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Author Topic: Zero to Extra Class in 3 Weeks. Confession of a Dick Bash Ham  (Read 17485 times)
KB7XU
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« Reply #60 on: April 03, 2013, 10:49:55 AM »



N2EY writes, "Point is, back when Bash was selling his books, having the exact Q&A was considered cheating by FCC and most hams. The rules changed in 1983 and put him out of business - but until then, it was cheating."

I didn't utilize Bash's material to get my licences because I worked in the field and learning the material wasn't that hard for me.  Learning CW was the slowest part but it was fun.

I can understand the resentment among many hams at the time but I don't think he or his followers cheated.  Bash most likely just used the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  FOIA was designed by John Moss, a representative from California and was enacted in 1966.  If Bash used FOIA, he was just using federal law to research federal regulations and it was legal.  Federal publications are non-copyrighted and Bash's reprinting of such data was in fact, legal as well.

The fact that the FCC may have been miffed at Bash's publishing its data does not constitute cheating on Bash's part.

73 to all,    ~Max

   
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KK4APV
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« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2013, 02:15:58 AM »



N2EY writes, "Point is, back when Bash was selling his books, having the exact Q&A was considered cheating by FCC and most hams. The rules changed in 1983 and put him out of business - but until then, it was cheating."

I can understand the resentment among many hams at the time but I don't think he or his followers cheated.  Bash most likely just used the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  FOIA was designed by John Moss, a representative from California and was enacted in 1966.  If Bash used FOIA, he was just using federal law to research federal regulations and it was legal.  Federal publications are non-copyrighted and Bash's reprinting of such data was in fact, legal as well.

The fact that the FCC may have been miffed at Bash's publishing its data does not constitute cheating on Bash's part.

73 to all,    ~Max

   

That is an excellent point.

And what is the purpose of a "test"? Isn't it primarily to affirm that the test-taker is knowledgeable and knows the material. Aren't there many paths to enlightenment? Smiley

There are plenty folks running around now claiming that the current "Extra" exam is easy, and maybe even TOO easy. I don't agree. I struggled with that one, but I do not have ANY background in electrical systems and electronics.

And yet, thanks to some serious studying, I passed that test with room to spare (missing only four), and through all that studying, I learned quite a bit of new information.

Which leads me back to my original question: What *is* the true point of the ham radio licensing tests? Is it to demonstrate a proficiency and/or expertise? Or is it to demonstrate whose got a good memory? Or is it to "keep out the riff raff"?

As a freshly licensed extra, I'm more than a little curious.


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W9KEY
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« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2013, 11:11:11 AM »

What *is* the true point of the ham radio licensing tests? Is it to demonstrate a proficiency and/or expertise? Or is it to demonstrate whose got a good memory? Or is it to "keep out the riff raff"?

I would say it is an attempt to ensure a minimum level of competence for those who will potentially transmits 1000 watts of RF into the air and a minimum level of knowledge regarding operation norms. In practical terms the present exam process keeps out some of the riff-raff and also demonstrates some have great memories. 

I wonder if those who would like to see code proficiency testing re-instated (not that it will ever happen) wish to do so to keep out the riff-raff or to increase operating proficiency?  I think it does both as CW communication by its nature facilitates appreciation of brevity and efficiency and becomes an additional hoop to jump thru which one must invest time in to master. And I am talking about the 13wpm and 20wpm exams -- not the 5wpm variety.

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AK4ZW
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« Reply #63 on: April 04, 2013, 12:32:05 PM »

I am a "zero to extra in one sitting" Ham. But I actually knew most of the theory from my career beforehand.

Was that cheating? Bah. The difficult part of the tests were the regulations which couldn't be derived
or inferred. Simple rote memory. I am now learning morse for fun, and up to 20+ WPM using an iPhone
app. Is that cheating? Pfffft.

I missed one question each on the three tests. One (the tech) I actually shaded the wrong box.
I am 4 months licensed and I am as good any anyone else that is on the Air. To tell you the truth
I was severly disappointed by the general quality of the majority of the licensed hams I met at first.

Oafs, and the older the worse. That's ok. I will still be on the air after they are fertilizing the ground.

seventythree

ETA: I was disappointed that the Extra didn't have more math and theory. I wanted a challenge. Oh well.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 12:39:06 PM by AK4ZW » Logged
WS3N
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« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2013, 05:55:35 AM »

For me the big concern is not letting ham radio degenerate into CB.  There may be some fine CB'ers, but there is a lot of garbage.  75 meters has become way too much like 11 meters as far as I am concerned.  I was first licensed in 1976... I think the more difficult the license requirements are, the less likely ham radio is to become like CB (and vice versa). 

I have not been near 75m for quite some time, but from what I've heard I don't have the impression that the finer specimens from that band are brand new no-code extras. It sounded like they've been at it for a long time. Rather than degenerating into CB, it is just as likely that things will improve when these geezers bite the dust. That will make room for respectable hams to repopulate the band, much like a blighted neighborhood coming back to life when new owners move in.
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AC2EU
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« Reply #65 on: April 05, 2013, 06:57:03 AM »

For me the big concern is not letting ham radio degenerate into CB.  There may be some fine CB'ers, but there is a lot of garbage.  75 meters has become way too much like 11 meters as far as I am concerned.  I was first licensed in 1976... I think the more difficult the license requirements are, the less likely ham radio is to become like CB (and vice versa). 

I have not been near 75m for quite some time, but from what I've heard I don't have the impression that the finer specimens from that band are brand new no-code extras. It sounded like they've been at it for a long time. Rather than degenerating into CB, it is just as likely that things will improve when these geezers bite the dust. That will make room for respectable hams to repopulate the band, much like a blighted neighborhood coming back to life when new owners move in.

Very true! I haven't heard anything untoward in the "EXTRA" portion of the band either. It's all in the upper most "GENERAL" area. It's like the "bad side of town" or the wild wild west up there.   Shocked
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W9KEY
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« Reply #66 on: April 05, 2013, 09:25:56 AM »

For me the big concern is not letting ham radio degenerate into CB.  There may be some fine CB'ers, but there is a lot of garbage.  75 meters has become way too much like 11 meters as far as I am concerned.  I was first licensed in 1976... I think the more difficult the license requirements are, the less likely ham radio is to become like CB (and vice versa). 

I have not been near 75m for quite some time, but from what I've heard I don't have the impression that the finer specimens from that band are brand new no-code extras. It sounded like they've been at it for a long time. Rather than degenerating into CB, it is just as likely that things will improve when these geezers bite the dust. That will make room for respectable hams to repopulate the band, much like a blighted neighborhood coming back to life when new owners move in.

Very true! I haven't heard anything untoward in the "EXTRA" portion of the band either. It's all in the upper most "GENERAL" area. It's like the "bad side of town" or the wild wild west up there.   Shocked

I don't see how you can reasonably infer that it is a function of old age.   We have not had true code-testing for a long time and even the 5wpm test has been absent for several years.  And just because someone hanging out on 75 meters may be very old, does not reveal whether they have been a ham for 3 years or 30 years.   And even if they were all younger, won't all the newer hams you mention that are repopulating the band likely to age as time passes?
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WS3N
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« Reply #67 on: April 05, 2013, 10:15:20 AM »

I should have been more clear. I was not suggesting that the poor behavior was due to age.

This is only based on my impression from listening some time ago. The groups I heard were all good ol' boys who sounded like they had been meeting for years, and their conversations indicated that. It seemed to me that they felt like they owned the place.

Also, I don't see how code or class of license affects this one way or the other.
 
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W9KEY
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« Reply #68 on: April 05, 2013, 02:04:52 PM »


Also, I don't see how code or class of license affects this one way or the other.
 

to me the removal of 13 and 20wpm code testing (let alone 5wpm) simply lowered the bar in terms of the time required to get a license and phone privileges.  I have never heard rude comments on CW.  But the main point I am making is that if you lower the bar required to hurdle over in order to become a surgeon, you will end up with more surgeons and more poor ones.

I am not suggesting being code tested or fluent necessarily makes one a better ham. There are many great hams who don't do CW. 
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W0DV
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« Reply #69 on: April 05, 2013, 04:34:21 PM »

I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but any moron can learn a petty, technical skill. Or perhaps I am just really smart.
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WA4D
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« Reply #70 on: April 06, 2013, 10:04:22 AM »

Quote
I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but any moron can learn a petty, technical skill.

That is the best single line of the entire thread.  I've always found it amusing that many hams consider learning basic electronics and elementary RF theory is an accomplishment of note.
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N4TTS
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« Reply #71 on: April 06, 2013, 11:34:51 AM »

That is the best single line of the entire thread.  I've always found it amusing that many hams consider learning basic electronics and elementary RF theory is an accomplishment of note.

Don't knock rote memorization. You've no idea the hours of pesky component level troubleshooting I've saved by staring menacingly at a piece of malfunctioning equipment while brandishing a screwdriver and authoritatively quoting Kirchoff's laws...

Don N4TTS
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 11:38:23 AM by N4TTS » Logged
W9KEY
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« Reply #72 on: April 06, 2013, 12:13:13 PM »

You've no idea the hours of pesky component level troubleshooting I've saved by staring menacingly at a piece of malfunctioning equipment while brandishing a screwdriver and authoritatively quoting Kirchoff's laws...

^the new best line in the thread^
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W1JKA
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« Reply #73 on: April 06, 2013, 02:25:38 PM »

  I think Dick Bash had a hidden future agenda:He saw and created a need for the future No Know hams and wisely told his children to invest in the big 3 off the shelf,plug and play appliance manufacturers.
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KX8N
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« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2013, 04:17:37 AM »

But the main point I am making is that if you lower the bar required to hurdle over in order to become a surgeon, you will end up with more surgeons and more poor ones.

Unfortunately, people act like amateur radio IS some kind of surgery, or some job working with nuclear materials. It's not, it's only about talking, and having a proper station. That's all. Unfortunately no kind of testing is a filter for keeping riff raff out. Technical ability and personality traits are two different things. Speaking of surgeons, think of how many you have heard of who have butchered people up, or are known to be drug addicts since they have access to medicine - look at how much testing and training THEY went through.
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