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Author Topic: Why Have An Extra Class?  (Read 258801 times)
N2EY
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Posts: 4436




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« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2010, 05:32:18 AM »

The REAL issue, as witness the wording and tone of the rationalizers defending the current (of a half century ago) system, is the old "I AM BETTER THAN YOU" braggadoccio.

No it isn't.

Half a century ago was 1960. The changes which became known as "Incentive Licensing" weren't proposed until 1963, and didn't go into effect until 1968.

At least get the history right.

MOST of the respondents on this topic are already Extra class.  They want to KEEP all the rank, status, privilege they feel is "theirs" (because they "earned" it according to them).  They fear a loss of such rank, status, privilege is the present class-distinction system is removed.

Since you have a 2007-vintage Extra and a vanity call, Len, you're talking about yourself.

There was never any "technology gap" per se, only the odd sort of sports-contest feeling reported on "who was first?" during the Cold War.

It was a lot more than a "sports-contest feeling".

The USSR orbited the first artificial space satellite in 1957, and followed it by a long list of space firsts - first human in space, first space probe to leave earth orbit, first pictures of the far side of the moon, first woman in space, first space walk, and much more. Meanwhile the USA space program could hardly get off the ground.

Of course the USA ultimately caught up with the USSR in some ways. But, at the time, there was the widespread perception of a "gap". That perception was the driving force behind many things, from the "New Math" to the expansion of NACA/NASA from a small, almost unknown agency to the organization that put people on the moon.

Now, against all of THAT, AMATEURS were "supposed to innovate and advance any state of the radio art?!? 

Sure - why not?

Amateurs wouldn't be running zone-refining furnaces in their basements, nor other big-ticket things. But they could come up with less-expensive, less-complex ways of doing things, which is a big part of innovation and advancement of the state of the radio art.

It's certainly important and wonderful when someone does a thing for the first time. Usually such firsts are the result of expensive efforts by government and/or industry, led by experts. Sometimes amateurs play a role, but not often.

But equally if not more important, and wonderful, is the transformation of a "first" into a widespread practical applied technology. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't, but it's where radio amateurs play a much bigger role.

(It should be remembered that before 1962 radio amateurs had succeeded in both moonbounce *communication* and an artificial earth satellite (Oscar 1)).

Even more widespread are those experts who got their start in amateur radio. For just one example, the original US Army moon-radar success involved many who were already radio amateurs.

By "upgrading" to Extra class largely through high-rate morse code testing at a time when morse code was already being downsized as a communications medium?  I'm sorry, but all of that is political jingoism, sloganeering, and sham patriotism on the part of certain special-interest groups and a few in the USA still stuck in glories of WWII victory.

The upgrade process was more about written testing than about code testing. 20 wpm is hardly "high-rate" Morse Code, anyway.

Most important of all, the ARRL *opposed* the creation of the Extra in 1951. It was not their idea; it came from elsewhere and was pushed on amateur radio by FCC. In 1963, the original ARRL incentive licensing proposal proposed nothing more than reopening the Advanced to new issues and giving both Advanceds and Extras full privileges, while reducing the voice privileges of Generals and Conditionals. IOW, no additional code testing at all.

At least get the history right.


It was a pure business decision, Keith.  If the majority of income is from publications and resale of goods, then that takes precedence in decision-making.

When incentive licensing went into effect in 1968, the sole ARRL license manual covered all license classes already. So the changes would make no difference. Selling more publications wasn't part of the decision at all.  

I've been trying to point out that same thing throughout the tremendous growth of the Technician class license since it began only 19 years ago.

The Technician license was created in 1951 - 59 years ago. Not 19 years ago. It was split into two classes (Tech and Tech Plus) in 1994, but in 2000 those two classes began to merge again, until now there are no current unexpired Tech Pluses at all.

The growth of the Tech/Tech Plus group has pretty much stopped in the past decade. Here's proof:

Total number of current, unexpired FCC-issued amateur licenses held by individuals on the stated dates:

As of May 14, 2000:

Novice - 49,329 (7.3%)
Technician - 205,394 (30.4%)
Technician Plus - 128,860 (19.1%)
General - 112,677 (16.7%)
Advanced - 99,782 (14.8%)
Extra - 78,750 (11.7%)

Total Tech/TechPlus - 334,254 (49.5%)

Total all classes - 674,792


As of February 22, 2007:

Novice - 22,896 (3.5%)
Technician - 293,508 (44.8%)
Technician Plus - 30,818 (4.7%)
General - 130,138 (19.9%)
Advanced - 69,050 (10.5%)
Extra - 108,270 (16.5%)

Total Tech/TechPlus - 324,326 (49.5%)

Total all classes - 654,680

As of August 21, 2010:

Novice: 16,134 (2.3%)
Technician 341,643 (49.2%)
Technician Plus 0 (0.0%)
General 154,598 (22.3%)
Advanced 59,867 (8.6%)
Extra 121,879 (17.6%)

Total 694,121

In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the number of Generals grew by over 41,000 and the number of Extras grew by over 43,000. Meanwhile the combined Tech/Tech Plus group grew by less than 8000.

More important, the percentage of US hams with a Tech or Tech Plus has actually *declined* slightly in that time, while the percentage with Extra or General has increased dramatically.

What is good news, although kept rather silent among the cacophony of the "elitests" shouting out the insistence on NO-change is that there a few of us with the spirit to fight the good fights.  WE got 06-178 into regulations.  Cheesy

Ah, the rooster taking credit for the dawn...

It was clear in 1999 that FCC intended to remove all Morse Code testing from amateur license requirements. It was stated in their restructuring Report and Order that the only reason they kept the 5 wpm code test at all was because of the ITU=R treaty requirement S25.5. So when the treaty requirement was gone, the rest was a done deal.

At least get the history right.

But the anti-code-test folks messed up.

What they should have done between 2000 and 2003 was to prepare a simple, straightforward proposal to remove the Morse Code test from the amateur requirements. Better yet, make it optional, like the Canadian system. And not only write the proposal, but publicize it and get widespread amateur support for it.

Then, when the treaty changed, present that proposal to FCC.

Instead, there were several remove-the-code-test proposals written by small groups, which were submitted to FCC at different times, with varying levels of publicity and support. That willy-nilly approach resulted in a pile of keep-the-code-test proposals in response. They all got RM-numbers, comment periods, etc.

And the whole process took almost 4 years, when it could have been done in less than a year.

A lot of noise and fuss to get FCC to do what they were going to do anyway.

The idea that electrons lept from plate to cathode or (in TV) from ultor to cathode apparently was foreign to the writer in the 1950s.

I hope it *was* foreign to that writer - because electrons don't do that. They go from cathode to plate, or from cathode to ultor, not the other way around.

At least get the basic physics right.

  I would judge that he later "walked the Planck" and went into the water of ignorance, still saying He was Right...

The idea that current flows from positive to negative in a circuit is simply a mathematical convention. Anyone who really understands electricity knows that electrons actually go the other way, and has no problem dealing with the difference between "electron flow" and "current flow".

btw, the mathematical convention is the result of Ben Franklin (the world's first electrical engineer) not having the technology to determine the charge of the current-carriers.

At least get the history right.

----

All that said, the real questions are:

What license structure and requirements would best serve Amateur Radio in the USA?

Why would such a structure be better than the current 3 license level system? [1]

How would we get from the current system to the new one?

73 de Jim, N2EY

[1] Yes, the rule books currently show 6 US license classes, and 5 of them have licensees with current, unexpired licenses. But the number of hams in the 3 closed-off-to-new-issues license classes is constantly decreasing, and now amounts to less than 11% of US hams. So from the standpoint of newcomers, and those wishing to upgrade their licenses, we have a 3 level system for all practical purposes.






73 de Jim, N2EY  
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N2EY
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Posts: 4436




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« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2010, 05:37:02 AM »

Shouldn't've brought Dick Bash up.  Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.   Roll Eyes  Embarrassed

No, it was an important factor. Like him or not, it's important to know the history.

As W5ESE points out, his books were actually on the market only a short time. And as I pointed out, they were only a success because people helped him gather information to write them, and bought them once they were published.

I've never actually seen one - just pictures of them.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
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K6LHA
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2010, 10:53:23 AM »

Ah, the mutual admiration society strikes again. Roll Eyes
Hee hee hee...I just KNEW that Jimmie would strike at my trolling line...(he never fails, hasn't for a decade).

73, Len K6LHA
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N2EY
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Posts: 4436




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« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2010, 11:26:20 AM »

strike at my trolling line

So you're intentionally posting untruths in order to get attention.

Thanks for admitting it.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K6LHA
Member

Posts: 349




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« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2010, 05:15:58 PM »

The REAL issue, as witness the wording and tone of the rationalizers defending the current (of a half century ago) system, is the old "I AM BETTER THAN YOU" braggadoccio.
Quote
No it isn't.

Half a century ago was 1960. The changes which became known as "Incentive Licensing" weren't proposed until 1963, and didn't go into effect until 1968.

At least get the history right.
Wow, toss a string off a rowboat and a "correcting whale" bites on the end!  Cheesy

Gollee, Gomer, is this the HISTORY channel?

I wasn't an AMATEUR in radio in 1963.  I'd already been operating on HF for 10 years, been employed in west coast aerospace electronics for 7 years, had my "CB license" for 4 years, and my First 'Phone since 1956.  In 1963 I might read a CQ or a 73 or a QST if one was available for perusal but had no LUST for having my very own radio station to talk to foreign lands.  Spending three years keeping major communications facilities operating during the Cold War with other stations from Asmara, Eritrea, to San Francisco, California, from Tokyo over 41 HF transmitters sort of takes some of the "my own station fun" out of my personal picture.  That's not uncommon among PROFESSIONALS in the radio business.

Quote
Since you have a 2007-vintage Extra and a vanity call, Len, you're talking about yourself.
Well put...when faced with some reality about yourself, you attempt to turn things around and blame the reality-teller.  Cheesy

I've never had a single amateur radio license less than Amateur Extra.  So?  Having an Extra class allows high priority on vanity call requests.  So?  Getting either is some kind of moral or ethical "fault?"  It was all in the regulations in 2007.  Perfectly permissible.

As I've said before, I got Extra for two reasons:  (1) I could; (2) It yielded freedom to exercise all the OPTIONS in operating as a radio amateur, any OPTIONS that I cared to do.

There's a third point:  I was already retired (from regular hours) as a professional in radio, had established myself (however that is rated) as reasonably successful in life, had no liens, had enough money, had a wonderful wife (who was my high school sweetheart), reasonably good health.  I had no NEED to "establish my 'rep'" in radio, particularly radio AS IT WAS A HALF CENTURY AGO.  I'd "been there and done that" more years back than a half century.  Not only that, I had to learn to KILL enemies first before being posted in a radio-operating assignment.  Cheesy

But, in 2007, after being a casual hobbyist in electronics (many areas, not just HF radio) since 1947 I am "AT FAULT" for not COPYING (even loving) the standards and practices of the 1950s and 1960s as it was told to me that I "should" by doing by some old men amateurs in a New England suburb?  Yes, it was so.  I must love and embrace OOK CW or I would NOT be a "real ham" according to other old men of the amateur elitists.

Now, many decry that Part 97 (of Title 47 Code of Federal Regulations) "does not say that amateur radio is a 'hobby'" so elitists bridle that I say it is.  Cheesy   Unfortunately, really READING the definitions in Part 97 not only says it IS, but the Title of Part 97 is very definitely AMATEUR Radio.  In the definitions it does state that AMATEUR Radio is NOT, repeat NOT, to be done for the purposes of monetary gain while using that amateur radio license.  What else is amateur radio?  A state of mind?  A fantasy situation where one can proclaim one is a "champion" at something?  Perhaps.

Various amateur radio venues with (so-called "discussion" groups) abound.  Those are populated largely by older people who have the time to spend glorifying the "wonders of early radio" AS THEY DID IT.  Many of them insist and insist that regulations (that apply to all ages) BE KEPT AS-IS WHEN THEY WERE FIRST LICENSED.  That lends credence to my opinion that, to them, USA amateur radio IS a sort of fantasy situation, a break-away from reality where they can retreat to some kind of personal nirvana of their own choosing.  Have any of these fantasizers EVER thought how their words appear to younger folk that MIGHT be interested in radio?  Very few vocal fantasy zealots have, I think, since they are so busy puffing up themselves as gurus of something.  This isn't really appreciated by younger folk who really don't give a darn about what happened EXACTLY 50 years ago or even 60 years ago.  The younger folk generally don't give a darn about "operating CW" like it was done 50 or 60 or more years ago.  Those who give a darn about TECHNOLOGY of electronics have gone into OTHER hobbies that are more intellectually stimulating than gabbing on HF with code keys.

Keith, KB1SF, has tried to point it out, the reality of NOW and how it was just recently.  The elitists don't care about changing regulations.  The elitists want to KEEP everything the same.  They want their own little playground on HF and everyone else OFF.  That was the tone EXACTLY 52 years ago when CB was allowed on the "11m" part of HF.  I heard it first-hand after 1958 as an adult.

<on the so-called "technology gap" during the Cold War>
Quote
It was a lot more than a "sports-contest feeling".

The USSR orbited the first artificial space satellite in 1957, and followed it by a long list of space firsts - first human in space, first space probe to leave earth orbit, first pictures of the far side of the moon, first woman in space, first space walk, and much more. Meanwhile the USA space program could hardly get off the ground.
Tsk, tsk, your words are in the style of sports pages.  Cheesy

Okay, lets look at the "league scores" of this "space sport."  A dozen Americans have walked ON the Lunar surface.  Any "Russians?"  None.  Have there been any USSR (or "Russian") space shuttles?  Only a prototype on display in Russia, no word on whether it achieved atmospheric flight at all.  The American space program has been described abundantly with detail enough to show the shortcomings of some aspects of it, all published and for sale to the public through the US GPO.  The best the Russian program can come up with is a three-person capsule (or similar-size cargo capsule).  The USA program was a planned development, nothing really hidden from view except the "spy satellites."

Did you know that the USSR was being overflown reapeatedly by western countries BEFORE the U-2 was finished in development.  Yes, true, but at a terrible toll for the few recon photos that made it back.  The U-2 flew at altitudes beyond the early capabilities of USSR ground-to-air rockets, before any human had been in space, starting way back in 1955.  The SR-71 did it higher and much faster, stopped from overflying the USSR by politics, not missles.  The USA even had an unmanned aircraft that was tried in overflights of mainland China (code name "Tagboard").  That is all from Ben Rich's autobiography "Skunk Works" (Rich took over the operations at Building 82 of Lockheed when Clarence "Kelly" Johnson retired).  The "Skunk Works" was established at Burbank Airport at the end of WWII and was busy with true cutting-edge aircraft for over four decades...just a mile from my house.  The F-117 stealth fighter was developed under Ben Rich, its shape dictated by theories outlined by a Russian academician.  Cheesy

Quote
Of course the USA ultimately caught up with the USSR in some ways. But, at the time, there was the widespread perception of a "gap". That perception was the driving force behind many things, from the "New Math" to the expansion of NACA/NASA from a small, almost unknown agency to the organization that put people on the moon.
You being in the railroad business, I will forgive your slight that "NACA was a small, almost unknown agency" since you are unaquainted with airfoil shapes or other aerodynamics.  NASA didn't JUST "put people on the moon," they ran several successful programs, from unmanned satellites to other planets to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo programs, radar mapping of near planets' surfaces, orbiting weather satellite technology, the Rogallo Wing (an offshoot of Gemini), radiation hardening of semiconductors, human health in micro-gravity with sidelights of automatic body sensors, and lots of other things in electronics and metallurgy and polymers.

Quote
Amateurs wouldn't be running zone-refining furnaces in their basements, nor other big-ticket things. But they could come up with less-expensive, less-complex ways of doing things, which is a big part of innovation and advancement of the state of the radio art.
Then describe for us the "innovations and advancements of the state of the radio art" as done by USA radio amateurs, SOLELY AS AMATEURS, since, say, 1945.  Have ANY of those VERY FEW things made it to the marketplace, the electronics industry, the medical field?

Quote
But equally if not more important, and wonderful, is the transformation of a "first" into a widespread practical applied technology. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't, but it's where radio amateurs play a much bigger role.
Just LIST things, don't try to obfuscate with over-generalizations and press-release wording.  CALL them out!  Be specific.

Quote
(It should be remembered that before 1962 radio amateurs had succeeded in both moonbounce *communication* and an artificial earth satellite (Oscar 1)).
The only "artificial" earth satellites are described as "space junk," debris from other satellites or rocket stage pieces.  Oscar I was a low earth-orbit satellite.  Van Allen's telemetered satellite was lofted on a modified Redstone rocket by NASA before the Oscar series began.  That's history, Jimmie, so much so that I and my neighbors watched an ECHO balloon in space orbit from our front yards.

Quote
Even more widespread are those experts who got their start in amateur radio. For just one example, the original US Army moon-radar success involved many who were already radio amateurs.
If they WORKED for the Army, then they were PROFESSIONALS.  1946 is EXACTLY 64 years ago.  I was 13 years old then and already in middle school.  You weren't even born yet.  Project Diana wasn't any amateur project, it was a professional military project.  I know exactly where Coles, Evans, and Squier Laboratories are, on the highway outside of Fort Monmouth on the way to Red Bank, NJ.  Been there.

Quote
The upgrade process was more about written testing than about code testing. 20 wpm is hardly "high-rate" Morse Code, anyway.
Forgive me, Captain Code.  I should have known better than to step on the rep of a "Morse-Master."
Cheesy

Quote
The Technician license was created in 1951 - 59 years ago. Not 19 years ago.
Yes, I'm using the right trolling bait.  You HAD to bite on that...again.  Cheesy

You just can't envision ANY amateur radio license that doesn't require a code test.  Not even now.
Cheesy

K6LHA
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K6LHA
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2010, 05:32:22 PM »

What is good news, although kept rather silent among the cacophony of the "elitests" shouting out the insistence on NO-change is that there a few of us with the spirit to fight the good fights.  WE got 06-178 into regulations.  Cheesy
Quote
Ah, the rooster taking credit for the dawn...

Call US all the names you want, Jimmie, the FACT is that FCC 06-178 released in December of 2006 was DONE, the only thing remaining being the EXACT data of code test elimination.  WE WON.  You LOST.

NPRM 05-235 was plagued with a false start after its release, but the FACT is that MORE respondents to it were FOR code test elimination EARLY ON.  That is noted in the Exhibit I submitted 10 days after the official cessation of Comments on NPRM 05-235.  It is still visible at the FCC ECFS.  WE presented our arguments in a logical manner.  The opponents of code test elimination could not.

I would suggest you adopt some civility and accept regulation defeat graciously.  De Coubertain emphasized that in Olympics competition.  I see very little graicousness among the "elitists."

The FACT that code testing is eliminated in the USA for ANY license class is THERE.  It IS history.  Try to accept it.  It will make you a better middle-aged man.

Quote
It was clear in 1999 that FCC intended to remove all Morse Code testing from amateur license requirements. It was stated in their restructuring Report and Order that the only reason they kept the 5 wpm code test at all was because of the ITU=R treaty requirement S25.5. So when the treaty requirement was gone, the rest was a done deal.
Sorry, sonny, that is just plain hindsight bullpucky.  You are GUESSING.  You don't work AT the FCC but remain an employee of Consolidated Railways Corporation headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.  The rest of us don't have crystal balls, just the ones that are natural ingredients.

First of all, you are gabbling from HINDSIGHT.  You forget (conveniently) that the ARRL was adamantly OPPOSED to code test elimination before WRC-03.  The ARRL was at odds with the IARU on the issue up to WRC-03.  Oh, the ARRL made some nice-nice noises AFTER WRC-03, even had a big schmooze party in Geneva afterwards to soothe IARU feelings, duly reported by K1ZZ who was there (at ARRL members' expense).  The ARRL wouldn't comment much about WRC-03 after it was over except to over-inlate the final decision on 40m band broadcast incursion that had been in "discussion" since WARC-79.

Quote
At least get the history right.
I did.  You "don't know the truth."  Quit trying to play a Colonel Jessup in here.  Cheesy

Quote
But the anti-code-test folks messed up.
No, the PRO-code-test folks just couldn't present a valid argument to KEEP the code test.  The PRO-code-test folks messed up.  They LOST.

Quote
What they should have done between 2000 and 2003 was to prepare a simple, straightforward proposal to remove the Morse Code test from the amateur requirements. Better yet, make it optional, like the Canadian system. And not only write the proposal, but publicize it and get widespread amateur support for it.
Again, you are gabbling from hindsight.  NPRM 05-235 was concerned with the FUTURE, not some time long ago in the past.

HISTORY has it that, between 1999 and 2005 there were no less than EIGHTEEN Proposals of Reconsideration of "restructuring" released for Comment by the FCC.  Most of those were considering code testing in some form or another.  Jimmie, I have all of those Proposals and the entire commentary on NPRM 05-235 archived on CDs.  Cheesy

There's 5 1/2 years of time between release of the "restructuring" R&O and release of 05-235, which HAD to be addressed by the small FCC staff, in addition to a few other amateur regulatory tasks.  Even if your (mysterious) prognostication of future happenings were true (which is very, very uncertain), the FCC had to get those EIGHTEEN Proposals handled. 

Quote
Then, when the treaty changed, present that proposal to FCC.
Jimmie, WRC-03 didn't take place until the middle of 2003.  Even then there is a wait time while the Administration folks (State, NTIA, FCC) get their report finished, conclusion concluded.  There's a hole of at least 3 years there from the time of legal implementation of restructuring and WRC-03 finishing until the FCC could act for any NEW NPRM.

Quote
Instead, there were several remove-the-code-test proposals written by small groups, which were submitted to FCC at different times, with varying levels of publicity and support. That willy-nilly approach resulted in a pile of keep-the-code-test proposals in response. They all got RM-numbers, comment periods, etc.
Be a good lad and supply all those "no-code-test" proposal RM numbers and their release dates, OK?
Remember, those proposals couldn't be effective until WRC-03 was OVER and special ITU radio regulation S25 was changed, re-written.

Quote
A lot of noise and fuss to get FCC to do what they were going to do anyway.
Awww...poor baby...the FCC is the "villain," is it?   tsk, tsk, tsk   Cheesy

Quote
The idea that current flows from positive to negative in a circuit is simply a mathematical convention. Anyone who really understands electricity knows that electrons actually go the other way, and has no problem dealing with the difference between "electron flow" and "current flow".
Right...and all streams and rivers have water flowing uphill by "convention" but the water really goes downstream.  Tell that to the residents of New Orleans on the 50th anniversary of Katrina.  Cheesy

Quote
All that said, the real questions are:
WHY IS THE AMATEUR EXTRA CLASS EXISTING AT ALL WHEN THERE IS NO ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE IN OPERATING PRIVILEGES TODAY?

That's only ONE question, posed by Keith, KB1SF, and you've never answered it.  All you've done is talk around it, obfuscate it to death, try to misdirect the flow of comments.

You are misdirecting by trying to pose "new" questions, none of which ARE "new" but just to have something to talk about.  Nonproductive behavior.

Quote
[1] Yes, the rule books currently show 6 US license classes, and 5 of them have licensees with current, unexpired licenses. But the number of hams in the 3 closed-off-to-new-issues license classes is constantly decreasing, and now amounts to less than 11% of US hams. So from the standpoint of newcomers, and those wishing to upgrade their licenses, we have a 3 level system for all practical purposes.
The number of licenses ON THE BOOKS (at the FCC) is 638,207 total for Technician, General, and Extra; 84,493 total for Technician Plus, Novice, Advanced; 11,327 club calls, all as of the statistics at the end of 27 August 2010.  There were 722,706 total INDIVIDUAL licenses issued.  I don't care if you go blue in the face talking about "unexpired" or not, there are still SIX license classes still there ON THE BOOKS.  All of those licenses were the result of nearly three-quarters of a million folks who all passed their tests and were granted licenses in USA amateur radio.

Unless Part 97 regulations are changed, the number of totally "expired" USA amateur radio licenses as of the end of 27 Aug 10 were 3,399 Technician Plus.  They can still change their license class through testing and remain IN amateur radio or they can (probably) keep on being angry at all the elitists' barracks lawyering and get OUT of amateur radio.  That leaves 81,106 in the USA who CAN renew indefinitely (unless regulations are changed) but are not available as NEW-issue licenses.  That's the population of a medium-sized city which you don't seem to classify as either "expired" or "unexpired" Novices and Advanced and are in some odd state of limbo, regulation-wise.

K6LHA

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N2EY
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Posts: 4436




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« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2010, 06:40:37 PM »

NPRM 05-235 was plagued with a false start after its release, but the FACT is that MORE respondents to it were FOR code test elimination EARLY ON. 

But that's not the whole story, Len.

When the comment deadline was reached, there were more pro-code-test comments than no-code-test comments. Particularly when duplicates were removed. The same was true back in 1998-99. The *majority* of those who bothered to comment wanted at least some code testing to remain.

But it's not a democratic process. FCC did not have to do what the majority wanted - so they didn't. It was a done deal long before the first comment went in.

It's interesting to see that you still don't let reality get in the way of a good rant, Len.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K6LHA
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« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2010, 09:23:14 PM »

NPRM 05-235 was plagued with a false start after its release, but the FACT is that MORE respondents to it were FOR code test elimination EARLY ON. 
Quote
But that's not the whole story, Len.
When the comment deadline was reached, there were more pro-code-test comments than no-code-test comments. Particularly when duplicates were removed. The same was true back in 1998-99. The *majority* of those who bothered to comment wanted at least some code testing to remain.
Good grief, you are such a sore loser!    Cheesy

You forget (again conveniently) that what is written in comments and replies to comments is what counts, not the "body count" of your alleged "votes."  Those who raged to keep the code test forever and ever were parroting all the old, trite ARRL maxims and couldn't think much for themselves.

Jimmie, I read each and every comment, pro, con, in-between, noted the duplicates, informed the FCC of them (only three individuals it turned out) plus, at the end, some law students getting hands-on practice with the process of arguing their point.  In general, the law students were better at the commentary than most of the elitist keep-the-code-test-at-all-cost types.

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But it's not a democratic process. FCC did not have to do what the majority wanted - so they didn't. It was a done deal long before the first comment went in.

Tsk, tsk, you've said the same thing over on rec.radio.amateur.policy over four years ago and you still don't understand what is going on.  You just can't understand that YOU do not dictate regulations based on on what YOU personally want.

By December of 2006 the FCC had DECIDED.  The sky fell on the elitists who though USA amateur radio was all governed by the morse-masters.  The rest of us just accepted the decision and went on with life.  I suggest that you accept things with grace and look to the future.  Even if you don't seem to have any future except reliving a past that can never be again.
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AB2T
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« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2010, 10:37:16 PM »

The younger folk generally don't give a darn about "operating CW" like it was done 50 or 60 or more years ago.  Those who give a darn about TECHNOLOGY of electronics have gone into OTHER hobbies that are more intellectually stimulating than gabbing on HF with code keys.

I am in my early 30's (not young enough?) and have been operating CW for almost 15 years now.  The high school students in my childhood ham radio club used to compete to see who could send and receive fastest.  Building up our code was a challenge that we enjoyed with a healthy pride.  Instead of chopping others down, we would all celebrate when one of us completed all the ham exams.  Of course, we'd put just a little peer pressure on the others to "come up the ranks".  In the end, however, we were happy when each one of us succeeded.     

This pride in accomplishment is not prehistory.  Clinton administration, in fact.

Achievement and narcissism are contradictory.  Achievement is a healthy and even important emotion and experience.  Risk and failure often pay off in reward and personal satisfaction (the healthy pride I referred to earlier).  Narcissism, on the other hand, is a projection of inadequacy and a fear of the paramount crucible of life known as trial and error.  Len, I only wish that you would have been able to place aside your inadequacies earlier in life and accepted the lifelong challenge and joy that is the skill of amateur radio.  Maybe you could have spared us your endless attempts to tear others from the joy and satisfaction they have derived from this great avocation. 

SK CL, Jordan         
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 12:17:29 AM by Jordan » Logged
N0NB
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« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2010, 06:03:26 AM »

As a side bar I think it would be interesting to know how many of those who have cried loudest over the past decade since restructuring used a Bash book to get their license in the late '70s.  Hopefully not many but I'd wager there were a few.

Actually, zero hams used Dick Bash's book to get licensed in the 1970's. Dick's 'The Final Exam' appeared in 1980, according to 'The Wayback Machine':

http://www.qsl.net/ecara/wayback/page34.html

Technically, 1980 was the last year of the '70s.   Wink

But I'll concede the point as I wasn't there having only gotten the ham radio bug in very early 1981 and then only reading ARRL materials plus one Radio Shack book titled "From 5 to 1000 Watts" so I missed any mention of Bash until much later.

I do know that ARRL offered their own Q&A booklet, in fact I bought one for the Tech/General of that time around 1982 but it was obsolete by the time I took my actual Tech exam in early 1985.  I don't recall that it was touted as being verbatim of the actual exams, though it was probably touted as being "representative" of the FCC exams.
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73, de Nate
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« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2010, 06:23:28 AM »

I do know that ARRL offered their own Q&A booklet, in fact I bought one for the Tech/General of that time around 1982 but it was obsolete by the time I took my actual Tech exam in early 1985.  I don't recall that it was touted as being verbatim of the actual exams, though it was probably touted as being "representative" of the FCC exams.

Sionce the 1930s, the ARRL has published License Manuals and other materials with study guides in them. But until the VE system was created in 1984, those study guides did NOT contain the actual Q&A used on the tests.

In those days of "secret" tests, the FCC would publish a guide to what subjects would be on the tests, so potential licensees would know what to study. Those were public domain; anybody could get them on request, and the ARRL, Ameco and other publishers used them as guides.

However, unauthorized possession of actual test materials, or misuse (such as copying) was a Federal crime.

What Bash did was to ask people who had just taken the test to tell him what the actual questions were. Some say he also sent people into the exam sessions with the purpose of memorizing the test content.

By compiling all of what people told him, Bash was able to reconstruct the actual test questions and answers without having actually seen them directly. The results became his (in)famous books, which cost $20 back then. A lot of money back then, considering that an ARRL Handbook cost only $15.

The book was actually quite thin, because the actual FCC question pool in use at the time wasn't very large. The small size of the pool was a key secret in the test process, and the reason for the 30-day-wait-to-retest rule.

The VEC/QPC system swept all that away, and made access to the actual Q&A legal.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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N0NB
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« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2010, 07:01:32 AM »

I understand that perfectly well, Jim.  I'm saying that the ARRL published a Q&A booklet separate and distinct from their licensing manual.  I had both from circa 1982 to prep on my own for an FCC exam that never happened.  Whether I still have them is another question.  Smiley

Time to work the KS QSO Party.
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73, de Nate
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« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2010, 07:08:49 AM »

I dolen't have a problem with license 'classes'.  The very basic idea behind them is to show how much knowledge you have.  Feel like you are being belittled?  Easy fix, study and get the higher class license.

Am I happy with the present 'level' of license testing?  Not really.  It's more a memorization thingy than and examination of knowledge.  Do I want to go back to the 'long hand' answers to questions on a test?  Only if I don't have to take/re-take them!! Smiley  There is certainly room for improvement though.  Wish I had -the- answer, but I don't.
Paul

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K6LHA
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« Reply #58 on: August 29, 2010, 11:54:53 AM »

The younger folk generally don't give a darn about "operating CW" like it was done 50 or 60 or more years ago.  Those who give a darn about TECHNOLOGY of electronics have gone into OTHER hobbies that are more intellectually stimulating than gabbing on HF with code keys.

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I am in my early 30's (not young enough?) and have been operating CW for almost 15 years now.  The high school students in my childhood ham radio club used to compete to see who could send and receive fastest.  Building up our code was a challenge that we enjoyed with a healthy pride.  Instead of chopping others down, we would all celebrate when one of us completed all the ham exams.  Of course, we'd put just a little peer pressure on the others to "come up the ranks".  In the end, however, we were happy when each one of us succeeded. 

I can understand your pride of accomplishment and your telling a personal anecdote in a small portion of the USA.  Yes, I can also understand your being bridled by an apparent negative judgement taken personally.  But let us look at the LARGER picture of national regulation of radio and communication in a land that is (roughly) 300 million citizens of a wide variety of races, ethnicity, ages, and personal opinions...and with a rich bounty of technological aids to nearly every part of our life.  LICENSING in radio, all radio, affects EVERYONE.  No one person nor group nor national organization can be satisfied with decisions arrived at by any federal agency or even a pseudo-agency that attempts to sway individual preferences in anything to their particular opinions.

WE are almost at four years past the (probably) most contentious issue in USA amateur radio, namely NPRM 05-235 on whether or not there should be a morse code cognition test for any USA amateur radio license grant.  That was duly commented on for over a half year in public view with the FCC.  A decision was reached and released in December 2006 with Memorandum Report and Order 06-178, date of activation to be announced in the Federal Register.  That was done and code testing ended on 23 February 2007.  Some who were granted amateur radio licenses prior to that date will not accept it personally, may never accept it personally until their "life-license" expires.  I cannot help that.  I can only comment, as a forward-thinking person, on those who absolutely refuse to accept certain laws and regulations which are not to their personal acceptance.  If they choose to bar progress in anything not to their liking, then we can all give up being citizens of democratic-principled republic who have the right to express ourselves to our government on laws which are changeable.  I am sorry you had a personal viewpoint which was bothered by my comments, but then consider that I have been bothered by others' personal restrictive viewpoints for a very long time, yet have appreciated this upholding of our law, our constitution, enough to voluntarily join the military to defend those rights during a time of war.  I truly believe in our system and will continue to uphold it, including acceptance of law despite any personal opinion against those laws.  

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This pride in accomplishment is not prehistory.  Clinton administration, in fact.
Perhaps my choice to use the word "prehistory" was uncivil.  On the other hand, to a young teen-ager of today, the "Clinton administration" time was prehistory.  It is a personal point of view.

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Achievement and narcissism are contradictory.
I must disagree with that blanket sentence.  Proor will be displayed on national television this Sunday night, 29 August 2010, when the entertainment industry, rife with narcissm, will present an awards show.   Cheesy

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Len, I only wish that you would have been able to place aside your inadequacies earlier in life and accepted the lifelong challenge and joy that is the skill of amateur radio.  Maybe you could have spared us your endless attempts to tear others from the joy and satisfaction they have derived from this great avocation.
Like all humans, I have "inadequacies" but I've been a hobbyist in electronics since 1947, a professional in radio since 1953, and have had an adequate life so far...with more to come.  I just do not personally think that the "achievement" of morse code skill is necessary in my life...or a neccessary skill for anyone to be granted an amateur radio license...and certainly not a requirementl to be codified in law by an agency that does not, nor has for decades, mandated morse code mode in the operation of an amateur radio over and above any other optional mode. 

73, Len K6LHA
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N2EY
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« Reply #59 on: August 29, 2010, 01:29:31 PM »

Jordan, AB2T:

I agree 100% with your post.

I'm particularly fond of this part:

Achievement and narcissism are contradictory.  Achievement is a healthy and even important emotion and experience.  Risk and failure often pay off in reward and personal satisfaction (the healthy pride I referred to earlier).  Narcissism, on the other hand, is a projection of inadequacy and a fear of the paramount crucible of life known as trial and error. 

Worth repeating - and quoting!

Hope to see you on the air soon.

TNX

73 de Jim, N2EY
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