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Author Topic: Why Have An Extra Class?  (Read 131172 times)
K6LHA
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #180 on: September 26, 2010, 09:30:10 PM »

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I was going to give my usual spiel that I earned an Extra as a stupid 15-year-old.  I won't go on about how I am far from unique: many children earned Extras during the bad old days.  I didn't do it for fame.  I didn't do it because I thought I would join a club that resembles an unholy union of the Illuminati, the Astors, and the chairs of the NYSE.  I did it because it was another intellectual obstacle to scale.  I enjoyed the hike.  Conversely, I can't tell you how many language tests I have failed during my higher education.  I keep on moving since I know that eventually I'll pass the course or exam and will receive the mark of fluency.  In the meantime, I have to take some flak for not towing the line.
Jordan, nobody is giving you "flak" for not "towing any line."  USA amateur radio is NOT a job or union or even a 'military service' and what you do is, or should be, for yourself.  Those in here or anywhere else who make all those "tow the line!" statements about "uniting" and "tradition" and all the other rationales and parroting words from a long-time membership association are themselves psychologically flawed or at least immature.  Most of them are authority-wannabes.  They just want everyone to do exactly as they did...without any reasoning behind it to back them up.

There's a difference between "ignorance" and "stupidity."  Ignorance is just a lack of knowledge, perhaps experience.  Stupidity is KNOWING the correct thing to do and NOT acting on that.  In general, 15-year-olds are NOT stupid.  They are simply "testing limits" if they act (according to some grown-ups) "stupid."  If they continue the same thing afterwards they ARE stupid.

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That's the way it is for most of us.
Without referencing your single statement, THAT can be stupid.  In just amateur radio there's almost three-quarter-million licensees and probably a half million others who were once licensees and who dropped out or passed away.  It is impossible to say, with impugnity, "that's the way it is for most of us."

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I will say this: I would never call someone an Extra-lite. We all labor under one inadequacy or another.  Hamlet intended to commit suicide when he railed against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  Certainly, one should seek help if they feel like that!  Still, no one needs to play a tragic figure in a darn friggin' hobby.  What is intended for relaxation and enjoyment shouldn't become a booth for personal projections.
"Intentions" and "reality" are often different things.  The so-called Vanity callisign reassignment was lobbied for with the good intentions of carrying on some beloved family member's or friend's callsign in memoriam.  It is quite obviously what the FCC called it, a VANITY thing for most licensees, usually so they can APPEAR "old and wise" with a 1x2 or 2x1 callsign AS IF they were part of the early pioneers of radio propagation.  Few are that old now (whould have to be 90 to 100)  Cheesy

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I can see your "caste" concerns in only one respect: older hams (and even young hams like myself) often come across as pushing CW on newcomers.  It's important for the "CW people" to look at this behavior through a newcomer's eyes.  "Do I have to know code and use CW to be a 'real' ham?"
"Newcomers?"  Between very early 1953 and very early 1956 I was engaged in 24/7 communication on HF with over three dozen high-powered transmitters while in the US Army.  Every single mode was either teleprinter or voice.  Not a single OOK CW circuit over that station.  "We got the message through" to the tune of 250,000 to 220,000 a month for all those messages.  Not only the transmitters but all the ancilliary equipment, the peripherals, general communications protocols, the routings, the reglar mainenance and how to do it properly on dozens of different pieces of equipment.  At the same time we had to keep up our regular soldiering training "to close with and DESTROY the enemy."  We did that training on OUR OFF-hours.  Most training times we used HTs and manpacks of the olive-drab kind carried along with our assigned weapons.  That's not even CLOSE to any "newcomer" training in a civilian amateur HOBBY activity.  Please don't call me a "newcomer" unless you've walked in the same path and in uniform as I did.  Since then I've successfully operated on 7 different civilian radio services plus on DoD contracts without needing any radio training as a "newcomer."

The whole code test controversy was legally based on a very simple, elementary law thing:  The FCC never mandated any licensed radio amateur to ONLY use OOK CW mode, plus they had quite clearly listed more than one OPTIONAL mode for all to use yet had NEVER had any proficiency or skill test in ANY of those optional modes.  Big broad bad DICHOTOMY there, far more illegal than KB1SF's charges and it was there for years.

The EMOTIONAL basis for that code test controversy was so many who had to undergo the code test for themselves DEMANDING that all newcomers DO THE SAME.  Plus we had all the old, tired, trite Maxims from that small suburb of Hartford printing all of them about how ALL US amateurs MUST do the code (or be damned to some everlasting heck).  From years before the League had Lobbied hard to keep code proficiency IN regulations including that "incentive plan" with three levels of code speed.  Oh, oh, oh, everyone has to do it!  If they don't they aren't Real Hams!!!

Meanwhile actual OOK CW use was diminishing around the world.  The maritime world developed the successor to the old 500 KHz international distress frequency (using "CW" of course) with GMDSS.  GMDSS was a success, contrary to what some (not so) expert opinions had it.  In the last 5 years the FCC has granted a total of only 99 radiotelegraph operator licenses, all requiring telegraphy testing.  Those are separate from the GMDSS operator licenses.

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But please, let's bury this one.
Why?  The people who trash those they think are anti-code won't stop.  They keep popping out of the woodwork without regard to others or the subject matter.  They don't realize the SUBJECT is dead and buried.  It went away in the USA with the release of Memorandum Report and Order 06-178 in December of 2006.   

73, Len K6LHA
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KB1SF
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« Reply #181 on: September 27, 2010, 09:05:56 PM »

Easy does it, Keith.  My SUGGESTION is simply a COMPROMISE between old and new.  To quote another, "it is about what hams DO" in the USA.  Cheesy

It's a nice try, Len, but your "suggestion" would simply perpetuate baseless, ego-stroking license classes that serve absolutely no regulatory purpose.

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Licensees who ONCE took a 20 WPM code test can still claim they "are better than most" as they have for the decade since the code test rate was topped-off at 5 WPM.  They are still claiming that 3 1/2 years after the FCC stopped code testing altogether.  But, we still have that exclusive HF band slices allocated for Extras who passed 20 WPM...which is 3 1/2 years of CURRENT exclusivity that is legal NOW but serves NO other purpose than to "please" egos of long-time Extras.

So, once again, I now have to ask you:  What regulatory purpose is served by perpetuating all that baseless nonsense?

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There are several areas within Part 97 to be changed.  The first one is to get rid the sub-band allocation by CLASS.  Level the playing field, harmonize with the rest of the amateur radio world on frequency allocations.  Allocate sub-bands by MODE rather than class as other countries do.

Not quite.  

Most other countries regulate their amateur services by emission bandwidth. That is, in these countries, they proscribe an upper frequency limit and a lower frequency limit for the band as a whole and then specify a maximum bandwidth the emissions on that band can occupy.  For example, in Canada, that emission bandwidth on most HF bands is 6 KHz (except for 1 KHz on 30 Meters).  Industry Canada then leaves the rest of the "what goes where" decisions up to we hams.

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There is NO "snobbery" to my mind to have a much-larger written test for Amateur Extra.  Since they wouldn't have EXCLUSIVE band slices, they can keep their priority status for vanity call assignments, be VEs to proctor license exams, be members of repeater frequency coordination teams, and other tasks which require a greater INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE BASE in amateur radio activities.  None of that impinges on any perquisites Amateur Extras have NOW except for losing sub-band exclusivity.

I have no problem making the Extra Class exam (or whatever you want to call an "advanced" license in our Service) as "hard" as is required in order to help insure amateurs exercising the specific added privileges that license grants to do so safely, courteously, and without causing harmful interference to other hams or other services.

But that "hardness" MUST be based on granting those applicants who successfully complete it additional operationally-based privileges that have been specifically withheld from lower class licensees!  This also means that just "asking more questions" or (as is now repeatedly done now) simply asking more questions about privileges that have already been granted to lower class licensees just to make the test "harder" or "more comprehensive" doesn't cut it either

Or, to put it another way, if what's on this "new" Extra Class exam doesn't' specifically relate to the added privileges it grants, and the only reason for having it in the mix is to stroke people's egos, then once again it becomes nothing more than regulated snobbery.  

And, as I've repeatedly said, perpetuating that nonsense that's now blatantly illegal.  

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I'm not an attorney, much less a communications regulatory specialist in law.  I do not see anything "illegal" about the present-day Amateur Extra class.

Len, this is where you and I part ways.  

For a number of years it was an integral part of my job in the federal service to both update and develop governing regulations.  I also developed and administered courses of instruction and examinations for candidates seeking various certifications and qualifications within the federal service.  During that period, I routinely interacted with various external oversight agencies within the federal government regarding the continued validity of our various regulatory, hiring, firing and examination systems, particularly when it came to insuring all of our examination systems and personnel procedures complied with the US Code.  

What's more, after I left the federal service, I became a private consultant to several public and private agencies.  In this role it was my job to help these other agencies insure their regulatory and examination systems also passed legal muster based on the plethora of new federal equal access laws that came on the books in the United States during the early 1990s.  

The bottom line here is that, based on my PROFESSIONAL experiences with such issues, it remains my PROFESSIONAL opinion that what is now being perpetuated in the regulatory and licensing systems in our Service in the United States (particularly as it relates to the content and comprehensiveness of our examinations versus the operating privileges they grant) simply do not pass muster with current federal law.

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My SUGGESTION is to INCREASE the size of that written test element to compensate for the no-longer available psychomotor skill test of Morse code cognition

Sorry, Len, but once again, "increasing the written test element" simply because n unrelated Morse examinations have been eliminated without ALSO hooking that "increase" to granting previously withheld operational privileges for lower class licensees simply no longer passes muster under US federal law, either.  

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Is increasing the size of the Extra class test element from 50 to 200 questions "blatantly illegal?"  I doubt that.  Is eliminating the exclusivity of sub-band use only by Extras "blatantly illegal?"  I doubt that, too, but can see present-day Extras getting ready to battle for their old Entitlement Rights that they think they earned.  Cheesy

Sorry, Len, but once again, what "present-day Extras" want (or don't want) is quite irrelevant under these laws.  

As I've noted before, many people in the South during the 1950s and 1960s "wanted" to indefinitely perpetuate separate bathrooms, hotels and water fountains for people of color.  But with the passage of the US Civil Rights Act in 1964, all of that blatant systemic discrimination was immediately rendered quite illegal under federal law, not only within the US Federal Service, but also within the rest of the USA as a whole.  

And, if you will recall, there was no "transition period" for that law, either.

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The task ahead is more towards CORRECTING certain irrelevancies in Part 97 to continue the EVOLUTION of USA amateur radio regulations.

Certainly, what's done is done.  

But, once again, indefinitely perpetuating a whole class of operator licenses based on examination criteria that is virtually identical to lower class licensees in our Service is no longer legally sustainable under a whole plethora of US federal equal access laws.  

Even our traditional "HF" vs. "VHF and above" distinctions from years ago have now become blurred.

That's because even "lowly" Technicians in our Service in the USA have since been granted limited HF privileges. Even "lowly" Technicians in our Service are allowed to do such things as build and operate their transmitting equipment "from scratch", run a full KW and/or be the licensee of a repeater or club station.  About the ONLY thing Technicians still can't do in our Service is to administer examinations.  But arbitrarily withholding primarily ego-stroking, frequency-based operating privileges from such persons…operating privileges that are in no way based on any operational or regulatory need…is simply no longer legally sustainable in the United States of America. And it hasn't been legal since the early 1990s..

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A lifetime of REALITY has shown me that drastic changes do not happen over-night or even next month. It takes TIME and perseverance.  It isn't served well by phraseology of "blatantly illegal" any more than the old trite rationale of some "we've always done it that way."

If something is "blatantly illegal", continuing to assert that it isn't also serves no useful regulatory purpose.  This becomes particularly true when such "illegality" has been largely responsible for our Service's continued slide into sociological and technological irrelevance, and may ultimately prove to be a principal cause of our Service's eventual demise.

What's more, based on my own PROFESSIONAL experiences helping others to comply with such equal access laws, I see no room for a "transitional" period of licensing in our Service.  That is, either our regulations and the licensing system for our Service pass legal muster with the US Code, or they don't.  Period.  

Clearly, if there IS to be a multi-tiered licensing system in our Service going forward, that licensing system is going to have to also be completely overhauled so that more than a handful of potentially more hazardous and/or interference-prone operational privileges are specifically withheld from lower class licensees.  

Otherwise, it's simply a continued perpetuation of our current ego-based, largely "achievement oriented" licensing system.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 09:08:46 PM by Keith Baker » Logged
AB2T
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« Reply #182 on: September 27, 2010, 11:39:50 PM »

Len, I think you missed the entire point of my post. Huh Roll Eyes

This entire thread is beginning to resemble what a Socratic dialogue would be if two interlocutors agreed with each other all the time.  No philosophical resolution, no intellectual development, plenty of farce.  In this case, Socrates would rather take the hemlock than resolve the argument of two people rehashing two points in 10^100 ways.  The ancient Greeks had a very complex mathematical system, but even the most skilled abacist couldn't count to a google.

Shakespeare, if he were alive today, wouldn't have needed to consult Holinshed's Chronicles for a great new tragic comedy.  I bet, however, that the patrons of the Globe Theatre would have passed out after Act MMMMLXVIII. 

73, Jordan
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K6LHA
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« Reply #183 on: September 28, 2010, 02:49:36 PM »

It's a nice try, Len, but your "suggestion" would simply perpetuate baseless, ego-stroking license classes that serve absolutely no regulatory purpose.
Compromises are just that, a compromise between what IS and what MIGHT BE.

We aren't going to effect ANY change by "wholesale changes" of everything. There are too many of the "old guard" still out there to oppose it if and when any NPRM is released for Comment.

My SUGGESTION does have a regulatory purpose despite denying frequency-use exclusivity based on class. I don't see any "baseless nonsense" in that from a legal standpoint. Amateur Extra class can still claim an intellectual superiority based on a four-times-larger written test. The USA license application regulations no longer have any "operational" testing - as alleged by the telegraphy cognition test of old - and has absolutely nothing else in mode or modulation to test "operational" ability. The only thing left is intellectual knowledge.

I made NO "suggestions" on denying any other aspects of having an Amateur Extra class in terms of amateur radio activities regulated by the FCC. Extras can still have priority in vanity call assignments. Extras can still be required as VEs. In fact, I think that some form of intellectual superiority might be an advantage in proctoring license examinations for the future. I would think that intellectual superiority would be preferred for any NCVEC member, especially for the QPC.

Yes, having more than one license type (or class) can be said to be "ego-stroking" of one form or another. BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO GET ANYTHING BY ELIMINATING ALL CLASSES. The class distinction will still be in USA amateur radio. That class distinction is embedded in the USA amateur radio society.
Class distinction has many forms. Once upon a time it was codified in law that radiotelegraphy was a legal class distinction. That is now gone from USA amateur radio in terms of regulations. All that remains of that is the individual, emotional mind-set of such class distinction; that cannot be removed by any law yet those who have it will allways oppose any elimination of it, taking up the time and energy of those of us seeking towards a better future of all.

The USA still has FIVE classes of amateur radio licensees in "active" status (allowed to transmit RF energy as per terms of regulations). Technician Plus class are all expired but Novice and Advanced classes have indefinite renewal capability. Report and Order 99-412 was a rather limited change in the law and a limited "restructuring." In itself it was a COMPROMISE between the old order and the new, merely setting the stage for eventual discontinuance of telegraphy testing. 

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So, once again, I now have to ask you:  What regulatory purpose is served by perpetuating all that baseless nonsense?
"Baseless nonsense?" I am not "perpetuating" anything except a gradual change of USA amateur radio regulations. I am realist enough to not expect any "my way or the highway!" demands from any side of an argument over regulations. A gradual TRANSITION is better. R&O 99-412 was less a "restructuring" order than a transitional one. Very little was actually lost in regulations (despite the protests from the rabid pro-coders) by 99-412 and 10 1/2 years later USA amateur radio still has FIVE license classes capable of legal operation.

One might call 99-412 "baseless nonensence" but it was still called "restructuring." It didn't change any class distinction in USA amateur radio a decade ago, just mortifying the egos of some rabid pro-coders. It hardly made any impact on FCC bookkeeping. It was a springboard for "baseless nonsense" of talking by those who could not see beyond their own infinitely-important ideas of How Things Should Be!

By contrast, December 2006 Report and Order 06-178 was a definitive ORDER: All code testing would CEASE (on a date to be announced) in USA amateur radio license testing. No "baseless nonsense" in that but 06-178 was affected by no less than 18 Petitions for Reconsideration on 99-412 that took up nearly 4 years of time and energy by a lot of folks, including the FCC staffers. All that pro-coder commentary in those Petitions was bound to have an effect on future considerations by the FCC.

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I have no problem making the Extra Class exam (or whatever you want to call an "advanced" license in our Service) as "hard" as is required in order to help insure amateurs exercising the specific added privileges that license grants to do so safely, courteously, and without causing harmful interference to other hams or other services.

But that "hardness" MUST be based on granting those applicants who successfully complete it additional operationally-based privileges that have been specifically withheld from lower class licensees!  This also means that just "asking more questions" or (as is now repeatedly done now) simply asking more questions about privileges that have already been granted to lower class licensees just to make the test "harder" or "more comprehensive" doesn't cut it either

Or, to put it another way, if what's on this "new" Extra Class exam doesn't' specifically relate to the added privileges it grants, and the only reason for having it in the mix is to stroke people's egos, then once again it becomes nothing more than regulated snobbery.
I sense you are talking against yourself. When I mention "Amateur Extra" class I am referring to the regulations of the United States of America. I'm not talking about Canada.

Main point: WHO says that USA amateur radio testing is "ONLY" for OPERATIONAL advantages? WHO?

Think about it. What the USA has RIGHT NOW is largely based on "regulated snobbery." USA amateur radio regulations are codified class distinctions. NOW. WE have had it ever since the "incentive plan" was introduced and that "incentive plan" was BASED on the psychological basis of class distinction. So, after at least four decades of outright, blatant class distinction, it is now "baseless nonsense" to even SUGGEST that the USA Amateur Extra gets no "OPERATIONAL" advantages?

That's picking nits before the nits are even ready for harvesting.
 
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And, as I've repeatedly said, perpetuating that nonsense that's now blatantly illegal.
Careful on all that sprinkling of "blatantly illegal" phraseology. I don't need to be admitted to any legal Bar Association to see, observe, note that there hasn't been any SPECIFIC LAW codified, applied, or otherwise brought to any court about ILLEGALITY of EGO-STROKING. If there were, then every western country government (including Canada's) would collapse from the weight of POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING!

WHERE in the law books is it noted that there has been any legal action taken against ego-stroking or even showing favoritsm to any particular notion of How Things Should Be in USA amateur radio?  Yes, there have been cases where licensed USA radio amateurs have brought up for legal action but for disobeyance of published regulations, NOT for "ego-stroking."

Are Memorandum Reports and Orders based on Comments and Replies to Comments somehow "illegal?" I don't think so. That system seems to me to be based on a democratically-principled government where citizens can communicate directly with THEIR government and state their views. Would I call that "baseless nonsense?" Absolutely NOT. 

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Sorry, Len, but once again, what "present-day Extras" want (or don't want) is quite irrelevant under these laws.
Under WHAT laws? CITES, please. 

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As I've noted before, many people in the South during the 1950s and 1960s "wanted" to indefinitely perpetuate separate bathrooms, hotels and water fountains for people of color.  But with the passage of the US Civil Rights Act in 1964, all of that blatant systemic discrimination was immediately rendered quite illegal under federal law, not only within the US Federal Service, but also within the rest of the USA as a whole.
As I've stated before, many times, by the obvious appearance of radio amateurs' ethnicity in pages of amateur radio publications for years and years, USA amateur radio licensees are basically MALE and WHITE (Caucasoid). As an early political activist FOR Civil Rights Laws, I don't understand this "connection" between USA Amateur Extra questions requiring OPERATIONAL PRIVILEGES to be related to American Civil Rights laws. None. Nada. Nyet. Zip. 

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And, if you will recall, there was no "transition period" for that law, either.
Seems to me there was quite a LONG "transition period" as indicated by national TV for years.

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But, once again, indefinitely perpetuating a whole class of operator licenses based on examination criteria that is virtually identical to lower class licensees in our Service is no longer legally sustainable under a whole plethora of US federal equal access laws.
Excuse me, but I NEVER stated what was ON this "suggested" examination criterion, not on any license class. I simply stated a number of questions which would increase four- to six-fold. The CONTENT of the questions and answers is up to the NCVEC Question Pool Committee. That's how we do it down here in the United States of America under OUR privatized radio operator testing laws. As far as I know those testing laws have never been challenged legally.

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Even our traditional "HF" vs. "VHF and above" distinctions from years ago have now become blurred.
Having begun in radio communications professionally in 1952 I think I *KNOW* the distinctions, Keith.

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That's because even "lowly" Technicians in our Service in the USA have since been granted limited HF privileges. Even "lowly" Technicians in our Service are allowed to do such things as build and operate their transmitting equipment "from scratch", run a full KW and/or be the licensee of a repeater or club station.
I am discussing the Amateur Extra class amateur radio license. What any other class(es) of license are permitted to do under USA amateur radio regulations is incidental.

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If something is "blatantly illegal", continuing to assert that it isn't also serves no useful regulatory purpose.  This becomes particularly true when such "illegality" has been largely responsible for our Service's continued slide into sociological and technological irrelevance, and may ultimately prove to be a principal cause of our Service's eventual demise.
"Sociological and technological irrelevance?" Sorry, but the last time there was ANY "sociological and technical" relevance was so far in the past that there are few in here who were alive back then.
 
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What's more, based on my own PROFESSIONAL experiences helping others to comply with such equal access laws, I see no room for a "transitional" period of licensing in our Service.  That is, either our regulations and the licensing system for our Service pass legal muster with the US Code, or they don't.  Period.
Excuse moi, but based on my own PROFESSIONAL experience WORKING with many radio services and the Department of Defense of the USA, I've been too busy trying to meet TECHNICAL REGULATIONS to pay attention to LEGAL matters. As part of my PROFESSIONAL work I've been required to note, observe, and (rarely) act on LEGAL matters and have yet to see much in the way of "ILLEGAL" regulations which went to court. 

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Clearly, if there IS to be a multi-tiered licensing system in our Service going forward, that licensing system is going to have to also be completely overhauled so that more than a handful of potentially more hazardous and/or interference-prone operational privileges are specifically withheld from lower class licensees.
Yes, copy that. Your way or the highway. Big ten-four on that opinion. <sigh> 

73, Len K6LHA
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K6LHA
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« Reply #184 on: September 28, 2010, 02:52:38 PM »

Len, I think you missed the entire point of my post.
I don't think so. I CAN recognize pretentiousness and pseudo-sophistication but try not to bring it up to those who try to used it too much. Cheesy 

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This entire thread is beginning to resemble what a Socratic dialogue would be if two interlocutors agreed with each other all the time.  No philosophical resolution, no intellectual development, plenty of farce.
I've been using computer-modem communications steadily for a quarter century now (since early December 1984 on BBSs). I do not find that a general class of folks are very much into "Socratic dialogue," including sporadic observation of the old ARPANET as used between universities. Some of those pseudo-sophisticated intellectuals would occaisionally drop into emotional childish behavior. Cheesy

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The ancient Greeks had a very complex mathematical system, but even the most skilled abacist couldn't count to a google.
Abacii had no way of showing an INFINITY. The rest of the world went about their scientific things using the ARABIC numerals. Even in Israel. Cheesy  <shrug>

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Shakespeare, if he were alive today, wouldn't have needed to consult Holinshed's Chronicles for a great new tragic comedy.  I bet, however, that the patrons of the Globe Theatre would have passed out after Act MMMMLXVIII.
Good snappy sarcasm. But, it is counter-productive in a DEBATE, if we can call this forum a debate.

If Shakespeare were alive today, more likely he would be in an ICU idly watching broadcasting TV situation comedies...attended by lots of pretentious physicians trying to figure out WHY he was still alive. Cheesy 

K6LHA out and clear
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K9AIM
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« Reply #185 on: September 28, 2010, 05:30:25 PM »


This entire thread is beginning to resemble what a Socratic dialogue would be if two interlocutors agreed with each other all the time.  No philosophical resolution, no intellectual development, plenty of farce.  In this case, Socrates would rather take the hemlock than resolve the argument of two people rehashing two points in 10^100 ways.

that makes a pretty good cliff note for a lot of the threads in these Licensing forums  Smiley
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N2EY
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« Reply #186 on: September 28, 2010, 05:48:42 PM »

This entire thread is beginning to resemble what a Socratic dialogue would be if two interlocutors agreed with each other all the time. 

No it isn't.

No philosophical resolution, no intellectual development, plenty of farce. 

That's because we have the internet. Look at all the trouble and expense we had to go to in the old days:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

---

What you're seeing is the classic shaggy-dog discussion, which is pursued for its own sake. Such discussions can be excellent examples of all the usual logical fallacies and methods, if you just have patience.

For example, there's:

Appeal to Authority ("as a PROFESSIONAL..."0

Assuming The Conclusion ("it is clearly obvious that..."

False Premise (you can prove anything if you start with one or more false premises and build on them)

Ad Hominem ("you can't believe him, he's an old-time ham who passed the code test")

The Big Lie (repeat something over and over and people start to believe it's true)

and many many more. Often there are multiple fallacies in the same post, even in the same sentence.

Often such a discussion is pursued simply for attention, or to see how many insults can be worked into the text.

Don't worry about it. Lots of good discussion here on eham, just go where the signal-to-noise is better. Couple of good threads over in the CW forum; I like the one where a ham with an 8 call wrote about his experience as a US Army Morse Code instructor in the 1960s.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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« Reply #187 on: September 29, 2010, 03:31:24 AM »

Excuse moi, but based on my own PROFESSIONAL experience WORKING with many radio services and the Department of Defense of the USA, I've been too busy trying to meet TECHNICAL REGULATIONS to pay attention to LEGAL matters.

Then perhaps we (you) should stick to commenting on these issues based on our own areas of expertise.

Although not a lawyer myself, I spent YEARS working in a professional setting with US Government lawyers on similar issues.  As a result, I believe I have a pretty good handle on what is "legal" in these matters and what isn't, particularly as it relates to government-regulated processes and procedures designed to certify people.  Indeed, from a legal standpoint, government licensing is more of a "people" issue than a technical one.

What's more, over the years, I've also seen a number of regulations enacted (or left on the books when their underlying laws were changed) by various government agencies that were later shown to be systemically discriminatory and therefore, unlawful.  Clearly, our 1950s-era amateur radio regulations, particularly as they relate to licensing, now fall into the latter category.

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Yes, copy that. Your way or the highway. Big ten-four on that opinion. <sigh>

Ditto.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 04:01:59 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
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« Reply #188 on: September 29, 2010, 04:22:37 PM »

People can argue "discrimination" and "ego-stroking" and such forever.

But the plain and simple fact is that, when it comes to Part 97, almost all changes come about because some ham or ham group writes a proposal and sends it to FCC.

For example:

In 1998, the ARRL filed a restructuring proposal with FCC to reduce the number of license classes and the code testing requirements. Within a few months, the FCC released its restructuring proposal, which became the changes effective in April 2000.

In 2002 or so, ARRL filed a "refarming" proposal to change some of the Novice subbands and widen some of the HF 'phone subbands. In 2006, the FCC made changes that widened some of the 'phone subbands and moved/increased some of the Novice subbands.

In 2003 the ITU-R treaty changed so that Morse Code testing was no longer required. Over the next year or so there were about 18 proposals filed with FCC, and in 2007 the last remnant of Morse Code testing for a US amateur radio license was eliminated.

Look at *any* changes to Part 97 in the past 20+ years, and you'll see that the change happened because someone or some group sent a proposal to FCC.

Of course not all proposals resulted in rules changes; the various "regulation by bandwidth" proposals went nowhere. And when a proposal resulted in changes, the changes weren't always exactly what was proposed.

But the point remains that if we want change, we have to ask for it, in the form of proposals to FCC.

But a proposal isn't enough; it has to have widespread support in the amateur community. The complete failure of the "regulation by bandwidth" proposals is an example of what happens when a proposal meets strong opposition in the comments.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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« Reply #189 on: September 30, 2010, 12:21:04 PM »

People can argue "discrimination" and "ego-stroking" and such forever.

But the plain and simple fact is that, when it comes to Part 97, almost all changes come about because some ham or ham group writes a proposal and sends it to FCC.

Jimmie that approach may have been how things were "traditionally" done in our Service.  But, as I have previously noted, the plethora of 1990s-era federal equal access laws (and the ever-more pressing need for federal agencies to comply with them) will soon render such "traditions" quite moot if it hasn't already.

Indeed, the FCC's decision to drop all forms of Morse testing back in 2007 did NOT come about "because some ham or ham group wrote a proposal and sent it to FCC".   To the contrary, the FCC initiated that action on their own and largely in response to EXTERNAL pressures for change. 

Clearly, in response to their own internal audits, the FCC can also no longer completely ignore the fact that there IS no fundamental operational difference between the privileges granted to an Extra Class licensee and an Advanced or General Class licensee in our Service.  

And once the FCC is officially forced into owning up to THAT inconvenient truth (and to the systemically discriminatory licensing system they administer that KEEPS all that that ego-stroking foolishness firmly intact) then the ENTIRE legal support for their "incentive licensing" nonsense also comes tumbling down around their ears.  

But it is also painfully apparent by their lack of action to date to do anything more than "work around the edges" of this potentially explosive regulatory issue that the FCC isn't about to publicly admit to ANY of this on their own.  

Nor are the about to entertain motions from individual hams to make any substantial changes in the system.  To do so would absolutely ENRAGE the "Morse-testing-and-incentive-licensing-forever" zealots still remaining in our ranks.  It would also invite all manner of official outrage from this crowd in the form of scores of Congressional inquires along with hundreds (if not thousands) of quixotic petitions from clueless hams for redress.

Clearly, the FCC's Wireless Bureau is simply not staffed for such an onslaught.

Therefore, BECAUSE our Service STILL harbors such a highly vocal contingent of these rabid fundamentalists whose over-inflated egos still crave such regulated systemic bigotry, I firmly believe the demand to finally enact such long overdue and sweeping regulatory reforms for our Service will most certainly have to come from government-directed sources OUTSIDE of amateur radio.  

Examples of such "outside" direction might be in the form of a class action ruling against the FCC, a GAO audit, and/or a Congressional investigation leading to federal legislation that forces the FCC to completely overhaul the rest of their 1950s-era, blatantly systemically discriminatory "incentive licensing" nonsense.

As I've also said, thankfully, it's only a matter of time before the bulk of our now rapidly aging fundamentalist holdouts from the 1940s, 50s and 60s are dead and buried.  Removal of that HUGE contingent of rabid obstructionists should then allow the now rapidly growing external forces for change to all come together to FINALLY produce the regulatory and licensing reforms in our Service that will be so desperately needed to attract (and keep) today's youth, and, by extension, to keep our Service alive and growing on into the future.  

Now, granted, those changes may not come today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year. Indeed, they may not come in my lifetime.  But, mark my words; these changes WILL eventually be enacted.  My only hope is that I'll still be around to see most of them.  

However, in the interim, and thanks to the decades of all-too-successful work by our fundamentalist authoritarian zealots whose fervent wish has been to keep our Service permanently stuck in the technological and sociological "dark ages", I'm no longer holding out much hope.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 04:14:03 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
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« Reply #190 on: September 30, 2010, 01:35:46 PM »


Jimmie that approach may have been how things were "traditionally" done in our Service.  But, as I have previously noted, the plethora of 1990s-era federal equal access laws (and the ever-more pressing need for federal agencies to comply with them) will soon render such "traditions" quite moot if it hasn't already.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF

Yet you have you have not linked a single one of this "plethora" of laws. Coming from one with such "professional" experience as you, I wouldn't think that would be too hard to do. No facts to back up your opinion?


Nor are the about to entertain motions from individual hams to make any substantial changes in the system.  To do so would absolutely ENRAGE the "Morse-testing-and-incentive-licensing-forever" zealots still remaining in our ranks.  It would also invite all manner of official outrage from this crowd in the form of scores of Congressional inquires along with hundreds (if not thousands) of quixotic petitions from clueless hams for redress.


Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF


Those who don't agree with your OPINION are "clueless hams"?


Therefore, BECAUSE our Service STILL harbors such a highly vocal contingent of these rabid fundamentalists whose over-inflated egos still crave such regulated systemic bigotry, I firmly believe the demand to finally enact such long overdue and sweeping regulatory reforms for our Service will most certainly have to come from government-directed sources OUTSIDE of amateur radio. 

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF

Not only "clueless hams" but also "highly vocal, rabid fundamentalists with over-inflated egos" who are also apparently bigots.


As I've also said, thankfully, it's only a matter of time before the bulk of our now rapidly aging fundamentalist holdouts from the 1940s, 50s and 60s are dead and buried.  Removal of that HUGE contingent of rabid obstructionists should then allow the now rapidly growing external forces for change to all come together to FINALLY produce the regulatory and licensing reforms in our Service that will be so desperately needed to attract (and keep) today's youth, and, by extension, to keep our Service alive and growing on into the future. 

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF

Also "rabid obstructionists" who "thankfully" will be "dead and buried". Don't forget to include the ones from the 70s, 80s 90s and 00.
 
That way you can insult everyone who doesn't agree with your OPINION.

You know Keith, I was enjoying the back and forth up til now. You have obviously gone off the deep end. When failed logic doesn't work, you resort to (continued) insults toward any and every one who doesn't jump on your bandwagon.

With that, I'll leave you to babbling in the corner by yourself. What tiny, microscopic bit of credibility you had is gone.



But a proposal isn't enough; it has to have widespread support in the amateur community. The complete failure of the "regulation by bandwidth" proposals is an example of what happens when a proposal meets strong opposition in the comments.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Hopefully, regulation by bandwidth will never come to pass.

What we have works, and works just fine.

73, Tom
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« Reply #191 on: September 30, 2010, 02:32:50 PM »


Hopefully, regulation by bandwidth will never come to pass.

Why?

That's a serious question. While there were flaws in the proposals of the past, is there no form of "RBB" that would be a good thing?


What we have works, and works just fine.

But perhaps it could be improved.

One problem I see with our current system in the USA is that Part 97 does not allow data modes in the HF 'phone subbands. (160 is MF, btw). No RTTY, no PSK31, etc. This isn't just a gentleman's agreement thing, it's the law.

This means that widening the 'phone subbands reduces the spectrum available for data modes unless they can claim to be "image" modes.

I know there's a long history behind all this, but I think it's time for a change. Here's why:

Suppose there were an HF 'phone emergency net, and emergency traffic in the form of a data file needed to be transferred. Under current Part 97 rules, the stations would have to QSY outside the 'phone subbands to do it legally, rather than just sending it on the net frequency. Why? Wouldn't it make more sense not to have to QSY?

As I recall it, one of the biggest objections to RBB in the past was the provision for "robot" stations to operate anywhere. Clearly that's a bad idea, and shouldn't be allowed.

But maybe - just maybe - there's a version of RBB that could be a good thing.

I'd like to read your thoughts on it - particularly the objections.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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« Reply #192 on: September 30, 2010, 03:57:58 PM »

Hopefully, regulation by bandwidth will never come to pass.
Hoping for it to "never come to pass" isn't going to make the idea go away, Tom.  Indeed, this is PRECISELY where the regulations for our Service are now headed in the USA.  I suggest you and your like-thinking buddies might now want to start getting used to that idea.

Quote
What we have works, and works just fine.

...In your opinion.  I just happen to vehemently disagree.  

So, what say we make a date to meet here in ten years' time and see who got it right?

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 07:36:33 PM by Keith Baker » Logged
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« Reply #193 on: September 30, 2010, 04:11:00 PM »


Hopefully, regulation by bandwidth will never come to pass.

Why?

That's a serious question. While there were flaws in the proposals of the past, is there no form of "RBB" that would be a good thing?


73 de Jim, N2EY

Not that I've heard. What did you have in mind?





What we have works, and works just fine.

But perhaps it could be improved.

One problem I see with our current system in the USA is that Part 97 does not allow data modes in the HF 'phone subbands. (160 is MF, btw). No RTTY, no PSK31, etc. This isn't just a gentleman's agreement thing, it's the law.


73 de Jim, N2EY

I don't see a problem with that.  Outside of a contest, there is plenty of room for phone, plenty of room for cw and plenty of room for data. The phone sub-bands don't need widening.

 Data and phone shouldn't mix, imo. We certainly don't need phone on 30m. Again, my opinion.




I know there's a long history behind all this, but I think it's time for a change. Here's why:

Suppose there were an HF 'phone emergency net, and emergency traffic in the form of a data file needed to be transferred. Under current Part 97 rules, the stations would have to QSY outside the 'phone subbands to do it legally, rather than just sending it on the net frequency. Why? Wouldn't it make more sense not to have to QSY?

73 de Jim, N2EY

So we should regulate by "what if"?

If the "emergency traffic" in data file form is originating from the disaster area, the op has the capability to use the data sub-bands. Hold the net in the data sub-band, there is usually less congestion. Data usually takes less power to get through, and is a better weak signal mode than phone. If he can't transmit it, he can't receive it, so "what if", in this case, is a moot point.

If this "emergency traffic" in data form is originating outside the disaster area going to the disaster area, see above.

If this "emergency traffic" in data form is going to another location outside the disaster area, why use the ham bands at all for it? The internet is much faster and more prevalent in it's use than amateur radio.



But maybe - just maybe - there's a version of RBB that could be a good thing.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Maybe. As I said, I haven't seen one yet.

73, Tom
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« Reply #194 on: September 30, 2010, 09:15:10 PM »

I'll never relate to the whiners and complainers that I see here or on QRZ.com.

I was first licensed in 94. Looked like a fun thing to do so I signed up. I was exposed to it by my father-in-law. I figured if that bozo could pass a ham test, I sure as heck could. After all, I made it through electronics school and he has problems with basic math. My father-in-law is a Korean war vet. His job was communications. He was taught Morse code and used it every day while there. Needless to say, he is very proficient with the code.
When the no-code era came around, he was very vocal about it and quit ham radio in protest, convinced that CB'rs would take over, etc. Today he still rants about how easy the tests are. I recently informed him that the tests have always been easy, 30 years ago and today. He managed to pass the General Exam 25 years ago. He has NO knowledge of electronics theory, has a hard time using a calculator.
I'm licensed, and I enjoy radio. It was my interest in radio that led me to study electronics theory back in the early 80's.
I couldn't care less what my license is called or how easy the test was. I took real exams on electronics theory while in college.
I took the 5 wpm exam a few years ago. When I heard the code testing was going to cease, I decided I wanted a "taste" of it so I took the exam. I continued studying the code for a few weeks and built my speed up to maybe 12 to 15 wpm, somewhere in there. Today, I use the mode seldom and do not have much interest in it any more.

Why do so many hams complain about current license structure?  I don't hear it that often on the air, mostly in Internet forums. Mental illness perhaps is the cause? Geezus, if the current structure bothers you that much, then get the hell out of the hobby and let others enjoy it. Also, stop complaining about how newer hams take an easier test. The tests have always been easy, 30 years ago and today.
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