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Author Topic: Code/No Code CW-Do we need it?  (Read 85895 times)
K4FH
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Posts: 52




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« Reply #135 on: December 28, 2010, 07:43:26 PM »

The whole "CW is dead" topic is basically used for trolling.

I can say this.  If CW had been a requirement when I got licensed in 2007 I would have not even bothered.  I saw CW as a major obstacle that I was unable to surmount.  I got licensed.  I upgraded and then upgraded again.  In 2008 i realized that to really get some enjoyment out of this hobby I needed CW skills.  Low power operation is something that I like and CW is the way to go.  In 2009 a local club offered a 6 week course.  More of a support session where we practice at home.  It was the catalyst I needed.  I'm now a 13-15 wpm op and am having a blast.

In the end CW was not required but there are many of us that choose to do it anyway.  Those are the people you want to have a QSO with.  The ones that enjoy it and do it because they wanted to.
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KZ2S
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #136 on: February 09, 2011, 04:41:03 AM »

Another thought from a ham just licensed a few weeks ago, granted  my first license is a Extra. After I passed the test I started looking on-line for website to learn code. I will learn code to access that activity, does this mean I am any less a amateur radio operator because I didn't pass the code test? No, because none of you will know the difference unless you look-up my license history.
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N5UD
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Posts: 1396




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« Reply #137 on: May 30, 2011, 02:07:33 PM »

"What surprised me was the small number of licenses in the 1960's and 1970's."

Well this was a long thread. To respond to the above, I submit that the legal CB licensing cut into the Amateur Radio figures. There were a lot of folks with licenses, and radios. Yes TUBE type in their cars back in the early to mid 60's.

I had friends, and their dads with these things. I also had an uncle with a ham radio. There was no comparison as to the decorum between the two. I would get a ham license, and did in 1965. I passed the novice, 5 WPM and not renewable. I also passed the technician which it too was 5 WPM, general theory, and 5 year renewable.

In about a year I had learned enough code to pass the general at the FCC office. In those days you had to pass any code elements before being allowed to take a theory exam. I don't recall writing an essay. I do recall recognizing schematic circuits, and drawing them.

The general allowed all Amateur privileges. Also one could not hold a 1X2 call without being licensed 25 years.

Generally speaking, when you contacted a guy with a 1X2 call back then, he knew something about radio.

Incentive licensing came along. It seems first the advanced, and extra privileges over the general class. Then later about 1976 the ability to get 1X2 call without the 25 year requirement.

Actually I thought keeping the 25 year was a good idea. However others did not and the rush to get a 1x2 call started. I held off until the N block opened up. Thought it might be cool to have a NEW N call. I got the first on my list.

When I became a ham, lots of surplus was still around. Not just gear, but parts. I built my own basic equipment. We were crystal controlled, so a transmitter was not too hard. Even the six meter A.M. rig I had was not too hard. Made the antennas too. My receiver for quite a while was a Halli SX-99.

The point of this rant, not to desparage newbies, is a ham used to be technically proficient. A resource should the nation need it. It was a service. The FCC used to have a higher standard.

The country as a whole used to have higher standards. Has lowering the technical standards improved the service ?   

I thought N2EY was being fair in his original statement. I too am amazed at what some EXTRA holders don't know. Code kept some out. Well I always thought one did not want these privileges very much if you could not learn 5 or 13 WPM.

I was only occasionally active during the past 10 years on HF. Only this past year have I been on HF regularly. I can't believe the change in lowered manners and skills. To be fair, it is not just an American condition.

73 N5UD
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N2EY
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Posts: 4641




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« Reply #138 on: May 30, 2011, 05:05:52 PM »

The following numbers have been posted by W5ESE on QRZ.com and elsewhere:  
Year    Population     #Hams  Hams as % of US Population
1913   97,225,000     2,000  0.002%
1914   99,111,000     5,000  0.005%
1916 101,961,000     6,000  0.006%
1921 108,538,000   10,809  0.010%
1922 110,049,000   14,179  0.013%
1930 123,202,624   19,000  0.015%
1940 132,164,569   56,000  0.042%
1950 151,325,798   87,000  0.057%
1960 179,323,175 230,000  0.128%
1970 203,211,926 263,918  0.130%
1980 226,545,805 393,353  0.174%
1990 248,709,873 502,677  0.202%
1997 267,783,607 678,733  0.253%
2000 281,421,906 682,240  0.242%
2005 296,410,404 662,600  0.224%
2006 299,291,772 657,814  0.220%
2008 303,000,000 658,648  0.217%
2010 310,425,814 694,313  0.224%
2011 311,455,189 698,090  0.224%

The 2010 and 2011 figures are from the US population clock

http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

and ARRL's FCC license counts as of May 25.

Note that our numbers are still growing.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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N2EY
Member

Posts: 4641




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« Reply #139 on: May 30, 2011, 06:02:12 PM »

I submit that the legal CB licensing cut into the Amateur Radio figures. There were a lot of folks with licenses, and radios. Yes TUBE type in their cars back in the early to mid 60's.

Yes, cb had its effect in those days, but there were other factors as well:

1) Although hams had been using SSB since the 1930s, it wasn't until the early 1960s that SSB began to really displace AM as the most popular HF amateur radio voice mode. What caused the change was the development of amateur HF SSB transceivers and matched-pair transmitters and receivers that cost less than a similar AM transmitter and receiver. Compact grounded-grid linears with solid-state power supplies appeared about the same time. The result was a lot of hams on the air with high power SSB.

But the typical "short-wave" receiver of the day that was easy to use on AM couldn't receive SSB well, if at all. This closed off what used to be a common introductory path to ham radio: SWLs and others hearing hams on the "short-waves" and wondering what it was all about.

2) From at least the 1930s there had existed the Class C/Conditional license. It gave the same privileges as General but was "by mail" like the Novice and Technician. To qualify for a Conditional, one had to live more than a certain distance from an FCC exam office.

In 1954, the FCC lowered the required distance from 125 to 75 miles. In the ten years that followed, a lot of hams "in the boonies" got Condtional licenses. But in 1964, the distance was increased from 75 to 175 miles and the number of exam offices increased, so that very little of the 48 states was Conditional territory. Those distances were "air line", not driving distances.

The problem created was that getting to an FCC exam office could be a real challenge for folks not near a big city. Exams were held on weekday mornings, so just getting there could be a couple of hours' drive. If you were a kid in school, or had limited funds, it could be a real show-stopper.

3) The 1960s saw the rise of the "counterculture", which rejected much of what "the establishment" valued. Ham radio was definitely a "square" thing in those days! I mean - how many hams were at Woodstock?

4) Even with surplus, used gear, kits, etc., ham radio could be an expensive avocation, in time, effort, money and space required - even for a basic low-power station. OTOH, a ready-made NEW cb setup could be had for relatively little money, time and effort. The antennas were relatively small and the sets were easy to use.

The general allowed all Amateur privileges. Also one could not hold a 1X2 call without being licensed 25 years.

Not only that, but almost all 1x2s held Extras.

Incentive licensing came along. It seems first the advanced, and extra privileges over the general class. Then later about 1976 the ability to get 1X2 call without the 25 year requirement..

Incentive licensing reduced the privileges of Advanceds, Generals and Conditionals all at the same time. Advanceds lost less, however. November 22, 1968.

The point of this rant, not to desparage newbies, is a ham used to be technically proficient. A resource should the nation need it. It was a service. The FCC used to have a higher standard.

The country as a whole used to have higher standards. Has lowering the technical standards improved the service ?

I don't know if things have really changed all that much. Here's why:

Yes, in the bad old days the amateur exams required more in-depth knowledge than today. The equipment also required it; there was very little that was plug-and-play.

OTOH, there wasn't the enormous variety of subjects we have today. I took my exams in 1967, 68 and 70, and they didn't cover satellites, repeaters, digital/data modes except RTTY, ICs, synthesizers, RF exposure, spread spectrum, etc., etc. The questions on things like transistors were pretty basic. The main thing that made the tests "hard" was that we didn't have access to the exact Q&A back then.

As for the country as a whole - I have access to the local public-school curricula. I look at what they teach the kids today in math, science, language arts, civics and many other subjects and am amazed. I was a "first track" (academic) student, but the math I got in 9th grade they're now teaching in middle school. The biology is amazing compared to what we had. Same for a lot of other subjects. And the kids have to know how to use computers to do the assignments, something we never had. IOW, they have more tools but more is expected.

What I think we see a lot of today is that things are much more visible. In the bad old days a ham with a dumb question would only be heard by a few. Today anybody can post a dumb question on the internet for all to see. Does that mean there are more dumb questions? Or are they just more visible?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W3HF
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Posts: 854


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« Reply #140 on: May 30, 2011, 06:10:29 PM »

...how many hams were at Woodstock?

At least two, including WA1LOU and WA1CYU.
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 4641




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« Reply #141 on: May 30, 2011, 07:23:46 PM »

...how many hams were at Woodstock?

At least two, including WA1LOU and WA1CYU.

KEWL!

But that's out of about a half million people.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N2EY
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Posts: 4641




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« Reply #142 on: May 30, 2011, 07:34:47 PM »

An Observation about "Lowered Standards"....

Today I was looking through my old QSTs and came upon two articles. Both were from 1957.

The first one was about questions, complaints and such that rigmakers, kit companies and ARRL HQ had received from hams. Such as the ham who "aligned" his receiver by lifting the lid and "tightening all the loose screws" - which of course were trimmer capacitors and RF inductor cores. Or the one who bought a receiver, hooked up a speaker and antenna, plugged a mike into the PHONES jack, put the SEND-RECEIVE switch in the SEND position, and called CQ.

There were many more.

The second was the first HBR article, by Ted Crosby, W6TC. (It's the HBR-14). In the beginning of the article, he mentions having been a ham for 45 years - which meant he'd started in 1912! Next year I'll have been a ham 45 years....

More important, W6TC says that the reason for the article was that the general opinion of the hams of the day - and for many years before - was that the average ham couldn't homebrew a decent receiver. They were just too complicated. He wanted to prove that was simply not the case. The popularity of the HBR series proved his point.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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K2JK
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #143 on: May 30, 2011, 11:24:54 PM »

From the NCI bylaws:

"NCI is dedicated to the abolition of the Morse code testing requirement as a prerequisite for any class of Amateur Radio License, in all countries in the world. NCI will lobby various associations, governmental, and administrative officials and Boards of Directors worldwide, to accomplish abolition of Morse Code testing."

They featured articles on their webpage every time a country dropped CW, maybe 24 countries in total.

After the FCC caved in they disbanded their organization, apparently leaving operators in the remaining 300 countries in the world to fend for themselves.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 05:43:21 AM by KB2YAN » Logged
N5UD
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Posts: 1396




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« Reply #144 on: May 31, 2011, 06:07:28 AM »

"I look at what they teach the kids today in math, science, language arts, civics and many other subjects and am amazed. I was a "first track" (academic) student, but the math I got in 9th grade they're now teaching in middle school. The biology is amazing compared to what we had. Same for a lot of other subjects. And the kids have to know how to use computers"

Well my sister and others I know will disagree. She teaches at a major university. Another good friend I have in a major junior college system. For years they have complained about students being schooled to take a TACS test, but not really know anything. Not every student mind you, but far too many.

I went into university already having had nearly everything a math major has to take. Another odd thing, the engineering school I went to required a foreign language. I also had to write an on-the-spot essay. Subject their choice, and naturally graded for subject, grammar, and spelling.

As for knowing computers, most kids know how to point  and click. Likely know one piece of software well.  How many really know the basic structure ? The real workings of the processor ? A clue that the machine code really runs that thing.

Oh I ramble, but even the academic system now admits that today's test takers aren't up to the 60's standards. Yet today's test takers have study guides. The guides may have been around in the 60's, but I didn't know it.

Actually I started to say this in the first post. There has been a general dumbing down of America since the early 80's.  Once this process is started, those affected won't even be aware of it.

Yes the standards at all levels in America are lower today.

 
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N0SYA
Member

Posts: 402




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« Reply #145 on: May 31, 2011, 09:08:54 AM »

"Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, wishes he had shot more film at Woodstock. His editor, S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, was at Woodstock, too; she was 2 (her mother took her, and to this day, Khrystyne only remembers four things about the event: It was cold, it was wet, it was loud and it smelled funny)."
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If you have a clumsy child, you make them wear a helmet. If you have death prone children, you keep a few clones of them in your lab.
W3HF
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Posts: 854


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« Reply #146 on: May 31, 2011, 11:35:09 AM »

"Editor's note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, wishes he had shot more film at Woodstock. His editor, S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, was at Woodstock, too; she was 2 (her mother took her, and to this day, Khrystyne only remembers four things about the event: It was cold, it was wet, it was loud and it smelled funny)."
But Khrystyne wasn't licensed then (at age 2), so she wasn't a "ham at Woodstock." She attended Woodstock and later became a ham. According to Stan's writeup, WA1LOU and WA1CYU were already licensed at the time. They just didn't operate from Woodstock. (Now that might have been an interesting special event to operate!)
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KB1SF
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Posts: 415


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« Reply #147 on: June 07, 2011, 04:09:42 PM »

The following numbers have been posted by W5ESE on QRZ.com and elsewhere:  
Year    Population     #Hams  Hams as % of US Population
1913   97,225,000     2,000  0.002%
1914   99,111,000     5,000  0.005%
1916 101,961,000     6,000  0.006%
1921 108,538,000   10,809  0.010%
1922 110,049,000   14,179  0.013%
1930 123,202,624   19,000  0.015%
1940 132,164,569   56,000  0.042%
1950 151,325,798   87,000  0.057%
1960 179,323,175 230,000  0.128%
1970 203,211,926 263,918  0.130%
1980 226,545,805 393,353  0.174%
1990 248,709,873 502,677  0.202%
1997 267,783,607 678,733  0.253%
2000 281,421,906 682,240  0.242%
2005 296,410,404 662,600  0.224%
2006 299,291,772 657,814  0.220%
2008 303,000,000 658,648  0.217%
2010 310,425,814 694,313  0.224%
2011 311,455,189 698,090  0.224%

The 2010 and 2011 figures are from the US population clock

http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

and ARRL's FCC license counts as of May 25.

Note that our numbers are still growing.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Jim,

Or Service may appear to be "still growing", but according to the exact same demographics you've posted, our numbers as a percentage of the US population as a whole actually PEAKED in 1997.

And there's another thing missing from all the data that you and your buddies like to continually banter about that I believe will eventually prove to be our undoing.

It’s that NOWHERE in the public FCC database does it state the AGE of our current licensees!  

It is also important to remember that, because our licenses are all on a 10-year renewal cycle, the demographics you cite were only completely accurate in 2001.  Who knows how many more of us have died, or have, for whatever reason, chosen to leave the hobby altogether since then?

My own (admittedly, purely anecdotal) evidence that we are on the cusp of a steep decline in our numbers comes from my active work as an accredited examiner in both the USA and Canada.  For the last several years, I have been able to count on the fingers of one hand the number of "under twenty somethings" I've administered examinations to for our Service.  I'm also getting the same feelings expressed by a number of other examiners with whom I regularly have contact.

Indeed, most of my candidates for a new license in our Service have been what I call "retreads".  These are folks who may have always wanted to get their ham licenses but, for whatever reason, were unable to obtain one until now.  And, not surprisingly, when asked, the vast majority of these folks say they were kept out of our Service by our collective, ongoing obsession with Morse testing.  

Another large group of people I test held a ham ticket at one time long ago, but life (in the form of job, family or income) prevented them from actively pursuing the hobby until now.  In the interim, they simply let whatever license they may have held lapse.

In both cases, most of the folks I'm administering tests to these days are now well into their mid to late 50s. Some are even well into their 60s or 70s. And the VAST majority of them are now retirees. As I have said, there is rarely an "under twenty something" in the lot.  

Now, don't get me wrong.  I think we should be more than happy to have these folks (back) in the fold.  And I welcome then all with open arms.  

But my own personal experiences are increasingly showing that we simply are NOT attracting enough YOUTHFUL newcomers to our Service these days to replace us ever-aging curmudgeons when we (and most of our predominantly older newcomers) are dead and gone.

The bottom line here is that, while our numbers may LOOK like we have "stopped the decline" and are now a robust and growing Service again, the (not-so-hidden) reality is that the (non-club) number of NEW licensees in our Service in the United States peaked in 2007 and has been on its way down ever since.  What's more, based on my recent conversations with the ARRL VEC folks, the median age of newcomers to our Service in the United States tracks pretty closely (around age 50) with those folks who are showing up on MY doorstep to take exams.  

My hunch is that these facts, when combined with (as yet unreported) declines in our ranks from death or lack of interest that are being masked by our ten-year license renewal cycle, our numbers are now poised to start dropping at an ever more increasing rate.  And I predict they will begin dropping like a rock in the out years as our ever increasing "silent key" rate overtakes and then eventually outpaces our "youthful newcomer" rate.  

Oh...and there's one more thing...

As I and others have repeatedly pointed out, when you drill down the distribution of licensees among our various classes in the United States, it appears that more than 342,000 in our ranks now hold nothing more than a Technician license, while only 124,000 or so have "advanced" all the way to Extra Class.  

Or, to put it another way, Technicians now make up a whopping 49 percent...nearly half.... of the non-club whole, while Extra Class operators make up only about 18 percent of the total.

Those who were around in the late 1960s may recall that part of the ARRL's grand "sales job" behind the FCC's so-called "incentive licensing" nonsense back then was to create built-in (largely ego-based) regulatory incentives for ALL of us to feel the strong urge to educate ourselves and "upgrade" all the way to Extra Class.  

It simply hasn't happened, folks.

It would now seem that almost HALF of those in our current ranks have told the FCC to "take a hike" with their stupid "incentive" nonsense. Indeed, for whatever reason, today's Technicians have very clearly shown...by their overwhelming numbers...that they simply aren't interested in "upgrading" AT ALL!

In any other "educational" endeavor, a 18 percent success rate to the "top rung" of the ladder (an Extra Class license) would be considered a dismal failure.  Everywhere else, that is, but with the ARRL's and FCC's myopic attempts to turn Amateur Radio into the "No Budding RF Engineer Left Behind" Radio Service.  

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 04:27:09 PM by KB1SF » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 4641




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« Reply #148 on: June 07, 2011, 06:47:08 PM »

The following numbers have been posted by W5ESE on QRZ.com and elsewhere: 
Year    Population     #Hams  Hams as % of US Population
1913   97,225,000     2,000  0.002%
1914   99,111,000     5,000  0.005%
1916 101,961,000     6,000  0.006%
1921 108,538,000   10,809  0.010%
1922 110,049,000   14,179  0.013%
1930 123,202,624   19,000  0.015%
1940 132,164,569   56,000  0.042%
1950 151,325,798   87,000  0.057%
1960 179,323,175 230,000  0.128%
1970 203,211,926 263,918  0.130%
1980 226,545,805 393,353  0.174%
1990 248,709,873 502,677  0.202%
1997 267,783,607 678,733  0.253%
2000 281,421,906 682,240  0.242%
2005 296,410,404 662,600  0.224%
2006 299,291,772 657,814  0.220%
2008 303,000,000 658,648  0.217%
2010 310,425,814 694,313  0.224%
2011 311,455,189 698,090  0.224%

The 2010 and 2011 figures are from the US population clock

http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

and ARRL's FCC license counts as of May 25.

Note that our numbers are still growing.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Jim,

Or Service may appear to be "still growing", but according to the exact same demographics you've posted, our numbers as a percentage of the US population as a whole actually PEAKED in 1997.

That's true. And after 1997, the percentage began to drop. But since 2008 it's been on the rise again, as have the totals.

Point is, we now have more US amateurs than ever before. And the numbers just keep growing.

And there's another thing missing from all the data that you and your buddies like to continually banter about that I believe will eventually prove to be our undoing.

It’s that NOWHERE in the public FCC database does it state the AGE of our current licensees!  .

That's because birthdate info hasn't been collected by FCC for many years. Nobody knows the ages of US amateurs to any real degree of accuracy.

It is also important to remember that, because our licenses are all on a 10-year renewal cycle, the demographics you cite were only completely accurate in 2001. .

Why were they only completely accurate in 2001?

Who knows how many more of us have died, or have, for whatever reason, chosen to leave the hobby altogether since then?

Nobody knows - nor did they know in 2001.

We've had 10 year license terms for almost 30 years. The database has always carried a certain number of licensees who were gone from amateur radio in all ways except the license. Nothing new.

My own (admittedly, purely anecdotal) evidence that we are on the cusp of a steep decline in our numbers comes from my active work as an accredited examiner in both the USA and Canada.  For the last several years, I have been able to count on the fingers of one hand the number of "under twenty somethings" I've administered examinations to for our Service.  I'm also getting the same feelings expressed by a number of other examiners with whom I regularly have contact.

Why would the relative lack of under-20 newcomers cause us to be on the cusp of a rapid decline?

Indeed, most of my candidates for a new license in our Service have been what I call "retreads".  These are folks who may have always wanted to get their ham licenses but, for whatever reason, were unable to obtain one until now.  And, not surprisingly, when asked, the vast majority of these folks say they were kept out of our Service by our collective, ongoing obsession with Morse testing. 

Another large group of people I test held a ham ticket at one time long ago, but life (in the form of job, family or income) prevented them from actively pursuing the hobby until now.  In the interim, they simply let whatever license they may have held lapse.

In both cases, most of the folks I'm administering tests to these days are now well into their mid to late 50s. Some are even well into their 60s or 70s. And the VAST majority of them are now retirees. As I have said, there is rarely an "under twenty something" in the lot.

So? What's the problem?

Way back in the 1980s I noticed that many newcomers were older than I. Many were empty nesters who finally had the time, space and money for things like ham radio. Others were looking for a personal radio service, and found it in the local repeaters.

Nothing wrong with any of it. A new ham who is 60 will probably be with us at least 20 more years.

In fact we may soon see a real explosion in our numbers as millions of "baby boomers" (those born between 1946 and 1964) reach retirement age.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I think we should be more than happy to have these folks (back) in the fold.  And I welcome then all with open arms. 

But my own personal experiences are increasingly showing that we simply are NOT attracting enough YOUTHFUL newcomers to our Service these days to replace us ever-aging curmudgeons when we (and most of our predominantly older newcomers) are dead and gone.

The bottom line here is that, while our numbers may LOOK like we have "stopped the decline" and are now a robust and growing Service again, the (not-so-hidden) reality is that the (non-club) number of NEW licensees in our Service in the United States peaked in 2007 and has been on its way down ever since.

How do you know the new-license peak was in 2007?

What's more, based on my recent conversations with the ARRL VEC folks, the median age of newcomers to our Service in the United States tracks pretty closely (around age 50) with those folks who are showing up on MY doorstep to take exams.

A 50 year old newcomer will probably be with us at least 30 years. What's the problem?

My hunch is that these facts, when combined with (as yet unreported) declines in our ranks from death or lack of interest that are being masked by our ten-year license renewal cycle, our numbers are now poised to start dropping at an ever more increasing rate.  And I predict they will begin dropping like a rock in the out years as our ever increasing "silent key" rate overtakes and then eventually outpaces our "youthful newcomer" rate.

You've been predicting that doom-and-gloom here for years, Keith. But it simply hasn't happened. The trend is in the other direction.

Of course it would be great if we had a lot more new hams and a lot more younger hams. But the idea that we're on the eve of destruction just isn't borne out by the facts.

Oh...and there's one more thing...

As I and others have repeatedly pointed out, when you drill down the distribution of licensees among our various classes in the United States, it appears that more than 342,000 in our ranks now hold nothing more than a Technician license, while only 124,000 or so have "advanced" all the way to Extra Class. 

Or, to put it another way, Technicians now make up a whopping 49 percent...nearly half.... of the non-club whole, while Extra Class operators make up only about 18 percent of the total.

Those who were around in the late 1960s may recall that part of the ARRL's grand "sales job" behind the FCC's so-called "incentive licensing" nonsense back then was to create built-in (largely ego-based) regulatory incentives for ALL of us to feel the strong urge to educate ourselves and "upgrade" all the way to Extra Class. 

It simply hasn't happened, folks.

It would now seem that almost HALF of those in our current ranks have told the FCC to "take a hike" with their stupid "incentive" nonsense. Indeed, for whatever reason, today's Technicians have very clearly shown...by their overwhelming numbers...that they simply aren't interested in "upgrading" AT ALL!

So? If someone is satisfied with the Technician license, or any other class, why should they upgrade?

If a ham isn't interested in HF/MF, why should s/he bother to go beyond Technican? The only thing an upgrade offers the VHF/UHF ham is a slightly wider choice of vanity calls (Techs can get 1x3 calls) and the ability to be a VE.

If a ham isn't interested in full privileges on 80, 40, 20 and 15, why should s/he bother to go beyond General?

And consider these numbers, all from the ARRL website:

US individual hams 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 May 21, 2011:

Novice: 15,201 (2.2%)
Technician 341,710 (48.9%)
Technician Plus 0 (0.0%)
General 158,017 (22.6%)
Advanced 58,725 (8.4%)
Extra 124,458 (17.8%)

Total 698,111

The percentage of US hams with a Technician or Tech Plus has DROPPED from 49.5% to 48.9% in 11 years. The total number of hams with either of those license classes has increased by less than 8,000 in those years.

Meanwhile, the percentage of US hams with a General has risen from 16.7% to 22.6% in 11 years. The total number of hams with a General has increased by more than 45,000 in those years.

And the percentage of US hams with an Extra has risen from 11.7% to 17.8% in 11 years. The total number of hams with an Extra has increased by more than 45,000 in those years.

The other license classes are shrinking because FCC doesn't issue new licenses in those classes any more.

If you add the Novice numbers to the Tech/Tech Plus totals, the change is even more pronounced.

IOW, what we're seeing is the Tech staying level while the higher classes grow and grow. 

 
In any other "educational" endeavor, a 18 percent success rate to the "top rung" of the ladder (an Extra Class license) would be considered a dismal failure.
Really?

What percentage of high school graduates go on to earn a 4 year bachelor's degree?

What percentage of them go on to a master's degree?

What percentage of them go on to a Ph.D. or equivalent?

Is the educational system a dismal failure because everybody doesn't get a Ph.D?

One more data point:
When I got my Extra in 1970 at the age of 16, there were only a few thousand of us with that license. Less than 2% of US hams were Extras in those days. Now, the percentage is closing in on 18% - and rising. Soon there will be more than 700,000 of us.

It's all good.

73 de Jim, N2EY



 


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KD8DEY
Member

Posts: 369




Ignore
« Reply #149 on: June 07, 2011, 08:06:34 PM »

Code/No Code = Dead Issue
Even Japan is dropping code requirements
get over it
You will be much happier
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