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Author Topic: Tech HF privileges  (Read 15511 times)
N2EY
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 02:37:49 PM »

If had my way, an entry license would cover safety, rules and regulations, and the basics of setting up a station.   I'd also have an eye on CB mythology and CB misinformation while developing what would beginners would be tested on. The entry ticket would put novice ops on HF digital, with 100 watts, may be just on the WARC bands?

My guess is a digital only ticket would be FUN and novice ops would be spared the experience of starting out on repeaters.

I think your ideas on the test are excellent. But I think digital-only/WARC-only is too limited.

The best approach IMHO is to offer a good assortment of bands and modes - CW, phone, digital, HF, VHF, UHF. But not all bands nor all modes. A sampling, IOW, which will appeal to a broad range of interests yet give adequate incentive to upgrade.

One of the big problems I see in the current setup is that it lures many newcomers (Novice and Tech) to start out on VHF/UHF and/or 10 meters. They get a very distorted idea of ham radio that way.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KB7AIL
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2012, 11:36:41 AM »

Never thought I would be a 'what we have is fine' kind of guy.  But.....

The ideas for restructuring the Tech license are pretty good but I'm not sure they are necessary.

It has been my observation that the Tech ticket is more of a 'stick your toe in and see what it's like" situation.  People get the Tech with a minimum of fuss and gets on the air on VHF (and HF if they want to learn the code) and get to know the a few folks and, if they see that it is something that they really want to do, they can take the General ticket.  The theory for Tech is basically how to get on the air legally and not fry yourself or your gear, which is enough to try it out.  Some folks might want to do VHF+ forever.  I know guys who are EEs and radio engineers who only have a Tech because it covers the bands they are interested in using. Some may want to talk to their significant others on a repeater with an HT and that's it.  Fine and dandy... Search and rescue, APRS, weather watching, etc. can be done with VHF+ and a Tech ticket. 

To pass a General, you actually need to know something.  If an individual decides they want to make a commitment to the hobby and have found a part of it they wish to pursue, they can get the knowledge which would allow them to do these things by studying for the General.

That's my opinion.  I don't see anything wrong with what others have proposed in this article but I'm not sure we need to go through the headache of changing rules and all of the arguing that seems to happen when there is talk of a license/privilege change.

Jeff  KB7AIL  CN88
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KB7AIL
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2012, 11:48:33 AM »

The Tech license has always been intended to be a VHF and up license.  At one time, it carried no priviledges below 220mhz.

As I remember it, Techs have always been 50 mHz and above to attract the "Technician" who was interested in experimenting in VHF + radio.  The idea was that these people were not interested in the whole HF/contest/DX thing .(Although there are VHF contests and DX has a slightly different definition in the VHF world.) CW is needed with weak-signal VHF+ work so learning it was a good idea.
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KC2RGW
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2012, 01:24:22 PM »


One of the big problems I see in the current setup is that it lures many newcomers (Novice and Tech) to start out on VHF/UHF and/or 10 meters. They get a very distorted idea of ham radio that way.

73 de Jim, N2EY

I only think this is an issue because there aren't enough experienced hams using those bands and modes.  If you want a more useful vision of ham radio from those bands, more experienced and patient ops should participate. 

I like local communications better than long distance most of the time and get frequent surprised comments from people on 2m FM simplex about what a nice chat we had or on 10m SSB in the tech segment with similar comments.  The band/mode/frequency/power doesn't matter, it's the operator.  We need more quality ops to bring up the farm team.  I think that is the biggest failing in amateur radio.

For the QRP advocates, well, if you want to struggle to hear people and make contacts, more power to you.  For me, I want radio to be relaxing and enjoy 30 min+ conversations.  The last thing I want is to have to listen to suburban noise levels the whole time and struggle to understand what someone is saying.  QRP restrictions would run a lot of people away from the hobby.

There are a lot of wealthy hams with farm sized properties that can afford to put up multi element arrays for 40m 80m and 160m and if they want to mess around with QRP, good for them.  I don't have the property, the time or the budget, so I put the longest wire I can up in the highest tree I have and run power behind it.  Done.  I can make reasonable contacts at a comfortable signal level to have an enjoyable  conversation.  Why be bitter about that?
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N2EY
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2012, 01:45:29 PM »

The Tech license has always been intended to be a VHF and up license.  At one time, it carried no priviledges below 220mhz.

As I remember it, Techs have always been 50 mHz and above to attract the "Technician" who was interested in experimenting in VHF + radio.  The idea was that these people were not interested in the whole HF/contest/DX thing .(Although there are VHF contests and DX has a slightly different definition in the VHF world.) CW is needed with weak-signal VHF+ work so learning it was a good idea.

Sort of.

The Technician was created in 1951 as a special-purpose license. It was intended for those hams who were ONLY interested in exploring the technical aspects of "the ultra highs". It was meant for experimenters, not communicators.

In those days VHF/UHF was seen as "the new frontier". Before the war, the frequencies above 300 MHz were essentially unregulated (!) and little used. WW2 changed all that, and regulation was extended to 30,000 MHz.

The 1951 Technician gave all amateur privileges from 220 MHz and up - and nothing, absolutely nothing, below 220. In those days, there was almost no manufactured gear for 220 and higher, so a 1951 Technician was, of necessity, a homebrewer and/or converter of military surplus.

Also, from its creation in 1951 until March 1987, the Technician used the same written test as the General. Only the code speed was different.

In the early 1950s, FCC was persuaded to allow Techs on 6 meters. Later, they got part of 2 meters, and eventually (1970s) all of 2 meters. HF was an add-on.

Imagine if there were an amateur license today which gave all privileges but required licensees to build all their own gear from scratch.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N2EY
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2012, 01:53:02 PM »


One of the big problems I see in the current setup is that it lures many newcomers (Novice and Tech) to start out on VHF/UHF and/or 10 meters. They get a very distorted idea of ham radio that way.

73 de Jim, N2EY

I only think this is an issue because there aren't enough experienced hams using those bands and modes.  If you want a more useful vision of ham radio from those bands, more experienced and patient ops should participate. 

That would be great, but it doesn't change the basic problem: Ham radio is a lot of different things, but newcomers who get on VHF/UHF with repeaters don't experience many of them.

I like local communications better than long distance most of the time and get frequent surprised comments from people on 2m FM simplex about what a nice chat we had or on 10m SSB in the tech segment with similar comments.

If that's what you like, great! Nothing in the proposed "Basic" license would eliminate that.

But the point is that there's a lot more to ham radio than local ragchewing. Nothing wrong with it, but it's only a small part of the big picture. Why not give newcomers more options?

  The band/mode/frequency/power doesn't matter, it's the operator.  We need more quality ops to bring up the farm team.  I think that is the biggest failing in amateur radio.

But what makes "a quality op"?

For the QRP advocates, well, if you want to struggle to hear people and make contacts, more power to you.  For me, I want radio to be relaxing and enjoy 30 min+ conversations.  The last thing I want is to have to listen to suburban noise levels the whole time and struggle to understand what someone is saying.  QRP restrictions would run a lot of people away from the hobby.

100 watts isn't QRP.

There are a lot of wealthy hams with farm sized properties that can afford to put up multi element arrays for 40m 80m and 160m and if they want to mess around with QRP, good for them.  I don't have the property, the time or the budget, so I put the longest wire I can up in the highest tree I have and run power behind it.  Done.  I can make reasonable contacts at a comfortable signal level to have an enjoyable  conversation.  Why be bitter about that?

The point of a power limit for the Basic license is that a) it gives an incentive to upgrade and b) it permits the test to be simplified.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N5RWJ
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2012, 01:44:09 PM »

Note: Tech have CW privileges on most ham bands, but are no longer tested for Cw ability. because the FCC considers CW obsolete.

The FCC does not consider CW "obsolete". They simply don't see any reason to have a separate test for it any more.

There are lots of things hams do which are not specifically tested for. That does not make them "obsolete".

73 de Jim, N2EY
Well Jim ,I think most Tech do find CW obsolete for them, and all they have allocated, are the HF CW bands except ,for Phone privileges on 10 m,and the VHF ,UHF bands. Some on this topic wonder why this is necessary, in the 21 century? And think it time To give Techs phone ,digital privileges on some of the HF bands . This should help promote upgrades ,for more band use by Technician's ,and also help lower over all cost of ham gear, for all of us?
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 03:07:52 PM by N5RWJ » Logged
W4KVW
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Posts: 488




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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2012, 09:20:06 AM »

A 3rd grader can pass the General Class test with just a few days of study.If you want the band usage then STUDY & UPGRADE & if not then live with what you have.Myself I find that being a General Class gives me more than enough band coverage since MOST of my HF time is spent on the WARC bands(17 METERS is my favorite)& there are NO restrictions on those bands for a General that I would gain anything by upgrading to EXTRA!  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
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N5RWJ
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2012, 03:26:08 PM »

A 3rd grader can pass the General Class test with just a few days of study.If you want the band usage then STUDY & UPGRADE & if not then live with what you have.Myself I find that being a General Class gives me more than enough band coverage since MOST of my HF time is spent on the WARC bands(17 METERS is my favorite)& there are NO restrictions on those bands for a General that I would gain anything by upgrading to EXTRA!  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
Clayton I guess your right about the 3rd grader. But to what end, does the test make the child a better Ham, I think not compared to an older Tech with experience. Only experience make good or better hams , giving them phone privileges on the HF bands, and they will get the experience and  should work to get more privileges.
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W0DV
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Posts: 200




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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2012, 05:30:33 PM »

A 3rd grader can pass the General Class test with just a few days of study. If you want the band usage then STUDY & UPGRADE & if not then live with what you have.Myself I find that being a General Class gives me more than enough band coverage since MOST of my HF time is spent on the WARC bands(17 METERS is my favorite)& there are NO restrictions on those bands for a General that I would gain anything by upgrading to EXTRA!  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW

I really think it is silly, and not productive to make statements such as " A 3rd grader can pass the General class test". The statement is inaccurate, and distasteful. A friend of mine has been studying for the General exam for months, also, my wife is studying for the exam. So then, you are saying that if they don't pass, they are not as smart as a 3rd grader? I really doubt many hams would agree with your statement if they are honest. Your statement is just one of those "slurs" you might see in an on-line forum such as this, and really serves no purpose other than to provoke a response that might lead to more slurs Smiley

I went through electronics school back in the early 80's, and studied tube applications as well as semi conductor. I took some very tough exams that involved some very advanced troubleshooting of these sort of circuits. As far as a ham exam is concerned, to me, they have always been easy, today, and 40 years ago. But to someone who hasn't studied electronics, the test might look difficult.  It's a matter of background and experience more than anything else.

You don't have to go to school to be a ham. It is a hobby that if one has an interest, will pass the exam and enjoy the hobby.
 
If you really feel that a 3rd grader can pass the general exam, then the next time a group of cub scouts, or school kids show up to an exam session to take the test, make sure you are there also, tell them that a 3rd grader can pass the test. I'm sure that will pump them full of confidence.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 05:33:48 PM by W0DV » Logged
KB7AIL
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2012, 08:31:27 AM »

Note: Tech have CW privileges on most ham bands, but are no longer tested for Cw ability. because the FCC considers CW obsolete.

The FCC does not consider CW "obsolete". They simply don't see any reason to have a separate test for it any more.

There are lots of things hams do which are not specifically tested for. That does not make them "obsolete".

73 de Jim, N2EY
Well Jim ,I think most Tech do find CW obsolete for them, and all they have allocated, are the HF CW bands except ,for Phone privileges on 10 m,and the VHF ,UHF bands. Some on this topic wonder why this is necessary, in the 21 century? And think it time To give Techs phone ,digital privileges on some of the HF bands . This should help promote upgrades ,for more band use by Technician's ,and also help lower over all cost of ham gear, for all of us?

I'm not a math and electronics guy by nature but, after I had my novice and tech+, it took me about one month of studying to know enough to take and pass the General test. Since I had an 'old school' tech ticket (most if not all of the general written -can't remember exactly) I didn't need to take the whole test but I took and passed the whole thing anyway. In school, I maxed out on second year algebra and then my brain melted but I was able to master the math for the General.

I think it was a good idea to remove the CW requirement.  The ability to use CW was given a too large portion of the requirements.  However, CW is still useful.  Look for yourself.  On a Sunday afternoon, tune across 20 SSB and then 20 CW.  I usually hear more activity on 20 CW!  If a Tech wants to get serious about weak signal work, CW is a must!

If a prospective ham has an engineering or technical background, I'd suggest starting with the General. It's a better license than the Tech!  If additional digital and HF privileges were given to Techs, I would guess the test would/should cover material for the new privileges. The test would probably look something like..... the General test!
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N2EY
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« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2012, 11:51:51 AM »

I really think it is silly, and not productive to make statements such as " A 3rd grader can pass the General class test". The statement is inaccurate, and distasteful.

I agree that the statement is somewhat inaccurate.

A more accurate statement is this one:

"The Extra license has been earned by bright children as young as 7 years old, with no more than a third-grade education".

That statement is true. At least one third-grader, age 8, earned the Extra in the late 1990s by passing all 5 written exams and all 3 code tests. That record has since been broken.

That does not mean every third-grader can do it. But some can - and have.

A friend of mine has been studying for the General exam for months, also, my wife is studying for the exam. So then, you are saying that if they don't pass, they are not as smart as a 3rd grader?

No. The whole point of mentioning such things is to point out that the license exams do not require a high level of education or expertise in the subject matter in order to pass.

I really doubt many hams would agree with your statement if they are honest. Your statement is just one of those "slurs" you might see in an on-line forum such as this, and really serves no purpose other than to provoke a response that might lead to more slurs Smiley

Why is it a slur to point out a fact?

I went through electronics school back in the early 80's, and studied tube applications as well as semi conductor. I took some very tough exams that involved some very advanced troubleshooting of these sort of circuits. As far as a ham exam is concerned, to me, they have always been easy, today, and 40 years ago. But to someone who hasn't studied electronics, the test might look difficult.  It's a matter of background and experience more than anything else.

You don't have to go to school to be a ham. It is a hobby that if one has an interest, will pass the exam and enjoy the hobby.
 
If you really feel that a 3rd grader can pass the general exam, then the next time a group of cub scouts, or school kids show up to an exam session to take the test, make sure you are there also, tell them that a 3rd grader can pass the test. I'm sure that will pump them full of confidence.

I earned the Novice at age 13, Tech and Advanced at age 14, and Extra at 16, back in the late 1960s. I had no formal electronics training, only what I read in books. Nobody in my family or neighborhood was a ham. It actually helepd me in school because I learned some math and physics on my own years before I reached the grade where it was taught in school.

What really helped me was the knowledge that other kids, younger than me, had done the same  So how hard could it really be?

73 de jim, N2EY
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N5RWJ
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2012, 01:58:24 PM »

I really think it is silly, and not productive to make statements such as " A 3rd grader can pass the General class test". The statement is inaccurate, and distasteful.

I agree that the statement is somewhat inaccurate.

A more accurate statement is this one:

"The Extra license has been earned by bright children as young as 7 years old, with no more than a third-grade education".

That statement is true. At least one third-grader, age 8, earned the Extra in the late 1990s by passing all 5 written exams and all 3 code tests. That record has since been broken.

That does not mean every third-grader can do it. But some can - and have.

A friend of mine has been studying for the General exam for months, also, my wife is studying for the exam. So then, you are saying that if they don't pass, they are not as smart as a 3rd grader?

No. The whole point of mentioning such things is to point out that the license exams do not require a high level of education or expertise in the subject matter in order to pass.

I really doubt many hams would agree with your statement if they are honest. Your statement is just one of those "slurs" you might see in an on-line forum such as this, and really serves no purpose other than to provoke a response that might lead to more slurs Smiley

Why is it a slur to point out a fact?

I went through electronics school back in the early 80's, and studied tube applications as well as semi conductor. I took some very tough exams that involved some very advanced troubleshooting of these sort of circuits. As far as a ham exam is concerned, to me, they have always been easy, today, and 40 years ago. But to someone who hasn't studied electronics, the test might look difficult.  It's a matter of background and experience more than anything else.

You don't have to go to school to be a ham. It is a hobby that if one has an interest, will pass the exam and enjoy the hobby.
 
If you really feel that a 3rd grader can pass the general exam, then the next time a group of cub scouts, or school kids show up to an exam session to take the test, make sure you are there also, tell them that a 3rd grader can pass the test. I'm sure that will pump them full of confidence.

I earned the Novice at age 13, Tech and Advanced at age 14, and Extra at 16, back in the late 1960s. I had no formal electronics training, only what I read in books. Nobody in my family or neighborhood was a ham. It actually helepd me in school because I learned some math and physics on my own years before I reached the grade where it was taught in school.

What really helped me was the knowledge that other kids, younger than me, had done the same  So how hard could it really be?

73 de Jim, N2EY
Jim could it be that all we have offed Techs ,are the CW bands without the Phone privilege's that we all enjoy . Give Tech phone privileges on the phone bands, and they will test for more Hf band space, and not go the VHF route, and leave ham radio?
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2012, 02:49:51 PM »

First you have to agree that there IS a problem. The get ideas as to how to address it.


From reading QRZ and eHam for just about 16 months or so I get the impression that the majority of hams that are coming into the hobby NOW over there as Techs are just not progressing on to General? Or are they? 

Over here the system is radically different - I could not imagine the US hams going for it in a million years!
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2012, 03:25:23 PM »

First you have to agree that there IS a problem. The get ideas as to how to address it.

Well, yes.

From reading QRZ and eHam for just about 16 months or so I get the impression that the majority of hams that are coming into the hobby NOW over there as Techs are just not progressing on to General? Or are they? 

Actually, what's happening is that the number of Techs is staying relatively stable while the numbers of Generals and Extras are growing steadily.

Over here the system is radically different - I could not imagine the US hams going for it in a million years!

Nor the FCC.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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