the hobby and the threat of falling and/or stagnate numbers of new and or existing operators.
   
Your main complaint with the system seems to be the irrelevance of the test material as compared to the privileges of the license grant especially at the technician and extra levels. Technician because it is too easy and extra because it is too difficult related to the additional privileges that come with the license grant. And you further claim that the extra ticket is the basis of exclusivity, snobbery, and bigotry; and thus the reason for the failure of the hobby.

You seem to indicate that the Canadian licensing system and structure are superior to those here in the U.S. in that the test material and privileges granted are more in line with each other. And that the more theory one knows and uses, the more difficult the test one is able to pass, and the more operating privileges that are granted.

And so perhaps I can draw the conclusion that you might be advocating a similar licensing structure here in the U.S.? Please tell me if I am incorrect? And if I am not, please indicate in your next post what conclusion I should be drawing. And I agree with this position….privileges (power, modes, bands) should be based on the level of license and as a consequence on the level of knowledge of theory.

But if your real concern was the survival of the hobby, as you have often indicated, then I contend that the Canadian licensing system is not the answer. That would be advocating making the test more difficult, as a matter of relevancy, and consequently more restrictive not only to new comers, to the hobby, but also to those you claim the current rules are prohibitive to (who ever they are). In other words, you would not be able to operate certain modes, power levels, and bands unless you passed a theory test on the modes, power levels and bands that you want to operate on. Again, I agree with this position. But if you are concerned about the survival of the hobby how can the U.S. approach be bad for recruitment? Are you trying to make it easier to get in or harder to get in? Here, in the U.S. you just memorize some stuff, take the test, and get almost all the privileges instantly. In Canada, you actually have to know what you are doing in order to pass and you don’t get all the privileges. Here we have almost instant gratification….in Canada you have to actually work at it for a while. It seems to me that the Canadian system is much more discriminatory than the U.S. system.

As far as the Extra ticket is concerned. Like you say… you don’t get very much additional privileges for the crap you have to go through to get it….so why do you worry about it so much? This is a hobby and not a job or a place to work or shop. If a guy wants to put himself through that in order to get his Extra ticket then that is up to him; no one is stopping him. That’s what a hobby is all about. Whether his family eats tonight is not based on whether he can pass that test or not. The non-Extra can work almost any band, mode, and power level that the Extra can work except for a couple of hundred KHz. I don’t see where this is more discriminatory than the Canadian system and I don’t see it keeping anyone that really wants to be on the ham bands off. When it comes to relevancy I think it is the lower class licenses where the privileges granted are more than commensurate with the testing level. The test either needs to be more difficult or the privileges granted to the lower license levels should be fewer; but these things are contrary to instant gratification and consequently contrary for recruitment.

So I ask again… Are you advocating making it easier or harder to get on to the ham bands?

Dan KI4AX
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