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Author Topic: Bring back the Advanced Class  (Read 55217 times)
N2EY
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 03:45:03 PM »

The Extra did have phone privileges beyond that of Advanced,  but the Extra CW segments on 15, 20, 40 and 80m were places where there was a consistently clear difference in operator proficiency vs. the non-Extra CW segments.  When it comes to CW, by not requiring 20 wpm perfect copy, the level of required operator proficiency went from near professional to complete novice.

That started more than 20 years ago, with the introduction of medical waivers. From 1990 onward, you could get any class of US amateur license with just 5 wpm and a doctor's note.

btw, FCC never required perfect copy for a code test. The most they required back-in-the-day was 1 minute solid out of 5. And that ended more than 30 years ago.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K9AIM
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 04:14:13 PM »

yes. i was talking about when you had to have perfect copy for one solid minute of 20wpm code.  that they did something stupid and allowed medical waivers is beside the point.  can a blind person get a medical waiver to waive the driving test in order to obtain for a motor vehicle license?  if they allowed a medical exception for code, it should have entailed no code privileges until such a time as proficiency was proven.

publishing the answers to the exam questions was also a stupid decision. what that and the elimination of the code requirement did was degrade the operating proficiency of hams in general. it moved ham radio closer to being CB.  and the results are observable on the bands today.  now granted, society in general has become less polite, and less formal ... but still.

i realize you have accepted these changes and are probably better versed than i in when and why these things took place, and i generally learn something from each of your posts.  i do wonder though if you put the fact that what is done is done aside, don't you feel like the removal of the code requirement -- in consequence and effect -- has made amateur radio more like CB?

the one thing i note the code requirement did to me as a youngster was that it made phone privileges seem comparatively better than CW.  it is ironic that today i feel the opposite.

73, Rob K9AIM ..
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K1CJS
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 04:13:27 AM »

Why is this old argument being revived?  It's over and done with, CW is an even more popular mode now, and the amateur licensing count is heading upward. 

GET OVER IT!!!
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K9AIM
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 06:51:19 AM »

Why is this old argument being revived?  It's over and done with, CW is an even more popular mode now, and the amateur licensing count is heading upward.  
GET OVER IT!!!

I did get over it -- I upgraded from Advanced to Extra last year.  Why are you upset it is still being discussed?  If you don't want to discuss it, don't click on this thread.  When major changes are made to the licensing requirements, there is a good chance people will compare the effects of the changes (even through the decades).  The amateur count is going up.  CW is still popular.  Publishing the answers to the exams and lowering (and then completely removing) the code requirement has certainly opened up amateur radio to a lot of people who might not have otherwise gone through the required preparation.  Removing the 20wpm code requirement certainly opened up the Extra class to a lot of op.s who might not have had the requisite patience to get there...  But at some point, was there not the law of diminished return? In other words, if you go from requiring a high level of proficiency to a much lower one -- what does that do to the quality of the field in general?  

With people now trying to do CW prior to even learning how to read code manually or send with a straight key, CW certainly has changed! I am still trying to figure out how it is i hear op.s who have dahs that are only about 1.5 times as long as their dits?  perhaps those few are what is setting me off (especially when it is in the so-called 'Extra' CW segments) Grin

Maybe i am just getting old because i almost want to lament as well about how people can get DXCC using internet spotting or CW awards using keyboards... and don't get me started about remote controls for TVs  Grin
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 06:54:36 AM by K9AIM » Logged
N3DF
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Posts: 252




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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 07:19:04 AM »

publishing the answers to the exam questions was also a stupid decision. what that and the elimination of the code requirement did was degrade the operating proficiency of hams in general. it moved ham radio closer to being CB.  and the results are observable on the bands today.  now granted, society in general has become less polite, and less formal ... but still.


the one thing i note the code requirement did to me as a youngster was that it made phone privileges seem comparatively better than CW.  it is ironic that today i feel the opposite.

73, Rob K9AIM ..


Seems to me if the FAA can publish the answers to air transport pilot test questions, the FCC can publish the answers to ham radio test questions.  In the A-B-C license days, phone priviliges were the golden fleece that required the highest level examination.



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Neil N3DF
N2EY
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Posts: 3895




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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 07:49:56 AM »

Why is this old argument being revived? 

Not an argument, just an historical discussion. It is important to remember the history accurately.

It's over and done with, CW is an even more popular mode now, and the amateur licensing count is heading upward.  GET OVER IT!!!

I am quite aware of the quantity. But there's also the question of quality.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KG6AF
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2013, 09:59:35 AM »

Seems to me if the FAA can publish the answers to air transport pilot test questions, the FCC can publish the answers to ham radio test questions.  In the A-B-C license days, phone priviliges were the golden fleece that required the highest level examination.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the FAA recently revert to closed question pools?  I know nothing about the air transport pilot test, but I believe that the private pilot pool, once open, is now closed, with the FAA releasing only a few representative questions.

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I will point out that maintaining a closed question pool takes a lot of work.  To keep the pool effective, it'd have to be updated continuously, to thwart any Dick Bash, Jrs.  And keeping a pool secret when there are 36,000 VEs out there seems unrealistic.

One thing that's often overlooked in these matters is that the FCC has essentially zero money to spend on overseeing the amateur service.  Any proposal for change that costs the FCC anything, either in staffing or expense, is going to have a tough time getting approved.

If there is genuine interest in keeping applicants from rote-memorizing their way to a license, there's a simple way to do it that involves no change to current regulations: increase the size of the question pools.  However, I suspect that the number of hams who have serious objections to the way things are done now is relatively small, and the number of those willing to put in the work to increase the size of the question pools is even smaller. 
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K9AIM
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 02:05:58 PM »

what i would really like to see happen, is to go back to requiring 20wpm code proficiency in order to have privileges to the Extra CW segments.  VE's could administer the test (and obviously it would have to be VE's proficient in code). Call it Extra OS (old school).  Grin 

yeah -- that'll happen  Roll Eyes
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N2EY
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2013, 02:34:57 PM »

what i would really like to see happen, is to go back to requiring 20wpm code proficiency in order to have privileges to the Extra CW segments.  VE's could administer the test (and obviously it would have to be VE's proficient in code). Call it Extra OS (old school).  Grin  yeah -- that'll happen  Roll Eyes

I think there's a better way.

What could be done is for somebody to put together an "Old Tyme Licensing" traveling road show that would go to hamfests, conventions, etc.

They'd give license exams "The Old Way", complete with code tests, "secret" writtens, etc. You'd pick your era (1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, etc.) pay a fee, and have ONE CHANCE to pass each element. If you passed, they'd send you a nice letter-sized award document attesting to your achievement. If you failed, you had to wait 30 days to try again - no do-overs, no refunds.

The documents would not be licenses and would have no value other than bragging rights. But imagine the fun! Imagine a newcomer having awards for all the decades and license classes, and not having to take any guff from old-timers!



73 de Jim, N2EY
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K9AIM
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Posts: 1080




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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2013, 03:14:47 PM »

what i would really like to see happen, is to go back to requiring 20wpm code proficiency in order to have privileges to the Extra CW segments.  VE's could administer the test (and obviously it would have to be VE's proficient in code). Call it Extra OS (old school).  Grin  yeah -- that'll happen  Roll Eyes

I think there's a better way.

What could be done is for somebody to put together an "Old Tyme Licensing" traveling road show that would go to hamfests, conventions, etc.

They'd give license exams "The Old Way", complete with code tests, "secret" writtens, etc. You'd pick your era (1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1960, etc.) pay a fee, and have ONE CHANCE to pass each element. If you passed, they'd send you a nice letter-sized award document attesting to your achievement. If you failed, you had to wait 30 days to try again - no do-overs, no refunds.

The documents would not be licenses and would have no value other than bragging rights. But imagine the fun! Imagine a newcomer having awards for all the decades and license classes, and not having to take any guff from old-timers!

73 de Jim, N2EY

now you're talking!  Grin Grin Grin    do the actual exams from those eras still exist? 

the code proficiency test would be one I am ready for.   It is a little bittersweet to me to be a no-code Extra -- I am disappointed that the day I passed my Advanced in 1977, I failed the 20 wpm Extra code copy exam.  I really hadn't planned on taking the Extra that day, but the FCC exam proctor encouraged me to.  Today I hold an Extra but never got another crack at the 20 wpm code exam. (I was mostly QRT for three decades, but did not really lose a beat in terms of CW).  Bring it on!!!  Smiley

what i was looking for though was resonant with the point in the post that started this thread.  The Extra CW segments used to involve a skill set that today is generally absent, and it seems comparatively dissonant to now allow no-code Extras to go there and yet ban Advanced and General operators who passed 13wpm tests.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2013, 08:17:52 AM »

I did get over it -- I upgraded from Advanced to Extra last year.  Why are you upset it is still being discussed?  If you don't want to discuss it, don't click on this thread....  

It's not that a discussion is a bad thing, but some people on this thread seem all too willing to continue the battle.

Quote
Maybe i am just getting old because i almost want to lament as well about how people can get DXCC using internet spotting or CW awards using keyboards... and don't get me started about remote controls for TVs  Grin

In other words, you seem to want to keep things as they were, nearly forever.  Nice for nostalgia, but not so nice for progress.  It's not that I'm condoning the lack of quality either, because if you want to use CW, you should practice it until you're proficient. 

But there is no reason that testing for one mode should be brought back just because of nostalgia.  Let's just go with the band plans in place, and if you don't use CW, stay off the band segments dedicated for CW.  Should be simple enough--for anybody.  73!
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K9AIM
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2013, 09:13:23 AM »


In other words, you seem to want to keep things as they were, nearly forever.  

no, did you miss that i said 'almost'?  do you think i don't use a remote to control my television?  i was acknowledging that some may interpret my wish to bring back 20wpm code proficiency testing for those who wish access to the Extra CW segments as being against change per se.  

Nice for nostalgia, but not so nice for progress.  It's not that I'm condoning the lack of quality either, because if you want to use CW, you should practice it until you're proficient.  

But there is no reason that testing for one mode should be brought back just because of nostalgia.  Let's just go with the band plans in place, and if you don't use CW, stay off the band segments dedicated for CW.  Should be simple enough--for anybody.  73!

shall i now accuse you of being wedded to the status quo?  Grin

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N0YXB
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2013, 10:20:13 AM »

I wish drivers would use their signal lights, stop at stop signs, and drive courteously.  But that's not going to happen either.
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AE7UT
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2013, 12:21:32 PM »

I'd like the Novice license back also.
I'm a 2 year Extra no code ham.
I'm learning CW and it would be nice to have a bunch
of slow people like me out there practicing.
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K9AIM
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« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2013, 03:10:31 PM »

I'd like the Novice license back also.
I'm a 2 year Extra no code ham.
I'm learning CW and it would be nice to have a bunch
of slow people like me out there practicing.

if you are learning with a straight key, SKCC has a lot of fine op.s who are happy to QRS
http://www.skccgroup.com/
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