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Author Topic: DUMP Pre Published Answers for the Extra  (Read 39521 times)
W1IT
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2010, 06:43:06 AM »

I agree, the standards for an Extra license are gone.
The groups who take the time to obtain them just memorize answers and keep cycling the training programs until they associate the right answer with the question asked.

Took my Extra August 1964 before an FCC field engineer, Colchester,Vt, HASMFEST.
Test was 150 non published questions with at least 15-20 draw schematic questions. The remaining were multichoice. Those that required real math did not have the equations or specific values of elements published. For example, what is the surge impedance of a coaxial transmission line have and inner diameter of "x" and an outer diameter of " y".

Formula was 276 log  b/a = surge impedance

Today we have people taking this exam ten times before getting a 74 grade. That's persistence, but intelligence.

The test in my opinion should be revised back to old standard and not have published exact questions. Questions should be increased in mathematical literacy and be equivalent to a teachers license.

Its disturbing today to be confronted by a truck driver who says an engineer is wrong and he knows all about antennas.

Also on 75 meters I denote there are few conversations where a single sentence is uttered without bad and defective grammar and syntax.
This is where the hobbys gone folks.

To the underdogs ...
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K6LHA
Member

Posts: 349




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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2010, 12:33:57 PM »

Posted By W1IT who demands BSEE knowledge for Extra:

"I agree, the standards for an Extra license are gone. The groups who take the time to obtain them just memorize answers and keep cycling the training programs until they associate the right answer with the question asked."

Really? Golly, I didn't do like you say I did on 25 Feb 2007. I just went ahead and took all three test elements, passed every one the first time around, then waited for the FCC official grant. I have to apologize to your worthiness for NOT doing as you said? Bad on me, then... :-)

Of course, at that time I only had about 55 years of experience, skill, knowledge, etc. as a professional...hands-on as well as writing about results of designs. You think maybe that had anything to do with it? :-)
..................
W1IT: "Took my Extra August 1964 before an FCC field engineer, Colchester,Vt, HASMFEST."

Wow! I took and passed all four parts of a First 'Phone commercial license at an FCC Chicago Field Office, 90 miles away at the beginning of March 1956. Ya see, weren't no "profests" for commercial license taking back then. We had to go to the FCC...they didn't come to us back in the fifties.
.....................
W1IT: "Test was 150 non published questions with at least 15-20 draw schematic questions."

That many questions? With "15 to 20 draw schematic questions?" Pardon me but I do think 46 years of time has made you exaggerate the number. I don't remember the number of questions on all four parts of my FCC Field Office test, only that I had to get up from the government-issue table each part and those tables and government-issue chairs were all mismatched for comfort. :-)
.....................
W1IT: "Those that required real math did not have the equations or specific values of elements published. For example, what is the surge impedance of a coaxial transmission line have and inner diameter of "x" and an outer diameter of " y". Formula was 276 log  b/a = surge impedance"

You made a lot of your own coaxial cable, did you? I've only designed ONE as a professional, a waveguide-below-cutoff attenuator for a civil avionics test set. I let the coax cable manufacturers do that sort of thing for me. <shrug>
....................
W1IT: "Today we have people taking this exam ten times before getting a 74 grade. That's persistence, but intelligence."

Golly, I failed again to meet your definition. The ARRL VEC team would not give me the number of right or wrong answers but I carefully watched the answer sheet grading (via plastic template) and counted in my head the number of "wrong" marks. I had only 6 out of 120 wrong answers which works out to 95 percent right. <shrug>  Never had to do a single repeat test.
.....................
W1IT: "The test in my opinion should be revised back to old standard and not have published exact questions."

Tsk, tsk, then you need to tell that to the USA Congress...like back 26 years on the whole thing about privatized testing for BOTH commercial and amateur licenses.

But, having been a professional in electronics design for a while, I feel confident I could pass any BSEE-style "test" for a HOBBY license. Now, please explain WHY you want all future Amateur Extras to have a college degree in electronics engineering before taking a HOBBY license test? The FCC never thought so and the FCC is the only one in the USA granting amateur radio licenses. <shrug>
......................
W1IT: "Questions should be increased in mathematical literacy and be equivalent to a teachers license."

Oh, my! Well, my wife has TWO MASTERS degrees (Univ. of Illinois) and one of those is IN education and she DID teach kids for about 5 years. Why don't you go all out and DEMAND that we amateur hobbyists all get MASTERS degrees in ham radio first? And let us know who grants post-grad degrees in ham radio?
.....................
W1IT: "Its disturbing today to be confronted by a truck driver who says an engineer is wrong and he knows all about antennas."

Well, if you are so disturbed over employment issues, why don't you submit your resignation to the FCC and go look for another HOBBY "job?"
.....................
W1IT: "Also on 75 meters I denote there are few conversations where a single sentence is uttered without bad and defective grammar and syntax."

I'm commenting about this I am on e-ham.net and your own written "grammar and syntax" isn't very good. I think you should be setting a BETTER example here, but that's just me. :-)

73, Len K6LHA  [ "When I was young we whittled our own ICs out of wood!" :-) ]
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K6LHA
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2010, 01:32:48 PM »

K9AIM posted on 10 Feb 2010:

'So, are those of us who continue to love and engage in CW luddites?'

If you can't get with Newer technologies (say, those after 1970 or so), then I would lump you in the Luddite crowd. Too bad you can't go with Spark and Crystal Sets...Spark is forbidden. On-off keying telegraphy was first used in 1844, well before 'radio' was publicly demonstrated as a communications medium in 1896 (in Italy and Russia, not in the USA).

If you really, really LIKE OOK CW mode then the FCC regulations allow it. All licensees have full OPTION of using any allocated mode on any allocated frequency. Nobody is stopping you...

Besides amateur radio, the only other radio service requiring OOK CW mode in the USA is Maritime Radio ON the Great Lakes. The REST of the radio world has gone away from OOK CW modes. Does that give you an idea of the 'Luddite' appelation?
................
K9AIM: "I think it only natural that those who obtained their Extras by passing a 20wpm-FCC proctored
test and more rigorous theory exam feel a little distaste in their mouth for the more lenient modern
exams."

Since a quarter century ago, there haven't been any "FCC proctored tests." Local VEC teams do it. VEs are the proctors.

"Lenient modern exams?" Then complain to the National Council of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators. The NCVEC make up ALL the questions and answers. Go to www.ncvec.org and tell THEM about "leniency." Do that first, please, then you can go and pester the FCC about all that "leniency."
..................
K9AIM: "What I don't quite get is why Extras get a 25 KHz segment at the bottom of the bands while Advanced operators like myself who passed a 13 wpm code test do not.  I guess it is an incentive for Extras to learn code..."

No, it is a left-over back when Amateur Extra HAD to pass a 20 WPM code cognition test. Lobbying the FCC back a half century got all that exclusive playground space for Extras. The FCC didn't act on that after Restructuring of mid-2000 nor did it do anything about it after 23 Feb 2007 and the total code test elimination for any USA amateur radio license. Remember, you've been away from amateur radio for 33 years and have missed the whole heaping glob of CHANGES that happened since 1990 onwards.  
......................
K9AIM: "Anyone know what the international norm is regarding code requirements?  Have any other countries dropped code requirements?"

You are welcome to check out http://nocode.org and click on "Articles" link to see the relatively recent time line of countries that have modified their amateur radio regulations concerning morse code testing. That's the website of No-Code International, a group started by a 20 WPM Extra, Bruce Perens, way back with lots of like-minded folks who didn't think a morse code test was necessary for an amateur radio license. Most of the IARU member nations agree with them. Because of IARU lobbying of administrations at WRC-03, ITU-R special radio regulation S25 was rewritten so that administrations of member nations could choose to test or not to test for morse code for their nations' grant of amateur radio licenses. The FCC was rather slow on reacting to that, but that is a whole new subject for discussion.

You can check the IARU page on the Internet and most other countries (but not all) have their own websites (some in English) to see their license requirements.

Before you cry to the FCC about all the "unfairness" of eliminating the code test, try to remember that YOU were able to KEEP your license renewed regularly without having to take a single test for three decades. You should be grateful that the FCC kept that in Part 97, Title 47 CFR. Every single USA amateur radio license class is - essentially - a lifetime guarantee not needing any retesting. Any already-licensed USA amateur can continue to NOT learn anything new (remaining personally dumbed down) until they assume room temperature, no legal responsibility of learning is required.
.......................
OK, now back to the collection of bitter old-timers who complain and complain that they've never been granted the supreme "importance" label they feel they've "earned" as amateurs. :-)

73, Len K6LHA
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2010, 01:58:24 PM »

I just got in a pair of HeathKit W3M with matching power supplies.  I'll have to look up Ohm's law to figure out what value current limiters I'll need to drop our voltage to what the power supplies were designed for.

I still have a cheat sheet over my work bench for resistor color codes.  Cheat sheet for uF and pf to nf.

I use Duncan power supply software, free download;  EZNEC to play with antennas.

Some might conclude that its more important to know how to get the necessary information, and how to use it, than it is to memorize information.  

Playing around with simple tubed gear, no SS components, was the result of becoming a ham.  My operating style and station had been built for a few decades before I started playing around with basic electronics.

Complain all you like.
Your opinion is just that and opinion.
You might be trapped in "I think, therefor it is!"

ANyone can send suggestions for restructuring ham radio to the FCC.

Anyone can send questions and answers to the question pool; you can even make suggestions for different areas to be covered.

Many times I've encountered situations where my theory of why something is happening ain't even close!

One of my favorites was installing a rotator in my tower, mast, thrust bearing, 40 meter monobanber and tribander over that.  With great eagerness, I turned on the rotator controller to discover E E E in the LED display.

My theory was that the rotator and controller box would work.

Maybe your theory about reverting to tests from 40 or 50 years ago is broken?

73
Bob
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N2EY
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Posts: 3894




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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2010, 02:20:40 PM »

W1IT writes: "the standards for an Extra license are gone."

They're not gone, they're just different than they used to be.

W1IT: "The groups who take the time to obtain them just memorize answers and keep cycling the training programs until they associate the right answer with the question asked."

I'm sure some folks do that. But I've met more than a few newer Extras who actually set down and learned the material, rather than memorizing/word associating the Q&A.  

W1IT: "Took my Extra August 1964 before an FCC field engineer, Colchester,Vt, HASMFEST.
Test was 150 non published questions with at least 15-20 draw schematic questions. The remaining were multichoice. Those that required real math did not have the equations or specific values of elements published."

Not only that, but 20 wpm Morse Code sending and receiving tests, plus two years' experience.

Historic note: In 1964 the Advanced license was closed to new issues, so that 150 question exam plus the code tests took you from General to Extra. Today the same upgrade requires just a 50 question written test.

When the Advanced was reopened to new issues in 1967, FCC took the Extra exam and split it into two parts, one for Advanced, one for Extra.

I've known several hams who held both the Amateur Extra and First 'Phone back then. Every one of them said that the Extra written exam was at least as comprehensive as the First 'Phone, if not more so.

I took the Extra in 1970 at the Philadelphia FCC office in 1970. The Extra exam then was all multiple choice, but the actual Q&A were not published. No big deal if you knew the material.
 
W1IT: "For example, what is the surge impedance of a coaxial transmission line have and inner diameter of "x" and an outer diameter of " y".

Formula was 276 log b/a = surge impedance"

Your cunning plan to determine who knows the formulas and who doesn't has worked!

The actual formula for a coaxial line with air or vacuum dielectric is 138 log b/a. If the dielectric has a permittivity other than 1, there's an added term in the equation.

W1IT: "Today we have people taking this exam ten times before getting a 74 grade. That's persistence, but intelligence."

Persistence isn't really a bad thing, though. Without persistence I'd never have become a ham 42+ years ago.
 
W1IT: "The test in my opinion should be revised back to old standard and not have published exact questions."

I think a lot of hams, old and new, would agree. But that's not likely to happen because it would cost FCC too much.

W1IT: "Questions should be increased in mathematical literacy and be equivalent to a teachers license."

I disagree somewhat. The local public school teachers I know have at least a bachelor's degree. Many have at least a master's, and some have doctorates. I think that's a bit much for a radio license.

I mean, if the license standards are raised too high, we'll effectively prohibit young people from becoming hams. Do you think that's a good idea? I don't.
 
W1IT: "Its disturbing today to be confronted by a truck driver who says an engineer is wrong and he knows all about antennas."

Why? People say all kinds of things; doesn't make them true.

There have always been those who see themselves as knowledgeable on all things radio, and who will go on at length about some arcane thing or other that they did back-when. T.O.M. had "Final Authority" in his "Rotten Radio" stories of almost 100 years ago. Funny thing was, old Final Authority was rarely if ever on the air.

What really matters is what someone *does* with the license.

What really matters is how someone treats others, both on and off the air.

W1IT: "Also on 75 meters I denote there are few conversations where a single sentence is uttered without bad and defective grammar and syntax."

Which is one reason I'm primarily a CW operator.

W1IT: "This is where the hobbys gone folks."

No, it's where 75 meters has gone. There's a lot more to ham radio than voice modes and manufactured equipment.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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NI0C
Member

Posts: 2408




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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2010, 03:13:59 PM »

N2EY wrote:
"What really matters is what someone *does* with the license.
What really matters is how someone treats others, both on and off the air. "

Jim, you nailed it right there. 

73,
Chuck  NI0C

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K9AIM
Member

Posts: 1075




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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2010, 05:15:01 PM »

Len K6LHA:
"If you can't get with Newer technologies (say, those after 1970 or so), then I would lump you in the Luddite crowd. Too bad you can't go with Spark and Crystal Sets...Spark is forbidden. On-off keying telegraphy was first used in 1844, well before 'radio' was publicly demonstrated as a communications medium in 1896 (in Italy and Russia, not in the USA)."
"If you really, really LIKE OOK CW mode then the FCC regulations allow it. All licensees have full OPTION of using any allocated mode on any allocated frequency. Nobody is stopping you..."
"Besides amateur radio, the only other radio service requiring OOK CW mode in the USA is Maritime Radio ON the Great Lakes. The REST of the radio world has gone away from OOK CW modes. Does that give you an idea of the 'Luddite' appelation?"

K9AIM: "Luddite" is just a name those who don't get CW give to those who do. Seriously, you guys need to contemplate why it is you protest so much.  Progress is finding a good place to stop.  

. . . . . . . . .  

Len K6LHA:
"Lenient modern exams?" Then complain to the National Council of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators. The NCVEC make up ALL the questions and answers. Go to www.ncvec.org and tell THEM about "leniency." Do that first, please, then you can go and pester the FCC about all that "leniency."

K9AIM: I said the new exams are more lenient.  I wasn't complaining just stating the way it is. Interesting though that you hear me complaining.  makes it easier to dismiss what I am trying to simply point out?

. . . . . . . . . .

Len K6LHA:
"No, [25 KHz Extra segments at the bottoms of the bands] is a left-over back when Amateur Extra HAD to pass a 20 WPM code cognition test. Lobbying the FCC back a half century got all that exclusive playground space for Extras. The FCC didn't act on that after Restructuring of mid-2000 nor did it do anything about it after 23 Feb 2007 and the total code test elimination for any USA amateur radio license. Remember, you've been away from amateur radio for 33 years and have missed the whole heaping glob of CHANGES that happened since 1990 onwards."

K9AIM: Well, believe it or not I have already had QSO's on 30 and 17 meters, so I have actually caught up a little bit.  But I appreciate the updates.  

......................

Len K6LHA:
"Before you cry to the FCC about all the "unfairness" of eliminating the code test, try to remember that YOU were able to KEEP your license renewed regularly without having to take a single test for three decades. You should be grateful that the FCC kept that in Part 97, Title 47 CFR. Every single USA amateur radio license class is - essentially - a lifetime guarantee not needing any retesting. Any already-licensed USA amateur can continue to NOT learn anything new (remaining personally dumbed down) until they assume room temperature, no legal responsibility of learning is required."

K9AIM: I never complained about unfairness -- I just voiced my opinion that it is a move detrimental to our hobby. I kept my license renewed because I had worked hard for it, and had a feeling one day I might return.  I was hoping for a day when CW operators would be demonized as Luddites, so that I could waive my straight key flag high.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Len K6LHA:
"OK, now back to the collection of bitter old-timers who complain and complain that they've never been granted the supreme "importance" label they feel they've "earned" as amateurs. :-)"

K9AIM:  'bitter old-timers' ? -- you are too kind.
I'll have you know that i am a 47 years young and don't feel superior just because I am not a  techno-pawn.  i just love for CW and have a natural inclination to promote its continuation.  Our elders might have something to say worth hearing if we'll drop our preconceptions long enough to hear them out.  Now if you'll excuse me i have some straight keying to do.  Or -- maybe i'll try out that technical wonder --the Ten Tec KR-20a i just got in the mail.  I've never used a keyer so this could be my downfall.  wish me luck.

73, and no hard feelings dit dit
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KB1SF
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« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2010, 05:00:45 AM »

W1IT wrote:  "I agree, the standards for an Extra license are gone. The groups who take the time to obtain them just memorize answers and keep cycling the training programs until they associate the right answer with the question asked.  This is where the hobbys (sic) gone folks. To the underdogs ...  

--------------------

This is simply more of the same "we're being dumbed down" blather from that same group of elitist snobs who remain royally peeved that their government-sponsored, "Olde Tyme Extra Class Radio Club" is now in the process of being permanently dismantled.  

Such people are quite understandably miffed because newcomers to our Service today don't (and won't) have to endure the same, 1950s-era, ARRL concocted "hazing rituals" that they all did.  

And I really have to laugh at the blatant hypocrisy of our resident authoritarians when they are faced with that reality.  Indeed, when it comes to most other regulatory activities within our federal government, such persons will most often assert that "less regulation" in our democracy is absolutely the best course of action as it allows for expanded freedoms, unbridled growth, and the perpetuation of "free enterprise".

However, when it comes to the prospect of our FCC even THINKING about deregulating the now firmly entrenched, ego-stroking, exclusive "Olde Tyme Extra Class Radio Club" in our Service… well…THAT'S another story!

Indeed, what our (now obviously furious) authoritarians seem to consistently forget is the fact that our licensing and regulatory structure was needlessly (and I say illegally)  "dumbed UP" by the FCC (at the behest of the ARRL) in the late 1960s so as to encourage "advancement" (not to mention the increased sale of a whole series of new ARRL license manuals) by directly stroking the egos of our (then) resident "techno-snobs".  

So, we shouldn't now be at all surprised when persons who wholeheartedly embraced that ego inflating, "incentive licensing" nonsense long ago are now the same ones who constitute the most vocal advocates of indefinitely retaining all that 1960s-era, regulated snobbery in our Service.

An over-inflated ego is something that many people will not admit to having but others can see and feel in the blatant arrogance in their words and deeds. Such people also fail to understand that true merit is very much like a river…the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.  Or, to put it another way, those who are the most secure of their own merits are usually the most humble.  And they are usually also FAR less judgmental over the shortcomings of others.

Nobody likes to be around someone who acts and thinks that he or she is "superior". But, as I've said, unfortunately, the Amateur Radio Service in the United States has now attracted and sustained FAR more than our fair share of such boorish elitists who firmly believe their Advanced or Extra Class ham licenses ALSO make them officially, "US Government Certified Professional RF Engineers".

Thankfully, the US Government is now in the process of eventually removing the regulatory underpinnings for ALL such "I'm better then you" snobbery.  That's because today's FCC is now coming under increasing Congressional and other legal pressure to dismantle the REST of the systemically discriminatory "hazing rituals" still contained in the licensing and regulatory systems for our Service that were put there by their 1960s-era predecessors.  

But, unfortunately, today's FCC has yet to figure out a way to ALSO squelch the squeals of protest and elitist blather still emanating from our ever shrinking (but yet still highly vocal) "sky is falling" authoritarians.  Such mutterings remain a sad by-product of that 1960's-era, "dumbed up" licensing system for our Service where the content and comprehensiveness of our exams have in NO WAY directly related to the SPECIFIC operational privileges they've granted.  

Indeed, among our resident authoritarians, it remains an inconvenient truth that, ever since our licensing system was hijacked and "dumbed up" by the FCC (at the behest of the ARRL) in the late 1960's, there's been absolutely NO fundamental OPERATIONAL difference between the knowledges and skills required to safely and courteously operate in the General Class portions of our bands vice the Advanced and Extra Class portions of our bands.

That is, our General Class license ALREADY authorizes high-power operation in the HF portions of our bands.  Currently licensed General Class operators can also build their own transmitting equipment "from scratch", hold the license for a club or repeater station, and even administer exams to others.  What's more, HF is where our ALL of our so-called "exclusive", Extra Class spectrum is located!  

So, once again, I'll ask the "$64 question" that our resident authoritarians repeatedly don't want to answer:  

What regulatory or operational PURPOSE has an Advanced or Extra Class license ever served?  That is, what bona fide regulatory NEED does the possession of an Extra Class License fulfill in our Service today?  

Thankfully, today's FCC has ALREADY repudiated the totally bogus argument that a Morse testing requirement keeps the “riff-raff” out of the hobby. And they said as much when they dropped all forms of Morse testing by noting that: "The record is DEVOID (emphasis mine) of a demonstrated nexus between Morse code proficiency and on-the-air conduct," the FCC observed. "As a result, we concur with the observation that maintaining the code requirement DOES NOT (again, emphasis mine) purge Amateur Radio of bad operators.”

And while our resident authoritarians are all clamoring for a return to the (now largely overblown and increasingly irrelevant) licensing standards of yesteryear, they also seem equally eager to completely discount the fact that the vast majority of other governments in the world have been very successfully regulating THEIR amateur services with a highly deregulated, "hands off", bandwidth-based (vice license class and operating mode) approach FOR DECADES.  

That is, UNLIKE our Service in the United States…where we're all shoehorned into smaller and smaller slices of artificially walled off, regulated frequency spectrum based on license class and operating mode…hams in most of the rest of the world have ROUTINELY been given the complete freedom to decide for themselves "who and what goes where" on our amateur bands as technology and social norms change.  

And their "sky" has yet to "fall".

What's more, where these other countries HAVE instituted so-called "advanced" licenses in our Service, the regulatory underpinnings of those licenses are all based on safety or non-interference concerns versus granting operationally baseless, ego-stroking "exclusivity" for regurgitating yet more knowledge of largely unrelated (and therefore irrelevant) precepts of higher order RF theory.

The bottom line here is that Chuck and his like-thinking buddies have very clearly now LOST the regulatory underpinnings of their decades old, exclusive "Olde Tyme Extra Class Radio Club" to social, legal, and technological progress.  And, clearly, Chuck and his buddies are angry as a nest of stirred up hornets over that development.

It is also painfully clear (by their actions over the last decade or so) that today's FCC is no longer lending ANY credibility to the ego inflating dogma still emanating from our ever-shrinking (but still highly vocal) contingent of 20 WPM, FCC-office-tested, Extra-Class-license-holding authoritarians.

And neither are most of the rest of us.


Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
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NI0C
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Posts: 2408




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« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2010, 06:11:44 AM »

"The bottom line here is that Chuck and his like-thinking buddies have very clearly now LOST the regulatory underpinnings of their decades old, exclusive "Olde Tyme Extra Class Radio Club" to social, legal, and technological progress.  And, clearly, Chuck and his buddies are angry as a nest of stirred up hornets over that development."


If I'm the "Chuck" you are referring to, you have it quite wrong.  I haven't lost anything, and I'm enjoying ham radio too much to be bothered by the likes of you.  You'll find the vast majority of my postings here on eHam in other forums (Tower Talk, DX'ing, CW, Elmers, etc.)  Quite simply, I find your complaints concerning licensing "discrimination" and Len's bragging of his work experience and how he obtained his Amateur Extra license extremely repetitive and boring, not to mention tediously verbose.

The "anger" you want to pin on me is pure projection.  I have my opinions as to what is best for ham radio, and they are as validly grounded as yours.  I choose not to waste excessive amounts of time in discussions with people who will never be satisfied with the minimal standards for licensing and upgrading.

My late father had an expression that I think applies to the complaints heard in these forums:  "A diarrhea of words is often symptomatic of a constipation of thought."  For a literary man, he had a keen understanding of signal to noise ratio. 

73 de Chuck  NI0C
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K6LHA
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« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2010, 05:09:25 PM »

KB1SF replied to W1IT with"

"W1IT wrote:  "I agree, the standards for an Extra license are gone. The groups who take the time to obtain them just memorize answers and keep cycling the training programs until they associate the right answer with the question asked.  This is where the hobbys (sic) gone folks."

"This is simply more of the same "we're being dumbed down" blather from that same group of elitist snobs who remain royally peeved that their government-sponsored, "Olde Tyme Extra Class Radio Club" is now in the process of being permanently dismantled."  

"Such people are quite understandably miffed because newcomers to our Service today don't (and won't) have to endure the same, 1950s-era, ARRL concocted "hazing rituals" that they all did."

Keith, I think those elitist snobs have hit their maximum with the alleged "lack of intellectualism" cracks. Their noses are held so high that their tips might be in outer space. :-)
......................
KB1SF: "That is, our General Class license ALREADY authorizes high-power operation in the HF portions of our bands.  Currently licensed General Class operators can also build their own transmitting equipment "from scratch", hold the license for a club or repeater station, and even administer exams to others.  What's more, HF is where our ALL of our so-called "exclusive", Extra Class spectrum is located!  

So, once again, I'll ask the "$64 question" that our resident authoritarians repeatedly don't want to answer:  

What regulatory or operational PURPOSE has an Advanced or Extra Class license ever served?  That is, what bona fide regulatory NEED does the possession of an Extra Class License fulfill in our Service today?"

Don't look for an answer, Keith. All of those Super Snobs will just evade and misdirect because they have NO VIABLE ANSWER. A few of those who worship at the Church of St. Hiram will be thumbing through old ARRL publications for hours...but they won't find any answer there that is applicable to the latter half of the year 2000 or later...certainly not to 2010. But that won't dissuade them...their egos have been Super-Sized to Mighty INTELLECTUALISM about ancient rank, status, privilege.

73, Len K6LHA
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K9AIM
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« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2010, 06:25:32 PM »

Len K6LHA writes: "What regulatory or operational PURPOSE has an Advanced or Extra Class license ever served? That is, what bona fide regulatory NEED does the possession of an Extra Class License fulfill in our Service today?"
"Don't look for an answer, Keith. All of those Super Snobs will just evade and misdirect because they have NO VIABLE ANSWER. A few of those who worship at the Church of St. Hiram will be thumbing through old ARRL publications for hours...but they won't find any answer there that is applicable to the latter half of the year 2000 or later...certainly not to 2010. But that won't dissuade them...their egos have been Super-Sized to Mighty INTELLECTUALISM about ancient rank, status, privilege."

. . . . . . . . .

K9AIM: In other words you are right and they are wrong, and you are ready to call them names and characterize the opposition as clueless and obselete to hammer home your case?   I would guess the purpose of having several classes of amateur license was to encourage knowledge and innovation.  Most great inventions until the recent corporate take-over of everything throughout history have been triggered by those experimenting out of scientific curiosity and love of knowledge and efficacy rather than for pecuniary interests.  Having a knowledgeable group of radio hobbyists serves a country well.  Ensuring that those operators meet a minimum standard helps keeps the rot from setting in, and helps ensure those operators won't stray into frequencies allocated for other services.  

As for what is applicable to the year 2010 -- you must oppose use of greater than 100 watts.  Heck, you probably feel utilizing more than 10 watts pretty much reveals one to be a dinosaur stuck in a past era and refusing to be 21st century material???
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K6LHA
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« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2010, 08:45:21 PM »

K9AIM posted on February 11, 2010:  

"Luddite" is just a name those who don't get CW give to those who do. Seriously, you guys need to contemplate why it is you protest so much. Progress is finding a good place to stop."

As one who made many Comments on NPRM 05-235 I could have stopped with my Exhibit to the FCC on that docket on 25 Nov 2005. But so many old-timers have given me so many personal comments on that (and still do) that Personal Defense necessitates "locking and loading" whenever someone feels that OOK CW "should have been kept" in USA amateur radio.

I measure "Progress" by MR&O FCC 06-178 that was released in December 2006. It stated that ALL manual telegraphy cognition testing would be eliminated. <shrug>
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K9AIM: I said the new exams are more lenient. I wasn't complaining just stating the way it is. Interesting though that you hear me complaining. makes it easier to dismiss what I am trying to simply point out?

It is a common saying among the old-timers that their older at-the-FCC-Field-Office tests were SO hard...etc., etc., etc., it gets very tiresome. By 1985 all radio operator license testing was rivatized. I've taken radio operator license tests with the FCC (in 1956) and with the VEC (in 2007). All of them are "hard" AND "easy," depending on how prepared one is. Those who had taken their last formal test long, long ago will probably exaggerate their Mighty Accomplishment. <shrug>
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[K6LHA]:"No, [25 KHz Extra segments at the bottoms of the bands] is a left-over back when Amateur Extra HAD to pass a 20 WPM code cognition test. Lobbying the FCC back a half century got all that exclusive playground space for Extras. The FCC didn't act on that after Restructuring of mid-2000 nor did it do anything about it after 23 Feb 2007 and the total code test elimination for any USA amateur radio license. Remember, you've been away from amateur radio for 33 years and have missed the whole heaping glob of CHANGES that happened since 1990 onwards."

K9AIM: "Well, believe it or not I have already had QSO's on 30 and 17 meters, so I have actually caught up a little bit. But I appreciate the updates."

Good on that. Those two bands are part of the "WARC bands" as a result of the World Adminstrative Radio Conference of 1979 (WARC-79). WARC-79 was 30 1/2 years ago. :-)
......................
K9AIM: "I never complained about unfairness -- I just voiced my opinion that it is a move detrimental to our hobby. I kept my license renewed because I had worked hard for it, and had a feeling one day I might return. I was hoping for a day when CW operators would be demonized as Luddites, so that I could waive my straight key flag high."

I didn't see one bit of "detriment" in complete elimination of the code test. A point I made, repeatedly, in Comments on NPRM 05-235 was that the FCC has not mandated OOK CW mode while all other
OPTIONAL modes were NOT tested. Yes, I realize that many years ago there WAS a regulation that each HF-privileged radio amateur had to log some time on OOK CW mode but that was so far in the past that it could not possibly be used for any Comment in the year 2005.
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K9AIM: "'bitter old-timers' ? -- you are too kind. I'll have you know that i am a 47 years young and
don't feel superior just because I am not a techno-pawn. i just love for CW and have a natural inclination to promote its continuation. Our elders might have something to say worth hearing if we'll drop our preconceptions long enough to hear them out."

Since I am 30 yaers older than you and BEGAN in HF radio communication in early 1953, not to mention becoming an electronics design engineer after that, you can label me as a "techno-pawn" if you wish.
I don't feel like a "pawn" at all since I CHOSE my lifelong profession (actually made a major major change after voluntary military service). Now WHO is MY "elder?"

As to "preconceptions," yes, I suppose there are a few. When the US Army assigned me to a military radio station in early February 1953, not one single transmitter out of three dozen was running any "CW" (manual radiotelegraphy) circuits to Anchorage, Seattle, San Francisco, Hawaii, Manila, Saigon, Pusan, Seoul from Tokyo. Mesage traffic per month was about 250,000 in 1952, tapering down to 220,000 per month by 1955, all in 24/7 operation. From then to time-now, I've NOT been required to learn or use any manual OOK CW mode/modulation. The only OOK CW I currently use is the key-fob transmitter for our Chevvy; it spits out a "code rate" well above any human cognitive ability, all automatically.

I've communicated from land, air, sea in seven different radio services as well as for DoD contracts
spanning VLF to microwaves in my professional career, been a pure hobbyist in electronics since around 1947. I don't feel "superior" OR "inferior" to any licensed radio amateur...but OH SO MANY had judged me "inferior" prior to be granted a USA Amateur Extra amateur radio license in March 2007.

Some CONTINUE to judge me as "inferior" because I have not made love to any code key or glorified morse code beyond all reason.
----------
One the Morse CodeS: The first morse code in the USA was all numbers and began in COMMERCIAL service in 1844. The second morse code, allegedly improved by Alfred Vail (of the Vail family that bankrolled the itinerant portrait painter Morse) was in COMMERCIAL service roughly in 1850. That second "morse code" bore the greatest resemblance to today's morse code. Morse-Vail code has been around for about 160 years. The first primitive radios of 1896 used dialects of morse code because it was the ONLY practical way to use "radio" back then. I'm sorry about your feelings feeling hurt but morse code is a technological derelict today. Even in maritime radio services, the USA requires VHF voice in coastal waters, harbors, inland water ways. "CW" may be used on the Great Lakes of the USA according to a vessel's Master. In deep water, the international convention is to use HF SSB for voice and one of the "TORs" for data. The old International distress and safety frequency of 500 KHz was given up in 1999 in favor of GMDSS, a system devised by the Maritme community itself. It works at microwave frequencies and is relayed to terrestrial srvice by special sattelites. Other than amateur radio, "CW" isn't mandated for communications by any other USA radio service. "Dit dit."

I have nothing against those amateur hobbyists who personally WANT to use OOK CW. Such tested skill is OLD, OUT-OF-PLACE for a radio regulating agency that does NOT MANDATE its use. Every single mode/modulation in USA amateur radio is OPTIONAL for any USA amateur radio licensee. All were OPTIONAL for use long before Restructuring of 2000. Nobody is stopping you from using "CW" now. But, lots of folks are stopping you and everyone else from claiming some "superiority" over others because you (or any old-timer) took a code test long, long ago.

The followers of Ned Lud were ALL against changing industries to be more efficient. They wanted to preserve their OLD ways, claiming those were "better." Better for whom? Only themselves. Industry ignored Luddites, improved and actually created MORE jobs. So, any OLD way against change gets the moniker of "Luddite." Amateur radio is NOT a "job." It was so defined from the beginning, hence the name "amateur." If you take offense to that 'Luddite' term then tough toenails, you will only get support from other Luddites. Amateur radio is CHANGING whether anyone likes it or not.

73, Len K6LHA
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NI0C
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« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2010, 05:26:29 AM »

K6LHA wrote:
"The followers of Ned Lud were ALL against changing industries to be more efficient. They wanted to preserve their OLD ways, claiming those were "better." Better for whom? Only themselves. Industry ignored Luddites, improved and actually created MORE jobs. So, any OLD way against change gets the moniker of "Luddite." Amateur radio is NOT a "job." It was so defined from the beginning, hence the name "amateur." If you take offense to that 'Luddite' term then tough toenails, you will only get support from other Luddites. Amateur radio is CHANGING whether anyone likes it or not."


The original Luddites were young factory workers in their late teens and 20's whose families were slowly starving due to the low wages being paid by the factory owners.  They resisted new machinery that took away some of their jobs, so they took matters in their own hands.  It got ugly, and the movement was brutally repressed. Some of the Luddites were hanged; others were deported to Australia.  (Kirkpatrick Sale wrote a good book on the history of the Luddites, which I used as one of the textbooks in a college course that I developed and taught, called "Ethical Issues in Technology.")

The term "Luddite" is NOT an appropriate term to characterize those of us amateur radio operators who use and promote CW on the ham bands.  First, as you point out, ham radio is not a job and the ham bands are not a workplace.  Secondly, we are most definitely NOT resistant to the introduction of new technology-- in amateur radio, or elsewhere.  Indeed we have incorporated all of the latest technology to enhance our learning and practice of our favorite modulation method.  Nor do we begrudge others the use of their favorite modulation and coding schemes.

A few examples of more valid comparisons that could be made with amateur radio's use of CW are as follows:

The use of canoes and kayaks for recreational transportation in rivers and streams, as opposed to  motorized craft.  I've never been called a "Luddite" when I've encountered jetboats in the Meramec River near St,. Louis.

The use of one's own feet and shoe leather for transportation on a hiking trail, as opposed to an ATV or mountain bike.

The use of cross country skis or snowshoes versus "snow machines."

A common theme in the three transportation examples I've used is that they coexist, and that there are frequently conflicts that occur due to space.  Local customs, ordinances, and state and federal legislation all play a role in regulating such disputes.

Like the hikers, skiiers, and canoeists, we CW operators on the ham bands will continue to insist on our rights to do what we do without being misrepresented or mischaracterized by those who don't understand what we do.

73,
Chuck  NI0C

 
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N2EY
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« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2010, 07:35:57 AM »

K9AIM wtites: "I would guess the purpose of having several classes of amateur license was to encourage knowledge and innovation."

That was part of it. But there's no need to guess. Here's a short history:

From 1932 until 1951 US amateur radio licensing was pretty simple. There were three license classes (A, B and C) and two levels of license privileges. Class B and Class C had the same requirements and privileges, with Class C being the by-mail version of Class B.
 
In those days all US hams had to pass 10 or 13 wpm Morse Code tests in sending and receiving (the speed changed in 1936) and a written test. Class A required a second, more-advanced written exam plus a year's experience. Class A was not available by mail.

All three of the ABC license classes could use all amateur frequencies at full power. However, to operate voice modes on the ham bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz required a Class A license.

In 1951, after several years of proposals, comments and discussion, the FCC restructured the license classes from three to six. This was done to more adequately serve the Basis and Purposes of the Amateur Radio Service, which were made part of the regulations at the same time. The license classes were:

Novice: (new in 1951) 5 wpm code, basic written test, 1 year nonrenewable term, very limited privileges on a few bands. Meant to be a learner's permit to make it easier for newcomers to get into amateur radio.

Technician: (new in 1951) 5 wpm code, same written test as General/Conditional. 5 year renewable term, all  privileges on 220 and up. Meant to be a special purpose license for those interested in VHF/UHF experimentation.
 
General: Renamed Class B, same requirements and privileges.  

Conditional: Renamed Class C, same requirements and privileges.

Advanced: Renamed Class A, same requirements and privileges. Advanced was closed to new issues after Dec 31 1952. Existing Advanceds would retain full privileges and could renew and modify their licenses.

Extra: (new in 1951) Replacement for the Advanced Clas A as the full-privileges license. 20 wpm code tests and a second written exam even more comprehensive than for the Advanced. Also two years experience as a General, Conditional or Advanced.

General, Advanced and Extra exams were not available by mail.

The ARRL supported the creation of the Novice and Technician licenses, but *opposed* the creation of the Extra, because it raised the bar for full privileges.

When the rules changed, many amateurs rushed to get Advanceds before they were no longer available. But just before the door closed, the FCC did a complete turnaround and gave full privileges to Generals and Conditionals, effective Feb 18 1953.

The result was that while there were six license classes (Novice/Technician/General/Condtional/Advanced/Extra), there were really only three levels of license (Novice/Technician/everybody else).

That state of affairs lasted for only about 15 years before it was changed again, in a process that became known as "incentive licensing".

In the early 1960s there began to be concern that the technical and operating know-how of US hams wasn't what it should be. After the 1953 very few hams went beyond the General/Conditional class, and homebrewing and experimenting seemed to be in decline among amateurs because more and more simply bought factory-made rigs that they didn't really understand very well.

The FCC expressed concern about these trends at the time. It was clear they expected more from US hams.

Proposals were submitted to FCC to change the license structure as an "incentive" for hams to upgrade their knowledge. While the ARRL is often "blamed" for incentive licensing, in reality there were at least ten other proposals submitted to FCC. And the original ARRL proposal was simple: Go back to the system in place until 1953 by reopening the Advanced to new issues and requiring an Advanced or Extra for voice on the bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz.

The discussion went on for five years, and in the end a much more complex plan was put into place. There were subbands-by-license-class, so that no existing amateur was pushed completely off a band or mode where s/he had existing privileges. That's where the patchwork quilt of frequency privileges came from - and it wasn't an ARRL idea at all; it came from other proposals. The new rules went into effect in late 1968 and 1969.

The reasons for incentive licensing aren't "ego-stroking" or "wanting to sell more license manuals". They're far more complex. Here are some:

The trends away from homebrewing and experimenting were driven by the increasing affluence of Americans at the time, and by the increasing complexity and miniaturization of electronics. (The real inflation-adjusted wages of the average American were actually increasing back then.)

There was a definite "activist" mindset in those days, too. One illustration is JFK's famous "Ask not, what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country". More than a few folks asked "what is Amateur Radio doing for our country?" and "how can it do more?".

"Hobby" wasn't going to cut it.

The Cold War and the Space Race were in full swing, and more than a few folks were concerned that the USA was losing ground. The USSR kept getting the firsts in the history of space - first orbital satellite, first human in space, and many others - and the USA wasn't. Many felt that the educational systems of the USA had inadequate emphasis on science and technology, and pushed for more. Amateur Radio, with its connection to self-training, was seen as part of it.

Eventually that "Sputnik fever" cooled off, but not before the rules were changed in the late 1960s.

Since then the license system has had a series of changes:

The Technician license gradually got more privileges,
including Novice HF privileges.

Mid 1970s: Conditional phased out, Novice made renewable and 5 years, experience requirement for Extra eliminated, code sending test waived.

Early 1980s: exams were taken over by the VE system and the Technician effectively became an intermediate step between Novice and General.

1987: Written for Technician and General was split into two parts with both required for General but only one for Tech.

1990: Medical waivers for the 13 and 20 wpm code tests were introduced.

1991: Tech loses its code test.

1994: Tech Plus created to differentiate code-tested Techs, who have some HF privileges.

2000: Novice and Advanced closed to new issues, Tech Plus phased out by renewal as Tech, all license classes requiring code reduced to 5 wpm.

2007: 5 wpm code test eliminated.

K9AIM: "Most great inventions until the recent corporate take-over of everything throughout history have been triggered by those experimenting out of scientific curiosity and love of knowledge and efficacy rather than for pecuniary interests."

Well, maybe. Edison effectively invented the R&D laboratory.

But it's true that many great innovators got their start as amateurs.

K9AIM: "Having a knowledgeable group of radio hobbyists serves a country well. Ensuring that those operators meet a minimum standard helps keeps the rot from setting in, and helps ensure those operators won't stray into frequencies allocated for other services."

All true. Also helps insure they behave reasonably well on the air.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K6LHA
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« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2010, 12:55:48 PM »

NI0C complained from on high on February 13, 2010:  

"The term "Luddite" is NOT an appropriate term to characterize those of us amateur radio operators who use and promote CW on the ham bands."

Why not? For YEARS quite a number of OOK CW enthusiasts haven't held back one bit from calling those who use (gasp!) preferred VOICE as ignorant cretins or other garbage pejoratives. Then look at the rampant "CB bigotry" that has come about since 1958...a mere 51 years and at least 3 generations of bigot growth...all because radio amateurs couldn't effectively fight having a little sliver of a ham band (next to 1700 KHz of 10 meters) taken away from them.
...............
NI0C: "...  Nor do we begrudge others the use of their favorite modulation and coding schemes."

That's BS as YEARS of pejoratives in 'discussions' on amateur radio have proved otherwise. As an example in AMATEUR RADIO LICENSING, take a look at the SPECIAL PRIVILEGE ham bands on HF, allocated first to those who could demonstrate 20 WPM code rates by being granted the Amateur Extra class license. Those SPECIAL PRIVILEGES are still there even if all manual radiotelegraphy testing has been ELIMINATED for nearly 3 years in the USA.

If the FCC ever acts on TRUE amateur radio regulation (now that code testing is no more)...as KB1SF is championing, then taking away those SPECIAL PRIVILEGES in HF bandspace will start a riot among the old-timers. Invective will flow like water, sprinkled with all sorts of pejoratives and claims of personal "expertise" in radiotelegraphy.
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NI0C: "The use of canoes and kayaks for recreational transportation in rivers and streams, as opposed to motorized craft."

Try staying with the subject of AMATEUR RADIO LICENSING, not water transport.
...............
NI0C: "The use of cross country skis or snowshoes versus "snow machines.""

? "Snow machines" MAKE SNOW. In resort areas, those "snow machines" are fixed in-place and cannot
move easily. Ahem...the subject is AMATEUR RADIO LICENSING, not some vaguely 'similar' examples that YOU prefer.

You might have been thinking of the snow-modified VEHICLES such as the "Ski-Do." Just the same, such are not appropriate analogies involving AMATEUR RADIO LICENSING.   
...............
NI0C: "Like the hikers, skiiers, and canoeists, we CW operators on the ham bands will continue to insist on our rights to do what we do without being misrepresented or mischaracterized by those who don't understand what we do."

Just like the self-defined, all-powerful old-time morse code super-enthusiasts, "we" ordinary hobbyists (involving only radio) will bridle at BEING CALLED NAMES by those who think they "own" everything in amateur radio just because they favor the first (and only practical) communications mode in the first primitive-technolocy 'radios.'

18.75, Len K6LHA
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