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Author Topic: Advance licence grandfather to Extra class  (Read 61613 times)
W9KEY
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« Reply #90 on: August 05, 2014, 11:41:54 AM »

Most folks used the ARRL Radio Amateur's License Manual as a study guide, perhaps with supplemental material from the ARRL Handbook.  Back in the 1960's, the License Manual had lists of questions and answers for each license class.  I've got a 1967 License Manual that has questions for the Novice, Technician, General/Conditional, Advanced, and Amateur Extra Class exams. 

of course the License Manuals did not contain actual questions from the exams themselves -- that would have been considered treason back then  Wink

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K6CPO
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« Reply #91 on: August 05, 2014, 02:48:04 PM »

Why in the world would any REAL ham,, and ADVANCE CLASS OPERATOR, who took REAL ham test, want to be classified with a bunch of NO-CODE EXTRA class CB'ers who just happen to have $60 in their pocket when they run across a VE?? Now I know the cost of the test is only $15, but those CB'ers are so stupid they go in there on a Saturday morning to take the test and fail it 3 times before they finally pass it the same day . Hence the $60 fee.

Yes I have seen them sit there and give the test as many times as a CB'er wants to take it in one sitting as long as they keep shelling out $15 per try.

One should really freak some VE out and go in and DEMAND to be given a 20 wpm code test. They couldn't do it,, They themselves were CB'ers last week!!!


Again,, who wants to be classified with a bunch of CB'ers who was on Ch 34 going by ROOSTER and wanting to know about your "PERSONAL" that Saturday morning and on HF that afternoon as an extra class.

They have dummied it down so much I hope it is NEVER grandfathered.

Oh and look ,, you can tell the new ones easily just by the call sign,, they use their initials as a vanity call. Don't matter what call area they are in,, fill out that form!!! These idiot so called extra class operators couldn't send an SOS on a sinking ship in Morse code to save their lives or wire simple flashlight circuit in a cave to get out they are so stupid. I wonder how many are " ON THE SIDE" as they come on and say.. GO BACK TO 11 METERS CB'er!!

Why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel?

Sounds like that particular VEC is greedy for the money.  At our VEC a candidate can take the exam a second time, but only if they fail by two questions or less and if they fail the second time, they are done.  And we charge a single fee of $5.00.

You know, ham radio is changing and older operators are going to have to adjust or get left behind...
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KB1SF
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« Reply #92 on: August 06, 2014, 07:22:44 PM »


You know, ham radio is changing and older operators are going to have to adjust or get left behind...

Indeed.

And while nostalgia is a wonderful pursuit (as evidenced by WA4ZVG's boorish remarks), I invite anyone reading these words to cite any convincing evidence that obsessively maintaining all the 1950's-era obfuscation and gobbledygook in the regulatory and "incentive licensing" system for our Service in the USA has helped to justify our continued fee-free access to all that valuable radio spectrum we currently occupy.

As I've noted in these and other forums, the sad truth is that we really haven't pulled our technological weight in Amateur Radio in years.  That's because, as a Service, we have elected to remain firmly stuck…technically, sociologically and administratively…in the far distant past.

I also find it ironic that such "regulatory fundamentalists" continue to demand the same old, tired and totally worn-out approaches to regulating and licensing for our Service that might (?) have worked in the 1950s, but are now horrifically out of date.  

But, then, in the next breath, some of these same people have the nerve to wonder why we aren't attracting young newcomers to our ranks.

Continuing to myopically apply yesterday's rules and regulations...along with half-century old (not to mention long since outdated!) approaches to licensing in our Service...at a time when everything we touch is increasingly digital "plug and play" makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

Specifically, obsessively expecting today's increasingly instant-communication-savvy youth to "salute smartly" and then blindly comply with such abject foolishness from a bygone era as proficiency in Morse and successfully completing a series of written "achievement tests" over increasingly irrelevant technical material that goes well beyond anything required internationally for safety and non-interference is simply ludicrous.

Unfortunately, and as I've noted on other occasions, it will probably take at least another generation or two for the last vestiges of the “CBer paranoia” and "I had to do it and so should they" elitism that is clearly evident in such posts (not to mention still all too prevalent in our Service as a whole) to completely disappear.  In fact, as I've said on numerous occasions, I firmly believe that the aging and eventual death the older generation of Hams will be an essential element in the progress of our hobby

That is…if we can manage to hang on as a separate Service for that long.

That's because death very effectively takes care of all the crusty curmudgeons from a previous generation who are absolutely petrified to let go of old, fallacious ideas (like Morse code testing along with all the other bogus “lid filters” that are largely still intact in our license and regulatory structure) that were never really based in any operational need under the international rules, let alone reality.

I frequently like to quote Max Planck, one of the greatest physicists of the Twentieth century, who once commented that, “Innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents.  What usually happens is that its opponents gradually die out, and the growing generation is familiarized with the new, innovative ideas right from the beginning.”

Thankfully, there's a whole new generation of leaders in the ARRL and FCC who are now hard at work trying their very best to undo the systemically discriminatory mess their predecessors created with our licensing system back in the 1950s and 60s.  

However, judging from all the "sky is falling" blather that's still being posted in various ham radio online forums about the death of Morse testing and the "dumbing down" of the examination system (a system that I say was needlessly "dumbed up" in the late 1950s and 60s), it would appear that the FCC's progress to date is very much tweaking the noses of the remaining elitist, 1950s and 60's era techno-nerd contingent in our ranks.

Sadly, there are still FAR too many people in Amateur Radio in the United States of America who would love dearly to keep all that regulation enabled, "I'm better than you" systemic discrimination firmly in place. And, judging from some of their boorish posts in these and other forums, it appears these people are totally oblivious to the fact (or, more likely, could selfishly care less) that their continued collective elitist intransigence and steadfast refusal to let go of the past is what's now helping to make our Service increasingly unattractive to today's youth…the lifeblood of our Service going forward.

As I've said, the only question now remaining is whether or not such ongoing de-regulation and systemic change will happen quickly enough in our Service to also reverse the continued silence on our bands before the commercial interests completely hijack our frequencies for lack of use.

Only time will tell.

But, unfortunately, most likely this "old geezer" (I'm 63) will be LONG dead before anyone reading these words learns whether these modern day FCC efforts to turn this mess around will have been successful…or not.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF /  VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.ca
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 07:26:34 PM by KB1SF » Logged
W9KEY
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« Reply #93 on: August 06, 2014, 11:28:20 PM »

unfortunately, most likely this "old geezer" (I'm 63) will be LONG dead before anyone reading these words learns whether these modern day FCC efforts to turn this mess around will have been successful…or not.

you have identified what you view as the problem; could you provide us with the specific changes you'd like to see implemented?

thanks and 73,

Rob K9AIM
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N2EY
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« Reply #94 on: August 07, 2014, 06:11:03 AM »


From the beginning of the FCC until the early 1960s all written license tests except Novice were "blue book" tests. This meant they included essays, drawing block and schematic diagrams, doing show-your-work calculations, and of course some multiple-choice questions. And the exams themselves were closely guarded secrets.


What was the best way for someone prepare for an exam back then?  Did the candidate at least know what subjects were to be covered on the test? What about study books? Did study books just have sample questions that the test might cover?

There were various manuals which showed the general areas that would be on the test. The ARRL License Manuals had sample questions and answers in essay form. The Ameco books were multiple-choice, IIRC.

The books were NOT the exact Q&A on the exams, but close enough that if you could answer all the questions in the book, you almost certainly knew enough to pass the test. btw, the ARRL LMs had the entire Part 12/Part 97 rules and regs, and you were expected to be able to answer any relevant question on the regs as well.

In the very late 1970s, a fellow named Dick Bash came out with a "study guide" that DID contain the exact Q&A. What he did was to ask people to take the tests and try to remember the exact questions and answers. He would pay for the information - I heard it was $1 a question. Over time, he was able to compile a pretty complete set of Q&A, which was published in book form. The books became known as the "Bash books", and cost many times what a License Manual did. (I think a Bash book for the General cost $20 back in 1980. The reader can figure out what that amounts to when inflation is applied.)

Most folks at the time considered this to be breaking the rules, but FCC never prosecuted him. Instead, the VEC system was created about 1983, which made the whole point moot.

It's been more than 30 years since the VEC system came into existence. About the same time, the license term doubled, to 10 years. What this did was to save FCC a bundle of money - which is why it was done.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KB1SF
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« Reply #95 on: August 09, 2014, 02:56:37 PM »

you have identified what you view as the problem; could you provide us with the specific changes you'd like to see implemented?  thanks and 73, Rob K9AIM  

Rob,

As I've said repeatedly in theses and other forums, most other licensing systems in the world specifically withhold operating privileges from lower class licensees based primarily on safety and non-interference considerations rather than on rewarding "exclusive" slices of artificially walled-off sub-spectrum to higher class licensees.

And what I've been advocating in these forums and threads is that we in the USA need to stop focusing our licensing system on creating budding RF Engineers and, instead, make the questions on our exams actually match the operating privileges those licenses grant.  Right now, that isn't happening.

And if this approach leads to a more technically comprehensive (i.e. "harder") exam "up front", then SO BE IT!

In fact, that's exactly what Industry Canada does right now with their Basic exam requirements...an exam that ALL Canadian hams must now pass in order to get ANY license for our Service in that country.... even for VHF and UHF operation.

I know from my own personal experience (from administering them) that the 100-question Canadian Basic exam is a whopper of a test that not everyone passes the first time...or the second...or the third…or even the fourth!  

You actually have to "know your stuff" to pass it.  And, with 100 questions pulled out of a 900-item question bank, I've also found that it is extremely hard (if not impossible) for candidates to simply "memorize the test". That's probably because the Canadian Basic exam is roughly equivalent in content and comprehensiveness to our US Tech and General exams put together.

But, even so, there's still a difference.

That is, rather than focusing on testing obscure parts of our hobby that few (if any of us) will ever need to know about (let alone use!) that Basic exam focuses specifically on examining only those skills and knowledges that hams will absolutely "need to know" in order to keep themselves (and their neighbors) safe and/or from causing harmful interference to other hams or other services.

What's more, unlike our current US Tech license (based on successfully completing a horrifically un-comprehensive, 35-question exam) that grants high power operating and transmitter construction privileges from day one, holders of the Canadian Basic certificate are STILL limited to running only 250 watts of power.  Basics also cannot build transmitters "from scratch" (kits are OK) and they can't hold the license of an in-band repeater or club station, or give exams. To do those things, they need to pass yet another, 50-question exam over much more technically oriented subject matter.

That is, unlike our General and Extra Class exams that simply ask more obscure questions about subject matter relating to operating privileges that have (in most cases) already been granted to lower-class licensees in the US system, the Canadian Advanced exam is anything but yet another "achievement test".   To put it bluntly, it's a big-time toughie over a whole lot of new material!

However, even though it is a much more comprehensive and technically oriented exam, it still focuses on examining only those added technical knowledges and skills that Advanced certificate holders absolutely need to know to keep themselves and their neighbors safe (and themselves from causing harmful interference) while exercising those newly granted (high power and repeater-enabled) privileges.

The bottom line here is that candidates for licenses in our Service in Canada are examined NOT based on their "achievements" or with an aim to "educate" them into becoming budding RF engineers.  Rather, Canadian licensed candidates are examined on what they absolutely need to know to do certain things in our Service based primarily on safety and non-interference concerns…and nothing more.  

And before some in our ranks once again accuse me of trying to breed "mediocrity" in our Service, please understand that I am NOT advocating that we "water down" our US exam structure any further!

To the contrary, what I AM advocating is that we need to "front end load" our examination requirements and then subsequently examine only those things that we all know (from our own experiences) are specifically required keep ourselves and others safe while also helping to prevent us all from becoming a nuisance to other hams or other services.

Such an approach would also make an "Extra Class" license totally irrelevant, and therefore absolutely unnecessary...which, in my mind, it already is.

This approach also gets the FCC out of the "education" business (where they absolutely don't belong and where their "incentive" system has proven to be a dismal failure in that regard) and back into simply examining candidates for basic (and advanced) technical and regulatory competencies that are specifically relevant to what we actually do…on the air…as modern hams.

Or, to put it another way, this approach gets our examination system back into the business of examining skills and knowleges based on "need" rather than for some obscure modicum of educational "achievement".

That's not advocating "mediocrity" in our Service (or creating a "No Ham Left Behind Radio Service")!  Rather, it's called examining for the right set of needed technical and regulatory skills at the right times in our ham radio "careers".

I've written extensively about this whole subject on my ham radio blog kb1sf.blogspot.ca where I go into a lot more detail about what I perceive as the "problem" as well as specific solutions.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.ca
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W9KEY
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« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2014, 09:29:12 AM »

thanks for the reply.  i have always found resonant the practice of most non-USA nations to grant all classes of license full frequency privileges, but restricting transmitter power output to limits based on class. 

but given the many happy alligators here, not sure how well a such change would go over.  would someone offer to buy back  those expensive linears from them, would they be expected to pass the exams for the class of license which tests technical competence to operate at that level of power, or would the old stations be grandfathered and only new issues limited in terms of power?

restricting Techs to 20 watts and Generals to 250 might help the focus be on antennas and operating practices and not power...

And it might lead to increased appreciation, if not innovation, in terms of QRP...

i don't see it ever happening though as i expect the outcry would be HUGE

73
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W4KYR
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« Reply #97 on: August 11, 2014, 09:24:44 AM »

thanks for the reply.  i have always found resonant the practice of most non-USA nations to grant all classes of license full frequency privileges, but restricting transmitter power output to limits based on class. 

but given the many happy alligators here, not sure how well a such change would go over.  would someone offer to buy back  those expensive linears from them, would they be expected to pass the exams for the class of license which tests technical competence to operate at that level of power, or would the old stations be grandfathered and only new issues limited in terms of power?

restricting Techs to 20 watts and Generals to 250 might help the focus be on antennas and operating practices and not power...

And it might lead to increased appreciation, if not innovation, in terms of QRP...

i don't see it ever happening though as i expect the outcry would be HUGE

73

Actually that idea would have been a much better alternative to the insensitive licensing scheme back in the 1960's.

It could have went something like this.

Extras 1000 watts
Advanced 500 watts
Generals 200 watts
Technicians 100 watts
Novice 25 watts

All bands, all frequencies, all modes for everyone.

As I understand it, there is a license class in Japan that only allows them to use 10 watts max. It must be a real popular license class to the point that the manufacturers there sold 10 watt versions of some of their 100 watt HF rigs.

Here is the Icom 730S a 10 watt version sold only in Japan for that license class.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2730

Then there is the FT 747SX a 10 watt version only sold in Japan for that license class.

http://www.rigpix.com/yaesu/ft747sx.htm



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