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Author Topic: A First for Amateur Radio  (Read 7167 times)
N2NXZ
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2008, 06:10:46 AM »

Who really cares anymore?So ridiculous about this talk of how the amateur radio exams are becoming too simple.It is not like you get your income from it.The FCC can give the license away and you will still not see people running out to get one.Most young kids today think it is an old fart hobby anyhow.My son laughs at me when I sit in front of this radio for more than an hour.Calls me an old man.Look at the bright side,if they give the license away,the equipment might come down in price finally.Go ride a bike and lose the bellies.
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KB6QXM
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2008, 09:06:51 AM »

It is interesting that so many people support the lowering of standards. The so-called class action lawsuits from the intellectually-challeged group.

Snifle Snife. Why don't we just lower ALL our educational standards so that we can give college degrees to even the most intellectually-challenged people because we are afraid to offend some group.

Lawsuits are way too rapant in this society. There needs to be some control on what you can sue for. This is why we have the PC-people caving in to these whiners.

WAKE UP PEOPLE.... THE US is getting our lunch eaten by other countries because we do not hold high standards. That is why some high school grads cannot even read. Give me a break. Do not lower the standards, raise them. If people cannot pass the ham radio license, then Oh well!!!

We need to be held to a HIGHER standard, not a lower standard because someone does not have the drive to learn RF theory or morse code.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this country is turning into a bunch of Politically Correct WIMPS!! Afraid of offending anyone and afraid of law suits that hold no water.

Wake up US. Time to get with it or we will no longer be the leader in the world.

No pain, no gain...

My opinion. 73
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KB6QXM
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2008, 09:06:55 AM »

It is interesting that so many people support the lowering of standards. The so-called class action lawsuits from the intellectually-challeged group.

Snifle Snife. Why don't we just lower ALL our educational standards so that we can give college degrees to even the most intellectually-challenged people because we are afraid to offend some group.

Lawsuits are way too rapant in this society. There needs to be some control on what you can sue for. This is why we have the PC-people caving in to these whiners.

WAKE UP PEOPLE.... THE US is getting our lunch eaten by other countries because we do not hold high standards. That is why some high school grads cannot even read. Give me a break. Do not lower the standards, raise them. If people cannot pass the ham radio license, then Oh well!!!

We need to be held to a HIGHER standard, not a lower standard because someone does not have the drive to learn RF theory or morse code.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this country is turning into a bunch of Politically Correct WIMPS!! Afraid of offending anyone and afraid of law suits that hold no water.

Wake up US. Time to get with it or we will no longer be the leader in the world.

No pain, no gain...

My opinion. 73
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KB1SF
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2008, 02:11:45 PM »

Robert (KB6QXM) wrote:  "We need to be held to a HIGHER standard, not a lower standard because someone does not have the drive to learn RF theory or morse code."
----------------------------
I'm all for "higher standards", Robert…where they make sense and are both warranted and justified.  But, beyond safety and "rules of the road", they have absolutely NO place in the licensing system for Amateur Radio.

That's because Amateur Radio isn't a private corporation, a private university or some "good ol' boy" country club where new and advancing members can be "blackballed" for no justifiable reason.  Rather, our Amateur Radio frequencies are a PUBLIC resource, administered by a publicly funded, US Government agency and supported with your and my tax dollars.  That means that the MINIMUM standards for entry and advancement should apply here.  Indeed, to do otherwise is to arbitrarily (and I say now illegally) deny otherwise fully qualified individuals operational access to something that they, as taxpayers, already own for no justifiable reason.

Once again, your collective comments appear to be yet more "sour grapes" from the "we're being dumbed down" crowd. Sadly, what's often left out of such bogus arguments toward Amateur Radio is the fact that our whole US Amateur licensing system USED to be quite simple...that was, of course, until it was needlessly (and I say illegally) "dumbed UP" in the 1950s to justify the FCC's stupid incentive licensing nonsense.

Indeed, for many years before the ARRL and FCC decided to "dumb up" the entry and advancement standards for our Service and turn it into the "No Budding RF Engineer Left Behind" Radio Service, our Service functioned just fine without having ANY technical license requirements AT ALL!

Back then, the government's regulatory emphasis was based largely on demonstrating our ability to communicate, NOT on demonstrating one's theoretical technical prowess to someone in authority (although our contributions to the latter were being clearly demonstrated on a daily basis by our collective inventiveness.)

However, in the late 1950's, when the FCC (at the ARRL's urging) decided to hatch their stupid "incentive licensing" foolishness, they also (and I say needlessly) pushed the licensing requirements for full access to our Service in the United States WELL beyond those minimally required by other nations, not to mention that which was required under the ITU rules. The official reason they (and the ARRL) gave for doing so at the time was to "improve the technical qualifications (?) of Hams".  

This, of course, presumes such "improvement" was needed.  It wasn't.

However, a FAR more important (spelled "ego-driven")) reason they hatched such foolishness was most certainly to help keep the dreaded "riff raff" (otherwise known as "those #*%$ CBers") out of our Service.  This is also when the FCC's primary regulatory emphasis toward licensing in our Service shifted from a policy of welcoming all newcomers with open arms to a regulatory policy of "exclusivity"…making it ever harder for ordinary people to have access to our Service and for them to then obtain full access to the mainstream of what we do.

And, unfortunately, there are STILL far too many crusty curmudgeons in our ranks who justify their own boorish snobbery toward ALL new (or would-be) Hams (particularly those who might have their roots in that "other" radio service) by continually spouting their undying belief in such bunkum.  

Making license grants contingent on demonstrating theoretical technical knowledge beyond that required for safety and good operating practice (not to mention adding an additional requirement of ever more difficult psycho-motor skills so as to keep the "riff raff" out) has been proven, over and over again, to be utterly ineffective. Yet none of these facts seem to matter to the "we're being dumbed down" crowd.  And, as I said, all one has to do is look at the long list of 20 WPM Extra Class licensees who have since made their way onto Mr. Hollingsworth's "scofflaw list" to find irrefutable proof of that fact.  

But, then again, when have facts ever gotten in the way of someone's snobbery?

What's more, it would also appear that you and your like-thinking buddies are horrifically ignorant as to exactly what it takes for someone to actually learn Morse.  That's because there those who, no matter how much "drive" they put into their attempts at learning it, they simply couldn't pass a Morse test to save their soul.

I know this to be true because I've personally assisted literally HUNDREDS of such folks who were trying to learn Morse over the years.

As an Accredited Examiner (in both the USA and Canada) as well as an Amateur Radio instructor who has helped introduce Ham Radio to hundreds of future Hams for more than 20 years, I learned long ago that, for some people, learning Morse is a "snap".  But, for others, it can be days, weeks, or even years of absolute frustration, resulting in failure after failure.  And the amount of “drive" expended by such folk seldom, if ever, makes any real difference in the outcome.  

In fact, there are any number of widely recognized, certifiable medical conditions that can make learning Morse nigh on impossible for some otherwise “ordinary” people. That's because proficiency in Morse is an inherent, complex, human psychomotor skill.  

Learning Morse involves a whole host of both psychological (mental) as well as physiological (motor) skills and abilities, some of which can be "learned", but most of which are NOT AT ALL "learnable".  That is, we are either born with these basic abilities to learn those skills or we aren't.  And that ability to learn those skills can also be impaired by accident or disease.

Now, certainly, listening for the dots and dashes (or the entire "sound") of a Morse character is a part of that activity.  But, then there's the mental interpretation part of what those sounds mean, as well as the brain's ability to send the proper neural messages to one's hands and fingers to write down the letters and words on a piece of paper or a typewriter.  The latter activity also involves one's ability to see as well as to hear…not to mention one's ability to properly form recognizable characters on a page and/or finding the correct key to depress on a typewriter.  At least ONE of those additional skills are required in order to pass such skill tests.

And, much like those things that can interfere with an RF signal traveling down a piece of coax (like broken shielding, water in the cable, bad connectors, or a mismatched antenna), there are any number of psychomotor issues that can distort or even prevent the sound of the Morse character from being properly heard, interpreted and then correctly written down at the other end of that process.  Or, to put it another way, the human "chain" of skills and abilities required to receive and decode Morse is only as strong as its weakest link.

So, as I said, because it IS such a complex, human activity, the ease of learning Morse varies widely throughout the population based on that long list of inherently human factors, many of which are completely beyond our control.  My guess is that these two facts (along with the fact that there is no longer an international requirement that they do so) were probably among the most compelling reasons why the FCC finally dropped Morse testing entirely.  

Call it genetics, the “way we are born" or what have you, but the simple truth is that we are NOT all put together exactly alike.  But, unfortunately, since learning Morse is a singularly personal activity, it is distressingly easy to judge another person's ability (or inability) to learn it using a sample size of one…that is, our own, personal experiences.

Now, clearly, there ARE many people in our hobby who are just too lazy to get up off their finals to learn Morse. And that is certainly their choice.

But, for the “Morse testing forever” crowd to now lay that same judgment on folks who absolutely CAN’T learn Morse no matter how much "drive" they put into doing so is disingenuous at best and downright discriminatory at worst.  

The bottom line here is that, as much as the left-brained, engineer-types in our hobby obsessively seem to believe otherwise, we humans AREN’T all put together like our Amateur Radio transceivers that come off the assembly line with the same parts list, the same knobs on our “front panels” or the exact same genetic programming (psychomotor skills and abilities) uploaded into our “boot ROMs”.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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SWL377
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2008, 03:12:10 PM »

I agree with Keith, the radio spectrum is a public resource and entry requirments for the Amateur Radio Service should not be excessively burdensome. Some hams would like the entire ham spectrum allocated exclusively to themselves and their friends. It isn't theirs to allocate. It belongs to everyone. Unlicensed citizens own the resource, they just cannot use it until they demonstrate enough relevant skill to get a license. The question as to what skill levels should be required for ham licensing can be debated forever, but the ITU seems to favor minimizing rather than maximizing  technical hurdles. Makes sense to me.

It's funny, the same conservative hams who hate big government want HUGE goverment putting up bureaucratic roadblocks to prospective new hams. These guys cry all night on 75 meters about some technically excessive building code requirement that makes no sense. They see no hypocrisy, however, when they want to put the same kind of irrational technical burdens on folks who want to get ham licenses.
 

It is really disheartening to see new hams blasted and insulted for tiny "ham sins" such using just one "CB word." What's the big deal? Who does it hurt? So what if a new guy calls a receiver "ears"? I heard a new Tech RIPPED TO SHREDS for such a minor offense. Don't these crusty old guys have anything better to do on a weekend than lie in wait for B-HAM-BI and then pounce on the baby deer?

Lighten up. Be welcoming, not scornful and aloof. We were all new hams at one time. I came from a family of four boys. I was always resentful that my parents lowered the standards progressively for subsequent kids. My younger brothers got twice the priviliges I got at their age with half the work.

Sound familiar?

73,
SWL377



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KB6QXM
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2008, 04:01:50 PM »

Listen Keith,

At first, you had some points that I would listen to. The more you speak with this psyco-babble, the more you discredit yourself.

You take me as a bleeding heart hard core liberal, open-border, welfare state individual.

I believe that if someone cannot learn the code and they have a real verifiable medical condition, then there should be a "special consideration" for these individuals. But to the low expectation, low motivation individuals, I have no patience for. If they like the service so much, give them a reciever and let them listen.

Why is it that you think everyone should be entitled to a ham radio license. Nonsense. Not everyone can rise to the occasion.

Your arguement with the lack of capability to learning morse holds limited water. If that was the case, they could not learn a language. Morse is just another language.

This is a typical example of the culture war that Bill 'O Reilly from Fox News talks about.

People like you are why there are 12 million illegals in this country. Equal opportunity for everyone.

You made a lot more cohesive statements when you mentioned safety considerations. I agree with that. But to say wah wah...it is too hard for them, give them full priveledges for Little to NO WORK. I completely disagree.

Hey I hear UC Berkeley is giving away PhD's for three box tops next week only. They are going fast. Give me a break!!

Same thing!!!



 
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KB1SF
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2008, 06:50:48 PM »

Robert (KB6QXM) wrote:  "You take me as a bleeding heart hard core liberal, open-border, welfare state individual."
----------------------------
No, Robert, I don't take YOU for those things.  However, it would appear that YOU now take ME for those things.

And, as I've said before, what my political views have to do with the discussion here is quite beyond me.  In fact, I find it absolutely fascinating that when people run out of cogent ideas with which to engage others in a lively debate based on FACTS is usually when the political labeling and other assorted vitriolic name-calling begins.  

Sad.

And, it would appear that my views are not entirely "out to lunch" as the gent posting just prior to your latest diatribe seems to agree with my general assessment of things.  I suppose he's a "bleeding heart, hard core liberal" as well.

But, quite frankly, he's absolutely correct…the same ultra-conservative hams who are now railing against the "welfare state" and "big government" are often the same ones screaming the loudest when "big government" actually decides to start removing its over-regulated "incentive" foolishness and baseless "exclusivity" nonsense that has been (quite needlessly) separating us from ourselves in the Amateur Service in the United States for going on nearly a half a century now.  

All of which leads me back to my original conclusion that all of the "we're being dumbed down" dogma has FAR more to do with obsessively protecting someone's exclusive little bit of over-regulated "turf" rather than "keeping the standards up" in our Service.

And I also have to wonder, Robert, that if YOU were now physically or mentally handicapped in such a way that it prevented YOU from successfully passing both a Morse test as well as all those multi-tiered, so-called "incentive" examinations in order to obtain YOUR higher class amateur license, whether YOU would now be singing your same "it's not for everybody", elitist tune.

Somehow, I think not.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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KB1SF
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« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2008, 04:17:14 AM »

Robert (KB6QXM) actually wrote:  "People like you are why there are 12 million illegals  in this country. Equal opportunity for everyone."
---------------------------------
Horror of horrors!  Equal opportunity for EVERYONE?  Yikes!  We certainly can't have THAT "far left" idea running rampant in our nation now can we?

I find it absolutely comical how the prospect of all that "liberty" and newly granted "freedom" the FCC is now giving us to begin setting OUR OWN standards for our Service and (eventually) letting we Hams decide "what goes where" on our bands seems to scare the living daylights out of folks like yourself.

Oh, and by the way, Robert, if it weren't' for all those "12 million illegals" in this country, you and I would have a hard time finding something to eat.  That's because it's all those "illegals" who are now enabling you to sit on our finals while pursuing your engineering and Web development professions rather than tending a field full of crops somewhere.

I suggest you might want to think about that fact the next time you go to the grocery store or sit down at the dinner table for a nice meal.

The truth is we have always been a nation of immigrants.  And if there wasn't so much systemically discriminatory bureaucratic gobbledygook contained in the immigration process in this country (designed for no other purpose than to keep "their kind" out), my hunch is that a goodly number of those "12 million illegals" as you call them would now be tax-paying US citizens.

Cheers!

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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KB6QXM
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« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2008, 08:37:20 AM »

Enough of this back and forth. I see that you want to see an unregulated service, just like CB radio.

You fail to see any of my points and in regards to myself being handycapped. How do I become an engineer if I am intellectually challenged and how do I hold an ADVANCED class license?

If I was handycapped, would I hold a black belt in traditional japanese karate. The answer to all of those questions is NO!!!

The reason why I am still an ADVANCED and will stay an ADVANCED class license holder is it makes a statement, that I EARNED my license. I want to be one of the few not the many of the watered down EXTRAS. To be they should have called it something else. It is an insult for anyone that passed the 20WPM and additional element.

The ADVANCED Class license held the most difficult theory element. I am not handycapped or feel that our exchange is worth continuing, as you and I see little eye to eye.

73.
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KB1SF
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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2008, 09:30:59 AM »

Robert (KB6QXM) wrote:  "I see that you want to see an unregulated service, just like CB radio."
----------------------
Go back and read my posts again, Robert.  NOWHERE have I said anything of the sort!  

To the contrary, I've said there still needs to be SOME means of assessing an applicant's understanding of the basic international requirements for people seeking a license to operate on our Amateur Bands.  In fact, the International Radio Regulations specifically require that applicants for our Service must be both tested AND licensed before they are allowed to enter.  That requirement is not about to go away anytime soon…nor should it.

ALL I have EVER advocated is to make the content and comprehensiveness of our exams commensurate with the privileges they grant.  What part of that statement don't you understand?  And why do you insist on continually misquoting me?


Robert (KB6QXM) also wrote:  "You fail to see any of my points and in regards to myself being handycapped (sic). How do I become an engineer if I am intellectually challenged and how do I hold an ADVANCED class license? If I was handycapped (sic), would I hold a black belt in traditional japanese (sic) karate. The answer to all of those questions is NO!!! "
-----------------------
Once again, Robert, please go back and read my post.I said IF you were handicapped, THEN you might be changing your tune.  

However, it would appear from your latest response that, not only do you have difficulty reading and understanding the English language, it would, indeed, probably be most difficult for you to fully comprehend what it is REALLY like to be so mentally or physically challenged, since you also seem to have a great deal of difficulty even spelling the term correctly.


And, finally, Robert (KB6QXM) also wrote:  "The reason why I am still an ADVANCED and will stay an ADVANCED class license holder is it makes a statement, that I EARNED my license. I want to be one of the few not the many of the watered down EXTRAS. To be they should have called it something else. It is an insult for anyone that passed the 20WPM and additional element."
--------------------
Am I to believe that you are also one of those individuals who steadfastly refuse to communicate on our bands with anyone who hasn't passed the same "hazing rituals" as you?  If so, it would seem that you (and your like-minded buddies) have missed out on an awful lot that Ham Radio has to offer just to make a silly "statement".    

And, as I have noted previously, a license in our Service was never supposed to be "earned".  Rather, our licenses were always intended by the ITU to simply be "granted" after proving to some competent authority that we wouldn’t become a nuisance or create a safety hazard to others or ourselves.  

However, for someone who likes making "statements" against "big government" it would seem to me that you've now bought into an awful lot of FCC-sponsored "big-government, lock step, regulatory over-compliance" along the way.  But then again, it appears from your comments to date that yours is not to reason why, yours is simply to blindly comply with whatever "big brother" says you should.

As I noted earlier (and as William Drummond once said about such things), "He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave".

I rest my case.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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KB6QXM
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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2008, 01:30:30 PM »

KB1SF wrote: However, for someone who likes making "statements" against "big government" it would seem to me that you've now bought into an awful lot of FCC-sponsored "big-government, lock step, regulatory over-compliance" along the way. But then again, it appears from your comments to date that yours is not to reason why, yours is simply to blindly comply with whatever "big brother" says you should.

---------------------------------------------------
Never said I wanted less government. I want more governmental controls on MANY things: Illegal immigration, Health care costs, gasoline costs, oversight of social security, less power and more oversight of the IRS, less power and more oversight of the CIA. less power and more oversight on the President of the US. Control of housing loan practices. Should I go on Mr. Libertarian???

More control and oversight, not less!! The same with Ham radio!
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KB1SF
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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2008, 03:57:48 PM »

Robert (KB6QXM) wrote: "More control and oversight, not less!! The same with Ham radio!  Should I go on Mr. Libertarian???
----------------
Nope.  I get the picture.  And good luck in trying to get it.

But, as I have also said, I now rest my case.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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NV2A
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« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2008, 04:48:37 AM »

Why don't we just associate a ham ticket with a state drivers license?  Get a drivers liscense and you're good to go on the ham bands! Why should there be any test of competency, desire, interest, sincerity or ability to work with high voltages and UHF frequencies?

Why do we need the ability to threaten to "pull" a persons license after he worked hard to get it for in-appropriate behavior on the public ham bands be it out of band, over power or lewd behavior?

Anyone ever thought that a person interested in the original ham radio hobby might just like to talk to someone of a like mind and not some kids/geezers who know absolutely nothing about it.  That's what CB is for now, at least what it's turned into.
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NV2A
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« Reply #43 on: May 23, 2008, 04:55:30 AM »

Sorry forgot my intent to post!

Don't try to tell me that the original post was that far from true.

Given enough time, a monkey could probably learn to determine which multiple choice answer goes with which question given enough time to learn it. And, if you gave him "credit" as they do now and let him carry his correct guesses over to the next test then every monkey could have a license.  That would be fair.

I have wanted to be a photographer my entire life.  It frost me that my employer was satisfied with anyone who could lift a camera and figure out how to turn it on when there were so many others like myself who would have taken pay cuts to become photographers.
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KB1SF
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« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2008, 06:06:44 AM »

Raymond (NV2A) wrote:  "Why don't we just associate a ham ticket with a state drivers license? Get a drivers liscense (sic) and you're good to go on the ham bands! Why should there be any test of competency, desire, interest, sincerity or ability to work with high voltages and UHF frequencies?"
-----------------------
Sorry, Raymond, but that's not going to happen, at least not in your or my lifetimes.

Few American Amateurs fully understand that that the FCC isn't the sole agency calling the shots for what happens in our Amateur Service.  In fact, your "given enough time a monkey could learn it" comment sounds like more of the same "sky is falling" hysteria now being regularly spouted by those who are STILL royally peeved that the blatantly discriminatory Government "filters" in our licensing system they have all been relying on for so many years to institutionalize their snobbery are, one by one, going by the wayside.

If you’d done your homework, Raymond, you would have also learned that, unless and until the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU's) Radio Regulations are changed by a consensus of the US and many other countries in the world, the FCC has NO CHOICE but to follow the those regulations for the Amateur Service in the matter. That's because, as the United States is a signatory to the treaty that set up the ITU and its rules and regulations therefore have the force of law in our country.

And those regulations also leave absolutely NO doubt that we Amateurs are to be both tested AND licensed before being granted access to our bands.

Specifically, Article 25.6 (part of the Article that establishes the Amateur Service internationally) of the ITU Radio Regulations clearly states that: "Administrations (i.e. counties) shall verify the operational and technical qualifications of any person wishing to operate an Amateur station. Guidance for standards of competence may be found in the most recent version of Recommendation ITU-R-M.1544."  

What's more, the recommendation cited in the Article (ITU-R-M.1544) says, among other things, "…that any person seeking a license to operate an Amateur station should demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of the Radio Regulations (both international and domestic); Methods of radio communication (including radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, as well as data and image); Radio system theory (including transmitters, receivers, antennas and propagation and measurements); as well as Radio emission theory, electromagnetic compatibility and the avoidance and resolution of radio frequency interference."

Now, mind you, nowhere in those regulations or guidelines does it say to what LEVEL such testing will be conducted. My contention is that the FCC has gone WAY overboard in that department.  However, the words "shall verify the operational and technical qualifications of" as well as "demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of" in these documents sure sounds like it necessitates SOME form of testing to me.  What's more, the words "any person seeking a license to operate" also sounds like the ITU fully intends for us all to be licensed.  

In addition, the provision of Article 25 that dropped the Morse requirement also discusses licensing by stating, "Administrations shall determine whether or not a person seeking a license to operate an amateur station shall demonstrate the ability to send and receive texts in Morse code signals".  Note again the word "license" in that provision.

In fact, there should be no doubt that, even from a casual reading of the ITU's Radio Regulations for our Service (and the recommendations they promulgate), that the ITU clearly intends for Amateurs to be both tested for their competency in the listed aspects of the Radio art, as well as for us to be licensed.  

However, I encourage you and others here not to take my word for it.  I suggest you read this information for yourself and draw your own conclusions.   Article 25 of the Radio Regulations can be found at:  

http://life.itu.int/radioclub/rr/art25.htm

There's also an internal link contained in the words for Article 25.6 that will take you to the recommendations.


73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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