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Author Topic: Bring back the Advanced Class  (Read 48188 times)
K9AIM
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« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2013, 04:50:29 PM »

I don't buy it. CW is definitely an acquired skill but it doesn't take any special '"talent" to master. It's simply a matter of practice. Anyone can learn it.

practice and patience, yes.  it also take time which means one has to really want an amateur radio license to learn it (at least when the requirements involved 13 and 20wpm. 

Quote from: W4HIJ
It's not like someone becoming a musician or an artist where there has to be an innate ability to start with if one wants to become successful.


actually there are plenty of successful musicians without innate ability or special talent (Britney Spears for example).  now if by successful musician you meant a master or virtuoso -- your point here makes sense.

Quote from: W4HIJ
And if you want to get right down to it, you could guess on the CW exam as well once it came down to the final version of it which involved copying one side of a QSO and answering questions about it. You didn't need anywhere near solid copy. CW ability has NEVER been an indication of character, intelligence or talent.  

 Huh i don't think i have heard anyone hear claim that learning the language (morse code) or learning to skillfully wield a key meant one was more intelligent or of better character than those who have not.  the point has been that it required patience and time.   

Quote from: W4HIJ
Take a listen to the bands sometimes and write down the calls of some of the foul mouthed and ignorant vermin we have in our midst and then do the research to find out what license class they are and when they were licensed. You will find 20 wpm Extras there for sure.  What license class you are or whether or not it is code or no code ticket has absolutely no bearing on the type of person you are or how good and courteous an op you are.

agreed

Quote from: W4HIJ
I do agree with your last statement though, it's ancient history.  There are a lot of hams that still need to get over it.
Michael, W4HIJ

the thread started with someone noting the difference in CW proficiency present in the 25KHz USA Extra class CW segments these days verses back when there was a 20wpm requirement.  that involves 4 bands and a total of 100 KHz of spectrum.  and while it takes some creative license to say it is *ancient* history -- it is definitely history. 73, K9AIM

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W4HIJ
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« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2013, 05:27:44 PM »


 Huh i don't think i have heard anyone hear claim that learning the language (morse code) or learning to skillfully wield a key meant one was more intelligent or of better character than those who have not.  the point has been that it required patience and time.    




Oh yes indeed that has been claimed many a time during the code vs. no code debate in many different threads and many different forums over the years. To this day there are derisive aspersions cast on people simply based on whether or not they are code or no code hams or what speed code they had to have in order to upgrade. Look around this forum and many others and you will find this to be so. Many moons ago I upgraded from Novice to Technician by passing what was then the General class written exam.  Because of this, I was grandfathered into General class when the code requirement was dropped to 5 wpm overall.  I could easily pass a 13 wpm exam now but many times I have had my character and intelligence insulted when the circumstances of my upgrade to General class have arisen.
Michael, W4HIJ
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K9AIM
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« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2013, 08:19:59 PM »

With a few brief exceptions that were few and far between, I was mostly QRT from 1978 till 2008 and so missed most of the code/no-code talk and transition.  It is disappointing people would disparage hams based on their having received a license after the code requirement was dropped.  As you rightly point out, poor operating behavior and a code requirement are not mutually exclusive.

I will say this, having started with a Novice license and thus having had to begin communications with morse code did force me to learn a basic appreciation for protocol and brevity that carried over once I attained phone privileges. 

i know; i know -- ancient history.  now that i have hit 50, life seems to be spinning much faster  Cheesy
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K2GWK
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« Reply #48 on: February 01, 2013, 09:40:53 AM »

Huh i don't think i have heard anyone hear claim that learning the language (morse code) or learning to skillfully wield a key meant one was more intelligent or of better character than those who have not.  the point has been that it required patience and time.   

Short memory huh?Huh

publishing the answers to the exam questions was also a stupid decision. what that and the elimination of the code requirement did was degrade the operating proficiency of hams in general. it moved ham radio closer to being CB.  and the results are observable on the bands today. 

i realize you have accepted these changes and are probably better versed than i in when and why these things took place, and i generally learn something from each of your posts.  i do wonder though if you put the fact that what is done is done aside, don't you feel like the removal of the code requirement -- in consequence and effect -- has made amateur radio more like CB?

73, Rob K9AIM ..
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K2GWK Website

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K9AIM
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« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2013, 10:17:53 AM »

Huh i don't think i have heard anyone hear claim that learning the language (morse code) or learning to skillfully wield a key meant one was more intelligent or of better character than those who have not.  the point has been that it required patience and time.   
publishing the answers to the exam questions was also a stupid decision. what that and the elimination of the code requirement did was degrade the operating proficiency of hams in general. it moved ham radio closer to being CB.  and the results are observable on the bands today. 

i realize you have accepted these changes and are probably better versed than i in when and why these things took place, and i generally learn something from each of your posts.  i do wonder though if you put the fact that what is done is done aside, don't you feel like the removal of the code requirement -- in consequence and effect -- has made amateur radio more like CB?

73, Rob K9AIM ..

Short memory huh?Huh

my statement was not a personal assessment of the individual operating proficiency of any given 'no-code' ham, but was rather my opinion that the removal of the code requirement degraded the average operating proficiency of amateurs in general. 

in other words, removing the 13 wpm and 20 wpm code requirements for amateurs wishing to obtain HF phone privileges drastically changed the operating experience of hams when they arrive on the bands.  it generally takes several months of CW operating to become proficient at copying one perfect minute of 13wpm code, and even more time to achieve 20wpm.  Over that time, CW instills in one some basic protocol and basic operating skills that have a tendency to influence future phone operation(s).   

And, even if one did somehow become proficient at sending and receiving 20wpm CW (granted no test was required for sending when I passed the 13 wpm requirement in 1977) without on the air communication, it still entails a time commitment to become proficient that is not as significant when the code requirement is absent.  I will grant that simply learning code (5wpm) does not require nearly as much of a time commitment. 
 
So I am suggesting that eliminating the code requirement:

1. reduced the amount of time it took an average HF operator to get on the air and this reduced what they learned about on the air protocol

2. reduced the time commitment necessary to obtain a license and thus made it easier for anyone to get a license

and that ^those^ two things worked to reduce the average operating proficiency of hams in general.   (obviously over time reducing the code requirement to 5wpm and then eliminating it altogether degraded operating proficiency of morse code in the CW segments and especially in the 25 kHz USA Extra-class only CW segments)

what i am *not* saying is that any no-code operator is less proficient than any code-tested operator.  clearly there are no-code hams who are the cream of the crop and code-tested hams who are, to but it bluntly, LIDS.

73, K9AIM



 
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N2EY
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« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2013, 01:09:34 PM »

I don't buy it.
Why not?
CW is definitely an acquired skill but it doesn't take any special '"talent" to master. It's simply a matter of practice. Anyone can learn it. It's not like someone becoming a musician or an artist where there has to be an innate ability to start with if one wants to become successful.
If anyone can learn it, what was all the fuss about?
Almost anyone can learn code, or to be an musician or an artist; it doesn't take an innate ability. I am living proof of that!
What takes an innate ability is being really good at it. The code tests for a US amateur license never required that someone be really good at it.
And if you want to get right down to it, you could guess on the CW exam as well once it came down to the final version of it which involved copying one side of a QSO and answering questions about it. You didn't need anywhere near solid copy.
Actually, the final version required either 1 minute of 5 solid copy OR fill-in-the-blanks. Multiple choice was removed.
Back when I took the tests, we had only the 1 minute solid copy option. It had to be legible to the examiner, with no going back to fix it up. Had to send, too. No CSCEs, and the written had to be passed at the same time as the code.
Ancient history now. But it made a difference! Because it forced most of us to "overlearn" and be more prepared than we really had to be.
 
CW ability has NEVER been an indication of character, intelligence or talent.  Take a listen to the bands sometimes and write down the calls of some of the foul mouthed and ignorant vermin we have in our midst and then do the research to find out what license class they are and when they were licensed. You will find 20 wpm Extras there for sure.
Maybe. How do you know they are "20 wpm Extras"? How do you know they are who they say they are? What percentage of hams - and "20 wpm Extras" do they represent?
Most of all, what mode are they using when they behave the way you say?
Here's the thing: No single test is going to be a perfect "filter" of anything. Some "bad apples" will always get through. Particularly when it is given once and never again. And some "good apples" may turn bad over time. But this does not mean testing serves no purpose!
Consider that all those foul-mouthed folks you hear - of any vintage or license - also passed WRITTEN exams that specifically asked questions about on-air behavior. Every one of them! Yet some behave the way they do - does that mean the written exams serve no purpose and should be eliminated too?
What license class you are or whether or not it is code or no code ticket has absolutely no bearing on the type of person you are or how good and courteous an op you are.
See above about the effects of testing. 
I do agree with your last statement though, it's ancient history.  There are a lot of hams that still need to get over it.
On both sides of the fence!
Still, it is a general rule of human nature that a person will value more highly something that requires a personal investment of themselves.
73 de Jim, N2EY
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W4HIJ
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« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2013, 06:25:41 PM »

I never said, testing serves no purpose.  I said that demonstrating an ability to copy morse code does not determine what kind of intelligence, character and maturity a person has. All I ever said and I stick by that viewpoint. There are many hams here and elsewhere who will argue that point though. Of course there are bad apples in ham radio. There are bad apples in several other hobbies I'm involved in and bad apples in society in general. If no one test is going to serve as a filter then why do so many hams still insist that the CW requirement kept the so called "bad element" out? K9AIM suggest that the CW requirement somehow makes better phone operators......Hunh??!!!! Learning proper operating techniques and etiquette has nothing to do with the ability to copy CW. I was taught proper operating practice and etiquette by my Father. This happened before I ever hit the airwaves with CW or phone. If someone doesn't have the advantage of having an "Elmer" around to teach them then a simple listen to a few properly conducted QSO's is enough to learn. Also reading "The Amateurs Code" is a great start as well. None of it is rocket science and the notion that CW ability or the lack thereof will determine what kind of an op someone will end up being is pretty ludicrous. I can't argue this anymore. Seems to me we are not giving very much credit to new hams if we think they can't learn to be good courteous ops by listening to and observing other hams who operate properly and politely. But hey, they don't know the code so they must be some type of dense moronic demented individuals that can't learn something that simply right? I mean c'mon..... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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WD8DK
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« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2013, 01:50:20 AM »

The Advanced Class is the only one that shows an operator had 13wpm. You cannot distinguish that today in any class but Advanced. I will not upgrade until the 20 wpm CW is put back in with the Extra.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2013, 04:33:40 AM »

....(someone) suggest that the CW requirement somehow makes better phone operators......Hunh??!!!! Learning proper operating techniques and etiquette has nothing to do with the ability to copy CW....

....Also reading "The Amateurs Code" is a great start as well. None of it is rocket science and the notion that CW ability or the lack thereof will determine what kind of an op someone will end up being is pretty ludicrous. I can't argue this anymore. Seems to me we are not giving very much credit to new hams if we think they can't learn to be good courteous ops by listening to and observing other hams who operate properly and politely. But hey, they don't know the code so they must be some type of dense moronic demented individuals that can't learn something that simply right? I mean c'mon..... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

I think that this sums it all up in a nutshell.  The ability to copy code indicates that one....has the ability to copy code.  And that's all.  Way before the removal of element 1 there were 'bad apples' that held General, Advanced and Extra tickets--and they were extremely evident on the airwaves--so much so that the argument that code acts as a 'filter' to keep bad apples off the airwaves is just so much hot air.  Or shall we call it...code snobishness!    Shocked
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W3HF
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« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2013, 05:01:27 AM »

The Advanced Class is the only one that shows an operator had 13wpm. You cannot distinguish that today in any class but Advanced. I will not upgrade until the 20 wpm CW is put back in with the Extra.
Not true. You could have received a medical waiver for the 13 wpm code test. Your Advanced only proves definitively 5 wpm, just like the Novice.

To actually prove 13wpm from the license itself, you'd have to document having received it prior to medical waivers being available. But that's no different than a General (or in fact, an Extra).
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N2EY
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« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2013, 06:33:41 AM »

The Advanced Class is the only one that shows an operator had 13wpm.

Not true. As W3HF points out, after 1990, one could get an Advanced with only 5 wpm and a medical waiver.

You cannot distinguish that today in any class but Advanced.
\

All an Advanced really proves is that the ham, at one time, passed 5 wpm - same as a Novice.

I will not upgrade until the 20 wpm CW is put back in with the Extra.

Why? Who loses out?

----

Why all the fuss over a one-time test, taken years or decades ago?

I got my Advanced in 1968, at the FCC office in Philly. Had to pass 13 wpm code, sending and receiving, plus the written. I was 14 years old and took the tests in the summer before I started high school.

I had to wait two years to even try the Extra (the rules required it back then). Got my Extra on the first try, summer of 1970. 20 wpm code, sending and receiving, plus the written. Doesn't seem like 43 years ago.

But if somebody wants to know what I can do, I don't point to those ancient tests. I just show 'em. 20 wpm is on the slow side for me; has been for decades.

IMHO it matters far more what someone does with the license than what tests they took to get it.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N3DF
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« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2013, 01:43:50 PM »


IMHO it matters far more what someone does with the license than what tests they took to get it.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Jim, I agree with this.  Nevertheless, the day I passed my General code and written in the New York City FCC office was one of the great days of my young life.  I just don't think most new licensees get or understand that feeling anymore.

I planned for the exam at least three months in advance.  I was a high school junior.  I made at least 200 Novice CW QSOs and also listened to code records or WIAW code practice every evening.  I also spent two weeks virtually memorizing the essay answers in the ARRL license manual.  In my entire pre-college experience, my parents only let me ditch classes on the day I took the train into New York to take the exam.  On the way home, I honestly felt superior to everyone else on the train because the federal government had authorized me to own and operate a 1,000 watt short wave radio transmitter.  I was walking on clouds for a week.

I'm not any better than someone today who may pass all three exams based on a few days of  working the Q & A lists.  However, I doubt that they will attach the same value to the license that I did (and still do).

73 de Neil N3DF
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 01:53:03 PM by N3DF » Logged

Neil N3DF
N2EY
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« Reply #57 on: February 10, 2013, 05:44:44 PM »

To Neil, N3DF:

Your story is a bit like mine.....

I still recall the three times I went to the FCC office in Philadelphia for amateur radio exams....

The first time was in the early summer of 1968. Exams were only given on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings that weren;t Federal holidays. For a kid in school, that meant waiting for summer vacation or the rare MWF when school was closed but the FCC wasn't. There was no way the parental units would allow truancy to take an amateur radio exam - and besides, The Examiner would probably ask "why aren't you in school?".

I had been a Novice since the previous fall, and had made many a QSO and copied W1AW faithfully every night, as well as reading the Handbook, License Manual and every radio book I could get my paws on. But I failed the 13 wpm code receiving - not because I couldn't do it, but because the examiner couldn't read my "Palmer Method" longhand well enough to find the required 65 correct consecutive legible characters. He let me take the General/Tech written, so all I had to do was come back after the required 30 days and pass the code for the General.

I went home and proceeded to teach myself to block-print at 30 wpm. Copied W1AW at every opportunity until I could get an entire 18 wpm bulletin solid copy on paper. Went back to FCC office later that summer and passed the 13 wpm easily. General license at last!

As I was about to leave, The Examiner said "why don't you try the Advanced while you're here?"

I hadn't studied the theory at all, and as a CW op the Advanced would offer no additional privileges over General once the new "incentive licensing" rules went into effect in November. But there was no way a 14 year old ham in his right mind would say "No" to The Examiner, so I sat back down and took the Advanced written. Nothing to lose, right?

The truth was that it wasn't that hard. Some questions were easier than others, but I kinda thought I knew the answers to all of them. More important, I got enough of them right to pass!

I went home and began the wait for the little envelope from FCC. In those days, of course, you were not officially upgraded until you had the license itself in your possession. I began making plans for VFO operation, and moving out of the Novice bands.

And I began another project. First step was to make up a two-year calendar, and figure out when it would be legal for me to try the Extra. On that day in 1970 I was at the FCC office again, to try for the Big E. And although I was the youngest person there, I was the only one trying the Extra. Made it on the first go, too.

Doesn't seem like 43 years.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB0UPD
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« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2013, 08:53:31 AM »

Bought back memories. Got licensed in the mid-late 70's. It was nice being a Novice, everyone else was just as slow as I was.  Back in those days not everyone had the money to buy a fancy new factory built rig. We found used stuff or like I did, built Heathkit.

Ok so I still have my Advanced, does it give me anything more today than a General?  Been inactive for a few years...   WB0UPD  Bill
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KG6AF
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« Reply #59 on: February 11, 2013, 09:03:50 AM »

Ok so I still have my Advanced, does it give me anything more today than a General?  Been inactive for a few years...   WB0UPD  Bill

You get some additional phone frequencies on 75, 20, and 15 meters:

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Hambands_color.pdf
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