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Author Topic: Bring back the Advanced Class  (Read 59325 times)
K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2013, 07:29:48 PM »

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

If you want to.  After all, we did agree that this was a discussion, didn't we?  Looking back, however, and with these new posts, it does look like we're arguing the same side of the coin, just from different edges.   Cool
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N2EY
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Posts: 3926




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« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2013, 05:40:41 AM »

I think there's a very important fact being missed here....

The FCC decided about 30 years ago that they weren't going to micro-manage ham radio by license test and class any more.

They decided that the license tests would cover the basics of radio, and the regulations, and that the rest of it was up to us.

If we want various achievement awards, we could get them elsewhere.
If we value operating proficiency (in ANY mode), technical know-how, etc., it's up to us to promote and preserve those things.

For example, the ARRL Code Proficiency program has been around for many decades, and awards certificates and endorsements at 5 wpm intervals from 10 to 40 wpm. We hams in the USA are free to homebrew almost anything we want, as long as it sounds decent on the air. You can run a 1930s homebrew station with 1 tube transmitter and 2 tube receiver, or the latest store-bought multi-kilobuck SDR, or anything in between, and it's all legal.

I think we need to focus our resources more on doing than on expecting FCC to do for us. Want to hear the lower 25 kHz of 40 full of fast CW? Get on and do it!

IMHO

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W9KEY
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Posts: 1165




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« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2013, 09:05:03 AM »

the original post of this thread pointed to the dissonance created in allowing CW novices into the 25 KHz Extra class CW segments that were formerly characterized by 20wpm minimum tested op.s

when you have bands generally segmented into different levels of operator code proficiency, and then remove the proficiency requirement, those who had cut their teeth on the old stratification may point out what was lost and even suggest going back to it.

Getting VE's to administer 20wpm code proficiency exams to all USA Extra-class applicants wishing access to the bottom 25 KHz of 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters would be great fun, would it not? If regulation costs are the issue -- it could be an access by honor system for all who hold Extras. 

[ducking for cover]
 
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KG6AF
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2013, 09:35:07 AM »

Getting VE's to administer 20wpm code proficiency exams to all USA Extra-class applicants wishing access to the bottom 25 KHz of 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters would be great fun, would it not?

I'm speaking only for myself, but, no, it would not.  I became a VE after the code tests were dropped, but I've heard from some of the VE old-timers that administering the code tests was a pain in the neck.  Having taken the 20WPM test at an early VE session back in '85, I can see why.

Beating a dead horse isn't all that much fun, either.

N2EY is right: if someone wants to set up a club for CW novices, issue certificates and awards, arrange skeds, hold contests, administer recreations of old exams, etc., no one is stopping them.  Sounds like a great idea to me.  And, as has been pointed out, SKCC is already doing some of that.
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2013, 07:01:11 PM »

I really doubt if the Advanced class shows back up.  So, why not make another higher class license than Amateur Extra?  No 'new' privileges, just more prestige.  Maybe just drop a letter from the Extra call signs?  A/K/N/W and a number!
 - 'Doc

I got dibs on the 'W5L' one!  ...or maybe 'W5Z'?
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KCJ9091
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2013, 08:13:33 PM »

K9AIM,

The flaw in your argument is the bottom 25 KHz are not CW only.  They are also RTTY and Data.  Since the Extra written test knowledge of those modes I'm covered.  BUT if you want an additional test for the privilege operating on an antiquated, slow, error prone mode of operation that most other services have allowed to pass into the annals of radio history you are welcome to.  Don't force your wave of nostalgia on everyone else particularly those who have welcomed and embraced the technological advancements of the modern era.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3926




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« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2013, 03:06:31 AM »

the original post of this thread pointed to the dissonance created in allowing CW novices into the 25 KHz Extra class CW segments that were formerly characterized by 20wpm minimum tested op.s

What dissonance? Those segments aren't CW only. And before November 22, 1968 the were open to ALL US hams except Novices and Techs. After the 1990 creation of medical waivers, you could get an Extra with just 5 wpm and a waiver. So in the long history of US amateur licensing, those segments were limited to 20 wpm tested ops for less than 22 years.

when you have bands generally segmented into different levels of operator code proficiency, and then remove the proficiency requirement, those who had cut their teeth on the old stratification may point out what was lost and even suggest going back to it.

Maybe. But recall that there are also those who recall a time when there were no such segments at all.

Getting VE's to administer 20wpm code proficiency exams to all USA Extra-class applicants wishing access to the bottom 25 KHz of 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters would be great fun, would it not? If regulation costs are the issue -- it could be an access by honor system for all who hold Extras. 

[ducking for cover]

We have that now - it's called the ARRL Code Proficiency Program. And it goes up to speeds double the old Extra speed.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N2EY
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Posts: 3926




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« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2013, 03:10:52 AM »

K9AIM,

The flaw in your argument is the bottom 25 KHz are not CW only.  They are also RTTY and Data.  Since the Extra written test knowledge of those modes I'm covered. 

That's true. Hold that thought....

BUT if you want an additional test for the privilege operating on an antiquated, slow, error prone mode of operation that most other services have allowed to pass into the annals of radio history you are welcome to. 

Do you mean RTTY? Because I don't know of any radio service that still uses the old 5 level 60 wpm Baudot RTTY code except hams.

Don't force your wave of nostalgia on everyone else particularly those who have welcomed and embraced the technological advancements of the modern era.

How many other 2-way communication radio services still use AM, wide FM, HF, or SSB? How many are not channelized?

It's not about "nostalgia".

73 de jim N2EY
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W9KEY
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Posts: 1165




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« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2013, 02:28:38 PM »

Quote from: KCJ9091
K9AIM,
The flaw in your argument is the bottom 25 KHz are not CW only.  They are also RTTY and Data.  Since the Extra written test knowledge of those modes I'm covered.  BUT if you want an additional test for the privilege operating on an antiquated, slow, error prone mode of operation that most other services have allowed to pass into the annals of radio history you are welcome to.  Don't force your wave of nostalgia on everyone else particularly those who have welcomed and embraced the technological advancements of the modern era.

error prone?  antiquated?  sounds like RADIO communication, right?  Shocked Wink Grin Roll Eyes 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 03:20:17 PM by K9AIM » Logged
W1JKA
Member

Posts: 1821




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« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2013, 03:18:25 PM »

   Any truth to the rumor of the FCC considering a new Hi-Tech class license? I hear it will be restricted to the use of out of the box plug and play appliance radios,commercially built antennas,tuners, power supplies and amps along with a two part license test consisting of basic rules & regs, and a technical section to determine your ability to read english and comprehend the contents of an operators manual.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3926




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« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2013, 02:17:28 AM »

   Any truth to the rumor of the FCC considering a new Hi-Tech class license? I hear it will be restricted to the use of out of the box plug and play appliance radios,commercially built antennas,tuners, power supplies and amps along with a two part license test consisting of basic rules & regs, and a technical section to determine your ability to read english and comprehend the contents of an operators manual.

No.

Something like that was proposed back in 2004 or so by NCVEC but it never went anywhere.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2013, 10:20:18 AM »

I have yet to figure out how demonstrating CW proficiency would indicate any quality of the person other that just that, the ability to copy CW. Yet, to this day we still have the same old argument advanced by some people that knowing CW somehow makes one a "better ham" or that it somehow makes one more intelligent than someone else. These days you pass a ham exam which is composed of questions on radio theory, regulations and good operating practices.  Maybe the test should be harder, maybe not, that's another debate. But to think that the dropping of the CW requirement has somehow let in an " undesirable element" to the hobby is ridiculous. That "undesirable element" has always been around and will always be around as evidenced by some of the 20wpm Extra class ops who can be observed acting like children on a daily basis, both on the bands and on online sites like e-ham. CW is not my favorite mode but I do use it as an occasional change of pace and I enjoy it when I do so but in the end I find the myriad of digital modes available to be just as efficient if not more so for my general day to day operations. I have now donned my flame suit so fire away! Cheesy
Michael, W4HIJ
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1821




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« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2013, 12:01:49 PM »

Re: W4HIJ
     
     You might as well take off your flame suite as your post did not really leave anything said to be fired at.The usual few who will attempt to pull the trigger are just target practicing with blank loads and generally miss at that.
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3926




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« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2013, 12:15:41 PM »

I have yet to figure out how demonstrating CW proficiency would indicate any quality of the person other that just that, the ability to copy CW.

Here's how:

Most folks, past and present, come to ham radio with no code skills at all. In the past, they had to make the investment of time and effort to learn it enough to get the license. And it's not something most folks can learn passively, or quickly. It requires a personal involvement.

By contrast, a considerable percentage of folks come to ham radio with some basic radio & regulations knowledge. What they don't know can often be learned by reading a book, watching a video, etc. The tests are multiple-choice and there's no rule against memorizing, word-association, or just plain guessing. And it only takes a 74 to pass.

Ancient history now. Code test is gone and not coming back.


73 de Jim, N2EY
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W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




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« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2013, 01:12:03 PM »

I have yet to figure out how demonstrating CW proficiency would indicate any quality of the person other that just that, the ability to copy CW.

Here's how:

Most folks, past and present, come to ham radio with no code skills at all. In the past, they had to make the investment of time and effort to learn it enough to get the license. And it's not something most folks can learn passively, or quickly. It requires a personal involvement.

By contrast, a considerable percentage of folks come to ham radio with some basic radio & regulations knowledge. What they don't know can often be learned by reading a book, watching a video, etc. The tests are multiple-choice and there's no rule against memorizing, word-association, or just plain guessing. And it only takes a 74 to pass.

Ancient history now. Code test is gone and not coming back.


73 de Jim, N2EY

I don't buy it. CW is definitely an acquired skill but it doesn't take any special '"talent" to master. It's simply a matter of practice. Anyone can learn it. It's not like someone becoming a musician or an artist where there has to be an innate ability to start with if one wants to become successful. And if you want to get right down to it, you could guess on the CW exam as well once it came down to the final version of it which involved copying one side of a QSO and answering questions about it. You didn't need anywhere near solid copy. CW ability has NEVER been an indication of character, intelligence or talent.  Take a listen to the bands sometimes and write down the calls of some of the foul mouthed and ignorant vermin we have in our midst and then do the research to find out what license class they are and when they were licensed. You will find 20 wpm Extras there for sure.  What license class you are or whether or not it is code or no code ticket has absolutely no bearing on the type of person you are or how good and courteous an op you are. I do agree with your last statement though, it's ancient history.  There are a lot of hams that still need to get over it.
Michael, W4HIJ
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 01:14:53 PM by W4HIJ » Logged
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