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Author Topic: Why Have An Extra Class?  (Read 258861 times)
W5ESE
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« Reply #60 on: August 30, 2010, 06:25:25 AM »


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.

I have scanned a few of these study guides and made them available. They
are from 1980 (when I was teaching a Novice Class) and 1976 (when I was
studying for my license).

The url is:

 http://sites.google.com/site/arsw5ese/home/fcc-study-guides


73
Scott W5ESE
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W5ESE
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« Reply #61 on: August 30, 2010, 06:35:01 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; you had a good signal down here.


I had the 'From 5 watts to 1000 watts', too, as well as the
'Radio Amateur's License Manual' and some AMECO publications; the 'Amateur Radio Theory Course' (which was for Novice and General), and some license Q&A manuals.

And thanks for the contacts in the KS QSO Party.

73
Scott W5ESE
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AB2T
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« Reply #62 on: August 30, 2010, 02:02:30 PM »

Thanks Scott for the files.  It's amazing how little the exams changed from the late 70's to the mid 90's when I took the exams. 

Industry Canada still posts a summary circular like this for their exams.  However now the ministry publishes the test pools as well.
   
Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for the QPC to issue a summary of test topics.  I'd use a summary list to "bunch" various pool questions into subtopics.  One downside of the current study guides is an emphasis on "information dumps" rather than a division of the questions by common topic.  A summary like the one you've posted would help students gain a "big picture" perspective of a ham exam syllabus. 

Cool stuff.  73, Jordan
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 02:13:20 PM by Jordan » Logged
AB2T
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« Reply #63 on: September 01, 2010, 01:07:29 AM »

Once you have an extra class license, you will understand. I agree you don't get very much more operating privileges, but it's like owning a Harley. You are a part of the 1% of hams that worked to become EXTRA CLASS. The EXTRA Class license is pretty damn difficult when compared to the General Class. The question pool is 800 questions and you are asked 50 of them. Anyway, like someone has already said KEEP STUDYING. Become part of an ELITE group, we are not any better than the rest but we are EXTRA CLASS and most aren't.
73 nØyg
Robert Cool

When I was extra'd in the mid 90's (let's verb it, why not?), about 10% of hams were Extra.

Now 17% to 20% of hams are Extra.

Hopefully one day soon these figures will rise to 25% or even 30%.  I'm surprised that US ham radio hasn't reached this point yet.  Restructuring has removed so many barriers to full licensure (notably the code, but also the elimination of two written elements).  If there's any time to get the full license, it's now.  And we who hold the Extra should help other hams reach the completion of licensure.

No time for elitism.  Let's keep 'em coming up!

73, Jordan
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 01:23:36 AM by Jordan » Logged
KB1SF
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« Reply #64 on: September 01, 2010, 04:39:01 AM »

Once you have an extra class license, you will understand. I agree you don't get very much more operating privileges, but it's like owning a Harley. You are a part of the 1% of hams that worked to become EXTRA CLASS.

It is not the business of the US Government to stoke your (or anyone else's) ego.  The Amateur Service is not some privately funded, members-only motorcycle club where people can be denied access for no valid (spelled "legal") reason.  Our FCC is also NOT (and never has been) chartered as a degree-granting institution of higher learning.  

Rather, the FCC is nothing more than a US Government, taxpayer funded REGULATORY agency. This means federal licenses providing access to PUBLIC resources (like the radio spectrum that the public ALREADY OWNS) are simply to be GRANTED, not 'earned".

Quote
The EXTRA Class license is pretty damn difficult when compared to the General Class. The question pool is 800 questions and you are asked 50 of them.

All true.  

But this still begs the basic question that (like Jimmie) some of you people keep avoiding like the plague.

That is, what overriding regulatory NEED is fulfilled by maintaining all that difficulty?  In what legally supportable, REGULATORY way does the Extra Class license serve the public interest? Other than to stroke the egos of the "I've got a Harley and you don't" crowd by granting those so anointed access to more slivers of artificially walled-off, so-called "exclusive" HF frequency spectrum (and the ability to apply for a so-called "exclusive" call sign), what overriding REGULATORY purpose under federal law and/or the international rules is served by requiring an Extra Class license for full access to our internationally allocated frequency spectrum?

Indeed, General Class operators have supposedly ALREADY demonstrated that they have the requisite skills and knowledge to safely and courteously operate in our HF bands because they have ALREADY been granted HF access.

So, would you please explain what is so fundamentally different about operating our amateur stations at 14.024 MHz vice 14.026 MHz that the former operation absolutely requires a working knowledge of what's contained in a 600 page license manual based on some 800 (largely irrelevant) questions from yet ANOTHER FCC question pool so as to successfully complete yet ANOTHER (this time 50 question!) written FCC exam?

Quote
Anyway, like someone has already said KEEP STUDYING. Become part of an ELITE group, we are not any better than the rest but we are EXTRA CLASS and most aren't.

Your latter statement is an oxymoron.  Elitists firmly believe they ARE "better than the rest"!

By definition, elitism is the "belief or attitude that some individuals, who supposedly form an "elite"...a select group of people with, intellect, wealth, specialized training and/or experience, or other distinctive attributes...are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight or those who view their own views as so; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole."

Sadly, it would now appear that you (and, indeed, many others posting here) very much believe all this to be true as well.

For, no matter how you and your buddies try to dress it up and call it something else, what you people keep promoting is nothing more than the perpetual continuation of largely baseless, 1950s-era, US Government-enabled "hazing rituals" and regulated bigotry.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 05:33:22 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #65 on: September 01, 2010, 05:30:38 AM »

It is not the business of the US Government to stoke your (or anyone else's) ego.  Our FCC is also NOT (and never has been) chartered as a degree-granting institution of higher learning.  

97.1 (c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

According to Part 97.1 it IS the FCC's business to encourage the continued technical learning of amateur radio operators. The various license levels and the associated exams are one way of doing that. The FCC's responsibility is much more than simply ensuring that "operators" know what buttons to push on their radios.

Instead of wasting time fretting about the license classes and exams, why not just invest that time into studying, taking the exams, and upgrading?

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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
KB1SF
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« Reply #66 on: September 01, 2010, 06:04:59 AM »


97.1 (c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

....i.e.to make us into a "professional" radio service.

The INTERNATIONAL definition of our service simply says that ours is to be "A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

Again, to whom do the benefits accrue to requiring all that "improvement" nonsense in Part 97.1(c)?  Where is the "solely with a personal aim" contained in any of THAT?

That is, whose business is it whether we "improve" our skills or not?  Do such benefits accrue to us as individuals, or do they help satisfy some GOVERNMENT economic or policy goal?  If so, then doesn't all that Part 97.1 nonsense also fly in the face of the "non pecuniary interest" clause of our international definition?  

And would you please show us where...in that international definition of our service...does it absolutely require (or even allow!) that our "skills in the communication and technical phases of the radio art" MUST be "improved" to the level of a PROFESSIONAL in order for us to be granted full access to our frequencies?  

Indeed, under the internaitonal rules, ours is SUPPOSED to simply be a life-long, "self training" radio service...for AMATEURS...that is, for "persons interested in radio technique solely with a PERSONAL (as opposed to some government-mandated economic or professional) aim and without pecuniary interest".  So why does the FCC still insist on putting a professional-grade "final exam" at the BEGINNING of that learning process in order for we "amateurs" to be "duly authorized" full access to the "leaning lab"?

Quote
According to Part 97.1 it IS the FCC's business to encourage the continued technical learning of amateur radio operators. The various license levels and the associated exams are one way of doing that. The FCC's responsibility is much more than simply ensuring that "operators" know what buttons to push on their radios.

For the reasons stated, I emphatically and categorically disagree.

Quote
Instead of wasting time fretting about the license classes and exams, why not just invest that time into studying, taking the exams, and upgrading?

If these exams (particularly the one for our Extra Class license) serve absolutely NO useful regulatory purpose other than to stroke egos (as I have clearly shown) are systemically discriminatory (and therefore illegal) under a whole plethora of US federal laws (as I have also clearly shown in numerous other posts), then how can what you suggest be defined as anything OTHER than perpetuating "regulated bigotry"?

Most other countries in the world have long since purged such 1950s-era, systemically discriminatory "improvement" eyewash from the licensing and regulatory systems of their Amateur Services. Most have now moved to (or have maintained) a simple one or two-tiered licensing system based primarily on safety and/or non-interference competency considerations rather than on some 1950-era, self-serving, ARRL-inspired (not to mention clearly failed) idea of pseudo-educational "achievement".

Why can't we?  

Keith
KB1SF /  VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 06:48:36 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #67 on: September 01, 2010, 06:52:32 AM »

You can disagree all you want but the rule (97.1) is there, like it or not. If you want the FCC to change the rule then submit a proposal. Stating your disagreement with the current rules on e-ham isn't going to accomplish anything.

Until the FCC changes the rules, they do have the authority and the responsibility to encourage the advancement of your technical education. At present, amateur radio is more than just talking on a radio. If it ever becomes just talking on a radio then in all likelyhood we will have to use FCC Certified radios just like the other services and you won't be able to design/build your own.

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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
KB1SF
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« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2010, 01:12:01 PM »

You can disagree all you want but the rule (97.1) is there, like it or not. If you want the FCC to change the rule then submit a proposal. Stating your disagreement with the current rules on e-ham isn't going to accomplish anything

As I've said, I don't have to petition the FCC to do a damn thing.  

I have it on good authority (from a retired FCC staffer who is also a ham) that they already KNOW their licensing and regulatory systems for our Service are way out of line with the ITU guidelines, not to mention the licensing systems of most other countries on the planet.  They already KNOW their so-called "incentive licensing" farce no longer passes legal muster when compared with the strict requirements of a whole host of equally binding, 1990s-era US federal equal access laws. And they already KNOW that most of the eyewash written in Part 97.1 by their distant predecessors runs completely counter to the internationally established basis and purpose of our Service.
 
As a result, and for the last 30 years or so, the FCC has been hard at work in slowly deregulating the REST of their predecessor's so-called "incentive" licensing system farce, right under our elitist's collectively upturned noses.  The latest installment of that plan was to completely drop all forms of Morse testing in order to obtain any license in our Service. That happened back in 2007.

Indeed, and as expected, our resident 20 WPM, FCC-tested, elitist snobs STILL haven't gotten over THAT particular bit of deregulatory reform! Dropping the Morse exam entirely was a long-needed elimination of a clearly "unnecessary regulatory barrier" (spelled: "Hazing Ritual") that pushed the "down" button on a lot of our resident OF's "elevator shoes".

Quote
Until the FCC changes the rules, they do have the authority and the responsibility to encourage the advancement of your technical education. At present, amateur radio is more than just talking on a radio. If it ever becomes just talking on a radio then in all likelyhood (Sic) we will have to use FCC Certified radios just like the other services and you won't be able to design/build your own.

Horsepucky!

The ITU definition INCLUDES "talking on the radio" as one of the bases and purposes of our Service! That's what "intercommunication" means in the ITU definition I've cited above. You'll also note that the ITU gives "intercommunication" EQUAL FOOTING with the "self-training" and "technical investigation" parts of the hobby.  And in my mind, even the most liberal interpretation of the phrase, "self-training" doesn't include stroking egos to force "education" up people's finals one irrelevant test question at a time.

What's more, other countries seem to have absolutely no difficulty whatsoever in allowing their amateur licensees to "design and build" their own equipment under a voluntarily administered, TWO TIERED licensing structure.  Indeed, Canada has now been doing this FOR DECADES.  And their sky has yet to fall.  

I also can't help but compare and contrast other country's licensing systems with our current, ego-based, so-called "incentive" licensing farce where even "wet behind the ears" Technicians are freely allowed to do such things as build and operate a 1 KW transmitter "from scratch" or run a high-powered in-band repeater after passing a (horrifically uncomprehensive) 35 question exam.  

Indeed, the vast majority of other country's licensing systems specifically withhold such potentially hazardous and/or interference-prone operational privileges unless and until applicants successfully pass a more advanced exam.

But, those more advanced exams only contain questions that are DIRECTLY RELATED to safely and courteously exercising those specific added privileges.  And unlike our Extra and General Class exam pools, the bulk of the questions included in advanced exams in other parts of the world DON'T relate to operating privileges that have ALREADY BEEN GRANTED to lower-class licensees!

So, once again, I ask the basic question that everybody posting here STILL seems to be avoiding like the Plague:  What are the basic OPERATIONAL differences between the privileges granted to a General Class licensee versus those granted to an Extra Class licensee in our Service in the United States?

Keith
KB1SF /  VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 07:20:03 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
W5ESE
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« Reply #69 on: September 02, 2010, 07:36:26 AM »


Most other countries in the world have long since purged such 1950s-era, systemically discriminatory "improvement" eyewash from the licensing and regulatory systems of their Amateur Services. Most have now moved to (or have maintained) a simple one or two-tiered licensing system based primarily on safety and/or non-interference competency considerations rather than on some 1950-era, self-serving, ARRL-inspired (not to mention clearly failed) idea of pseudo-educational "achievement".


Although it's true that many countries have a single-tiered licensing system, for most of the countries in the EU, this requires a single exam which is comparable in scope to combining the question pools of the three US exam elements.

It's much more than a simple exam on "safety" or "non-interference".

The document in full is at: http://www.erodocdb.dk/docs/doc98/Official/word/TR6102.doc

73 Scott W5ESE

ANNEX 6

EXAMINATION SYLLABUS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR A HAREC

INTRODUCTION

This syllabus has been produced for the guidance of the administrations so that they may prepare their national amateur radio examinations for the CEPT Harmonised Amateur Radio Examination Certificate (HAREC).

The purpose of the examination is to set a reasonable level of knowledge required for candidate radio amateurs wishing to obtain a license for operating amateur stations.

The scope of the examination is limited to subjects relevant to tests and experiments with, and operation of amateur stations conducted by radio amateurs. These include circuits and their diagrams; questions may relate to circuits using both integrated circuits and discreet components.

a)   Where quantities are referred to, candidates should know the units in which these quantities are expressed, as well as the generally used multiples and sub-multiples of these units.

b)   Candidates must be familiar with the compound of the symbols.

c)   Candidates must know the following mathematical concepts and operations:
   adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
   fractions
   powers of ten, exponentials, logarithms
   squaring
   square roots
   inverse values
   interpretation of linear and non-linear graphs
   binary number system

d)   Candidates must be familiar with the formulae used in this syllabus and be able to transpose them.

EXAMINATION SYLLABUS FOR A HARMONISED AMATEUR RADIO EXAMINATION CERTIFICATE (HAREC)
a)   TECHNICAL CONTENT
1.   ELECTRICAL, ELECTRO-MAGNETIC AND RADIO THEORY
1.1   Conductivity
1.2   Sources of electricity
1.3   Electric field
1.4   Magnetic field
1.5   Electromagnetic field
1.6   Sinusoidal signals
1.7   Non-sinusoidal signals, noise
1.8   Modulated signals
1.9   Power and energy
1.10   Digital signal processing (DSP)
2.   COMPONENTS
2.1   Resistor
2.2   Capacitor
2.3   Coil
2.4   Transformers application and use
2.5   Diode
2.6   Transistor
2.7   Heat dissipation
2.8   Miscellaneous
3.   CIRCUITS
3.1   Combination of components
3.2   Filter
3.3   Power supply
3.4   Amplifier
3.5   Detector
3.6   Oscillator
3.7   Phase Locked Loop [PLL]
3.8   Discrete Time Signals and Systems (DSP-systems)
4.   RECEIVERS
4.1   Types
4.2   Block diagrams
4.3   Operation and function of the following stages
4.4   Receiver characteristics
5.   TRANSMITTERS
5.1   Types
5.2   Block diagrams
5.3   Operation and function of the following stages
5.4   Transmitter characteristics
6.   ANTENNAS AND TRANSMISSION LINES
6.1   Antenna types
6.2   Antenna characteristics
6.3   Transmission lines
7.   PROPAGATION
8.   MEASUREMENTS
8.1   Making measurements
8.2   Measuring instruments
 
9.   INTERFERENCE AND IMMUNITY
9.1   Interference in electronic equipment
9.2   Cause of interference in electronic equipment
9.3   Measures against interference
10.   SAFETY
b)   NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATING RULES AND PROCEDURES
1.   Phonetic Alphabet
2.   Q-Code
3.   Operational Abbreviations
4.   International Distress Signs, Emergency traffic and natural disaster com¬munication
5.   Call signs
6.   IARU band plans
7.   Social responsibility and operating procedures
c)   NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS RELEVANT TO THE AMATEUR SERVICE AND AMATEUR SATELLITE SERVICE
1.   ITU Radio Regulations
2.   CEPT Regulations
3.   National Laws, Regulations and Licence conditions
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K7KBN
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« Reply #70 on: September 02, 2010, 09:18:39 AM »

Must be one heckuva question pool!
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N0NB
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« Reply #71 on: September 02, 2010, 10:57:14 AM »

Once you have an extra class license, you will understand. I agree you don't get very much more operating privileges, but it's like owning a Harley. You are a part of the 1% of hams that worked to become EXTRA CLASS.

You're watering my Extra Class license down to the level of a HOG?  Don't make me barf.  Don't lower me to the level of every two digit IQ self proclaimed tough guy who dons a pirate costume like millions of their two digit IQ brethren to somehow demonstrate their "individuality" like all the others.  There is no prestige to owning a HOG, just a demonstration of group think and being able to qualify for HOG Financing.

On the other hand, dig an old bike out of the weeds or some dusty corner of a garage (I don't care what make), clean it up, spend years getting just the right parts to make it right, ride it, enjoy it, be proud of your work, and you'll earn some respect.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 11:00:39 AM by Nate Bargmann » Logged

73, de Nate
Bremen, KS

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« Reply #72 on: September 02, 2010, 01:17:28 PM »

Although it's true that many countries have a single-tiered licensing system, for most of the countries in the EU, this requires a single exam which is comparable in scope to combining the question pools of the three US exam elements. It's much more than a simple exam on "safety" or "non-interference".

Go back and read my posts.  

I said "most" countries now base their exams on these precepts...not all.  And, just like there are still some holdout administrations that still require a Morse exam for HF access, for some time to come there I suspect there will still be those countries whose regulators view ham radio is a profession, not a hobby.

Quote

On the surface, this, too, appears to be massive overkill.

However, nowhere in his long laundry list of subjects does it specify to what level all this material is to be examined.  For example, are candidates simply required to state facts and identify block diagrams, or are they required to draw schematics as well as explain the purpose and interrelationships of individual components in detail?

It is also important to remember that, in order for every country to "buy into" all this "harmonized" eyewash, the content and comprehensiveness of the exam(s), must default to the MOST comprehensive license standards of all the countries participating.  

As I have said, there are some countries in the world whose regulators still require that ham radio be treated as a "professional" radio service rather than a radio service for "amateurs" ...that is, "persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."

Remember, too, that a person seeking a reciprocal license in any of these CEPT countries can always just seek a reciprocal permit in the one or two countries they intend to visit.  Possession of a HAREC is not (yet) a hard and fast requirement for reciprocal operation.  

Also, as I read it, so far, only 36 countries (mostly in the EU) have bought into this "harmonized" nonsense.  Many others, like the USA, Canada, Israel, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have told the ECO to "take a hike".

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 04:39:59 PM by Keith Baker » Logged
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« Reply #73 on: September 02, 2010, 02:33:47 PM »

So, once again, I ask the basic question that everybody posting here STILL seems to be avoiding like the Plague:  What are the basic OPERATIONAL differences between the privileges granted to a General Class licensee versus those granted to an Extra Class licensee in our Service in the United States?

The honest answer is, "None.  None whatsoever."

The only real difference is when it comes to being a VE where the lower classes are too limited and it's too much of a pain to keep track of who's doing what.  Otherwise, beyond frequency limits the local Generals can do everything on the bands that I can do except for narrower sub bands.

You make a compelling argument, Keith, and one I'd not considered before.  Certainly, I think the ITU definition for our service is closer to the way the service was in the USA prior to WWII.  I certainly have nothing against learning as I believe it is a life-long endeavor.  I agree that the FCC's primary interesting in amateur radio operator exams should be compliance with the regulations, assuring enough technical knowledge to comply with the regulations and personal safety, and demonstrate familiarity with bandplans and modes to minimize interference.  The litmus test is, "Can the examinee demonstrate reasonable proficiency to operate the station within the regulated subbands and bandplans without causing injury to himself and without interference to others?"

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73, de Nate
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« Reply #74 on: September 02, 2010, 03:59:58 PM »

The only real difference is when it comes to being a VE where the lower classes are too limited and it's too much of a pain to keep track of who's doing what.

From a practical standpoint, I agree, particularly if you are administering exams for multiple classes of licensees at one sitting.  

However, the fact remains that Generals are authorized to give exams in our Service. So, the argument that you need an Extra Class license to give exams just doesn't wash.  And there wouldn't be a need for an Extra Class license to give exams to other Extra Class License applicants if there wasn't such a thing as an Extra Class license!

Quote
Otherwise, beyond frequency limits the local Generals can do everything on the bands that I can do except for narrower sub bands.

And those "narrower sub bands" were all put in place by our FCC at the behest of our ARRL overlords of yesteryear.  There is absolutely NO international requirement...NONE...that such "regulated sub band" nonsense be in place at all.  In fact, nowhere else on the planet are our amateur frequencies as carved up based on license class and operating mode as they are in the United States.  

Most everywhere else, our Service is regulated by maximum emission bandwidth.  And hams in these other countries seem to have been easily able to accommodate everyone on HF (analog and date modes alike) within the broad ITU recommended bandwidths (6 KHz on most HF bands with the exception of 30 Meters where it's 1 KHz) by figuring out "what goes where"...on their own!  And, so far at least, THEIR skies have yet to fall.

I also have to laugh when I hear US hams in these forums perennially bitching, moaning and complaining about how our bands are always "too crowded".   Clearly, few of them have actually tuned across the LOWER portions of our HF Bands lately.  If they had (and were honest) I think they'd most likely find GOBS of empty spectrum space down there that was absolutely dead quiet and going begging.  

This leads me to believe that a lot of the so-called bad operator "problem" on our bands isn't that our bands are "too crowded".  Maybe the REAL problem is that there are too many rules (official and otherwise) that are carving up our bands into smaller and smaller chunks of horrifically over-regulated "turf".

As I and others have noted on numerous occasions in the past, there is more than enough spectrum space in our Service to easily accommodate everyone's particular passion.  As I see it, a big part of the "bad operator" problem right now stems from a horrendously outdated, FCC-imposed, license-class-and mode-based band planning scheme that shoehorns us all into our own little slices of walled-off "turf"…. separate little ego-stroked fiefdoms that are still based largely on operating habits and mode preferences that were popular back in the 1950s and 60s!

What’s more, because most HF Net Control Operators want to attract a lot of "customers" (particularly on 75 Meters) they tend to congregate their nets in the US General Class license portions of our spectrum.  Indeed, it is in these portions of the bands that most of the boorish behavior seems to be occurring.

However, what seems to perennially get lost in all these "isn't it horrible what we are seeing on our bands lately?" discussions is that such boorish behavior seems to only be happening in comparatively small portions of our bands...such as in the so-called "US General Class" portion of our 75 Meter Phone Band.  

We humans are social animals by nature.  So it really shouldn't come as a surprise that when more and more of us try and jam ourselves into smaller and smaller slices of over-regulated "turf", those attempts are bound to generate verbal "elbowing", catcalls, and boorish behavior as more and more people strive for dominance.  

Indeed, for the last 60 years, our FCC has built our entire licensing system on anointing a chosen few in our ranks with "exclusive" access to artificially walled-off slices of frequency spectrum.  And then we (and they) now wonder why we have seemingly endless "turf wars" and boorish, "I'm entitled" snobbery among many of those so anointed who actually bought into all that "I'm the great because my 20 WPM, FCC-administered Extra Class License says so" elitism.

By contrast, and most everywhere else on the planet, governments have left it up to we hams to decide "how much of what goes where" on our bands.  It's only in the United States that our bands are carved up into smaller and smaller slices of FCC-regulated, sub-band (and sub-sub band) "turf" based solely on license class and operating mode...NOT on that turf's popularity!

As I have also noted, most everywhere else the differences in our license classes are based on safety and non-interference considerations (such as power output, being allowed to build transmitters "from scratch", or being the licensee of a repeater or club station) rather than on granting ego-stroking, so-called "exclusive" access to smaller and smaller slices of bureaucratically segregated...yes...SEGREGATED....frequency spectrum.  

What's more, as a direct result of all our FCC-imposed sub-band (and sub-sub band) nonsense, radio amateurs in the United States are perennially forced to play "Mother May I?" games with the FCC in order to shift things around as our collective interests and technology changes.  This, in turn, means that our horrifically outdated regulated band plans are always going to systemically lag behind emerging technology and societal changes.

Frankly, I believe all this ego-stroking, "turf based" band planning nonsense has also been a major contributor to our collective hesitancy to embrace new communications modes as they come along.  That's because those new modes often don't fit anywhere in our current, FCC-imposed "straight jacket".

The bottom line here is that, just as when office space is divided up into little cubicles, the end result is LESS usable space, not more.  It also breeds an ever-increasing human craving for more "elbow room"....a precious commodity that our (by regulation) horrifically chopped up 75 Meter Phone Band  never seems to have enough of.

To the contrary, all the while we continue to allow a government organization (the FCC) who could absolutely care less about what we do internally to still remain in charge of those "who and what goes where" decisions for our Service, our band plans will ALWAYS remain woefully out of date with technological and sociological reality.

And the horrific overcrowding, catcalls, boorish behavior and "frequency wars" (such as what we seem to perennially witness on our (I say artificially) crowded sub-band segments such as 75 Meter Phone) will probably continue indefinitely.

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Certainly, I think the ITU definition for our service is closer to the way the service was in the USA prior to WWII.  I certainly have nothing against learning as I believe it is a life-long endeavor.

As do I.  

However, in my mind, enticing "learning" by stroking people's egos so the US Government can shove "nice to know" information up newcomer's finals one irrelevant test question at a time...and at the BEGINNING of that "life long" learning process where precious little of it has any practical, "hands on" meaning to such persons...serves absolutely NO useful regulatory purpose whatsoever.

In fact, and as I have clearly shown in other posts, erecting and/or maintaining such "needless regulatory barriers" to full access to US Government-administered Services like ours is now patently illegal under the US Federal Code.

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I agree that the FCC's primary interesting in amateur radio operator exams should be compliance with the regulations, assuring enough technical knowledge to comply with the regulations and personal safety, and demonstrate familiarity with bandplans and modes to minimize interference.  The litmus test is, "Can the examinee demonstrate reasonable proficiency to operate the station within the regulated subbands and bandplans without causing injury to himself and without interference to others?"

Bingo!

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 05:55:57 PM by Keith Baker » Logged
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