Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 [4] 5 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What to do with the Advanced Class  (Read 26317 times)
N3DF
Member

Posts: 250




Ignore
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2010, 09:33:16 AM »

I think I studied for almost a whole weekend before taking the Advanced exam.
Logged

Neil N3DF
K9AIM
Member

Posts: 929




Ignore
« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2010, 08:47:16 PM »

In 1977, I remember being motivated to pass the Advanced test to get the extra frequencies and to have the same license class as my uncle, W9PUT, who was an electrical engineer and a long-time ham.  He never bothered taking the extra though, because while he was not averse to occasionally tapping out code on his straight key, his speed was about 10 to 13 wpm.   I also think that many of the older Advanced class license holders had already reached the highest rung on the Amateur ladder before the advent of the Extra class and thus probably did not take the Extra all that seriously ...   
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 08:54:31 PM by Robert Johnston » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3835




Ignore
« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2010, 07:38:47 AM »

I also think that many of the older Advanced class license holders had already reached the highest rung on the Amateur ladder before the advent of the Extra class and thus probably did not take the Extra all that seriously ...   

Before 1951, the Advanced was known as Class A, and was the highest class of US amateur license. It required a year's experience and a Class B license, plus a 100 question technical exam. Back then all US hams had access to all allocated amateur frequencies; the big deal with the Class A/Advanced was that it allowed use of the 'phone subbands between 2.5 and 25 MHz. IOW, if you were a CW op, or weren't interested in the low bands, there was no reason to get a Class A.

The other licenses were Class B (General) and Class C (Conditional), which were the same except Class C was by-mail-exam. Class A was only available by FCC testing; and if a Class C ham wanted a Class A s/he had to pass the Class B exam (13 wpm code and 50 question theory) all over again in front of the FCC examiner before being allowed to take the Class A.

The 1951 restructuring renamed the license classes and added the Novice, Technician and Extra. The Extra was intended to replace the Advanced, and no new Advanceds were issued after the end of 1952.

IOW, anybody who held an Advanced/Class A when it was the top license has been licensed for at least 60 years now.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Logged
K9AIM
Member

Posts: 929




Ignore
« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2010, 12:05:08 PM »


Before 1951, the Advanced was known as Class A, and was the highest class of US amateur license. It required a year's experience and a Class B license, plus a 100 question technical exam. Back then all US hams had access to all allocated amateur frequencies; the big deal with the Class A/Advanced was that it allowed use of the 'phone subbands between 2.5 and 25 MHz. IOW, if you were a CW op, or weren't interested in the low bands, there was no reason to get a Class A.

The other licenses were Class B (General) and Class C (Conditional), which were the same except Class C was by-mail-exam. Class A was only available by FCC testing; and if a Class C ham wanted a Class A s/he had to pass the Class B exam (13 wpm code and 50 question theory) all over again in front of the FCC examiner before being allowed to take the Class A.

The 1951 restructuring renamed the license classes and added the Novice, Technician and Extra. The Extra was intended to replace the Advanced, and no new Advanceds were issued after the end of 1952.

IOW, anybody who held an Advanced/Class A when it was the top license has been licensed for at least 60 years now.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Thanks Jim, that helps me better understand my uncle's (sk, W9PUT) perspective.  He administered my Novice exam in 1976 and then rode with me on the train to the Chicago FCC office when I took and passed the General, and later the Advanced, exam in 1977.  He had been an Advanced Class Ham for many decades by the time I got my license and he was an Electrical Engineer.  I believe he was born in 1906...  He never said anything against the Extra, but I always sensed that he carried some unspoken (and leveraged) disdain for the Extra itself (though not for holder's of the Extra class license).
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 12:14:21 PM by Robert Johnston » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3835




Ignore
« Reply #49 on: October 17, 2010, 03:02:22 PM »

Thanks Jim, that helps me better understand my uncle's (sk, W9PUT) perspective. He administered my Novice exam in 1976 and then rode with me on the train to the Chicago FCC office when I took and passed the General, and later the Advanced, exam in 1977.  He had been an Advanced Class Ham for many decades by the time I got my license and he was an Electrical Engineer.  I believe he was born in 1906...  He never said anything against the Extra, but I always sensed that he carried some unspoken (and leveraged) disdain for the Extra itself (though not for holder's of the Extra class license).

Great story, thanks for sharing. Nobody in my family was a ham until I came along, and I became an EE in part because of ham radio. (BSEE 1976, MSEE 1992).

A bit more about the Extra:

There was a US amateur radio license class called the Extra in the early 1920s, but it wasn't popular and lasted only a few years. The "modern" Extra was created by FCC as part of the 1951 restructuring which is the basis of our license system today.

As you can see from the previous post, the Class A/Advanced was really an HF 'phone ham's license. Imagine if every US ham you heard on HF 'phone held the top license class....

But in the late 1940s there were two small (their total membership amounted to less than 3% of US hams) organizations which lobbied FCC for a new license class. They claimed the Class A was too easy and that the top license should require more.

ARRL opposed the creation of the new license class, but FCC was in activist mode and created the Extra anyway. Not only that, but they announced that no more Advanceds would be issued after the end of 1952, which caused a scramble to get them before the door closed.

But then, in mid-December 1952, FCC completely reversed course and announced that in Feb 1953 all Generals, Conditionals, Advanceds and Extras would have full operating privileges. You can imagine how the Advanceds and Extras of the time felt about that!

I don't know why FCC changed their mind so suddenly and dramatically. Nobody I have talked to seems to know either, and I've asked a lot of folks in the past 43 years.

My guess is that FCC was influenced by the following factors:

1) SSB was being adopted by hams in the late 1940s, but AM was still the top voice modes. By opening up the 'phone bands to more hams, the crowding might cause more to try SSB.

2) US hams got permission to use mobile on the bands below 25 MHz in 1949. Historically FCC had been very wary of amateur mobile operation, but the Cold War, Civil Defense and the good work of WERS during WW2 may have convinced them to promote amateur mobile operation. But since most mobile operation was voice, they may have felt it would progress faster if more hams could use HF voice.

3) TV was booming like crazy then, and TVI was a big problem. 10 meters was a very popular 'phone band because Generals and Conditionals could use it. Channel 2 TV was also very popular - and the second harmonic of 10 meters. Allowing Generals and Conditionals to use voice on other HF bands could help the TVI situation.

4) The ARRL and others may have persuaded FCC that the two small groups did not really represent the best interests of amateur radio.

It is interesting to note that once the restructuring was complete the two small organizations disappeared completely. Only their legacy of the Extra lives on.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
K9AIM
Member

Posts: 929




Ignore
« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2010, 06:00:29 AM »

Great story, thanks for sharing. Nobody in my family was a ham until I came along, and I became an EE in part because of ham radio. (BSEE 1976, MSEE 1992).

A bit more about the Extra:

There was a US amateur radio license class called the Extra in the early 1920s, but it wasn't popular and lasted only a few years. The "modern" Extra was created by FCC as part of the 1951 restructuring which is the basis of our license system today.

As you can see from the previous post, the Class A/Advanced was really an HF 'phone ham's license. Imagine if every US ham you heard on HF 'phone held the top license class....

But in the late 1940s there were two small (their total membership amounted to less than 3% of US hams) organizations which lobbied FCC for a new license class. They claimed the Class A was too easy and that the top license should require more.

ARRL opposed the creation of the new license class, but FCC was in activist mode and created the Extra anyway. Not only that, but they announced that no more Advanceds would be issued after the end of 1952, which caused a scramble to get them before the door closed.

But then, in mid-December 1952, FCC completely reversed course and announced that in Feb 1953 all Generals, Conditionals, Advanceds and Extras would have full operating privileges. You can imagine how the Advanceds and Extras of the time felt about that!

I don't know why FCC changed their mind so suddenly and dramatically. Nobody I have talked to seems to know either, and I've asked a lot of folks in the past 43 years.

My guess is that FCC was influenced by the following factors:

1) SSB was being adopted by hams in the late 1940s, but AM was still the top voice modes. By opening up the 'phone bands to more hams, the crowding might cause more to try SSB.

2) US hams got permission to use mobile on the bands below 25 MHz in 1949. Historically FCC had been very wary of amateur mobile operation, but the Cold War, Civil Defense and the good work of WERS during WW2 may have convinced them to promote amateur mobile operation. But since most mobile operation was voice, they may have felt it would progress faster if more hams could use HF voice.

3) TV was booming like crazy then, and TVI was a big problem. 10 meters was a very popular 'phone band because Generals and Conditionals could use it. Channel 2 TV was also very popular - and the second harmonic of 10 meters. Allowing Generals and Conditionals to use voice on other HF bands could help the TVI situation.

4) The ARRL and others may have persuaded FCC that the two small groups did not really represent the best interests of amateur radio.

It is interesting to note that once the restructuring was complete the two small organizations disappeared completely. Only their legacy of the Extra lives on.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Through the generous help of W3HF, I just learned my uncle first appears in callbooks as W9PUT in 1934. I guess the district 9 callsigns had already progressed to W9PUT in 1934(?) As an Electrical Engineer and an Advanced class license holder, he would have no doubt fit in that camp that may have found the newly minted 'Extra' class a hoop he had no intention of dancing through. 

I also verified that I received my first license in Fall 1976.  I was a Novice at the exact time the FCC did away with 'N' callsigns and received a new license in the mail from the FCC as WB9YCA despite the fact that I was still a Novice and had only been WN9YCA for a month or so.  In 1977 I upgraded to general and then Advanced and then went largely QRT from, 1978 to 2008. Waking up to learn the Advanced class was no longer being issued, that FCC offices no longer proctored amateur radio exams, and that code testing had been terminated made me feel a little like Rip Van Winkle HI HI   i am glad i kept renewing my hard earned license  Smiley

Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3835




Ignore
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2010, 04:21:33 AM »

As an Electrical Engineer and an Advanced class license holder, he would have no doubt fit in that camp that may have found the newly minted 'Extra' class a hoop he had no intention of dancing through. 

If that is the case, it's what could be called a diva problem.

Of course, until 1968 there was no real operational reason to upgrade from Advanced to Extra because the privileges were the same. And even after 1968 the additional privileges attached to the Extra vs. the Advanced were mostly CW/data bandspace (and a vanity call). A big deal for the HF CW op but not so big a deal for the 'phone op or non-HF ham.

It should be remembered that anybody who earned the Extra before April 15 2000 passed all the written tests for the Advanced, too.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
K9AIM
Member

Posts: 929




Ignore
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2010, 05:28:24 AM »

As an Electrical Engineer and an Advanced class license holder, he would have no doubt fit in that camp that may have found the newly minted 'Extra' class a hoop he had no intention of dancing through.  

If that is the case, it's what could be called a diva problem.

Of course, until 1968 there was no real operational reason to upgrade from Advanced to Extra because the privileges were the same. And even after 1968 the additional privileges attached to the Extra vs. the Advanced were mostly CW/data bandspace (and a vanity call). A big deal for the HF CW op but not so big a deal for the 'phone op or non-HF ham.

It should be remembered that anybody who earned the Extra before April 15 2000 passed all the written tests for the Advanced, too.

73 de Jim, N2EY

In 1968 he had been a ham already for 34 years.  Are you suggesting all the people who held an Advanced class license prior to 1953 but did not upgrade to Extra after 1968 were divas because they were not motivated to go get the Extra?

The rigors of the testing process and the radio experience held by amateurs is not necessarily reflected by the license they hold -- as was no doubt the case for some Techs who had no wish to become fluent in morse code, or some Extras who passed their tests after the tests became multiple choice and public knowledge -- or Advanced who held their license prior to 1953 or 1968.  that variance is what it is, and the conflagration of stances on licensing is no doubt somewhat fueled by that inconsistency.  

I was motivated to get the Extra until someone thoughtfully suggested to me that I might instead prefer to keep the historic significance of holding an Advanced class license.  that has become my decision, because while the Extra CW segments are clearly advantageous for working DX -- I do not lose that much even on CW and what I gain would be more of a status thing.  I suppose the holding onto the Advanced is also a kind of status thing, but that's the human ego for you.

73
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 05:34:54 AM by Robert Johnston » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3835




Ignore
« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2010, 04:53:55 PM »

As an Electrical Engineer and an Advanced class license holder, he would have no doubt fit in that camp that may have found the newly minted 'Extra' class a hoop he had no intention of dancing through.  

If that is the case, it's what could be called a diva problem.

Of course, until 1968 there was no real operational reason to upgrade from Advanced to Extra because the privileges were the same. And even after 1968 the additional privileges attached to the Extra vs. the Advanced were mostly CW/data bandspace (and a vanity call). A big deal for the HF CW op but not so big a deal for the 'phone op or non-HF ham.

It should be remembered that anybody who earned the Extra before April 15 2000 passed all the written tests for the Advanced, too.

73 de Jim, N2EY

In 1968 he had been a ham already for 34 years.  Are you suggesting all the people who held an Advanced class license prior to 1953 but did not upgrade to Extra after 1968 were divas because they were not motivated to go get the Extra?

No.

I'm saying that *if* someone considered the Extra to be a "hoop" that was to be "danced through", they might have a diva problem.

One of the principles of US Amateur Radio licensing has always been that non-Amateur Radio experience doesn't count for anything; everybody has to pass the required tests. Doesn't matter what you have done before or outside Amateur Radio, the requirements are the same (with a very few exceptions).

I mean, where do we draw the line?

Should Ph.D EEs get a free Extra or a free upgrade? How about MSEE or BSEE? Should a GROL count?

How about years of license - if someone has been a Tech for 20 years, should they get a free upgrade to General? 


The rigors of the testing process and the radio experience held by amateurs is not necessarily reflected by the license they hold -- as was no doubt the case for some Techs who had no wish to become fluent in morse code, or some Extras who passed their tests after the tests became multiple choice and public knowledge -- or Advanced who held their license prior to 1953 or 1968.  that variance is what it is, and the conflagration of stances on licensing is no doubt somewhat fueled by that inconsistency.  

Of course. I have a 1970 vintage Extra, which required passing 4 written and 6 Morse Code tests, all "secret", 2 years' experience as an Advanced, and trips to the FCC office. Plus payment of fees that amount to over $100 in today's money.

I've also had 40 years of full-privilege Amateur Radio fun. Priceless!


I was motivated to get the Extra until someone thoughtfully suggested to me that I might instead prefer to keep the historic significance of holding an Advanced class license.  that has become my decision, because while the Extra CW segments are clearly advantageous for working DX -- I do not lose that much even on CW and what I gain would be more of a status thing.  I suppose the holding onto the Advanced is also a kind of status thing, but that's the human ego for you.

It's your choice. Personally I'd rather have full privileges. I can't work anybody with status but I sure can work 'em in the Extra segments.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
N0AZZ
Member

Posts: 241




Ignore
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2010, 06:50:41 AM »

I must agree with Jim why not just take the exam and be done with it. THE END!
Logged
KG0DB
Member

Posts: 52




Ignore
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2011, 09:46:30 PM »

I don't know where this puts me on the licensing timeline, but my recollection of my licensing is as follows:  I passed the 5 WPM and a "theory" test for Novice.  I then went straight to General which required 13 WPM and a "theory" test.  I then progressed to Advanced with a "theory" test only.  It required some study and some knowledge.  The Extra test required 20 WPM and another "theory" test.  Having been out of radio for a while, and learning that Advanced class licenses were no longer granted, I'm thinking I'll keep my call sign.  Before I left radio, the 20 WPM for Extra was probably something I could do.  The theory tests for me were a breeze.  I think I might do the theory for the Extra.  That said, now, I would NEVER give up my Advanced call sign.  It's better than any Extra vanity call sign.
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3835




Ignore
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2011, 05:45:29 AM »

I don't know where this puts me on the licensing timeline, but my recollection of my licensing is as follows:  I passed the 5 WPM and a "theory" test for Novice.  I then went straight to General which required 13 WPM and a "theory" test.  I then progressed to Advanced with a "theory" test only.  It required some study and some knowledge.  The Extra test required 20 WPM and another "theory" test. 

That's how it was until 2000, with a couple of other points:

- The Technician and Technician Plus licenses, which you bypassed by going from Novice straight to General

- The medical waivers for 13 and 20 wpm, which existed from 1990 to 2000. They required only a letter from a doctor - any doctor.

That said, now, I would NEVER give up my Advanced call sign. 

Giving up a call sign when upgrading hasn't been required for a couple decades. Even when it was, it only applied to Novices.

It's better than any Extra vanity call sign.

Why?

What makes it better?

73 de Jim, N2EY (not a vanity call)

Logged
N3DF
Member

Posts: 250




Ignore
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2011, 10:41:54 AM »

The predecessor of the Advanced Class was the Class A license.  When the Class A-B-C system was created in the 1930s, both Amateur Extra First Grade licensees and Amateur First Class licensees with "unlimited radiotelephone" endorsements were grandfathered into Class A.  The endorsement required an exam on phone subjects, and enabled "ordinary" hams to get phone privileges without having to take the faster code test or more rigorous written exam of the Amateur Extra First Grade.
Logged

Neil N3DF
N5MOA
Member

Posts: 1016




Ignore
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2011, 11:40:15 AM »

That said, now, I would NEVER give up my Advanced call sign.  It's better than any Extra vanity call sign.

Yeah, how is it "better"?

Liking it is one thing, better is in the eye of the holder.

No one knows it's an advanced call unless they look it up, or you tell them.

New sequential calls for extra are also 2x2. Lot's of extra vanity calls are 2x2.

Mine, N5MOA, is the only one I've ever had. It's a tech and above call, but you don't know what level license I have without looking it up. Or being told.

I never held a novice license call, passed the novice and tech the same sitting. This is the one the FCC sent me.

It never got changed for various reasons.
1) I like it, the main reason.
2) I didn't like the 2x2 advanced calls I probably would have gotten when I passed the advanced
3) By 1989, there were no 1x2 or 2x1 sequential extra calls left in the 5 area.
4) I didn't want a 2x2 call.
5) I'm the only holder of this call.

The only thing, imo, that makes any call "better" than another is the holder of the call liking it.

That's why my call is the "best" call. Grin

73, Tom
N5MOA





 
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3835




Ignore
« Reply #59 on: January 04, 2011, 04:52:56 PM »

The predecessor of the Advanced Class was the Class A license.  When the Class A-B-C system was created in the 1930s, both Amateur Extra First Grade licensees and Amateur First Class licensees with "unlimited radiotelephone" endorsements were grandfathered into Class A.  The endorsement required an exam on phone subjects, and enabled "ordinary" hams to get phone privileges without having to take the faster code test or more rigorous written exam of the Amateur Extra First Grade.

Fascinating! Thanks for the info!

Which raises two questions:

1) When did the ABC license system take effect? I know it ended in 1951 when the Novice/Technician/General/Conditional/Advanced/Extra system replaced it, but when did it start?

2) Are there any hams left on the air today who held the old Amateur Extra First Grade?

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 [4] 5 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!