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Author Topic: Grandfathering Advanced Hams to Extra Class  (Read 24595 times)
W4JJA
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Posts: 23




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« on: June 15, 2012, 06:18:25 PM »

When will we be grandfathered?  When I got my General in 1961 I had all the operating privileges.  In several years later I didn't have them.  Or will this never happen?
Jack
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12793




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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 06:41:42 PM »

Why wait to be grandfathered (which isn't likely to happen)? Just take the Extra test.
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1055




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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 08:27:35 PM »

When I got my General in 1955. I had all the Ham band privileges including the 11 meter ham band (gone now). More then 50 years later I took the Extra class license and passed. It is much easier now then back when (no code) very easy questions. Don't wait for Grandfathering in. It won't happen. Just study for a short time and take the Extra. It is much easier then waiting for something that won't happen.

73 K2OWK
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WW3QB
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Posts: 695




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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 09:12:51 PM »

This has been beaten to death in this thread: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,75408.0.html

Bottom line: Not going to happen.
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WN2C
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Posts: 443




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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2012, 09:46:35 AM »

When will we be grandfathered?  When I got my General in 1961 I had all the operating privileges.  In several years later I didn't have them.  Or will this never happen?
Jack

You have been licensed since 61'?  What are you waiting for?
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WD5GWY
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 12:57:13 PM »

Been an Advanced for lots of years now. But, I do want the Extra.
And for that, gotta study. It's really not that hard. I passed the Extra
written test years ago, and failed the CW test. (could take 25wpm in
my head but, could not write that fast and get answers) Anyway, now
that the code test is not a requirement, I'm going for the Extra again.
If the code test still existed, I would have a tough time. I have Tinnitus
real bad and some CW signals are tough to hear correctly.
  As a friend of mine told me, just go and do it and don't make excuses
anymore!! Get that "extra" band space. Especially if you like DX'ing.(I do)
james
WD5GWY
Advanced since the 1980's.

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AA4PB
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Posts: 12793




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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 08:35:27 AM »

Even in the later years of the code test you didn't have to write everything down - just take a few notes like you would in a real QSO. You know the kind of questions they are going to ask: what was the ops name, what kind of antenna did he have, where was he located, etc.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 04:56:44 PM »

When will we be grandfathered?

Not any time soon.


  When I got my General in 1961 I had all the operating privileges.  In several years later I didn't have them.  Or will this never happen?

Generals only had full privs from Feb 1953 until Nov 1968.

The FCC has repeatedly turned down all sorts of free-upgrade proposals. The Extra exam today is 50 multiple-choice questions from a published pool. Passing grade is 37 right. There are practice exams right here on eham.

What are you waiting for?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KB1SF
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 05:52:02 AM »

In various online forums (including this one) related to Amateur Radio, I continually see posts asking the question as to when Advanced Class licensees in the USA will be "grandfathered" to Extra Class.

As I've noted in previous postings in these and other forums, there is virtually no difference between the operational privileges granted to any of our license classes that grant HF access in the USA (i.e General, Advanced and Extra).  

Rather, those differences are all based on granting more and more artificially walled-off slices of radio spectrum to those who "achieve" the so-called higher classes of license (Advanced and Extra).  But, even though the FCC eliminated all testing for the Advanced Class license nearly a decade ago, those who still hold an Advanced Class license can continue to renew it indefinitely.  

As I see it, there are several reasons why the FCC has been reluctant to "grandfather" Advanced Class licensees to Extra Class and, short of a GAO audit or class action lawsuit, are not about to do so in the near future.  

First (and foremost) such an action would completely undermine their so-called "incentive licensing" nonsense that was put in place in the USA's amateur licensing system over 50 years ago and which still forms the basic regulatory underpinnings of the entire Amateur Radio licensing structure in the USA.  Indeed, to now grant Advance Class licensees privileges for which they did not "earn" would be blasphemous to those Extra Class operators over the years who jumped through all the FCC's stupid "incentive" hoops in order to "upgrade".  

That action, in turn, would create unwanted controversy in the form of reams of letters to (and investigations from) various Congresspersons about why the licenses of or more of their constituents are being "cheapened" in such a way.

And if it's one thing risk-averse US Government bureaucrats (including those at the FCC) wish to avoid at all costs, it's Congressional investigations.

Second, as there are virtually no differences between the operational privileges granted to Generals, Advanced and Extras (other than access to artificially walled-off slices of spectrum), then if Advanced and Extras are granted equal privileges, why not Generals?  That, in turn, would call the regulatory underpinnings of their entire "incentive" nonsense into question.  For, if all three of these HF-based license classes are granted equal privileges, where's the regulatory need for three of them?  

Unfortunately, to correct THAT issue would then necessitate a complete re-write of the "educational" basis and intent of the Amateur Service as now promulgated in in Part 97.1(c)...an intent, by the way, that has absolutely no regulatory basis whatsoever in the International Telecommunication Rules (ITU) that govern our Service internationally.

Clearly, the FCC is loath to "grandfather" Generals and/or Advanced Class licensees to Extra unless higher authority (or a legal class action lawsuit) forces them into it. For, in their bureaucratic minds, is far better to simply let "sleeping dogs lie".  

Or, more to the point, it's far better to let "sleeping dogs DIE" as those who hold Advanced Class licenses are now dying in ever increasing numbers, anyway.

Indeed, if the risk-averse bureaucrats at the FCC wait long enough, this "problem" will eventually take care of itself.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 06:28:16 AM by KB1SF » Logged
AA4PB
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Posts: 12793




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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 07:03:20 AM »

Indeed, if the risk-averse bureaucrats at the FCC wait long enough, this "problem" will eventually take care of itself.

And.. it's only a problem for those who refuse to expend the effort to upgrade to Extra. It really doesn't take much effort to do that today.

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KB1SF
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 07:22:33 AM »

And.. it's only a problem for those who refuse to expend the effort to upgrade to Extra. It really doesn't take much effort to do that today.

Perhaps.

But that still begs the obvious question as to what overriding, international regulatory NEED (based on safety and/or non-interference concerns) is fulfilled by people having to do so?

That is, what are the specific additional operational knowledges and skills that must be demonstrated for an amateur to safely and courteously operate his or her station at 14.024 MHz versus 14.026 Mhz?

Clearly, the inconvenient truth that nobody at the FCC (or elsewhere) want to now admit is that, operationally, our three so-called "advanced" licenses (General, Advanced and Extra) grant virtually identical operating privileges.  The only differences between them are based solely on granting access to artificially walled-off slices of virtually identical radio spectrum.  So, once again, beyond stroking people's egos, where's the regulatory NEED for such differentiation?

Unfortunately, unlike the late 1950s when all this "incentive" foolishness was first hatched, simply stroking egos no longer legally cuts it as a firm basis for a US Government regulatory requirement...like the need for a so-called "Extra" class license to operate with the exact same emission modes in virtually the exact same parts of the HF radio spectrum.

I have written extensively about these and other regulatory issues now facing our Service on my ongoing Amateur Radio Bog.  I invite you all to point your browsers to kb1sf.blogspot.ca to read my (admittedly controversial) thoughts and opinions on these and other issues facing our Service in the 21st Century.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:08:22 AM by KB1SF » Logged
W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 05:22:38 PM »

Jack,

Better hurry and take that test if you have been studying as I hear the test question pool is set to change on July 1st .... only 13 days away.

But if you've been licensed since 1961 and not worried to take it by now, you're probably not in big hurry so take your time. The new question pool is good until 2016 and you should be ready before then.  Grin

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
K9SRV
Member

Posts: 121




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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 06:57:05 PM »

I studied for the Extra, after getting Tech in November and General in March.
Yesterday, I passed the Extra @ a Hamfest in Wheaton, Il.
If I can pass it, ANYONE who is on this website can pass it.
No Lie!
John,
KB9ICO
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3877




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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 07:22:10 PM »

Keith old boy,

1) It's "Advanced" class. Not "Advance".

2) The licensing system is being converted to three license classes by attrition. Been going on for 12 years now.

3) We are now at the point where only about 1 in 10 US hams is not either a Technician, General or Extra.

4) "Incentive licensing" took effect in the late 1960s. I was a ham then. The first bandwidth restrictions took effect November 22, 1968 - 44 years ago.

5) The Extra just isn't that hard.

73 de jim, N2EY
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KB1SF
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 08:06:57 PM »

Keith old boy, It's "Advanced" class. Not "Advance".

Jim, old boy....it's a typo.  

I know the difference.  

Quote
2) The licensing system is being converted to three license classes by attrition. Been going on for 12 years now.

Perhaps.  

But the "graying" of our Service has been going on for a heck of a lot longer than that.  Indeed, unless we quickly find some new blood, "attrition" is going to eventually prove to be our Service's undoing.

As I said, the FCC is not about to "gandfather" anyone, for to do so would be an admission that their stupid "incentive" nonsense is no longer legal...let alone relevant.  And THAT admission, in turn, would then require them to actually get up off their bureaucratic finals to implement long-needed structural reforms to Part 97.

The bottom line here remains that the ONLY way these FCC bureaucrats will now act on these issues is if they are financially FORCED into acting on them..."from above".  For, as the syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell once so eloquently noted while writing about such things, “You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that, for bureaucrats, procedure is everything and outcomes mean nothing.”

Quote
3) We are now at the point where only about 1 in 10 US hams is not either a Technician, General or Extra.


But what you (conveniently?) fail to mention is that only about 18 Percent have been "incentivized" enough to become Extras.  

On the other hand, nearly 50% of currently licensed US Hams remain "lowly" Technicians.  If these two facts aren't an absolutely stinging indictment (not to mention clear and incontrovertible evidence) of the total failure of "incentive licensing" I don't know what is.

Indeed, 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 the Amateur Radio Service in the United States of America into the "No Budding RF Engineer Left Behind" Radio Service.  

Quote
4) "Incentive licensing" took effect in the late 1960s. I was a ham then. The first bandwidth restrictions took effect November 22, 1968 - 44 years ago.

But the ARRL and FCC were kicking around the idea for several years prior to its implementation.  

What's more, besides our increasingly arcane Part 97, what other US Government regulations do you know of that have not undergone sweeping structural reforms since the 1960s?

Quote
5) The Extra just isn't that hard.

Perhaps not for someone with a BSEE.  

But, even so, I fail to see why it STILL takes mastery of a 600+ page Extra Class license manual just to be able to operate my station at 14.024 MHz rather than 14.026 Mhz.  

Again, I ask:  Where's the regulatory NEED in any of that?

Quote
'73 de jim, N2EY

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
kb1sf.blogspot.ca
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:18:27 PM by KB1SF » Logged
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