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Author Topic: Just wondering...  (Read 6274 times)
W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2013, 06:36:05 PM »

I'm curious how one researches all this stuff. W4HIJ was my Father's call and when he passed away I applied for it. Before that I was N4LCP. I got that call when I upgraded from Novice to Technician because I was entitled to a 1X3 and wanted it. My original call was KA4FVJ. Looking at the ULS, I can find N4LCP and the change to W4HIJ but there seems to be no record anywhere of me ever having held KA4FVJ. I was 15 or 16 years old when first licensed so that would have put the time of issue around 1977 to 1978.
Michael, W4HIJ
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WN2C
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Posts: 470




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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2013, 06:56:42 PM »

Michael, try this...VanityHQ's Unique Call Lookup.  And don't thank me, thank Steve W3HF.  However your old call may not have ever been put into any computer system including the FCC's.  I can't find my Novice call any where except for some old call books.

Rick  wn2c
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K9AIM
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Posts: 1080




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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2013, 06:56:54 PM »

So tell me....

what elements did I have to pass?

73 de Jim, N2EY

Jim -- here you go:

Quote from: N2EY date=October 26, 2011
I got my Novice in 1967 (age 13), Tech and Advanced in 1968 (age 14), and Extra in 1970 (age 16). Would have gotten Extra earlier but for the 2 year [mandatory] wait. Got the Advanced in the summer before I started high school; the Extra in the summer between 10th and 11th grade.

when did the exams become multiple choice and no longer require drawing schematics?
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WN2C
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Posts: 470




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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2013, 07:02:33 PM »

So tell me....

what elements did I have to pass?

73 de Jim, N2EY

Jim -- here you go:

Quote from: N2EY date=October 26, 2011
I got my Novice in 1967 (age 13), Tech and Advanced in 1968 (age 14), and Extra in 1970 (age 16). Would have gotten Extra earlier but for the 2 year [mandatory] wait. Got the Advanced in the summer before I started high school; the Extra in the summer between 10th and 11th grade.

when did the exams become multiple choice and no longer require drawing schematics?

I am going to take a SWAG at this and say when the volunteer examiner system started.

Rick  wn2c









SWAG = scientific wild ass guess
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K9AIM
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Posts: 1080




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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2013, 07:08:30 PM »

I believe it ended in the early 1960's.  I know my uncle (and elmer) had been licensed since the 1920's and had an Advanced when I got mine in 1977.  His Advanced was different though in that when he got his there was no Extra class -- Advanced was as high as you could go.  And I believe some Advanced at the time felt it a bit of a slight when the Extra came about but they were expected to upgrade if they wanted to be Extras (even though the theory exams they took were probably more difficult than the Extra exam). In terms of code, the newly minted Extra class did require 20wpm, while i think the old Advanced may have been just 13wpm ... Huh
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 07:14:10 PM by K9AIM » Logged
N3QE
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Posts: 2289




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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2013, 04:57:27 AM »

Silly question time. I make several tens of thousands of CW QSO's every year. Speeds from 5 to 40 WPM. Many ragchews include talking about how long ago when we were originally licensed. Nobody ever asks me to certify, with official-like publicly accessible documents, what FCC code tests I passed.

If your licensing history does come up during ragchews, it's probably just because it's a common topic of discussion especially with old-timers but even when I was a Novice at age 10... it was also a common topic of discussion with newbies back then too.

If there are OF Extras demanding to know when and where someone passed their 20WPM test... I betcha it's on 75M phone that they are making those demands :-)
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K9AIM
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Posts: 1080




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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2013, 11:56:39 AM »

I believe it ended in the early 1960's.  I know my uncle (and elmer) had been licensed since the 1920's and had an Advanced when I got mine in 1977.  His Advanced was different though in that when he got his there was no Extra class -- Advanced was as high as you could go.  And I believe some Advanced at the time felt it a bit of a slight when the Extra came about but they were expected to upgrade if they wanted to be Extras (even though the theory exams they took were probably more difficult than the Extra exam). In terms of code, the newly minted Extra class did require 20wpm, while i think the old Advanced may have been just 13wpm ... Huh

looks like i need to remember the old adage: "better to be silent and hide your ignorance than open your mouth and confirm it"  Grin

licensing has changed many times throughout the years:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_licensing_in_the_United_States#History_of_U.S._amateur_licensing
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K9AIM
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2013, 12:04:11 PM »

so after reading the wikipedia history and then some of the history posted here -- i am confused.  Was the original Class A ever called Extra prior to WWII?  Wiki seems to suggest that  Huh  but then i found info here (which i have posted below) which reinforces what i seem to remember about my uncle holding an Advanced:

Here's a short history:

From 1932 until 1951 US amateur radio licensing was pretty simple. There were three license classes (A, B and C) and two levels of license privileges. Class B and Class C had the same requirements and privileges, with Class C being the by-mail version of Class B.
 
In those days all US hams had to pass 10 or 13 wpm Morse Code tests in sending and receiving (the speed changed in 1936) and a written test. Class A required a second, more-advanced written exam plus a year's experience. Class A was not available by mail.

All three of the ABC license classes could use all amateur frequencies at full power. However, to operate voice modes on the ham bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz required a Class A license.

In 1951, after several years of proposals, comments and discussion, the FCC restructured the license classes from three to six. This was done to more adequately serve the Basis and Purposes of the Amateur Radio Service, which were made part of the regulations at the same time. The license classes were:

Novice: (new in 1951) 5 wpm code, basic written test, 1 year nonrenewable term, very limited privileges on a few bands. Meant to be a learner's permit to make it easier for newcomers to get into amateur radio.

Technician: (new in 1951) 5 wpm code, same written test as General/Conditional. 5 year renewable term, all  privileges on 220 and up. Meant to be a special purpose license for those interested in VHF/UHF experimentation.
 
General: Renamed Class B, same requirements and privileges. 

Conditional: Renamed Class C, same requirements and privileges.

Advanced: Renamed Class A, same requirements and privileges. Advanced was closed to new issues after Dec 31 1952. Existing Advanceds would retain full privileges and could renew and modify their licenses.

Extra: (new in 1951) Replacement for the Advanced Clas A as the full-privileges license. 20 wpm code tests and a second written exam even more comprehensive than for the Advanced. Also two years experience as a General, Conditional or Advanced.

General, Advanced and Extra exams were not available by mail.

The ARRL supported the creation of the Novice and Technician licenses, but *opposed* the creation of the Extra, because it raised the bar for full privileges.

When the rules changed, many amateurs rushed to get Advanceds before they were no longer available. But just before the door closed, the FCC did a complete turnaround and gave full privileges to Generals and Conditionals, effective Feb 18 1953.

The result was that while there were six license classes (Novice/Technician/General/Condtional/Advanced/Extra), there were really only three levels of license (Novice/Technician/everybody else).

That state of affairs lasted for only about 15 years before it was changed again, in a process that became known as "incentive licensing".

In the early 1960s there began to be concern that the technical and operating know-how of US hams wasn't what it should be. After the 1953 very few hams went beyond the General/Conditional class, and homebrewing and experimenting seemed to be in decline among amateurs because more and more simply bought factory-made rigs that they didn't really understand very well.

The FCC expressed concern about these trends at the time. It was clear they expected more from US hams.

Proposals were submitted to FCC to change the license structure as an "incentive" for hams to upgrade their knowledge. While the ARRL is often "blamed" for incentive licensing, in reality there were at least ten other proposals submitted to FCC. And the original ARRL proposal was simple: Go back to the system in place until 1953 by reopening the Advanced to new issues and requiring an Advanced or Extra for voice on the bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz.

The discussion went on for five years, and in the end a much more complex plan was put into place. There were subbands-by-license-class, so that no existing amateur was pushed completely off a band or mode where s/he had existing privileges. That's where the patchwork quilt of frequency privileges came from - and it wasn't an ARRL idea at all; it came from other proposals. The new rules went into effect in late 1968 and 1969.

The reasons for incentive licensing aren't "ego-stroking" or "wanting to sell more license manuals". They're far more complex. Here are some:

The trends away from homebrewing and experimenting were driven by the increasing affluence of Americans at the time, and by the increasing complexity and miniaturization of electronics. (The real inflation-adjusted wages of the average American were actually increasing back then.)

There was a definite "activist" mindset in those days, too. One illustration is JFK's famous "Ask not, what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country". More than a few folks asked "what is Amateur Radio doing for our country?" and "how can it do more?".

"Hobby" wasn't going to cut it.

The Cold War and the Space Race were in full swing, and more than a few folks were concerned that the USA was losing ground. The USSR kept getting the firsts in the history of space - first orbital satellite, first human in space, and many others - and the USA wasn't. Many felt that the educational systems of the USA had inadequate emphasis on science and technology, and pushed for more. Amateur Radio, with its connection to self-training, was seen as part of it.

Eventually that "Sputnik fever" cooled off, but not before the rules were changed in the late 1960s.

Since then the license system has had a series of changes:

The Technician license gradually got more privileges,
including Novice HF privileges.

Mid 1970s: Conditional phased out, Novice made renewable and 5 years, experience requirement for Extra eliminated, code sending test waived.

Early 1980s: exams were taken over by the VE system and the Technician effectively became an intermediate step between Novice and General.

1987: Written for Technician and General was split into two parts with both required for General but only one for Tech.

1990: Medical waivers for the 13 and 20 wpm code tests were introduced.

1991: Tech loses its code test.

1994: Tech Plus created to differentiate code-tested Techs, who have some HF privileges.

2000: Novice and Advanced closed to new issues, Tech Plus phased out by renewal as Tech, all license classes requiring code reduced to 5 wpm.

2007: 5 wpm code test eliminated.

73 de Jim, N2EY

also:


Before WW2 the US ham bands were 160, 80, 40, 20, 10, 5, 2-1/2 and 1-1/4 meters. And that was all. The 'phone subbands were narrower than today and 40 was all CW - no phone subband at all.

Before the restructuring of 1951, Class B hams had all CW plus phone on 160, 10, 5, 2-1/2 and 1-1/4. The only things Class B could not do was operate 'phone on 75 or 20 meters.

Class A had all privileges.

There was also Class C, which was the same as Class B (not Class A!) but the exam was by-mail.

And although Class C gave the same privileges and had the same tests as Class B, it came with special requirements. You could only get a Class C if you lived more than a certain distance from an FCC exam point, or were disabled to the point that you couldn't get to an FCC exam session.

But if you moved within the required distance of an FCC exam point, or recovered from the health problem, you had 90 days to appear at an FCC exam session or lose your license.

In addition, the Class C carried no credit towards Class A. If a Class C wanted a Class A license, s/he had to travel to an FCC exam session *and* retake and pass the Class B tests. (Special arrangements were made for disabled hams).

Thanks to N3DF for the correction.

73 de Jim, N2EY 

and:


Consider how the *written* testing has changed over the years.

There was a time, well within the experience of many of today's hams, when the written tests above Novice required you to draw block and schematic diagrams, answer essay questions, do show-your-work calculations, and answer some multiple choice too. The exam Q&A were not published, either. Most hams had taken their tests in FCC-run exam sessions, too. There were no CSCEs, and if you failed a test you had to wait at least 30 days to try again.

The result was that most hams "overlearned" quite a bit, in order to be sure of passing.

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N2EY
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2013, 04:39:03 AM »

when did the exams become multiple choice and no longer require drawing schematics?

There was no one date on which the changeover happened. It was 20-odd years before the VE system, too.

Here's the history:

From its creation in 1951 onward, the Novice written was always multiple choice.

The General/Conditional/Tech, Advanced, and Extra writtens, and their predecessors, were all "blue book" tests. From the beginning, they consisted of a mix of essay questions, draw-a-diagram questions, show-your-work calculation questions, and some multiple choice. The questions in the License Manuals were similar but not identical to the questions on the actual tests.

In 1960 or '61, FCC announced that they were changing over to all-multiple-choice tests, with the standard answer sheets, #2 pencils, etc. This was for all license classes.

BUT!!

To avoid wasting resources, the changeover would only be made when the old-style test materials ran out at each exam point. Depending on where you went for the exam, and what class of license you went for, there was a period in the early-mid 1960s during which you could encounter either style of test. From what I have been told, this happened rather quickly for the General/Technician/Conditional written, but took several years for the Extra.

When the "incentive licensing" rules first went into effect (1967), new tests were needed, and the old exams had to be discarded. (The reason I say 1967 is because it was in that year that the Advanced was reopened to new issues, and the old Extra test was split into two elements - one for Advanced, the other for Extra. All Extras had to pass both).

73 de jim, N2EY 
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N5MOA
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Posts: 1053




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« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2013, 11:39:56 AM »


I know what code speed I passed when it was required.  Just wondering if any one can tell me which it it was.  This has to do with the No Code Extra debate that still rages on.


If you go here   http://www.ae7q.com/  and type in your call, click "look up", then click on the date below "effective date" and scroll to the bottom of that page, it shows your code proficiency as 13 wpm.
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