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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsday?

from Len Anderson, AF6AY on December 14, 2008
View comments about this article!

What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsday?

Many expostulations have appeared on amateur radio forums before and after the first day of USA amateur radio licensing where International Morse Code testing was eliminated on 23 February 2007. The following was the first post on rec.radio.amateur.policy newsgroup on Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 5:54 PM local Pacific Time Zone, under the subject title of "The First 13 Days of the Revolution."

At that precise time I was not aware that my own new license grant of Amateur Extra had taken place on the FCC amateur radio database and the 664 postings that followed had degenerated into the usual arguing over "pro-code' versus "no-code-test," none actually commenting directly on the supposed predictions of "what would happen" by already-licensed radio amateurs. That verbatim first posting is shown in Courier font with later comments in Times New Roman font.

   COMPARISON OF APPLICATIONS OF VECS FROM FCC SEARCH 

Based on use of the FCC's own Search engine on their website on the 13th day of no code test for US radio amateurs, the following tabulations show the 14 VEC's activity from 24 Feb to 7 Mar 07: ALL actions NEW %, New VEC and classes Licensees to All ---------------------- ----------- --------- ------ Milwaukee RA Club, Inc 52 9 17.3 Laurel AR Club, Inc 242 24 9.9 Anchorage ARC 37 9 24.3 ARRL/VEC 3,055 614 20.1 W4VEC 110 8 7.3 Greater LA AR Group 13 6 46.2 Sunnyvale VEC ARC Inc 43 0 0 W.Carolina AR Soc/VEC, Inc 209 32 15.3 Golden Empire AR Soc 16 1 6.3 Central America VEC Inc 1 0 0 W5YI-VEC 887 178 20.1 MO-KAN VE Coordinator 22 5 22.7 Sandarc-VEC 46 6 13.0 Jefferson AR Club 0 0 0

Total, All 14 VECs 4,233 892 21.1

Total FCC Actions 7,121 937 13.2

A starting date of 24 Feb rather than 23 Feb was chosen to allow application processing from the 22nd and before to be done. That would cause skewed comparisons between coded and non?coded testing. However, skew still occurs due to slow mail delivery to the VEC Hqs and their processing for input to the FCC. For that reason a new time period was begun on Wednesday, 28 Feb to Wednesday, 7 March to provide more isolation from code?test period processing:

ALL actions NEW %, New VEC and classes Licensees to All ---------------------- ----------- --------- ------- Milwaukee RA Club, Inc 0 0 0 Laurel AR Club, Inc 157 17 10.8 Anchorage ARC 34 9 26.5 * ARRL/VEC 2,505 434 17.3 W4VEC 37 2 5.4 Greater LA AR Group 0 0 0 Sunnyvale VEC ARC Inc 8 0 0 W.Carolina AR Soc/VEC, Inc 82 19 23.2 Golden Empire AR Soc 16 1 6.3 * Central America VEC Inc 1 0 0 * W5YI-VEC 609 154 25.3 MO-KAN VE Coordinator 22 5 22.7 * Sandarc-VEC 21 3 14.3 Jefferson AR Club 0 0 0 *

Total, All 14 VECs 3,492 892 25.6

Total FCC Actions 4,894 644 13.2

* Unchanged from first tally

A one-week period is still too soon to see much of a trend or change in activity, primarily due to (usual) monthly periods of VEC testing sessions; some may skip the Friday, 23 Feb no-code-test start but others may have added a testing session during or shortly after the 23 Feb date. Note that the Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Club got nearly 1 out of 2 as NEW during the 4-day interval between starting dates of each tabulation.

In essence, the tabulations show (for bigger VECs) mostly license modifications, class upgrades as the major activity. New licensees are about one-quarter or less of all test session results; this seems on-par with prior testing.

Some, including the ARRL itself, had claimed that the ARRL/VEC did "new licensee processing first." There is no real proof of this since a breakdown of actions resulting from their VE team testing for 28 Feb to 7 Mar show the following:

Activity (from FCC) Total Percentage of 3,055 --------------------- ----- ------------------- Administrative Update 48 1.6 Duplicate License 11 0.4 Modification 2,028 66.4 Renewal/Modification 81 2.7 Renewal Only 273 8.9 NEW 614 20.1

4 out of 5 test session items are either modifications, renewals or class upgrade testing. The FCC Application Search site does not differentiate "modifications" as to address or name changes versus license class changes without a much more detailed examination of individuals.

I took my test on Sunday, 25 February 2007 before an ARRL VEC team. It was 10 calendar days before the FCC granted my amateur license, another week and a half before I received the plain paper grant certificate. By comparison, 51 years earlier at an FCC Field Office in Chicago, IL, my grant of a First Class Radiotelephone (Commercial) Radio Operator license arrived by surface mail just 12 days after that test date. Back then there was no such thing as "electronic data processing," only electromagnetic punch card and collating apparatus. In a half century there has been little streamlining of the license process. As far as the paper evidence of a license grant is concerned, it took about 19 days for my amateur radio licence to arrive by surface mail.

The predicted "hordes of newcomers (and other undesirables)" in USA amateur radio did not occur. The majority of actions in those first two weeks following "doomsday" were license class changes among those already-licensed. Has that improved in the following 21 months after the "doomsday" of code test elimination in USA amateur licensing? No. USA amateur licenses are expiring at about 27 thousand per year...as they were before 23 February 2007. There is only the tiniest increase in total license numbers as a result of new licensees. The peak of all license numbers was reached over five years ago.

Is there any evidence that the ARRL or any other organization is actively trying to gain new USA amateur radio licensees? I would say a conditional NO. If all one reads is amateur radio publications, there is "action aplenty." Go outside that insular minority group and it is a definite NO. It could be more. There is no evidence of that "more" in the mainstream Within the closed confines of USA amateur radio there are countless high-fives and congratulations...but only among its licensees, all recounting old, old tales and ancient morals that become exaggerated with time. Promotion MUST come OUTSIDE of the hobby activity, go mainstream, not remain locked in its tiny clubhouse isolated from the rest of the radio world.

Len Anderson, AF6AY
af6ay@arrl.net LenAnderson@ieee.org

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by NN4RH on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is nonsense.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KW4JX on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Incentive licensing should be abolished. All hams are equal. The license should be granted for construction of a piece of ham equipment which should be taken home and used to communicate with other hams.
W2/G3LBS
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KG4RUL on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
ROTFLMAO
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KC2TIR on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
In response to G3LBS (Gil) By your comment. Should everyone, who may be visually and or physically challenged have no right to licencing if they are unable to build equipment? Yes I'm a new licenced, NO Code Tech but I feel that I do the right thing while on the radio in regards to the rules and regs. This is only a hobby not the HOLY GRALL. My two cents. 73, Ted
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N4CQR on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is going to get interesting very shortly...
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by W3LK on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
<< This is going to get interesting very shortly...>>

Not really. It's just another troll-type "article" posted for the sole purpose of starting another flame war. and getting the hit count for eHam up.

eHam - the Jerry Springer Show of amateur radio internet sites

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by WB9URN on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
what W3LK said.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1BXI on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"eHam - the Jerry Springer Show of amateur radio internet sites"

This one will become the Len and Jim show.

John
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N7YA on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I WISH there was a big influx....better chance of getting good hams with the dreaded "bad ones". Neither happened, bad or good.

We could hash this tired subject out all day and night...we all have our tickets, a couple dont...no big deal, if we can all get licensed and get on the air like were supposed to, we can quit nitpicking the damn hobby to death and actually try to enjoy it for once. Maybe enjoy eachothers company as friends, instead of needlessly being internet enemies.

Im constantly writing in my logbook because i enjoy using my license...who cares what the small details are saying. People have been fearing the demise of ham radio since the beginning of ham radio...read any QST from the 20's or 30's, there are all kinds of letters to the ed running the same "these NEW hams are ruining the hobby"...that was the main thing that convinced me to not sweat who else has a ticket and how they got it. All i care about is making the contact with another person over the air, maybe swapping cards for fun. Theres no need to disect every aspect of the hobby, i will worry about me, you worry about you.

I also dont care, at least not in a long time, if people on here post with a call or not...its petty to argue about that, its petty to gripe about new or old hams, its petty to take any of this stuff so seriously that you get agitated when someone does something in it that YOU wouldnt do. It leads me to believe that folks who do that missed the point altogether.

And i already know where this thread is going to go. So do all of you.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K0BG on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Lon might very well be correct, but...

There is a cadre (I don't think any one knows the real number) of amateurs who have been licensed for many years, mostly as Generals with a smattering of Advanced. You heard the same line of garbage from them that you heard from a lot of the CB crowd. "If it wasn't for the code, I'd upgrade." Hogwash.

While I'm sure some of the cadre did indeed upgrade, I'd just bet the vast majority of them haven't. In other words, they used the code as an excuse for their laziness. Makes one wonder what they use for an excuse now? I confess I haven't listened to 75 meters for a long time, so I don't know the answer.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KV9U on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The reality is that if the FCC had not done away with the code requirement, had not made the tests much easier to pass, and had not put the Volunteer Examiner program in place, we would have very, very, few new hams. And very few upgrades.

When we first put the VE program in place in my area, we had a large number of OT's who then found it practical to upgrade from General to Advanced or Extra. When the code was discontinued for the Technician class we had a very large increase in the number taking classes. When code was discontinued for all classes we had a number of upgrades from General to Extra that would never have happened if the CW requirement had stayed in place.

I seriously doubt whether there would have been more than 10 to 20% of the number of students in classes that I have taught over the years since the discontinuance of CW. And contrary to what many have claimed, at least in our area, we often have more younger people getting their license than was common when I was first licensed in 1963.

The individuals who are getting licensed today are often spouses and children of hams plus those who have a modest interest in radio communications. I have one student who is a young teen and is focused on the emergency communications aspect. Two other teen girls are from ham families and want to participate in family radio communications (much the same way my wife and daughter have done for many years). I have rarely found many who have a deep interest in the technology or who have much interest in DXing or contesting. A few may develop that interest later on should they upgrade to more HF privileges.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KG4TKC on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
- Autobiography of Mark Twain

And now we have utter nonsense to go with the statistics. After some very good articles,the Articles section of Eham has hit ROCK BOTTOM again.

Good articles on Eham are getting as rare as sunspots!
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by WB9URN on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
what W3LK said.......

"It's just another troll-type "article" posted for the sole purpose of starting another flame war. and getting the hit count for eHam up."

Especially the "getting the hit count for eHam up."
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by EC158 on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
very interesting info...
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K0BG on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
It may sound like I'm waxing nostalgia, but if that's the case, great. It's off-subject, but it's as good a place to start as any.

Bill Fisher, W4AN (sk), was the founder of the Contesting.com Web site. Bill, Garth Hitchens, KG7GA, Randy Thompson, K5ZD, and Trey Garlough, N5KO, founded eHam.net in 1999. These sites were hosted by his own company, Akorn Hosting, along with several others he hosted at no, or reduced, charge. It was his way of paying back the amateur community, for what ever reason.

After his death, his hosting company struggled to stay afloat. It didn't, and as a result, the aforementioned sites had to find new hosts, including mine own paid site. While I can afford the $150 per year it takes to support my personal site, it's a pittance in size and scope to eham.net, or Contesting.com for that matter. I have no idea what the yearly support costs are, but I'd bet the ad and subscription revenues barely cover the true cost.

If you naysayers wish to bash the editors and webmasters for their choice of content in almost every posted article, sobeit. They've heard/read worse! But remember this; If it weren't for their dedication, and hard work, eham.net would have died soon after Bill did, and we all would have been the worse for it.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KB1SF on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Gil (W2/G3LBS) wrote: "Incentive licensing should be abolished."

I couldn't agree more.

Indeed, I see the sad results of that "incentive" foolishness in our ever-advancing median age (now closing in on age 60) as well as in our utter inability to successfully attract (and keep) enough youthful newcomers to sustain our Service's viability once we oldsters are dead and gone.

I often wonder if those people in our ranks who are still so desperately clinging to their dying dream of keeping such things as Morse testing and incentive licensing alive have ever stopped to think that if the privileges granted by our licensing system were simply based on safety and non-interference considerations (rather than on a set of ego-stroking rewards obtained by completing a whole series of largely bogus "hazing rituals") then such "achievement" and "incentive" nonsense would have remained largely moot.

It's only because the FCC (at the urging of the ARRL) chose to turn our Service into the "No Budding RF Engineer Left Behind" Radio Service back in the 1960s that these lingering "I had to earn it" issues are even on the radar. Unfortunately, such dogma has now become so firmly entrenched in our collective psyche regarding how Amateurs are tested and licensed here in the United States that someone unfamiliar with our Service might actually think we were talking about a religion!

Sadly, few U.S. hams realize that, internationally, a license to operate in our Service was never, EVER intended by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to be “earned”. Rather, at the international level, the ITU has always intended that our licenses simply be "granted".

In fact, in Canada, one is not even "licensed" to operate in the Amateur Service! Rather, one is simply "certified" to operate on our Amateur bands there.

And while on the surface, the use of different terminology for our authorizations to operate on our bands may appear to simply be a difference in semantics; it most likely has FAR more to do with the fact that Canada (like most other countries in the rest of the world) never bought into any of this so-called achievement-based, "incentive" nonsense for its Amateur Service. Rather, like most other countries, Canada has simply chosen to follow the far less achievement-oriented ITU guidelines.

To put it another way, the ITU (via the International Radio Regulations) NEVER required (nor did they ever intend) that a license grant in our Service was to be based on a series of baseless achievement tests (spelled "hazing rituals") that were all designed to be administered LONG before applicants had a chance to obtain a far deeper, hands-on understanding of the material covered.

Unfortunately, the latter approach grew out of the ARRL's and FCC's utterly baseless notion back in the late 1950s that... despite the fact that we had been quite successfully doing so for decades...we were somehow collectively too dumb to regulate ourselves. In fact, the League said as much by noting that their support for incentive licensing at the time was to "improve the technical qualifications" of Hams.

This, of course, assumes that our collective technical qualifications were somehow deficient to start with. Just who decided those "improvements" were necessary (or how that information was obtained) is anyone's guess.

However, my hunch is that this concept most likely sprang from a self-serving, ARRL-inspired, FCC-supported concept that by turning our Amateur Radio Service into a vast "RF Engineering Prep School", the League would then also be poised to sell us millions of dollars worth of educational materials along with the added bonus that it would also help keep the uneducated "riff-raff" (spelled: CBers) out of the hobby.

On the surface, such foolishness appeared to be a "win-win" for everyone… except, of course, for those poor unfortunate souls that actually LOST privileges when incentive licensing was ultimately enacted in the late 1960s.

Sadly, this all happened despite the fact that the CLEAR of the International Radio Regulations (and the guidelines that accompany them for our so-called "Amateur" Service) has ALWAYS been to simply make sure that persons granted a license to operate in our Service know enough to keep themselves (and their neighbors) safe and to prevent themselves from becoming a nuisance to their neighbors or others on our bands (or in other radio services) while exercising the specific privileges granted by their licenses. Period.

And, just as with a license to drive a private automobile, or a Private Pilot’s license to fly a small aircraft, I believe both today's ARRL (and today's FCC) are now moving ever closer to RETURNING our licensing structure back to a system that simply grants each of us a “license for lifelong learning” that does absolutely nothing more than help insure applicants won’t become a safety hazard to themselves or their neighbors, or a nuisance to others on the bands (or in other Services) WHILE they are "self-teaching".

Indeed, because of a wealth of intervening federal equal access legislation, I firmly believe the FCC is now increasingly under the gun to make absolutely certain that our license system can no longer used (or construed) as a systemically discriminatory “lid filter” just to stroke someone's ego or to try and keep the “riff raff” out.

Clearly, the increasing numbers of 20 WPM Extra Class operators that have shown up on Mr. Hollingsworth’s "scofflaw list" is absolute, living proof that the FCC's 1950s-era incentive licensing farce has never, EVER been effective as a “lid filter”, anyway. In fact, the FCC said as much when they reiterated that blatantly obvious conclusion as part of their justification for dropping all forms of Morse testing for all classes of licenses a few years back.

By their recent actions to date, it is painfully obvious that today's FCC now well realizes that a plethora of federal anti-discrimination legislation has now made their whole 1950s-era "incentive" approach to our licensing system in the Amateur Service in the United States illegal under US law. Which is why I firmly believe the FCC’s long-range plan is to ultimately ditch incentive licensing (along with all the license-class-and-sub-band-based, "you can't go there", ego-based trappings that go along with it) just as soon as they possibly can.

This also means that, beyond testing us on the basics of safety and "rules of the road", the FCC will increasingly be leaving the "what goes where" decisions for our bands up to we Hams to decide.

The bottom line here is that all of us in the Amateur Service in the United States now need to STOP looking to the FCC’s licensing system as the sole source of our standards. For a whole host of reasons, the least of which are soaring administrative costs, and the looming threat of class action lawsuits from the disabled lobby, the FCC is well on their way to completely washing their hands of that responsibility. And, as I have also said in previous posts both here and elsewhere, their actions to date show that they aren’t about to take ANY of that responsibility back.

What's more, because they are going to have to eventually "deep six" ALL of their ego-based, so-called "incentive" nonsense, I predict the FCC will also be forced to finally drop their license-class and mode-based sub-band foolishness in exchange for simply regulating our Service by bandwidth...something the rest of the world's governments have already been doing for decades.

What's more, most countries in the rest of the world have already implemented a simple, one or two-tiered licensing system for our Service that grants most frequency privileges right from the start. Higher-class licenses in those countries are usually only required if someone wants to do some very specific things…like run higher power, be the licensee of a repeater or club station, give exams, and/or build transmitting equipment “from scratch”.

In many ways, the FCC has also ditched much of their 1960s-era, incentive licensing nonsense. Today, it exists in name only, and I predict it will eventually be replaced by a far more simplified, one or two-tiered licensing system that grants the most-wanted Amateur privileges to all successful applicants right from the start.

I also predict that the test for that new "Basic" (or whatever else it might be called) license will be far MORE comprehensive than those for our current Technician Class license, but yet far LESS comprehensive than the test for the Extra Class license. And, by that time, ALL of our tests will only contain questions that relate to the specific added privileges they grant.

That is, regardless of what "most hams" (or the ARRL) may want, by law, the FCC no longer has any real legal choice in the matter but to make it so.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by AI4VE on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that eHam.net is a valuable asset for the Ham community. If some postings are contentious, well it's the internet and this is America.

Regarding the Code debate, lets move on. I upgraded to Extra after the code requirement was dropped. I work more CW than other modes, just not quite 20 wpm ... yet. I meet others on the air that began working CW after the requirement was dropped. CW is just another mode to try and like other modes has its advantages. I want to try them all.

Amateur radio is a great hobby. Life is short. Enjoy.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1BXI posted on December 14, 2008:

"eHam - the Jerry Springer Show of amateur radio internet sites"

"This one will become the Len and Jim show."

:-)

 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by N5DUX on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Right before the switch occured, I made some scripts that would monitor the licensing activity before/after the switch.

You can find the data here: http://www.n5dux.com/ham/issued/

(I know my graph labels are off, just hadn't taken the time to address that issue. The numbers are still there.)

Interesting to see after the initial spike in licensing, there's been no real effect on long-run licensing numbers.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N5DUX on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I should append that and say there's been no major effect. There has been growth, but at what cost?
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by W3LK on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
<< "eHam - the Jerry Springer Show of amateur radio internet sites"

This one will become the Len and Jim show. >>

There's a difference? <gg>

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
An even bigger troll  
by K2FIX on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OK, I have bigger troll bait.

11 meters

Cb'ers

have at it, boys !
 
Discard the stale bread.  
by AI2IA on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
All this nonsense is so very stale! It only brings out the old entrenched camps to restate the old positions on a matter that is now an accomplished fact.

Forget this past stuff and move on. There are many interesting and even exciting things to write about and to do in amateur radio that we really don't have to dig up this old, old stuff. Don't wast your time on this thread. Don't come back to it. It is better to get on the air. - Ray Mullin, AI2IA
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by W7ETA on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Well.
At least he didn't post his editorial in the Elmer section.
Bob
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KF4HR on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Is anybody (everybody?) sick of hearing about the CW versus non-CW license issue? It's long past time to move on...

Congrats Len. You win the award for the most boring post to eHam.com in 2008.

KF4HR
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by WB2WIK on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Much as I'd prefer to share the roadways only with highly skilled drivers and thus support a much tougher driver licensing qualification system, I'd prefer to share the airwaves with highly skilled operators and thus support a much tougher amateur radio licensing qualification system.

The only thing I notice after the elimination of the code test is that there are more bad operators on the air; thankfully, they're not on CW which is where I spend most of my time, so I'm not terribly impacted by it. When I operate the "phone" bands, the difference is very obvious.

Then, I noted "more bad operators" each time the written examination was dumbed down, too -- so it's not only the elimination of the code test that caused this.

When I was a kid, most of the bad operators were Novices who had no experience so they were learning. Nowadays, most of the bad operators are Generals and Extras.

There's an interesting difference!

WB2WIK/6

 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KG4TKC on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Alan,K0BG, I enjoy your website,and just wanted to make clear that I didn't intend to sound like I was 'trashing' the publishers of eham.I was not,not at all. A publisher,any publisher,has no control over the creation of a manuscript. When, like eham,you depend on contributions,there is not much you can do. Its not their fault,nor your or my fault,its just a matter of physics. The truth is that when an article like this comes along,the law of physics kicks in and JUNK IN = JUNK OUT. I say that with a nod to my full to overflowing junkbox in the corner,,:) GL es 73.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by W1YB on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"...eham.net would have died soon after Bill did.."

Too bad it didn't, and eBay, along with it.

These 2 sites alone have helped more with the diminution of collegial behavior in Amateur Radio than the FCC, the ARRL or any other issue that you care to consider.

When I studied for my first license in '59 by being 'Elmer-ed' face-to-face, Hams were a congenial and helpful cohort.

When I was licensed the second time in 198(?)I found very much the same sort of folks populated the hobby.

I was (and continue to be) absolutely appalled by the changes that I found when I was re-licensed several years ago.

I found...

...eBay populated by greedy, unscrupulous hams whose interest is bilking uninformed new-comers out of a few measly dollars rather than donating older gear to young/new hams who could use them...

...eHam populated by many, many burned-out, sociopaths whose interest is ridiculing the young/new hams rather than "Elmer-ing" them to enhance the Amateur Radio Service....

Shame....

 
RE: Stale bread for the birds!  
by KG6WLS on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This piece is just another attempt to push peoples buttons and nothing more.

'nuff said.

73
 
RE: An even bigger troll  
by N4UE on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting. As a 13 WPM Extra, I hear MORE BS on 14.275 than I could EVER hear on 27.185 (Channel 19, CB).
I like to have a receiver on in the shack while working on the PC, etc.
Channel 19 sounds an order of magnitude more 'professional' (if that matters) than THAT Ham Radio.

My Uncle, and Elmer,(W1BNO, SK) would be shocked to hear what goes on today on the HF Bands......

ron

N4UE

ex N4KCM (Advanced)
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by G0GQK on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Expostulations, that's a good word. You tell us what the the situation was on the 14th day.

G0GQK
 
RE: An even bigger troll  
by K9FON on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
** YAWN** Here we go again.........
 
LENNY BRUCE AND COMMON SENSE  
by PLANKEYE on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
What do guys want out of this Hobby?

You take away the testing and expect the Hobby to be what?

It's common SENSE?

You fellers make about as much sense as lettin a kid play in a 200 Amp Main.

Keep the Pasta out the Powder fellas!!

I got to go.


PLANKEYE
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1CJS on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"It's just another troll-type "article" posted for the sole purpose of starting another flame war. and getting the hit count for eHam up."

AGREED---wholeheartedly.

This horse is so dead and dessicated that I'm surprised there is anything left of the animal to be found. On second thought, no I'm not. Some of the posters on here have obviously preserved the poor dead animal just to revive it from time to time--like now.

What happened is this, and only this--a rule was changed which abolished testing of a single mode of communication. Whether or not it was overdue to be done or it was done in error, IT IS DONE. It has to be lived with because it is not likely it will be undone.

It was not done by the ham community, but by the federal agency that oversees ALL types of communication in this country. Complaining about it and flaming individuals on the site concerning the pros or cons of this change is as senseless as complaining to the individual telephone users for the breakup of the Bell system many years ago. Its idiotic.

On the speed of processing of changes and licenses issued, I just renewed my ticket--a vanity call. I filed the evening of Dec. 4th, the license renewal was listed on the FCC site on the fifth and I received the paperwork on the 10th. Six days from filing to a paper license in hand. I'd say that was pretty quick, and better than the ten and twelve days years ago.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1CJS on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"If you naysayers wish to bash the editors and webmasters for their choice of content in almost every posted article, sobeit. They've heard/read worse! But remember this; If it weren't for their dedication, and hard work, eham.net would have died soon after Bill did, and we all would have been the worse for it."

An interesting premise, Alan. I submit that with the laxity in moderation and the just about free rein given to everyone to post what they want to, this site is not all that much of a help to the amateur community. Just the opposite--this site contributes to the animosity that permeates this hobby. This entire article and some of the responces to other articles and threads prove that--unequivocably.

This is just my opinion, of course, but I think this site would be much better off if the 'Articles', 'Survey' and the 'Speakout' sections were removed completely. The ridiculousness perpetuated in those sections have no benefit to the ham community at all. You just have to glance through them to realize that.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by N7ZM on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
lets face it, ham radio as old timers remember it, is fading faster than we thought. It used to be a way of life, now it's just another hobby that most of the younger generations do not want it anymore. Just give them their computers, blackberry's and texting, and that's all they care about.
Ham radio started to fade during this cell phone generation, but of course there may be some exceptions but not many.
My first three exams were at a FCC office and I bypassed Technician and went from Novice to general, the hard way, with actual study, and using no online testing test sessions to memorize the answers.
73 Ron N7ZM.

 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by WB4TJH on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Might as well still be arguing over Harry Truman's presidential election....it's history follks, and time to move on.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KB9CRY on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I really didn't care then and I still don't care.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by N9GGE on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The ARRL can lobby the FCC 24/7 to change the rules to make it easier for guys to enter this hobby (and join the ARRL), but we all know what the problem with amatuer radio is... the equipment is too expensive and the antennas are a pain. $200-300 for a used 30 year old rig will turn a lot of interested people off.
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by WA4KCN on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK - "The only thing I notice after the elimination of the code test is that there are more bad operators on the air; thankfully, they're not on CW which is where I spend most of my time, so I'm not terribly impacted by it. When I operate the "phone" bands, the difference is very obvious."

Anyone who is spending time operating in the radio telephony amateur bands knows there are a number of HF operators who are newly upgraded from technician class. The inexperiance shows in their operating skills and command of conversational topics close to amateur radio. I was recently enjoying a phone contact on 7.147 MHZ when a radio amateur broke with his call sign. The operator transmitted he had just passed his technician class license and wished to know if he was allowed to operate with a microphone on this frequency. I hope the experience will motivate this person to learn the amateur radio band plan. This is clearly an example of a bad operating practice yet some of the so called newly licensed "bad operators" will with experience, practice and further study acquire the skills necessary to become good operators. What is being heard on the bands today is at times shocking yet has as much to do with inexperience as with perpetual and inherently bad operating.

Most radio amateurs prior to the undoing of the code test realized the point of diminishing returns had been realized when considering a further easing of entrance testing. Elimination of the code requirement has quite nicely established this and at the same time debunked other arguments that a further easing of entrance testing is required as a means of sustaining amateur radio.

73 Russ
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by K6JPA on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
There are some bad operators now, and there were some bad operators then. I'm sure we can all come up with examples, either way. At what point are we going to let this poor dead horse die? It's time to move on.
 
What Really Happened  
by N2EY on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I know this is long, but there's a real point to it, and a connection to amateur radio.

----

It's a feature of Western civilization, particularly in the USA, that new technology precedes the wisdom and the rules of how to use it properly. It's also a feature that a lot of things run in cycles, based on how long it takes the folks in charge to forget history.

For example, up until the 1920s, the banking industry and the stock markets were relatively unregulated. The "free market" was supposed to be the best of all possible worlds, and government was supposed to keep hands off. The "Roaring Twenties", a boom time financially, seemed to support that concept.

Then came the crash of '29, bank failures, and the Great Depression. People's life savings were wiped out, and the free market was completely unable to deal with the disaster. The solution came in the form of FDR's "New Deal".

Besides being a set of programs to get the economy moving again, the New Deal imposed a lot of regulations to prevent another Great Depression. One was limitations on how stocks could be traded, limiting things like buying with borrowed money. Another was greater restrictions on banks, and protections from disastrous runs through things like the FDIC.

There was also progressive taxation, with the highest income folks paying the most and the lowest income folks paying the least. Government also got heavily involved in public-works projects, both to provide immediate jobs and to foster economic development. Whether it was building new post offices or Hoover Dam, much of modern America is a result of those programs. (Los Angeles and Las Vegas would not be possible as we know them without Hoover Dam, for example).

The New Deal also sought balance between organized labor and corporate management, rather than denouncing unions as 'communist' and such. The use of police and force against striking workers was reduced and finally ended, and the right to collective bargaining upheld.

IOW, the New Deal recognized that the increasing complexity of an industrial economy meant that more regulation was needed to avert economic disaster. And that carefully selected use of public money could do things private industry couldn't or wouldn't. The New Deal also focused on the long term, rather than the short term.


And it worked for decades. Even after the Great Depression and World War 2 were over, the New Deal strengthened and grew the middle class, built things like the Interstate Highway System, and helped new industries such as computers and television to prosper in the USA.

When challenges such as the USSR's long list of "firsts" in space exploration came along, the USA responded by using government resources to send human beings to the moon and unmanned probes to the planets.

But eventually a new crop of folks began demanding less regulation and "less government". "Get the government off your back" and "free trade" were their slogans. They dismantled some rules and came up with ways around others. They underfunded or dismantled domestic programs so that the US infrastructure didn't keep up with changing requirements. They allowed major industries to wither, and foreign competition to take over. Most of all, they focused on the short term gain rather than the long term effects.

And for a while it seemed to work. Stock markets boomed and interest rates went to record lows. Some industries, like real estate, prospered incredibly well. Some even said that the free market was the answer to everything.

But then the chickens came home to roost. At first it was major business failures like Enron, caused by executives simply ignoring inconvenient rules for fast money. Then risky loans which never should have been made went into default, and took down major financial institutions like houses of cards - which they turned out to be. Now the US auto industry is in serious trouble, partly because of tight credit but largely because they don't make the cars customers want to buy.

And the disaster just keeps spreading, with failing industries going hat-in-hand to the government asking to be rescued.

We have a new administration on the way, which will hopefully get us going in a better direction. But it won't be easy, because there are a couple of decades' worth of mistakes to be undone.

Of course there's a lot more to the story, but you see the cyclic nature and how ignoring basic concepts such as not borrowing money you can't pay back result in disaster.

Now for the amateur radio connection.

When the new technology of radio first appeared, the communications industry was relatively unregulated. The "free market" was supposed to be the best of all possible worlds, and government was to keep hands off. The early successes of Radio, such as the 1906 rescue of the Republic after a collision in fog, seemed to support the concept that the regulation of Radio was best left to those who used it.

There were a few international conferences on radio, and some basic rules. There were all sorts of regulatory proposals and "Radio Bills", but none got very far. In the USA, formal licensing wasn't even a requirement for all transmitting stations.

Then came the Titanic disaster of 1912, and the consequences of too-little regulation became clear. The solution came in the form of more regulations and structure, both internationally and nationally. Licensing of all transmitting stations became mandatory, for example, and amateurs were banished to the supposedly-useless-for-long-distance wavelengths of 200 meters and shorter, and limited in power to 1000 watts maximum. Some said this would spell the end of amateur radio, but the result was quite the opposite, particularly when, in the early 1920s, amateurs discovered that the "short waves" weren't so useless after all.

The Titanic disaster was only the beginning, however. As the technology of Radio and the uses of it increased, it became clear that more regulation was needed. Broadcasting in the 1920s became another example of inadequate regulation.

The end result of all this was more international treaties and, in the USA, a new regulatory Commission. First known as the Federal Radio Commission, it became the FCC and imposed far more structure and regulation. It is not a coincidence that the FRC/FCC came about in the same time period as the New Deal.

One of the major concepts of Radio regulation was the idea that the radio spectrum was a limited resource owned by the public, and that regulation was needed to insure that it was put to the best possible use. Different radio services, each with its own regulations and reasons for existence, were defined, and the rules strictly enforced. Amateur radio, for example, was first fully defined in international treaty in 1927.

Another major concept was that of licensing both stations and operators. Stations had to meet the technical standards of their respective radio service, while operators had to prove their qualifications to operate the stations. Licensing was a serious matter to the FCC, with various grades of license for each classification.

The reason for all of these regulations was to prevent another Titanic or broadcasting fiasco. There were limitations on transmitter power, signal quality, penalties for straying out-of-band, and much more.

The treaty of 1927 resulted in new rules for US radio amateurs that became effective in 1929. Part of the regulation was that many of the bands formerly available to US amateurs were significantly narrowed. Another was that signal quality standards were raised. Some said this would be the end of amateur radio, particularly when the Great Depression struck, but the result was just the opposite. The number of US amateurs increased at a faster percentage during the early 1930s than at any other time, nearly tripling in about 6 years.

IOW, the FCC recognized that the increasing complexity of radio meant that more regulation was needed to avert economic disaster. And that regulation was needed to do things the free market couldn't or wouldn't - such as amateur radio. The FCC also focused on the long term, rather than the short term.

And it worked for decades. Amateur radio and other radio services grew and prospered in the USA, with new technologies being incorporated into the rules as they appeared.

The regulations went far beyond technicalities, however. Broadcasting, for example, was required to meet certain standards of content and public service. Amateurs were expected to have certain basic skills and knowledge, because education and public service part of the reason for the existence of their radio service.

The licensing of commercial operators essentially created a protected job class as well. While not a union in the strictest sense, licensing requirements created specific jobs in radio (such as requiring licensed operators for every transmitting station). Those jobs could only be filled by workers with the right licenses - and those licenses were not trivial to obtain.

Amateur licensing followed the same pattern, but for different reasons. One reason was that since the amateur was usually the sole operator and owner of a an amateur station, s/he had to be qualified on all aspects of its operation. But more important was the concept that the licensed radio amateur had to earn the privilege of using the amateur bands by being qualified in both the technology and operation of an amateur station. And because those privileges were earned, not just granted, the licensee tended to take the whole thing seriously.

IOW, amateur radio wasn't "just a hobby" to the FCC.

All this led to a radio culture where FCC rules were almost universally followed to the letter if not moreso. Losing one's license - station or operator - was something practically all licensees strove to avoid. Deliberate rulebreaking, such as unlicensed operation, was unthinkable for almost everyone involved with radio.

This mindset reached a peak in amateur radio during the 1960s, with the re-introduction of rules that became known as "incentive licensing". These rules were, in part, a response to "Sputnik fever", the concern that the US wasn't keeping up with the Soviets in technical areas. (Similar things happened in education and other areas back then, too). A lot of folks like to blame ARRL for incentive licensing, but the truth is that it was something FCC really wanted, and its support was widespread. (There were more than 10 different incentive licensing proposals besides the ARRL one, including at least one submitted before ARRL's initial 1963 proposal).

Some said incentive licensing would be the end of amateur radio, particularly when existing amateurs lost privileges. But the result was just the opposite. The number of US amateurs, which had been stable through the mid-1960s, increased all through the 1970s and into the early 1980s despite the increased license requirements.

This isn't to say the FCC never made any mistakes. For example, in 1958, the FCC added 27 MHz channels to the existing UHF allocations of the Citizens' Radio Service, never imagining that the rules set up by FCC would soon be ignored. But they were, and by the early 1970s FCC had a real mess on its hands that continues even today.

But for the most part, FCC did its job as was envisioned from the start. FCC staffers were usually long-termers, with long-term vision and historical knowledge. They did things for good reason, not just because it had always been done that way.

But eventually a new crop of folks began demanding less regulation and "less government". "Get the government off your back" and "free trade" were their slogans. They saw no reason for agencies like the FCC to have so many rules and regulations. Particularly those rules which created so many good jobs that could only be filled by licensed operators.

So the FCC entered a period of being chronically underfunded. The focus became one of "letting the market decide". Licensing requirements were eased across the board, which saved businesses lots of money and cost lots of jobs. Appointments of people to FCC with little communications experience became common, on the idea that regulating radio wasn't any different than regulating anything else, and that the less regulation the better.

Most of all, the focus was on the short term gain rather than the long term effects. Auctioning off spectrum, allowing a few mega-corporations to own most broadcasting stations, supporting technical nightmares like BPL became the norm. In fact, the entire concept that the radio spectrum to be carefully used and protected took a back seat.

And of course amateur radio was affected by all this. One of the first things to go was enforcement, because it cost money and resources. Another was protection from interference from things like switching power supplies, because doing so might add a couple of pennies to the cost of a product.

Most of all, license requirements were no longer considered important, because if they were being lowered or eliminated for commercial stations, why should they be left alone for amateurs?

Just look at how Morse Code test waivers came to be in 1990 for an example of how things had changed.

And for a while it seemed to work. The number of US hams grew through the 1980s, but not at the rate of the 1970s even though the license requirements were gradually reduced through that decade. Growth continued into the 1990s, but not at the rate of the 1980s, even though the license requirements kept dropping. Finally in the late 1990s the growth stopped entirely.

Each reduction in license requirements produced a short-term growth spurt, but not in the long term. Despite the reductions in written testing since 2000 and the complete elimination of code testing, our numbers in the USA are not growing as fast as the US population. And yet, the solution always proposed was to drop the requirements further.

This doesn't mean all new hams are dummies or to be ridiculed. With few exceptions, they had no hand in changing the rules! (Read the comments to any FCC NPRM about amateur radio, and you'll see that the vast majority of commenters are already-licensed hams).

But what it DOES mean is that lowering the requirements isn't always a good thing. One reason is that you wind up with licensed people that don't really know what ham radio is actually about, or the basics of actually operating. So they wind up frustrated, or never get started. Another reason is that many folks don't value what comes easily.

Most of all, it simply hasn't worked in the long term.

It turns out that, in fact, the Morse Code test wasn't the "barrier" that some folks said it was. Sure, a few folks got licenses because the code test went away, but from the numbers it's clear they weren't many.

See the similarities to the cycle of regulation in other areas? Radio is just a couple of years back, that's all.

The solution is simple, but not easy.

#1) We need to understand that amateur radio isn't going to attract everyone. Nor should it. It will, however, attract those folks who think "radio for its own sake" is a thing worth doing - for its own sake, not because it pays money or looks cool to others.

People do all sorts of things from running marathons to building furniture to playing musical instruments simply for the love of doing them; radio is simply one more thing on that list. The challenge is to find those folks, regardless of age, gender, etc.

#2) We need to understand that making something easier doesn't necessarily make it more attractive. Particularly to the folks we're looking to attract. Watch any do-it-yourself program on PBS and you'll see that the challenge is part of the attraction. Go to any marathon race and ask if it would be a good idea to shorten the distance from 26.22 miles to, say, 5 miles, because you'd get more people that way.

#3) We need to understand that one of the great powers - and problems - of amateur radio is that it's such a diverse group of activities. And they're ALL good, whether it's the ham using vintage equipment to have an AM rag-chew on 160 meters, the QRP-CW op backpacking the Appalachian Trail and making QSOs when stopped for the night, the local emergency/public service/Skywarn folks, the satellite ops, the contesters, the homebrewers, the digital people, etc. As long as they follow FCC rules and good amateur practice, they're all "real" hams, and they all have something to offer. Nobody knows what activity a given newcomer will want to do - just because something is old doesn't mean they won't like it, and just because it's new doesn't mean they will.

#4) Change is needed, but that doesn't mean we just toss things out because they're old. It means we identify the things that need changing, and do what's needed to change them, without throwing away the good stuff.

#5) Most of all, we need a long-term focus. What happens to our license numbers in a two-week period doesn't really matter. What matters is a ten-year period. More important, Quality is more important than Quantity.

And the way to get there is to describe the future we want in positive terms, not negative ones. For example, some folks will say they "don't want the standards of the past" or some such. But they don't say what the standards of the future should be!

That doesn't work.

But unlike the USA, we don't have a new administration coming in to change things. We have only ourselves.

What do YOU want to see in the future of amateur radio?

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KG4RUL on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"$200-300 for a used 30 year old rig will turn a lot of interested people off. "

My Wife just payed over $500 for a metal detector and some digging tools. A decent touring bicycle and gear can easily set you back to the tune of $700. Shall we go on??

Hobbies can be expensive!!!! If you can't afford the cost, well then, maybe you should do something else?
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by W6MQI on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
WA4KCN wrote: I was recently enjoying a phone contact on 7.147 MHZ when a radio amateur broke with his call sign. The operator transmitted he had just passed his technician class license and wished to know if he was allowed to operate with a microphone on this frequency.

Wholly Crap Batman! What a DORK and I mean DORK!!! Just one more example why one will not find me on the phone bands. Heck soon one will just have to send in $10.00 and presto! your a super dupper ham radio operater(I use the word Operater very loosely).
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by WB3ERE on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
It's really nice to see everyone getting a little bit of the spirit of Christmas, even if it happens to be via the internet.

Brother hood, glad tidings, good cheer. It's what we all need, especially during this period of hardship that some around the world are forced to endure this year.

Count our blessings, millions are not as fortunate.

73 Ed w3ere
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K1BXI on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
How many on here remember fifty plus years ago when the FCC restructured the ham licensing system and opened the phone bands below 10 meters to the class B hams?

I remember that that was going to be the death of ham radio. A certain W2, long deceased, had a catchy way of calling CQ....."CQ, no lids, no kids, no space cadets, only class A operators".

Things never change, even with the Internet.

John



 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K1BXI on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Lon.........get some popcorn, I think the show is about to start!
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by PHANTOMFIXER on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a swl for quite sometime and have been reading eham for a couple of years now.The constant bickering and childish name calling on this site,which also has lots of excellent information,is enough to make anyone think twice about becoming a ham.Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby and leave well enough alone?The diversity in ideas regarding rigs,modes of operation,antennas etc are what make the whole radio thing interesting in my mind.I listened to Castro ranting on a Zenith Tranoceanic at the navy base on Boca Chica key in 1963.My first exposure to shortwave radio.I was a Marine electronics tech working on the F4 Phantom.Have been interested ever since.I'm not licesned but so what?I love boat anchors,everything was tube when I went thru A school and I'm fascnated by the latest SDR gear.It's all neat and it's all a HOBBY not a religion.Enjoy it we'll all be dead soon!
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by W3HR on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
>>There is a cadre... of amateurs who have been licensed for many years, mostly as Generals with a smattering of Advanced. You heard the same line of garbage from them that you heard from a lot of the CB crowd. "If it wasn't for the code, I'd upgrade."<<

Some of those Generals were former Conditional Class operators who just refused to retest... on principle.
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K9FON on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Yes it is a HOBBY people! Some take the ham radio hobby way to seriously. To me its just a hobby. I can walk away from it, sell all my gear, and um, not miss it. There are way to many ops that think ham radio is the one and ONLY hobby to have and they let it rule thier lives and minds. Not me. Sorry, but I have a life...
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by W9OY on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Good old Mike

He's still dead.

Had a heart attack on top of his tower fixin his antenna, after he lost a shoot out on 75 the night before.

Took half a dozen guys to lower him down.

Guess he took this hobby way to seriously.

73 W9OY
 
too expensive???  
by KC2WI on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"but we all know what the problem with amateur radio is... the equipment is too expensive and the antennas are a pain. $200-300 for a used 30 year old rig will turn a lot of interested people off."

I'll agree that antennas can be a pain in some cases, but ham radio too expensive? You've got to be kidding.

If you shop around, about $300-$500 will get you all you need - and not 30 year old stuff either - to get on HF and have fun.

For not much more, you can get a new entry-level HF rig like an IC-718 that has more bands, modes, features, and performance than almost any rig available 30 years ago.

Sure, some people can't afford anything but bare necessities.

But most people spend more than the cost of a new entry-level HF rig every year on cable TV alone, just to watch the same old mindless c$#p; and some spend a couple of thousand on big-screen HD TV on top of that. Downhill skiers spend $500++ on ski equipment every few years and easily $200-$300++ on one weekend ski trip. People spend a couple of hundred dollars on a slick iPod, thousands of dollars on a "gaming computer" that is "obsolete" in a few years, $20,000 on even a relatively small boat, $10,000 on a snowmobile or ATV, $10,000++ on a motorcycle, etc.

Ham radio is not any more expensive than a lot of other activities, and can be significantly less expensive than many.

And unlike a lot of others, once you make the initial investment in radio gear, you can spend practically nothing and enjoy it for the next 10 years or more.
 
RE: too expensive???  
by N7YA on December 14, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I dont know, you could use that info you studied to get your license and build all that stuff. Just a thought.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KLEMM on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio is great, and one of the reasons it is ,is because you get to expieriment. I feel the FCC got it right with the end of mandatory code.
Not because code isn't important but because all aspects of amateur radio are.
In today's world there are many digital area's and if you choose to learn say code you will use it and not forget about it like most hams did after learning 5wp just because they had too.
I am starting to hear about many hams who have become extra's and experts who now want to move on to code. I think thats great not only because they want to better themselves but because they are with all there expieriance safer and better opperators than say a brand new tech that dosen't know much about his or her radio equipment . 73 K7VIN
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by OK1RR on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is the most valuable comment appeared here. Unbeatable!
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by OK1RR on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, the most valuable comment appeared here is, of course, Lon's (W3LK) note:

eHam - the Jerry Springer Show of amateur radio internet sites

73,
Martin, OK1RR
 
RE: Discard the stale bread. (Make breadcrumbs!)  
by N2EY on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1BXI asks: "How many on here remember fifty plus years ago when the FCC restructured the ham licensing system and opened the phone bands below 10 meters to the class B hams?"

I don't remember it, but I know the history.

Maybe you can fill in some information about that time.

What happened was this:

Before 1951, the US amateur license system was pretty simple. Class A ops had all privileges, Class B and C ops had all CW privileges but no 'phone privileges on the bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz. IOW, Class B and C hams could only work 'phone on 160, 11, 10 and the VHF/UHF bands.

All three license classes required 13 wpm code and a ~50 question written exam. Class B was taken at FCC exam point, Class C by mail, otherwise they were identical. Class A could only be had at an FCC exam point, required another 50 question exam and a year's experience as a ham.

In 1951 the FCC restructured the system, creating new license classes (Novice, Technician, Extra) and renaming old ones (C became Conditional, B became General, A became Advanced). The Novice made is easier to get into ham radio but you couldn't stay there, it was a one-shot one-year license.

But the big news was the Extra, meant by FCC to replace the Advanced/Class A. Upgrading to Extra from General required 2 years experience, a 100 question exam and 20 wpm code. Like the Advanced it was only available at FCC exam points. The Advanced would no longer be available to new issues after the end of 1952.

IOW, FCC raised the requirements for access to 20 and 75 'phone (the only 'phone bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz in 1951 US ham radio). A considerable number of hams went for Advanced before the opportunity was lost.

But then, in December of 1952, almost exactly 56 years ago today, FCC made a startling announcement: All US hams except Novices and Technicians got full operating privileges, effective mid-February 1953. There was suddenly no operational reason to get an Advanced or Extra.

In those days there were approximately 100,000 US hams, of which maybe 40,000 were Class A/Advanced. There were only a handful of Extras back then. By 1967, when the Advanced was reopened to new issues, there were over 250,000 US hams, of which about 4,000 were Extras.

The question I have is: Why did FCC change its mind so fast and so radically? The 1951 restructuring had been in the works for several years, had gone through all the channels, etc., yet at the last minute things changed completely.

btw, the Extra license was originally *opposed* by ARRL. They saw nothing wrong with the Advanced/Class A.

K1BXI: "I remember that that was going to be the death of ham radio. A certain W2, long deceased, had a catchy way of calling CQ....."CQ, no lids, no kids, no space cadets, only class A operators".

W2OY, Mike (good name for a 'phone op) was a fixture for years on 75. I heard him when I was starting out; what a curmudgeon. His catchphrase deciphers as follows:

"no lids": No Generals or Conditionals, whom Mike regarded as lids because they hadn't passed the Advanced test.

"no kids": The Novice license had brought in lots of young people, but Mike didn't want to talk to them. (Some hams have this problem even today).

"no space cadets": No SSB or NBFM for Mike, just good ol' full-carrier double-sideband AM.

"Class A only": Mike didn't like license classes with names, so he only used the old letter designation.

K1BXI: "Things never change, even with the Internet."

Well, some things never change. Others go upside-down; here on eham it's often the newest hams who are the curmudgeons!

Any insights on why FCC changed its mind on the Advanced/Extra back in '52?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Which principle?  
by N2EY on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
W3HR writes: "Some of those Generals were former Conditional Class operators who just refused to retest... on principle."

But which principle?

I remember that back about 1975, when the Conditional license was discontinued, there was a false rumor that all Conditionals would have to retest. There was a lot of outrage about that among the affected, many of whom lived only a short distance from the local FCC office. I wondered what all the fuss was about - the tests weren't very hard, even back then, and I thought an experienced ham would have no problem passing them.

After talking to some of them, it became clear that "the principle" which bothered them was really the fact that they didn't think they could pass the tests again.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KI4ITV on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Ever notice?
That this subject is almost always brought up by someone who either waited for the code drop, or holds a "post code" license?

...and then, almost in the same breath, they wish we could all just get past it?
strange dat.
 
Maybe Not  
by N2EY on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KV9U writes: "The reality is that if the FCC had not done away with the code requirement, had not made the tests much easier to pass, and had not put the Volunteer Examiner program in place, we would have very, very, few new hams. And very few upgrades."

I disagree! Or rather, the history tells a different story.

I remember how the prophets of doom said that incentive licensing would kill US ham radio, and that just getting to an exam session was a major barrier. Yet all through the 1970s the number of US hams grew much faster than the US population, even with the multitude of tests and FCC-only exams.

One thing FCC did in the late 1970s was to send out traveling examiners. All you needed to do was guarantee them a certain number of testees and they'd send an examiner to a hamfest, club meeting, etc. This went away with the VE system.

The percentage growth of US hams was greater in the 1970s than in the 1980s, even though the exams in the 1970s were more demanding and 10 year licenses came about in the early 1980s. The percentage growth of US hams was greater in the 1980s than in the 1990s, even with the Tech losing its code test.

But all this is really a dead issue. FCC isn't going to start giving tests again; they don't have the resources. Nor will they increase the number of license classes or bring back the code test; FCC can't be bothered with such details.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KW4JX on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I hear that some hams are preparing a dissertation for the new Doctoral license class?
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N8TJC on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is a hobby that is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone. So just remember what a great philosopher, Bobby McFerrin, once said "Don't worry be happy".
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by N9FME on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
cant we all just get along?
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by WR8Y on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
======================================
Posted by WB2WIK on December 14, 2008

Much as I'd prefer to share the roadways only with highly skilled drivers and thus support a much tougher driver licensing qualification system, I'd prefer to share the airwaves with highly skilled operators and thus support a much tougher amateur radio licensing qualification system.

The only thing I notice after the elimination of the code test is that there are more bad operators on the air; thankfully, they're not on CW which is where I spend most of my time, so I'm not terribly impacted by it. When I operate the "phone" bands, the difference is very obvious.

Then, I noted "more bad operators" each time the written examination was dumbed down, too -- so it's not only the elimination of the code test that caused this.

When I was a kid, most of the bad operators were Novices who had no experience so they were learning. Nowadays, most of the bad operators are Generals and Extras.

There's an interesting difference!

WB2WIK/6
========================================

I thought we could all read that again. I wish I'd said it.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1BXI on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY...."After talking to some of them, it became clear that "the principle" which bothered them was really the fact that they didn't think they could pass the tests again."

Very true Jim, except for one thing. It wasn't that that they didn't think they could pass the tests again. It was because they never passed it the first time!

Living in Maine in a "class C zone" I know first hand of whole family's that had class C licenses. These folks were the first "no coders" with a "no theory" license. There are a few of them still around. But they are very good operators and I still enjoy talking with them.

I know this, because as a general class ham at the time I offered to give code tests and written exams. When it became known that I actually required them to know the code and theory, A few of them found someone else that would just sign the papers for them.

As I said earlier, things don't change much.

John
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KC8CXZ on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Let's do a study on how many people became Hams, after finding a copy of 'QST' or 'CQ' purposely left in a doctor's waiting room!
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K9FON on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
If the FCC had its way ham radio would go the way of the model T Ford. It would be one less pain the the rear for them to worry about. I'll bet they get sick of the emails and letters from hams bemoaning the fact that they dropped the CW test requirement.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N5XM on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Seems like I remember reading somewhere about those who worry more about the mote in someone else's eye while ignoring the beam in their own. I came in as a no-code 12 years ago, but am 99% cw. I can run 40+ wpm, but it doesn't mean I'm better than anyone else. You cannot legislate excellence. Instead of running people down, build them up and inspire them to excell. It isn't about intelligence, either. Face it, things change, like it or not. A Happy Holidays to all of you fine folks, and may God bless you all.
 
RE: What Really Happened  
by G0OIL on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
A fascinating missive by N2EY. I wonder who you voted for?

But do you REALLY think that the whole of the current financial mess was caused by the "get the government off your back" deregulation brigade? Or was is really due to US Government policies such as the Community Reinvestment Act which rewarded financial institutions for lending to subprime (and therefore high risk) borrowers, but then allowed the risk in the form of securitization to be hedged out as derivatives to other institutions all over the world? Particularly since the underlying asset only had value as a result of a real estate boom funded by the same credit bubble? In other words, it rewarded then for making BAD decisions. In a bull market, no-one noticed.

Equally stupid were the policies of the most incompetent Chancellor Of The Exchequer ever who was running the UK Treasury from 1997 until last year. Amazingly he's now Prime Minister. And we thought things could only get better? HA! Gordon Brown helped to create and then rode the credit bubble in the UK, borrowing and spending more than ever (and encouraging citizens and bankers to do likewise), selling UK gold reserves at the bottom of the cycle (the opposite of logic) and blowing all the money on hundreds of thousands more useless public sector paper pushers and computer database schemes. He's on record announcing that he had ended the cycle of Boom and Bust. At least FDR did something useful with borrowed money in the '30s and, as you state, it's paid you back many times over the last 75 years. We will have nothing but debt and we haven't even paid for the stupid bloody 2012 Olympics. Yet we have the most spied-upon, tracked, monitored and regulated state outside the old Soviet Union. Our ancient civil liberties have been taken away by a government that have created 3600 new offences on the statute book since 1997.

So are the current financial problems caused by deregulation? Or just the WRONG regulation? I think the latter.

And is the slow, sad demise of amateur radio linked to deregulation? Or just to the WRONG regulation? I think the latter.

Are we just hitting the WRONG areas when we try to get newcomers interested?

I agree with your five points of conclusion and recommendation - they look sensible.

Bit I'm not sure I agree too much with how you got there. But like you say - we're all different.

Maybe we should continue the discussion on 20 meters one afternoon...

cheers

Dave G0OIL
 
RE: What Really Happened  
by N2EY on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
G0OIL writes: "A fascinating missive by N2EY."

Thank you, Dave.

G0OIL: "I wonder who you voted for?"

Senator Barack Obama.

The choice of Palin by the other side killed any chance I'd vote for that ticket.

G0OIL: "But do you REALLY think that the whole of the current financial mess was caused by the "get the government off your back" deregulation brigade?"

Not all of it. But it was the driving force behind our economic troubles, not just in the banking sector but throughout industry.

G0OIL: "Or was is really due to US Government policies such as the Community Reinvestment Act which rewarded financial institutions for lending to subprime (and therefore high risk) borrowers, but then allowed the risk in the form of securitization to be hedged out as derivatives to other institutions all over the world? Particularly since the underlying asset only had value as a result of a real estate boom funded by the same credit bubble? In other words, it rewarded then for making BAD decisions. In a bull market, no-one noticed."

The CRA didn't force anyone to make bad mortgages.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/12/more-cra-idiocy/

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/10/private-sector.html

But inadequate regulation meant there were no regulations to put a brake on bad decisions.

This is what I meant by technology coming before the wisdom to use it properly. The Titanic didn't sink, and 1500 didn't die, because it was bad technology; she sank and they died because the technology wasn't used properly.

And the bull market was driven in part by rising prices caused by the lending policies.

One of the fundamental rules of lending is that there can be cheap money (low interest rates), and there can be easy money (unsecured debt), but there should never, ever be money that is both cheap and easy. Yet that's what we've had for too many years.

These guys give a great explanation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzJmTCYmo9g

Note that it was made months before the current crisis.

Note too how eager the free-marketers are to get bailed out. As Paul Krugman wrote: "There are no atheists in foxholes and no libertarians in a financial crisis".


G0OIL: "At least FDR did something useful with borrowed money in the '30s and, as you state, it's paid you back many times over the last 75 years."

Which is what the new president has to do. It's time to invest in real assets, not bubbles. The problem is, such investment is long-term and low-ROI, not get-rich-quick stuff.

I think a big part of the game has been the gradual destruction of organized labor and the middle class in the USA. Ironically, this has been done by convincing most Americans to vote against their own best interest, and to buy into the idea that manufacturing cannot be profitably done in places like the USA. (Look at the auto-industry bailout mess - it's really a ploy to destroy the UAW).

Note that the pundits are calling for the auto workers to "tighten their belts" and accept less money and benefits for a bailout that amounts to six weeks of Iraq war cost. But are the financial folks being asked to give up their bonuses or benefits?

G0OIL: "We will have nothing but debt and we haven't even paid for the stupid bloody 2012 Olympics."

I wonder how the 2008 Olympics were paid for?

G0OIL: "Yet we have the most spied-upon, tracked, monitored and regulated state outside the old Soviet Union. Our ancient civil liberties have been taken away by a government that have created 3600 new offences on the statute book since 1997."

I'm not sure the USA isn't trying to best you in that regard.

G0OIL: "So are the current financial problems caused by deregulation? Or just the WRONG regulation? I think the latter."

Here in the USA, I say it was inadequate regulation.

Even without the CRA, the lenders would have been making bad loans. I know; in the past 10 years I moved, refinanced and got a home-equity line, and at every step there were folks pressuring me to go into debt far beyond what I knew was reasonable.

G0OIL: "And is the slow, sad demise of amateur radio linked to deregulation? Or just to the WRONG regulation? I think the latter."

I think it's both. Where we need regulation - really, enforcement of existing regulations - it's missing. Where we have regulation, it's often inadequate.

But it's not just amateur radio, at least here in the USA. I'm old enough to remember a time when, if something like BPL had been proposed, the FCC would have quietly told the proponents to forget it, because it was an interference source, and at the first complaint they'd shut it down - and fast. Instead, we have the FCC cheerleading it. HUH?

G0OIL: "Are we just hitting the WRONG areas when we try to get newcomers interested?"

YES.

The only way to attract newcomers is to offer something that isn't available anywhere else.

If you try to sell ham radio as a cheap cellphone or internet replacement, for example, it won't work at all, because that's not what we're about. Lowering the requirements hasn't worked in the long term either.

What DOES work is to offer a unique challenge. Anybody can send an email to the Antipodes. No big deal, just as anyone can ride in a car.

But building a rig from scratch? Getting on the air and pushing a low-power signal hundreds or thousands of miles through a combination of skill, luck, and knowledge? That's a different thing entirely, like running, sailing or biking a considerable distance.

This doesn't mean the license exams should be at the EE level. Nor have they ever been. But it does mean that they need to be meaningful.

G0OIL: "I agree with your five points of conclusion and recommendation - they look sensible.

Bit I'm not sure I agree too much with how you got there. But like you say - we're all different."

What matters most is what we do in the future. The main point of my post was the cyclical nature and how it's necessary to learn from the past - which we do too seldom.

We need to ask ourselves, in all areas, what is the RIGHT regulation?

The Morse Code test was denounced as a some sort of impenetrable barrier to the advancement of Amateur Radio, yet now that it's gone, we're not seeing the promised New Golden Age.

G0OIL: "Maybe we should continue the discussion on 20 meters one afternoon..."

Why not here? Then others can see the discussion and join in.

I can do 20 CW, of course....

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
The C Zone  
by N2EY on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1BXI writes: "It wasn't that that they didn't think they could pass the tests again. It was because they never passed it the first time!"

Well, I don't know about that. But that could be the case!

K1BXI: "Living in Maine in a "class C zone" I know first hand of whole family's that had class C licenses. These folks were the first "no coders" with a "no theory" license. There are a few of them still around. But they are very good operators and I still enjoy talking with them."

I suspect that they were "good operators" in part because the last thing they'd want is to attract FCC attention. One of FCC's enforcement tools is to have a licensee take the tests again...

K1BXI: "I know this, because as a general class ham at the time I offered to give code tests and written exams. When it became known that I actually required them to know the code and theory, A few of them found someone else that would just sign the papers for them."

Indeed!

This explains much of the resistance to "incentive licensing", because under that system the Advanced and Extra weren't available by mail.

A bit of history that you probably remember:

Prior to 1954, the Class C/Conditional had a couple of serious limitations. The first was that the Class C zone started 125 miles "air-line" from a quarterly exam point, so you had to be out in the boonies pretty far to qualify. Second, the Class C/Conditional did not convey any credit for the Class A/Advanced or Extra - if you went to an FCC exam point for those licenses, they'd retest you at 13 wpm and General theory first.

But most of all there was the third limitation: If a Class C/Conditional moved out of the "zone", s/he had 90 days to retest at an FCC exam point or lose the license.

All that changed in 1954, when the Novice and Tech became by-mail only. At that time, the Conditional distance was reduced to 75 miles, and the retest requirement removed. This made a lot more of the USA in the "zone".

So what could happen (I'm not saying it did, but it could) was that a person could give their address as being in the "zone", (say, at a relative's house), then, once the license was in hand, "move" to their real location, and not have to retest.

Then in 1964 the Conditional distance was increased to 175 miles and exam points added, so that almost all of CONUS was not in the "zone". That reduced the number of new Conditionals to a handful.

K1BXI: "As I said earlier, things don't change much"

Then there were the Bash books, but that's another story.

Of course I've always had the best comeback to test challenges: the ability to pass the current tests.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What Really Happened  
by G0OIL on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "The choice of Palin by the other side killed any chance I'd vote for that ticket"

Yes, that really was a truly bizarre choice, wasn't it? Wow, she was terrifying. What WAS Mr McCain thinking of?

But back to your point, I think the irresponsible decisions were made by the institutions that bought the derivatives that the lenders sold on to hedge their positions on those impossible loans. I also agree that the easy supply of cheap money fuelled by the policies of Gordon Brown and others like him poured gasoline on the fire. But I have to say that in the position of those lenders, I'd have done the same: pay some other dumb mug to take the risk.

As far as ham radio goes, I think we have to keep some sort of technical or educational challenge as part of the hobby. Obviously construction hits the mark herre, but to me even operating awards like DXCC or activities like passing emergency traffic or contesting are a technical challenge since you have to be capable of building and operating an effective station.

The distinction that we always had from the "appliance operators" and CBers was our technical knowledge, our ability to build stuff, adapt stuff and to solve problems. That last bit is the most important. I think it's a mindset.

I don't think that the removal of the CW requirement as such has harmed the hobby (I could never see the sense in mandating CW knowledge, even though I personally find it fun and operate 75% cw), but I do think that the examinations have been dumbed down somewhat over the years, along with education at just about every level.

Talking on Skype (or texting, or emailing etc) is - to me - boring because anyone can buy the kit and do it. But it's cheap, it's reliable and it's instantly available in a way that amateur radio could never be, so I agree with you that we're chasing the wrong group if we're trying to bring people into our hobby who are interested in that kind of stuff.

The people who always found an interest in amateur radio were the budding technicians, engineers and gadget-builders - but as a society we seem to be turning people away from engineering as a profession. Just look at how we devalue the skills of engineers. Engineers design and build this world, but they're paid peanuts, whereas useless self-serving pimps and spivs like lawyers and bankers make all the dough, so that's where everyone wants to be.

Technology seems just to be a means to an end. Plug and play switch it on, instant gratification. No-one seems to take an interest in learning and experimenting for the sake of it. If I want to recruit engineers I have to recruit from India or China, as I can't find the graduates with the skills in this country.

However, I'm sure that those people are out there. How do we find them? Well, if I knew that, I'd have patented it. :-)

cheers

Dave G0OIL / K2MOO / C56TTY
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by N0AH on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Len,

The reason the numbers did not rise substantially is that the term "EXTRA" still made a tough test a tough test-

That said, I have seen the health of this hobby considerably improve from those I know who sell merchandise from E-Bay to HRO.

 
RE: Discard the stale bread. (Make breadcrumbs!)  
by WA1RNE on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
by N2EY


But then, in December of 1952, almost exactly 56 years ago today, FCC made a startling announcement: All US hams except Novices and Technicians got full operating privileges, effective mid-February 1953. There was suddenly no operational reason to get an Advanced or Extra.

In those days there were approximately 100,000 US hams, of which maybe 40,000 were Class A/Advanced. There were only a handful of Extras back then. By 1967, when the Advanced was reopened to new issues, there were over 250,000 US hams, of which about 4,000 were Extras.

The question I have is: Why did FCC change its mind so fast and so radically? The 1951 restructuring had been in the works for several years, had gone through all the channels, etc., yet at the last minute things changed completely.

Any insights on why FCC changed its mind on the Advanced/Extra back in '52?


>>> Good question. From what I've been able to research, it would seem the change in 1952 was prompted by the finalization of rules for RACES operation, which superceded the WERS or War Emergency Radio Service. With a small number of Class A operators available to run phone on HF, ~ 200,000 operators were needed to make the system functional.


You can read more here:

http://www.ham-shack.com/history30.html


....and this is interesting:

http://hamgallery.com/gallery/W/wers.pdf


...WA1RNE
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by RADIO123US on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Lyn proves my point that the anti-code folks are the one's that keep trying to revive the DEAD horse....

I think a little perspective of the author of this article is needed here....Lyn, AF6AY is an anti-code zealot who has spent all of his his time on this site harassing anyone who doesn't agree with him...He has less than 2 years experience in ham radio, because he chose to wait 50 years until the requirements were lowered to a point that he could actually pass the test....He has posted threads saying that children should NOT be allowed to get a ham license....so is this a person who really should be taken seriously on this subject ???? Lyn, give us a break....
 
RE: Discard the stale bread. (Make breadcrumbs!)  
by K1BXI on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I had forgotten about the conelrad monitoring. Heathkit made a unit that cut the power to your radio if an alert was issued. I'm sure others company's did also.

Many of us thought when the ARRL pushed the incentive licensing in "63" that the big guns in the DX world used the ARRL to persuaded the FCC to grant the Extra class the bottom 25 KHz of the bands. Since that was where the choice DX hung out. No proof, but that was the feeling. All it really did was create a "I'm a better than you" attitude that still exists some 40 years later.

I felt the incentive part was a good idea, but only if a new set of frequency's (like a band increase) had been allocated for those that chose to upgrade. Dividing up the existing bands and taking away parts from the users and for all purposes telling them they needed to be smarter to get them back left a lot of bad feelings.

Just my thoughts..........John

 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KI4ITV on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"Lyn proves my point that the anti-code folks are the one's that keep trying to revive the DEAD horse....

I think a little perspective of the author of this article is needed here....Lyn, AF6AY is an anti-code zealot who has spent all of his his time on this site harassing anyone who doesn't agree with him...He has less than 2 years experience in ham radio, because he chose to wait 50 years until the requirements were lowered to a point that he could actually pass the test...."
.................................

OK, so he's still not as bad as the tech's that waited 15 yrs. to upgrade right after the code "went away".
I know two of them personally and I had full privileges before they did.
Some just didn't have what it took, and now they do.

strange dat.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by AD7WN on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I get the feeling that very little change has happened since doomsday. In trying to figure out why, I have to look at my own background in ham radio.

I got my first ticket, conditional class, back in 1955 because I wanted to continue the rapid fire CW QSK operation I had enjoyed as a brasspounder in the army. The code test was a non-issue because of the militay training I had already received. In the following decade, pressure was being put on us through incentive licensing. I eventually upgraded to extra mainly to get back the priveledges I had originally enjoyed.

Now that the code requirement, be it 5 wpm, 13 wpm or 20 wpm, has been removed, what has been changed? I can still find capable ops to continue the much-loved rapid fire CW QSK ragchews. The proportions may be a little different, but I would be hard pressed to put a number on it. Tuning the bottom 25 kHz of the HF bands shows very few lids. Learning enough theory to pass the extra class still weeds out the lids. Maybe the average code speed in use now is a little less, but there are still plenty of guys (and gals) around who are capable of 25, 30, 35 wpm with very well formed fists.

Not much has been changed. Just my two cents worth :-)

73 de John
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N7YA on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
All this doom and gloom...the hobby has been "dying" for 100 years now. Thats one tough hobby!

No, the hobby isnt dying, certain aspects of it are...some good, some are destined to fail...but the hobby itself is just fine, and new aspects are forming all the time. I was on the air this morning and there were signals coming in from all over the place, CW, SSB, Digital...these guys were on the air and enjoying a dead hobby that apparently is completely ruined now...the loudest screams of the demise of the entire ham radio hobby is coming from the states here, folks in other countries go through regulatory changes too, but they bounce back. Why do we whine so much about everything??

The hobby is fine. There is no doomsday. New people will continue to come into the hobby. The bands will improve. Hams will still use CW. They eliminated the requirement and i am over it. I suggest, for your own health and peace of mind, that you be over it too...but thats up to you.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by WB6DGN on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"Six days from filing to a paper license in hand. I'd say that was pretty quick, and better than the ten and twelve days years ago."

When I got my first license in late '61 or early '62, they were quoting 30 to 90 days, if I remember correctly. Seems it was into the second month when I received mine. And, you could not operate until that license was in hand. They've definitely made progress.
Tom
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by WB6DGN on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"...this site is not all that much of a help to the amateur community."

I disagree. I find the ELMER section very helpful, especially in areas where I have no previous experience. It has become even more so since I've learned to just ignore the "chaff" rather than being taken in by it. The REVIEWS section, while not "gospel" is entertaining at the least and does give some insight into general attitudes about the various equipment. The SWAPMEET (or whatever other name you give it) tells me a lot about what is out there, if not a realistic insight into prices. For me, there's a lot here that's good; and there's a lot more that could be a lot better if only for the bickering.
Tom
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N0AH posted on 15 Dec 08:

"The reason the numbers did not rise substantially is that the term "EXTRA" still made a tough test a tough test-"

My article was refering to all the advance publicity regarding the "hordes of CB-ers" and "riff-raff" getting their ham licenses, those "midnight test sessions" and the 'tremendous effort' put forth by the ARRL and others for 'Doomsday.' :-)

But, as usual, none of the 'old-timers' wanted to comment on that, prefering to veer off into VENTING issues, 'knowledgeable about politics' prose, etc. That was evident in the 664 postings made on rec.radio.amateur.policy after 7 Mar 07 that followed my kick-off subject there. :-) As the translated French saying has it, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I didn't find the Amateur Extra test 'hard,' nor the General test 'hard,' nor the Technician 'hard.' I just prepared for them and took all in the same day. It was only 120 questions total. I've had harder tests in university-level mid-term exams. <shrug>

One thing I've observed over the last four decades or so is that already-licensed radio amateurs make a BIG thing about THE TEST! Wow, to hear so many talk about it, it was 'rocket science' or the equivalent to a PhD oral dissertation or some greater accomplishment. It was never 'hard' except what induced anxiety (from others) made it out to be.

But, according to some, it must have been 'hard' cramming six box-tops in that envelope to send away for my Extra at age 75. :-) :-) :-) :-)

Fifty-four years in radio-electronics preceding my AMATEUR test may have made it somewhat 'easier' for me, ey? ;-)
............
N0AH: "That said, I have seen the health of this hobby considerably improve from those I know who sell merchandise from E-Bay to HRO."

I don't 'know' anyone who sells amateur radio merchandise (as 'close personal friends' that is). All I 'know' is that NEW licensees are just barely keeping up with EXPIRATIONS. That was explained in my first article on amateur numbers. I bought from AES but have never been to the Las Vegas store; free shipping on orders above a stated amount and no California tax had to be paid. [all very legal :-)]

Remember the old dictum from so many long-timers...one has to BUILD their equipment "to really enjoy it, anyone can plug-and-play with ready-made gear." The inference there is that (even though those might have built something 30 years ago) ready-made equipment makes them 'inferior.'

"Health" of today's amateur radio? I'm such a newbie that I can't possibly know that according to some. All I see is the numbers of licensees. USA amateur radio isn't dying but it isn't growing either. It would seem to be in stasis, rather inert right now. There wasn't any groundswell of newcomers after 23 Feb 07 and any growth in numbers over the last 1 3/4 years has been UNDER 0.1 percent. Wait until the Boomer Generation attrition starts...

NO ONE pressured me to 'enlist in the ranks of amateur radio.' I had NO mentors (hams call them 'elmers' for some strange reason). The amount of enthusiasm for newcomers from local clubs was so miniscule that it would have to be measured on a precision microscale. I've seen NO publicity about USA amateur radio in the popular press or television...other than a skit on the Tonight Show done to make fun of cell phone texting. However, to see any issue of QST one might think that enthusing newcomers is some kind of Growth Industry Bubble! No. Unless one has family members or friends IN amateur radio, the amount of recruitment of newcomers is practically nil. Coming into discussion forums of the last 15 years is like becoming a masochist where the unlicensed (in amateur radio) is a pariah to be stoned, tossed on a fire to be roasted alive, made fun of, insulted, and in general reviled. Not a good inducement to 'join the ranks.' I voluntarily took my tests as *I* saw fit, having run the gauntlets of all those whip-lashing long-timers for a long time. No wounds incurred, not even emotional ones. But little, damn little enthusiasm to participate unless - and an important unless - one partakes as an 'inferior' member, always respecting and revering and deferring to the long-timers (because they are so spay-shul...and keep saying they are). :-)

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 15, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N0AH posted on 15 Dec 08:

"The reason the numbers did not rise substantially is that the term "EXTRA" still made a tough test a tough test-"

My article was refering to all the advance publicity regarding the "hordes of CB-ers" and "riff-raff" getting their ham licenses, those "midnight test sessions" and the 'tremendous effort' put forth by the ARRL and others for 'Doomsday.' :-)

But, as usual, none of the 'old-timers' wanted to comment on that, prefering to veer off into VENTING issues, 'knowledgeable about politics' prose, etc. That was evident in the 664 postings made on rec.radio.amateur.policy after 7 Mar 07 that followed my kick-off subject there. :-) As the translated French saying has it, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I didn't find the Amateur Extra test 'hard,' nor the General test 'hard,' nor the Technician 'hard.' I just prepared for them and took all in the same day. It was only 120 questions total. I've had harder tests in university-level mid-term exams. <shrug>

One thing I've observed over the last four decades or so is that already-licensed radio amateurs make a BIG thing about THE TEST! Wow, to hear so many talk about it, it was 'rocket science' or the equivalent to a PhD oral dissertation or some greater accomplishment. It was never 'hard' except what induced anxiety (from others) made it out to be.

But, according to some, it must have been 'hard' cramming six box-tops in that envelope to send away for my Extra at age 75. :-) :-) :-) :-)

Fifty-four years in radio-electronics preceding my AMATEUR test may have made it somewhat 'easier' for me, ey? ;-)
............
N0AH: "That said, I have seen the health of this hobby considerably improve from those I know who sell merchandise from E-Bay to HRO."

I don't 'know' anyone who sells amateur radio merchandise (as 'close personal friends' that is). All I 'know' is that NEW licensees are just barely keeping up with EXPIRATIONS. That was explained in my first article on amateur numbers. I bought from AES but have never been to the Las Vegas store; free shipping on orders above a stated amount and no California tax had to be paid. [all very legal :-)] I was at a stage in life where I could afford to pay cash for it, so why not?

"Health" of today's amateur radio? I'm such a newbie that I can't possibly know that according to some. All I see is the numbers of licensees. USA amateur radio isn't dying but it isn't growing either. It would seem to be in stasis, rather inert right now. There wasn't any groundswell of newcomers after 23 Feb 07 and any growth in numbers over the last 1 3/4 years has been UNDER 0.1 percent. Wait until the Boomer Generation attrition starts...

NO ONE pressured me to 'enlist in the ranks of amateur radio.' I had NO mentors (hams call them 'elmers' for some strange reason). The amount of enthusiasm for newcomers from local clubs was so miniscule that it would have to be measured on a precision microscale. I've seen NO publicity about USA amateur radio in the popular press or television...other than a skit on the Tonight Show done to make fun of cell phone texting. However, to see any issue of QST one might think that enthusing newcomers is some kind of Growth Industry Bubble! No. Unless one has family members or friends IN amateur radio, the amount of recruitment of newcomers is practically nil. Coming into discussion forums of the last 15 years is like becoming a masochist where the unlicensed (in amateur radio) is a pariah to be stoned, tossed on a fire to be roasted alive, made fun of, insulted, and in general reviled. Not a good inducement to 'join the ranks.' I voluntarily took my tests as *I* saw fit, having run the gauntlets of all those whip-lashing long-timers for a long time. No wounds incurred, not even emotional ones. But little, damn little enthusiasm to participate unless - and an important unless - one partakes as an 'inferior' member, always respecting and revering and deferring to the long-timers (because they are so spay-shul...and keep saying they are). :-)

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by G0OIL on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N0AH posted on 15 Dec 08:

"The reason the numbers did not rise substantially is that the term "EXTRA" still made a tough test a tough test-"

Despite AF6AY's comments I think that the Extra Class is genuinely a pretty tough syllabus for a newcomer or for someone who's not very technical. It goes beyond the level of the UK licence by some distance. AF6AY points out that it's not as tough as university exams, well of course it's not! But there's a lot in there to learn and despite having been licensed for a number of years, having a technical background and having been a home constructor for far longer than I've had a Ham licence, I found that I had to prepare well for it. True enough, I did all three exams in the one evening and applied straight for an Extra call, but it's cheaper that way and being a Yorkshireman who's half Scottish that means a lot to me :-)

I really enjoyed studying for the Extra - there was a lot of new stuff for me as well as useful revision of things I'd forgotten on 20 years. If we can't put the time and effort in to study a subject for fun, then when can we do it?

I think that the ARRL and FCC made a complete balls-up of implementing the incentive licence structure way back in the 60s but that's history.

As AF6KA states, unless you know of amateur radio via a friend or family then you **NEVER** hear of it. G8ROU (probably my oldest friend - we've known each other since we were 18) suggested I get into amateur radio via some licence classes he ran when I started working in Sheffield close to his QTH in 1989. If I'd heard of amateur radio when I was 12 years old, I'd probably have done the licence exams then. But I didn't, so I didn't.

Why haven't there been hordes of people beating down the door to amateur radio? BECAUSE NO-ONE KNOWS OF ITS EXISTENCE. We are USELESS at publicity and recruitment and if we don't get better then as the Baby Boom generation begin to start pushing up the daisies we'll see a huge drop in the number of licensees.

True enough, there are those hostile to newcomers, trying to protect their fragile egoes by making out that they're better than everyone else, but every aspect of human life seems to contain the odd screwball, and we just have to learn to laugh at them and ignore them.

As I've said before, educational standards are declining and I meet fewer people of a technical "bent" and fewer young people who just want to learn and experiment for the sake of learning - because learning is fun.

I don't think that there's a simple answer. Did the absence of a CW test make me do the US exams this year, as opposed to any other year? Not really - I just had a bit more time this year due to illness and recovering from spinal surgery. I use CW at more than 20wpm every day I'm on the radio anyway, so why would that be a problem? I'm not very musical so didn't find code easy to learn, but I'm not a quitter and I stuck at it - and now I'm glad I did because although I'm not brilliant at it, I think it's fun. I'm no different to most people, so I can't see how it would make a difference to them either.

But wan't the reason for dropping CW as a licence REQUISITE below 30MHz to do with its demise in the commercial and shipping world? Although the barriers to entering the hobby as a licensee look a bit lower than they were years ago, we still have the idiot filter of the exams.

No, I think we're looking the wrong way. If education and employment don't provide the experimenter and compulsive technical learner-for-fun a life-long challenge, then we somehow need to publicise ourselves as maybe part of the solution for them.

They just have to ignore and/or laugh at the miserable old G3 Tomato Growers talking about their lumbago, Our Gert's* lost bus pass and snarling at newcomers on 80m :-)

cheers

Dave G0OIL / K2MOO


* "Our Gert" is a South Yorkshire expression for "the wife". So now you're educated !!! :-)
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, WB2WIK, wrote: The only thing I notice after the elimination of the code test is that there are more bad operators on the air; thankfully, they're not on CW which is where I spend most of my time, so I'm not terribly impacted by it. When I operate the "phone" bands, the difference is very obvious. Then, I noted "more bad operators" each time the written examination was dumbed down, too -- so it's not only the elimination of the code test that caused this.

-----------------------

Sorry, Steve, but your "more bad operators" argument is just another elitist holdover from the 1950s that has never, EVER been proven true.

In fact, in their Report and Order dropping the Morse testing requirement entirely, the Commission unequivocally rejected ALL such bogus arguments for retaining Morse testing, and, in the process, exposed them all as nothing more than regulated snobbery.

And, just so there’s absolutely NO misunderstanding regarding “what the FCC really said”, here are some DIRECT quotes from the FCC’s Report and Order that dropped Mosre testing for all of us (particularly those in the "Morse testing forever' crowd) to ponder:

“We nevertheless believe that the public interest is NOT (emphasis mine) served by requiring facility in Morse code when the trend in amateur communications is to use voice and digital technologies for exchanging messages," the FCC said. "Rather, we believe that because the international requirement for telegraphy proficiency has been eliminated, we should treat Morse code telegraphy no differently from other Amateur Service communications techniques."

Translation: The FCC said its rules don't require applicants to pass practical examinations to demonstrate proficiency in non-telegraphy communications techniques, and it feels the current regime of written examinations is "sufficient to determine whether a person is qualified to be issued an Amateur Radio operator license." Period.

The Commission also completely repudiated the totally bogus argument that retaining a Morse code requirement will keep the “riff-raff” out of the hobby.

To wit: "The record is DEVOID (emphasis mine) of a demonstrated nexus between Morse code proficiency and on-the-air conduct," the FCC observed. "As a result, we concur with the observation that maintaining the code requirement DOES NOT (again, emphasis mine) purge Amateur Radio of bad operators. Education and self-policing does.”

The Commission further reiterated its belief that the ability to demonstrate increased Morse code proficiency doesn't necessarily indicate an applicant's ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

Specifically, they noted that, "A number of commenters agree that the Morse code requirement 'keeps individuals that would enhance the hobby from getting a license,' and that there is 'no relationship between an individual's knowledge of Morse code and that individual's knowledge of radio regulations and practices and skills necessary to operate an amateur station.”

Now, one would have hoped that the FCC's complete repudiation of all such totally bogus “lid filter” and “real Ham” arguments would have now been sufficient for the “Morse testing forever” Luddites to crawl back into their caves and be quiet. But, obviously (and has Len has so eloquently pointed out in his various posts) such Luddites simply can't let the matter rest.

But, then again, such things always take time. After all, it’s taken well over 50 years for such regulated snobbery to start being officially addressed (let alone repudiated!) as well as for this particular, long-overdue change in our licensing structure to finally become reality.

In fact, as I have noted previously in this and other forums, I firmly believe that the aging and eventual death the older generation of Hams will be an essential element in the progress of Amateur Radio.

That's because death very effectively takes care of all the Luddites from a previous generation who are absolutely petrified to let go of old, fallacious ideas (like Morse code testing along with all the other bogus “lid filters” in our license and regulatory structure) that are no longer based in any operational need, if they ever were.

Clearly, there is still much left to accomplish to finally bring Amateur Radio in the United States out of the technological and sociological "dark ages" and into the 21st Century.

However, there is absolutely NO doubt that, with the dropping of the Morse testing requirement, the FCC helped our Service take a MAJOR step toward that goal.

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF said "Sorry, Steve, but your "more bad operators" argument is just another elitist holdover from the 1950s that has never, EVER been proven true.
In fact, in their Report and Order dropping the Morse testing requirement entirely, the Commission unequivocally rejected ALL such bogus arguments for retaining Morse testing, and, in the process, exposed them all as nothing more than regulated snobbery. "

Keith, so if the FCC said it wouldn't cause any problems, it must be so ? Have you listened to the bands lately ? Once again, your know-it-all elistist attitude is showing...
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by K4IQT on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
GET OVER IT!

You should be spending your time out there in the CW segments instead of continuing to rant and rave about the disaster that has befallen American hamdom.

There really does not seem to be any significant difference in what goes on in the HF spectrum, and the on-the-air ignorance factor (i.e. LID) is no worse now than fifty years ago. It's just that the participants are older and there are more of them.

Instead of crying about the state of affairs, go work some DX or try some QRP operation or get on 2M FM complaining about your arthritis or fire up your big heavy monster linear and melt some coax or something!
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED wrote: "Keith, so if the FCC said it wouldn't cause any problems, it must be so?

-----------------------

Maybe not.

However, the predominance of 20 WPM (that is, "FCC Examined") Extra Class operators that have quite regularly appeared on Mr. Hollingsworth's "scofflaw list" over the years tends to lend credence to my argument.

I also often wonder how many of the "Morse-testing-forever" crowd could actually PASS another Morse test if it was made a recurring requirement to keep their licenses.

I mean, according to most of these clowns, a working knowledge of Morse remains a critical skill to be a "real Ham", right?

So, if that is true, then maybe we ALL should submit to a re-test after a certain number of years...particularly when we start getting old and decrepit (like I am!)

That is, we certainly can't condone sloppy sending from a shaking hand (or missed characters from lack of hearing) BOTH of which are bound to create more congestion and pollution on our bands now, can we?

Many states and provinces are now are requiring seniors over a certain age to go back and re-take their driver's examinations. And, for many years now, licensed Private Pilots in the US have had to successfully pass periodic flight reviews with an FAA-certified examiner in order to continue flying.

So, just like the holders of these licenses, those that can’t pass the “critical” Morse re-test would then have to show cause why their licenses to operate on HF shouldn’t also be suspended (or revoked) until they can.

And if you think the whole idea of a Morse re-test for Amateur Radio is absurd, that’s probably because it is.

But, it is no more absurd than keeping a systemically discriminatory psychomotor skill test as a mandatory “rite of passage” for HF operation on our Amateur Bands LONG after it had outlived any usefulness...if, indeed, it ever had any usefulness in the first place.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by NV2A on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
H E L P !! I'm being......sucked into a ....... discussion I know will..........end nowhere...... but I couldn't stop my.....self from clicking.......the button. Somebody STOP me! :)
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by K2JX on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

So, the hobby is dying again ?
Anyway, I read other "hobby" mags and web sites, especially the aviation forums and guess what ? Same story, too expensive to learn to fly, no new blood, flying for fun is going to go away for good! The difference is in my view, those already engaged in thier chosen hobby don't flame it or other members of the group the way some of us do to this one. Whats up with that ? In my 30++ years in Ham radio I heard the dooms day call since day one ! Wrong.

73-K2JX
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K1CJS on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
>>>HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED wrote: "Keith, so if the FCC said it wouldn't cause any problems, it must be so?
-----------------------
Maybe not.
However, the predominance of 20 WPM (that is, "FCC Examined") Extra Class operators that have quite regularly appeared on Mr. Hollingsworth's "scofflaw list" over the years tends to lend credence to my argument.<<<

Another item that also supports such an argument is the population of the HF bands themselves. Even before the morse 20 wpm level test was eliminated, there were many operators on HF bands who did things that were bending--or outright breaking--the regulations in place.

There was no appreciable increase of regulation scofflaws when the 13 and 20 wpm morse tests were eliminated, and also when the code test was abolished entirely. There is, if anything, an increase of operators--newer HF operators--who prefer keeping withing the regs--and those operators are calling more attention to the ones who break the rules.

That is where the supposed increase of bad operators are coming from--an increase of reporting those bad ops who populate some HF bands.. Now, I'm not so naive that I would claim some bad operators didn't come up when the morse testing was dropped, but those bad ops are not nearly so numerous as some people would lead others to believe.
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by KG6WLS on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo Reply
by NV2A on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
H E L P !! I'm being......sucked into a ....... discussion I know will..........end nowhere...... but I couldn't stop my.....self from clicking.......the button. Somebody STOP me! :) <


::There's a fix for that.

Quoted from the movie War Games: "The only winning move is NOT TO PLAY".

73
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Chris, I agree the folks actually breaking the law hasn't changed much...the general poor operating practices has increased drastically.

Keith always goes back to the "the FCC said so" argument...as do most anti-code zealots....do you always believe what the government tells you ???? I certainly don't....
 
RE: Discard the stale bread. (Make breadcrumbs!)  
by N2EY on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "Any insights on why FCC changed its mind on the Advanced/Extra back in '52?"

WA1RNE: "Good question. From what I've been able to research, it would seem the change in 1952 was prompted by the finalization of rules for RACES operation, which superceded the WERS or War Emergency Radio Service."

That makes a certain amount of sense; Civil Defense was a big deal then, what with the Soviets getting The Bomb, the Cold War, the Iron Curtain, Korea, etc.

But all that wasn't new in '52. Still seems odd that the FCC made such a complete reversal at the very last moment.

Some other factors to consider:

- Before 1949, US hams could only operate mobile on the bands above 25 MHz. Apparently FCC was pretty leery of hams operating mobile, because it was the last kind of operating allowed in the 1930s. Perhaps they realized how useful amateur mobile operation would be, and to encourage its development, opened all HF 'phone to Generals and Conditionals.

- Although a few hams had used SSB voice in the early 1930s (W6DEI, Ray Moore, for example), the popularity of SSB in ham radio only really took off after WW2. Perhaps the FCC wanted to encourage hams to use the new mode on HF, and so made HF 'phone available to a lot more of them.

WA1RNE: "With a small number of Class A operators available to run phone on HF, ~ 200,000 operators were needed to make the system functional."

Well, there weren't anywhere near 200,000 US hams in 1952. Advanceds and Extras made up about 40,000 at that time. But regardless of the numbers, that could be a major factor.

Perhaps it was a combination of all of them.

Thanks for the links!

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by N2EY on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF: "However, the predominance of 20 WPM (that is, "FCC Examined") Extra Class operators that have quite regularly appeared on Mr. Hollingsworth's "scofflaw list" over the years tends to lend credence to my argument."

How can you tell who on the enforcement list was FCC tested and who wasn't? Or who used a medical waiver and who didn't? (Since 1990, it's been possible to get any class of US license with just a 5 wpm code test, using a medical waiver.

And as for "predominance", it would be interesting to see the enforcement actions over Riley's time broken down by violation, license class, years licensed, operator age, band & mode used, and geographic location, BEFORE accusing any one group of being "predominant".

IIRC, there was a ham from the LAX area who was recently sentenced to prison for repeated violations. Probably the worst example in years. He wasn't an Extra, btw. I don't see you mentioning him and his offenses - nor his license class and testing.

KB1SF: "I also often wonder how many of the "Morse-testing-forever" crowd could actually PASS another Morse test if it was made a recurring requirement to keep their licenses."

I can, even though I passed the 20 wpm at an FCC office in the summer of 1970. I can pass all the current written exams, too. Nothing to it.

KB1SF: "I mean, according to most of these clowns, a working knowledge of Morse remains a critical skill to be a "real Ham", right?"

Why the name-calling? Am I a "clown" because I think a particular subject should be part of the licensing process?

KB1SF: "So, if that is true, then maybe we ALL should submit to a re-test after a certain number of years...particularly when we start getting old and decrepit (like I am!)"

BRING IT ON!

KB1SF: "Many states and provinces are now are requiring seniors over a certain age to go back and re-take their driver's examinations. And, for many years now, licensed Private Pilots in the US have had to successfully pass periodic flight reviews with an FAA-certified examiner in order to continue flying."

Works for me. FCC examiner and all. Piece of cake, really.

KB1SF: "And if you think the whole idea of a Morse re-test for Amateur Radio is absurd, that’s probably because it is."

But I don't think retesting is absurd at all. Written or code, I'll just take the retests and pass 'em.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1BXI on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This may turn into a double feature.........
I need more popcorn, you got any extra Lou?

John
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1BXI on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I meant Lon, not Lou.
We've been enjoying the show, keep it up.
 
Challenges  
by N2EY on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "The choice of Palin by the other side killed any chance I'd vote for that ticket"

G0OIL: "Yes, that really was a truly bizarre choice, wasn't it? Wow, she was terrifying. What WAS Mr McCain thinking of?"

I think maybe the choice wasn't up to McCain. Maybe the RNC forced it. Maybe his first choices said no.

Have you seen Tina Fey's brilliant impersonations? The scariest part is that most of them are direct quotes. (TF is from my hometown).

G0OIL: "As far as ham radio goes, I think we have to keep some sort of technical or educational challenge as part of the hobby. Obviously construction hits the mark herre, but to me even operating awards like DXCC or activities like passing emergency traffic or contesting are a technical challenge since you have to be capable of building and operating an effective station."

The big question is, do we test for that? And if so, how?

G0OIL: "The distinction that we always had from the "appliance operators" and CBers was our technical knowledge, our ability to build stuff, adapt stuff and to solve problems."

You mean like this? :

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/jiminfo.doc

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX1.jpg

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX2.jpg

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX3.jpg

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX4.jpg

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX5.jpg

http://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Jim/SilverRX6.jpg

http://www.qrz.com/callsign/N2EY"

G0OIL: "That last bit is the most important. I think it's a mindset."

I agree; one our main characteristics is the ability to make-do with what's available. And yes, it's a mindset.

G0OIL: "I don't think that the removal of the CW requirement as such has harmed the hobby (I could never see the sense in mandating CW knowledge, even though I personally find it fun and operate 75% cw), but I do think that the examinations have been dumbed down somewhat over the years, along with education at just about every level."

It must be remembered that the testing changes have been gradual, not sudden, and that it's not easy to capture the effect of such changes. More important, however, is this question: Have the testing eliminations and reductions improved ham radio? From a number-of-new-hams point of view, the answer seems to be NO.

If a ham wants to get the most results out of the least technology, and maybe even build a rig, which mode is best suited to that end?

IMHO, what really bothered a lot of folks about the code test were two things:

First, except for a few folks who already knew it, the code was something they had to learn from scratch. It put the PhD in EE on the same plane as the bright third-grader when it came to getting an amateur license. And the third-grader might actually turn out to be the better operator! (At least one third-grader, 8 years old, earned the Extra license back in the late 1990s. Passed all 5 written exams and all 3 code tests, including 20 wpm).

Second, unlike a lot of "book-learning" things, the code cannot usually be learned a little bit here and there, like the theory can, by reading a book or looking at the actual Q&A. You can't guess or word-associate your way through it.

But that's ancient history now.

G0OIL: "Talking on Skype (or texting, or emailing etc) is - to me - boring because anyone can buy the kit and do it. But it's cheap, it's reliable and it's instantly available in a way that amateur radio could never be, so I agree with you that we're chasing the wrong group if we're trying to bring people into our hobby who are interested in that kind of stuff."

More important is the fact that those things are about the message, not the medium. The destination, not the journey. And they require an enormous unseen infrastructure.

Amateur radio is just the opposite; it's about the use of radio for its own sake, as an end in itself. With very little infrastructure.

Kind of like the difference between walking in, say, the Lake District, and speeding along a motorway.

G0OIL: "The people who always found an interest in amateur radio were the budding technicians, engineers and gadget-builders - but as a society we seem to be turning people away from engineering as a profession. Just look at how we devalue the skills of engineers. Engineers design and build this world, but they're paid peanuts, whereas useless self-serving pimps and spivs like lawyers and bankers make all the dough, so that's where everyone wants to be."

AGREED!

And it's not just about money. When was the last time you saw a movie or TV show that depicted engineers or engineering in a positive light? Or ham radio, for that matter?

Let's see...there was the opening sequence of 'Contact' - which was in the theatres 13 years ago, and the words "amateur radio" or "ham radio" are never spoken. (I do like the classic line "I'll need a bigger antenna", though.)

G0OIL: "Technology seems just to be a means to an end. Plug and play switch it on, instant gratification. No-one seems to take an interest in learning and experimenting for the sake of it."

I think some folks do - but they're not so obvious. Technology *is* partly about being able to do things, too. It's that mix which is part of the draw.

G0OIL: "If I want to recruit engineers I have to recruit from India or China, as I can't find the graduates with the skills in this country."

Consider why that is. Whether it's the USA or the UK, people aren't stupid. Look at the feats of engineering in both countries, in a variety of fields. Whether it's the re-entrant cavity magnetron, the Forth bridge, television, or the world's first fully-operational, general-purpose, high speed digital electronic computer (ENIAC), both countries have done pretty well with home-grown engineers in the past. So what has changed?

IMHO, the big problem is that the expected skills and experience don't match the expected pay, benefits, job security or status. There's an old joke that goes something like "applicant should be under 30 years old, have more than 20 years' experience, and starting pay is less than $50K". Importing labor is a way to keep the price down and the expectations high.

G0OIL: "However, I'm sure that those people are out there. How do we find them? Well, if I knew that, I'd have patented it. :-)"

Well, the first thing is to go where they are. Middle school is one place. Science fairs and such are another. Some ham groups have taken to putting on demos at air shows using vintage military rigs adapted to amateur use.

--

Another factor is what I call "the simplicity thing". We're all surrounded by complex throw-away technology, like a cellphone or computer, which most folks don't really understand, let alone work on. Presenting a ham radio station as another collection of store-bought boxes with complex innards may not be the best way to draw the techno-minded.

Look at old radio magazines and books, and note how filled they are with simple receiver and transmitter projects that almost leap off the page at you and scream "BUILD THIS RADIO!" The experimentally-minded were and are drawn to such things, because they're NOT just another collection of store-bought boxes, but rather something that is actually known, understood and at least partially built by the operator.

IOW, part of the way to find the new folks is to show the simple, rather than the complex, and to show what you can actually do yourself, rather than just buying another gadget. This is the draw of all those do-it-yourself TV shows and books - look how popular they are! Sure, part of the attraction is saving money, but that's not the whole story by any means. ARRL did something along these lines recently in their "Homebrew Challenge", but we need more of that kind of thing.

Which do you think will be more likely to attract the experimentally-minded:

- the ham station consisting of 100% manufactured transceiver, antenna, computer and accessories, with the latest technology, most of which the operator can't really work on

or

- the ham station consisting of much simpler equipment that the ham obviously understands and most of which s/he built, restored, salvaged, adapted, etc.?

This doesn't mean manufactured rigs are "bad", just that they aren't the only option. And we should make all options as visible as possible.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Challenges  
by K1BXI on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
For the what ever it's worth department:

I have a friend that is into EME (earth-moon-earth) in a big way. Not much plug and play stuff there. To assemble a good working system with a fair size dish requires one to have a good mechanical background, a little bit of astrophysics, vhf/uhf rf behavior in regards to losses. and much more.

It's a small group compared to the whole, but an example of a few really technological minded Hams that enjoy that part of the hobby.

With all the equipment, their common mode of communicating is................CW. And no, their not all Extra Class either.

John

 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by W7ETA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I've enjoyed the articles contained within the article about the first 2 weeks during the Mongol attack, even though, the new articles don't seem to be related to the Hoards attacking.

Nice easy to follow prose from N2EY and KB1SF.
The unfortunate name calling seems to go hand in hand with presenting opinions as facts.

For me, any discussion that does not incorporate the advantages of segregating novice ops from more experienced ops, how the structure of CW Qs can become a habit for for other modes, and that many ops obtained knowledge and further operating skills during the time it took to develop CW speed, is an incomplete, perhaps, biased discussion.

Ultimately, no discussion of the past alters the fact that ops, and ops to be, can only take currently given exams.

Best from Tucson
Bob
 
MY BREAD IS MOLDED  
by PLANKEYE on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
W7ETA:

Ultimately, no discussion of the past alters the fact that ops, and ops to be, can only take currently given exams.

____________________

PLANKEYE:

Sir, the currently "given" exams are currently "given" exams.

No discussion of the past is going to alter that.

PLANKEYE
 
RE: MY BREAD IS MOLDED  
by W7ETA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Some grain molds cause hallucinations.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003258.htm
 
RE: Which principle?  
by KG4YMC on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I had an old horse that died at my old qth. If anyone wants to dig up the old bones, change his named from 'whig' to ' morse code' they can continue to beat on the bones... 73 kg4ymc get it ?
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by WD8DK on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I will say this; I started as a Novice, came up thru the ranks to Advanced. I refuse to take the no code Extra simply because I beleive that a Code test is in order for any class Amateur License. In short, I will be an Advanced Class Op until they unplug my radio!
 
RE: Challenges  
by G0OIL on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1BXI "I have a friend that is into EME (earth-moon-earth) in a big way. Not much plug and play stuff there. To assemble a good working system with a fair size dish requires one to have a good mechanical background, a little bit of astrophysics, vhf/uhf rf behavior in regards to losses. and much more. "

Oh, absolutely. I remember quite a few years ago joining a group of friends who wished to have a go at 144MHz EME. It was long before the WSJT software made things a damned sight more achievable with a small station, and we didn't really know what we were doing

We hauled generator, amps, rigs, a trailer mast, antennas, more antennas, preamps, what seemsd like a mile of coax etc up to the most RF quiet place we could find: a friend's field right on the Derbyshire Peak at Parwich for an activity weekend one November or December over 15 years ago.

We thought we kinda understood the theories of spatial polarisation, Faraday rotation, libration fading and doppler shift and would just find our way as no-one had tried EME before. We had no tracking algorithm nor computer control for the antennas, so hoped for a cloudless, full moon night (which we got), and we hooked up the rotors to a joystick, with one man behind the box of antennas, controlling the vertical and horizontal controls to point at the moon. I nearly froze to death that night, doing that job for hours. My fingers were too frozen to hold a mug of tea, let alone work a CW key when I finally handed over to someone else!

My wife (actually my girlfreind at the time - it was so long ago.... not licensed then, but now G7NAD) came along with me and observed in fascination.

We made a few QSOs, learnt a hell of a lot for the next time (which never happened because we were all to busy with work) but what sticks in my mind the most was an occasion when our echoes got so strong, we plugged in a microphone and someone called "Hello, Moon"......2.5 seconds later, our warbling, Pinky & Perky voice came back "Hello, Moon". Hilarity all round.

A great memory. Wow, I must try EME again sometime, especially since it's so much more achievable from home with the modern software.

I never really thought about path losses of around 275dB before. Strewth!

So maybe we need to invite more people along to events like this? However, for every one person who's interested, there are 999 others who'd sooner be in the pub or watching TV soaps with a beer in their hand.

Just as another example, I went to the optician's on Saturday for an eye test. It's a friend of ours who runs an optician's practice in Lincoln. He took photos of my retinas with some gizmo called a Fundus Camera. It takes amazing digital images of the retina, allowing a thorough analysis. They're stored digitally and over time he can make observations to see if anything changes. I get early warning of anything that could affect my sight or certain areas of health. I thought this was a fantastic tool, streets ahead of what I'd seen before. It may be old hat in the USA but in primitive, backward places like Olde Englande I've never seen it. My friend saw my enthusiasm at the idea, and then laughed as he told me that he'd shown everyone who came for an eye test this technology, and how great it is. But just about all of them apart from me looked bored, showed no understanding and not an inkling of interest.

No matter how we try to get more people into this fascinating hobby of ours, we just have to accept the fact that 99 percent of people out there are cabbages. We need quality not quantity, as someone said before on this thread.

Sorry to be uncharitable about the Great British Public, but it's true. Cabbages.

cheers

Dave G0OIL
 
RE: Challenges  
by G0OIL on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Actually let me just clarify one sentence there: No one IN OUR GROUP had tried EME before!!! :-) Though there were some folks in our group experienced at putting portable contest stations together - at least a hell of a lot more experienced than I was (or am)!

We got some great advice from the late J-M Nodling LA8AK, who was one of the nicest guys I ever met as well as being a true genius. I have many scribbled notes taken over late night beers by a camp fire in Germany, courtesy of a certain Mr LA8AK. Rest In Peace, Jan-Martin. You're sadly missed.

cheers

OILy
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K1CJS on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
>>I agree the folks actually breaking the law hasn't changed much...the general poor operating practices has increased drastically.<<

Would you also tend to agree that the operating practices of some of those operators improves as they spend more time on the bands? As with everything else, more 'practice' makes for better operating practices.

It's unfortunate that those operators refuse to listen for a while first to find out what the communicating procedures in use are. If they did, I'd bet that half of the poor operating heard on the bands would disappear. But of course those who simply refuse to follow proper procedures would still be there causing problems.
 
RE: Discard the stale bread, keep Our Gert  
by N2EY on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
G0OIL: "I think that the Extra Class is genuinely a pretty tough syllabus for a newcomer or for someone who's not very technical."

I think that's true if one expects to know and understand all the ins and outs of every subject and question. But that's not required to pass the test; all one need do is to find enough right answers.

Are the UK tests all multiple-choice, with all Q&A available free-for-the download?

G0OIL: "it's not as tough as university exams, well of course it's not!"

Nor was it ever, even in the bad old days.

G0OIL: "I really enjoyed studying for the Extra - there was a lot of new stuff for me as well as useful revision of things I'd forgotten on 20 years. If we can't put the time and effort in to study a subject for fun, then when can we do it?"

Good question!

G0OIL: "I think that the ARRL and FCC made a complete balls-up of implementing the incentive licence structure way back in the 60s but that's history."

It's actually a long and complicated story. Main point is that there were no less than 10 proposals with RM numbers, over 6000 comments (back when there was no internet or ECFS) and the whole thing went back-and-forth for several years.

What ARRL first proposed in 1963 was very simple: Require an Advanced or Extra to use 'phone on the HF bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz, same as it had been before Feb 1953. And reopen the Advanced to new issues.

All any General or Conditional would have needed to do to get full privileges back would be to pass the 50 question Advanced written. No additional code test, no subbands-by-license-class. Imagine if that proposal had been adopted!

What we got was a mish-mash of bits and pieces from several of the proposals. But the other proposals, like one from CQ Magazine proposing subbands-by-license-class, aren't remembered.

What surprised me back then was how some (not all) hams moaned about having to take more tests.

G0OIL: "If I'd heard of amateur radio when I was 12 years old, I'd probably have done the licence exams then."

My Elmers were books, which led me to amateur radio. Nobody I knew was a ham, or even knew any hams. I found one by looking for antennas. Good thing K3RTR didn't believe in "stealth"...

G0OIL: "Why haven't there been hordes of people beating down the door to amateur radio? BECAUSE NO-ONE KNOWS OF ITS EXISTENCE. We are USELESS at publicity and recruitment and if we don't get better then as the Baby Boom generation begin to start pushing up the daisies we'll see a huge drop in the number of licensees."

The oldest boomers are only 62, the youngest are 44. So we've got some time. But the big question is, how to increase our visibility, to find that 1 in 100 person who is interested in "radio for its own sake"?

TV ads are expensive, both to make and to put on the air. Things like the Leno skit are great, but they only mention amateur radio in passing. Perhaps book and magazine donations to local libraries and schools?
Posters? Viral videos?

G0OIL: "True enough, there are those hostile to newcomers, trying to protect their fragile egoes by making out that they're better than everyone else, but every aspect of human life seems to contain the odd screwball, and we just have to learn to laugh at them and ignore them."

And outnumber them.

There are also newcomers who are hostile to oldtimers, ridiculing the traditional values and practices of Amateur Radio. What do we do about those folks?

G0OIL: "As I've said before, educational standards are declining and I meet fewer people of a technical "bent" and fewer young people who just want to learn and experiment for the sake of learning - because learning is fun."

I think educational standards vary all over the place depending on things like school district and community values. In places where the community values good schools, they have a way of happening and challenging the students. The other day I got a look at a 9th grade geometry book and exam used in the local public schools, and was impressed with the level expected. Of course not every student takes that course, same as not every student takes calculus later on in high school.

G0OIL: "But wan't the reason for dropping CW as a licence REQUISITE below 30MHz to do with its demise in the commercial and shipping world?"

Not really. The main reason was that various folks around the world kept asking for the requirement to be reduced, and finally to go away. And they made enough noise so that it did.

G0OIL: "Although the barriers to entering the hobby as a licensee look a bit lower than they were years ago, we still have the idiot filter of the exams."

But do the written exams really perform that function?

And consider that there are at least some folks who think even the *written* exams are too much to ask. Google the phrase "amateur radio in the 21st century" and you'll find a proposal by four hams to reduce the requirements still more. (I wrote a response to it as well). Fortunately, the FCC turned it down - this time.

G0OIL: "No, I think we're looking the wrong way. If education and employment don't provide the experimenter and compulsive technical learner-for-fun a life-long challenge, then we somehow need to publicise ourselves as maybe part of the solution for them."

Yep. In my case, at least, amateur radio went far beyond what they were teaching in math, science and geography until well into high school. (Got my license at 13, between 7th and 8th grades). If I didn't know how to do the math or physics in the ARRL Handbook, I got other books out of the library and figured it out.

G0OIL: "They just have to ignore and/or laugh at the miserable old G3 Tomato Growers talking about their lumbago, Our Gert's* lost bus pass and snarling at newcomers on 80m :-)"

Yup; nothing new there. Although over here it's more about some less-pleasant ailments....

Which was and is one of the neat things about CW operation: On the air, nobody knew I was an 8th grader running a traffic net. Nobody knew that my rig was made from old TV sets and WW2 surplus older than I was. Nor did they care.

All they knew, and cared about, was quality of signal and operating skills. The latter cannot be bought at any price.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by N2EY on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
W7ETA writes: "Nice easy to follow prose from N2EY and KB1SF."

TNX, Bob.

W7ETA: "The unfortunate name calling seems to go hand in hand with presenting opinions as facts."

I don't think I've done either of those things.

W7ETA: "For me, any discussion that does not incorporate the advantages of segregating novice ops from more experienced ops, how the structure of CW Qs can become a habit for for other modes, and that many ops obtained knowledge and further operating skills during the time it took to develop CW speed, is an incomplete, perhaps, biased discussion."

OK, I'll include them:

- The main advantages to subbands-by-license-class are:

1) Give the less-qualified an incentive to learn more.

2) Simplify the entry-level testing.

3) Making it a bit more difficult to wander out of the band.

- The structure of CW QSOs is indeed a skill-builder for other modes.

W7ETA: "Ultimately, no discussion of the past alters the fact that ops, and ops to be, can only take currently given exams."

Of course. But when the discussion turns around to things such as telling those who passed the old exams that they're too dumb to pass the current ones, or that there's no difference between the various tests and methods over the years, I kinda take exception.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
G0OIL posted on 16 Dec 08:

N0AH: "The reason the numbers did not rise substantially is that the term "EXTRA" still made a tough test a tough test-"

"Despite AF6AY's comments I think that the Extra Class is genuinely a pretty tough syllabus for a newcomer or for someone who's not very technical. It goes beyond the level of the UK licence by some distance. AF6AY points out that it's not as tough as university exams, well of course it's not! But there's a lot in there to learn and despite having been licensed for a number of years, having a technical background and having been a home constructor for far longer than I've had a Ham licence, I found that I had to prepare well for it. True enough, I did all three exams in the one evening and applied straight for an Extra call, but it's cheaper that way and being a Yorkshireman who's half Scottish that means a lot to me :-)"

If - and only IF - all new licensee applicants were NOT experienced in radio then ANY of the three FCC test elements MIGHT be tough. I would say that we in the USA are NOT a nation of dummies having no knowledge outside of 12 years of public school. In my opinion the VEC Question Pool Committee put out a good question pool...and the pool has an increasing level of greater-than-minimum-required questions with 'increasing' license class. If I had any negative critique of the VEC QPC it would be in the many pool questions having to do with Space Operations; the notion that ANY of us would ever BE in space in the near future is a source of amusement to me. :-)
...........
G0OIL: "I really enjoyed studying for the Extra - there was a lot of new stuff for me as well as useful revision of things I'd forgotten on 20 years. If we can't put the time and effort in to study a subject for fun, then when can we do it?"

I can't say it was 'fun' for me. I had made up my mind to do it less than three weeks before 23 Feb 07 and just applied myself. With the Internet and inkjet printer I just got the entirety of all three question pools from www.ncvec.org, printed it out, spent less than a half hour each day for two weeks on practice tests online until I was confident of passing 90 percent (a personally-imposed safety margin). It was different in 1956 when released from US Army active duty; there were NO question pools for any radio operator license then and the nearest exam point was a Chicago, IL, FCC Field Office 90 miles away. Back then I simply memorized the applicable sections of the entirety of FCC Regulations borrowed from a new friend. Regulations in 1956 were MUCH SMALLER than the five-volume bound set of 1997. :-)

Oftimes I get denigrating comments alleging that "the army taught me everything (and I didn't learn anything about amateur radio)" plus everything was alrady "made by others," blah blah blah. Pure garbage. A whole garbage dump when said by someone who has never served his country in any position, civilian or military. The US military is not regulated by the FCC in radio use, does not have the same rules imposed by the FCC. There was a wealth of experience and learning capability AVAILABLE...If and only IF one APPLIED THEMSELVES in that or commercial environments. No formal 'tests' required...one either learns things and retains those or one goes to a different endeavor.

A formal TEST is two things: First, it is a requirement imposed by law; Secondly, it is just a personal accomplishment, one of many other things one does in life. At NO time is that radio test any indicator of intellectual or personal superiority over others; that superiority claim is just a grandiose brag of over-inflated egos. I got Amateur Extra 'out of the box' just for the CONVENIENCE of being able to operate - according to law - any frequency, any mode without being concerned about operating In or Out of arbitrary bandplans for a particular class. OK, OK, it was also personal fun to poke those over-inflated ego balloons of some other extras. :-)

I will say again, all three test elements taken together IS NOT THAT HARD THAT IT CAN'T BE PASSED by any average-intelligence average human being who can read and understand written English reasonably well.
.............
G0OIL: "As AF6KA [AF6AY] states, unless you know of amateur radio via a friend or family then you **NEVER** hear of it. G8ROU (probably my oldest friend - we've known each other since we were 18) suggested I get into amateur radio via some licence classes he ran when I started working in Sheffield close to his QTH in 1989. If I'd heard of amateur radio when I was 12 years old, I'd probably have done the licence exams then. But I didn't, so I didn't."

"Why haven't there been hordes of people beating down the door to amateur radio? BECAUSE NO-ONE KNOWS OF ITS EXISTENCE. We are USELESS at publicity and recruitment and if we don't get better then as the Baby Boom generation begin to start pushing up the daisies we'll see a huge drop in the number of licensees."

Heh heh heh...way too true! :-)

Acolytes of the Church of St. Hiram will rise in outrageous anger and fury, pointing to the Great Works of the ARRL, famous Names of hams, etc., etc., etc. and rail at the Unbelievers in anguish. Problem is, all those Great Works are WITHIN the INSULAR world of amateur radio, hardly ever seeing the light of day to the public. If one works in the electronics industry, one is bound to hear something of amateur radio since a FEW within it are licensed (or were licensed...some drop out due to the ingrained insularity of USA ham radio).

Once upon a time in radio, the accomplishment of 20 WPM OOK CW was a BIG thing in communications. Like in the 1930s. But that was over 70 years ago. Few here have reached 70 years of existance. Yet those that came later obeyed (unswervingly) the mores and ethics of earlier generations and forbade change in amateur radio regulations. No logic in that, but "all did it" so it must be "true." Hogwash. Lemming-like mores.
................
G0OIL: "I don't think that there's a simple answer. Did the absence of a CW test make me do the US exams this year, as opposed to any other year? Not really - I just had a bit more time this year due to illness and recovering from spinal surgery. I use CW at more than 20wpm every day I'm on the radio anyway, so why would that be a problem? I'm not very musical so didn't find code easy to learn, but I'm not a quitter and I stuck at it - and now I'm glad I did because although I'm not brilliant at it, I think it's fun. I'm no different to most people, so I can't see how it would make a difference to them either."

I've NEVER had to use OOK CW manual telegraphy in ANY radio* since 1953, nor be required to use it for either government, commercial, or private (non-amateur) legally-done communications. I am indifferent to it. In the USA, amateur radio was the LAST of civil radio services to require OOK CW telegraphy proficiency to get an operating license. Note: in the maritime world there is a requirement of ship's masters to have on-board a commercial radiotelegrapher for operations on the great lakes; normal river, inland harbor, and ocean port areas use VHF voice radio...by law.

* Keyless auto-entry systems use OOK CW modulation but their data rate (done by microprocessors) is above the highest human audio frequency comprehension...besides, that code is encrypted and USA amateur radio forbids using encryption in communictions. :-)
...........
G0OIL: "But wan't the reason for dropping CW as a licence REQUISITE below 30MHz to do with its demise in the commercial and shipping world? Although the barriers to entering the hobby as a licensee look a bit lower than they were years ago, we still have the idiot filter of the exams."

USE of OOK CW telegraphy on HF and below was already dropping 55 years ago when I first QSY-ed an HF transmitter in the Army. But, amateur radio licensees of that time were steeped in the traditions of pre-WWII times and couldn't be taken off the fire and cooled down. THEY ruled then. Then later generations bought into the 'tradition' aspect and demanded it be kept forever...because They PASSED it. The code test for amateur radio had already become RITUAL and - in a perverted way - RITUAL must be KEPT. Weird but, when Ego is the driving force for individuals, Ego surmounts any logic.
..........
G0OIL: "No, I think we're looking the wrong way. If education and employment don't provide the experimenter and compulsive technical learner-for-fun a life-long challenge, then we somehow need to publicise ourselves as maybe part of the solution for them."

SOLUTIONS aren't found by emphasis on 70 year old standards and practices. There is very little 'pioneering' going on in the HF spectrum, almost nil in international amateur radio (outside of G3PLX's innovation of PSK31).

Like it or no, "education and employment" in electronics is BIG with Information Technology and the L-Band Cellular Telephone infrastructure. For IT it is not just games, but many many fields of communications both using and not using established infrastructures for communications. Just peek at the Wii and similar things, the WLANs in industrial process control for some examples. The REAL radio world has already moved UP in frequency (long ago) and that is where the action is today.

Those 'educational examples' of grade school kids contacting astronauts (in rare but overly-publicized instances) is much less "Hams in Space" than a simple Public Relations effort by NASA to make NASA look good. [always done on VHF, not HF] NASA can simply direct a few astronauts to get Tech licenses and buy them HTs and a few goodies...35 questions later they have 'official amateur licenses' and can push-to-talk to the kiddies. Cheap PR for NASA, hardly any payload budget impact for STS. :-)
...................
* "Our Gert" is a South Yorkshire expression for "the wife". So now you're educated !!! :-)

Thank you, Dave, "Surf's up, dude, let's roll!" :-)
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K6LHA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF posted on 16 Dec 08:

"...Now, one would have hoped that the FCC's complete repudiation of all such totally bogus “lid filter” and “real Ham” arguments would have now been sufficient for the “Morse testing forever” Luddites to crawl back into their caves and be quiet. But, obviously (and has Len has so eloquently pointed out in his various posts) such Luddites simply can't let the matter rest."

Thank you, Keith. :-)

KB1SF: "But, then again, such things always take time. After all, it’s taken well over 50 years for such regulated snobbery to start being officially addressed (let alone repudiated!) as well as for this particular, long-overdue change in our licensing structure to finally become reality.

In fact, as I have noted previously in this and other forums, I firmly believe that the aging and eventual death the older generation of Hams will be an essential element in the progress of Amateur Radio.

That's because death very effectively takes care of all the Luddites from a previous generation who are absolutely petrified to let go of old, fallacious ideas (like Morse code testing along with all the other bogus “lid filters” in our license and regulatory structure) that are no longer based in any operational need, if they ever were."

Well, that's about as tough a love as 'tough love' can get, but, unfortunately for mere mortals a clear and present danger. Except to the Ego of some. Ego is 'immortal' according to many and "telegraphy will never die." It is dead practically everywhere else in radio.

Surf's up in zombie-ville! Outraged Egos are rising to strike! :-)

The Ego-driven can't see beyond their own immortal existance, can't think in terms of anyone else who MIGHT want to enter amateur radio in the near future. They are the super-Elite. Yawn.
............
KB1SF: "Clearly, there is still much left to accomplish to finally bring Amateur Radio in the United States out of the technological and sociological "dark ages" and into the 21st Century."

Well, I wouldn't mind the technology getting up to 1980 level. :-)

All this reverence for the past is getting absurd in the issues of QST. Like who needs a big article about a 1927 Regenerative Receiver?!? ARRL should farm out stuff like that to Electric Radio or other obscure mag. 1927 was 81 years ago...and all of radio was only 31 years old in 1927.
..............
KB1SF: "However, there is absolutely NO doubt that, with the dropping of the Morse testing requirement, the FCC helped our Service take a MAJOR step toward that goal."

It was "the WORST thing!" [that could happen] according to N2EY (verbatim comment seen more than once). :-)

Memoradum Report and Order 06-178, released 19 December 2006, came too late to be effective for USA amateur radio in the near future. Too many hardline old-timers were against it. Things like no less than 18 Petitions to comment upon that came before NPRM Docket 05-235 was released. Just the same, a great number of Comment makers made their wishes known and the FCC considered all of them; a listing is included in 06-178 as an appendix.

As for the type and kind of Comments, my tally as an EXHIBIT is found for 25 November 2005 in Docket 05-235 with my legal name. In the text before that tabulation was the comment about the FCC announcing the release of 05-235 with a long delay before the Federal Register publication announcing its existance and establishing the Comment date periods. Interesting gap there, almost like someone got the Federal Register to delay things before their actual comment date publication. :-) Nonetheless, there was eagerness expressed by the number of commenters writing between docket release and official start of the comment period. Those wanted to eliminate the code test. Very clear margin.

The hardliner morse-forever crowd didn't get their act together until the last. Those were the old-timers who got their prestige, rank, status, and mighty titles primarily via that 20 WPM code test. These geriatric skinhead mentalities still couldn't manufacture any new validities for keeping the code test. The FCC wasn't convinced and noted that in 06-178 (as Keith copied in his posting). The bitterness expressed by the long-timer has erupted from time to time, past the 'doomsday' date and has not been positive toward newcomers of any class. But, just enough newcomers are still appearing to offset the expirations. As of today, 16 Dec 08, for the last six months, there have been 13,039 new licensees versus 11,920 expirations (source: www.hamdata.com). It may be a slight upturn of new v. expirees, but only a very small one compared to the last 12 months of 27,895 new v. 26,251 expirations.

FCC 06-178 has been the keystone in constructing a NEW future for USA amateur radio. A FUTURE, not an absurd reliance on long-past regulations that were valid only in their day, regulations that came about before so many of these hardliner morse-forever mavens existed.

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Discard the stale No-Namers  
by K6LHA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF posted on 16 Dec 08:

HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED wrote: "Keith, so if the FCC said it wouldn't cause any problems, it must be so?
-----------------------
"So, if that is true, then maybe we ALL should submit to a re-test after a certain number of years...particularly when we start getting old and decrepit (like I am!)

That is, we certainly can't condone sloppy sending from a shaking hand (or missed characters from lack of hearing) BOTH of which are bound to create more congestion and pollution on our bands now, can we?

Many states and provinces are now are requiring seniors over a certain age to go back and re-take their driver's examinations. And, for many years now, licensed Private Pilots in the US have had to successfully pass periodic flight reviews with an FAA-certified examiner in order to continue flying."

For several decades the California state Motor Vehicle code has required written testing every five years for a motor vehicle license. I had to take one a few months ago when I was still 75. California DMV has the full state motor vehicle code on-line as well as practice tests, assorted FAQs, tips for driving, etc. Not only that, California state law requires either a current insurance policy or posting of a bond in lieu of insurance. DMV office physical testing is limited to normal hearing (in a crowded office) and eyesight with a standard Snellen Chart. No sweat on a manual driving test if that be needed (I drove to the DMV office safely, returned, no outstanding records of bad driving in their database). Despite all those alleged safeguards, the first winter storm that hit southern California has killed six plus a CHP office struck by colliding cars while assisting others on the highway. All those victims were younger than 50 years.

Back at age 29 I took the cursory physical for civilian flight instruction, passed, but no physician was checking for possible vertigo. Try any high-g maneuver with a strong vertigo inducement to realize the disorientation possible. Didn't have the money to continue with flying, never got to the FAA-examiner check-out flight stage. Passed the written and it was no sweat on operating radios while in-flight; strong argument with instructor over my existing First 'Phone not requiring a Restricted 3rd Class 'Phone addition to do that. But, aircraft doing greater than 100 MPH heading into the ground can do damage and fatalities to innocents. In the last month southern California has had two such incidents, the latest being a flamed-out F-18 that killed a family of four in a San Diego house.

As far as I know, NO amateur radio operator has killed anyone else while using their amateur radios.

By the way, Keith, HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED seems to think you live in California from his inferences. Poor guy is geographically challenged. :-)
[probably works for Conrail, too...:-)}
.............
KB1SF: "But, it is no more absurd than keeping a systemically discriminatory psychomotor skill test as a mandatory “rite of passage” for HF operation on our Amateur Bands LONG after it had outlived any usefulness...if, indeed, it ever had any usefulness in the first place."

Well, just to be fair, I think that an OOK CW telegraphy test for an amateur radio license was useful in 1934 when the FCC was created. That was 74 years ago. Back before the transistor and IC were invented, when vacuum tube types were still in their infancy, when the last of the HF pioneers were still active, when any operation above 30 MHz was considered 'no mans land.' <shrug> Times have changed. Too bad some youngsters couldn't change.

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: This Thread  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY: Well, just to be fair, I think that an OOK CW telegraphy test for an amateur radio license was useful in 1934 when the FCC was created. That was 74 years ago. Back before the transistor and IC were invented, when vacuum tube types were still in their infancy, when the last of the HF pioneers were still active, when any operation above 30 MHz was considered 'no mans land.' <shrug> Times have changed. Too bad some youngsters couldn't change.

OLDEPHARTE: Why do you dredge this up? Code testing was done away with almost two years ago. It is pointless to keep rehashing this nonsense. You got what you waited half a century for. Leave sleeping dogs lie. IMO, I have yet to see anything posted by you that's worth reading. All I've seen from you is endless nonsensical drivel and divisiveness. All you want to do is troll around and make trouble. Get a life, Len. There's more to life than arguing with the code crowd on eHam.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: Which principle?  
by G0OIL on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"KG4YMC said:
I had an old horse that died at my old qth. If anyone wants to dig up the old bones, change his named from 'whig' to ' morse code' they can continue to beat on the bones... 73 kg4ymc get it ? "

Hey I never tried sending CW on horse bones. Not even in my wildest hallucinations having tried the mouldy bread. I'm sure I could send at a canter. At a canter......oh, never mind.

cheers

Oily


 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by NB3O on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Then there's this old piece of beef jerky that lasts forever. Tough, desiccated, but tasty enough to keep around for a long time.

 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by OLDFART13 on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This article serves no purpose to help amateur radio. The author is a troll and any one who has taken the time to read all the replies is probably stupider for it. The only person who probably enjoyed it was CJS who comes alive when the bigoted, harmful articles like this are published.
 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by N4JTE on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
My last root canal was more enjoyable than this.
Bob
 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by N3OX on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OK, now send all of the above text in Morse ;-)

-Dan
 
RE: Which principle?  
by K6LHA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
G0OIL posted on 16 Dec 08:

"Hey I never tried sending CW on horse bones. Not even in my wildest hallucinations having tried the mouldy bread. I'm sure I could send at a canter. At a canter......oh, never mind."

Hey, you just mentioned one of the great delis in western Los Angeles, Canter's on Fairfax Avenue. Great pastrami on rye! No moldy bread there. Famous place. Don't know if one can "send CW" there, but they may have a Wii nearby. :-)

73. Len AF6AY
 
RE: This Thread  
by K6LHA on December 16, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE expelled lots of noxious gas on 16 Dec 08 with:

"Why do you dredge this up?"

To dispell a lot of mythology grown up around some "magic" of OOK CW. Magic that was vaporware, thinly disguised rationalization born in the first decade of the last century. Over-exaggerated 'expertise' so that its practitioners could be 'superior' to ordinary radio people. To show what really happened to the USA amateur population on and after the 'code revolution.' None of it is the urban myth that so many have speculated.
............
Oldpharte: "It is pointless to keep rehashing this nonsense."

Noooooo...it is PAYBACK time. :-)
............
Oldpharte: "You got what you waited half a century for."

You WRONG, olde one. I never 'waited' for that any "half century." :-)

If you ever bothered to actually read what I wrote, you would have seen that I went Professional as soon as I was a civilian in '56, spent a whole career at that, then retired from regular hours of work...before doing some political campaigning to END morse code testing for a HOBBY license. :-)

I wasn't the only one campaigning. That had started before 1990 by others. It seemed like a good subject back in 1990 with FCC docket 90-53. I began to do some lobbying then. I never lusted nor longed-all-my-life for an amateur license...certainly not when I began as a professional on HF in 1953, nor becoming a civilian professional WITH a commercial license in 1956, nor being IN the radio-electronics side of aerospace beginning in 1957. You just have to stop imagining that everyone else follows your limited vision of personal desires. You are looking foolish when imagining what others do/want/accomplish. You don't want to know the truth, do you?
............
Oldepharte: "All I've seen from you is endless nonsensical drivel and divisiveness. All you want to do is troll around and make trouble."

Ah, another morseaholic determined to keep USA amateur radio in the dark ages? To keep everyone down to your level so that you can sound off while still HIDING under an assumed identity? :-)

Translation: "Nonsensical drivel" is what morseaholics didn't want to hear because it is the truth. "Divisiveness" is what those same morseaholics used against anyone who didn't care about morse code...all of the insults to persons who wanted to change outdated HOBBY radio regulations. Change that would remove all the rank, status, privileges that the morseaholics wanted to keep for their very own. They NEEDED those perqs so that they could be 'superior.' They wanted to be elite in a HOBBY pursuit where all were supposed to be friendly to one another. Hardly that. :-)
...........
Oldepharte: "Get a life, Len."

Got several of those, oldie, enjoy each one. What's your excuse? :-)

Oh, and get a REAL IDENTITY while you are trying to think up that excuse. It might give you some legitimacy. We can't have illegitimates running around in here, can we? :-)
...........
Oldepharte: "There's more to life than arguing with the code crowd on eHam."

First true thing you've written, anonymous one. But one can't simply shrug off all the divisive crappola that the morseaholic elite shoved on others for that 'half century.' Wow, some of you morse elite were so PERFECT in radio that margarine wouldn't melt in your mouths. At least by your own descriptions of yourselves. :-)

Ya know, its really ironic that the REST of the radio world just gave up on morse code modes long ago...because it just wasn't effective as other modes. Yet here sat all these self-styled elite of a HOBBY activity demanding all that praise along with titles, rank, and status for being a living museaum of radiotelegraphy, adapting an already mature mode used on wires a half century before 'radio' was first demonstrated.

Now all the morse elite have LOST much of their bragging rights. They can't sustain all the Legends that grew in the first decade of the last century. Can't sustain because none of them existed on this earth in that time. All they have is Legends, the mythos of greatness that was never theirs. They've tried to rub off some of that greatness not belonging to them as their own. It is convenient for their purpose at showing how great They are compared to the ordinary radio-interested folk who just wish to enjoy a hobby.

Here's a CLUE for you: Newcomers just aren't believing all you morse elite. They've been turned off by the elite's arrogance, their devisiveness, the demands that the elite be respected just for psycho-motor skill at morsemanship. That skill is out of date now, out of date by over a century after it began in 1844. You've got to get rid of those old myths, the legends. Those live on only as fantasy images in individual minds of the morse elite. Enjoy what you have left. Try stomping on others from your own frustration of loss and you will get stomped right back...harder. Guaranteed.

AF6AY
 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by G0OIL on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
by N4JTE on December 16, 2008
"My last root canal was more enjoyable than this.
Bob "

Now that's the first genuine non-constructive whine I've seen on this thread. Most people at least TRIED to add ideas, some serious and some whimsical. What does that comment add?

You know the answer, Bob: If you don't like it, navigate away and don't read it......

Hey, I have an idea: Why don't you turn the radio on and join some 75m grumblers?

cheers

OILy
 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by K1CJS on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
An old odor has resurfaced and written:

>>This article serves no purpose to help amateur radio. The author is a troll and any one who has taken the time to read all the replies is probably stupider for it.....<<

Hello Steve, long time..... Have you still nothing better to do? The article itself was fairly harmless, it's the replies to it that have turned it sour--and yours didn't help much.......
 
Misquoting by Len  
by N2EY on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF: "However, there is absolutely NO doubt that, with the dropping of the Morse testing requirement, the FCC helped our Service take a MAJOR step toward that goal."

AF6AY: "It was "the WORST thing!" [that could happen] according to N2EY (verbatim comment seen more than once). :-)"

Len,

When and where did I ever right that? You claim it's a 'verbatim comment', but I've never written what you claim.

It's really rather pitiful that you misquote someone just to get attention. This isn't the first time, either.

Now you can post a link to where I actually wrote what you claim, or be known as someone who intentionally misquotes people.

Which is it?

Of course you will claim that it was a GOTCHA - a trap to see if I read your stuff. Here's a clue: I read what I choose to read.

 
RE: Why doesn't everyone just enjoy the hobby....  
by KG6WLS on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
More popcorn, please. :)
 
CW is obsolete  
by LOVEHANDLES on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
CW is in it's death throws. Like a rotten corpse with rigor mortis, it may jerk from time to time, but it's still a stinking corpse. We need to focus on new technology, rather than embracing obsolete methods.
 
GOODIE GUM DROP  
by PLANKEYE on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folk?

You all talk like that Ham Call means something.

Right or Wrong?

What does having that Ham Call mean to you?

What is it that separates Hams from CB Folk?

Ham Radio is about a Gordon West mail in coupon away from a giveaway. Just like CB Radio.

Lets get rid of some more TESTS!!

OOOOH, GOODIE GUM DROP! Good idea!!

You still owe me breakfast Ray, Your buyin though!!

You Son of A Gun!!

_____________________________

What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks?


PLANKEYE

 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED wrote: "Keith always goes back to the "the FCC said so" argument...as do most anti-code zealots.... do you always believe what the government tells you?"

----------------------------

Certainly not!

For, clearly, our Service is ALSO now living with the sad results of a whole bunch of "FCC said so" nonsense dating from the 1950s and 1960s.

As I've said in other posts, most other countries never bought into the FCC's 1950-s era "incentive licensing" foolishness…including its hierarchy of ever more difficult Morse tests. As a result, nowhere else in the world are our bands as carved up (with regulated sub-bands (and even sub-sub bands)) by license class and (largely1950s-era dominated) operating modes as they are here in the United States.

Elsewhere, the Amateur Service is regulated almost exclusively by bandwidth, not by license class or operating mode. And the differences between license classes in those countries have FAR more to do with safety (such as limiting the power output of lower tiered licensee's transmitters and prohibiting them from building those transmitters "from scratch") or regulatory matters (not allowing them to give exams or be the licensee of a club or repeater station) rather than an ego-stroking scheme to "reward" so-called “exclusive” frequency spectrum in exchange for regurgitating enough correct (but increasingly irrelevant) answers on ever-more-comprehensive, government mandated, multiple-choice exams.

This is probably also why most other countries in the world that have chosen to do so were EASILY able to drop their Morse testing requirements (or make them optional as the Canadians did) without skipping a beat. The “earned” (spelled: "stroked-ego-based") element was (and remains) all but absent under those other licensing systems.

Unfortunately, the FCC unknowingly dug itself into a deep legal "hole" back in the 1950s and 1960s when they hatched their "incentive licensing" farce. That's because a multitude of equal opportunity and equal access laws (most notably the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act just to name a few) that have since been passed into law in the United States have collectively made such blatantly discriminatory licensing requirements (like passing ever more difficult Morse tests) in order to gain full access to federally administered, taxpayer-supported services like Amateur Radio patently illegal.

Yet, even as late as 2003, the FCC still wasn't able to entirely eliminate their systemically discriminatory Morse testing requirement for access to the HF bands in our Service because that same requirement had not (yet) been eliminated internationally under Article 25 of the ITU radio regulations.

In fact, my guess is that the FCC had ALREADY arrived at the inescapable conclusion that Morse tests in the Amateur Service were no longer serving any useful purpose, and were indeed, illegal soon after all those US equal access statues started to become law.

That's probably why, despite the howls of protests from the Morse testing zealots, the FCC chose to completely eliminate the 13 WPM and 20 WPM tests eight years ago (in 2000) and then dropped the remaining Morse test back to 5 WPM for all license classes. A 5 WPM test could be legally supported under US law as the absolute minimum required to make it a credible test yet still meet the international treaty requirement for a Morse test spelled out in Article 25 of the ITU Radio Regulations still in force at the time.

The FCC's action to drop Morse testing entirely has now defused (but not completely eliminated) a large part of their systemic discrimination exposure under US equal-access law because by that action, the FCC ALSO eliminated all of the doctor-certified code waiver gobbledygook for higher speed tests as well as their the horrifically non-standard "alternative testing" procedures for the 5 WPM test …regulatory procedures that were ALL a class action lawsuit waiting to happen.

Morse testing in the Amateur Radio Service in the United States is now history. And it's only a matter of time before someone, somewhere successfully challenges the REST of the FCC's systemically discriminatory incentive licensing system in Federal court before it, too, goes the way of the dinosaur.

In fact, I have it on competent authority (from a retired FCC staffer) that increasing pressure to avoid costly (not to mention embarrassing) class-action litigation IS now at least partly responsible for driving the FCC's overall strategy to largely deregulate our Service going forward.

So, unless the FCC is hauled into court on it sooner, I think we will continue to witness a gradual dismantling of all the trappings of incentive licensing that still remain.... including all the regulated sub-band (and sub-sub band) foolishness based on license class and operating mode that goes along with it.

In that sense, my hunch is that the FCC's decision to drop ALL forms of Morse testing a few years back was only the latest chapter in their overall strategy to largely de-regulate our Service and start placing far more of that regulatory responsibility (i.e. what mode goes where) back on the shoulders of licensees.... which is where it should have been placed all along.

And as much as the "Morse testing forever" Luddites would love dearly to place the blame for the elimination of the Morse testing requirement on the ARRL, the ARRL is no longer "driving the train" on ANY of these issues. So, complaining to the ARRL (or calling Mr. Sumner or someone's local ARRL Director) to vent one's wrath over such things will most likely be a waste of everyone's time.

The bottom line here is that; in the United States (and despite the howls of protest from the "incentive licensing forever" crowd) the FCC has FINALLY realized that becoming certified as an Amateur Radio Operator SHOULD simply require a forward-looking license to learn.

The criteria for those licenses SHOULD be based on the MINIMUM technical and/or operational skills and knowledges required to assure the safety of oneself and/or one's neighbors as well as to instill operational courtesy while preventing interference to other licensed Hams or other Services.

Period.

Or, to put it another way, it is absolutely crystal clear from their cumulative actions over the last 20 years that the FCC has FINALLY realized such certifications can no longer legally rest on a foundation of backward looking (and therefore increasingly arcane) "hazing rituals" that are STILL being used as the sole basis for handing out largely irrelevant frequency and mode-based "rewards" in our Service.


73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
DON'T HAZE ME BRO  
by PLANKEYE on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
DUDE?

Keith My man?

DUDE?




PLANKEYE

 
Good question, Plankeye!  
by N2EY on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Plankeye asks: "What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks?"

Here's a short list:

1) The amateur radio culture is to follow FCC regulations - all of them - even the rules we don't like.

2) The amateur radio culture is based on sound technological and operating practices

3) Amateur radio is all about variety. Bands, modes, operating activities, etc.

Sure, these things are all very old traditions in amateur radio. But just because they're old doesn't mean they're bad.


73 de Jim, N2EY
 
But...why?  
by N2EY on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
WD8DK writes. "I started as a Novice, came up thru the ranks to Advanced."

Me too! But I didn't stop there.

WD8DK: "I refuse to take the no code Extra simply because I beleive that a Code test is in order for any class Amateur License."

Upgrading to Extra will not change the fact that you passed a code test or any other test.

The way I see it, the tests I passed all those years ago were just the starting point. If somebody wants to know my code skill, I don't point to some test decades ago, I just show 'em. Same for the written.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by N5LRZ on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The question is wrong to begin with...

The question should and ought to be:

Of all those who becme 'New Hams' after the dropping of the code, HOW MANY will be renewing their license when it comes time for renewal? OR otherwise stated, HOW MANY will just VANISH and not even bother to renew?

Hams that stick are the ONLY HAMS that count.
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KE5YMI on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Boy, it sure would be easy for a complete noob like myself -- got my license last week, along with my wife - I mean, SHE got HER license too, not that I got my wife last week (all clear now?) - to get discouraged, seeing as how many don't seem to think I should have received it at all.

This is only my second post here and I don't want to get involved in the drama or make any enemies, just to provide you with a little how-does-all-this-look-to-the-outsider input. Hope to be on good terms with everyone here because you are all such strong individuals, and I respect that. Maybe that's something that sets hams apart.

Okay, obligatory softsoap over, on to my two cents. First, my wife's story. She was helping me study for my Tech license and was doing so well herself she decided to go for it too. Notice one thing: She NEVER had ANY interest in this before. So she went in with me a week ago Saturday and breezed through the tech license test.

Big deal, right? Some are gritting their teeth about it already. Except for one thing. Guess what she's doing NOW... learning Morse code! No one pushed her, it grew naturally out of wanting to know more about this new hobby. But now some of you have me worried about how she'll be treated out there. Will she be sorry she even tried?

So don't be so quick to judge, and don't be so quick to think you know all about someone just because they got their license last week. I assure you that some of us have a non-radio resume that would impress even you.

I got my Tech license and my General the same day, and am going back next month for my Extra, all without a lick of code. I'll learn it, I'm interested in it - besides, I have to keep up with the wife! - but should it be a requirement? Get serious. I'm from the computer world. Should we still require all programmers to learn assembler?

Let me tell you, all the stuff about "call me in 15 years when you know something" is really off-putting. I can only assume those that say such things aren't really concerned about the future of the hobby. I hope there are many like me who simply don't care what the naysayers think. I like ya, I want to ragchew with ya, but try to put me down because of my new callsign and I'll just laugh at you and go on my merry way, enjoying the hobby.

73 to all of ya and hope to yak with you.
 
RE: Good question, Plankeye!  
by WA4KCN on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY responds to "What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks?"

Here's a short list:

1) The amateur radio culture is to follow FCC regulations - all of them - even the rules we don't like.

2) The amateur radio culture is based on sound technological and operating practices

3) Amateur radio is all about variety. Bands, modes, operating activities, etc.

Sure, these things are all very old traditions in amateur radio. But just because they're old doesn't mean they're bad.

--

In fact Jim it would be appropriate to take this one further step and to say old traditions become old because they work and are good. Ideas that last to become old work well otherwise they would have long ago been disgarded. Take of one of the most brilliant ideas to come to amateur radio - that being incentive licensing. Incentive licensing must be given partial credit for the success the hobby has enjoyed. To continue that success what we must do is to build upon and grow this fantastic concept by having additional classes of licenses with many new sub-bands rewarding those who are willing to accept the challenge of additional demonstrated skill for the reward of additional operating frequency. This is now not only a part of the radio amateurs culture but in fact a part of the American culture. A splendid concept that we today need not devise but simply to further weave into the amateur radio culture. This may in fact be the only means to our survival.

73 Russ
 
RE: Good question, Plankeye!  
by KE5YMI on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Hi there!

"...old traditions become old because they work and are good. Ideas that last to become old work well otherwise they would have long ago been disgarded."

Too many counterexamples to list, even at first glance. Doesn't this proposal argue against the very concept of innovation?
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by WA4KCN on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KE5YMI - Let me tell you, all the stuff about "call me in 15 years when you know something" is really off-putting. I can only assume those that say such things aren't really concerned about the future of the hobby. I hope there are many like me who simply don't care what the naysayers think. I like ya, I want to ragchew with ya, but try to put me down because of my new callsign and I'll just laugh at you and go on my merry way, enjoying the hobby.
__

Congratulations on getting your ham ticket. My wife recently received her technician license with the assigned call sign of KE5RYC - just down the list from your new call.

You will find that the "call me in 15 years when you know something" ham operator is in such a minority of radio amateurs that it is hardly worth mentioning. As is common knowledge internet sites are a watering ground for such stupidity.

There is an old axiom that goes - a person through life is likely to find what they are looking for.

Enjoy the hobby by operating your amateur short wave radio station or some other.

73 Russ
 
RE: Which principle?  
by KG4YMC on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Oily, my old apalossa was about 3 0 when he died . My lst horse, onely on 1 acre now, could have horse , but kids food ect and ham , he started out being l4, farrier added 6 more years, so did vet. think if he did code, cold onley send dots as hewas an leopard apy. also, tried a vertical antenna on him , but he had a heck of a time dragging 60 radials and counterpoise,, mounting tarheel wold be a challange? oh ok , enought of this recycled ry, reprocessed purina , oh if your gonna send onhis bones, will it be engish , western , or barback ? 'your singnal is barely ' neighable?" snicke snort ,, i'm hoffing it out of here .. 73 kg4ymc trill on , and pass the popcorn... terry
 
RE: Which principle?  
by KW4JX on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Did he pass at 5 oats per minute?
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by W7ETA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats on your accomplishment.

eHam is NOT ham radio.

No sense making up problems before you encounter any--if you go looking for problems, you'll either find or create them. "..call me in 15 years when you know something.."

Besides, "REAL" hams think in sunspot cycles. So, it would be "..call me in one sunspot cycle..". :-)

I'm headed thru my third sunspot cycle--I keep learning about the simple things all of the time.
For me, studying for the tests was my first exposure to basic electronics, components, RF, circuits, transmission lines, and antenna theory. I seem to remember the first time I encountered and diagram depicting voltage and current in a dipole was while studying for either Extra or Advanced. I believe studying for my tests was just the beginning; it triggered curiosity.

When I hear someone on the air, I respond to how they conduct themselves. The only time I wonder about what tests anyone has taken is when they tell me they've been hamming for 40 or 50 years. I know then, that I'll have a good time talking with them about their first station.

Best from Tucson
Bob
 
RE: But...why?  
by WD8DK on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
But...why? Reply
by N2EY on December 17, 2008
WD8DK writes. "I started as a Novice, came up thru the ranks to Advanced."

Me too! But I didn't stop there.

WD8DK: "I refuse to take the no code Extra simply because I beleive that a Code test is in order for any class Amateur License."

Upgrading to Extra will not change the fact that you passed a code test or any other test.

The way I see it, the tests I passed all those years ago were just the starting point. If somebody wants to know my code skill, I don't point to some test decades ago, I just show 'em. Same for the written.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Yes that is true, but, I am a true old timer as you and I was only in favor of the no code Tech at the time of inception. An Extra class op should have to pass a code test whether grandfathered from a previous class or take it with the extra.

73


 
RE: Which principle?  
by KG6WLS on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I think I saw that horses' eye twitch.

Hit it again!!!
 
RE: This Thread  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
To AF6AY:
Leonard, the only purpose for your "article" is to draw out the code crowd so you can perpetuate your belligerent anti-code war against them. You know absolutely nothing about me, yet you attack me as if I personally kept you from getting a ham license; as if it was I that kept the code proficiency exam in place until what you refer as "Doomsday". To tell you the truth, I'd like to keep it that way. You don't need to know who I am. I feel oh so sorry for anybody that you interact with; hams on the air, store help, waiters and waitresses, your neighbors- anybody. I'm sure you're a bitter pill whether on the amateur bands, in person or on the telephone.

I thank my lucky stars I live nowhere near you. Your call is one that I will avoid like the Plague when I'm on the phone bands.

You have absolute hatred and intolerance for anybody that disagrees with you. I'm sure you pick fights with those you make contact with on the air if they indicate that they know Morse code.

You're King of the Anti-Coders; a menace to avoid at all cost.

Don't expect a reply. I do not wish to indulge in any conversation or debate with a dysfunctional psychotic like you.

OLDEPHARTE
 
Traditions!  
by N2EY on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY responds to "What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks?"

Here's a short list:

1) The amateur radio culture is to follow FCC regulations - all of them - even the rules we don't like.

2) The amateur radio culture is based on sound technological and operating practices

3) Amateur radio is all about variety. Bands, modes, operating activities, etc.

Sure, these things are all very old traditions in amateur radio. But just because they're old doesn't mean they're bad.

--

WA4KCN: "In fact Jim it would be appropriate to take this one further step and to say old traditions become old because they work and are good. Ideas that last to become old work well otherwise they would have long ago been disgarded."

I wouldn't go that far, Russ.

*Sometimes* old traditions become old for those reasons. But not always.

However, in the case of the three things mentioned, I say they are good things that work. And they should be preserved.

WA4KCN: "Take of one of the most brilliant ideas to come to amateur radio - that being incentive licensing. Incentive licensing must be given partial credit for the success the hobby has enjoyed. To continue that success what we must do is to build upon and grow this fantastic concept by having additional classes of licenses with many new sub-bands rewarding those who are willing to accept the challenge of additional demonstrated skill for the reward of additional operating frequency. This is now not only a part of the radio amateurs culture but in fact a part of the American culture. A splendid concept that we today need not devise but simply to further weave into the amateur radio culture. This may in fact be the only means to our survival."

I don't think it's the only means. In fact I hope it isn't, because FCC is not very likely to create new license classes or even reopen existing ones that have been closed. Too much work for them.

The real reason for multiple license classes is so that a new amateur doesn't have to learn everything needed for full privileges all at one go. If someone wants to do that, fine, but it's not required. That way, a newcomer can get their feet wet by passing relatively-simple tests, then work their way up to full privileges.

That's why the old Novice license was such a success in its time.

KE5YMI writes: (in response to "...old traditions become old because they work and are good...")

"Too many counterexamples to list, even at first glance."

Such as?

There are plenty of examples where newer wasn't better. For example, FCC's cunning plan to create 27 MHz cb didn't quite work out the way they expected.

Newer isn't always better. Remember "New Coke"?

KE5YMI: "Doesn't this proposal argue against the very concept of innovation?"

Not at all.

Some folks think that everything new must be better, just because it's new, and that simply being old is a reason to discard something. Ending is better than mending, IOW. We are constantly bombarded by advertising telling us this is so, in order to get us to buy more stuff.

And some folks think that everything old must be better, just because it's stood the test of time, and that simply being old is a reason to keep something. Those folks are extremely suspicious of anything new.

Both are wrong, of course. The right road is to keep old things that are good and work, and to accept new
things that are true improvements, not just a new gimmick.

The tough part is knowing what to keep and what to toss. Simply saying "we must look forward!", "be modern" and "abandon the standards of the 1930s", etc., doesn't really tell us anything about the specifics.

For example, balanced open-wire transmission lines, Morse Code and vacuum-tube equipment are old technologies. Does that mean we hams shouldn't use them, and promote their use by others? I'm not talking about tests or license requirements; I'm only talking about *use* and promoting their use. Should those who use those old technologies be the targets of name-calling and put-downs? Or is there room for all?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KE5YMI posted on 17 Dec 08:

Welcome to amateur radio and e-ham, Michael!

KE5YMI: "So don't be so quick to judge, and don't be so quick to think you know all about someone just because they got their license last week. I assure you that some of us have a non-radio resume that would impress even you."

Heh heh heh. That's true in most cases but is an unmentionable here. In order to exist with others the following seem to be hard and fast rules:

1. Love, cherish, and hold most dear an affection for on-off keying CW. It MUST be "your favorite mode" and that must be stated over and over.

2. One needs to have had the epiphany for amateurism during early teen years, then taken vows of lifelong devotion (chastity is a plus).

3. Amateur radio activity must be constant, unabated, one's life devoted to it as the prime free-time activity pursuit. No exceptions.

4. Deference to these masters of amateur radio must be complete at all times, saluting and genuflection optional but praise must be heaped upon them for their marvelous Good Works and accomplishments during their career.

5. Mindsets must be oriented towards the Absolute that USA amateur radio is completely and totally different than any other kind of radio. The Absolute reference for everything is publications of the ARRL. It is The Church. Experience in ANY radio other than amateur is never taken as worthy of anything but chastisement; Masters KNOW what is good for all.

6. Anyone who has ever operated a CB radio is considered lesser than river bottom slime and fortwith made an Enemy of the [Amateur] State. Any mention of CB, however slight, shall be punishment by personal insults.

7. All federal regulations 'should' have been kept at the same level as when all long-timers (the Masters) were granted their first amateur radio license. Change is forbidden for that takes away the Masters' brag rights.

8. Because amateur radio technology is SO complicated, the professionalism in operating so exact and demanding, all must proceed slowly, level by level. 'Newbies' who got their first amateur radio license without any code test are permitted to live on this planet but held in revulsion in any professional amateur forum.

9. A thick skin is necessary to survive. One must remember that absolutely NO Master is ever wrong. 'Newbies' are always wrong. Masters are always 'right.' Masters tell us so. All the time.

There...I think I summed up most of the things necessary to exist in here and other amateur radio forums. :-)
..............
KE5YMI: "I got my Tech license and my General the same day, and am going back next month for my Extra, all without a lick of code."

Good for you!
.............
KE5YMI: "Let me tell you, all the stuff about "call me in 15 years when you know something" is really off-putting. I can only assume those that say such things aren't really concerned about the future of the hobby."

Heh heh heh. They are concerned ONLY with one thing: Their own personal standing as Masters. Their only concern for any 'future' is winning some near-future 'radiosport' competition...and building their 'rep' in forums such as this where Image is everything, substance far less important. They have Theirs and the rest be, well, thought of as nothing.
..............
KE5YMI: "I hope there are many like me who simply don't care what the naysayers think."

I think there are lots of folks like yourself. Most of them have to work for a living and don't have the time for these forums. Retirees have the time, are generally the long-timers in amateur radio. An exception is me. :-)

Licensee numbers are indicating that the USA amateur radio revolution has already begun. The constantly-advancing technology of now has shown a promise of greater things in the future and many have taken advantage of that. Yet, to hear so many Masters babble, the ONLY 'present' is the 1960s era and everything amateur happens only on HF. Their 'technology' is a reworking of what was already there in the 1940s, their pioneering of the airwaves coming long after the real pioneers did their thing.
...............
KE5YMI: "I like ya, I want to ragchew with ya, but try to put me down because of my new callsign and I'll just laugh at you and go on my merry way, enjoying the hobby."

Way to go, Michael! Roger that! :-)

Best regards to your wife. I don't use the term 'XYL.' My wife is still a Young Lady in my eyes, as she was when we went together in high school way back in prehistoric times. :-)

73 x 2, Len AF6AY (Extra out of the box at age 75 last year)
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1BXI on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Now this is getting good!

Forget the popcorn Lon......it's time for the beer and chips.

John
 
RE: This Thread  
by K6LHA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE passed more noxious gas on 17 Dec 08 with:

"To AF6AY:
Leonard, the only purpose for your "article" is to draw out the code crowd so you can perpetuate your belligerent anti-code war against them."

Tsk, tsk. I was never "anti-code." Anti-code TEST, yes, only the TEST. :-)

I've submitted only two articles to e-ham. Both are concerned with the changes in the USA amateur radio class populations, the first one drawing that out. The second one concentrated on the 'readiness' for the 'onslaught on VEC test sites' that was supposed to happen, stated by many (including the ARRL) prior to 23 February 2007.

Curious thing is that (gasp) nothing much happened! :-)

Overall USA amateur radio licensee numbers are remaining relatively static, newcomers just barely overtaking expirations. The only real 'onslaught' to VEC test sites happened from 3 out of 5 applicants getting upgrades by changing class. A few more newcomers did appear but those did not seem to justify some of the midnight sessions (midnight of 22 Feb 07) that were scheduled.

All the amateur radio forum palaver prior to 23 Feb 07 was largely just imaginative speculation by most who had not taken any VEC tests since the VEC began. It was Urban Myth. Guessing.
.............
Oldepharte: "You know absolutely nothing about me, yet you attack me as if I personally kept you from getting a ham license; as if it was I that kept the code proficiency exam in place until what you refer as "Doomsday"."

Heh heh, I had originally called it 'revolution' not 'doomsday' over on newsgroup rec.radio.amateur.policy. You can still see it on Google, just search for the date of 7 March 2007.

No one, repeat NO ONE 'kept me from getting any 'ham license.' Not the FCC, not the FDA, not anyone in particular. [FDA tests hams, FCC tests radio operators] Once the 19 December 2006 Memorandum Report and Order 06-178 was released, I was satisfied with my small efforts in Commenting to eliminate the USA amateur radio code test. I enjoyed the year-end holidays and didn't think more of it until the end of January 2007. :-)
...........
Oldepharte: "You don't need to know who I am."

Are you in the Witless Protection Program?
...........
Oldepharte: "You have absolute hatred and intolerance for anybody that disagrees with you."

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Let's just put you down as a VERY sore loser with R&O 06-178. Have I robbed you at gunpoint of your bragging rights on your license? Presuming you HAVE a license that is. <shrug>

Your comment is rather clearly that of someone who cannot possibly tolerate any viewpoint but your own in any debate. That cannot possibly constitute 'debate.' That is your control problem, not mine. I've made my Comments to my government in acceptible form, debating strongly for my viewpoint. That ended on Docket 05-235 (the NPRM) on 25 November 2005. I let that stand on its own merits until the FCC finally made a decision, releasing R&O 06-178 in December 2006.
...........
Oldepharte: "I'm sure you pick fights with those you make contact with on the air if they indicate that they know Morse code."

Not at all. :-) Most licensees that I come into contact with, in-person or on-air, are/were already code tested. I bear no ill will towards them for any reason. :-)
...........
Oldepharte: "You're King of the Anti-Coders; a menace to avoid at all cost."

...wait until you see my spaceship...it's pictured in the new movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still." Be nice, now. :-)
...........
Oldepharte: "... I do not wish to indulge in any conversation or debate with a dysfunctional psychotic like you."

Klaatu barada nikto and Happy Holidays to you, too! :-)

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by URBANGORILLA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Yep. This is getting better and better. Every day when I come home from a hard day's work, its nice to unwind and read the funny papers on eHam. I go right to the doomsday article. Once I've had a real good laugh, its time to chow down. I just got the beer and pretzles out. When does the movie start?

UG
 
Extra Plus  
by LOVEHANDLES on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I wish someone would petition the FCC to halt repeaters that ID in code, and make it mandatory they ID in automated voice only.
 
1970 SOMETHIN  
by PLANKEYE on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
You guys are just bickering again.

What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks?

I have heard so many speak so highly of themselves based on one thing.

A CALLSIGN.

What does that mean to you?

A Gordon West Answer Book?

DUDES?



PLANKEYE


 
RE: 1970 SOMETHIN  
by URBANGORILLA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Plankeye asks "What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks?"

CW

73
UG
 
RE: LOVEHANDLES  
by URBANGORILLA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Hey there Dutchboy. That sure is a nice Micronta CB wattmeter you got there. R U sure ur a ham? Hams have a code key on the table. I see no straight key, bug or paddle. I see only a keyboard, mouse and microphone. R U sure you aren't a souped-up CB-er?

73
UG
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by URBANGORILLA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I'm still waiting for the movie to start. Aren't we going to see a comedy flick? The beer's getting warm and the pretzles are getting stale.

UG
 
HOPS UG AND ME  
by PLANKEYE on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
UG has things to say that MEAN SOMETHING.

If you take the time to listen!!

Drink one for me UG!!



PLANKEYE








 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF said "Or, to put it another way, it is absolutely crystal clear from their cumulative actions over the last 20 years that the FCC has FINALLY realized such certifications can no longer legally rest on a foundation of backward looking (and therefore increasingly arcane) "hazing rituals" that are STILL being used as the sole basis for handing out largely irrelevant frequency and mode-based "rewards" in our Service."

Keith, as I pointed out previously, you REALLY need to get some new lines.....you posted mustiple paragraphs, and all you can conclude with is "because the FCC says so"....I would think you could come up with something better than that ???? Oh wait, you've sounded like a broken record for years now, I guess you can't.....
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1CJS said "Would you also tend to agree that the operating practices of some of those operators improves as they spend more time on the bands? As with everything else, more 'practice' makes for better operating practices."

No...if anything these operators are getting worse...they would much rather tell you where to stick your radio than to learn from those operators that have experience....
 
RE: Discard the stale No-Namers  
by PLANKEYE on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS TO YOU LEN AF6AY

Your silly and ignorant!!


PLANKEYE
 
Keep The Film Rollin'  
by KG6WLS on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"Forget the popcorn Lon......it's time for the beer and chips."

And pass the salsa!!
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by W8BRI on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY assked, What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsday?

I dunno...maybe af6ay went out and got a extra-lite ticket and then started showing up here to dazzle us with his brilliance as a troll?
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by N3OX on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"What exactly is it that separates Hams from CB Folks? "

In principle, a minimum of around 600kHz.
 
RE: This Thread  
by N7YA on December 17, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"You're King of the Anti-Coders; a menace to avoid at all cost." - oldepharte

I thought that was Fred Maia, W5YI...he was at the forefront of the war on code a number of years ago. He was vilified far and wide by the pro-code sect (i will admit that i even jumped in on it until i learned to relax and just enjoy the hobby no matter who is in it, and why...or how),the general consensus is that he knew he was going to do well selling his new study materials geared towards no coders.

Your recollections may vary.

 
Welcome!  
by N2EY on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KE5YMI: "Boy, it sure would be easy for a complete noob like myself -- got my license last week, along with my wife - I mean, SHE got HER license too, not that I got my wife last week (all clear now?) - to get discouraged, seeing as how many don't seem to think I should have received it at all."

But you didn't receive it. You earned it - both you and your wife.

Congratulations and welcome to amateur radio!

KE5YMI: "First, my wife's story. She was helping me study for my Tech license and was doing so well herself she decided to go for it too. Notice one thing: She NEVER had ANY interest in this before. So she went in with me a week ago Saturday and breezed through the tech license test."

Excellent!

KE5YMI: "Big deal, right? Some are gritting their teeth about it already."

Not me.

KE5YMI: "Except for one thing. Guess what she's doing NOW... learning Morse code!"

That's even better! I hope to hear her on the air.

KE5YMI: "No one pushed her, it grew naturally out of wanting to know more about this new hobby. But now some of you have me worried about how she'll be treated out there. Will she be sorry she even tried?"

NO. Particularly not if she goes on the air with Morse Code, anyway.

KE5YMI: "So don't be so quick to judge, and don't be so quick to think you know all about someone just because they got their license last week. I assure you that some of us have a non-radio resume that would impress even you."

Of course.

But some folks (not you) wave their non-amateur-radio resume as if it should get them something. But one of the basic cultural elements of amateur radio is that such things don't count for much; what matters is how someone behaves as a radio amateur. A teenager with little money and a simple station who is a skilled and courteous operator gets more respect than a wealthy older person who acts like a boor.

KE5YMI: "I got my Tech license and my General the same day, and am going back next month for my Extra, all without a lick of code. I'll learn it, I'm interested in it - besides, I have to keep up with the wife! - but should it be a requirement?"

Yes, I think so. But it's not a requirement anymore, nor will it be.

KE5YMI: "Get serious. I'm from the computer world. Should we still require all programmers to learn assembler?"

Not the same thing. Here's why: Think about how much is assembler used by programmers? Then do some listening on the HF amateur bands and hear how much Morse Code is used by hams.

See the difference?

However, the code test requirement is long gone, and won't be coming back. So learn Morse Code for its own sake, because it's still widely used in amateur radio. And it's a lot of fun once you learn it.

KE5YMI: "Let me tell you, all the stuff about "call me in 15 years when you know something" is really off-putting. I can only assume those that say such things aren't really concerned about the future of the hobby. I hope there are many like me who simply don't care what the naysayers think. I like ya, I want to ragchew with ya, but try to put me down because of my new callsign and I'll just laugh at you and go on my merry way, enjoying the hobby."

Good point and good attitude.

Remember too that the online environment is not the same as the on-air environment. Some folks show up here on eham and other venues just to stir up controversy, call names, etc. They're a tiny few, though.

Hope to hear you on the air.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K1CJS on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RADIO123US doubled back again and said:

No...if anything these operators are getting worse...they would much rather tell you where to stick your radio than to learn from those operators that have experience....

Yea, there are some who do that, and as they get ignored or get left holding the bag, they either leave the bands or smarten up and change their habits. One thing is for sure--if they have nobody to talk to, they don't talk as much.
 
Souped Up CB?  
by LOVEHANDLES on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I have a straight key, but I don't know how to hook it up. Every time I key the key, my receiver cuts out, and the speaker makes a beeping noise. I am lucky to have the equipment I gots, UG, the Micronta will have to suffice until I can replace it with something better. The meter works well on Ancient Mary, though.
 
I TALKED TO A TRUCKER  
by PLANKEYE on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
You fellas got me thinkin on this last night.

Not the silly 13 days of Doom or whatever this whole article is about. I mean about what it is that separates Hams and CB guys.

So today, I talked to a Trucker.

I asked him right to his face. Know what he said? This beats everything.

IT'S THE DAG-GUM TEST!!

I told him the testing is slowly being taken away.

I told him the Code is gone.

I told him he could be a Ham just by getting a Gordon West answer book and memorizing.

I told him about this website where most Hams now argue in favor of less or no testing to get your License.

I mean the dude was excited OK. Seemed intersted at least.

He hauls Hogs and has a run to Memphis today then back home. He said he was going to check this Site out, maybe log-in and talk to You fellers.

His handle on the CB is Pig-Pen. I said, you will fit right in on E-Ham brother.

It seems kinda funny and sad at the same time.

I mean it's funny that most of you wave your Call Sign around like it's some kind of badge that you earned. It's all just Gordon West Answer Books now right?

Right or Wrong?

You know what is Sad? Nobody cares.

At least when you had to actually learn electronics and learn CW, the Ticket meant something.

Anyway, I just got loaded, I got to go!!


PLANKEYE















 
RE: Souped Up CB?  
by EC158 on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
What is "ancient mary"?

Code or no code - who cares. Radio is fun either way. Everyone got into the hobby for the same reasons but not necessarily the same way - SO WHAT! Enjoy the hobby, enjoy making friends, and nevermind how someone got their ticket and who worked harder for it - WHO CARES!

Enough of this code vs no-code crap!
 
RE: Doomsday Aftermath  
by K5TEN on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
It is statistically impossible to extrapolate any useful conclusions based on data from such a small time frame on such a huge number in a specfic group.

It's the same thing of trying to call a state election 10 minutes after the polls close.




Bruce




 
RE: I TALKED TO A TRUCKER  
by URBANGORILLA on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"I mean it's funny that most of you wave your Call Sign around like it's some kind of badge that you earned. It's all just Gordon West Answer Books now right?

Right or Wrong?

You know what is Sad? Nobody cares.

At least when you had to actually learn electronics and learn CW, the Ticket meant something.

Anyway, I just got loaded, I got to go!!"

I don't wave my call sign around. Even though I got it the hard way, I still consider it a piece of toilet paper because any yo-yo can get the same ticket with no work today. I only use it to comply with FCC rules when I'm on the air. You are right, Plankeye. It is all just Gordon West books now. That and qrz practice testing. Any living and breathing moron with a pulse can get a ticket today. There was something official about going down to the Federal Bldg. and taking a sending and receiving Morse exam and a written exam that you didn't have the answers to beforehand. The FCC examiner was an official of the government, someone you recognized as one in a position of authority. Today, you take a watered down test in front of another ham who wants you to pass. Its all just bravo sierra today.

BTW, don't underestimate the number of trucker hams. There are plenty of them. They prefer talking on the ham bands instead of the chicken band. They just use the chicken band to get traffic, weather and smokey reports, not to shoot the s**t. They do their rag chewing on the amateur bands.

73
UG
 
RE: Souped Up CB?  
by URBANGORILLA on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
What is "ancient mary"?

Ancient mary is the term that CB-ers use for the AM mode.

73
UG
 
RE: Souped Up CB?  
by RADIO123US on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY said "But some folks (not you) wave their non-amateur-radio resume as if it should get them something. "

Len, AF6AY has been doing this ever since he got his license, and he still has NOT been able to get any respect....that's why he keeps writing these nonsensical articles....he doesn't understand that folks here just DO NOT CARE what he has to say....
 
RE: Souped Up CB?  
by K1CJS on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
>>Code or no code - who cares. Radio is fun either way. Everyone got into the hobby for the same reasons but not necessarily the same way - SO WHAT! Enjoy the hobby, enjoy making friends, and nevermind how someone got their ticket and who worked harder for it - WHO CARES!

Enough of this code vs no-code crap!<<

Holy lightbulb, Batman--an idea worthy of ham radio--at last!!
 
RE: Souped Up CB?  
by N2EY on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY said "But some folks (not you) wave their non-amateur-radio resume as if it should get them something. "

RADIO123US replied: "Len, AF6AY has been doing this ever since he got his license, and he still has NOT been able to get any respect"

No, that's not the case.

Len's been doing it for a lot longer than that. For at least a full decade before he got his amateur radio license (in 2007). You have to look for his stuff under a variety of screen names and in several different forums, as well as comments to FCC, though.

Very predictable, too; within a few postings you'll get the various stories. And all you have to do to get on his enemies' list is to disagree or point out a mistake.

Len's always the victim; his own behavior is always above reproach (to hear him tell it, anyway).

But if you ask Len a direct question, (such as "where did I write the words you say I did?") don't expect a straight answer.

For example, in this very thread, Len claims not to have wanted an amateur license until Feb 2007 or so. Yet way back in January 2000, he wrote that he was "going for Amateur Extra "out of the box." "

full text: http://tinyurl.com/c5qyv

Do you think that there should be a minimum-age requirement for an amateur radio license? Well, Len did, proposing *to FCC* in 1999 that all licensees be at least 14 years of age (this was buried at the end of 16 pages of Reply Comments). His defense of this was a classic:

http://tinyurl.com/yxq3rr

He also had some things to say about the honesty of some ARRL VEs:

http://tinyurl.com/2k5mb5

There's lots more.

73 de Jim, N2EY


 
RE: Doomsday Aftermath  
by K6LHA on December 18, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K5TEN extrapolated on 18 Dec 08:

"It is statistically impossible to extrapolate any useful conclusions based on data from such a small time frame on such a huge number in a specfic group."

That wasn't attempted. :-) The whole point was to show that there was NO great rush of "the hordes of CB-ers and riff-raff eagerly awaiting the end of code testing." :-)

K5TEN: "It's the same thing of trying to call a state election 10 minutes after the polls close."

Tsk. The 23rd of February 2007 was NOT a state or national election. Even so, given the normal 10-year term of an amateur radio license, only about 2550 out of 662,915 active licensees (of today's date) would have been there for normal renewal. There were 3,055 total activities during a 13-day period, only slightly more than 2,550. :-)

In actual VEC activity numbers from the FCC for a 13-day period show that modifications (including class changes) was by far the majority, roughly 2 out of 3 with any VEC session. There were only 273 renewal-onlies or 8.9%.

A valid question to pose (no one has done so yet) is why were there even 273 renewal actions? The renewal process can be done for free, directly instead of going through the VEC. Why waste time, spending gas to reach a VEC site when it could be done at home. Nobody cared to comment on that. :-)

Denial is normal in an insular group. Denial is exemplified by those who insist that even a year and a half is "too short to show the real picture." I don't have a crystal ball (just two organic ones, still working) so I can't peek into the future to show "what really happened for the 'whole group.' many years in advance." Had I such a prognosticating device, I wouldn't be sitting here trying to show anyone what happened...I'd be enjoying the winnings of several lotteries, surrounded by luxury. :-)

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: I TALKED TO A TRUCKER  
by N2EY on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
URBANGORILLA writes:

"I don't wave my call sign around. Even though I got it the hard way, I still consider it a piece of toilet paper because any yo-yo can get the same ticket with no work today."

Even if that were true (I don't think it is), how does that devalue what *you* did?

UG: "There was something official about going down to the Federal Bldg. and taking a sending and receiving Morse exam and a written exam that you didn't have the answers to beforehand. The FCC examiner was an official of the government, someone you recognized as one in a position of authority."

Yes, it was different all right. But those days ended a quarter-century ago and they're not coming back.

Think about *why* they ended.

UG: "Today, you take a watered down test in front of another ham who wants you to pass."

Way back in 1967 I took my first amateur radio tests in front of another ham who wanted me to pass. Good ol' K3NYT. I am forever in his debt for it, too, because getting that Novice license at 13 made a big difference in the direction my life took.

Are the tests today watered-down compared to what they used to be? Perhaps, but so were the Novice tests I took in 1967 compared to what was required to get an amateur license in, say, 1949.

UG: "Its all just bravo sierra today."

I don't think so. The test is just the beginning; what really matters is what a ham does with the license after it's earned.

UG: "BTW, don't underestimate the number of trucker hams. There are plenty of them."

Agreed. I've even worked a couple on 40 CW while they were mobile.

UG: "They prefer talking on the ham bands...They do their rag chewing on the amateur bands."

That's great, as long as they follow FCC rules and good amateur practice.

It's part of what amateur radio is for.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: I TALKED TO A TRUCKER  
by WD8DK on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY posted this in the above comment.

"Way back in 1967 I took my first amateur radio tests in front of another ham who wanted me to pass. Good ol' K3NYT. I am forever in his debt for it, too, because getting that Novice license at 13 made a big difference in the direction my life took."

Yes, I too took my test in front of two Advanced Class ops in the livingroom of the one's home.
I did pass the written, but they failed me on the CW part as I did not have 25 characters in a row. That was the OLD format.no multiple choice as was the case in the 90's..I retook the cw test a month later and passed, got my Novice ticket and it was only a few short years to Advanced. I still think a CW test should be a part of the Extra today. That is the top class and it should require both written and cw to prove worthiness of that class. Just an opinion from an old timer.

73
 
RE: I TALKED TO A TRUCKER  
by N2EY on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
WD8DK writes: "Yes, I too took my test in front of two Advanced Class ops in the livingroom of the one's home."

What year was that?

WD8DK: "I did pass the written, but they failed me on the CW part as I did not have 25 characters in a row. That was the OLD format.no multiple choice as was the case in the 90's."

As I understand it, the old one-minute-solid-copy format was carried through right to the end. They just added multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank formats to it.

The first time I went for 13 wpm, summer 1968, the FCC examiner couldn't read my "Palmer method" longhand well enough to find the required 65 consecutive characters. That I could read them wasn't good enough; he couldn't, and that's what mattered.

So I went home and taught myself to block-print Signal Corps style, went back a month later and passed.

WD8DK: "I retook the cw test a month later and passed, got my Novice ticket and it was only a few short years to Advanced."

Was that in the days when you had to wait a month to retest?

Back in '67, getting a Novice went like this:

1) You practiced and studied until you thought you were ready.

2) You found a volunteer examiner (the lack of capitals is intentional) to give you the exams, and you set up a time for the code test. In those days they were almost always another ham.

3) The volunteer examiner would give you the code test, receiving and sending. If and only if you passed, s/he'd send away a Form 610 to FCC certifying that you passed the code and asking for the written exam.

4) You then waited 6 to 8 weeks for FCC to process the papers.

5) The FCC would send the written exam to the volunteer examiner, and when it arrived you'd set up another time for the written test.

6) You'd take the written test but the volunteer examiner wouldn't mark it. Mine wouldn't even look at it; his job was only to see that I did it myself without any help of any kind. The exam came in a sealed envelope that wasn't opened until the actual test time, and when you were done all the papers were put in another sealed envelope and sent back to FCC.

7) The volunteer examiner would certify that the exam was done according to the rules and send everything to FCC.

8) You then waited another 6 to 8 weeks for FCC to process the papers.

9) You then either got a little envelope or a big one. The little one was what you wanted, because it contained the license. The big one was dreaded because it meant you failed; it contained all the papers to go back to Step 1 and do it all over again. No partial credit for anything.

WD8DK: "I still think a CW test should be a part of the Extra today. That is the top class and it should require both written and cw to prove worthiness of that class. Just an opinion from an old timer."

I agree. And I think FCC should do the tests, and the tests should not be published.

I think these things NOT because that's how it used to be, nor because that's how I did it.

I think these things because they're a better system. No more and no less.

BUT..

that's just not in the cards. Not going to happen.

And except in rare cases, it's NOT the doing of the newcomers, ARRL or the amateur radio community. It's the doing of the FCC and a few others.

So the thing for us old-timers to do is to promote skills and knowledge in amateur radio without the tests being the backup.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Novice arrived October 14, 1967.
Technician and Advanced in summer of 1968
Extra in summer of 1970
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED wrote: "Keith, as I pointed out previously, you REALLY need to get some new lines.....you posted mustiple (sic) paragraphs, and all you can conclude with is "because the FCC says so"....I would think you could come up with something better than that ???? Oh wait, you've sounded like a broken record for years now, I guess you can't.....

-----------------------------

The only "broken record" being expressed here is from those Luddites who remain royally pissed that today's FCC has now seen fit to debunk ALL of their bogus, "lid filter" arguments and are now in the process of dismantling the remaining regulatory underpinnings of such nonsense.

That is, despite all the lofty sounding rhetoric that tests for Morse along with multiple, ever-more-irrelevant tests for RF theory are still an “essential” part of our hobby, it is now clear to me…beyond any shadow of doubt…that the principal, underlying goal of those people who continually spout such dogma is to indefinitely perpetuate the multi-tiered “caste system” that has existed within our Service in the United States for at least the last half century.

Or, to put it more bluntly, what FAR too many now call "keeping the standards up” is simply their poorly disguised cover for a far different collective agenda of perpetuating a system of blatant systemic discrimination in our Service…a set of ever-more irrelevant regulatory "hazing rituals" that have underwritten their own unabashed snobbery for far too long.

What’s more, by taking numerous, well-documented steps to bring at least SOME of that systemic discrimination to a screeching, grinding halt by incrementally removing its regulatory underpinnings, it would now appear that today's FCC wholeheartedly agrees with that assessment.

The truth is that, up until very recently, the FCC (at the behest of the ARRL) has maintained a plethora of increasingly meaningless barriers (like Morse tests) for entry into the mainstream of our Service that have collectively made our Service unattractive to otherwise good people.

These are people who, if they HAD been allowed to join and thrive within our ranks, MIGHT have kept Amateur Radio more in touch with new technology and made our Service more interesting to the general public.

But, unfortunately, by obsessively maintaining these ever more meaningless, systemically discriminatory barriers WELL into the 21st Century, all our regulators (and others who were supposedly looking out for our best interests) have REALLY managed to do over these many years is to choke off our supply of younger, more innovative hams.

The sad result is a so-called "public" radio service which was originally intended for ordinary citizens that has now devolved into an all-but closed, semi-secret society dominated by a shrinking, ever-aging pool of self-important (not to mention "washed-up") techno-nerds…FAR too many of whom remain hell-bent on insuring that our Service continues to atrophy into an increasingly irrelevant technological and sociological backwater.

That fact, in turn, has made it all the more difficult for the rest of us to attract younger hams (of any gender or ability!) into our Service. It's a viscous cycle that clearly needs to be broken if Amateur Radio in the United States is to survive (let alone thrive!) beyond the next few decades.

Clearly, while Morse testing is now history, the damage it has caused to our Service over the years has been nothing short of catastrophic…so much so that I firmly believe it will ultimately be shown that, by dropping Morse testing at this late stage, all our regulators will once again have done is to "re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic".

Our "ship" as it were, is still "sinking".

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF / VA3KSF / Keith: Clearly, while Morse testing is now history, the damage it has caused to our Service over the years has been nothing short of catastrophic&#8230;so much so that I firmly believe it will ultimately be shown that, by dropping Morse testing at this late stage, all our regulators will once again have done is to "re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic".

OLDEPHARTE: It would not have been possible to remove Morse testing prior to the WRC 2003 vote on the matter in July, 2003. While some other governments deleted the requirement shortly thereafter, here in the United States we had to go through the formality of submitting proposals to the FCC, waiting until the FCC posted the proposals and started accepting comments on them, after which came the reply comments, and then after the FCC mauled it over for a period of time, issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, after which there was another round of comments and reply comments, until after mauling over it again for a time finally issued the Report and Order. It all took approx. 3 1/2 years.

Anyone with half a brain could have predicted the outcome when the Commission issued their R&O in December 1999. At that time it was evident that the very moment WRC would delete the mandatory Morse requirement for amateur communications below 30 MHz, that all Morse testing would be history in the United States. It just took our bureaucratic government half a dog's age to spin 93,000,000 miles of red tape before they did something.

It is obvious the FCC wanted to discard the Morse exams long ago. They had to wait for WRC to act upon it.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
WRC-2003 Etc.  
by N2EY on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE: "It would not have been possible to remove Morse testing prior to the WRC 2003 vote on the matter in July, 2003."

FCC said as much in the Report and Order back in 1999. They said they would not violate the treaty.

OLDEPHARTE: "While some other governments deleted the requirement shortly thereafter, here in the United States we had to go through the formality of submitting proposals to the FCC, waiting until the FCC posted the proposals and started accepting comments on them, after which came the reply comments, and then after the FCC mauled it over for a period of time, issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, after which there was another round of comments and reply comments, until after mauling over it again for a time finally issued the Report and Order. It all took approx. 3 1/2 years."

That's what happened, but it wasn't really necessary.

FCC has the power to avoid all those regulatory steps for certain kinds of changes, particularly those where the issue has already been discussed.

As soon as the treaty changed, FCC could have simply issued a Memorandum Report and Order (I think that's what it's called) saying the issue had been thoroughly discussed and debated back in 1998 and 1999. They could have said that in the ONLY reason they kept the 5 wpm test back then was the treaty - as was noted in that R&O. And with the treaty gone, the test would be removed.

FCC could have done that, but they chose not to. Not because of ARRL or anyone else, but because that's what FCC decided to do.

OLDEPHARTE: "Anyone with half a brain could have predicted the outcome when the Commission issued their R&O in December 1999. At that time it was evident that the very moment WRC would delete the mandatory Morse requirement for amateur communications below 30 MHz, that all Morse testing would be history in the United States. It just took our bureaucratic government half a dog's age to spin 93,000,000 miles of red tape before they did something."

Of course. When the treaty changed, we all knew it was a done deal. In fact, I conducted an informal poll on how long it would take. I figured a year at the outside. Good thing I'm not a betting man because I would have put a lot of money at high odds against it taking as long as it did.

OLDEPHARTE: "It is obvious the FCC wanted to discard the Morse exams long ago. They had to wait for WRC to act upon it."

What's not obvious is why it took them 3-1/2 years to do what could have been done in an afternoon IMHO.

---

The most important (and most inconvenient) truth, though, is a lot simpler.

The tests, old or new, code or written, aren't a "barrier to growth" or anything like that. Neither are the number of license classes. Those are all red herrings. Non-issues. The wrong tree getting all the barks.

The fact that the requirements have been simplified and reduced time and again without producing sustained growth is positive proof they weren't a barrier.

But there's more.

Since the very beginning of Amateur Radio, hams have come from all walks of life, all backgrounds, all educational and economic levels. All ages, genders, races and creeds, too.

And it has all happened regardless of the license requirements, tests, number of license classes, etc. Sure, some things, like the Novice license, helped growth, and other things, like the 175 mile Conditional distance after 1964, hurt. But the basics remained the same: Those interested in "radio for its own sake" met the requirements in large numbers.

There are all sorts of examples. Even in the old days there were elementary-school kids with Class B/General licenses. High-schoolers with Extras. Folks whose education had nothing to do with technology getting licenses, building stations and having fun on the air. The tests didn't stop those folks - and they had a lot fewer resources than today.

The idea that the tests are "irrelevant" or intended to produce "RF engineers" is completely bogus. False. Without any basis in fact. All the tests do is to check a licensee's knowledge in a few RELEVANT areas. Nothing more. They are by no means comprehensive, complete, nor a full qualification. They're intended to get you started, that's all.

The real issue is publicity. Nothing more or less.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE wrote: "It would not have been possible to remove Morse testing prior to the WRC 2003 vote on the matter in July, 2003."

-------------------------

Absolutely true.

But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000.

And it also begs the question as to why, nearly NINE YEARS into the new millennium, the FCC STILL maintains three classes of licenses in our Service, with several more license classes that have since been "grandfathered".

And then there's the other "elephant in the room" that nobody seems to want to talk about…the HUGE (and I say absolutely illegal) disconnect between the content and comprehensiveness of the questions on our exams (particularly those for the Extra Class license) that have absolutely NOTHING directly to do with those skills and knowleges specifically required for Extra Class licensees to safely and courteously operate in the last few (so-called "exclusive") kilohertz of our HF frequency bands.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
Oh pul-eeze  
by N2EY on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE wrote: "It would not have been possible to remove Morse testing prior to the WRC 2003 vote on the matter in July, 2003."

-------------------------

KB1SF: "Absolutely true."

Well, there you go.

KB1SF: "But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000."

That's easy:

1) The creation of medical waivers for the 13 and 20 wpm tests in 1990 at the request of a now-dead King who was a ham effectively made all license classes available with just 5 wpm and a note from any doctor.

2) NOBODY asked FCC to change it. As far as I know, until 1998 there were NO formal proposals made to FCC to eliminate, reduce, change the scoring weight or otherwise change the 13 and 20 wpm tests. None. Zero. Zip.

Anyone can file a proposal with FCC; in fact, back in the mid-1960s there were at least ten proposals filed besides ARRL's about license requirements.

But unless I missed something, nobody filed such a reduce-the-code-test proposal until 1998, when ARRL did so (!). Anticodetest folks could have proposed something simple, such as "5 wpm for all classes". Or they could have made the faster code tests an option, with the alternative of a higher score on the written. Or something else.

KB1SF: "And it also begs the question as to why, nearly NINE YEARS into the new millennium, the FCC STILL maintains three classes of licenses in our Service, with several more license classes that have since been "grandfathered"."

That's easy, too.

The closed-off license classes are just three: Novice, Technician Plus, and Advanced.

Technician Plus is being replaced by Technician as the licensees renew. By May 2010 all Tech Pluses should be gone - renewed as Tech, expired or upgraded.

Novice and Advanced are kept on the books because it's less work than eliminating them. Their regulations are few and their numbers declining. No real problem.

Now to the three license classes open to new issues:

It's clear and obvious that a full-privileges license should require a considerable amount of knowledge about what the license allows the licensee to do. So there's a syllabus of questions for a full-privileges license.

And if we had only one license class, the test for it would have to cover that whole syllabus in one go.

FCC and hams in general think that's not the best scheme. It's clear and obvious that it's much better if a prospective ham has a couple of options. S/he can start out with a relatively simple exam and limited license, then work up to full privileges, or not.

The syllabus is thus divided into parts, with all parts required for full privileges and only some parts required for limited privileges. In the system we have now, there are effectively three levels, and so three tests. A prospective ham can do them one at a time, all at once, etc.

Would you rather that all new hams have to get the Extra as their first license? Because that's the alternative.

KB1SF: "And then there's the other "elephant in the room" that nobody seems to want to talk about…the HUGE (and I say absolutely illegal) disconnect between the content and comprehensiveness of the questions on our exams (particularly those for the Extra Class license) that have absolutely NOTHING directly to do with those skills and knowleges specifically required for Extra Class licensees to safely and courteously operate in the last few (so-called "exclusive") kilohertz of our HF frequency bands."

Oh pul-eeze, Keith, that's simply laughable. You're not really serious, are you?

All of the test questions and answers are available free for the download, or for a modest fee in printed form. None of them are hard to understand, nor do they require anything like first-year EE knowledge. They do require that you select enough right answers, but that's all.

Heck, ALL of the tests - code and theory! - have been passed by bright kids younger than 10! How can something like that POSSIBLY be illegal, discriminatory, immoral or electro-politically incorrect?

Yes, the tests require some memorization and some understanding of how amateur radios work and how to operate one. That's perfectly reasonable for what the license lets you do.

The FCC is reactive WRT the amateur service, not proactive. They don't go looking for work; heck, it's tough enough to get them to enforce basic rules!

If the current license structure bothers you so much, Keith, why don't you come up with a restructuring proposal to right all these wrongs that you see? Figure out answers to all the issues, such as what happens to the various existing license classes and such. Write it up in the format FCC likes to see for such proposals.

Then put it online here, on QRZ.com and anywhere else that will give it space, submit it to QST and CQ, and see what the amateur community thinks.

IOW, if you see a real problem, propose a real solution.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by WA4KCN on December 19, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF - But, unfortunately, by obsessively maintaining these ever more meaningless, systemically discriminatory barriers WELL into the 21st Century, all our regulators (and others who were supposedly looking out for our best interests) have REALLY managed to do over these many years is to choke off our supply of younger, more innovative hams.

The sad result is a so-called "public" radio service which was originally intended for ordinary citizens that has now devolved into an all-but closed, semi-secret society dominated by a shrinking, ever-aging pool of self-important (not to mention "washed-up") techno-nerds…FAR too many of whom remain hell-bent on insuring that our Service continues to atrophy into an increasingly irrelevant technological and sociological backwater.


That fact, in turn, has made it all the more difficult for the rest of us to attract younger hams (of any gender or ability!) into our Service. It's a viscous cycle that clearly needs to be broken if Amateur Radio in the United States is to survive (let alone thrive!) beyond the next few decades.

Clearly, while Morse testing is now history, the damage it has caused to our Service over the years has been nothing short of catastrophic…so much so that I firmly believe it will ultimately be shown that, by dropping Morse testing at this late stage, all our regulators will once again have done is to "re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic".

___

Changing testing protocol will not save the hobby if we need "ordinary citizens" (those without a peculiar interest in radio) to test for a license and populate the amateur radio bands. We see proof of this today. Jim I believe has it right when he argues the service needs those who are interested in radio "for its on sake." But if one is interested in increasing radio amateur numbers particularly on paper as a means of justifiying our existance, bigger and much bigger thinking will be required than what you are proposing. The focused on growth crowd should concentrate on creative ways to accomplish their desires rather than waiting on unproductive means such as unlikely legal action or the day when everyone else dies off.

Here is an idea you people might consider. Every Tuesday a couple of friends come over to the house and we sit around smoke camel cigarettes, drink RC Cola and listen to a 16 tube Hallicrafters superhet shortwave. We really have a great time. But what we find is that in the shortwave broadcast bands there are fewer and fewer stations compared to what was even 10 years ago. In the future much of this spectrum will be for the asking. So it is true we will need more amateurs to populate these frequencies. Everyone knows giving away licenses would not work to increase operators since few "ordinary citizens" in this day and age are interested in radio. But and this is a big but "ordinary citizens" are interested in money. There are a couple of things that move people to action and money is one of them. Here's the plan. The FCC turns over regulation of the amateur radio service to licensed amateurs while maintaining mild oversight. In a similar fashion to the house banking subcommittee overseeing Fannie Mae in the mortgage market. The new amateur organization will be called ARMPITS - Amateur Radio Monetary Progression Incentive Testing System. Armpits will be organized as a quasi for profit concern. We will concern ourselves with modification of 97.3(a)4 later. Armpits begins immediate reform by increasing the number of license classes to 15 - as you will see the more the better. Code testing will return as this will be an important component to getting newcomers interested in the hobby by creating even additonal classes of licenses. There is a bone in here for you Keith because you will be charged with developing the test for each of the 15 classes of licenses and yes Keith KB1SF will decide on frequency allocations and sub bands for each class of license. You will use your expertise to ensure each of the 15 tests are certified. I know you are getting excited but the best is yet to come. Keith you will even be able to make the tests as easy as you like even open book because as you will see and as you agree test difficultity matters not. In fact the easier the better. Ok that all sounds great I'm sure you will agree but how do we get these people to apply and take the test - easy. The cost to sit for exam 1 will begin at $1000 with each class upgrade costing $250. The total cost to the applicant to get all the way to the highest class called Keith's Code Extra is $4500.00. And by the way since some of the tests only have 5 questions all 15 can be taken at the same time. But the key is when test 1 (open book if you like with answers posted) is passed you automatically become a member of ARMPITS and here is the exciting part. Each member of ARMPITS will receive a cut from the exam fee paid by new applicants they recruit with fees continuing to be paid through each new recruitment layer. The higher the class of license the greater the cut so everyone will be motivated to reach Keith's Code Extra. All existing amateurs can join ARMPITS for $750. As the pyramid grows several things will happpen: some will get rich (including Keith since you will be getting in on the bottom floor), the amateur radio service is self supporting and even profitable to the FCC since they get a cut, and thousands of "ordinary citizens" who would not even consider getting a license under your plan will become licensed radio amateurs. Follow the money. In this day and time FCC will gladly amend 97.3 to accommodate this scheme if they even deem it necessary to do so.

I believe this plan has a much better chance of getting the "ordinary citizen" to join the ranks than anything you have put forth.

73 and Good Luck
Russ
 
DON'T HAZE ME BRO  
by PLANKEYE on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF:

Or, to put it more bluntly, what FAR too many now call "keeping the standards up” is simply their poorly disguised cover for a far different collective agenda of perpetuating a system of blatant systemic discrimination in our Service…a set of ever-more irrelevant regulatory "hazing rituals" that have underwritten their own unabashed snobbery for far too long.

_________________________________

PLANKEYE:

Sir, are you saying that taking a test to get a Ham License is a HAZING RITUAL?

Is that right or did I read it wrong?

Ain't that like comparing a Bee Sting to a Gun Shot Wound?


Merry Christmas Fellas, and God Bless!!

PLANKEYE





 
Now and Then  
by WV4I on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
First, I disagree that just anyone can pass an Amateur Radio exam, regardless of test prep. Don't sell yourselves short in the IQ dept.

Second, I'm guessing that no code has helped keep more manufacturers in biz, product lines expanded, more competition, lower prices, etc..

Third, consider the QRM/chaos if we all liked the same band, same mode, same power and antenna, at the same time......

Me, I'm QRV on 30M right now waiting for the noise level to fall off after sunrise. I built a K1EL K40 keyer mainly for 30M because it's a CW only, 200W max band that is far more laid back than say 20M SSB. Later this am it will be 60M, SSB only BTW, a great band, also a different crowd and op style. Not to insult anyone's intel, but I don't keep the entire band plan memorized either. And yes, I do also own a legal limit amp and an antenna system that is quite competitive for 80/40M in contests.

Enjoy the hobby. Try different modes, gear, etc.. If the Now and Then of morse code is getting you really worked up, or you find yourself thrashing any intruders on "your" freq, and/or ops not as A1 as you really annoy you, etc., well, maybe it's time to give ham radio a rest for a while.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF said "That is, despite all the lofty sounding rhetoric that tests for Morse along with multiple, ever-more-irrelevant tests for RF theory are still an “essential” part of our hobby, it is now clear to me…beyond any shadow of doubt…that the principal, underlying goal of those people who continually spout such dogma is to indefinitely perpetuate the multi-tiered “caste system” that has existed within our Service in the United States for at least the last half century. "

I knew it was just a matter of time before the anti-code wackos would start trying to eliminate ALL testing....

Keith, eliminating all testing barriers has been tried...it's called the Citizens Band Radio Service...and you can see how that ended up.....
 
RE: I TALKED TO A TRUCKER  
by WD8DK on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RE: I TALKED TO A TRUCKER by N2EY on December 19, 2008

WD8DK writes: "Yes, I too took my test in front of two Advanced Class ops in the livingroom of the one's home."

N2EY: What year was that?

WD8DK: "I did pass the written, but they failed me on the CW part as I did not have 25 characters in a row. That was the OLD format.no multiple choice as was the case in the 90's."

N2EY: As I understand it, the old one-minute-solid-copy format was carried through right to the end. They just added multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank formats to it.
The first time I went for 13 wpm, summer 1968, the FCC examiner couldn't read my "Palmer method" longhand well enough to find the required 65 consecutive characters. That I could read them wasn't good enough; he couldn't, and that's what mattered.
So I went home and taught myself to block-print Signal Corps style, went back a month later and passed.

WD8DK: "I retook the cw test a month later and passed, got my Novice ticket and it was only a few short years to Advanced."

N2EY: Was that in the days when you had to wait a month to retest?

MY answer to N2EY's comments;

It is irrevalent what year I took my tests. You have basically answered your own questions about when I took my test. Secondly, one month was the time set for retesting. Not like now, you can walk down to the next VEC testing session the same day.

Not that some of the new no code hams aren't good, it is just I was brought up with the code standard and had learned it in my early teens.
I had spent many nights listening to the local guys on 75 meters on a Hallicrafters S120.
So that gives another time frame to you N2EY.

I just think the Extra should still include CW as a requirement.

73
 
Amateur Radio in the 21st Century  
by N2EY on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RADIO123US writes: "I knew it was just a matter of time before the anti-code wackos would start trying to eliminate ALL testing...."

Way back in 2003, W5YI and three others at NCVEC put together a position paper called "Amateur Radio in the 21st Century"

Here's a direct link:

http://tinyurl.com/8ajg56

In the paper, they argue not only for the elimination of the code test, but that even the Technician test is 'too hard'.

Their solution was a new license class in addition to all the existing ones, to be called "Communicator". It would require only a 20-25 question written exam.

Communicator would have the following restrictions:

- Low power only, limited bands
- Approved manufactured rigs only.
- NO homebrew
- No rigs with voltages exceeding 30 volts

Time and again, the authors claim their proposed changes are absolutely necessary for the survival of amateur radio.

I found the tone and attitude of the paper condescending at best and insulting at worst. I found some misleading and downright incorrect statements, too. So I wrote a rebuttal, which can be read in three parts:

Rebuttal part 1

http://tinyurl.com/99l6zy

Rebuttal part 2

http://tinyurl.com/ayo48h

Rebuttal part 3

http://tinyurl.com/94x667

I sent the rebuttal to the authors and put it on the web.

Read and see if you don't agree. Yes, I know it's a bit long, but sometimes the pool-pah requires a detailed response.


But they didn't stop there.

Once WRC-2003 changed the treaty, the authors used the ideas to write a proposal to FCC which became known as RM-10870. They stuck the NCVEC name on it, too. Fortunately the FCC didn't act on any of its proposals except to remove the code test. Which was pretty much a given anyway.

RADIO123US: "eliminating all testing barriers has been tried...it's called the Citizens Band Radio Service...and you can see how that ended up....."

Yep. Good for a couple of years, then total chaos.

One interesting feature of the proposed Communicator test was that *it would not include any rules and regulations questions*! NONE.

Instead, the applicant would sign a paper saying they had a copy of the regulations and had read it at some point. (Sound familiar?)

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF / VA3KSF / Keith: But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000.

OLDEPHARTE: I can't answer this question. I don't know whether it has to do with the ITU treaty or not. The US was the first administration to lower the Morse testing requirements for all license classes that permit access to frequencies below 30 MHz to 5wpm. Other administrations in Europe followed in 2001 and 2002.

If anybody out there can research this and let us all know the history of the ITU's Morse proficiency requirements, it would answer a lot of questions.

KB1SF / VA3KSF / Keith: And it also begs the question as to why, nearly NINE YEARS into the new millennium, the FCC STILL maintains three classes of licenses in our Service, with several more license classes that have since been "grandfathered".

And then there's the other "elephant in the room" that nobody seems to want to talk about&#8230;the HUGE (and I say absolutely illegal) disconnect between the content and comprehensiveness of the questions on our exams (particularly those for the Extra Class license) that have absolutely NOTHING directly to do with those skills and knowleges specifically required for Extra Class licensees to safely and courteously operate in the last few (so-called "exclusive") kilohertz of our HF frequency bands.

OLDEPHARTE: After reading the R&O issued in December 2006, I believe the FCC is quite satisfied with the current three-tier license structure. I believe that you are totally wrong about what the Commission's goals and ambitions are pertaining to the amateur radio licensing structure. I don't believe that the FCC has any future intentions of simplifying the exams or reducing the amount of license classes. Don't hold your breath. The US isn't going to a two-tier license structure or a single license class anytime in the forseeable future. To do so would require too much work at too much expense.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF / VA3KSF / Keith: But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000.

OLDEPHARTE: I can't answer this question. I don't know whether it has to do with the ITU treaty or not. The US was the first administration to lower the Morse testing requirements for all license classes that permit access to frequencies below 30 MHz to 5wpm. Other administrations in Europe followed in 2001 and 2002.

If anybody out there can research this and let us all know the history of the ITU's Morse proficiency requirements, it would answer a lot of questions.

KB1SF / VA3KSF / Keith: And it also begs the question as to why, nearly NINE YEARS into the new millennium, the FCC STILL maintains three classes of licenses in our Service, with several more license classes that have since been "grandfathered".

And then there's the other "elephant in the room" that nobody seems to want to talk about&#8230;the HUGE (and I say absolutely illegal) disconnect between the content and comprehensiveness of the questions on our exams (particularly those for the Extra Class license) that have absolutely NOTHING directly to do with those skills and knowleges specifically required for Extra Class licensees to safely and courteously operate in the last few (so-called "exclusive") kilohertz of our HF frequency bands.

OLDEPHARTE: After reading the R&O issued in December 2006, I believe the FCC is quite satisfied with the current three-tier license structure. I believe that you are totally wrong about what the Commission's goals and ambitions are pertaining to the amateur radio licensing structure. I don't believe that the FCC has any future intentions of simplifying the exams or reducing the amount of license classes. Don't hold your breath. The US isn't going to a two-tier license structure or a single license class anytime in the forseeable future. To do so would require too much work at too much expense.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K6LHA on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF posted on 19 Dec 08:

"OLDEPHARTE wrote: "It would not have been possible to remove Morse testing prior to the WRC 2003 vote on the matter in July, 2003."
-------------------------
"Absolutely true."

"But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000."

The answer is rather easy: POLITICAL pressure from the League and its supporters. <shrug>

Recall the ARRL's position relative to the IARU prior to WRC-03. ARRL was AGAINST the rewrite of International Radio Regulation S25 right up to closely before WRC-03 went into session. The IARU was all for changing S25, including the rewrite of the code test portion to be 'administration-optional.' ARRL was against any code test rewrite.

Just before WRC-03 the ARRL took a neutral stance, neither for nor against much of anything to do with testing. They maintained that neutral position until a year or so after WRC-03, their only deviation being some ambiguous ('safe') statements about 'going with the agreement.'

The 'why' of such positions by the ARRL are conjecture. We cannot believe whole-heartedly that the League is 'always' honest and above-board nor in 'the best interests of USA radio amateurs.' Actions of their Proposals following R&O 99-612 betray that. Conjecture is based on several things: Many staff and BoD of the League have Extra class licenses that were granted well before any modern change in USA amateur regulations following the 'incentive plan.' In other words, they had achieved a 20 WPM morse test class with attendant rank, status, privileges, privileges put into regulations by early political action. Those long-time Extras were loathe to give up that rank, status, privilege. Many expressed the implied or overt opinion that 'ALL should do as they did,' i.e., come up through the ranks by 'working' for them, blah, blah, blah...DO that code test (because they had to).

ARRL survives on monetary input. It is primarily a publisher first, some kind of membership organization second. Core membership is the hardline CW-tested long-timer. Those long-timers are at or near retirement and have money at their disposal. They can GIVE to 'defense funds' and 'terrace bricks' plus some who have Grants put at the disposal of the League. They have the money to support things like face-lifts to the Hq building and the famous 'diamond terrace.' As of the end of 2007 ARRL membership was 153 thousand (and change) according to their Annual Report. Based on licensee numbers given by ARRL and Hamdata for 30 December 2007, ARRL membership was 23.3% of active licensees (those in their 10-year term) and 21.5% of ALL individual lincesees. Either figure is LESS than a quarter of potential members. Membership numbers put them in the MINORITY category. Since there is NO competition from any other national membership organization of radio amateurs down here, the League has a VIRTUAL monopoly on 'amateur radio representation' in the USA. Coupled with its huge specialty-publications product line, the ARRL presents a strong image to the US government. Since the League enjoys professional legal services in the DC area, plus retaining a professional lobbying firm (Chwat & Co.), they can have an immediate voice to lawmakers.

ARRL had a stronger voice toward the FCC. But, that influence began to wane following the general US government push to get Internet connections just prior to the comment period of docket 98-143 ('reconstruction'). Think of that as a decade ago. Many things can happen in a decade. The spread and convenience of the Internet enabled more individuals to speak to their government DIRECTLY rather than being filtered through any membership organization. The comments on the EIGHTEEN Petitions that were released prior to docket 05-235 exemplified that. The FCC began to LISTEN to people other than the League. The ARRL got nothing that it wanted in their Petitions. Their drive to get a '60m band' on HF was reduced to just five channels, that failure attributed to the League NOT examining the HF occupancy by other radio services (including the government).
.............
KB1SF: "And it also begs the question as to why, nearly NINE YEARS into the new millennium, the FCC STILL maintains three classes of licenses in our Service, with several more license classes that have since been "grandfathered"."

Memorandum Report and Order 99-612, released in December of 1999, did some sweeping rearrangement of license classes, but it was left with the problem of what to do with the existing classes that would NOT be assigned as new in the future (primarily Advanced and Technician-Plus, Novice class had already been declining for years). That was decided in R&O 99-612, reasons given. Note: In a separate R&O prior to 99-612, the FCC assigned the VEC QPC the task of determining the entirety of the question content, absolving the FCC of maintaining any grouping of question types. That small fact apparently wasn't 'newsworthy' in ham forums so few paid it any mind. All the FCC retained was a minimum total question number per class examination. IOW, the VEC determines ALL questions and answers (subject to final FCC approval).

When sweeping changes are imposed on any group as large as amateur radio licensees of 1998 (over a half million) there is no such thing as a 'perfect' solution of re-arrangement. FCC administration tasks would be horrendous. A PRACTICAL solution was to EASE into the changeover by letting everyone's ten-year term run out and then giving those the option of changing classes or just letting them expire. Minimal administrative overhead by the FCC beset with a lot of necessary operating budget constraints.
.............
KB1SF: "And then there's the other "elephant in the room" that nobody seems to want to talk about…the HUGE (and I say absolutely illegal) disconnect between the content and comprehensiveness of the questions on our exams (particularly those for the Extra Class license) that have absolutely NOTHING directly to do with those skills and knowleges specifically required for Extra Class licensees to safely and courteously operate in the last few (so-called "exclusive") kilohertz of our HF frequency bands."

Whoa...first of all AMATEUR radio service is NOT professional. Never was. Not even if some are granted Extra class. "Comprehensiveness and content" of questions for license exams is done by fellow Extras, not the FCC.

Keith, where you see a 'huge elephant,' I see only a DVD of "Horton Hears a Who." Let's face it, the USA Amateur Extra class is a holdover from the old days and that class is treasured by those who have held it a long time. The Amateur Extra HAD to be kept for political practicality. Had the FCC done away with it, much less renamed it (the 'extra' name carries a lot of emotional baggage), the repercussions would have been AWESOME. [don't even think about it] Nobody in government was going to touch an emotional baggage package like that by eliminating any Extra class.

Now, on a PRACTICAL basis, observing the military model of the early 1950s, there is NO REAL DIFFERENCE in communications operating frequency from HF to microwaves. [I'm not talking use of the ionosphere/propagation] Think also that military DC and RF powers are often higher than hobby pursuit radios. As an example of 1953, I routinely handled 10 to 15 KW HF transmitter operation from Day One of my first assignment in the US Army...later (when equipment arrived) up to 40 KW. There was NO time in amateur radio when such power levels were allowed in USA amateur radio operation, any frequency.

The SEPARATE class distinction of 'Extra' was almost entirely due to a licensee's ability to operate with OOK CW telegraphy. Once the FCC dropped all equivalent 20 WPM telegraphy rate testing with R&O 99-612 to 5 WPM, that individual 'brag tape' broke for long-time extras. By the end of ALL code testing, there was NO real distinguishing test between Extra and General and Technician OTHER than the existing man-made regulatory frequency allocations...with Extra the 'elite' group allowed to operate anywhere in frequency, General in the 'middle of the bus' and Technicians in the BIG 'back of the bus.'

As of 19 December 2008, ACTIVE Technician class licensees were 47.1% of all USA active licensees; General at 21.8%, Extra at 17.4%. The 'back of that bus' is VERY BIG indeed but the long-timer hams and ARRL don't pay them no mind. It is like the old-timers wanting them to STAY back there 'where they belong.' To me that isn't surprising given that USA amateur radio is largely made up of white males.

Frankly speaking, I see NO difference in operation by any class on any frequency that is OPERATIONALLY NECESSARY. In the elite sections of HF there is always the Hollywoodian gratuitous praise that apparently must be given to be a 'good op.' An example is that wonderful '599 report.' :-) That's technically deficient but absolutely required in some strange 'courtesy' pattern of human interaction between the elite. [goes on in Hollywood all the time, probably in other big businesses too]

"Few HF frequencies left?" I don't think so. USA amateurs haven't really lost any HF frequencies for 49 1/2 years but they have GAINED bandspace since WARC-79. The '40m conflict' was resolved at WRC-03 with the 'SW BC' folks relocating outside of the 40m band. [only took a whole 24 years to reach that agreement] Don't forget those 5 wonderful channels in 'the 60m band' that were allocated a few years ago. :-)

There HAS been some juggling of class-distinction v. frequency in EXISTING bands, yes, but that only matters to those who thought 'their' frequency playground was exclusively for them. Those bandplan juggles were POLITICALLY inspired/desired/lobbied-for. Most countries don't have any such separate bandplans.

The only 'big elephant in the room' in my view is the Technician class, the shunned-by-long-timers, the 'shack-on-the-belt' nobodies, those that (hack, ptui) can't even operate a straight key. The ARRL only pays them lip-service. Most of the mighty radio ops in here won't acknowledge they are human beings, let alone 'real hams.' :-)

Happy Holidays, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY aid "Most of the mighty radio ops in here won't acknowledge they are human beings, let alone 'real hams.' :-) "

Len, you are such a HYPOCRITE.....the only one shunning people here has been YOU....you don't even want young people to participate in amateur radio, and you have clearly said so....

http://tinyurl.com/yxq3rr
 
ITU Treaty about Code Test  
by N2EY on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE: "I don't know whether it has to do with the ITU treaty or not."

(meaning the 5/13/20 wpm code tests)

All the treaty has ever required is that amateurs be Morse Code tested. No speed or specific test method has ever been specified in the treaty.

OLDEPHARTE: "The US was the first administration to lower the Morse testing requirements for all license classes that permit access to frequencies below 30 MHz to 5wpm. Other administrations in Europe followed in 2001 and 2002."

Interesting! I did not know that. Thanks!

OLDEPHARTE: "If anybody out there can research this and let us all know the history of the ITU's Morse proficiency requirements, it would answer a lot of questions."

Well, I wouldn't call 5 wpm "proficiency", but here goes.

Prior to 1927, international treaty did not require amateurs to be Morse Code tested - because there was no international treaty about amateur radio! Each country had the option of licensing amateurs, usually as "private stations". Some countries were very hostile to the idea of amateur radio, most were sort-of neutral, a few supported the idea somewhat.

But through the efforts of folks like K.B.Warner, H.P. Maxim, Mrs. Maxim and some others, Amateur Radio gained international treaty status in 1927. This was the result of much work from about 1920 onwards, and improved the chances that Amateur Radio would survive long-term.

The 1927 treaty defined amateur radio as a separate radio service, distinct from all others. The treaty set aside specific and exclusive bands for amateur radio and required that all amateur operators and stations be licensed by their respective countries and set up other rules.

The 1927 treaty specifically required that all amateur radio operators demonstrate the ability to "send by hand and receive by ear, messages in Morse Code". (This is universally understood to mean that the operator must demonstrate the skill, not that things like flashing lights or foot keys cannot be used by the physically impaired).

No speed was ever specified, nor any specific test format. No number of amateur license classes was specified either. All those details were left up to the signatory countries. But it was generally agreed that 5 wpm was about the absolute minimum that could be considered as meeting the treaty requirement.

In the late 1940s (1947 IIRC), an exception was added: If a country were to issue amateur radio licenses whose frequency privileges only included frequencies above 1000 Mc. (they used megacycles in those days), those licensees didn't need to be code tested. Over the years the frequency limit was lowered, until it finally came to be 30 MHz.

But from 1927 to 2003, the treaty required a Morse Code test for amateur licenses with privileges below 30 MHz.

All ancient history now. The treaty language was rewritten (not deleted) in July 2003 so that Morse Code testing is optional for all signatory countries. Many of them still have Morse Code testing for at least some license classes.

--

If anyone thinks that one-minute-solid-copy at 5, 13 or 20 wpm is "high-speed", consider what the US Navy considered a Morse Code receiving test in 1958, in Radioman "A" school:

The test consisted of copying 28 wpm on an all-caps mill (typewriter) - for a solid hour. No fills, no repeats. Maximum number of permissible errors was 3.
And it wasn't plain language - it was 5 character groups.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: ITU Treaty about Code Test  
by K6LHA on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY posted on 20 Dec 08:

"If anyone thinks that one-minute-solid-copy at 5, 13 or 20 wpm is "high-speed", consider what the US Navy considered a Morse Code receiving test in 1958, in Radioman "A" school:"

"The test consisted of copying 28 wpm on an all-caps mill (typewriter) - for a solid hour. No fills, no repeats. Maximum number of permissible errors was 3. And it wasn't plain language - it was 5 character groups."

Must have been really TOUGH for a five-year-old in the Navy then, ey? :-)


Happy Holidays, Len AF6AY
 
ITU treaty  
by N2EY on December 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF posted on 19 Dec 08: "But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000."

AF6AY: "The answer is rather easy: POLITICAL pressure from the League and its supporters. <shrug>"

What "POLITICAL" pressure can the ARRL put on FCC?

The real answer is much simpler: There were NO proposals to reduce the code test speeds or eliminate 13 and/or 20 wpm testing submitted to FCC before 1998.

Anybody can write a proposal to FCC, as evidenced by the many submitted by various parties over the years. Many have resulted in FCC changing the rules, too.

You could have written one or many proposals to FCC about the code test speeds over the years and sent them to FCC. But you didn't.

AF6AY: "Recall the ARRL's position relative to the IARU prior to WRC-03. ARRL was AGAINST the rewrite of International Radio Regulation S25 right up to closely before WRC-03 went into session."

You call 2-1/2 years "closely"? ARRL policy on S25.5 changed in early 2001. The ARRL BoD decided then that they would neither support nor oppose changing the treaty section requiring code tests.

AF6AY: "The IARU was all for changing S25, including the rewrite of the code test portion to be 'administration-optional.' ARRL was against any code test rewrite."

Not after January 2001. That's two-and-a-half years before WRC-2003 started.

AF6AY: "Just before WRC-03 the ARRL took a neutral stance, neither for nor against much of anything to do with testing."

Not "just before", Len. Two and a half years.

AF6AY: "They maintained that neutral position until a year or so after WRC-03, their only deviation being some ambiguous ('safe') statements about 'going with the agreement.'"

I don't think you know what you're talking about there. The ARRL did not oppose the treaty change.

AF6AY: "The 'why' of such positions by the ARRL are conjecture. We cannot believe whole-heartedly that the League is 'always' honest and above-board nor in 'the best interests of USA radio amateurs.'"

Who is "we", Len? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

AF6AY: "Actions of their Proposals following R&O 99-612 betray that."

Which actions, specifically?

AF6AY: "Conjecture is based on several things: Many staff and BoD of the League have Extra class licenses that were granted well before any modern change in USA amateur regulations following the 'incentive plan.' In other words, they had achieved a 20 WPM morse test class with attendant rank, status, privileges, privileges put into regulations by early political action. Those long-time Extras were loathe to give up that rank, status, privilege."

I think you're just making stuff up, now.

AF6AY: "Many expressed the implied or overt opinion that 'ALL should do as they did,' i.e., come up through the ranks by 'working' for them, blah, blah, blah...DO that code test (because they had to)."

Show us some actual quotes to that effect, Len. Don't put words in other people's mouths. You've already misquoted me more than once.

AF6AY:"ARRL survives on monetary input. It is primarily a publisher first, some kind of membership organization second."

You've got that backwards, Len. Membership organization first.

AF6AY: "Core membership is the hardline CW-tested long-timer."

How do you know? I think you're just mad that they don't agree with all of your ideas.

AF6AY: "Those long-timers are at or near retirement and have money at their disposal. They can GIVE to 'defense funds' and 'terrace bricks' plus some who have Grants put at the disposal of the League. They have the money to support things like face-lifts to the Hq building and the famous 'diamond terrace.'"

What's wrong with any of that? What would YOU have them do?

AF6AY: "As of the end of 2007 ARRL membership was 153 thousand (and change) according to their Annual Report. Based on licensee numbers given by ARRL and Hamdata for 30 December 2007, ARRL membership was 23.3% of active licensees (those in their 10-year term) and 21.5% of ALL individual lincesees. Either figure is LESS than a quarter of potential members. Membership numbers put them in the MINORITY category."

So what? No other Amateur Radio organization in the world comes anywhere close. Not even JARL.

AF6AY: "Since there is NO competition from any other national membership organization of radio amateurs down here, the League has a VIRTUAL monopoly on 'amateur radio representation' in the USA. Coupled with its huge specialty-publications product line, the ARRL presents a strong image to the US government. Since the League enjoys professional legal services in the DC area, plus retaining a professional lobbying firm (Chwat & Co.), they can have an immediate voice to lawmakers."

Would you rather ARRL closed up shop and went away?

AF6AY: "ARRL had a stronger voice toward the FCC. But, that influence began to wane following the general US government push to get Internet connections just prior to the comment period of docket 98-143 ('reconstruction'). Think of that as a decade ago. Many things can happen in a decade. The spread and convenience of the Internet enabled more individuals to speak to their government DIRECTLY rather than being filtered through any membership organization."

Individuals have had the ability to do that for at least as long as FCC has existed, Len. The internet just made it easier, by eliminating the paper.

Way back in the early 1960s, US hams sent no less than 10 incentive licensing proposals to FCC in addition to ARRL's. And over 6000 comments. That was back when doing so required paper and the mail service.

There's also the way the restructuring of 1951 came about. The Extra class wasn't ARRL's idea, btw.

AF6AY: "Memorandum Report and Order 99-612, released in December of 1999, did some sweeping rearrangement of license classes, but it was left with the problem of what to do with the existing classes that would NOT be assigned as new in the future (primarily Advanced and Technician-Plus, Novice class had already been declining for years). That was decided in R&O 99-612, reasons given."

And the solution was simple: Novices and Advanceds could renew and modify indefinitely, Tech Pluses would be renewed as Techs.

Old history. What's your point?

AF6AY: "A PRACTICAL solution was to EASE into the changeover by letting everyone's ten-year term run out and then giving those the option of changing classes or just letting them expire."

How would that work, Len?

Everyone already has "the option of changing classes" by taking the required tests to upgrade. Nothing new there.

It sounds as if you are saying that you wanted FCC to not renew any Novice or Advanced licenses, so the licensees would have to either pass new tests or let the licenses go. That's a very bad idea.

There have been several proposals in the past 10-12 years that would have reduced the number of license classes by giving various licensees automatic no-test upgrades, such as upgrading all existing Novices and Tech Pluses to General. In all cases, FCC said no.

It costs FCC almost nothing to let the Novice and Advanced class licenses exist as they do now. Their numbers will eventually fall to zero and then the relevant rules can be removed. Tech Plus will disappear even faster.


AF6AY: "Let's face it, the USA Amateur Extra class is a holdover from the old days and that class is treasured by those who have held it a long time. The Amateur Extra HAD to be kept for political practicality. Had the FCC done away with it, much less renamed it (the 'extra' name carries a lot of emotional baggage), the repercussions would have been AWESOME. [don't even think about it] Nobody in government was going to touch an emotional baggage package like that by eliminating any Extra class."

Why should any license class be eliminated? Do you think Technicians should get full Amateur Radio privileges?

AF6AY: "Now, on a PRACTICAL basis, observing the military model of the early 1950s, there is NO REAL DIFFERENCE in communications operating frequency from HF to microwaves. [I'm not talking use of the ionosphere/propagation]"

Sure there's a difference, Len. In techniques, propagation, and much more.

AF6AY: "Think also that military DC and RF powers are often higher than hobby pursuit radios. As an example of 1953, I routinely handled 10 to 15 KW HF transmitter operation from Day One of my first assignment in the US Army...later (when equipment arrived) up to 40 KW."

I don't think you're telling the whole story, Len.

For one thing, when you say "first assignment", what you really mean is "first assignment after X months of formal training in the field of Army communications". You didn't just walk in off the street and start "handling" high power transmitters.

For another, in that assignment you were part of a TEAM that included much more experienced personnel, who assigned the tasks and made sure you did them right. You weren't on your own from Day One, not by a long shot.

Your TEAM had access to the necessary resources in the form of tools, test equipment, spare parts, manuals, etc. They had established methods and division of function. For example, you worked at the transmitter site, right? Receiving was done by others, as were many of the operational decisions, such as what frequency to use.

And that's how it should be done in such cases. That's why there were several hundred people working at that installation.

But the typical radio amateur isn't in that environment. The typical radio amateur is often completely on his/her own, technically, operationally, educationally and even financially.

Different situation means different rules.

AF6AY: "There was NO time in amateur radio when such power levels were allowed in USA amateur radio operation, any frequency."

Actually, there was. Before 1912, US amateurs didn't have a power limit. Of course there were a lot fewer amateurs then. But some ran pretty high power, and weren't too happy when they had to cut back to 1 kW.

However, the power issue is a red herring. Above a certain level, the principles and practices are essentially the same. A 250 watt transmitter can kill you just as easily as a 25 kW one. In fact, the lower-power one can be MORE dangerous, because higher-power transmitters tend to have more interlocks and safety features.

AF6AY: "The SEPARATE class distinction of 'Extra' was almost entirely due to a licensee's ability to operate with OOK CW telegraphy."

No, that's just not true.

The Extra has ALWAYS required an additional WRITTEN test. That test was above and beyond even the Advanced written. It wasn't and isn't trivial.

AF6AY: "Once the FCC dropped all equivalent 20 WPM telegraphy rate testing with R&O 99-612 to 5 WPM, that individual 'brag tape' broke for long-time extras."

What the heck are you talking about, Len? "Brag tape"?

I think you're just jealous of those who have been hams a long time, and didn't let the requirements stop them - whatever the requirements were.

Let's cut to the chase.

It sounds as if what you think the FCC should do is to
just give all existing US amateurs full privileges and have only one amateur radio license class. And it sounds as if you think that the existing 35 question Technician written exam is all the testing that should be required - if even that much.

Is that the case? If so, be a man and say so clearly. Stop beating around the bush with all the little insults, conjectures and outright falsehoods.

If you want something else, what EXACTLY do you think the license structure and the testing should be?

My guess is that you won't give a straight answer to those questions.

Enough of your ranting. Have a good holiday - get back to reality, too.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: ITU treaty  
by SM0AOM on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"Prior to 1927, international treaty did not require amateurs to be Morse Code tested - because there was no international treaty about amateur radio! Each country had the option of licensing amateurs, usually as "private stations". Some countries were very hostile to the idea of amateur radio, most were sort-of neutral, a few supported the idea somewhat.

But through the efforts of folks like K.B.Warner, H.P. Maxim, Mrs. Maxim and some others, Amateur Radio gained international treaty status in 1927. This was the result of much work from about 1920 onwards, and improved the chances that Amateur Radio would survive long-term.

The 1927 treaty defined amateur radio as a separate radio service, distinct from all others. The treaty set aside specific and exclusive bands for amateur radio and required that all amateur operators and stations be licensed by their respective countries and set up other rules.

The 1927 treaty specifically required that all amateur radio operators demonstrate the ability to "send by hand and receive by ear, messages in Morse Code". (This is universally understood to mean that the operator must demonstrate the skill, not that things like flashing lights or foot keys cannot be used by the physically impaired).

No speed was ever specified, nor any specific test format. No number of amateur license classes was specified either. All those details were left up to the signatory countries. But it was generally agreed that 5 wpm was about the absolute minimum that could be considered as meeting the treaty requirement.

In the late 1940s (1947 IIRC), an exception was added: If a country were to issue amateur radio licenses whose frequency privileges only included frequencies above 1000 Mc. (they used megacycles in those days), those licensees didn't need to be code tested. Over the years the frequency limit was lowered, until it finally came to be 30 MHz.

But from 1927 to 2003, the treaty required a Morse Code test for amateur licenses with privileges below 30 MHz."

I have researched the history of the Morse code requirement for a magazine article written a few years ago.

It is correct that no international formal requirement existed prior to the 1927 Washington Radiotelegraph conference. The Morse requirement came out of a "diplomatic horse-trade" that was made between the USA and representatives for several European administrations. An obligatory Morse test (advocated by the FRC) was traded against international legal recogition of amateur radio (opposed by many European administrations).

In the 1927 regulations tests of all radio amateurs became compulsory, and usually the Morse speeds were in the 10 - 12 WPM range.

These conditions prevailed until the 1938 Cairo conference, where it was decided that examinations of technical and regulatory knowledge should be instated.

However, WW2 came into the way of amateur radio developments, and after the war the regulators had a quite different view of radio amateurs. They were not any more considered as mere hobbyists, but more as "national assets" where their knowledge of radio technique and operating would be useful for the armed forces in a future war.

To quote a Swedish regulator in 1946:
"[the purpose of amateur radio] is to create a corps of trained radio operators and technicians, which without any costs to the State budget build and maintain their skills"

Different "Incentive Licensing" schemes came out of this reasoning. Most of them had entry-level licenses where a low Morse speed and an elementary theory examination was prescribed corresponding to very limited operating privileges. The highest license class examinations usually corresponded loosely with the requirements for "entry-level" professional licenses.

This continued almost unchanged into the late 80's, where the use of Morse both in civilian and military circles rapidly diminished (practically speaking; civilian Morse died with the introduction of the GMDSS, and military with the precursors of "Network Centric Warfare").

The regulators responded to these changes, and with the "writing on the wall" of telecommunications deregulation,their interest of detail regulation of amateur radio and associated testing regimes vanished rapidly.

Many European administrations deregulated amateur radio by varying degrees in the 2001-2004 timespan.

Today's sole bastion of detail regulation seems to be the FCC, where the current amateur regulations contain 19893 words in 935 paragraphs filling 35 pages.

On the other side the Swedish amateur radio regulations (probably the least detailed in the world) are 328 words in 49 paragraphs (or lines) and fit in 3/4 of an A4 page.

The optimal size is probably somewhere in between.

73/

Karl-Arne
SM0AOM
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RADIO123US (Yet another person who shall not be named) wrote: "I knew it was just a matter of time before the anti-code wackos would start trying to eliminate ALL testing.... Keith, eliminating all testing barriers has been tried...it's called the Citizens Band Radio Service...and you can see how that ended up.....
---------------------

Oh, horsepucky!

This is nothing more than the same "sky is falling", "we're turning into nothing more than CB" panicked blather from yet another member of that same group of elitist snobs who remain royally peeved that newcomers to our Service today don't (and won't) have to endure the same, stupid "hazing rituals" that they all did.

The truth is that, unless and until the ITU's Radio Regulations are changed by a consensus of the US and many other countries in the world, the FCC has NO CHOICE but to follow the those regulations for the Amateur Service in the matter.

And those regulations leave no doubt that Amateurs are to be both tested AND licensed before being granted access to our bands.

As I've said in other posts, the ITU is an international treaty organization set up and operated under the auspices of the United Nations. And the Radio Regulations they promulgate have the force of law in the United States because the United States is a signatory to the treaties agreed to by that convention.

Let me emphasize that this is NOT simply about what's contained in Part 97 (or any other FCC regulation for that matter). These are the INTERNATIONAL Radio Regulations that form the basis and purpose for our Service internationally. The FCC draws its authority to regulate us via Part 97 from those ITU Radio Regulations.

Specifically, Article 25.6 (part of the Article that establishes the Amateur Service internationally) of the Radio Regulations clearly states that: "Administrations (i.e. counties) shall verify the operational and technical qualifications of any person wishing to operate an Amateur station. Guidance for standards of competence may be found in the most recent version of Recommendation ITU-R-M.1544."

What's more, the recommendation cited in the Article (ITU-R-M.1544) says, among other things, "…that any person seeking a license to operate an Amateur station should demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of the Radio Regulations (both international and domestic); Methods of radio communication (including radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, as well as data and image); Radio system theory (including transmitters, receivers, antennas and propagation and measurements); as well as Radio emission theory, electromagnetic compatibility and the avoidance and resolution of radio frequency interference."

The words "shall verify the operational and technical qualifications of" as well as "demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of" in these documents sure sounds like it necessitates SOME form of "testing" to me. What's more, the words "any person seeking a license to operate" also sounds like the ITU intends for us to be licensed.

In addition, the provision of Article 25 that (finally!) dropped the Morse testing requirement also discusses licensing by stating, "Administrations shall determine whether or not a person seeking a license to operate an amateur station shall demonstrate the ability to send and receive texts in Morse code signals". Note again the word "license" in that provision.

In fact, there should be no doubt that, even from a casual reading of the ITU's Radio Regulations for our Service (and the recommendations they promulgate), that the ITU clearly intends for Amateurs to be both tested for their competency in the listed aspects of the Radio art, as well as for us to be licensed.

Now, nowhere in any of the ITU documents does it specify to WHAT LEVEL prospective amateurs are to be tested before they are licensed. That issue is a whole other ballgame.

However, I encourage you and others here not to take my word for it. I suggest you read this information for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Article 25 of the Radio Regulations can be found at:

[url]http://life.itu.int/radioclub/rr/art25.htm[/url].

There's also an internal link contained in the words for Article 25.6 that will take you to the recommendations.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
License Requirements and the ITU Treaty  
by N2EY on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RADIO123US: "eliminating all testing barriers has been tried...it's called the Citizens Band Radio Service...and you can see how that ended up....."

KB1SF: "Oh, horsepucky!

This is nothing more than the same "sky is falling", "we're turning into nothing more than CB" panicked blather from yet another member of that same group of elitist snobs who remain royally peeved that newcomers to our Service today don't (and won't) have to endure the same, stupid "hazing rituals" that they all did."

NO. That's not what it is.

The Citizens' Radio Service was created by FCC with the expectation that its users would follow FCC regulations. And for a couple of years after its creation, that service was fairly well behaved.

But by the late 1960s, the FCC had begun to lose control of cb. By the early 1970s, it was a rare cb user who followed FCC rules. We're not talking about small techical violations, nor a small number of violators, but rather a whole culture of ignoring even the most basic rules such as identification, power limits, and staying within the assigned channels.

Is that what you want Amateur Radio to become?

KB1SF: "The truth is that, unless and until the ITU's Radio Regulations are changed by a consensus of the US and many other countries in the world, the FCC has NO CHOICE but to follow the those regulations for the Amateur Service in the matter.

And those regulations leave no doubt that Amateurs are to be both tested AND licensed before being granted access to our bands."

Sure - but what level of testing?

KB1SF: "As I've said in other posts, the ITU is an international treaty organization set up and operated under the auspices of the United Nations. And the Radio Regulations they promulgate have the force of law in the United States because the United States is a signatory to the treaties agreed to by that convention."

But they are very nonspecific. And in many cases only recommendations.

KB1SF: "Let me emphasize that this is NOT simply about what's contained in Part 97 (or any other FCC regulation for that matter). These are the INTERNATIONAL Radio Regulations that form the basis and purpose for our Service internationally."

No, that's not exactly right.

KB1SF: "The FCC draws its authority to regulate us via Part 97 from those ITU Radio Regulations."

No, that's not right at all.

What the ITU treaty does for amateur radio is to set up a basic framework that all signatory countries agree to. It sets MINIMUMS, nothing more, and bars other services from doing things like using frequencies the treaty sets aside for exclusively-amateur use.

But each country is left to its own judgement when it comes to setting standards, levels of testing, etc., as long as ITU MINIMUMS are met. If a country wants a dozen license classes, Morse Code testing, power levels of tens of kilowatts and much more, ITU allows it.

KB1SF: "Specifically, Article 25.6 (part of the Article that establishes the Amateur Service internationally) of the Radio Regulations clearly states that: "Administrations (i.e. counties) shall verify the operational and technical qualifications of any person wishing to operate an Amateur station. Guidance for standards of competence may be found in the most recent version of Recommendation ITU-R-M.1544."

What's more, the recommendation cited in the Article (ITU-R-M.1544) says, among other things, "…that any person seeking a license to operate an Amateur station should demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of the Radio Regulations (both international and domestic); Methods of radio communication (including radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, as well as data and image); Radio system theory (including transmitters, receivers, antennas and propagation and measurements); as well as Radio emission theory, electromagnetic compatibility and the avoidance and resolution of radio frequency interference."

The words "shall verify the operational and technical qualifications of" as well as "demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of" in these documents sure sounds like it necessitates SOME form of "testing" to me. What's more, the words "any person seeking a license to operate" also sounds like the ITU intends for us to be licensed."

But it doesn't set any standards that absolutely MUST be met. That's the point - the tests can be reduced to a trivial level and still meet the letter of the requirements.

KB1SF: "In addition, the provision of Article 25 that (finally!) dropped the Morse testing requirement also discusses licensing by stating, "Administrations shall determine whether or not a person seeking a license to operate an amateur station shall demonstrate the ability to send and receive texts in Morse code signals". Note again the word "license" in that provision."

Note that the Morse Code test provision wasn't eliminated; it was just left up to the individual countries.

KB1SF: "Now, nowhere in any of the ITU documents does it specify to WHAT LEVEL prospective amateurs are to be tested before they are licensed. That issue is a whole other ballgame."

It's the whole ballgame.

Look at the "Amateur Radio In The 21st Century" article, and the second NCVEC proposal (RM10870).

Do you think the proposed "Communicator" license meets the ITU requirements?

Does ANYONE think it was a good idea?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
1927  
by N2EY on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
SM0AOM writes: "The Morse requirement came out of a "diplomatic horse-trade" that was made between the USA and representatives for several European administrations. An obligatory Morse test (advocated by the FRC) was traded against international legal recogition of amateur radio (opposed by many European administrations)."

I've read that story too, and while I have no doubt that it happened, it seems that we amateurs got the better end of the deal.

In those days, some kind of Morse Code testing of radio amateurs was already in place in all of the countries I know which allowed amateur radio then. So it wasn't really anything new.

But what amateurs got in return - international recognition by treaty - was invaluable.

The BIG cost to US amateurs came in a different way: width of various bands and transmitter requirements. The new regulations, which went into effect in 1929, drastically reduced the width of certain bands (40 meters went from 7000-8000 kc. to 7000-7300 kc.; 20 meters went from 14000-16000 kc. to 14000-14400 kc. for just two examples.) Amateur signals had to be much cleaner and narrow; no more raw AC or unfiltered DC power supplies on most bands, for example. Most (but not all) pre-1929 amateur transmitters had to be modified or completely rebuilt to meet the new standards.

SM0AOM: "In the 1927 regulations tests of all radio amateurs became compulsory, and usually the Morse speeds were in the 10 - 12 WPM range.

These conditions prevailed until the 1938 Cairo conference, where it was decided that examinations of technical and regulatory knowledge should be instated."

Again, in most cases the signatory countries such as the USA were already doing these things, so they were not a big issue.

SM0AOM: "However, WW2 came into the way of amateur radio developments, and after the war the regulators had a quite different view of radio amateurs. They were not any more considered as mere hobbyists, but more as "national assets" where their knowledge of radio technique and operating would be useful for the armed forces in a future war."

I disagree somewhat!

I think that in most countries that did not favor amateur radio, the attitude wasn't that amateurs were "hobbyists", but rather that they were a nuisance. Some governments simply did not want average citizens to have access to the new technology of radio.

One reason was that they feared competition and/or interference to state-run or commercial radio, telephone and telegraph operations. Another was the possible use of radio for political purposes other than those approved by the government in power. Still another was the fear that amateurs might discover or develop something new and important that the professionals and academics had overlooked, such as amateurs had done with the long-distance possibilities of "short-wave" radio in the early 1920s.

Other countries, such as the USA and Canada, recognized amateurs as a natural resource from their experiences in WW1 and the 1920s. WW2 only reinforced their views.

SM0AOM: "To quote a Swedish regulator in 1946:
"[the purpose of amateur radio] is to create a corps of trained radio operators and technicians, which without any costs to the State budget build and maintain their skills"

Nowhere in there does the word "hobby" appear. Nor in the ITU treaty nor in Part 97.

SM0AOM: "Different "Incentive Licensing" schemes came out of this reasoning. Most of them had entry-level licenses where a low Morse speed and an elementary theory examination was prescribed corresponding to very limited operating privileges. The highest license class examinations usually corresponded loosely with the requirements for "entry-level" professional licenses."

And again, some countries had adopted such structures even before WW2. The USA "ABC" structure was one example.

IMHO, the real reason for various "incentive licensing" proposals was to make amateur radio more accessible to more people, without losing its essential character, quality and standards.

In a system with one license class, every amateur has to meet the standards of that license class in one go. In an incentive-licensing system, people can get started without having to meet all the standards, then work their way up, learning-by-doing as they go. It's a good idea, and it works.

SM0AOM: "This continued almost unchanged into the late 80's, where the use of Morse both in civilian and military circles rapidly diminished (practically speaking; civilian Morse died with the introduction of the GMDSS, and military with the precursors of "Network Centric Warfare").

The regulators responded to these changes, and with the "writing on the wall" of telecommunications deregulation,their interest of detail regulation of amateur radio and associated testing regimes vanished rapidly.

Many European administrations deregulated amateur radio by varying degrees in the 2001-2004 timespan."

Worldwide, however, the situation looks rather different. Japan, for example, with a very large amateur population, still has 4 license classes.

SM0AOM: "Today's sole bastion of detail regulation seems to be the FCC, where the current amateur regulations contain 19893 words in 935 paragraphs filling 35 pages.

On the other side the Swedish amateur radio regulations (probably the least detailed in the world) are 328 words in 49 paragraphs (or lines) and fit in 3/4 of an A4 page."

I suspect that the more telling comparison is how the various regulations for amateur radio compare to the same country's regulations for other kinds of radio.

There's also the question of how many amateurs each country has, and their diversity. The USA has a very diverse population, and over 660,000 amateurs, so regulations that are perfectly adequate in some other countries would be completely inadequate in the USA.

What the regulated folks want is also a big issue. Here in the USA, various proposals to regulate by signal bandwidth rather than mode, or to simply allow practically any mode practically anywhere, have been submitted to FCC in the past few years. In both cases the opposition to the proposals in comments to FCC was overwhelming; those who bothered to comment simply said NO in a loud and clear voice, for a variety of reasons. The NO was so loud and clear that the proposers removed their proposals from consideration because they knew they had no chance.

The real question, which is usually avoided because it's so complex and so contentious, is what the requirements for a 21st century amateur license should be.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Manly Man ITU treaties  
by K6LHA on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY tried to start a fire on 20 Dec 08 with:

KB1SF posted on 19 Dec 08: "But that still begs the question as to why the FCC maintained a hierarchy of 5, 13 and 20 WPM Morse tests for our Service right up until the year 2000."

AF6AY: "The answer is rather easy: POLITICAL pressure from the League and its supporters. <shrug>"

N2EY: "What "POLITICAL" pressure can the ARRL put on FCC?"

Two direct means: A law firm and a lobbyist firm in the DC area; ARRL has had them for many years. How often must I repeat that public information before you accept it?
................
N2EY: "Anybody can write a proposal to FCC, as evidenced by the many submitted by various parties over the years. Many have resulted in FCC changing the rules, too."

Tsk, tsk. Petitions (what you should have said) are RELEASED for commentary if and when the FCC decides to release them.

N2EY: "You could have written one or many proposals to FCC about the code test speeds over the years and sent them to FCC. But you didn't."

How do you know? :-) Did you read ALL the in-boxes at the FCC? :-)

Why haven't we seen any Petitions written by James Miccolis, N2EY? Hmmm? Rhetorical question. Jimmy will come back with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" or some other ambiguous statement. You have YOURS, ergo nothing needs to be changed. #$%@!!! everyone else.
............
N2EY: "I don't think you know what you're talking about there. The ARRL did not oppose the treaty change."

Tsk, tsk again. It was quite clear to anyone bothering to READ what the ARRL wrote elsewhere BEFORE WRC-03. Away from the obvious spin doctoring they do on THEIR website, in THEIR publications. ARRL controls ALL of what the ARRL publishes.
.............
N2EY: "I think you're just making stuff up, now."

Hardly. But one can't argue with a bigot. :-)
..............
AF6AY:"ARRL survives on monetary input. It is primarily a publisher first, some kind of membership organization second."

"You've got that backwards, Len. Membership organization first."

Nothing at all 'backwards.' The ARRL was a membership organization in 1927.

That was 81 years ago. You've MISSED all the pleas for money, money, money into the League in the last decade. Did you buy a brick in their 'terrace?' Give the League a grant of money? Buy every book they publish?
.............
N2EY: "... No other Amateur Radio organization in the world comes anywhere close [to the ARRL]. Not even JARL."

Sigh...'bigger is better?' 'Made in the USA (is better)?' <shrug>

Are you 'better' because you are a white male American?
.............
N2EY: "Way back in the early 1960s, US hams sent no less than 10 incentive licensing proposals to FCC in addition to ARRL's. And over 6000 comments. That was back when doing so required paper and the mail service."

That was over 40 years ago, Jimmy. 40 years is a long time. FCC staff of then have either retired, left, or just died. Its a whole new staff there at the FCC compared to the 1960s. <shrug>
.............
N2EY: "Old history. What's your point?"

What is yours? :-) YOU are the one who resolutely sticks to OLD history. :-)

1912 was 96 years ago. 1927 was 81 years ago. 1960 was 48 years ago. This is the year 2008 in the first decade of the new millennium. Try joining the rest of us living in the reality of now.
.............
N2EY: "It sounds as if you are saying that you wanted FCC to not renew any Novice or Advanced licenses, so the licensees would have to either pass new tests or let the licenses go. That's a very bad idea."

Now YOU are definitely putting words I DID NOT STATE/WRITE in here. Don't do that Jimmy. It makes you look more antagonistic than you already are to anything new.

It IS a clever ploy to make another look 'bad.' Just INVENT "what they 'really' meant," then make bad noises about that INVENTION (of yours). You do a lot of INVENTION that way. Too bad the Patent Office doesn't grant those INVENTIONS.
...............
N2EY: "Why should any license class be eliminated?"

Ask the FCC. They've ELIMINATED many licenses and regulations.

Do you have a problem with elimination? Try a laxative.
.............
AF6AY: "Now, on a PRACTICAL basis, observing the military model of the early

1950s, there is NO REAL DIFFERENCE in communications operating frequency from HF to microwaves. [I'm not talking use of the ionosphere/propagation]"

N2EY: "Sure there's a difference, Len. In techniques, propagation, and much more."

To use 'jimmy-speak,' SHOW US WHERE BASED ON YOUR EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER RADIO SERVICES, especially using MILITARY RADIO. :-)
..............
N2EY: "I don't think you're telling the whole story, Len."

The 'whole story' was explained in the first article and covered only the first 13 days after the cessation of all USA amateur radio telegraphy testing. Just how long did YOU want it? Why didn't YOU write something about that? You FAILED to write anything definite about it. :-)
.............
N2EY: ... You didn't just walk in off the street and start "handling" high power transmitters."

Well, Jimmy, YOU tell US what it was like. YOU seem to have such experience in military radio, don't you? Imagine, a 5-year-old copying CW on an "all-caps 'mill'" in the USN...in 1958, then telling ALL ABOUT IT. <shrug>
.............
N2EY: "But the typical radio amateur isn't in that environment."

So, higher-power tube transmitters won't kill operators who make mistakes if they are licensed radio amateurs?

USA radio amateurs are NOT REQUIRED to ALSO be able to "close with the enemy and destroy them." [except in their wildest fantasies]
..............
N2EY: "Before 1912, US amateurs didn't have a power limit."

The FCC was created in 1934 by an act of Congress. That was 74 years ago. 1912 was 96 years ago. Regulations of the first USA radio regulating agency DO NOT APPLY today. Try to remember that.
...............
N2EY: "Above a certain level, the principles and practices are essentially the same. A 250 watt transmitter can kill you just as easily as a 25 kW one."

How many 25 KW transmitters has Jimmy operated? 10 KW? 40 KW? 4 KW PEP?

Has Jimmy ever been killed by an amateur transmitter? :-)
..............
N2EY: "I think you're just jealous of those who have been hams a long time, and didn't let the requirements stop them - whatever the requirements were."

Oh, my, Jimmy is IMAGINING things again. Tsk, tsk. I first operated an HF transmitter (1 KW BC-339) in early 1953. That was 55 years ago. One of 36 transmitters at the same station. As a soldier. No imagination. Hands-on operation.

At that point in time (early 1953) you were 'preparing' to be born. :-)

IMHO, I think YOU are envious of my Army assignment. Since you NEVER served in any military branch (or even as a civilian for the US government) you never had such an opportunity. See the download:

http://sujan.hallikainen.org/BroadcastHistory/uploads/My3Years.pdf
..............
N2EY: "If so, be a man and say so clearly. Stop beating around the bush with all the little insults, conjectures and outright falsehoods."

"BE A MAN?" What..."manliness" is measured by getting an amateur radio license?!? "Manliness" is defined by being able to send and receive radiotelegraphy? Do you think that the old one-page Charles Atlas ads should be copied by the ARRL to recreuit MANLY men to amateur radio?

Perhaps Jimmy ought to require that all amateur license applicants present an M.D.-approved sperm count certificate to get a MANLY man ham license?
...............
N2EY: "Enough of your ranting. Have a good holiday - get back to reality, too."

I've lived IN reality for 76 years. Reality is sometimes tough. I've been 'manly' enough for two wives (God took the first one too early) and to the government of the United States of America. I've put my LIFE on the line for my country in their defense. You have tried (unsuccessfully) to make fun of my volunteer military service...all because I never used OOK CW radiotelegraphy. I really don't wish you any joy this holiday season. Not even as a courtesy anymore. You just popped out one too many insults. You've hit the UNreality button with the crack about your fantasy of "manliness." You don't even rate a lump of carbon in your Christmas stocking.

To borrow a Keith Olberman schtick and his "Worst Person in the World,"

WORST regards, Len AF6AY
 
RE: ITU treaty  
by K6LHA on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
SM0AOM posted on 21 Dec 08:

"...Many European administrations deregulated amateur radio by varying degrees in the 2001-2004 timespan."

"Today's sole bastion of detail regulation seems to be the FCC, where the current amateur regulations contain 19893 words in 935 paragraphs filling 35 pages."

"On the other side the Swedish amateur radio regulations (probably the least detailed in the world) are 328 words in 49 paragraphs (or lines) and fit in 3/4 of an A4 page."

"The optimal size is probably somewhere in between."
-------------
Hej, Karl-Arne, thank you for a refreshing look outside of USA borders. :-)

Sad to say, the rest of the amateur radio world has little bearing on the over-bearing white male American long-time amateur radio licensees who think they are the 'best.' USA amateur radio regulations cannot ever be too large or too complicated to show their greatness to the rest of the world. :-(

In my article I tried to point out something about the revolution in USA amateur radio regulations, the ending of all code testing. It was that the attitude of so many in USA amateur radio has 'turned off' many a prospective amateur radio licensee. There were NO great crowds of prospective amateurs desiring to enter USA amateur radio. Two-thirds of all activity in the first two weeks following 23 Feb 07 were class changes by the already-licensed.

What was surprising was that so many of the long-time USA amateur radio licensees thought that newcomers would be eager, rushing to get their own license as they did once long ago. Those long-timers have been frozen too long in their own concepts of amateur radio, could not accept CHANGE in anything. Too many live in a fantasy of their own making. To them the hobby has taken on the aspect of Life Itself and they want to escape reality into that fairyland existance.

In the USA, newcomers have been barely overtaking license expirations for the last 21 months. Had the code test been kept, the trend was clear that expirations would be greater...overall license numbers here would have continued to drop from their peak in July, 2003.

The number of rationalizations about that lack of interest by newcomers seen in forums has been great. Nearly all are EXCUSES which emphasize the greatness of the long-timer and newcomers with their 'faults' of not believing long-ago fantasies of long-timers. Fantasies of the past are emphasized by the surviving national organization for amateur radio in the USA...at the expense of little encouragement by them to newcomers.

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by KB1SF on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Len (AFA6AY) wrote: "By the end of ALL code testing, there was NO real distinguishing test between Extra and General and Technician OTHER than the existing man-made regulatory frequency allocations...with Extra the 'elite' group allowed to operate anywhere in frequency, General in the 'middle of the bus' and Technicians in the BIG 'back of the bus."

-----------------------

And therein lies the crux of the issue, Len.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that, right now, the ONLY thing our current testing structure truly measures is how well people can pass multiple-choice tests.

So, with that thought in mind, would someone please now explain to us how the knowledge and skills that are required to memorize answers to largely irrelevant questions on our Extra Class exam DIRECTLY relate to being able to safely and courteously operate in the last few KHz of our HF Bands?

Likewise, how does taking and successfully passing a 50 question exam over largely unrelated technical material help insure that Extra Class applicants can successfully fill out an application for a so-called "exclusive" call sign?

Yet, under our arcane FCC "incentive licensing" farce, those are the ONLY TWO added operational privileges an Extra Class license has EVER granted to those who successfully complete such tests.

Len is absolutely correct. Clearly, since the late 1960s, ALL the examination system for our Service has EVER done (particularly when Morse tests were still in the mix) has been to place needless and largely irrelevant barriers in front of people who, for one reason or another, simply CANNOT memorize enough information to pass such tests.

As a direct result of that fact, the entire, taxpayer-supported, federally administered testing structure for our licensing system has now become completely invalid. And, because it has become completely invalid, that also makes it illegal under a whole plethora of US equal access laws.

Our tests are invalid bacause they DO NOT MEASURE what they are supposed to measure…our fitness to operate our stations safely and courteously. Rather, all our tests REALLY do right now is to help keep "their kind" out. Which, judging from the wealth of "sky is falling" comments being posted by the "Morse testing and incentive licensing forever" Luddites in threads like these, is what they (and, apparently FAR too many others like them) would love dearly to see continued indefinitely.

And the "we're doing it for education" argument simply doesn't wash, either. That's because the international definition of our Service says absolutely NOTHING about "education".

Rather, according to the ITU's definition, ours is to supposed to simply be "A radiocommunication service for the purpose of SELF TRAINING (emphasis mine), intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."

The concept of "self training" implies a life-long process of learning aimed at specific knowledges and skills. Yet, FAR too many of us in the United States still blindly insist that the "final exams" for all that training must, by government decree, be placed at the beginning of the learning process rather than at the end.

I don t know about the rest of you, but a large part of the things I have learned from Amateur Radio over the years have NOT come from cramming for some stupid FCC exam. Rather, most of my "education" in our hobby has come from my own, post-examination tinkering and experimentation. Thankfully, at least some of that learning has also come while under the wonderful guidance of one or more "Elmers" that I was fortunate enough to have found along the way.

And if we were truly honest with ourselves, I believe most of us would also agree that, with the possible exception of high power operation, there are precious few things that we as Hams can do these days to seriously (or permanently) do harm to others or ourselves while operating our stations.

So why do many of us continue to blindly insist that our regulators adhere to needlessly comprehensive and ever-more irrelevant achievement-based "standards" for our higher classes of licenses that are clearly absent from the international basis and purpose of our Service? Why do we absolutely insist that our testing structure remain permanently stuck in an era when EVERYONE had no other choice but to design and build all their own equipment "from scratch"?

I say, let’s get our newcomers in the door FIRST. That means, after a brief, but still relatively comprehensive test to make sure they won't become a hazard or a nuisance to themselves or others, then let's the rest of us step up to the plate to help them get started learning about all that our wonderful hobby has to offer...while also letting them have some fun along the way.

Furthermore, those that want to accept the challenge of "self-training" about what we do will certainly seek out those opportunities ON THEIR OWN. And, conversely, those that don't… won't. And if someone chooses NOT to take us up on that offer…what right do any of us have to judge the choices others may make to learn or not to learn?

This also means that, rather sitting on the sidelines and looking down our elitist noses at those who don't (yet) have that wealth of knowledge that we've been fortunate enough to pick up along the way, WE now need to get up off our collective finals and start looking for innovative ways to share our learning with these newcomers by creating both structured and unstructured learning opportunities for them from WITHIN our Service.

That is, we need to now STOP obsessively demanding that "big brother" FCC continue being solely responsible for creating learning opportunities and for setting the standards of excellence in our Service. By any measure, the FCC started abrogating that responsibility DECADES ago when they decided to turn over all examination functions to we Hams.

Unfortunately, right now, and in the absence of more formally structured alternative learning opportunities from within, I believe our 1960s-era licensing system sends the entirely WRONG message to newcomers that, once they have passed their Extra Class license exam, then, by definition, all learning will come to a screeching, grinding halt.

The bottom line here is that, just like with our horrifically arcane education system, forcing EVERYONE to blindly adhere in lock step to that same totally arcane FCC "rote memorization" farce that most of us went through in the name of "learning", is what's ALSO now conspiring to kill our wonderful hobby.


73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
IHOP  
by PLANKEYE on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Dude, you flip flop more than a Pancake!!


PLANKYE
 
Too Windy  
by LOVEHANDLES on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Some of these posts are just too long to read. Your timing out the repeater.
 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by RADIO123US on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF said "That is, we need to now STOP obsessively demanding that "big brother" FCC continue being solely responsible for creating learning opportunities and for setting the standards of excellence in our Service. "

Keith, as we pointed out earlier, the FCC tried to let the radio operators in the Citizen Band Radio Service set their own standard, and you can see what happened....what's happened is you've let your New England far-left liberal bias get in the way of your thinking....you want a single test and license so that everyone can be "equal".....if they do this, then where is the incentive to better yourself? Liberalism (a nice term for socialism) tends to want to make everyone equal...which eliminates any incentive to excel at whatever your do....why should someone work twice as hard if the government is going to take the extra money and give it to someone else ???....this works in Amateur Radio as well....why should a person do any extra work if all they get are the same privileges as someone who just wants to "get by" and does the minimum amount of work ??? Keith, you seriously need to re-examine your thinking here...your BIAS is showing....
 
No, that's not being liberal!  
by N2EY on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RADIO123US writes: "FCC tried to let the radio operators in the Citizen Band Radio Service set their own standard, and you can see what happened."

I disagree a little. But you've got the general idea.

FCC set up CB with some very basic standards. But without personal investment and responsibility, that service soon became a mess. Even simple things like IDing went by the wayside.

RADIO123US: "...what's happened is you've let your New England far-left liberal bias get in the way of your thinking....you want a single test and license so that everyone can be "equal".....if they do this, then where is the incentive to better yourself?"

That all depends on what the single license class is. For example, if the single license class were the Extra, we'd have an ARS of all Extras. But that would mean all new hams would have to learn the whole syllabus just to get on the air. That's not good for those who don't have a half-century or so of experience...particularly the young folks, who may not even be in high school yet.

OTOH, if the standards are lowered so the one class is something less than Extra, then you're right.

RADIO123US: "Liberalism (a nice term for socialism) tends to want to make everyone equal"

No, that's not true. Or rather, that's not what real liberals want.

The goal isn't for everyone to be equal in every way, because we're all different. Rather, the goal is equal *opportunity*. Not equal result. It means everyone has the same chance.

In amateur radio we've had that equal-opportunity situation for decades. The tests and licenses are open to all, regardless of age, gender, creed, etc. They are objective tests, not subjective ones. There's no quota, no bias. Pass the tests and you get the license. That's as "liberal" as it gets.

IMHO, labels like "liberal" and "conservative" have pretty much lost their original meanings, and now mean very little in an objective sense. The bigger question is "what are the consequences of a particular action"?

In the case of license tests and classes, the consequences of minimal testing, as was done in cb, are pretty obvious.

Here's another fun fact:

When FCC enacted the changes of 1968 and 1969, there were those who said it would be the death of US amateur radio. All the bad things KB1SF describes were predicted.

Yet what really happened is that the number of US hams grew much faster in the 1970s than in the 1960s, both in total numbers and percentage, even though the path to a full-privileges license had been made longer. This happened even though FCC made the exams and gave most of the tests, the paperwork was more involved and just getting to an exam session was more difficult.

Now, if having multiple license classes and tests (including code tests) is so bad, why was there so much growth back then? It's not like ham gear was cheap back then; adjusted for inflation it cost a lot more than now. It's not like there were no alternatives; cb was big, TV, telephones and stereos were everywhere.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: Discard the stale bread.  
by K6LHA on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF posted on 21 Dec 08:

Len (AF6AY) wrote: "By the end of ALL code testing, there was NO real distinguishing test between Extra and General and Technician OTHER than the existing man-made regulatory frequency allocations...with Extra the 'elite' group allowed to operate anywhere in frequency, General in the 'middle of the bus' and Technicians in the BIG 'back of the bus."
-----------------------
"And therein lies the crux of the issue, Len."

"In fact, I would go so far as to say that, right now, the ONLY thing our current testing structure truly measures is how well people can pass multiple-choice tests."

Perhaps. :-)

I've had a lot of multiple-choice tests in formal classes but they are on a different plane of learning. Multiple-choice tests are easy-scoring, quick-scoring, don't require a lot of interpretation of what a test-taker was trying to write in essay tests. Writing was never a big thing for most English speakers and most can't express themselves correctly.
................
KB1SF: "So, with that thought in mind, would someone please now explain to us how the knowledge and skills that are required to memorize answers to largely irrelevant questions on our Extra Class exam DIRECTLY relate to being able to safely and courteously operate in the last few KHz of our HF Bands?"

That is a problem facing the VEC QPC in the USA. The FCC tossed the problem to them and the VEC accepted it. We citizens of the USA, were forced to accept privatization and the generation of tests by third parties.

Keith, the whole thing about TESTING is huge, interwoven with fantasy, heresay, and self-definition by the long-term mighty manly men of the USA amateur radio service. Note: When privatization of radio operator testing was put into place in the USA, I had NO desire to get any amateur radio license.
...............
KB1SF: "Likewise, how does taking and successfully passing a 50 question exam over largely unrelated technical material help insure that Extra Class applicants can successfully fill out an application for a so-called "exclusive" call sign?"

Its a POLITICAL hold-over from older days in USA amateur radio. Its almost pro forma based on the earlier political lobbying to get all those perquisites showing 'greatness' and 'expertise' in a non-professional (read HOBBY) activity. A top-of-the-food-chain license was a fantastic ego-booster for those who achieve it.

I think we should accept the fact that HOBBY licenses aren't as important to the citizenry of the USA as some professional radio service is to provide services for a larger group of citizens. On the other hand, the number of amateur radio licensees is considerable and most of those ARE US citizens. As an agency of the US federal government, the FCC is obliged to serve its citizenry, all of it.

50 questions might be sufficient for a HOBBY license activity. I had to pass 120 questions just to INTO it. Fifty wouldn't be sufficient (in my estimation) for a PROFESSIONAL radio license. Since the FCC regulates both COLEM and VEC testing requirements, they are in a better position to judge professional versus amateur. To tie this Gordian Knot ever tighter, the technology of ALL radio keeps advancing and it is difficult for the FCC (regulating ALL civil radio in the USA) to keep regulations up-to-date for that. One MUST learn on-the-job in practically every radio service to maintain and operate each. That learning-on-the-job has been necessary in every radio service I've been a part of for the last half-century plus. That's at least 5 different (civilian) radio services plus military communications (that began it for me).

When the Amateur Extra class was first invoked in the USA, a case could be made for the 'necessity' to demonstrate OOK CW manual radiotelegraphy. That 'necessity' evaporated as more and more radio communications services dropped OOK CW. Global maritime emergency frequency of 500 KHz was next to last hold-out for professional radio use of OOK CW skills. The maritime world conceived of GMDSS, implemented it, shifted over to microwave-to-satellite-to-ground-station global distress signalling, dropping the old 500 KHz emergency frequency before 1999. The only thing truly left of OOK CW was amateur radio test requirements and the keyless auto entry ('key fob') transmissions (done at a rate beyond human comprehension but in use daily by millions of unlicensed-in-radio 'civilians').

I grant that the skill of telegraphy is difficult to master for many and that those skilled in it are really skilled. But, in a radio world where it has become increasingly so little desired, so little used, it doesn't make sense to keep it in place forever as a license test requirement. Radio regulations do NOT exist to serve as emotional fodder for a few long-timers who began long ago. Not in the professional radio world, not even in the amateur radio world. ALL must ADAPT.
............
KB1SF: "Yet, under our arcane FCC "incentive licensing" farce, those are the ONLY TWO added operational privileges an Extra Class license has EVER granted to those who successfully complete such tests."

Keith, you left out the most important part: EMOTIONAL GRATIFICATION. Those who made it had it all and could crow incessantly about it; keep renewing it on-time and it is de facto a LIFETIME license, never another test required. :-) They had become BETTER THAN OTHERS and most of those couldn't resist acting like junior high nyah-nyah punks being 'superior.' :-)
..............
KB1SF: "Our tests are invalid bacause they DO NOT MEASURE what they are supposed to measure…our fitness to operate our stations safely and courteously."

Well, for a HOBBY activity I think that the testing done now is sufficient. In the USA we are stuck with privatization of testing for BOTH commercial and amateur radio radio. The entire radio world is now blessed with long-running, reliable, stable, smaller-size radio equipment using less primary power compared to what existed four decades ago. Those radios are far more flexible in operation, offer more modes than then, CAN adapt to new modes as they appear. How does one regulate SDR? The FCC has asked that openly, publicly. The USA has definite regulations on RF exposure; not all countries have that.

Testing for licensing knowledge can't handle individual clumsiness, mistakes, or accidents. If an amateur radio licensee falls off a roof erecting an antenna, no license test can check that. If a TV station remote crew erects an antenna right into existing power lines, that terrible mistake can't be tested for...it is pure stupidity (it happened in Los Angeles). No VEC-administered license test can measure courtesy, can't measure selfishness nor arrogance nor immaturity. Yet we've all been exposed to all three negative attributes in amateur radio forums. :-)
...............
KB1SF: "Rather, according to the ITU's definition, ours is to supposed to simply be "A radiocommunication service for the purpose of SELF TRAINING (emphasis mine), intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."

That's a nice LEGAL and etymological explanation-definition. Ah, but in reality, so many fantasize themselves as being good or better-than professionals! They want the IMAGE of professionalism plus the rank-status-title-privileges attendant. :-)
..............
KB1SF: "The concept of "self training" implies a life-long process of learning aimed at specific knowledges and skills. Yet, FAR too many of us in the United States still blindly insist that the "final exams" for all that training must, by government decree, be placed at the beginning of the learning process rather than at the end."

If you are suggesting that one has to go the Apprentice-Journeyman-Master route of unions or guilds, I'll tell you what to do with your demand and get the hell out of this HOBBY pursuit. I've spent a long time working hard to get professional radio design and operation successful...in an environment where advances in technology happen so often one has to constantly keep up with it all, learn-apply-adapt to changes. If I have to go in all those stages with testing between each one, just to listen to some old geezers complain about their illnesses on HF, I wouldn't bother. That ain't FUN.
..............
KB1SF: "I believe most of us would also agree that, with the possible exception of high power operation, there are precious few things that we as Hams can do these days to seriously (or permanently) do harm to others or ourselves while operating our stations."

Given the present levels of RF radiation for safety of OTHERS, I don't see any sort of threat to those others. But, as I said before, one can't test for stupidity of electrocuting ourselves, falling off roofs or towers (with no safety equipment used), or sticking up a mass of skywire right into a long-existing electrical distribution line.
..............
KB1SF: "...Why do we absolutely insist that our testing structure remain permanently stuck in an era when EVERYONE had no other choice but to design and build all their own equipment "from scratch"?"

Because that gives the long-timers the 'right' to chastise the newbies and make the long-timers seem 'superior.' Its wonderful ego-gratification for the long-timers! It is catharsis for long-timer frustration when they can chew out 'dem stupid newbies.' :-)
...............
KB1SF: "I say, let’s get our newcomers in the door FIRST."

News flash: Many are already IN the door. Long-timers don't want to acknowledge 'corruption' of their fantasy ideals by recognizing they exist.
As of 21 December 2008, 47.1% of all ACTIVE individual licensees were Technician class. That is by far the largest class of amateur licensee in the USA. If anyone actually talks with Technician class licensees (not to chew them out or try to put them down), they would find out they don't care much for the arrogant attitude of so many long-timers.

I don't see the ARRL encouraging those Technician 'newbies' other than trying to get them to buy ARRL publications or ARRL 'upgrade' products. Just from the QST content, the ARRL is still trying to teach Ohm's Law of Resistance to long-time-licensed ARRL members. :-)
.................
KB1SF: "... then let's the rest of us step up to the plate to help them get started learning about all that our wonderful hobby has to offer...while also letting them have some fun along the way."

Doesn't work that way in real life. Newbies MUST BE PUT IN THEIR PLACE, inferior to all long-timers. The Elite can't be bothered. The Elite are inherently 'superior.' They keep saying so.
.............
KB1SF: "Unfortunately, right now, and in the absence of more formally structured alternative learning opportunities from within, I believe our 1960s-era licensing system sends the entirely WRONG message to newcomers that, once they have passed their Extra Class license exam, then, by definition, all learning will come to a screeching, grinding halt."

You got that right. <shrug>
.............
KB1SF: "The bottom line here is that, just like with our horrifically arcane education system, forcing EVERYONE to blindly adhere in lock step to that same totally arcane FCC "rote memorization" farce that most of us went through in the name of "learning", is what's ALSO now conspiring to kill our wonderful hobby."

I disagree partly. Mother Nature will do the 'killing.' Human attrition. If the expiration numbers get higher than newcomer license numbers AGAIN, the trend to the entire amateur radio service is towards mortality. Totals will drop, membership in the ARRL will drop further, fewer designer-manufacturers will bother with the shrinking amateur radio market. Lack of advertising revenue already caused the demise of Ham Radio and 73 magazines. CQ magazine is half the size it used to be. Popular Communications only has a couple columns just for ham radio. [or is it only one column?]

The biggest influence to the amateur radio 'public' is good old ARRL. As a reminder, urban myth had BIG companies "too big to fail." What happened to some really big banks, what might happen soon to GM, Chrysler, maybe Ford. But, the ARRL is so busy being some kind of a 'voice of the sixties' and serving its elite core membership that it can't see the forest for all the excavating machinery parked waiting to raze the trees.

73 and Happy Holidays, Len AF6AY
 
Getting into Amateur Radio  
by N2EY on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes: "50 questions might be sufficient for a HOBBY license activity."

Maybe, Len. But Amateur Radio isn't just a hobby. Nowhere in Part 97 nor in the ITU regulations is that word used.

AF6AY: "I had to pass 120 questions just to INTO it."

Did you mean "just to get INTO it."? (you left out a word).

If so, then:

No, you didn't, Len.

Since April 15, 2000, getting "into" US amateur radio (by earning a license) has only required passing a 35 question test. Passing grade is 74% or better.

Your reference to 120 questions is for full US privileges. Not 'just to get [into] it'

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: No, that's not even being a Real Ham!  
by K6LHA on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY, drifting so very far from the article subject, posted on December 21, 2008:

HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED writes: "FCC tried to let the radio operators in the Citizen Band Radio Service set their own standard, and you can see what happened."

"I disagree a little. But you've got the general idea."

"FCC set up CB with some very basic standards. But without personal investment and responsibility, that service soon became a mess. Even simple things like IDing went by the wayside."
--------------
You are wrong, of course, but that is forgiven since you were 5 years old when Class C and D CB was created in 1958. Allegedly you were in the USN at the time, "copying 5-character groups on an all-caps mill at 28 WPM."

Me, I was working at Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation in the Electronic Warfare group at the El Segundo, CA, facility then. Within a year I would get my own CB for my 1953 Austin-Healey sports car...enjoying the comradeship of both sports car owners and the few then in CITIZENS radio service. [digitized photo of the Austin-Healey available on request as e-mail attachment] For CITIZENS, Jimmy, not a bunch of brass pounding amateurs seeking Dee-Ecks.
...............
N2EY: "In the case of license tests and classes, the consequences of minimal testing, as was done in cb, are pretty obvious."

NO TESTING for CB shouldn't be 'obvious.' It isn't "minimal." It never existed. Repeat: NO TESTING whatsoever. EVER.

Jimmy, if you want to be a REAL knowitall, you need to get more REAL facts on what you are spouting.

Class D CB was NEVER intended to be any sort of 'hobby radio' like amateur radio. The regulations weren't even set up for any of that.

The biggest GRIPE-ANGER-OUTRAGE among very old-time licensed amateurs was that the FCC had the utter gall to TAKE AWAY SPECTRUM from their 'rightful owners' (radio amateurs) and let ordinary citizens ON their precious HF without taking a single TEST! Oh, the bitching and moaning I heard in the RW labs from older-time hams was tremendous! Oh, the sky had fallen!
................
N2EY: "Now, if having multiple license classes and tests (including code tests) is so bad, why was there so much growth back then?"

Why have the USA amateur radio license numbers been DROPPING from their July 2, 2003, peak? Why aren't there more newcomers to offset the beginning-to-grow EXPIRATIONS five and a half years later?

Expirations are happening 26 to 27 thousand per year now. Boomer age is beginning to show the first signs of human attrition. Why don't you want USA amateur radio to grow proportional to national population NOW?

What the hey, Jimmy, you got YOURS, #$%^!! everyone else, right?

Are you mentoring anyone now, Jimmy? Be SPECIFIC if you answer yes. I never had any mentor ('elmer') in amateur radio. You once said you "would help me," but you never did. Tsk, tsk. :-)

Are you a certified VEC examiner, Jimmy? Don't you believe is boosting USA amateur radio? Golly gee whiz, big guy, you've got FORTY YEARS in amateur radio! You should be able to help at least one prospective ham, ey?

You've repeatedly called me a 'newbie' in amateur radio, Jimmy, always wrong! Obviously, with such a condition I could NEVER EVER help anyone get any ham license, right? Ah, but here you are with 40 years in and I don't hear anything about YOU helping anyone. Why is that?

Why is it you constantly want to FIGHT newcomers, Jimmy? Do you need Anger Management counseling? Need to get your shrink wrapped tighter? Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome in your key hand's wrist? Poor guy...

 
RE: Getting into Amateur Radio  
by K6LHA on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY, the torpid torquemada of house Internet, posted on December 21, 2008:

AF6AY writes: "50 questions might be sufficient for a HOBBY license activity."

N2EY: "... But Amateur Radio isn't just a hobby. Nowhere in Part 97 nor in the ITU regulations is that word used."

Oh, HORRORS! Well, mistah puhfect, nowhere in Part 97, Title 47 C.F.R. is the word "Ham" used.

Now, are you going to go into the ARRL-cribbing mode and tell us all "what amateur radio IS?" When you get all done copying the old gray text from the League, it turns out amateur radio IS JUST A HOBBY. Wowzer, a revelation ainit? :-)

De facto HOBBY, Jimmy, nothing more. It is NOT, by regulation, anything professional as in accepting money for ham radio communications services. News flash: That is why it is called AMATEUR.
...............
N2EY: "Since April 15, 2000, getting "into" US amateur radio (by earning a license) has only required passing a 35 question test. Passing grade is 74% or better.

Your reference to 120 questions is for full US privileges. Not 'just to get [into] it'"

Waaa, waaa, waaa. You are still fizzed off that I ever got ANY USA amateur radio license, now you get all bent out of shape about certain word and phrase structures. Poor baby, I DID get "extra out of the box." You have made SO much nonsense over that for years. Now it has happened (over a year and a half ago) and you are STILL ANGRY! Tsk, tsk.

The question is, WHY are you so angry at newcomers to USA amateur radio? What have newcomers ever done to you? Exist on the same planet?

You have been SO angry lately. Maybe its your holiday stress building up to a breaking point? That's not good.

Maybe it is time you gave up amateur radio and took on a NEW hobby? You had 40 years in USA amateur radio. I would think that would be enough. Hunt around, maybe you can dredge up a radiotelegrapher JOB and use those skills you brag about so much.

 
RE: Getting into Amateur Radio  
by URBANGORILLA on December 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Len, you're a toilet paper Extra. A high school drop-out could go through the 3 question pools and take practice exams on qrz.com for a couple of weeks and obtain an Extra in 1 test session without knowing anything about radio. So quit beating your chest about your getting the Extra in 1 sitting. Your so-called "accomplishment" isn't worth a slice of moldy bread. You're a sick puppy, Len. Why don't you wake up and realize what a fool you're making of yourself? You're an embarrassment to the amateur radio community.

UG
 
RE: IHOP  
by KB1SF on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Plankeye (yet ANOTHER person who refused to be named!) wrote: "Dude, you flip flop more than a Pancake!!"

--------------------

How so?

All I have ever advocated in these threads is to make the content and comprehensiveness of our examination structure (and the tests we take for our licenses) commensurate with the (added) privileges those tests grant.

And, yes, it IS true that ours has become a licensing system that now allows "wet-behind-the-ears" Technicians, after passing a horrifically simple, 35 question exam, the "privilege" of building and operating, for example, a full KW amplifier (from scratch, no less!) for 2.4 GHz and then aiming the antenna at themselves (or their neighbors) at full tilt, thereby causing irreparable eye damage to both.

But, ours is ALSO licensing system where the content and comprehensiveness of what's on the General Class examination (and ALL of what's on the Extra Class exam!) go WELL beyond what is minimally required by the international Radio Regulations to provide a reasonable assurance that such license holders will, in fact, operate their stations in a safe and courteous manner with the added privileges those licenses specifically grant.

And, as if that weren't enough, these blatant disconnects in our current licensing system have now made our higher-class exams (particularly the one for the Extra Class license) systemically discriminatory (spelled “illegal”) under a whole plethora of current US federal equal access laws because the tests are so completely out of touch with the specific, largely ego-stroking, "exclusive" privileges that they grant.

As I have said, I firmly believe the declining popularity of our Service to newcomers over the last half-century has been caused, at least in part, by the FCC's decision nearly 50 years ago to "dumb up" what used to just be a simple series of licensing tests for our Service.

But, to add insult to injury, in an ongoing effort to make our Service "more attractive" to newcomers, they have ALSO been making the entry requirements for beginners "easier" ever since by giving them privileges they have not yet proven they are knowledgeable or experienced enough to safely (and courteously) handle.

Sadly, as a result of such "ego-based" foolishness, today's newly licensed Technicians have now become a very real safety hazard to themselves and their neighbors while, at the same time, our higher class licenses have become less and less attractive to the younger set because the "need to have" vice the "nice to have" information ratio these exams require of applicants remains so horrifically out of balance.

Most US Hams are also blissfully ignorant of the fact that most governments in the rest of the world have steadfastly refrained from buying into the FCC's ego-stroking, incentive licensing foolishness for their own Amateur Services. In fact, throughout the rest of the world, Amateur licenses are usually regarded as “certificates of safety", much like the written tests one takes to obtain a license to operate a private motor vehicle or to fly a private aircraft.

That is, these other government licensing systems are specifically designed to be just comprehensive enough to do NOTHING MORE than provide a reasonable assurance to government regulators that an applicant for a Ham license won't become a safety hazard or a nuisance to his or her self (or their neighbors) or become a nuisance to others on the bands, or to other services.

However, right now, I firmly believe NONE of OUR written examinations for our Service in the United States provide such "reasonable assurance"...at least not at the appropriate level.

What's more, and as I've said, elsewhere in the world, the Amateur Service is largely regulated by bandwidth, NOT by license class and operating mode. That approach provides those other administrations with a great deal more flexibility than we in the United States now have to change band allocations and permitted emission types as the technology (and the popularity of that technology) changes.

On the other hand, (and largely because of the FCC's "incentive licensing" foolishness) OUR frequency and regulated sub-band allocations still largely reflect Amateur Radio technology as it existed in the late 1950s. That reality has now turned the whole concept of "incentive licensing" into something of an oxymoron because the only "incentive" it breeds is a strong urge by its proponents to steadfastly resist anything that even remotely smacks of progress.

In most other countries, the safety issue of power output (vice frequency and operating mode) as well as being allowed to build and operate transmitters "from scratch" are often the central factors that differentiate one license class from another.

But, by the same token, the REST of the world's Amateur Radio licenses absolutely DO NOT grant "from scratch" transmitter construction and/or high-power operational privileges to inexperienced beginners as our FCC so freely does here.

I'm still waiting for a straight answer to my simple question regarding what SPECIFIC additional technical or operational skills (beyond those required to obtain a General Class license) are absolutely required to safely and courteously operate in the so-called “Extra Class” portions of OUR bands.

And, how does mastering all 600-plus pages of the ARRL's Extra Class License manual (a "hazing ritual" required by all but the most learned BSEEs in our ranks) to successfully PASS that examination DIRECTLY relate in ANY way to the skills required to fill out an application for a so-called “exclusive” call sign?

Yet, right now, being able to operate in the "exclusive" sub-bands reserved specifically for Extras and obtaining an "exclusive" call sign are the ONLY TWO operational privileges specifically reserved for Extra Class Licensees in our Service in the United States. And NEITHER of those additional operating privileges are DIRECTLY related to improving safety or preventing non-interference.

Rather, they are both simply designed to stroke people's egos. Or, to put it another way, the so-called "incentives" built into our current licensing system are ALL designed to simply make people feel "exclusive", NOT to help assure non-interference and/or the safety of themselves or others while operating our stations.

Clearly, as a result of keeping such regulatory foolishness firmly intact for going on half a century, ours has now become a slowly dying radio service in the United States and our ever-aging demographics prove it. It is an irrefutable fact that our average age is now approaching 60 and the number of Amateur Radio licensees hasn't grown in the United States since 2003 (or 1998 if you take into account that the license data we're looking at will always be 10 years out of date). And, sadly, BOTH of these downward trends show absolutely NO sign of reversing themselves anytime soon.

What's more, the anecdotal evidence that ours is a dying hobby is overwhelming and it is all around us.

For example, I invite all of you to take a good look around at all the graying hairs, balding heads, expanding waistlines and empty chairs on your next visit to any Ham Radio club meeting, Ham Radio-related swapfest or other such Ham Radio gathering. And, if that evidence is still not enough to convince you, you might then try tuning across all of the gobs of DEAD AIR we are now hearing these days on our bands.

The silence is absolutely deafening.

The bottom line here is that, based on their regulatory actions in our Service over the last 20 years (including their latest decision to drop all forms of Morse testing), it's absolutely clear the FCC has (finally!) recognized the horrific, constrictive mess their predecessors made of our licensing and regulatory system when they first hatched their stupid "license-class-and-operating-mode-based" foolishness back in the 1960s.

And, as a direct result of that realization, I firmly believe today's FCC (with the ARRL's behind-the-scenes tacit approval) has now embarked on a plan that will largely de-regulate our Service, allowing it to revert back to the time when our licensing system was aimed primarily at insuring non-interference and the safety of its operators (and their neighbors)…and nothing more.

That is, after assuring applicants are well versed in the critical aspects of what we do, I predict our licensing system in the United States will eventually revert to a simple series of forward-looking "licenses to learn" based solely on safety and non-interference considerations, rather than on a meaningless series of ego-stroking "rewards" tied to an ever-more irrelevant set of backward looking "achievement tests" that have accomplished absolutely NOTHING but to perpetuate an entrenched (and now blatantly illegal) institutionalized snobbery in our Service.

However, as nobody in any official capacity is listening to the ever more paranoid rants from those clowns who desperately want to keep all that 1960's-era ego-stroking snob appeal in place, they and their ever-shrinking minority are now forced to rely more and more heavily on forums like this one as their last best hope to stem the tide.

But…fortunately…it would appear they aren't getting any traction here, either.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
 
RE: Getting into Amateur Radio  
by N2EY on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "FCC set up CB with some very basic standards. But without personal investment and responsibility, that service soon became a mess. Even simple things like IDing went by the wayside."

AF6AY: "You are wrong, of course,"

How is what I wrote "wrong"?

By the late 1960s cb was already in big trouble. By the early 70s it was out of control.

AF6AY: "but that is forgiven since you were 5 years old when Class C and D CB was created in 1958."

Irrelevant. I was referring to the 1960s and 1970s.

AF6AY: "Allegedly you were in the USN at the time, "copying 5-character groups on an all-caps mill at 28 WPM.""

According to who? You're just making stuff up, Len.

N2EY: "In the case of license tests and classes, the consequences of minimal testing, as was done in cb, are pretty obvious."

AF6AY: "NO TESTING for CB shouldn't be 'obvious.' It isn't "minimal." It never existed. Repeat: NO TESTING whatsoever. EVER."

No testing is as minimal as it gets, Len. That's the whole point.

AF6AY: "Class D CB was NEVER intended to be any sort of 'hobby radio' like amateur radio. The regulations weren't even set up for any of that."

Oh no?

Then why did Class D CB allow 100 milliwatt sets with no license, which were marketed and sold as children's toys? (Some even had Morse Code capability).

More to the point, the vast majority of cb users weren't using them PROFESSIONALLY. Therefore, to use YOUR definition, they were hobby radios.

In fact, from your own description, your cb use was 'hobby' use.

Amateur radio was and is not intended to be any sort of 'hobby radio'. The regulations aren't set up for that."

AF6AY: "The biggest GRIPE-ANGER-OUTRAGE among very old-time licensed amateurs was that the FCC had the utter gall to TAKE AWAY SPECTRUM from their 'rightful owners' (radio amateurs) and let ordinary citizens ON their precious HF without taking a single TEST! Oh, the bitching and moaning I heard in the RW labs from older-time hams was tremendous! Oh, the sky had fallen!"

So what? That was 50 years ago, Len. You wouldn't become a ham for another 49 years.

The important part isn't that FCC took away a band assigned to amateurs. It's what the new users did with it that's the real issue.
................
N2EY: "Now, if having multiple license classes and tests (including code tests) is so bad, why was there so much growth back then?"

AF6AY: "Why have the USA amateur radio license numbers been DROPPING from their July 2, 2003, peak?"

You can not answer a question with another question, Len. (those are your own words).

AF6AY: "Why aren't there more newcomers to offset the beginning-to-grow EXPIRATIONS five and a half years later?"

You can not answer a question with another question, Len.

But note this:

When the requirements went up in 1968-69, the result was growth for a couple of decades.

Dropping the requirements in recent years has had the opposite effect.

Perhaps when something is made too easy, it loses its attractiveness.

AF6AY: "Expirations are happening 26 to 27 thousand per year now. Boomer age is beginning to show the first signs of human attrition."

You don't know that, Len. You're just speculating. You don't know whose licenses are expiring without a lot more data.

The oldest baby boomers are 62 this year, the youngest are 44. They have a long way to go yet.

AF6AY: "Why don't you want USA amateur radio to grow proportional to national population NOW?"

I want the growth rate of US amateur radio to exceed the national population growth rate, not just match it.

But it's clear from the last decade or two that simply lowering the license requirements isn't going to do that. Your own article shows that the complete removal of Morse Code testing has had only a tiny effect on the number of newcomers, which PROVES that the test wasn't really a "barrier" nor was it "choking off growth".

It was just a test you didn't like, because you wouldn't put out the effort to pass it. You said you were "going for Extra out of the box" back in January 2000, but it took you seven years and a rules change to do it.

AF6AY: "What the hey, Jimmy, you got YOURS, #$%^!! everyone else, right?"

WRONG, Len. You're the one who thinks that way; you're just projecting your own feelings.

AF6AY: "Are you mentoring anyone now, Jimmy?"

Yes. Several folks, actually, in a variety of areas. Except in amateur radio it's called Elmering.

AF6AY: "Be SPECIFIC if you answer yes."

Why? You don't answer my SPECIFIC questions. Why should I answer yours?

AF6AY: "I never had any mentor ('elmer') in amateur radio."

Yes, you did. Lots of them. You just won't give us credit. You want to insist you did it all on your own. And you don't ask for help.

AF6AY: "You once said you "would help me," but you never did. Tsk, tsk. :-)"

You didn't ask, Len. You could have, but you never did. In fact, when I tried to be helpful, by pointing out mistakes you made on-line, you called me names and did the old insulting thing.

AF6AY: "You've repeatedly called me a 'newbie' in amateur radio, Jimmy, always wrong!"

But you ARE a newbie in amateur radio, Len. You're a newcomer, a novice, a tyro, a beginner. You've been a ham less than 2 years, and from your descriptions you haven't done much in amateur radio yet. Heck, it took you a year and a half to put up a simple vertical antenna for HF!

And there's nothing wrong with being a newbie, Len. I was one once, 40+ years ago. I think that's what really bothers you.

AF6AY: "Obviously, with such a condition I could NEVER EVER help anyone get any ham license, right?"

Sure you could. Newcomers can help other newcomers. I helped many new hams get started when I was a newcomer. I still do.

But from your attitude and constant put-downs it's clear you don't want help, you want to be the boss. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

AF6AY: "Ah, but here you are with 40 years in and I don't hear anything about YOU helping anyone. Why is that?"

Because I don't brag about it, Len. I don't make every post all about What I Did, the way you do.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
An Analogy  
by N2EY on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes: "When the Amateur Extra class was first invoked in the USA, a case could be made for the 'necessity' to demonstrate OOK CW manual radiotelegraphy."

Why not just say "Morse Code", Len? The test requirement was about Morse Code, not whether it was sent by on-off keying, FSK, or some other modulation.

AF6AY: "That 'necessity' evaporated as more and more radio communications services dropped OOK CW."

Why? Amateur radio kept on using Morse Code anyway. A test for an amateur radio license should include what amateurs do, not what other radio services do.

AF6AY: "Global maritime emergency frequency of 500 KHz was next to last hold-out for professional radio use of OOK CW skills. The maritime world conceived of GMDSS, implemented it, shifted over to microwave-to-satellite-to-ground-station global distress signalling, dropping the old 500 KHz emergency frequency before 1999."

End of 1997, to be exact. The reason was simple: They didn't want to pay radio operators.

AF6AY: "The only thing truly left of OOK CW was amateur radio test requirements and the keyless auto entry ('key fob') transmissions (done at a rate beyond human comprehension but in use daily by millions of unlicensed-in-radio 'civilians')."

No, that's just not true, Len. Not true at all.

There are still a few maritime folks using Morse Code. By choice. But they are a tiny minority.

Where Morse Code is still widely used is by radio amateurs. (Your statements don't mention that fact).

So when you wrote ""The only thing truly left of OOK CW was amateur radio test requirements and the keyless auto entry ('key fob') transmissions", you were just plain WRONG.

AF6AY: "I grant that the skill of telegraphy is difficult to master for many and that those skilled in it are really skilled."

How do you know it is difficult to master "for many"? Perhaps what you meant to write was that *you* didn't find it easy to learn, gave up, and decided nobody else should have to learn it either.

You're right about the second part, though. Those of us who know and use Morse Code are really skilled. I think that's why you resent us so much; we have something you don't. Something that can't be bought, too.

AF6AY: "But, in a radio world where it has become increasingly so little desired, so little used, it doesn't make sense to keep it in place forever as a license test requirement."

Not even in a radio service where it is greatly desired and widely used?

AF6AY: "Radio regulations do NOT exist to serve as emotional fodder for a few long-timers who began long ago. Not in the professional radio world, not even in the amateur radio world. ALL must ADAPT."

Really? Says who?

Let's consider an analogy.

Suppose there were a neighborhood where the houses are all similar, built decades ago by the same developer, back when land and construction costs were cheap, taxes were low, etc.

Suppose the zoning in this neighborhood required that any new houses be very similar to the old ones.

Suppose there were a piece of undeveloped land in this neighborhood.

Suppose someone bought the piece of undeveloped land to build houses on it. But for a variety of reasons a minor zoning change was needed.

Suppose the existing landowners opposed the zoning change and the development of that piece of land, saying it would do things like "increase traffic", "block views", etc.

Would that be OK? Should the zoning change be allowed or forbidden?

Should the existing residents' EMOTIONAL desires to keep their neighborhood just as it has always been outweigh the newcomers' desire to build? Particularly when the realities of real estate are so much different today than four or five decades ago?

The developer says that zoning ordinances do not exist to serve as emotional fodder for a few long-timers who bought their houses long ago. All must adapt.

Is the developer right?

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: IHOP  
by K6LHA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF posted on December 22, 2008:

Plankeye (yet ANOTHER person who refused to be named!) wrote: "Dude, you flip flop more than a Pancake!!"
--------------------
"How so?

All I have ever advocated in these threads is to make the content and comprehensiveness of our examination structure (and the tests we take for our licenses) commensurate with the (added) privileges those tests grant."

Keith, the 'audience' in here is like a courtroom full of 'Colonel Jessups' who "just can't handle the truth." [paraphrase of famous line in the movie "A Few Good Men"] They have theirs and #$%! anyone else. :-)

Except, of course, all those who FEAR to divulge their true identity and posture about with Mighty Manly Men pseudonyms. :-)
...............
KB1SF: "And, yes, it IS true that ours has become a licensing system that now allows "wet-behind-the-ears" Technicians, after passing a horrifically simple, 35 question exam, the "privilege" of building and operating, for example, a full KW amplifier (from scratch, no less!) for 2.4 GHz and then aiming the antenna at themselves (or their neighbors) at full tilt, thereby causing irreparable eye damage to both."

Okay, that's what I've been implying all along. :-) But...in all the years of existance of the FCC (74) THE TEST HASN'T BEEN ANYTHING ELSE whether done in an FCC Field Office or some VEC's living room.

My viewpoint is that amateur radio REMAINS a de facto HOBBY activity. It isn't professional, it isn't commercial, it isn't some public safety radio service. In an AVOCATIONAL activity there isn't any need to test at any commercial/professional skill level. It has been that way for 74 years in the USA.

The "professional" and "public safety" aspect of amateur radio is largely one of individual emotional attributes, mostly driven (on a personal level) by egos who NEED some imprimateur of authorization from a federal agency to show they are a SOMEBODY. Psychologically, there's nothing wrong with that as long as they keep those opinions to themselves. Psychologically, IT IS BAD, if they start posturing about saying they are 'better than others' without any proof other than bragging that they are (for vacuous reasons).

There isn't any simple test devised that can predict the stupid accidents that hobbyists can make, to themselves or to others. The USA governments have laws that prosecute those who willfully cause harm to others.
............
KB1SF: "As I have said, I firmly believe the declining popularity of our Service to newcomers over the last half-century has been caused, at least in part, by the FCC's decision nearly 50 years ago to "dumb up" what used to just be a simple series of licensing tests for our Service."

I don't quite agree with that. I might fault the FCC's long-ago decision to buy into the concept of "incentive" licensing that was proposed by the 'elite' hard-line hobbyists of a half century ago. The FCC of NOW and the last decade is NOT that of a half century ago; that staff and those commissioners are long gone NOW. On the other hand, that wonderful organization called the ARRL is still perpetuating the "incentive ideals" NOW. Promotion of the "incentive" pleases the oldies of the BoD, paves the way for more publications and goods for 'upgrading' (that keeps the ARRL solvent, pays its overhead and staff).
.............
KB1SF: "But, to add insult to injury, in an ongoing effort to make our Service "more attractive" to newcomers, they have ALSO been making the entry requirements for beginners "easier" ever since by giving them privileges they have not yet proven they are knowledgeable or experienced enough to safely (and courteously) handle."

On that I disagree a great deal. The original Privileges were political constructs based on the lobby efforts of a relative few. Under older, now defuct radio regulation agencies there were NO real 'privileges.' There were hardly any when the FCC was created in 1934. With the "incentive plan" restructuring of classes, the construction foundation was laid for the truly Byzantine Palace of rank, class, privilege, and complex bandplans by class that existed prior to 2000 in USA amateur radio...the 'palace' having gained height and weight slowly for the past half century. That 'palace' was razed in 2000 by newer people at the FCC, much to the outrage and <unprintable> opinions of the long-time upper-echelon mighty manly men of USA amateur radio who held forth on Their Image being the ONLY one for the USA. Mightier, more manly Men of the ARS accepted the inevitable and went on enjoying their hobby. Those were devoid of the rancor still spouted by the three-Ms today.
...............
KB1SF: "Sadly, as a result of such "ego-based" foolishness, today's newly licensed Technicians have now become a very real safety hazard to themselves and their neighbors while, at the same time, our higher class licenses have become less and less attractive to the younger set because the "need to have" vice the "nice to have" information ratio these exams require of applicants remains so horrifically out of balance."

I'm not sure that is all understandable. Most (but not all) Technician class licensees use lower power transceivers over the natural limitations of VHF and up. Five Watts or even Ten Watts is not exactly a "safety hazard" to neighbors anymore than cell phones (or higher-power cell sites) are a hazard. I can recognize the SAR v. frequency curves in the (relatively new) RF exposure limits in rules. When the "incentive plan" went into effect there were NO such exposure limits...wouldn't be for about four decades afterwards.

At times around the "incentive plan" reconstruction, HF bands were prime territory for USA amateurs, VHF and up largely unpopulated by comparison. Testing of that time concentrated on HF and HF equipment known techniques, all with the supremacy of OOK CW manual telegraphy of operation. Technology was embedded in the long-ago (of then) style that had its origin in times prior to 1941. SSB voice was only beginning, a very strange technology to the average amateur who wanted the security blanket of known quantities (i.e., ARRL 'textbooks') and feared most anything new. FM voice was only beginning to take hold, attempts using it on HF were met with the limited modulation index of narrow HF bands so it migrated to VHF-and-up operation. A few radio amateurs found they could actually TALK on the air! :-)

In this NEW time almost ending the first decade of the new millennium, the MAJOR mode of HF communications is SSB Voice, the MAJOR mode of VHF-UHF communications is FM Voice. In addition, HF bands contain DATA handling written communications at rates far exceeding the limits of electro-mechanical teleprinters. Time have CHANGED. Many long-timers just can't tolerate change, keep grabbing for the security blanket of old things.
...............
KB1SF: "Most US Hams are also blissfully ignorant of the fact that most governments in the rest of the world have steadfastly refrained from buying into the FCC's ego-stroking, incentive licensing foolishness for their own Amateur Services. In fact, throughout the rest of the world, Amateur licenses are usually regarded as “certificates of safety", much like the written tests one takes to obtain a license to operate a private motor vehicle or to fly a private aircraft."

True. :-) But that's not the way of the USA according to the ultra-patriots who want the USA to 'lead' everything. :-) Ah, but those same ultra-patriots also are the model for infamous euphemism of "ugly American" the rest of the world knows well... <shrug>
...............
KB1SF: "That is, these other government licensing systems are specifically designed to be just comprehensive enough to do NOTHING MORE than provide a reasonable assurance to government regulators that an applicant for a Ham license won't become a safety hazard or a nuisance to his or her self (or their neighbors) or become a nuisance to others on the bands, or to other services."

Okay, so other countries recognize that amateur radio is a HOBBY, right?

KB1SF: "However, right now, I firmly believe NONE of OUR written examinations for our Service in the United States provide such "reasonable assurance"...at least not at the appropriate level."

I can't speak for other countries since I haven't studied their regulations in detail. Irrelevant since I can't get licensed except by reciprocity in any other country. Okay, since I took all of my exams for amateur radio last year, I feel rather familiar with the entire VEC QPC pool effective then. The way I read my whole notebook of questions-answers in the whole pool of then, I feel that the "reasonable assurace" IS THERE. I'm not colored with any extraneous non-linear bias of a 38-year span since the last amateur test of some long-timers. :-)
.............
KB1SF: "On the other hand, (and largely because of the FCC's "incentive licensing" foolishness) OUR frequency and regulated sub-band allocations still largely reflect Amateur Radio technology as it existed in the late 1950s. That reality has now turned the whole concept of "incentive licensing" into something of an oxymoron because the only "incentive" it breeds is a strong urge by its proponents to steadfastly resist anything that even remotely smacks of progress."

BANG ON! as some Brits say. :-)
.............
KB1SF: "I'm still waiting for a straight answer to my simple question regarding what SPECIFIC additional technical or operational skills (beyond those required to obtain a General Class license) are absolutely required to safely and courteously operate in the so-called “Extra Class” portions of OUR bands."

This is the wrong forum to ask that. I think you should direct that question to www.ncvec.org and ask them. NCVEC has had the responsibility for generating ALL questions and answers for ALL classes in the USA. The FCC only established the overall number of questions required, never any sub-grouping by topics.
.............
KB1SF: "And, how does mastering all 600-plus pages of the ARRL's Extra Class License manual (a "hazing ritual" required by all but the most learned BSEEs in our ranks) to successfully PASS that examination DIRECTLY relate in ANY way to the skills required to fill out an application for a so-called “exclusive” call sign?"

Hmmm...I never went through that 'hazing ritual' since I didn't buy or look at any ARRL 'textbook' to get mine. I just downloaded the whole pool from www.ncvec.org, printed it out, studied that, got confident in passing, then had the chutzpah to take and pass all three tests in one afternoon. :-)

The VANITY call sign regulation is another political construct. Separate discussion for USA regulations. Has absolutely NOTHING to do with "safety assurances" and is largely an individual EGO thing so that middle-aged hams can pretend to be wise old long-timers on the air. :-)
............
KB1SF: "Yet, right now, being able to operate in the "exclusive" sub-bands reserved specifically for Extras and obtaining an "exclusive" call sign are the ONLY TWO operational privileges specifically reserved for Extra Class Licensees in our Service in the United States. And NEITHER of those additional operating privileges are DIRECTLY related to improving safety or preventing non-interference."

Of course you are right there. But...the EMOTIONAL EGO-BOO of the TITLE is SO important to the holders that they will be nothing else but OUTRAGED if that TITLE is ever changed! :-)

KB1SF: "Rather, they are both simply designed to stroke people's egos. Or, to put it another way, the so-called "incentives" built into our current licensing system are ALL designed to simply make people feel "exclusive", NOT to help assure non-interference and/or the safety of themselves or others while operating our stations."

Of course. Outsiders could see that immediately and have for years. Those flying the Importance Banner held aloft by their Egos can't see it because they have that all-important title clutched firmly to sagging chests.

Me, I got an Extra for the personal convenience and option of working anywhere in allocated USA hamspace. I could because I've got a tad of experience in a wider range of radio (a mere 54 years prior to amateur testing). I did because it is also such FUN to pop ego balloons of others' self-importance. [a few trips to the Dark Side of the Force can be fun!] :-)

I've tried to get a Vanity callsign but for a different reason: To have my wife's maiden name initials on it. Couldn't because it was already taken when I applied. I don't need any perqs or fancy labels for myself, am secure in who I am and what I can do. So be it. :-)
.................
KB1SF: "Clearly, as a result of keeping such regulatory foolishness firmly intact for going on half a century, ours has now become a slowly dying radio service in the United States and our ever-aging demographics prove it. It is an irrefutable fact that our average age is now approaching 60 and the number of Amateur Radio licensees hasn't grown in the United States since 2003 (or 1998 if you take into account that the license data we're looking at will always be 10 years out of date). And, sadly, BOTH of these downward trends show absolutely NO sign of reversing themselves anytime soon."

That's one of the reasons I presented my two articles to e-ham. But, from the responses in general, THE AVERAGE READER DOESN'T WANT TO ACCEPT IT. Too many are in the fantasy of immortality because they have a federal license and can do OOK CW telegraphy (saying "CW will never die"...therefore neither will they). Some have regressed to Middle School Mentality and hide behind pseudonyms, all symptoms of their insecurity and inability to socially interact with others on an adult level.
...............
KB1SF: "The bottom line here is that, based on their regulatory actions in our Service over the last 20 years (including their latest decision to drop all forms of Morse testing), it's absolutely clear the FCC has (finally!) recognized the horrific, constrictive mess their predecessors made of our licensing and regulatory system when they first hatched their stupid "license-class-and-operating-mode-based" foolishness back in the 1960s."

It took a whole staff change at the FCC to do it. Rather long time to wait but logic and reason win out eventually. :-)
...............
KB1SF: "And, as a direct result of that realization, I firmly believe today's FCC (with the ARRL's behind-the-scenes tacit approval) has now embarked on a plan that will largely de-regulate our Service, allowing it to revert back to the time when our licensing system was aimed primarily at insuring non-interference and the safety of its operators (and their neighbors)…and nothing more."

"ARRL's behind-the-scenes tacit approval?" The only "approval" I see is IF and ONLY IF the USA amateur community goes back to 'tried-and-true' morse-only communications on HF bands just after WWII...the way the higher-ups in Newington began their amateur 'careers.' REGRESSION is NOT the way to proceed to the future.

Sorry, but I'm just an ordinary voting ARRL members. Since no one was running for 6-land director, I never got to vote on that position. Wow, LOTS of 'representation' they do for me. I'd rather trust a transcript of a bug planted at one of the many USA BoD meeting rooms to find out what their "tacit approval" really IS. Anything else is just biased hearsay. Other than that, I will get QST until the end of March to see their unchanging spin on Their version of USA hamdom. Right now I can "glory" in the Vintage edition of December and 'learn' all about a 1927 regenerative receiver! State of the Art! [of 81 years ago] Wow! :-)
................
KB1SF: "However, as nobody in any official capacity is listening to the ever more paranoid rants from those clowns who desperately want to keep all that

1960's-era ego-stroking snob appeal in place, they and their ever-shrinking minority are now forced to rely more and more heavily on forums like this one as their last best hope to stem the tide."

"But…fortunately…it would appear they aren't getting any traction here, either."

The Middle School Mentality, the social interaction misfits, the cowards hiding behind pseudonyms, the paranoid all think they ARE being heard. All that does is make a higher QRM level on the OUTSIDE of government. :-)

The REAL action takes place at the FCC in DC. It ain't in a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut.

73 and Happy Holidays, Len AF6AY
 
windy replies  
by LOVEHANDLES on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio operators have got to be the most pompous and self righteous people in the world. Get to the point, we don't want to read these 1000 word essays. Take some tips from PLANKEYE and URBANGORILLA, they keep it brief. I get fatigued reading some of these replies. Don't make me get ugly.
 
RE: windy replies  
by K6LHA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Lovelyhandles: "I get fatigued reading some of these replies. Don't make me get ugly."

"Make?!?" :-)

 
DON'T HAZE ME BRO  
by PLANKEYE on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB1SF:

Or, to put it more bluntly, what FAR too many now call "keeping the standards up” is simply their poorly disguised cover for a far different collective agenda of perpetuating a system of blatant systemic discrimination in our Service…a set of ever-more irrelevant regulatory "HAZING RITUALS" that have underwritten their own unabashed snobbery for far too long.

_________________________________

PLANKEYE:

Sir, are you saying that taking a test to get a Ham License is a HAZING RITUAL?

Is that right or did I read it wrong?

Dude?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year fellas.

PLANKEYE





 
RE: windy replies  
by RADIO123US on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY said "Of course. Outsiders could see that immediately and have for years. Those flying the Importance Banner held aloft by their Egos can't see it because they have that all-important title clutched firmly to sagging chests. "

Len, you can't be serious....YOU are the only one here flying the "Importance Banner"...bragging about "Extra out of the box"....when in reality, you waited 50 years for the rules to be reduced low enough for you to be able to pass....

I honestly beleive your "issue" is you truly believed you would somehow be able to have all the respect that EXPERIENCED old timers have by just showing up and acting like you knew a few things about radio....well, it didn't work because everyone here could see right through your disguise....now all your doing is making a fool of yourself by continuing this charade....give it up Len, folks here know who and what you stand for...and you are NOT one of us....
 
RE: windy replies  
by K6LHA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
ONE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED: "...and you are NOT one of us...."

Thank God!! :-)
 
Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by N2EY on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes: "That's one of the reasons I presented my two articles to e-ham. But, from the responses in general, THE AVERAGE READER DOESN'T WANT TO ACCEPT IT."

No, Len, that's not what's going on.

The reason for the replies you're getting is much simpler: Nobody takes you seriously any more. Least of all me. Heck, most eham folks don't even read your stuff.

Take these two articles of yours. They're neither new nor news. Their whole message can be summed up in a sentence:

"Changing the rules in Feb 2007 didn't result in lots more new hams in either the short term (2 weeks) or long term (year and a half)"

See how simple that is? Tells the whole story.

But you don't write like that; you beat about the bush and put in the same tired old infantile insults, factual errors and self-promoting stories every time. At the same time, you leave out all sorts of stuff, such as a clear conclusion. And you don't answer direct questions in followups.

Here's a clue, Len: You're reaping what you've sown.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by N7YA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Good god! After reading all this, i feel like i just ate an entire bag of Cheetohs....ill catch you guys on the next thread, this ones going in circles now.

73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by W7ETA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I was bored, so I thought I'd see if anything more had been posted on this thread since the last time I was bored and read it.

Thanks for more entertainment.

Now, the first person to use the word " laquatious " in the arguments will be declaired "RIGHT", and deemed to have won the arguments.

Merry CHristmas
Bob
 
Fight Club  
by K6LHA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
W7ETA wrote on 22 Dec 08:

"Now, the first person to use the word " laquatious " in the arguments will be declaired "RIGHT", and deemed to have won the arguments."

Heh heh, I think you meant 'loquacious' didn't you?
:-)

[Saves time from being 'corrected' by Jimmy N2EY...]
 
RE: Fight Club  
by W7ETA on December 22, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
At the risk of sounding maudlin, I did not mean loquacious.
Bob
 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by N2EY on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
W7ETA: "Now, the first person to use the word " laquatious " in the arguments will be declaired "RIGHT", and deemed to have won the arguments."

The choice we have is to either promote high standards in Amateur Radio, so that it is a laquatious radio service respected by others, or to let the standards decline.

For me, Amateur Radio is totally cromulent, and I want to keep it that way.

73 es Merry Christmas de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by N2EY on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes: "Okay, since I took all of my exams for amateur radio last year, I feel rather familiar with the entire VEC QPC pool effective then. The way I read my whole notebook of questions-answers in the whole pool of then, I feel that the "reasonable assurace" IS THERE. I'm not colored with any extraneous non-linear bias of a 38-year span since the last amateur test of some long-timers. :-)"

Lots of words to say very little.

Here's the difference, though:

If I were given the exams you took last year to get your amateur radio license, Len, I could pass ALL of them easily. Without any advance study, without a calculator of any kind. I might not get 100 but I'd pass easily.

HOWEVER,

You could not pass all of the exams I took in 1967, 1968 and 1970 to get my amateur license. Not then and not now.

73 de Jim, N2EY



 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by AD6WL on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=laquatious
 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Weird and Wired  
by K6LHA on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AD6WL posted on December 23, 2008:

"http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=laquatious"

Isn't it wonderful that so many state-of-the-art USA hams use "The Simpsons" TV show as a "reference?" :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Everyone knows Jimmy is SuperHam!  
by K6LHA on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY creatively mounted his brag tape in the machine and tried to insinuate ulterior motives of others on 23 Dec 08:

The immediately-following four quotes are from my original posting to Keith, KB1SF, on the general subject of licensing of radio amateurs. Instead of creatively editing that text (as N2EY did) I present them verbatim:
------------------
KB1SF: "That is, these other government licensing systems are specifically designed to be just comprehensive enough to do NOTHING MORE than provide a reasonable assurance to government regulators that an applicant for a Ham license won't become a safety hazard or a nuisance to his or her self (or their neighbors) or become a nuisance to others on the bands, or to other services."

AF6AY: "Okay, so other countries recognize that amateur radio is a HOBBY, right?"

KB1SF: "However, right now, I firmly believe NONE of OUR written examinations for our Service in the United States provide such "reasonable assurance"...at least not at the appropriate level."

AF6AY: "I can't speak for other countries since I haven't studied their regulations in detail. Irrelevant since I can't get licensed except by reciprocity in any other country. Okay, since I took all of my exams for amateur radio last year, I feel rather familiar with the entire VEC QPC pool effective then. The way I read my whole notebook of questions-answers in the whole pool of then, I feel that the "reasonable assurace" IS THERE. I'm not colored with any extraneous non-linear bias of a 38-year span since the last amateur test of some long-timers. :-)"
---------------
N2EY: "Lots of words to say very little."

Heh heh heh. NOT in the CONTEXT of my text-conversation with Keith. But, Jimmy, that doesn't suit your jihad or hunt for some Holy Grail of Absolute Judgement over others who do not agree with your points of view.

CREATIVE EDITING allows anyone to put the original writer in a 'bad' place so that lots of NOT IN CONTEXT personality-bashing can be done. Jimmy does that sort of CREATIVE EDITING, has done so for over a decade.

It can be remarkably effective to others, quickly misdirecting any future postings to what Jimmy wants. Especially so when Jimmy doesn't want to get into any serious discussion (such as the general scope of licensing). He can now CONTROL, at least partly, the new thread flow.

At NO time was I bragging or boasting about my test, only using that as an evidenciary point about testing in general and the subject of "general assurance." I still have that notebook of QP downloads and printouts for reference on the subject of modern USA amateur radio license testing.
..............
N2EY: "Here's the difference, though:"

<drum-roll> ...here comes Jimmy's brag tape clicking through the distributor-reader...

N2EY: "If I were given the exams you took last year to get your amateur radio license, Len, I could pass ALL of them easily. Without any advance study, without a calculator of any kind. I might not get 100 but I'd pass easily."

That's a lovely manly he-man BOAST, but unproveable without taking such a test under the EXACT conditions. :-)

Other than being nothing more than a BOAST (sans any actual test), other things will prevent such an actual exact test repetition from happening:

1. The VEC question pool had changed in later 2007. Old ones do not apply.

2. The ARRL VEC question and answer sheets are several for each test element and the applicant does not get to choose which one. It is not possible to repeat the SAME EXACT test at any later date. When the VEC question pool changes, so does the ARRL VEC question and answer sheets AND the scoring templates (used only by the VEC team).

3. Presumably the other VECs have a similar system of using different question-answer sheets but I have never examined any of the 13 other VEC exam methods, only the ARRL's standard method observed on 25 Feb 07.
............
N2EY: "HOWEVER,"

Jimmy tries for a dramatic pause here to build up suspense while he tries (but fails) to turn his insult thumbscrews tighter:

N2EY: "You could not pass all of the exams I took in 1967, 1968 and 1970 to get my amateur license. Not then and not now."

Heh heh heh. Several things are quite wrong with THAT insult-boast-challenge:

1. It would be quite ILLEGAL for me to take any test FOR Jimmy, at any time in the past. I would have had to take it for ME, not Jimmy. Taking it for anyone else would have been fraud and punishable. :-)

2. Regulation changes between 1967 to 1970 and now would necessitate a quite different question-answer set. Any questions-answers of back then would not apply to tests of NOW or of 2007. They would be ILLEGAL.

3. In 1967 through 1970 I was taking some academic-credit college classes and at least three of them had final tests and a couple of mid-term tests. None of those involved amateur radio or any sort of radio licensing.

4. I was not at all interested in personally obtaining any amateur radio license in the period 1967 through 1970. I was working IN the electronics industry. I had already been granted a US First Class Radiotelephone (Commercial) Radio Operator license in March, 1956 (test taken at an FCC Field Office in Chicago) and had renewed that for the first time. The first license certificate (returned by the FCC) was placed in a safety deposit box for safekeeping since it had four 'sign-offs' on the back, all by chief engineers of the radio stations I had worked at in 1956.

5. Some time between 1957 and 1960 I had acquired a whole set of FCC regulations (which included amateur radio service as it was then) for my own, plus having a subscription with the Government Printing Office for updates (as they occurred) for about three years afterwards. At the time I could easily reference the regulations AS THEY APPLIED to any USA civil radio service, for any reason. Those loose-leaf notebook format sheets were dumped when the GPO changed over to only printed, bound book format.
----------------
The strange part of Jimmy's posting is that IT DID NOT INVOLVE THE "REASONABLE ASSURANCE" OF LICENSING which was the whole point of my text discussion with Keith, KB1SF. It was solely involved with Jimmy's <whatever> being goosed by the '38 years in the past' mention I made. :-)

It should be logical and obvious that ANY amateur regulations of 41 to 38 years ago have little to do with amateur radio regulations of now to a year and 3/4 ago. But, Jimmy is EXTREMELY sensitive to ANY PERCEIVED slight or even inference, taking it all so VERY personally, that he breaks out in 'jihad' mode almost immediately. ESPECIALLY on his holy mode of OOK CW manual telegraphy. To Jimmy the subject of 'CW' is so HOLY that any slight becomes an ignition point for his jihad style flame fests. :-)
----------------
Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY

 
RE: Everyone knows Jimmy is SuperHam!  
by W7ETA on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Whew!

Well, its finally done!

It was a breath taking finish.

But.

Jim WINS!

He is RIGHT!

Even though your eHam net has certainly kept y'all outa bars at night, its time to revert to a more normal way of life.

For some of you, you'll have to find another place to be just plain silly; another place to exercise your unfounded facts; another place to aggravate others; another place to pile your garbage.

For some of you, there is still time to renounce your wicked prose--still time for Santa to transfer you from the naughty to nice column.

73
Bob

 
MERRY CHRISTMAS  
by PLANKEYE on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS MY BOY LEN:

Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY

_______________________________

THIS IS PLANKEYE:

You too Len, Merry Christmas!!

PLANKEYE

 
RE: MERRY CHRISTMAS  
by KC9OFX on December 23, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Good evening all. I spent 2 nights reading this comment thread. I'm one of those new no code Ham operators (licensed in October) that blew through all three tests in a month. Truthfully they weren't much of a challenge and I'm not bragging. I studied for each exam. Mathematically Amateur radio was dying and the FCC stepped in to stop the trend because of the value that Ham radio operators have world wide.

I'm EXACTLY what the FCC hoped for. The first book I bought after becoming a general: "Ham Radio for Dummies." The second thing purchased was a CD course on Morse code because I believe that "real Hams can communicate in dots and dashes. Then I wanted to know more about our history. Joined the ARRL and found the book "200 meters and Down." I couldn't put it down, and asked for Ham Radio history books for my birthday. My library now includes: "The world of Ham Radio, 1901 - 1950," "Ham radio's Technical Culture," and Hello world." I've transmitted less than 10 times in the during the past 80 plus days because I spend most of my time listening and learning. When I hear a 5th or 6th unanswered CQ I pick up my mic, unlike so many of you operating on club repeaters. If our operating techniques are wrong--correct us with a little diplomacy. Very few of you got to be great operators without some gentle help. Dean KC9OFX
 
RE: Everyone knows: It's Windy  
by N2EY on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes:

"CREATIVE EDITING allows anyone to put the original writer in a 'bad' place so that lots of NOT IN CONTEXT personality-bashing can be done."

No 'creative editing' on my part, Len. None.

Anyone could read your original post (if they have the patience) because it's right in this same thread. Then they can read my response.

You, OTOH, have falsely claimed that I wrote things elsewhere which I did not write at all. Then when challenged to provide a link to the quotes, you cannot.

AF6AY: "It can be remarkably effective to others, quickly misdirecting any future postings to what Jimmy wants. Especially so when Jimmy doesn't want to get into any serious discussion (such as the general scope of licensing). He can now CONTROL, at least partly, the new thread flow."

You're projecting your own desires and actions onto others, Len. You're describing yourself, not me.

The plain and simple fact is that *you* want to control the discussion. And it's clear you don't want a "serious discussion" because that would mean dealing with others who point out your errors, have different opinions, and have more experience in amateur radio.

AF6AY:"At NO time was I bragging or boasting about my test, only using that as an evidenciary point about testing in general and the subject of "general assurance.""

Len, practically every one of your posts is a brag tape. We've all seen it, many times.

N2EY: "Here's the difference, though:"

N2EY: "If I were given the exams you took last year to get your amateur radio license, Len, I could pass ALL of them easily. Without any advance study, without a calculator of any kind. I might not get 100 but I'd pass easily."

AF6AY: "That's a lovely manly he-man BOAST, but unproveable without taking such a test under the EXACT conditions. :-)"

Not a boast. Just plain fact. There are practice exams available on a variety of websites, using the official question pools. I take (and pass) practice exams every couple of months just to keep current.

AF6AY: "1. The VEC question pool had changed in later 2007. Old ones do not apply."

Doesn't matter, I can pass the old ones or the new ones.

AF6AY: "2. The ARRL VEC question and answer sheets are several for each test element and the applicant does not get to choose which one. It is not possible to repeat the SAME EXACT test at any later date. When the VEC question pool changes, so does the ARRL VEC question and answer sheets AND the scoring templates (used only by the VEC team)."

Doesn't matter either.

AF6AY: "3. Presumably the other VECs have a similar system of using different question-answer sheets but I have never examined any of the 13 other VEC exam methods, only the ARRL's standard method observed on 25 Feb 07."

Doesn't matter; they're all multiple choice. Pick enough right answers and you pass. Been that way since the 1960s.

However, since you mention the ARRL's VEC exam methods, let's take a look at what you've previously said about them:

Here are a couple of classics: Len was ranting about the licensing of some children as amateurs at an ARRL VE session. It was this event which he claimed led him to petition FCC to require a minimum age of 14 for amateur licenses in the USA:

http://tinyurl.com/yxq3rr

Direct quotes:("LHA" means AF6AY, because he wasn't a ham back then).

LHA: “Ah yes, the warm-hearted convivial stormtrooper from central africa MUST make his SUPERIORITY known! Four year olds who can beep (along with parents who have conned the VEs into passing them) are considered "superior" to those who are not licensed in the amateur radio service. “

Gee, Len - "parents who have conned the VEs into passing them"?

Lest anyone think that was taken out of context, or a one-time thing, look at this:

http://tinyurl.com/2k5mb5

LHA: “ARRL was being over-indulgent in that bit of "news" fluff and the VEC group who did the alleged testing thought it all cutesy-poo from a kindly grandfatherly feeling to kiddies (picture included one of the VEC proctors, smiling and no doubt feeling "proud" over the kiddies' "accomplishments."

LHA: "I accuse ARRL of very mild fraud on the part of condoning such such things and hypocrisy on the implication of passing a ham written exam as a sort of academic certificate. In the latter, if barely-able-to-read-and-write six-year-olds can read and mark with even reasonable comprehension, then the written exam is a SHAM...even under pre-restructuring standards."

LHA: "No MORE evidence is needed...the evidence has already been presented although sugar-coated with parental pride and the usual propaganda of ARRL being all good things to US amateur radio and never making mistakes or illegalities."

LHA: "On the charge of deliberate FALSIFICATION for whatever reason, ARRL VEC is GUILTY."

There's Len - accuser, judge, and jury all in one, for a test session he never got within 1000 miles of, involving people he never met.

Gee, Len, wasn't it an ARRL VEC that gave you YOUR amateur radio exams? I wonder what the VEs at that session would think about those words you wrote about other ARRL VEs.

-----

N2EY: "HOWEVER,"

N2EY: "You could not pass all of the exams I took in 1967, 1968 and 1970 to get my amateur license. Not then and not now."

AF6AY: "1. It would be quite ILLEGAL for me to take any test FOR Jimmy, at any time in the past. I would have had to take it for ME, not Jimmy. Taking it for anyone else would have been fraud and punishable. :-)"

Not the point. I passed all of them; didn't and don't need anyone else to do it for me. I didn't wait decades for the rules to change, either; I just learned the material and passed the tests.

But you could not pass all of them, then or now. That's just a plain and simple fact, Len.

AF6AY: "2. Regulation changes between 1967 to 1970 and now would necessitate a quite different question-answer set. Any questions-answers of back then would not apply to tests of NOW or of 2007. They would be ILLEGAL."

They would not be illegal for the purpose of demonstration. Fact is, I could pass them (I remember what the old rules were, as well as knowing what the current ones are) and you could not.

AF6AY: "3. In 1967 through 1970 I was taking some academic-credit college classes and at least three of them had final tests and a couple of mid-term tests.
None of those involved amateur radio or any sort of radio licensing."

That's completely irrelevant, of course. Most human beings can multitask. I was doing other things in the 1967-1970 time frame, but they didn't stop me from passing the tests.

AF6AY: "4. I was not at all interested in personally obtaining any amateur radio license in the period 1967 through 1970."

Again, completely irrelevant. Fact is, you couldn't pass all the amateur radio license tests I passed - then or now.

AF6AY: "5. Some time between 1957 and 1960 I had acquired a whole set of FCC regulations (which included amateur radio service as it was then) for my own, plus having a subscription with the Government Printing Office for updates (as they occurred) for about three years afterwards."

Again, completely irrelevant. The exams were about more than the regulations.

AF6AY: "It should be logical and obvious that ANY amateur regulations of 41 to 38 years ago have little to do with amateur radio regulations of now to a year and 3/4 ago."

That's neither logical nor obvious. It's not even true. The regulations of today are based on those of the past. Knowing the history is important to understanding the future.

But that's not the point, anyway.

One more time: Len, I can pass all the tests you took for your amateur radio license back in 2007. But you cannnot pass all the tests I took for my amateur radio license back in 1967-1970.

----------------

AF6AY: "Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)"

No, Len, that's not true at all. Not for all of us, anyway. After all, you have yours, finally.

Shall we talk about changes to real estate zoning? Because that's a textbook example of those who "have theirs" not wanting change.

Lots of us are concerned about the future of Amateur Radio, Len. But we know better than to try to have a serious discussion with you about it, because of your online behavior. We don't take you seriously, for one thing, and you demonstrate cognitive dissonance for another. So we simply don't bother, except for a few who occasionally to point out some errors in your statements and reasoning.

You're reaping what you've sown, Len. Plain and simple.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: MERRY CHRISTMAS  
by RADIO123US on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KC9OFX said " If our operating techniques are wrong--correct us with a little diplomacy. Very few of you got to be great operators without some gentle help. "

Welcome to ham radio.....you are exactly the type of person ham radio needs....there are too many out there today that will tell us where we can stick our radios when we give out some "gentle help"....it sounds like you are truly wanting to learn the proper procedures, and you are to be commended.....

Please don't let folks like Len, AF6AY discourage you....he's one of the newbies that I mentioned above, who want to tell you where to put your radio instead of learning from our "gentle help"......he's been in ham radio less than 2 years and truly needs ALOT of help with his "people skills"....
 
RE: MERRY CHRISTMAS  
by K6LHA on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KC9OFX posted on 24 Dec 08:

"... I'm one of those new no code Ham operators (licensed in October) that blew through all three tests in a month. Truthfully they weren't much of a challenge and I'm not bragging. I studied for each exam. Mathematically Amateur radio was dying and the FCC stepped in to stop the trend because of the value that Ham radio operators have world wide."

Good on you, Dean! Welcome!

Happy Holidays, Len AF6AY
 
Laquacious cromulant embiggering  
by K6LHA on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY cromulantly embiggered hisself laquaciously on 24 Dec 08 with:

"No 'creative editing' on my part, Len. None."

Ha ha ha. Denial is a tricky river to navigate and you sail right up on sandbars every time. Never fails. Very predictable.

Ahem...WHO copied old, old postings on newsgroups to tinyurl and constantly referred to them later in blatant attempts to tarnish others' images? :-)
............
N2EY: "Anyone could read your original post (if they have the patience) because it's right in this same thread."

DUHHHHH. :-)

On e-ham the articles *ALL* BEGIN with a submitter's original post and then leave everything else to responders. :-)

HELLO?!? Do you think everyone else is so DUMB that you need to "explain" it all?!? :-)

Now, I DO realize that many want a maximum of about three sentences before taxing their short-term attention spans or just want some kind of Internet "fight club" action. Those can just look elsewhere for one-sentence jib-jab snarlies or get pay-per-view boxing on TV. :-)

"Patience?" My article kick-off was a short one, just a look at the first two weeks following the REVOLUTION in USA amateur radio after code testing had been eliminated. It is rather short as e-ham articles go. What it showed in numbers of VEC activity rather refuted the CLAIMS of the long-timers that "CB-ers and riff-raff would flood USA amateur radio." Actual activity was only mildly inflated over normal and 2/3 of the action was simply class changes by the ALREADY-LICENSED in USA amateur radio. :-)
..............
N2EY: "Then they can read my response."

Yes, YOUR response and 'only' YOUR response. :-) Nobody else's response counts? :-) Riiiiight... :-)
..............
N2EY: "You, OTOH, have falsely claimed that I wrote things elsewhere which I did not write at all."

Hint: My name or any other identification is not "OTOH." :-)

Anyone can look at the first article posting and see that I have NOT "falsely claimed" anything about Jimmy N2EY; poor thing is not even mentioned. :-)
................
N2EY: "The plain and simple fact is that *you* want to control the discussion. And it's clear you don't want a "serious discussion" because that would mean dealing with others who point out your errors, have different opinions, and have more experience in amateur radio."

Tsk, tsk, I just submitted an article to e-ham.net about the first two weeks of testing after the revolutionary ending of all USA amateur radio license code testing. The only "control" was exercised by the FCC who announced that it would indeed end code testing via a release R&O in December 2006.

Now, in truth, e-ham.net HELD that article in abeyance for a bit over a week before putting it in the Articles section. [that was visible to anyone who bothered to look at e-ham's own links] E-ham.net administrators have the perfect right to do their own control over what gets posted. That includes any editorial changes they care to make such as positioning graphics images. E-ham.net gives instructions on-line to anyone who wishes to post any article. I have NO trouble with that.

"No serious discussions?" Oh, my, how WRONG that is! Keith, KB1SF, is one of the few Serious Discussion people posting here. I replied to some of Keith's posting and explained my opinions. However, whenever I've done ANY postings to another, guess who jumps in with "corrections of errors?" Jimmy N2EY. :-)
Such discussion interruptions (call it 'butting in' in modern colloquial terms) from Jimmy are a GIVEN. Jimmy just can't help himself. It has been like that for a decade with him. <shrug>
..............
N2EY: "Len, practically every one of your posts is a brag tape."

Oh, my, resentment of yours comes shining through. :-)

Perhaps you ought to realize that I've had some considerable experience IN HF radio operations since (probably) before Jimmy was born. :-) Three dozen (plus) HF transmitters ranging in RF power output from 1 to 40 KW. VHF-UHF, then microwave radio relay terminal (9 in all) operation and supervision. NONE of it done as any amateur radio licensee; the DoD didn't recognize amateur radio licenses as pertinent to its mission of tactical radio communications networks.

That's just FACT, Jimmy. PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT.

Another FACT is that Jimmy has never served his country in its military or as a civilian. He never served in either capacity. [did he have reluctance to induction...or just resistance?]

"More experience as an amateur." Yes, I accept that Jimmy has been granted a USA amateur radio license for four decades. So? I've been granted a commercial radio operator license for five decades. PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT. What I've done with my first civilian license was to work IN the electronics industry for five decades. Work involving 'radio' and covering the EM spectrum from VLF on up to microwaves (25 GHz). PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT.

None of that is any "brag tape." Anyone who lives long enough can accumulate lots of experience IN 'radio' if they WORK IN the electronics industry. I am two years older than the FCC. PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT.
................
N2EY: "Not a boast. Just plain fact. There are practice exams available on a variety of websites, using the official question pools. I take (and pass) practice exams every couple of months just to keep current."

Oh, my, another BOAST from the Grate One.

So, SHOW US YOUR SCORES and who VERIFIED those. The FCC doesn't recognize boastful CLAIMS. One has to pass examinations that the FCC regulates by law.

N2EY: "Doesn't matter, I can pass the old ones or the new ones."

Sigh...the Grate One can also boast he can walk on water? :-(
.................
N2EY: "Gee, Len, wasn't it an ARRL VEC that gave you YOUR amateur radio exams? I wonder what the VEs at that session would think about those words you wrote about other ARRL VEs."

Doesn't matter to me what their personal opinions were. As long as they do their task in a lawful manner, that is what counts.

For what it is worth, none of the four VEC examiners even mentioned anything about my personal opinions. They appeared to be surprised but also congratulatory on my passing all three tests in one afternoon. Nothing was mentioned to ANY of the applicants by ANY of the four examiners on 25 Feb 07 in regards to their personal opinions IN the examination room. The examiners simply proctored the testing and that was that.
...............
<on tests for amateur radio licenses in 1970 or 2008>

N2EY: "But you could not pass all of them, then or now. That's just a plain and simple fact, Len."

No, Jimmy, your statement is pure and simple BS.

THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT is that I passed all current test elements on 25 Feb 07. That was satisfactory to the ARRL VEC. That was satisfactory to the FCC who granted me my USA amateur radio license on 7 Mar 07.

As of the current FCC regulations, my USA amateur radio license won't be up for renewal until 2017. Nothing in those FCC regulations say I "have to pass any tests of 1967 through 1970. :-)

Jimmy, the Grate One wants to CONTROL 'passing?' :-)

Jimmy ought to check if he is just passing gas...
................
N2EY: "Fact is, you couldn't pass all the amateur radio license tests I passed - then or now."

N2EY has passed official tests NOW?!?

Tsk, tsk, that doesn't show up on the FCC database. <shrug>
...............
N2EY: "One more time: Len, I can pass all the tests you took for your amateur radio license back in 2007. But you cannnot pass all the tests I took for my amateur radio license back in 1967-1970."

:-) Jimmy Superham really and truly embiggered himself with cromulant laquaciousness. :-)

...whatever that means, if anything... :-)
----------------
N2EY: "But we know better than to try to have a serious discussion with you about it, because of your online behavior."

Oh, my, having ONE'S OWN OPINION is a Crime Against the Amateur State! It is Heresy! It is an offense against the Amateur god (Mxim)! It blasphemes the Good Book (anything published by ARRL)!

Ooooo...join the Hive Mind! Let's all march in lock-step as lemmings headed for the cliff!
...........
N2EY: "We don't take you seriously, for one thing, and you demonstrate cognitive dissonance for another. So we simply don't bother, except for a few who occasionally to point out some errors in your statements and reasoning."

Oh, my, Jimmy is shaking his 'we-we' again. :-)

Superham out to avenge the 'wronged' (the old-timers who wanted to keep everything as it was in their youth)! Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO! It is Superham, faster than a lumbering cue-so, able to leap tall pile-ups in a single bound! Up up and away! :-)

Superham cognitavely dissonated his laquacious cromulance? :-)
...........
N2EY: "You're reaping what you've sown, Len."

Yes, Superham, I AM! The FCC did indeed eliminate the USA amateur radio license code test for all classes! With a little help from a few thousand others...

Sunnuvagun!

Poor Superham is disconsolate. The amateur world changed right before his eyes. His superiority blanket pulled from under his mighty feat. Boo-hoo.

Jimmy, enjoy the lump in your Christmas stocking. Hint: It ain't coal.

AF6AY (a plain and simple Amateur Extra)
 
RE: Laquacious cromulant embiggering  
by WA4KCN on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Jimmy, enjoy the lump in your Christmas stocking. Hint: It ain't coal.

AF6AY (a plain and simple Amateur Extra)
_____
Gentlemen, Gentlemen lets not allow an intellectual thrashing to make us look small. Tossing vulgarities at the victor in a contest may help a loser feel better for a moment. Yet at the expense of ones reputation makes it a poor choice especially for a novice radio amateur.

May Santa bring everyone the radio desires of their heart.

Russ
 
RE: Everyone knows it's Windy....  
by N2EY on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
W7ETYA writes: "Whew!

Well, its finally done!

It was a breath taking finish.

But.

Jim WINS!

He is RIGHT!"

Thank you

Thank you very much.

73 es Merry Christmas de Jim, N2EY
 
GENTLE HELP  
by PLANKEYE on December 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KC9OFX:

Good evening all. I spent 2 nights reading this comment thread. I'm one of those new no code Ham operators (licensed in October) that blew through all three tests in a month. Truthfully they weren't much of a challenge and I'm not bragging. I studied for each exam. Mathematically Amateur radio was dying and the FCC stepped in to stop the trend because of the value that Ham radio operators have world wide.

I'm EXACTLY what the FCC hoped for. The first book I bought after becoming a general: "Ham Radio for Dummies." The second thing purchased was a CD course on Morse code because I believe that "real Hams can communicate in dots and dashes. Then I wanted to know more about our history. Joined the ARRL and found the book "200 meters and Down." I couldn't put it down, and asked for Ham Radio history books for my birthday. My library now includes: "The world of Ham Radio, 1901 - 1950," "Ham radio's Technical Culture," and Hello world." I've transmitted less than 10 times in the during the past 80 plus days because I spend most of my time listening and learning. When I hear a 5th or 6th unanswered CQ I pick up my mic, unlike so many of you operating on club repeaters. If our operating techniques are wrong--correct us with a little diplomacy. Very few of you got to be great operators without some gentle help. Dean KC9OFX

____________________________________

PLANKEYE:

Dean, please think about what you just posted!

You are backwards Brother!!

Merry Christmas!


PLANKEYE



 
Tinyurl.com  
by N2EY on December 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY: "WHO copied old, old postings on newsgroups to tinyurl and constantly referred to them later in blatant attempts to tarnish others' images? :-)"

Not me, Len. Tinyurl.com doesn't work that way.

(insert standard no-connection-except-as-a-satisfied-user disclaimer HERE)

Tinyurl.com is simply a way of shortening long URLs so they're easier to use. Both the original and the tiny versions point to the same place. This is useful because long URLs tend to get corrupted in various text editors.

For example,

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/913159af9e8f2526?dmode=source&hl=en

and

http://tinyurl.com/2akck9

both point to the exact same place. The tinyurl is just a convenience.

Check them out if you don't believe me.

There's a bit of Elmering for you, Len. Whether you admit it or not, I just made it possible for you and others to learn the truth about tinyurl.com

Now about "old, old postings" and "tarnishing other's images"....

If a person writes something in an archived public forum, what's the problem with others referring to it later on? Is there some sort of statute of limitations, beyond which it is not permissible to refer to another's public statements?

You have written many, many postings in amateur radio online forums before getting your amateur radio license in 2007, Len. You used a variety of screen names to do so, often without any reference to your own legal name. You also sent many pages of comments and reply comments to FCC on amateur radio matters even though you were not a radio amateur.

Of course all that is within your rights. But it is also within the rights of others to refer to those public statements of yours.

You present us with a double standard, Len. On the one hand, you constantly refer to things you did in the distant past. You seem to want everyone to know about those things, like your First Class Commerical 'Phone license, even though they have little or no bearing on today's amateur radio.

But you don't want anyone to know about things you wrote only a few years ago that are directly connected to amateur radio. You want a decade-plus of your online behavior as a non-radio-amateur posting in amateur radio forums and to the FCC on amateur regulations to be forgotten as if it never happened.

And at the same time, you misquote others, claiming they wrote things they did not write, then refusing to provide a link to where the supposed quote can be found. (Can't provide a link to something that doesn't exist). Often your misquotes are of things supposedly written years ago in public forums, which can be easily retrieved.

Your own words do the tarnishing, Len.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by N7YA on December 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Wait! I thought you were finished...i thought you said you won!
 
Dumbing down  
by K5MO on December 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
What our saviors at the ARRL don't appreciate , is that if you take away all work in obtaining a goal, the goal becomes value-less. The Dick Bash/GordoWest and the like "License in a cereal box" approach may briefly inflate numbers of hams (or not) but they remove all sense of accomplishment.

The achievement of hard won goals is cherished. Casual, no investment accomplishments are cheap and valueless.
 
RE: Laquacious cromulant embiggering  
by EC158 on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Len has a BIG secret that he doesn't want anyone to know...

AF6Y is a closet CB'er...That's right. He talks on 11m!!!
With one of those MANLY handles..
And he uses HAM radio equipment to do it!

What a hypocrite!

HAHA!!

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas!

 
Closet CBer  
by LOVEHANDLES on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I suspected he was ACBER on some of the other posts.
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by WA4KCN on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Wait! I thought you were finished...i thought you said you won!
---
Winning is a journey rather than a destination.

Russ
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by N7YA on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I was afraid of that...in this case, it would be nice if it were a destination.
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by K6LHA on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N7YA questioned N2EY on December 25, 2008 with:

"Wait! I thought you were finished...i thought you said you won!"

What Jimmy thinks and what really happens are not always the same. :-)

Enjoy your "Simpsons" TV cartoon show and all its 'literary' references.

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Laquacious cromulant embiggering  
by K6LHA on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
EC158 dribbled out on December 26, 2008:

"AF6Y is a closet CB'er...That's right. He talks on 11m!!!
With one of those MANLY handles..
And he uses HAM radio equipment to do it!"

Dario Beyza has the vanity callsign of AF6Y out of Sunnyvale, CA.

An Icom 746Pro doesn't allow transmission outside of USA amateur radio bands.

Please do not insult licensed radio amateurs who aren't participants in this Din of Inequity.
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by K6LHA on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY does his 'Elmer fudd' on December 25, 2008:

"Tinyurl.com is simply a way of shortening long URLs so they're easier to use. Both the original and the tiny versions point to the same place. This is useful because long URLs tend to get corrupted in various text editors."
-----------
Tinyurl is nothing more than a LINK served by a "free" link-maker, supposedly as a "service" to others.

Since its inception around 2002, tinyurl has been suspected of being a very nice place to introduce all sorts of software viruses, bacteria, and assorted dirt into an Internet path to a URL. Since all link-makers have absolutely NO control over the creation of the link, tinyurl.com can conceivably do whatever it wants in its actions. Tinyurl.com has absolute control of the process while the user simply selects some 'terribly long inconvenient, easily-corruptible, unsatisfactory' URL for a short (lazy) convenient notation.

ANYONE who uses a tinyurl LINK is at a potential risk. Those who think they are getting some kind of 'free service' have been seduced into thinking they get something for nothing. Sort of like the concept of 'free love' back in the 1960s...for those who were able to do it, that is. :-)
-------------
Since Jimmy went far afield in discussion (his usual tactic everywhere), let's take a look at his "example" given:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/913159af9e8f2526?dmode=source&hl=en

That direct URL will bring up a posting I made to another dated 2 Sep 96 over Mog-Ur's EMS, a Bulletin Board System operated by Tom Tcimpidis out of Granada Hills, CA, since just before 1983. 1996 or 1997 was about the last year of Mog-Ur's operation as an independent BBS. Tom had installed an Internet gateway about 1995 for those of us who wished to range farther using primarily-text PCs. [the Internet didn't go public until 1991] Several newsgroups were included in that Mog-Ur's EMS gateway to the Internet.

Mog-Ur's EMS (the name inspired by a novel-made-into-movie "Clan of the Cave Bear" with the acronym standing for Electronic Messaging System) was the subject of a suspected misdemeanor by the Los Angeles District Attorney in May 1984 on the allegation that a Pacific Telephone credit card number had been posted there. LA DA confiscated PART of Tcimpidis computer equipment (the main external hard drive was NOT taken) and the Bust was featured in all of the major news sources for personal computing, even made the NY Times of 12 Nov 1984 concerning 'freedom' in regards to the burgeoning BBS community. Since so many journalists showed the DA's bust to be a BUST, the DA gave up on all charges and the case was dropped. [this is not unlike the action taken by hating old-timer hams 'charging' newcomers with all sorts of ethical and moral flaws] Mog-Ur's continued to operate courtesy of a friend. Tom Tcimpidis, an established Video Director in the TV entertainment business of this center of the world's entertainment industry, operated a side business of making 'custom PCs' before bigger entrepreneurs undercut his prices, even before the BIG consumer electronic chain stores had entered the market. Tom had written his own software for Mog-Ur's originally operating on a Heathkit personal computer system; changeover to an 'IBM' PC was necessary for expansion of the BBS. By 1996 the number of BBSs in just the 818 area code of Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley, population about 1.5 million at the time) was 249! Those are just the PUBLIC BBSs on surviving, available listings.

After re-installing Mog-Ur's on the Internet, Tom got a Novice license (KC6MLR) but I didn't hear much about his amateur radio activities at the time. I was an acquaintence of his as well as a subscriber on Mog-Ur's. We would meet at several of the SFV Gatherings of the social BBSs, usually at the 94th Aerosquadron (a restaurant next to Van Nuys Airport, Tom was also a private pilot). The '94th' was a common gathering place once a month of both Lynzie's Motherboard, Talk Channel, and US Pompeii, all being social interaction BBSs popular with singles. Tom would eventually win three successive Emmys for his Video Direction work. Professional activity, not 'amateur.'

Today Tom Tcimpidis is an Extra as K6TGT, a vanity call obtained in 2008 according to FCC ULS. He is the current president of a ham club with an interest in private boating. Tom and his wife Linda (W6LWT) have a hobby of weather recording and forecasting from their elaborate home weather station in Granada Hills. They have a side business for home electronic security devices. Mog-UR's BBS was among the ten longest-surviving pioneer BBSs in the personal computing field of the USA. I enjoyed being a subscriber to Mog-Ur's and knowing Tom both socially and on-line...all in the mutually enjoyable BBS community of the 1980s and 1990s before the Internet became public. It was a BIG community.
------------------
N2EY: "You also sent many pages of comments and reply comments to FCC on amateur radio matters even though you were not a radio amateur."

Yes I did...and I was (still am) a radio professional. :-)

Jimmy needs to retake his civics classes and relearn what he forgot. The FCC is obliged by LAW to accept comments from ANY citizen, whether they are 'licensed' in any particular radio service. They also make such comments available to ALL who can either access www.fcc.gov or go to their Reading Room in DC. Comments from ANYONE, even if it is a half dozen law students practicing...as was the case for docket 05-235. :-)

The FCC is not some "ham club." It must, by law, regulate ALL civil radio in the USA.
...............
N2EY: "But it is also within the rights of others to refer to those public statements of yours."

Fine by me. ALL of my comments on amateur radio NPRM dockets, 18 Petitions up for public comment, are all available to anyone at the FCC ECFS. A simple search by just the docket number will make them available to anyone. Anyone can search by name and/or date to get more specific. It is an easy search method though it might look complicated to those whose attention span is short or just want to be entertained with less-than-four-line snarlies.

Are OLD comments really worth RE-discussing long after MR&Os have made new regulations? The first no-code-test USA amateur radio license was made law by Memorandum Report and Order 90-55 released in December 1990. USA amateur radio 'restructuring' Memorandum Report and Order 99-612 was released in December 1999. USA amateur radio elimination of all code testing for any license exam Memorandum Report and Order 06-178 was released in December 2006. [note the 'coincidence' of all being released in December months]

Jimmy, you've brought up my Comment (posted 13 March 1999) on docket 98-143 at least five times just in e-ham. A SUGGESTION to the FCC to consider the AGE of new USA amateur radio licensee applicants. On the last page of 14 pages of text I mailed to the FCC. The FCC did not reconsider it and I never made any further comment on it after that one comment of almost TEN years ago. Why do you keep on bringing it up?

The answer (to that rhetorical question) is simple: All you have going for you is SPITE. I suggested age 14 as an arbitrary age. YOU got your first amateur license (probably the first license for anything) at age 13. You are overzealous in maintaining a code test for USA amateurs and you got fizzed off by ALL comments I made about ending the code test. Armed with that one tiny bit of publicly-available comment, you've tried to make a sort of 'growth industry' out of it...for no other reason than to paint me as some sort of exclusionary ogre about amateur radio! :-)

Strange as it may seem, you have never commented on the OTHER 13 pages of my 13 January 1999 Comment on docket 98-143. :-)

Docket 98-143 is OVER. R&O 99-612 established 'restructuring.' But, like yourself unable to accept things, Peter Birk just HAD to comment on 15 February 2006 (!) about that NPRM. Roughly SEVEN YEARS LATER! Wow, talk about "cognitive dissonance" all you want but that sort of NON-acceptance of change over years is totally irrational.
...............
N2EY: "But you don't want anyone to know about things you wrote only a few years ago that are directly connected to amateur radio."

Jimmy, you are truly sounding irrational. 'Direct connection' to USA amateur radio can't get any more direct than publicly-available documents stored on the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System. I've said more than once, on e-ham as well as elsewhere, that ANYONE can access the FCC ECFS and read ALL the comments on ANY docket.

Up-front DIRECT action is done in communicating with the FCC. Any citizen can do that. One needs the courage of one's convictions to make those communications. One addresses the SUBJECT, not some imaginary fantasy that exists solely in your ego-spite mind. It is ALL open and above-board, available to ALL who bother accessing the FCC ECFS.

I'm not going to waste time re-re-re-re-arguing old arguments. Decisions on arguments were MADE by authorities. If you really don't like them, YOU go ahead and submit a Petition to CHANGE things to what you want. Re-arguing old arguments made in forums won't "win one for the jimmy" no matter how many times you try it.
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by RADIO123US on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I find it amazing that a newbie like Len, AF6AY, can write pages of text without ever saying anything of any value or importance...I guess it says alot about WHO he is, and what he knows about radio....
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by RADIO123US on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY sid "Yes I did...and I was (still am) a radio professional. :-) "

You are going to have to greatly IMPROVE your writing skills for anyone to believe you are a "radio professional"....all I see here is you putting folks down for questioning your MANY inaccuracies....True "professionals" accept criticism without resorting to name calling...you obviously can't do that...
 
#$%! EVERYONE ELSE  
by PLANKEYE on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS MY BOY LEN:

Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY

__________________________________

PLANKEYE:

SO FEW in here really care about the future of Amateur radio.

Are you one of them Len?

Are you one of the Few that really Cares?


PLANKEYE











 
RE: Laquacious cromulant embiggering  
by EC158 on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
MY bad,typo. NO WAY I would want to insult AF6Y. I'm sure he is a fine person.

But I sure did get Lens dander up, calling him out of the closet about being a cb'er. Why fight it,Len. IT just has to be....it fits your personality. What channel do you hang on? I'll give you a holler..

ec158
CB'er/HAM Operator
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by N2EY on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K5MO writes: "What our saviors at the ARRL don't appreciate , is that if you take away all work in obtaining a goal, the goal becomes value-less."

I think the folks at ARRL do appreciate that. But they don't make the rules, they only petition.

K5MO: "The Dick Bash/GordoWest and the like "License in a cereal box" approach may briefly inflate numbers of hams (or not) but they remove all sense of accomplishment."

Well, not ALL sense of accomplishment. After all, getting the license is only the first step.

I think that in many cases making the license easier to get actually makes the whole process *harder* for the new ham, because in at least some cases s/he winds up with a license but not a clear idea how best to set up a station and operate it.

The folks to blame IMHO are the FCC. Look at how things have changed in license test requirements over the last ~30 years, and at every step you'll see FCC and a few small groups pushing for the changes, not ARRL and not the majority of commenters.

What has driven the FCC to make the changes all these years is budget cuts. Amateur radio is a money-loser for the FCC; so they've sought to cut every cost item possible.

Fees to VEs are used to offset the costs of running the VE sessions (copying, rental of test location, postage, etc.) FCC doesn't get any of it.

Fines and such go straight to the general fund; FCC doesn't get any of them either.

FCC does get vanity-call fees. But they are required by law to only charge the actual processing cost; they can't fund anything else with the money.

You mentioned Dick Bash. The FCC knew what he was doing, yet did not go after him. The only thing that stopped Bash was when FCC trumped his game by making the whole question pool public.

I've never seen Gordon West stuff, but if someone can come up with a simpler explanation of something, more power to them. However, there's a big difference between teaching the material in a more-understandable way, and "teaching the test".

K5MO: "The achievement of hard won goals is cherished. Casual, no investment accomplishments are cheap and valueless."

True, but that doesn't mean something should be made more difficult just to make it more valuable. The main goal of license testing is to make sure the person who passes the tests is qualified to do what the license allows.

And if the license requirements produce licensees with big holes in their qualifications, it's NOT the fault of the licensees (unless they took an active role in changing the requirements). It's the fault of the system.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Why does everybody think that submitting proposals to the FCC and the comments/reply-comments on those proposals is what got the Element 1 exam deleted? The government wants us to believe that we have a voice. We don't. The government does what it deems best. It is in the government's best interest to dumb-down society. It is easier to rule over ignorant/illiterate people. Anybody with a high level of intelligence is a potential threat. Ignorant people don't rebel. They just go on thinking everything's rosy and bright.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by K6LHA on December 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE grumpily posted on December 26, 2008:

"Why does everybody think that submitting proposals to the FCC and the comments/reply-comments on those proposals is what got the Element 1 exam deleted?"

Ahem...PETITIONS or "ex parte" documents are submitted. If the Commission feels that such Petitions are worthy of release, the Commission releases them for public comment. That happens across ALL radio services.

Notices of Proposed Rule Making ('NPRM') are a result of many factors, oftenas a result of previous NPRM comments and replies to comments as well as ex parte (legal term referring to what the Commission receives directly and not always displayed to the public) input. Some of what is in an NPRM is from the Commission itself, what it believes will serve its regulatory purposes best. Usually those latter items are 'housekeeping chores' such as making existing regulations clearer or to correct small mistakes in legal English.

As to 'what happened as a result of all comments' can be easily deduced from the language and format used by the Commission in releasing a Memorandum Report and Order on a docket. An "R&O" is the DECISION document of the Commission and it goes into careful detail (with many footnotes and references) on specific decision items. At the end of each large NPRM is a listing of ALL who submitted comments and replies to vomments. An R&O is not an easily-digested document for the lazy who don't want to study things, but it IS clear and concise. Someone (or several someones) have indeed put forth a lot of effort to carefully examine each comment submittal.

In the case of docket 05-235, I followed the entirety of ALL comments, making the time to download each and every one of them. I then 'scored' each one into categories. That is presented in an EXHIBIT filed electronically with the Commission on 25 November 2005. Anyone can find that one from an ECFS Search: Just enter the docket number [05-235] then click on the next 100 comments list. The EXHIBIT is clearly marked as such in the listing. Default document listing is 100 per page and that exhibit is in the 100 to 200 group with 1 being the latest. The text of that exhibit goes into some detail on the Commission's actions between the release of the docket NPRM and its official publication in the Federal Register slightly over six weeks later. Exhibit text should be self-explanatory. Tabulations of daily document submittals make up the appendix of that exhibit.

Some 3,786 documents were filed on docket 05-235 between NPRM release and the official close of commentary. I have each and every one of those documents saved on a CD, all obtained from the FCC ECFS. There are nearly 4000 total documents listed under docket 05-235, most of those after 15 Nov 05 as a result of two Peitions for Reconsideration which were filed later, commented upon by others, and subsequently denied by the Commission.
..............
Oldepharte: "The government wants us to believe that we have a voice. We don't."

The citizens of the USA do indeed have a VOICE and that gets heard. The recent General Election in November is about as clear a demonstration of that VOICE as is possible. In the case of dockets 98-143 ('restructuring') and 05-235 ('code test elimination') the Memorandum Report and Orders 99-612 and 06-178 (respectively) were comprehensive and detailed IF ANYONE BOTHERED TO READ THEM IN DETAIL.

Those who want to VOICE their OPINIONS to the FCC WILL BE HEARD. But the Commission's 'hearing' gets a sort of QRM-QRN from those who cannot write well or want to take the EASY way out by repeating old screed that had grown into myth from constant repetition over many years. That is NOT good since it shows the writer(s) cannot speak from their own thinking and/or did not consider the impact on ALL citizens affected (usually just their own minority crowd, closed little conclaves of those thinking alike). With over 700 thousand amateur radio licensees on the record, USA amateur radio has become a widely-diverse group of hobbyists involved in radio; their activity is NOT the same nor do they have the same desires as all others.
..............
Oldepharte: "The government does what it deems best."

The whole purpose of a regulatory agency is to REGULATE. The publicly-available R&Os are detailed enough in all their decisions to show that the Commission DID think on all its decision items. That the Commission did not always act as one group thought 'it should' does not mean they are defective or 'in error.' There are NO 'winners' nor 'losers' in such non-contests.

There is only the process of seeking improvements in regulations and then deciding what and which regulations are to be changed. Changes that are better for ALL instead of some self-important minority group.
-----------------
Oldepharte: "It is in the government's best interest to dumb-down society. It is easier to rule over ignorant/illiterate people. Anybody with a high level of intelligence is a potential threat. Ignorant people don't rebel. They just go on thinking everything's rosy and bright."

Tsk, tsk, that is just a lot of depressed sore-loserism grumbling, plus ignorance with an over-spicing of geriatric paranoia as I look at it.

Ya know, having existed for 76 years and spent a whole working career IN electronics, being aware and informed about nearly ALL of the different 'radio' services...I would say that neither R&O 99-612 nor 06-178 did ANY sort of 'dumbing down' of USA amateur radio. I say that because, in my opinion, USA amateur radio WAS NEVER 'SMARTENED UP' as it was depicted a half century ago! That 'smartened up' thing is just the emotions of a long-ago nostalgia overfed by a lot of glory-glory agit-prop by some organization in a suburb of Hartford Connecticutt. 'Glory-glory' talk that was designed to please the egos of some long-timers and make them feel very good inside.

Society is no more 'dumbed down' now than they were a half century ago or even 232 1/2 years ago (like in 1776). It is only the PERCEPTION of a few (who think they are much more than they are) that society is 'dumbed down.' That was just grousing and general complaining by an in-group that just could not tolerate CHAMGE of any kind.

To prevent CHANGE or to implement CHANGE in regulations requires WORK and self-dedication. One has to APPLY themselves to make valid comments to a government. That isn't easy. One has to WORK at putting the words together to CONVINCE THEM. 'The government' is not faceless nor an imaginary group in some distant city. They are PEOPLE and I think most of them are pretty good people working at a near-impossible task of trying to regulate those who cannot get along with each other most of the time.

Now, if you want some organization to do YOUR work FOR YOU, then I'll put you down as just a LAZY old fart who just wants to play with radios instead of trying to better anything but your own shack. You are taking the EASY way out by doing nothing but mouthing off. In that case you get what you paid for, a bunch of sour grapes that don't even make good whine.

73 (more or less), Len AF6AY
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by RADIO123US on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY said "Ya know, having existed for 76 years and spent a whole working career IN electronics, being aware and informed about nearly ALL of the different 'radio' services...I would say that neither R&O 99-612 nor 06-178 did ANY sort of 'dumbing down' of USA amateur radio. I say that because, in my opinion, USA amateur radio WAS NEVER 'SMARTENED UP' as it was depicted a half century ago! "

Hmmmm...if amateur radio was never "Smartened Up", then why did it take further reduction of the requirements for you to be able to actually pass the test ???? Len, it was obviosuly TOO HARD for you to pass for 50 years....either that, or you are not as smart as you think you are....
 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by N2EY on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY: "Tinyurl is nothing more than a LINK served by a "free" link-maker, supposedly as a "service" to others."

That's not what you wrote earlier, Len:

AF6AY: "WHO copied old, old postings on newsgroups to tinyurl"

If you knew what tinyurl.com really is, why the mistake?

AF6AY: "Since its inception around 2002, tinyurl has been suspected of being a very nice place to introduce all sorts of software viruses, bacteria, and assorted dirt into an Internet path to a URL."

Tinyurl.com was recommended to me by a fellow amateur and friend who was and is adamantly anti-code-test and who supports a drastic simplification of the license structure. I've used it for years and never gotten any sort of virus from it.

Have you gotten any viruses or other bad things from tinyurls, Len? Or do you just want to dissuade others from clicking the links to your previous writings?

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/913159af9e8f2526?dmode=source&hl=en

AF6AY: "That direct URL will bring up a posting I made to another dated 2 Sep 96 over Mog-Ur's EMS, a Bulletin Board System operated by Tom Tcimpidis out of Granada Hills, CA, since just before 1983."

I've deleted several paragraphs of Len's misdirection. The points to be made are two:

1) The tinyurl will bring up the exact same posting as the original long url.

2) In that posting, there is a discussion between a licensed amateur ("K1") and Len ("LHA"). "K1" is noting some of the advantages of *using* Morse Code:

Relevant quotes:

K1: "It is an equalizer, negating age, speech impediments and dialectical differences; it provides for ready acceptance of youngsters in an adult enviornment."

To which LHA replies:

"I've always had trouble with integrating "youngsters" in what is a primarily _adult_ skill/technique recreational activity. The dialectical difference negation part is pure nonsense and far-liberal pipedreaming."

(end quotes from that post)

IOW, Len has a problem with including young people in amateur radio, which he sees as "adults only". And even then, he had a BIG problem with seeing anyone promote the advantages of USING Morse Code.

N2EY: "But it is also within the rights of others to refer to those public statements of yours."

AF6AY: "Fine by me. ALL of my comments on amateur radio NPRM dockets, 18 Petitions up for public comment, are all available to anyone at the FCC ECFS."

Yet it seems to bother you when someone refers to their content, or to your many, many postings in various online forums. Why? Aren't you proud of what you've written online?

AF6AY: "Are OLD comments really worth RE-discussing long after MR&Os have made new regulations?"

Sometimes - it depends on the content. In discussions about the growth of amateur radio, how the numbers are changing, claims about 'concern over the future' and 'rising average age', they can be very relevant.

Particularly when someone who isn't even a radio amateur petitions FCC to enact a minimum age requirement without ANY evidence whatsoever of problems caused by the lack of such an age requirement since at least 1912.

AF6AY: "you've brought up my Comment (posted 13 March 1999) on docket 98-143 at least five times just in e-ham."

So what? I brought it up because it's relevant to the discussion. Even more relevant are your related comments on online forums when confronted about it.

Len, you bring up all sorts of irrelevant stuff like who supposedly did or did not serve in the military, how old someone was on a particular date, and much more. Now you're critical of me for bringing up something that's extremely relevant to any discussion of amateur radio licensing.

AF6AY: "A SUGGESTION to the FCC to consider the AGE of new USA amateur radio licensee applicants."

No, it was a petition. Anything "suggested" to the FCC in Comments or Reply Comments is a petition for them to change the rules or keep them as-is, in accordance with the wishes of the writer.

You wanted (and AFAIK probably still want) FCC to ban ANYONE under the age of 14 years from any class of amateur radio license simply because of age.

AF6AY: "On the last page of 14 pages of text I mailed to the FCC."

Hidden away at the end of Reply Comments, sent in such a way that further comment on them by others would be after the deadline. Reply Comments aren't supposed to contain new requests, btw.

AF6AY: "Why do you keep on bringing it up?"

Because it's relevant to the discussion.

Even more relevant are your later claims about 'parents who have conned the VEs', 'four-year-olds who can beep' and accusations of fraud and falsification by the ARRL and VEs involved. These claims were made by YOU in a public forum, even though you don't know any of the people involved nor were you present at the test session.

The truly fascinating thing about that age-requirement idea is that you could not and cannot produce even one example of a problem caused by the lack of such a requirement. Not one incident where a younger-than-14-years amateur caused a problem because of his/her youth. But you'd ban *everyone* under 14 from amateur radio, even though you were 50+ years beyond that date at the time, and a non-amateur to boot.

What does all that say about your logical reasoning skills, Len? What does it say about your REAL concern for the future of amateur radio?

I think what motivated you to ask for such an age requirement was the realization that young people are often enthusiastic or at least accepting about learning Morse Code. They "just do it" and don't make a big fuss. Often they become skilled Morse Code operators at young ages. And they carry those skills and enthusiasm for decades.

In 1996, ARRL had Readex do a survey on attitudes about Morse Code testing among licensed radio amateurs. When broken down by age group, the strongest support for Morse Code testing was among the 15-and-under age group.

See the connection? Seems to me you'd want to choke off that source of radio amateurs if at all possible.

AF6AY: "I'm not going to waste time re-re-re-re-arguing old arguments."

But you do, Len. Your ultra-wordy posts here are exactly that.

I think what you're really trying to do is to dissuade others from seeing your online activities in amateur radio forums of the past dozen years or so.

AF6AY: "If you really don't like them, YOU go ahead and submit a Petition to CHANGE things to what you want."

Already have, Len. I had a hand in the creation of one of those 18 petitions to FCC. It was a group effort.

Now you may say that we FAILED to get what we wanted. And we did fail in some ways. But not for lack of trying. And we succeeded in stopping even worse ideas such as RM-10870 and its "Communicator" license.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: Tinyurl.com  
by RADIO123US on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY said " think what motivated you to ask for such an age requirement was the realization that young people are often enthusiastic or at least accepting about learning Morse Code. They "just do it" and don't make a big fuss. "

Even though code testing is gone forever, I think Len is still terrified that the younger generations might petition the FCC to bring it back...maybe in a license class higher than what he currently has....we know he couldn't stand to not have the highest level of license...even though he's probably NEVER used the privileges he already has...LOL LOL
 
Use vs. Test  
by N2EY on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
RADIO123US writes: "Even though code testing is gone forever, I think Len is still terrified that the younger generations might petition the FCC to bring it back...maybe in a license class higher than what he currently has....we know he couldn't stand to not have the highest level of license...even though he's probably NEVER used the privileges he already has...LOL LOL"

I don't think there's much chance that FCC will ever bring back any requirement that has been removed. Not just Morse Code testing, but having FCC create or run the tests, for example.

As for Len, consider that, although he claims not to have any problem with amateurs using Morse Code, all it takes to get him riled up is to mention anything positive about the mode, or to promote its use by hams. IOW, "don't ask, don't tell".

Consider too that if a young person gets a license and develops a liking for Morse Code, that young person may be using it for many decades to come. I've been using Morse Code on the amateur bands for more than 41 years and if the Almighty allows me, I'll be doing so for at least 41 more years. Is there any reason to expect that young amateurs today would be any different?

73 de Jim, N2EY



 
RE: Dumbing down  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
To AF6AY:

You wrote:
"The citizens of the USA do indeed have a VOICE and that gets heard. The recent General Election in November is about as clear a demonstration of that VOICE as is possible."

Leonard, you don't know who Barack Obama is. Check out his ancestory and family tree at:
http://www.wargs.com/political/obama.html

Scroll down to the bottom of the long page where it says:

<<<
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) publishes a Patriot Index, a list of persons whose honorable service in the cause of independence during the American Revolution renders their female descendants eligible for membership in the NSDAR. Several ancestors of Barack Obama appear in the Patriot Index, including:


James Browning (number 442)
John Browning (number 884)
John Miles Duvall (number 444)
James Hickman (number 886)
John Overall (number 440)

While Mr. Obama is not eligible for membership in the NSDAR (by not being female), he is eligible for membership in the equivalent organization for men, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
>>>

Mr. Obama was hand-picked. Now, Google the word "Illuminati". If you dig deep enough, you will find out who is really running the country.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: Use vs. Test  
by RADIO123US on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY said "As for Len, consider that, although he claims not to have any problem with amateurs using Morse Code, all it takes to get him riled up is to mention anything positive about the mode, or to promote its use by hams"

I agree, and I think the reason he gets so upset is it's a skill he doesn't have....that gives those of us that "know" the code the "edge " in working DX stations...alot of countries are not on SSB...
 
RE: Use vs. Test  
by N2EY on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "As for Len, consider that, although he claims not to have any problem with amateurs using Morse Code, all it takes to get him riled up is to mention anything positive about the mode, or to promote its use by hams"

RADIO123US: "I agree, and I think the reason he gets so upset is it's a skill he doesn't have."

I don't know if Len has any Morse Code skill or not. One thing is for certain; he never even attempted to get any Amateur Radio license before Feb 2007.

There is a certain kind of person for whom "book learning" comes rather easily, but for whom skills are more difficult to learn. Sometimes such a person will invent a system of values in which "skills" such as musical talent, sports accomplishments, etc., are given a very low value and "book learning" is given a very high value. And they will try to impose their system on all others.

RADIO123US "that gives those of us that "know" the code the "edge " in working DX stations...alot of countries are not on SSB..."

That's true, but the advantages of Morse Code/CW are much more than its usefulness working DX.

For example, suppose a ham wants to actually BUILD an HF amateur station. What mode will get them the most
results for the minimum complexity, power consumption and expense?

Or suppose a ham wants to operate in a small shared space without disturbing others? The various data modes can be used, but they usually require quite a bit of external-to-the-radio hardware such as a computer. Voice is out because you have to talk, even if using headphones. But CW is ideal for such an application.

Or how about the backpacker/hiker, running QRP and carrying the entire station? Every milliwatt and ounce counts in such situations. Again, CW is just about ideal for that application. In fact, a few months ago, a ham who was backpacking in the Pacific Northwest fell and broke his leg, and was able to summon help using his CW rig.

There are lots of other examples, of course. But the first requirement is learning the skills.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: Good question, Plankeye!  
by EC158 on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY, just letting you know that the link for your homepage that is listed in your profile no longer works..
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by K6LHA on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
OLDEPHARTE put on his KKK sheet and snarled on 27 Dec 08:

"Leonard, you don't know who Barack Obama is."

Sorry, old fart, I not only know who he is but worked for his candidacy as a volunteer before he was nominated by the DNC. :-)

Before you get your white Koo Koo Klucks sheet on, try to remember this forum isn't about white supremacy bigotry or a paranoia-induced conclave about some 'illuminati.'

It is about AMATEUR RADIO. Amateur radio is a HOBBY activity involving radio communications.

Although, thinking about that, USA amateur radio is primarily done by WHITE MALE licensees. Maybe there IS a connection (God forbid!)?

00, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by K6LHA on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED posted on 27 Dec 08:

"Hmmmm...if amateur radio was never "Smartened Up", then why did it take further reduction of the requirements for you to be able to actually pass the test ???? Len, it was obviosuly TOO HARD for you to pass for 50 years....either that, or you are not as smart as you think you are...."
--------------
Ordinarily, that quote (a big pile of merde) would be skipped over much the same as some scrawled grafitti is ignored. But, HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED insists on his aggressive, mean-spirited 'challenges' to 'come out and fight!' Let's see if HE WHO can come out in the open. I don't think he has the guts to admit who she is. :-)

Okay, let's do the ESSAY Thing...
---------------
The premise of HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED's little-boy challenge is the weird notion that an amateur radio license is some kind of 'ULTIMATE' academic, moral, ethical 'authorization' bestowed only only on those whose 'might' is far bigger than anyone else's capability. It isn't, but some of those who have been granted that 'ultimate' prize have the fanciful notion that it IS.

Any amateur radio license is just a grant from a government to emit RF within allocated frequencies using allocated modes all defined in federal regulations. A license is a regulatory tool used by the FCC in its lawful task of regulating ALL United States civil RF emitters. [reference the Telecommunications Act of 1934, passed by the US Congress to create the FCC] Regulation is necessary due to the physical nature of radio-frequency energy going beyond man-made borders; chaos would result within the EM spectrum if regulation was not done.

In the United States of America, the FCC defines the amateur radio service as a not-for-profit activity done by individuals for personal pleasure. That is also a definition of a HOBBY even though the law does not say so de jure. It is a de facto HOBBY. [while the law does not define amateur radio as a hobby as such, it is factually a hobby pursuit...translation for those unfamiliar with simple Latin terms of 'de jure' and 'de facto']
..............
As part of the FCC's regulatory task, it kept the TESTING of all radio operators that had begun with predecessor radio regulating agencies in the USA. This was a way to ascertain that radio operators were cognizant of existing radio regulations as those pertained to particular radio services. Radio stations had to make formal applications for a station license, receiving identifying "call signs" when granted. In amateur radio where the operator and station were one and the same, the applicants were granted a call sign that was the station identification, not the operator. Just the same, early amateur radio operators identified themselves by their call signs in a personally-propriatory manner.

In the USA, all radio operator testing was first performed only at FCC Field Offices (usually in large urban areas). After a few years there was relaxation for amateur radio operator testing so that they did not have to travel so far to reach FCC Field Offices; that relaxation did not apply to commercial radio operator license applicants. During the early part of the last century the concept of testing for many tradecrafts other than radio had begun along with attendant licensing or other accreditation. A 'license' had become its own status in society.

Prior to the USA's World War II days, several publishing companies had made "question and answer" guides available for a fee. Those covered the first of the tradecraft licenses, including radio operator licenses. Most of the latter were for commercial licenses; Q&A books including amateur radio testing appeared after WWII was over. It wasn't until many years after WWII that the 'Bash books' (and some others) were made objects of scorn by long-time amateurs who had tested in the formality of US Government Field Offices.

The formality of testing at ONLY FCC Field Offices created its own mystique. Most were located in FEDERAL BUILDINGS, unfamiliar territory to most civilians, somewhat imposing, and always outfitted with standard government furniture and office equipment. To many this was imposing, anxiety-inducing territory, especially to teen-agers unaccustomed to dealing with 'authorities' other than a school principal. :-)

The *TESTS* themselves were rather simple in their written form. The morse code test, absolutely required for all amateur radio license testing and the commercial radiotelegrapher licenses were of a psycho-motor skill type. Nothing in the way of academic achievement could possibly be associated with a morse code test, either receiving or transmitting. Indeed, the written tests had very little in regards to academic-intellectual knowledge of theory of radio-electronics and were mainly concerned with the existing radio regulations plus organization of the FCC itself. The whole purpose of radio operator testing was for the FCC to regulate - by selection - those who seemed knowledgable enough to be granted a radio operator license.

A commercial radio operator license was a pro forma document that could get the grantee a gateway into an income-producing job in communications. An amateur radio operator license was personally elevated into some mighty certificate of achievement into a wider world that was yet unfamiliar, to be a 'somebody' and thus 'better' (in their own eyes) than ordinary people. Amateur radio was, still is, just a hobby. An amateur radio license forbids any monetary compensation for radio communications services done for others.

But, the *TEST* has become a sort of impossible barrier to many. It shouldn't be since it is far from any intellectual-academic skill test. No one will get 'fired' from a job for failing an amateur radio test. In a job environment it might mean cut-off from a higher position (and thus higher income) if their commercial operator test fails. Just the same, the amateur radio *TEST* reamins a spectre to many who fear failure...an emotional exaggeration not borne out by reality.

In the relaxation of testing, the privatization system done by the FCC to ease its budget constraints over two decades ago, commercial radio operator licensing is done by COLEMs and amaeur radio operator licensing is done by VECs. Testing locaations are more local to most applicants, settings a bit less formal than they were in government offices. As a further relaxation in amateur radio testing creation, the FCC yielded the creation of ALL questions and answers to the VEC in 1999, retaining only the required minimum of all questions for each class of license. VECs are composed of already-licensed radio amateurs familiar with theory and regulations and how to generate questions and their one-true-out-of-four answers. Many of those current false answers are cleverly written to fool the unwary; one has to pay strict attention to what is written to select the right answer.

In 2007 the FCC still required a minimum number of 10 times the number of requied questions required for each license class. The VEC Question Pool then contained 11.2 times the minimum for Technician, 13.9 times the minimum for General, 16.0 times the minimum number for Extra. For all three class tests there were 1679 questions where 120 were required, an average ratio of 14.0 overall. 1,679 questions and 1,679 correct answers are beyond most applicants memorization capability for 'just memorizing correct answers' (the usual off-the-cuff challenge by the long-ago tested licensee).

That 'the old tests were so much HARDER' than today is an empty boast, unverifiable. It is just locker-room talk by over-aggressive males doing a con-job about their mighty accomplishments.
------------------
Prior to getting ANY radio license, the US Army assigned me to an HF communications station in Japan back in 1953. The transmitter site had no less than three dozen HF transmitters, minimum RF power output 1 KW, maximum of a few 15 KW (later up to 40 KW). I would say that three dozen HF transmitters is MORE than the average amateur radio licensee will ever operate in their lifetime...only a few will have as much as 2 square miles to put up dozens of wire antennas on that area. Was I suddenly into some orgasmic desire to get my very own amateur license then? NO. I saw my future career in ELECTRONICS, even back before solid-state technology had become the standard component of all electronics.

I got a commercial license in 1956 shortly after release from active duty, for INCOME PRODUCTION...for getting "my foot in the door" in the growing field of electronics. One test, one sitting for a First Class Radiotelephone (Commercial) radio operator license the first time at a Chicago FCC Field Office. Jimmy Miccolis has charged "the army taught me all I know." It did not, certainly not on commercial electronics. Jimmy has no experience in that, never having served his government in uniform or out. The EXPOSURE to BIG TIME HF communications was the thing. I'd been a casual hobbyist in electronics as it was in 1947, involved in other things than ham radio. I found that hobby fascinating. I also had to WORK HARD to advance, to do more, to attend formal classes in engineering in my free time, trying to keep a bachelor's social life as part of living. That all came together.

"50 years ago" (1958) the FCC had already allocated Class C and D CB on the eliminated 11m ham band. That sounded like a fun thing to have in my sports car and I got one in 1959 (purchased at Henry Radio in Los Angeles). With a base-loaded short whip on the all-aluminum body Austin-Healey, it was a fine mobile radio used during sports car activities and elsewhere. Still no LUST to have "my very own station" for dee-ecks. Casual communications. It didn't hurt that novelty of a two-way radio in a car was also a babe magnet. :-)

All through a working career in electronics as a responsible design engineer, I've never really had any terrible desire (slaver, drool) to "have my very own station." Scanner, yes, primarily to listen to civil aircraft comms in the local area. SWL sure...its cool to listen to news and events over foreign broadcasts, to learn how other nations treat news viewpoints. I had spent three years of my life trying to do the best job I could in KEEPING fixed radio communications circuits operating 24/7...over the span of the Pacific as well as local circuit paths. I've never acquired any desire to work dee-ecks just to collect QSLs to prove I did it. Now bear in mind that - at no time - was my Army communications experience ever involving OOK CW manual telegraphy. OOK CW was already passe' in Army comms in the late 1940s. Getting involved in OTHER radio services I've never seen any OOK CW done there nor had to use it. Why was it still required in the hobby activity of amateur radio for licensing? That was unfathomable to me. I started looking into the amateur radio regulation subject more around 1980, asking questions of co-workers who also had ham licenses, getting their opinions.

All around me, lots of electronics industry co-workers were already involved in various electronics-oriented hobbies. Model radio control for one, my first foray into learning more about 'radio' as a teener. High fidelity music for another. Even model railroad layout control. A bigger fascination was 'digital computing,' doing mathematical computation on all-electronic calculators to eliminate the tedium of five-place transcendental function look-up and interpolation of same. That was well before the first electronic calculators that became the slide-rule replacement. All of that was a harbinger of a HUGE future in new applications of electronics. I wasn't content to sit around 're-pioneering' of the amateur HF airwaves already done before WWII started. :-)

In discussion with lots of radio-interested people in about the 1980s, it looked to me like the USA amateur radio regulations were ripe for change. That seemed like a good thing to me, to benefit the future of a hobby niche in electronics and to many others who couldn't care less about morse code. I was not any novice in local politics at the time, having been a volunteer for the campaign of John F. Kennedy and some others. With the opening of the Internet to the public in 1991, there was a doorway to begin campaiging for change, for reform. Memorandum Report and Order 90-55 had already created the first USA amateur radio codeless license. The POLITICS of effecting change took on an increasing interest. History of all radio and the foreseeable future were on my side.

The time between 23 November 2005 (end of commentary on 05-235) and 19 December 2006 (when R&O 06-178 was released) took a long time. I still had no interest on Getting My Very Own (gasp!) amateur radio thing. I was satisfied in the outcome just before Christmas and enjoyed the year-end holidays. My wife and a couple of amateur radio friends said to me at the end of January 2007 "why not go for it?" :-) OK, no sweat, I set out to pass the test. I did. Almost on the 51st anniversary of passing my First 'Phone test. :-)

Was either test 'hard?' Yes and no. Its a very subjective thing to grade. I was 'smart' enough to pass both the tests first time out. I was 'smart enough' to have a whole paying career in the electronics industry, winding up as a responsible design engineer. No debts, no mortgage, satisfactory savings. Did I really and truly WANT to get a ham license at any time in my life? No, that means applying to the FDA and I didn't care to do meat-packing. When I decided to take the amateur radio test, I DID want it. I was then 74. I did it. ANYONE can do it if they apply themselves.

HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED is going to shovel more merde hiding behind an unimaginative handle, hiding in the shadows, afraid to come out. All he can do is heckle and jeer others who HAVE set out to do things and did them. No pity for him, though, ghosts don't deserve pity. I will let him enjoy his hate and hope he chokes on his own ectoplasm. :-) <shrug>

73, Len AF6AY




 
The easy way  
by N2EY on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY: "In the case of docket 05-235, I followed the entirety of ALL comments, making the time to download each and every one of them. I then 'scored' each one into categories."

So did some other folks.

And what Len won't tell you is that the majority of those who bothered to comment were AGAINST the total removal of Morse Code testing for all classes of US amateur license.

But comments aren't a vote, and the FCC is free to choose to do whatever they want. FCC is in no way required to do what the majority wants.

OLDEPHARTE: "The government wants us to believe that we have a voice. We don't."

AF6AY: "The citizens of the USA do indeed have a VOICE and that gets heard. The recent General Election in November is about as clear a demonstration of that VOICE as is possible."

Which candidate for US president did you vote for in November 2008, Len?

Comments on an NPRM aren't votes. FCC actions aren't up for election.

And do recall that in 2000, the candidate for president who got the most votes from the people did not win. In US presidential elections, some votes are much more valuable than others.

AF6AY: "Those who want to VOICE their OPINIONS to the FCC WILL BE HEARD."

But their voice may not be acted upon by the FCC, regardless of how loud it is, nor how much sense it makes.

AF6AY: "With over 700 thousand amateur radio licensees on the record, USA amateur radio has become a widely-diverse group of hobbyists involved in radio; their activity is NOT the same nor do they have the same desires as all others."

And yet, the majority of commenters didn't get what they wanted on the code-test issue. Not in 1999, nor in 2006.

OLDEPHARTE: "The government does what it deems best."

AF6AY: "That the Commission did not always act as one group thought 'it should' does not mean they are defective or 'in error.'"

Nor does it mean the FCC was correct in its choices. Just that they made a choice.

AF6AY: "There are NO 'winners' nor 'losers' in such non-contests."

Sure there are. If the changes are not good ones, we all lose.

Do you think FCC has made the right decisions about Access-BPL? I don't.

AF6AY: "There is only the process of seeking improvements in regulations and then deciding what and which regulations are to be changed. Changes that are better for ALL instead of some self-important minority group."

It was a self-important minority that wanted the code tests to go away. Not the majority.

OLDEPHARTE: "It is in the government's best interest to dumb-down society. It is easier to rule over ignorant/illiterate people. Anybody with a high level of intelligence is a potential threat. Ignorant people don't rebel. They just go on thinking everything's rosy and bright."

AF6AY: "Tsk, tsk, that is just a lot of depressed sore-loserism grumbling, plus ignorance with an over-spicing of geriatric paranoia as I look at it."

Len, I thought you said "There are NO 'winners' nor 'losers' in such non-contests.". Now you're saying
OLDEPHARTE is a "sore loser". Hmmm...

AF6AY: "Society is no more 'dumbed down' now than they were a half century ago or even 232 1/2 years ago (like in 1776)."

How do you know, Len? You weren't around in 1776. Nor in 1876.

AF6AY: "It is only the PERCEPTION of a few (who think they are much more than they are) that society is 'dumbed down.' That was just grousing and general complaining by an in-group that just could not tolerate CHAMGE of any kind."

"CHAMGE"?

AF6AY: "To prevent CHANGE or to implement CHANGE in regulations requires WORK and self-dedication. One has to APPLY themselves to make valid comments to a government. That isn't easy."

Well, maybe not for you, Len.

AF6AY: "One has to WORK at putting the words together to CONVINCE THEM."

Not when they're already committed to a course of action.

For more than 25 years, FCC regulations changes for the ARS have been in the direction of lowering license requirements. Not just in the area of code testing, either - written testing too.

There are two reasons for this:

The first is to save money. FCC is chronically underfunded, and the ARS isn't tops on their expenditures list.

The second reason is more subtle. It has to do with the concept of the skilled radio operator. At one time, this was such a universally-understood idea that no one questioned it. There were multiple classes of Commercial Radio Operator license, both Radiotelephone and Radiotelegraph, with all sorts of endorsements for things like RADAR. The result was a lot of good jobs that could only be filled by a licensed Radio Operator.

That bothered the corporate bigwigs, because it cost money, so the rules were changed and new technologies promoted to eliminate the skilled Radio Operator jobs.

Now there's just the GROL for most things, and lots of stuff that used to require a licensed operator can be done by anyone the owners consider qualified.

But Amateur Radio is different. Unlike commercial radio, in which "radio" is just a means to an end, Amateur Radio is about "radio for its own sake", including the skilled, licensed Radio Operator.

FCC didn't need any convincing to get rid of Morse Code testing. They've been heading down that road for a long time, starting as far back as 1975. Only the resistance of the amateur radio community slowed them down.

It's clear to anyone who read the FCC statements as far back as 1990, when "medical waivers" were invented, which way FCC was headed. Nobody who read their official pronouncements was surprised when the rules changed. The only thing that surprised me is that it took FCC so long.

Now, Len, you may think your mountains of verbiage helped your cause, but IMHO that's like the rooster taking credit for the dawn.

In fact, all your comments and reply comments and other stuff probably slowed the process down, because some poor soul at FCC had to read and file all of it.

AF6AY: "'The government' is not faceless nor an imaginary group in some distant city."

In some situations they are. You ever meet any FCC Commissioners in the past 10 years?

AF6AY: "They are PEOPLE and I think most of them are pretty good people working at a near-impossible task of trying to regulate those who cannot get along with each other most of the time."

Who do you mean, Len? Most hams I know get along with each other quite well most of the time. Even when they disagree.

AF6AY: "Now, if you want some organization to do YOUR work FOR YOU, then I'll put you down as just a LAZY old fart who just wants to play with radios instead of trying to better anything but your own shack."

You don't know who OLDEPHARTE is, Len. For all you know, s/he could be an FCC Commissioner.

AF6AY: "You are taking the EASY way out by doing nothing but mouthing off. In that case you get what you paid for, a bunch of sour grapes that don't even make good whine."

Really, Len? Seems to me that all you did for about a decade was exactly what you describe as "mouthing off". Your comments and reply comments are pretty much copies of your internet postings, with some of the infantile behavior removed.

And I find it interesting that you were such a promoter of CHANGE in amateur radio regulations for more than a decade before you were licensed as an amateur radio operator.

Yet when someone wanted to make a minor CHANGE to the zoning regulations for your neighborhood some years back, you were against it 100%.

The most ironic thing in all of this is that your so-called "revolution" hasn't happened. Removing the Morse Code test hasn't brought about a large number of newcomers, nor a techno-revolution, nor even much change at all other than some upgrades among the already-licensed. Which proves beyond a doubt that the license requirements, code and written, weren't really a problem after all.

----

Suppose - just suppose - FCC were petitioned to create a new license class (call it "Special" just to give it a name) whose tests included 20 wpm Morse Code, sending and receiving, plus tougher, non-published written tests. All costs of the new license class would be covered by a Special license fee, just like vanity callsigns.

The new "Special" license class would give no additional operating privileges above the Extra. It would also not be renewable; you'd have to be retested every 10 years or be downgraded to Extra.

IOW, it would just be an accomplishment thing for those who wanted it. Just like the Extra was from Feb 1953 to Nov 1968

Want to bet Len would oppose such a CHANGE?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Dumbing down  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
To AF6AY:

You said:
"Before you get your white Koo Koo Klucks sheet on, try to remember this forum isn't about white supremacy bigotry or a paranoia-induced conclave about some 'illuminati.'"

Hey Bonehead. First, the Illuminati is very real. Second, what makes you think I'm white? Third, what makes you think I am a racist?

I honestly believe that trying to carry on an intelligent dialog with you is a total waste of time. As for what race I am and what ethnic background I am from is for me to know and for you to find out.

Oh, and just for the record, I voted for Barack Obama and I'm proud of it. I would have voted for Hillary Clinton if she was nominated. I couldn't stomach a third term of George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin is dangerous.

Georgie single-handedly ruined this country and is responsible for the mild depression that the world is experiencing. Every time Henry Paulson has something to say, the DJIA plunges as he speaks.

I know things about Georgie that I wouldn't dare post on a public forum because I can't prove it. Thank God Paulson and the rest of the Bush Administration will be history in a few weeks.

Don't expect anymore responses from me. Go soak your head and go do something useless, like posting more drivel to this article of yours. Your useless use of Internet bandwidth is your proud accomplishment.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: Use vs. Test  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: There is a certain kind of person for whom "book learning" comes rather easily, but for whom skills are more difficult to learn. Sometimes such a person will invent a system of values in which "skills" such as musical talent, sports accomplishments, etc., are given a very low value and "book learning" is given a very high value. And they will try to impose their system on all others.

OLDEPHARTE: Maybe the reason is pure jealousy. After all, rock stars and professional athletes are among the highest-paid people in the world. Pitchers like CC Sabathia and Johan Sanatana are worth what they are paid. It's not easy being the very best at what you do.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
Now What???  
by KG6WLS on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Well, we've reached the 13th day of THIS doomsday article....

Now what???



 
RE: Now What???  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 27, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"Well, we've reached the 13th day of THIS doomsday article....Now what???"

It's time to "File 13" it.

73,
OLDEPHARTE

P.S.: What do you expect from this article, considering its author.

GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out.
TITO: Trash in, trash out.

It's all gobblygook. It all makes no sense. AF6AY is a bitter mentally-disturbed individual who is taking out his hatred for CW (the roadblock that kept him out of amateur radio for some 50 years) on those who passed the test(s) and mastered the skill. He needs a good Shrink. I'm sure there are plenty in Sun Valley,CA.

73,
OLDEPHARTE

 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Where is Wayne Green when you need him????

I read in another thread RE getting young people into amateur radio. I thought that what I wished to post there would (but cannot because it is a closed thread) would do well here. Well, I am 45, and I wanted to get into amateur radio from the time that I was ten. Less see...that was in 1973. I was the only son of a single mother, and we had a friend who was a radio/radar tech for the airforce at the long gone and much lamented Richards Gebar (sp?) afb near south Kansas City. He gave me an old Heathkit HR-10 receiver, and helped me string up a longwire in the back yard.

I listened to ops all over the place... below 20M if I remember right. Nothing worked with it above 20. Back to the point. I listened radio for many years. Still have it. Had to replace a filter cap and one tube in thirty five years. The point??

I desperately wanted to become a Ham for years. I bought the old radio shack publication titled From 5 watts to a thousand (or something like that). I studied and read that thing until it was dogeared. Sent to the GPO and got a copy of part 19 three months later...came in a dark green paperback pamplet. I actually learned the theory by the time that I was thirteen.

I could not get the code for the love of God (Bastet in my case...look Her up in Google). I tried three times. Could not do it. Had no one to help me. No elmer would take the time to help a thirteen YO kid from the less desirable side of the tracks.

I started reading 73 magazine about a year before... which is where I became acquainted with the multi-page editorials from Wayne Green. The *very first* person in amateur radio that I had heard of that suggested (well, not suggested really, screamed is more like it) that the ARRL's incentive licensing and the code were killing ham radio. I agreed comletely then and do so now. Long Live Wayne and 73. (And what is more, I do not now, nor will I ever belong to the ARRL, because they did not want me as an op back then, and do not now. Why should I give them money for a rather boring magazine and their aleged 'representation'?)

When the no-code tech came to pass, I bought a little book from RS and photocopied each page. Then cut each question and answer out, pasted the question on one side of a 5 X 3 card, the answer on the other. I memorized the questions in two weeks, passed both the novice section then the tech section at the same session and got a 100% on each.

Opperated for the past thirteen years on 2 meter and 70 cm. Mostly repeaters. Became the tower monkey for a 70 cm repeater, and loved every minute of it. Still, I always wanted to work HF, but that of course required that damned code.

Now, (at last) the code requirement is gone (thank Bastet). I am studying for the general, and will take that at the next VE session here in KC. Yes, I will be a no-code general, and I really do not give a rat's tail about what anyone thinks about that. Just bought a "modern" IC 730 to go along with my R70 and 471A uhf rig. Note the quoted 'modern'. I cannot justify spending the 2 grand for a really up to the minute rig. The 730 is about twenty years old. On the other side of the QTH are my boatanchors...heath SBs mostly, though I do have the HR-10, DX-60 and HG-10 waiting as well.

Why this long and rambling post that might start to become as long as the best of AF6AY and N2EY's? Because for years, the stuck in the fifties ARRL and the OFs demanded that hams learn that (deleted) code. To be a general it was 13 WPM, for extra it was 20 WPM. An old mode that outlived its usefulness at about the start of WWII. Definately by Korea. Don't get me wrong, if you like code, then by all means use it. I would never suggest otherwise. That is what life is about...do what thy will and be blessed.

On the other hand, do not tell me that I was lazy for not learning the code. I actually bought something called code quick in the mid nineties, and learned the code to about 5 WPM. I simply could not go any faster on receive. I can however send a lot faster. That said, I will NOT use the code. First of all, I am no good at it. Second, I find it tedious. Third, I find no human-ness in it. I can remember an Extra once bitching about ops who could not copy 20 WPM (on phone). Geeze...did being able to copy 20 WPM make you a better op than if one can only copy 5 WPM? Well, if that is the case, I know (knew actually, he is SK) an old Navy 'sparks' that could copy at 60 WPM and he considered himself slow. Not only that, he could write the copy with his right hand and send with his left, all at the same time. He must have been a far better op than the Extra that I mentioned above.

With what I have said in mind, when I get my General ticket, I plan on working phone and RTTY. Not computer RTTY mind you, but "real RTTY"...you know, electro-mechanical RTTY. I like the smell of 30 weight oil and ozone. Model 19, a TT/L-2 demod and a modified VFO. Now doesn't the statement "real RTTY" sound plain silly if not arrogant? Of course it does, that is the way that I meant it to sound. I have lots of friends that run all sorts of digital (computer based) modes, including computer RTTY that unfortunately do not include CR and LF commands, thus making it hard for a mechanical TTY to copy what they send. Their mode of choice makes them no less a ham than mine. Same with CW...sorry to break it to the OFs, (and I am quickly becoming an OF) but because I won't even have a key or keyer in my QTH does not make me less a ham that those that do.

Thank god that the code requirement is history. I see no mad rush of Burt Reynolds-esqe, beer crazed CBer's rushing in to 80 (or 40)meters to "shoot skip" with their grossly non-linear "linears". I just see the possibility that perchance a few folk who love the hobby of radio communications being allowed into a formerly very closed hf fraternity that used a vastly outdated communication mode test as a means to keep the riff-raf (such as myself) out that simply could not master copying cw. For those that continue to whine about this, let me suggust that (without belittling those who use cw out of choice...only those that would beat me over the head with their key) for me to be impressed and fall at your feet and worship you as a CW god, then do what my late SK friend can do, and copy 60 WPM. Don't even need to send at the same time. If you really want to have my worshipfull respect, learn to copy Baudot tones from a unit running a 60 WPM gear. Surely, that would make you a far better ham than even the 20 WPM Extra...otherwise, I am not interested in listening to "...when I became a ham, I had to..."

Best and 73,

Joe KB0TXC
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by RADIO123US on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY said "All he can do is heckle and jeer others who HAVE set out to do things and did them. "

Len...once again you wrote alot of words about things you may, or may not have done in the FAR distant past....your supposed resume still does NOT give you any credibility here....because your words give you away.....folks that TRULY have the skills and knowledge don't have to brag about them for pages and pages in an online forum.....as an example, I can tell N2EY is an VERY experience ham by looking at the content of his posts...all your posts include are references to things you supposedly did years ago....if you REALLY want to get some respect, stop bragging about things that have no relation to ham radio, and get on the air and start LEARNING....once you've done that, it can't help but show up in your postings....
 
No, Len, That's Not True  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY wrote: "In the USA, all radio operator testing was first performed only at FCC Field Offices (usually in large urban areas)."

Sorry, that's just not true, Len. Not for amateur radio operator licenses.

Even before the FCC existed, when the FRC was in charge of licensing, amateur radio exams could be taken and passed by mail. (1933 is the year I'm referring to; it probably goes back even farther). This was in the days of the "ABC" license system, when Class C was a Class B license obtained "by mail".

The way it worked was that FCC had permanent Field Offices in most big cities, where regular weekly exam sessions were held, plus traveling FCC examiners would conduct monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual exam sessions at more distant points. If a prospective ham lived within a certain distance of a Field Office or a monthly or quarterly exam point, s/he had to appear before the FCC examiner for the license tests.

However, if a prospective amateur lived outside that distance, s/he could get a Class C amateur license "by mail", with the exams conducted by another licensed radio operator (amateur or commercial). In 1933 the required distance was 125 miles. This distance was to be measured "air-line", meaning it was the straight-line distance on a map, not the actual travel distance.

AF6AY: "After a few years there was relaxation for amateur radio operator testing so that they did not have to travel so far to reach FCC Field Offices;"

The "relaxation" came in 1954, when the distance was reduced to 75 miles.

So the claim that all FCC amateur radio licensing tests were conducted at FCC Field Offices or even by FCC examiners is simply false. In error. Just plain wrong, because US amateur radio license exams "by mail" have existed since before the FCC.

There are some more errors in your why-use-one-word-when-five-will-do "essay", Len, but I'm out of time right now. I may fix some of the others later.

If you're going to write such things, please research them more thoroughly.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Stories  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC writes: "Where is Wayne Green when you need him????"

He's still around. We don't need him.

His latest areas of interest include some radical and totally unproven health quackery and claims that the Apollo moon landings were faked.

KB0TXC: "I am 45, and I wanted to get into amateur radio from the time that I was ten. Less see...that was in 1973."

I wanted to get into amateur radio from about that age, too. I was ten in 1964.

KB0TXC: "I was the only son of a single mother, and we had a friend who was a radio/radar tech for the airforce at the long gone and much lamented Richards Gebar (sp?) afb near south Kansas City. He gave me an old Heathkit HR-10 receiver, and helped me string up a longwire in the back yard."

Good for him! My first shortwave receiver was homemade from salvaged parts.

KB0TXC: "I desperately wanted to become a Ham for years. I bought the old radio shack publication titled From 5 watts to a thousand (or something like that). I studied and read that thing until it was dogeared. Sent to the GPO and got a copy of part 19 three months later...came in a dark green paperback pamplet. I actually learned the theory by the time that I was thirteen."

I did similar things, learning enough theory and regs to get the Novice at 13 too.

KB0TXC: "I could not get the code for the love of God (Bastet in my case...look Her up in Google)."

Cat goddess of the ancient Egyptians?

KB0TXC: "I tried three times. Could not do it. Had no one to help me. No elmer would take the time to help a thirteen YO kid from the less desirable side of the tracks."

I had to learn it on my own as well, by listening to hams on 80 meters. My Elmers were books.

I have found over the years that the most common problem with learning the code is using the wrong methods. If someone can understand spoken English, they can almost certainly learn Morse Code.

KB0TXC: "I started reading 73 magazine about a year before... which is where I became acquainted with the multi-page editorials from Wayne Green. The *very first* person in amateur radio that I had heard of that suggested (well, not suggested really, screamed is more like it) that the ARRL's incentive licensing and the code were killing ham radio."

Claiming is one thing. Proving is another. Wayne Green was simply wrong.

KB0TXC: "When the no-code tech came to pass, I bought a little book from RS and photocopied each page. Then cut each question and answer out, pasted the question on one side of a 5 X 3 card, the answer on the other. I memorized the questions in two weeks, passed both the novice section then the tech section at the same session and got a 100% on each."

That's great!

KB0TXC: "Still, I always wanted to work HF, but that of course required that damned code."

That's because international treaty required it, until July 2003. The FCC could not eliminate the code test requirement even if they wanted to before that date.

KB0TXC: "Because for years, the stuck in the fifties ARRL and the OFs demanded that hams learn that (deleted) code. To be a general it was 13 WPM, for extra it was 20 WPM."

Back in the old days, yes.

But in 1990, the FCC changed the rules so that all license classes could be obtained with just the 5 wpm code test and a medical waiver. All it took to get the medical waiver was a letter from any doctor saying you would have 'more than average difficulty' learning the code. Didn't have to be a specific problem, didn't have to be a permanent thing, didn't have to be impossible. Just more difficult than average. "I tried and couldn't do it" was enough reason to get a waiver.

KB0TXC: "An old mode that outlived its usefulness at about the start of WWII. Definately by Korea."

Sorry, but that's just not true. Not true in commercial and military radio, and definitely not true in amateur radio.

Now I grant you that the use of Morse Code outside amateur radio was in decline from about the mid-1940s onward. But that's a lot different from "outlived its usefulness."

KB0TXC: "Don't get me wrong, if you like code, then by all means use it. I would never suggest otherwise. That is what life is about...do what thy will and be blessed."

Of course - and that applies to all modes.

KB0TXC: "On the other hand, do not tell me that I was lazy for not learning the code."

Nobody is saying *you* are lazy. Do not call me a luddite or obsolete because I use Morse Code, either.

KB0TXC: "I actually bought something called code quick in the mid nineties, and learned the code to about 5 WPM. I simply could not go any faster on receive."

Since 1990, you didn't need to. With 5 wpm and a medical waiver, you could get any class of US amateur license, all the way up to Extra.

In 2000, FCC reduced the code test requirement for all license classes to 5 wpm, too. No waiver needed.

Not only that, but the VE test folks were empowered to allow all sorts of accomodations during the test, such as, but not limited to:

- use of typewriter or keyboard for copying rather than writing

- use of headphones, specific tones, flashing lights, etc.

- substitution of a sending test for the receiving test.

So if you could get to 5 wpm any time after 1990, you were all set.

KB0TXC: "I can remember an Extra once bitching about ops who could not copy 20 WPM (on phone)."

That's ONE HAM's opinion. Just ONE.

And note the irony that he was complaining on phone!

KB0TXC: "Geeze...did being able to copy 20 WPM make you a better op than if one can only copy 5 WPM?"

Of course - it makes you a better Morse Code operator. That doesn't mean it MUST be a license requirement, though.

KB0TXC: "Well, if that is the case, I know (knew actually, he is SK) an old Navy 'sparks' that could copy at 60 WPM and he considered himself slow. Not only that, he could write the copy with his right hand and send with his left, all at the same time. He must have been a far better op than the Extra that I mentioned above."

Of course he was. Operating takes all kinds of skills.

KB0TXC: "With what I have said in mind, when I get my General ticket, I plan on working phone and RTTY. Not computer RTTY mind you, but "real RTTY"...you know, electro-mechanical RTTY. I like the smell of 30 weight oil and ozone. Model 19, a TT/L-2 demod and a modified VFO."

I've done that. Lots of fun. Also requires lots of equipment and space, and it makes a bit of noise.

KB0TXC: "Now doesn't the statement "real RTTY" sound plain silly if not arrogant?"

No. Not at all. "RTTY" means "Radio TeleTYpe", and by definition that means a printer, doesn't it?

KB0TXC: "Thank god that the code requirement is history. I see no mad rush of Burt Reynolds-esqe, beer crazed CBer's rushing in to 80 (or 40)meters to "shoot skip" with their grossly non-linear "linears"."

80 meters doesn't allow 'phone. 75 meters does.

KB0TXC: "I just see the possibility that perchance a few folk who love the hobby of radio communications being allowed into a formerly very closed hf fraternity that used a vastly outdated communication mode test as a means to keep the riff-raf (such as myself) out that simply could not master copying cw."

But you didn't need to master it. Just get to 5 wpm. Been that way for 18 years.

I see that the numbers of new hams have not increased significantly even though both the written and code test requirements were repeatedly reduced and the code test eliminated.

And whether you like it or not, Morse Code is NOT "vastly outdated" as a mode in Amateur Radio. Sure, the test for it is long gone and isn't coming back, but the mode lives on.

KB0TXC: "...otherwise, I am not interested in listening to "...when I became a ham, I had to..." "

Seems to me that knowing the history is an important part of planning for the future. You've told us your story about becoming a ham, why shouldn't we be able to tell our stories?

Is it wrong to be proud of having developed a skill?

73 es GL de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: The easy way  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes: "It wasn't until many years after WWII that the 'Bash books' (and some others) were made objects of scorn by long-time amateurs who had tested in the formality of US Government Field Offices."

That's because the Bash books were essentially a form of cheating. What Bash did was clearly against the law, but FCC didn't prosecute him.

AF6AY: "The formality of testing at ONLY FCC Field Offices created its own mystique."

Except that in all of FCC's history, there was never a time when amateur license exams were ONLY held at FCC Field Offices.

AF6AY: "Most were located in FEDERAL BUILDINGS, unfamiliar territory to most civilians, somewhat imposing, and always outfitted with standard government furniture and office equipment. To many this was imposing, anxiety-inducing territory, especially to teen-agers unaccustomed to dealing with 'authorities' other than a school principal. :-)"

How would you know, Len? You didn't become a radio amateur when you were a teenager. In fact, you were more than five decades past your teenage years before you even got your first amateur radio license.

AF6AY: "The *TESTS* themselves were rather simple in their written form."

Again, how would YOU know, Len? You never took any amateur radio exams until a little less than 2 years ago. Those of us who actually took the old tests say you're simply wrong.

AF6AY: "The morse code test, absolutely required for all amateur radio license testing and the commercial radiotelegrapher licenses were of a psycho-motor skill type. Nothing in the way of academic achievement could possibly be associated with a morse code test, either receiving or transmitting."

How do you know, Len? You've never passed any Morse Code exams.

Is only "academic achievement" of value? Who gets to decide what is and is not an "academic achievement", anyway? Is learning to play a musical instrument an "academic achievement"?

AF6AY: "Indeed, the written tests had very little in regards to academic-intellectual knowledge of theory of radio-electronics and were mainly concerned with the existing radio regulations plus organization of the FCC itself."

No, that's just not true, Len. The written exams then involved quite a bit of knowledge about radio. Not at the EE level, of course, but far beyond "very little".

AF6AY: "A commercial radio operator license was a pro forma document that could get the grantee a gateway into an income-producing job in communications."

It also excluded people who did not have such a license from many jobs, regardless of their academic achievements and/or intellectual knowledge.

Here's what it was REALLY like:

First off, in the bad old days, we did not have access to the actual questions and answers that would be on the test. We had "study guides" that indicated the general areas of testing, but not the exact Q&A.

On top of that, the exams at FCC offices were usually only given on weekday mornings, so for us teenagers in school it meant waiting for a day that school was closed but FCC was open. And if you failed an exam, you had to wait at least 30 days to try again.

For example, we'd know that there would be Ohm's Law questions on the exam, but not how many, nor what form they would take. So we'd learn Ohm's Law backwards and forwards and upside down, parallel and series resistances, simple network analysis, Kirchoff's laws, power calculations, etc., because we knew such things MIGHT be on the test, and we wanted to pass the first time.

Today, with all of the possible questions being published and available free, it's a completely different game. That doesn't mean new hams are "dumb", just that the requirements are very different when you know ahead of time exactly what the questions and answers will be.

There are more mistakes in Len's posting but that's enough for now.


73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC wrote on 28 Dec 08:

"Where is Wayne Green when you need him????"

Lost in publication due to a shrinking advertising revenue budget that would begin in the mid-1980s. That shrinking budget would cause Ham Radio magazine to cease publication in 1990. 73 magazine would hang on a bit longer but also succumb to lessening advertising revenue. CQ magazine is less than it was years ago, barely hanging on. Independent amateur radio periodicals get ALL their profit from advertising. They don't have the cash pool available to membership organizations such as the ARRL or RSGB.
................
KB0TXC: "I desperately wanted to become a Ham for years. I bought the old radio shack publication titled From 5 watts to a thousand (or something like that). I studied and read that thing until it was dogeared. Sent to the GPO and got a copy of part 19 three months later...came in a dark green paperback pamplet. I actually learned the theory by the time that I was thirteen."

Good for you! You showed your own initiative to learn more. Good attribute.
................
KB0TXC: "I could not get the code for the love of God (Bastet in my case...look Her up in Google). I tried three times. Could not do it. Had no one to help me. No elmer would take the time to help a thirteen YO kid from the less desirable side of the tracks."

That happens more often than is shown on these forums. Mentoring happens more often via family or family friends of already-licensed radio amateurs. Expect the responses to this being a lot of high-school coach style chewings-out for "not showing ultimate dedication" to be as super a radio operator as the 'coaches.' It never fails. :-)
...............
KB0TXC: "I started reading 73 magazine about a year before... which is where I became acquainted with the multi-page editorials from Wayne Green. The *very first* person in amateur radio that I had heard of that suggested (well, not suggested really, screamed is more like it) that the ARRL's incentive licensing and the code were killing ham radio. I agreed comletely then and do so now. Long Live Wayne and 73. (And what is more, I do not now, nor will I ever belong to the ARRL, because they did not want me as an op back then, and do not now. Why should I give them money for a rather boring magazine and their aleged 'representation'?)"

I've read 73 and CQ casually over the years, almost always borrowed from a friend. Green's editorials were always interesting to me even if I didn't agree with everything. [the same with Radio Craft and Radio & Television News until they changed names and eventually pooped out of ad revenue; Popular Science is still around and they did have regular 'radio' project articles in the late '40s and early '50s]

Overshadowing the independent publications is the mighty presence of the ARRL and their tremendous title text stock of specialty amateur radio things and their constant, unremitting public relations stressing their gloryousness. Some amateurs get caught up in the ARRL worship of itself as almighty in the ham world and damn independent thinkers such as Green with a terrible vengence. Unfortunate polarization. Unfortunate melding into a hive mind syndrome where all must think alike, do alike, always in a Belief of a Supreme Entity (themselves) in the Land of Ham. :-)

Getting caught up in this new hobby of USA amateur radio in late March, 2007, I applied for membership in the ARRL. Somehow their addressing persons initially sent my first issues of QST to an 'apartment house' address (I've had the same single-family residence for 45 years). First sign of trouble. In the almost-two-years of membership, I've gotten a chance to 'vote' for anything just once. That 'vote' was only for Vice Director of Region 6 since the Director position had NO candidates, therefore the old director position automatically becomes the new director (its in the bylaws). Forget correspondence with any Director position if one is - in the slightest degree - expressing negative criticsm of any League actions. It is, by all appearances over the years, an "old boy's club" in authority positions. Those in authority don't want negatives, only positive praising. The ARRL began sending me renewal reminders by e-mail and surface mail at the beginning of December. Yes, I know the ARRL "needs money." They remind everyone of that. They need to keep their CEO and higher staff in six-figure incomes and to pay for rentals of national meeting places...not to mention making their buildings look pretty.
...................
KB0TXC: "When the no-code tech came to pass, I bought a little book from RS and photocopied each page. Then cut each question and answer out, pasted the question on one side of a 5 X 3 card, the answer on the other. I memorized the questions in two weeks, passed both the novice section then the tech section at the same session and got a 100% on each."

Good for you! More personal initiative shown.

In here be expected to be damned to everlasting hell for 'memorizing' the questions AND answers! :-)
...................
KB0TXC: "Opperated for the past thirteen years on 2 meter and 70 cm. Mostly repeaters. Became the tower monkey for a 70 cm repeater, and loved every minute of it. Still, I always wanted to work HF, but that of course required that damned code."

Expect the usual tedious things about telegraphy from the SuperHams who do little else but CW. One must praise and worship and devote one's life to the glorious OOK CW religion. :-)
...................
KB0TXC: "Now, (at last) the code requirement is gone (thank Bastet)."

I'd like to think that thanks go to thousands of us who submitted formal comments to the FCC on docket 05-235 desiring the elimination of the code test. The pro-code-test advocates could only serve up tired old cliches' from the pre-WWII years, hadly applicable in this new millennium.
.....................
KB0TXC: "Why this long and rambling post that might start to become as long as the best of AF6AY and N2EY's?"

I will take that as a compliment. :-) :-) ;-)
....................
KB0TXC: "Because for years, the stuck in the fifties ARRL and the OFs demanded that hams learn that (deleted) code. To be a general it was 13 WPM, for extra it was 20 WPM. An old mode that outlived its usefulness at about the start of WWII. Definately by Korea."

Well, getting my start on HF communications in 1953, I never saw a single radio circuit on any of 36 transmitters at ADA running any OOK CW mode. According to officers-in-charge, the worldwide Army network had given up on manual OOK CW mode in 1948. Everything written was sent by teleprinter; voice channels were for voice or the early facsimile systems.

Field radio MOSs of the 1950s and 1960s required manual OOK CW telegraphy skills but those were seldom used tactically. A typical field radio van in the Korean area was the HF AN/GRC-26 which could do OOK CW, voice, or teleprinter. Teleprinter was almost always preferred by field commanders, especially when on-line encipherment was necessary. The 'Angry-twenty-six' could do simultaneous voice and FSK teleprinter on half-duplex operation.
The MAJOR radio operations in northwest Asia during the Korean War were on high-HF/low-VHF, aided by VHF radio relay repeaters across the Korean hills.
.................
KB0TXC: "Don't get me wrong, if you like code, then by all means use it. I would never suggest otherwise. That is what life is about...do what thy will and be blessed."

Oh, oh, expect the Outrage of the RIGHTEOUS ubermensch of the CW religion!

Well, I've always thought the same as you, but the hobby regulations were there and the ARRL always lobbied for keeping it forever...perhaps longer. :-)

The Righteous Fists of the CW religion must ALWAYS be 'better' than other hobbyists. To hear them pound the desks with their fists, that is. Maybe it is catharsis for the undeniable fact that OOK CW telegraphy has been bypassed by every other radio service in the world.

From my first exposure to the Big Business of radio communications in 1953, I learned by direct example that OOK CW is NOT BETTER than any other mode and didn't see any point in trying to become skilled in that old, old mode.
The unfortunate part is that the olde-tyme morseaholics don't recognize anything but their own way...they are unforgiving of those who do not worship things as they do.
.....................
KB0TXC: "With what I have said in mind, when I get my General ticket, I plan on working phone and RTTY. Not computer RTTY mind you, but "real RTTY"...you know, electro-mechanical RTTY. I like the smell of 30 weight oil and ozone."

As I recall watching Model 15 to 19 repairmen of 53 years ago, the oil was lighter than "30 weight." It was a bit more pungent too. One whole floor of ADA Control (where I was in last year of Army service) had over 200 teleprinters, mostly the full-duplex rack-mounted Rx-Tx kind. That third-largest Army station in the world relayed a quarter-million messages a month during the height of the Korean War, dropping to 220 thousand per month in 1955. :-)

Teletype Corporation in Chicago went belly-up decades ago. There used to be an on-line museum of Teletype equipment in Chicago that was on-line a few years ago. Replacement parts are going to be more scarce in the future. [that Jimmy Miccolis style 'correction' was supplied as a public service...:-)]
.................
KB0TXC: "Thank god that the code requirement is history."

It will never die until a code key is plied out of the last CW ops' cold, dead fingers. :-)

OOK CW lives on in the Keyless Auto Entry system in automobiles. I use one every other day, as do millions of us late-model car drivers do. Code rate is on the order of 20 to 30 Kbits per second. I doubt that the absolute greatest of ham CW ops could ever copy that by ear. :-)
...................
KB0TXC: "I see no mad rush of Burt Reynolds-esqe, beer crazed CBer's rushing in to 80 (or 40)meters to "shoot skip" with their grossly non-linear "linears"."

That was the point of my article kick-off. A problem with exposing Urban Myths is that too many want to believe Myth instead of reality. :-)
...................
Good luck on your General exam, Joe. Think about adding the Extra test element. A bit more work on preparation but the personal convenience will pay off. :-)

73 and Happy New Year, Len AF6AY
 
RE: No, Len, That's Not True  
by K6LHA on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY tried to ruler-spank the knuckles of her 'students' on December 28, 2008 with:

AF6AY wrote: "In the USA, all radio operator testing was first performed only at FCC Field Offices (usually in large urban areas)."

N2EY: "Sorry, that's just not true, Len. Not for amateur radio operator licenses."

Hello? What does the word 'first' signify in my quote? :-)

It is my hope that all who read can READ ALL THE WORDS written. :-)

Alas, that is not to be with the Grate Jimmy who must always "find fault" in everything I write anywhere. :-)
................
N2EY: "The "relaxation" came in 1954, when the distance was reduced to 75 miles."

In 1954 I was serving in the US Army, a new NCO with 'three up and one down' on the sleeve, just getting acquainted with the newly-arrived General Electric microwave radio relay equipment that was the primary link between the ADA transmitter site in Kashiwa, Japan, and ADA Control center just outside of Camp Drake, Japan. [24 voice grade circuits per terminal, RF operation pulse position modulation at a carrier frequency near 1.8 GHz]

In 1954 Jimmy was an infant.
..................
N2EY: "So the claim that all FCC amateur radio licensing tests were conducted at FCC Field Offices or even by FCC examiners is simply false. In error. Just plain wrong, because US amateur radio license exams "by mail" have existed since before the FCC."

Had I written what you claim I wrote, you might be right. But I didn't write what you claim I wrote. :-) [see the first sentence you quoted] Hello? Do you understand the specific word, FIRST? :-)
..................
N2EY: "There are some more errors in your why-use-one-word-when-five-will-do "essay", Len, but I'm out of time right now."

Tsk, tsk, Jimmy seems to be "out of time" all the time. Out of the PRESENT time, that is, always going back to a past where he never existed. :-)
..................
N2EY: "If you're going to write such things, please research them more thoroughly."

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Jimmy, if you are going to 'correct' things, please try to do correction on WORDS THAT WERE WRITTEN. Don't try allusions to words that ARE there but somehow 'invisible' to your perception. That's not nice.
..................
Now tell us directly how many license applicants you proctored at VEC exam locations in the first month after the 23rd of February 2007. Er, are you a certified VE? Or are you not a certified VE?

AF6AY
 
Len, That's Not The Whole Story  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY writes: "The time between 23 November 2005 (end of commentary on 05-235) and 19 December 2006 (when R&O 06-178 was released) took a long time.

It was a little over a year, Len. Not that long at all.

AF6AY: "I still had no interest on Getting My Very Own (gasp!) amateur radio thing."

Oh really? That's not what you've said before.

AF6AY: "My wife and a couple of amateur radio friends said to me at the end of January 2007 "why not go for it?" :-) OK, no sweat, I set out to pass the test. I did."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

AF6AY: "[did] I really and truly WANT to get a ham license at any time in my life? No, that means applying to the FDA and I didn't care to do meat-packing. When I decided to take the amateur radio test, I DID want it. I was then 74. I did it."

That's a nice story, Len.

But it doesn't match up with what you've told us in the past.

For example, a few years back, you wrote:

LHA: "Tried to learn morse for 13 WPM back in the early 60s, reached about 8 WPM, and GAVE UP."

That's a direct quote from:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/defc67779740062f?dmode=source&hl=en

http://tinyurl.com/25opue

(both urls go to the same place)

Now, why would you have tried to learn Morse Code for 13 wpm back in the early 1960s except to get a General Class amateur radio license? (In those days, a General license conveyed all US amateur radio operating privileges).

Seems pretty clear that what you wanted to do was to get a General and have full privs from the get-go. It's also clear that you didn't want a license with a name like "Novice" or even "Technician" because you considered such a title as being beneath you. Heck, you probably consider the term "Amateur" to be beneath you.

Your obvious hatred of ARRL and "incentive licensing", plus those of us who have had Extras for a long time, clearly comes from the fact that those 1968-69 rules changes increased the requirements for a full-privileges US amateur license, particularly the 20 wpm code.

When the Technician lost its code test in 1991, that wasn't good enough for you. Nor would you consider a medical waiver because that would be an admission that there was something you weren't inherently good at.


Or how about this:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/6d38aef5bc8a1830?dmode=source

http://tinyurl.com/c5qyv

LHA: "I'm going for Amateur Extra "out of the box.""

You wrote that in January of 2000, just after FCC announced that all code-test amateur license classes would only require 5 wpm, without a waiver.

But you waited until 2007, just after the rules changed, to finally go for it.

Seems to me that you DID want an amateur license before 2007. But you'd rather not admit that fact, nor that you let your pride stop you all those years.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: No, Len, That's Not True  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY wrote: "In the USA, all radio operator testing was first performed only at FCC Field Offices (usually in large urban areas)."

N2EY: "Sorry, that's just not true, Len. Not for amateur radio operator licenses."

AF6AY: "Hello? What does the word 'first' signify in my quote? :-)"

You tell us, O Len.

AF6AY: "It is my hope that all who read can READ ALL THE WORDS written. :-)"

I did. You're saying that there was a time when the ONLY way to take amateur radio license exams was to go to an FCC Field Office.

And that's simply NOT TRUE, Len.

Since the very beginning of the FCC, there have been amateur radio license exams available "by mail".

Your statement is just plain wrong.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: No, Len, That's Not True  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY wrote: "In the USA, all radio operator testing was first performed only at FCC Field Offices (usually in large urban areas)."

N2EY: "Sorry, that's just not true, Len. Not for amateur radio operator licenses."

AF6AY: "Hello? What does the word 'first' signify in my quote? :-)"

You tell us, O Len.

AF6AY: "It is my hope that all who read can READ ALL THE WORDS written. :-)"

I did. You're saying that there was a time when the ONLY way to take amateur radio license exams was to go to an FCC Field Office.

And that's simply NOT TRUE, Len.

Since the very beginning of the FCC, there have been amateur radio license exams available "by mail".

Your statement is just plain wrong.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
"He's still around. We don't need him.

His latest areas of interest include some radical and totally unproven health quackery and claims that the Apollo moon landings were faked."

I happen to disagree with Wayne about the moon shots. However, I think that he does bring up some good points such as how did the Apollo astronauts tavel for a week + outside of the protective Van Allen belts and not develop leukemia from the very intense solar radiation? Actually, I think that they did go to the moon, but NASA (Never A Straight Answer) has a history of not being completely forth coming about their findings. Personally, I think that they found something on the moon that scared the hell out of them, and they did not go back after 17.

"Cat goddess of the ancient Egyptians?"

Yup...I am a devoted follower. (rolls eyes) Not really, though I do have three of her earthly four-legged children that share my home with me...they help me keep the mousies out of my QTH and provide me with much love and companionship. In all actuallity, I am a Taoistic Buddhist, and have been since I have been around fifteen.

"I had to learn it on my own as well, by listening to hams on 80 meters. My Elmers were books.

I have found over the years that the most common problem with learning the code is using the wrong methods. If someone can understand spoken English, they can almost certainly learn Morse Code."

I am (unfortunately) a visual-written word learner, not an audio-lingual learner. Trying to listen to CW on the air is very frustrating for me, and yes, I tried for hours to do just that. Could not master it. The Code Quick that I had mentioned was an outstanding work, because it combined kinesthetic, audio-lingual and visual learning techniques to learn code. If someone really wants to learn code, I highly recommend it. I do not want to clog this forum with learning theory, (I am a TESOL teacher by training and trade) but I use the same methods in Code Quick to teach my non-English speaking adult students the English language.

"Wayne Green was simply wrong."

I respectfully disagree. I feel that the reason that the Ham radio equipment market as well as the major kit manufactures (Heath, namely) quit making Ham radio products is because there were not enough new Hams to justify their continuation in that market. This left the remaing Hams with Icom and Kenwoods (and others), which are excellent rigs (my 'modern' rigs are Icom), but alas nothing major is made in the US anymore. In the case of Ham radio, I lay this blame squarely on the constipation factor of the ARRL.

"That's because international treaty required it, until July 2003. The FCC could not eliminate the code test requirement even if they wanted to before that date."

True, though all you have to do is ask an American India (native American) how well the US government keeps to their treaties. Nothing in the treaty said that Generals needed to copy 13 WPM and Extras 20 WPM, or that Mickey Mouse needed to copy 100WPM for that matter. The FCC could have simply required that Ham radio licensees know the code...perhaps by a multiple choice quize to match letters to mark-space (er, dot-dash) drawings. I feel that for years, that code was used as a gate-keeper, and that the ARRL pressured the FCC to keep it in place as such.

"Nobody is saying *you* are lazy. Do not call me a luddite or obsolete because I use Morse Code, either."

I never once (and I re-read my original post to be sure) called you or anyone else a luddite. I did not think that my late Navy friend was a Luddite, nor anyone else that uses CW is a luddite. My religious/spiritual beliefs forbid me to hurt any living thing, and being rude or disrespectful to someone like that is being hurtful. Though I am very far from perfect, I try never to cause anyone harm. As far as obsolete, I said that the mode is obsolete, not you. I like electromechanical RTTY, and that is obsolete as well. No criticism from me if you use CW, as I said, do as thy will and blessed be. All that I ask is that folk do not use their CW prowess or try to change the rules to exclude those of us that do not use CW from this wonderful hobby.

"And note the irony that he was complaining on phone!"

Yes, that tickled me as well :-)

"80 meters doesn't allow 'phone. 75 meters does."

Yes, I know this, it is simply a force of habit. Me culpa.

" Seems to me that knowing the history is an important part of planning for the future. You've told us your story about becoming a ham, why shouldn't we be able to tell our stories?

Is it wrong to be proud of having developed a skill?"

No, not at all. I enjoy reading both your posts as well as AF6AY's. All that I ask is that I not be looked down upon because I do not copy CW. As far as being proud of your skill, you should be. I never suggested otherwise. In truth, I am very impressed with people that can copy and send code. I simply cannot, though I have tried. My complaint is that this single mode of communication was used for many years as a means to keep me and many others off of the HF bands, and that is a shame. It sort of reminds me of the terrible practice in the 50's and early 60's before the voting rights act was passed, that required people to pass a reading and writing test before being allowed vote. Strangly, illeterate folk who happen to have had my skin tone were able to vote, but those that had darker skin tone who might have been PhDs somehow never managed to pass the "literacy tests" required for voting. Sound simliar?

I have heard some folk become quite angry that people like myself are "no-coders", especially on "their" HF bands. I have heard of those ops (thankfully, I do not think that many do this) that use the call database and look up the calls of those CQing to see if they are no-coders, and not responding if they are. Again, that is their choice, let them do as they will and be blessed, but it is the mindset that I champ at. Why should a no-coder be thought of any less a Ham than say a no-RTTYer?

All that I ask is give me a chance. You will see that I will not tune my amp on the air or run a splatter box, that I won't call "Breaker breaker" or ask if you "have your ears on", that I won't interupt a phone QSO with a stupid question such as "is phone allowed here?".

Again, my mantra in life is do what thy will and blessed be, and do no harm to others.

Best and 73

Joe KB0TXC




 
RE: The easy way  
by K6LHA on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY did more knuckle-spanking with her ruler on 28 Dec 08 with:

AF6AY writes: "It wasn't until many years after WWII that the 'Bash books' (and some others) were made objects of scorn by long-time amateurs who had tested in the formality of US Government Field Offices."

"That's because the Bash books were essentially a form of cheating. What Bash did was clearly against the law, but FCC didn't prosecute him."

Then, as a "public service" should you not get a posse together and run Dick Bash out of the country? :-)

You REALLY ought to get some advice from a REAL communications specialist attorney, kimosabe. :-)
.............
AF6AY: "The formality of testing at ONLY FCC Field Offices created its own mystique."

N2EY: "Except that in all of FCC's history, there was never a time when amateur license exams were ONLY held at FCC Field Offices."

Really? :-) You KNOW that ever since 1934? I was two years old in 1934 but you weren't even a zygote then. :-)
.............
AF6AY: "Most were located in FEDERAL BUILDINGS, unfamiliar territory to most civilians, somewhat imposing, and always outfitted with standard government furniture and office equipment. To many this was imposing, anxiety-inducing territory, especially to teen-agers unaccustomed to dealing with 'authorities' other than a school principal. :-)"

N2EY: "How would you know, Len? You didn't become a radio amateur when you were a teenager. In fact, you were more than five decades past your teenage years before you even got your first amateur radio license."

Hello? The Chicago, IL, Federal Building is still there. Back in 1956 when the FCC had a Field Office there, they would send out a mimeographed schedule on which licenses would be tested on what days. I went there on a day that had commercial license exams. Radio amateur testing was on another day as I recall. Nice day in March, 1956, sunny. Long walk to/from the train station, plenty of time to window shop, have a hot dog from a street vendor (a good Wisconsin bratwurst, not an ordinary weiner), had time to see a matinee showing of the film "Oklahoma" then finishing a first-run in USA theaters. Still had to wait at the train station for the 90 mile ride home. I was 23 at the time, a military veteran of 4 years in the USA.
.................
AF6AY: "The *TESTS* themselves were rather simple in their written form."

N2EY: "Again, how would YOU know, Len? You never took any amateur radio exams until a little less than 2 years ago."

Hello? Even if you are in some existential vacuum socially, I and lots of others actually converse pleasantly with other people. We trade information in chatting, not in some pseudo-combat of computer-modem comms or the constant one-upmanship practiced therein. :-)

Having worked IN the electronics industry of southern California since November 1956, I've had a chance to talk to hundreds employed in that same industry...like for 52 years. The overwhelming majority of those folks did NOT get licensed in the amateur radio service but a few did. As I recall, one was amateur licensed in West Germany, one in the UK. Another was even a former government employee of the FCC! :-)

You have to understand that southern California was the HEART of the USA aerospace industry and tens of thousands of employees there in the electronics industry part of it. While Boeing was holding forth in suburbs of Seattle, WA, and Grumman in Bethpage, Long Island, the combination of corporations in Los Angeles and San Diego vastly outnumbered the rest with Lockheed, Douglas, North American, Convair, Hughes to name just the biggies. All of those produced aircraft needed electronics and the people who could install, repair, service them. With all the electronics-specialty companies located here in the southland, its no wonder that the "six-land" amateur radio licensee amounts were so high from the 1950s onward. They still are.

Information on incidental things (such as testing for any license) made its way out of the sacred FCC offices near the San Pedro harbor. Mimeographed and photocopied documents of things were passed around (the Xerox machine had yet to be perfected)...even by educators (real live instructors) at the University of California many campuses, University of Southern California, and dozens of smaller universities in the area.
..................
N2EY: "Those of us who actually took the old tests say you're simply wrong."

Jimmy boy, you are ALWAYS saying I am 'wrong' and 'in error' and other assorted negative commentary. :-) After several years of such nonsense, you are just repetitive and silly, sounding like an old woman.

I don't have any copy of any FCC test I took in 1956, don't have any copy of the forms used for a PLMRS commercial station taken to Long Beach, CA, nor of the ARRL-printed question sheet used at Old Firehouse 77 in Sun Valley, CA, by an ARRL VEC exam team last year. All I have is license certificates sent from FCC offices over the years. But YOU don't have a single tangible item to PROVE (without shadow of a doubt) of YOUR amateur radio test papers of the 1960s either, do you? :-)
..................
N2EY: "How do you know, Len? You've never passed any Morse Code exams."

Absolutely correct. Congratulations, Jimmy, you get a Gold Star on your report card! :-)

I was never required to know or use any OOK CW manual telegraphic skills to pass any "test" of any kind over the last 55 years of actually USING it on any frequency from VLF into microwaves. That INCLUDES sacred HF, Jimmy.

But, think for a moment instead of role-playing games as Sister Nun of the Above, do you think I exist in a vacuum? Do you think I don't talk to anyone else who MIGHT have used OOK CW telegraphy in the past? If you do, then you are irrational. Allan, W6MJN, was best man at my wedding. Jim, KD6JG, was not only the best manager I've ever worked for but also host for a short stay by myself and my wife up at his lovely house in Cedar Ridge, CA. Gene, N2JTV, was an Army buddy in my Signal Battalion in Japan, tending transmitters at ADA as I was at the same time but on a different team.
...................
N2EY: "Is only "academic achievement" of value?"

Why do you ask?

Is it your constant habit to converse in questions? :-) :-) :-)
...................
AF6AY: "Indeed, the written tests had very little in regards to academic-intellectual knowledge of theory of radio-electronics and were mainly concerned with the existing radio regulations plus organization of the FCC itself."

N2EY: "No, that's just not true, Len. The written exams then involved quite a bit of knowledge about radio. Not at the EE level, of course, but far beyond "very little"."

Nothing in my commercial radio operator test questions were specific to include common radio transmitters of the 1950s. Collins and Gates and RCA transmitters were common in broadcasting, nothing at all was specific about mobile two-way radios used in public safety agencies. I don't recall a single mention of any radio producing company or even logotype mentioned. Jimmy, drawing a schematic of a push-pull vacuum tube amplifier and explaining what each part is used for is NOT "EE level" skill. :-)
................
AF6AY: "A commercial radio operator license was a pro forma document that could get the grantee a gateway into an income-producing job in communications."

N2EY: "It also excluded people who did not have such a license from many jobs, regardless of their academic achievements and/or intellectual knowledge."

Jimmy, that's just BS. :-) But you've never really worked IN the electronics industry have you? You've never worked WITH DoD contracts involving 'radio' of any kind. US government contracts seldom, if ever, demand a Commercial radio license of any kind to use, operate, transmit any government-contract 'radio' equipment. Jimmy, the ONLY time I had to use my first 'phone license in the industry was in 1970 at RCA Corporation when EASD borrowed a 450 MHz two-way radio from NBC in Burbank, CA, for temporary testing of an avionics R&D project. [in 1970 NBC was a wholly-owned division of RCA Corporation] The very last time it was needed by me was when it had become a GROL and I was the responsible trusee of a Private Land Mobile Radio Service (PLMRS) radio over a dozen years later. :-)
...............
N2EY: "Here's what it was REALLY like:"

From Jimmy's teenage years vantage point that is...
.................
N2EY: "First off, in the bad old days, we did not have access to the actual questions and answers that would be on the test. We had "study guides" that indicated the general areas of testing, but not the exact Q&A."

Are you implying that commercial radio license applicants had "all answers ahead of time," Jimmy? Sure sounds that way. :-) I didn't have any Q&A book in 1956, Jimmy.
.................
N2EY: "On top of that, the exams at FCC offices were usually only given on weekday mornings, so for us teenagers in school it meant waiting for a day that school was closed but FCC was open. And if you failed an exam, you had to wait at least 30 days to try again."

Oh, isn't that just SO AWFUL?!? Only 'teenagers' were being tested, Jimmy? No adults who had to TAKE TIME OFF WORK AND POSSIBLY LOSE EARNINGS FOR THAT TIME OFF? Nah, that never occurred to you. <shrug>
................
N2EY: "Today, with all of the possible questions being published and available free, it's a completely different game. That doesn't mean new hams are "dumb", just that the requirements are very different when you know ahead of time exactly what the questions and answers will be."

Oh, my, from that wording your are elevating yourself WAYYYYY above much-later licensed radio amateurs because you are just too wonderful for words. You are the Amatur Ubermensch, the SuperHam, faster than a contest QSO, able to leap tall pile-ups with ease.
................
N2EY: "There are more mistakes in Len's posting but that's enough for now."

Jimmy boy, tell us your mighty experience, hands-on, in the electronics industry. I'm sure we'd all love to hear about those. It could be summed up in just one word: None. :-)

You have a convenient 'out' on that, "it doesn't apply to amateur radio!" Wow! Like amateur radio is 'entirely different' than all other radio!

Just tell us how many amateur radio applicants you've proctored in VEC tests, Jimmy. You ARE a mighty VE, aren't you? After all, you've had that super ultra-duper EXTRA for 38 years, right? :-)

Yawn. Jimmy never sleeps, just keeps on with his control-freak 'corrections' that don't need to be corrected. Sigh

AF6AY
 
RE: Stories  
by K6LHA on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY made superior noises to KB0TXC on 28 Dec 08:

KB0TXC: "I am 45, and I wanted to get into amateur radio from the time that I was ten. Less see...that was in 1973."

N2EY: "I wanted to get into amateur radio from about that age, too. I was ten in 1964."

Jimmy, you were 0 years old in 1953 when I first keyed on a 1 KW HF transmitter. I wasn't interested in becoming an amateur...I was already a professional then. :-)
............
N2EY: "I did similar things, learning enough theory and regs to get the Novice at 13 too."

Jimmy, you are Boy Wonder. [I hope Batman liked that...]
............
N2EY: "I had to learn it on my own as well, by listening to hams on 80 meters. My Elmers were books."

Warner Brothers comic books? About Elmer Fudd?
............
N2EY: "I have found over the years that the most common problem with learning the code is using the wrong methods. If someone can understand spoken English, they can almost certainly learn Morse Code."

Wow, I've visited Philadelphia lots of times, never once heard any speak in morse code...:-)
.............
N2EY: "Claiming is one thing. Proving is another."

Okayyyy, Jimmy. Let's see bring out your fabulously-complicated 1967 amateur radio test and see if I can pass it? :-)

Or did you conveniently FORGET what you CLAIMED before? I think you did.

Have you ever taken and passed a modern USA amateur radio license exam IN FRONT OF A VEC TEAM? Hmmmm?
.................
KB0TXC: "An old mode that outlived its usefulness at about the start of WWII. Definately by Korea."

N2EY: "Sorry, but that's just not true. Not true in commercial and military radio, and definitely not true in amateur radio."

The maritime world kept OOK CW telegraphy for use on the 500 KHz international distress and safety frequency until 1999. Then it was bye-bye morse and hello GMDDS. [the maritime world conceived GMDSS]

500 KHz (1913-1999) RIP.

Jimmy, you are just IGNORANT of any radio facts that the ARRL didn't spoon feed you.
..................
N2EY: "... Do not call me a luddite or obsolete because I use Morse Code, either."

I'm calling you a 2nd Class Luddite (with an oak leaf cluster). 'Obsolete' too in this constant and remitting love of yours for old things, most of which occurred before you existed. <shrug>
..............
N2EY: "Since 1990, you didn't need to. With 5 wpm and a medical waiver, you could get any class of US amateur license, all the way up to Extra."

Did Jimmy ever take an amaetur code test in front of a VEC team after 1990?
...............
N2EY: "In 2000, FCC reduced the code test requirement for all license classes to 5 wpm, too. No waiver needed."

Did Jimmy ever take an amaetur code test in front of a VEC team after 2000?
...............
KB0TXC: "I can remember an Extra once bitching about ops who could not copy 20 WPM (on phone)."

N2EY: "That's ONE HAM's opinion. Just ONE."

Tsk, tsk, YOU are only ONE ham. <shrug>
...............
N2EY: "... "RTTY" means "Radio TeleTYpe", and by definition that means a printer, doesn't it?"

Jimmy boy, all of the old 60 WPM Teletypes had integral PRINTERS, Model 15 up to Model 19. :-)
................
N2EY: "... Just get to 5 wpm. Been that way for 18 years."

Jimmy, ever since 23 February 2007 *NO* telegraphy needs to be tested. :-)
...................
N2EY: "And whether you like it or not, Morse Code is NOT "vastly outdated" as a mode in Amateur Radio."

What Jimmy say is LAW! :-)
...................
N2EY: "Sure, the test for it is long gone and isn't coming back, but the mode lives on."

"Long gone? Not even two years later, Jimmy. :-)
...................
N2EY: "Seems to me that knowing the history is an important part of planning for the future."

Okay, shall we give you a spot check on the Battle of Hastings? ;-)

How about the great debates in the USA as to who should control all USA radio? Would you like the USN to control it all? They tried very hard for that back in the beginning of the last century...
...................
N2EY: "You've told us your story about becoming a ham, why shouldn't we be able to tell our stories?"

Sweetums, why don't you tell us all about your Marvelous Adventure taking the bus all by yourself to the Federal Building as a teener? We've all heard it many, many times. So heartwarming, brave little man all alone in traffic. :-)

You don't like ANY story that doesn't glamorize or worship morsemanship. You damn well know that is true. :-)

Consider that I'm not trying to insult you or embarass you, but simply trying to teach you a few things and correct a few mistakes.

AF6AY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by N2EY on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC writes: "I happen to disagree with Wayne about the moon shots. However, I think that he does bring up some good points such as how did the Apollo astronauts tavel for a week + outside of the protective Van Allen belts and not develop leukemia from the very intense solar radiation?"

Simple: they weren't exposed to it.

See:

http://www.clavius.org/bibwgreen.html

for more info.

Quoting:

"The Van Allen belts do not protect Earth against x-ray radiation from the sun, but rather from the flow of charged particles.

Dr. Van Allen, who discovered the protective belts and for whom they are named, has specifically repudiated the theory that the belts would prohibit a manned mission to the moon."

IOW, Wayne was completely wrong in that and other moon-hoax theories.

KB0TXC: "Actually, I think that they did go to the moon, but NASA (Never A Straight Answer) has a history of not being completely forth coming about their findings. Personally, I think that they found something on the moon that scared the hell out of them, and they did not go back after 17."

What they found was simple: An enormous price tag. Those missions were incredibly expensive - about a half-billion dollars back then, which equates to several billion in today's money. Per mission. The federal government was going into hock to pay for the Vietnam war, the Cold War, and the Great Society social programs at the time, and money was getting tight. The Space Shuttle was the Next Big Space Thing, so the number of lunar missions was cut to save a couple of billion dollars.

KB0TXC: "Not really, though I do have three of her earthly four-legged children that share my home with me...they help me keep the mousies out of my QTH and provide me with much love and companionship."

Every radio shack should have at least one cat. The classic is a Siamese named Madame Mu.

N2EY: "I had to learn it on my own as well, by listening to hams on 80 meters. My Elmers were books.

I have found over the years that the most common problem with learning the code is using the wrong methods. If someone can understand spoken English, they can almost certainly learn Morse Code."

KB0TXC: "Trying to listen to CW on the air is very frustrating for me, and yes, I tried for hours to do just that. Could not master it. The Code Quick that I had mentioned was an outstanding work, because it combined kinesthetic, audio-lingual and visual learning techniques to learn code. If someone really wants to learn code, I highly recommend it."

Point is, it got you to 5 wpm, which is all that's been required since 1990.

Consider too that you learned to understand and speak English, which is a much more complicated task.

Imagine the following test:

You're sitting at a table with pencil and paper, with headphones on. A voice comes on the 'phones, pronouncing a series of English words. One word every two seconds.

The test is to write down the last letter of each of the words spoken. Each letter has just one word associated with it - say, "Noon" for N, "stuff" for F, etc.

Think you could do that?

All Morse Code does is to replace the words with a series of short and long tones. Nothing more.

One letter every two seconds is 6 wpm.

N2EY: "Wayne Green was simply wrong."

KB0TXC: "I respectfully disagree. I feel that the reason that the Ham radio equipment market as well as the major kit manufactures (Heath, namely) quit making Ham radio products is because there were not enough new Hams to justify their continuation in that market. This left the remaing Hams with Icom and Kenwoods (and others), which are excellent rigs (my 'modern' rigs are Icom), but alas nothing major is made in the US anymore."

Nothing major?

Look up TenTec - a Tennessee company that started in 1968. Better yet, look up Elecraft, a California company started in 1999. Pretty major products for the radio amateur IMHO.

I was a ham when the old-line US companies disappeared, and here's what I saw happening.

The old-line rigmakers of US ham gear got out of the business for several reasons:

1) Some, such as EF Johnson, never made the transition from big-iron tube-type AM-CW rigs to SSB transceivers. The market for their stuff dried up and they went elsewhere.

2) Some, such as Hallicrafters and Collins, were only in the amateur radio market because their founders were hams. When the founders retired, died or sold off the company, the new owners didn't bother making ham gear, or only made one or two models.

3) Kitmakers, particularly Heath, faced special problems. The thing that made kits economical was the fact that in the days of hand-assembly and wiring, a considerable amount of the cost was labor. The savings in price came from the kitbuilder doing the assembly and checkout labor for free.

But kits had two extra costs. First, kits had to be designed so that they could be assembled and aligned with simple tools and test equipment. Any design that required, say, a wideband dual-trace oscilloscope wasn't going to sell many units! Second, a detailed assembly manual that almost anyone could follow had to be prepared, checked and double-checked for mistakes and ambiguities.

The introduction of PC boards, automated assembly, and more-complex designs eliminated the savings, and Heath went on to other things.

Oddly enough, new technology has brought this full circle, and kits are now on the rise again (look up Elecraft for examples).

4) (The big one) Once the Japanese electronic industry got going, they simply dominated the "consumer electronics" market. TVs, stereos and such simply stopped being made in the USA because the cost of making them in Japan was so much lower. Ham radio gear was no exception. While early Japanese ham rigs were pretty second-rate, the Japanese rigmakers kept improving their products until by the 1970s they offered rigs with more features at less cost.

For just one example, consider the Kenwood TS-520. Introduced in the mid-1970s, the first ones were pretty good. The improved TS-520S, however, became very popular because it did things no comparable-price American-made rig could do.

KB0TXC: "In the case of Ham radio, I lay this blame squarely on the constipation factor of the ARRL."

Incentive licensing wasn't just ARRL's idea. The history is a lot more complex than Mr. Green would have you believe.

More important, the numbers tell a different story. Incentive licensing resulted in too-few newcomers to keep the American rigmakers in business, you say? Sorry, that's not the case. Here's proof:

At the end of WW2, there were about 60,000 US hams. By 1951, that number was closing in on 100,000, and by the early 1960s there were about 250,000 US hams. Growth, growth and more growth, code tests and all.

And then, in the early 1960s, the growth just stopped. This was BEFORE incentive licensing started, back when a General or Conditional license gave all privileges. (The Advanced and Extra existed back then, but gave no additional operating privileges at all).

The number of US hams stalled at around 250,000 all through the mid-1960s. Some years it was up a little, other years it was down. But the growth that had been so steady all through the late 1940s and 1950s was simply gone.

The changes now known as "incentive licensing" took effect on November 22, 1968, followed by additional changes a year later. Some, like Mr. Green, said they would be the death of ham radio. If it wasn't the code tests, it was the written tests, or the long journey to FCC offices, test paranoia, etc. Doom and gloom, they said.

But the opposite happened. All through the 1970s, the number of US hams grew. By 1979 there were at least 350,000 US amateurs, even with all the changes. By 1984 the number of US hams had passed a half-million.
That kind of growth required a LOT of newcomers.

If incentive licensing was such a bad thing, why was there so little growth in US ham radio in the years before it, but so much in the years afterward?

N2EY: "because international treaty required it, until July 2003. The FCC could not eliminate the code test requirement even if they wanted to before that date."

KB0TXC: "True...Nothing in the treaty said that Generals needed to copy 13 WPM and Extras 20 WPM, or that Mickey Mouse needed to copy 100WPM for that matter. The FCC could have simply required that Ham radio licensees know the code...perhaps by a multiple choice quize to match letters to mark-space (er, dot-dash) drawings."

The treaty did specify the ability to receive and send messages, though. And by 1990 (18 years ago!) all license classes were available with just a 5 wpm test. That's one letter every 2.4 seconds.

KB0TXC: "I enjoy reading both your posts as well as AF6AY's."

Thank you. Consider, however, who can back up their facts and who spouts opinions as fact.

KB0TXC: "All that I ask is that I not be looked down upon because I do not copy CW."

Fair enough. All I ask is that I not be looked down on because I do ;-)

KB0TXC: "As far as being proud of your skill, you should be. I never suggested otherwise. In truth, I am very impressed with people that can copy and send code. I simply cannot, though I have tried."

I think you could, but that's irrelevant. You don't want to, and you don't have to. That's all there is to it.

KB0TXC: "My complaint is that this single mode of communication was used for many years as a means to keep me and many others off of the HF bands, and that is a shame."

Not the mode - the test, and the treaty requirement that kept it in place.

KB0TXC: "It sort of reminds me of the terrible practice in the 50's and early 60's before the voting rights act was passed, that required people to pass a reading and writing test before being allowed vote. Strangly, illeterate folk who happen to have had my skin tone were able to vote, but those that had darker skin tone who might have been PhDs somehow never managed to pass the "literacy tests" required for voting. Sound simliar?"

Nope. Here's why:

Those tests were selectively applied and graded. Some folks had to take them, others didn't. The grading was entirely subjective, too.

But the tests for a US amateur radio license have always been the same for all comers. Since the end of essay questions, there has been no subjectivity allowed in the grading.

KB0TXC: "I have heard some folk become quite angry that people like myself are "no-coders", especially on "their" HF bands. I have heard of those ops (thankfully, I do not think that many do this) that use the call database and look up the calls of those CQing to see if they are no-coders, and not responding if they are."

The problem is - how can they tell? For almost two years now, all active US amateur license classes have been no-code-test. The license database doesn't tell when someone took their exams, nor what exact tests they passed.

KB0TXC: "Why should a no-coder be thought of any less a Ham than say a no-RTTYer?"

What really matters is how well a ham does whatever it is they choose to do.

There are some hams who will do their best in whatever mode they choose, be it Morse, voice, RTTY, etc. Clean signals, sharp operating, friendly and courteous QSOs, etc.

There are other hams who will say things like "it's just a hobby" as an excuse for sloppiness and a don't care attitude.

My money says the former is the "real ham radio" and the latter isn't.

KB0TXC: "All that I ask is give me a chance. You will see that I will not tune my amp on the air or run a splatter box, that I won't call "Breaker breaker" or ask if you "have your ears on", that I won't interupt a phone QSO with a stupid question such as "is phone allowed here?"."

Works for me!

Now...when do you go for General? For that matter, when do you go for Extra?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by URBANGORILLA on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
YAWN!!

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

UG
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY wrote:

"What they found was simple: An enormous price tag. Those missions were incredibly expensive - about a half-billion dollars back then, which equates to several billion in today's money. Per mission. The federal government was going into hock to pay for the Vietnam war, the Cold War, and the Great Society social programs at the time, and money was getting tight. The Space Shuttle was the Next Big Space Thing, so the number of lunar missions was cut to save a couple of billion dollars."

The moonshots are something that I have studied and pondered for <many> years. I was a very small little boy watching on an old BW television on a hot summer night as the Eagle landed. From that point on, I was mesmerized by the moonlandings. I have not even read Green's book titled Nasa mooned america, this is stuff that I have found or read elsewhere, as well as some well crafted questions that I posed to a retired Nasa signals analyst. (More about that later.)

Much much strangeness about the moonlandings, especially the later ones. However, one of the strangest things was discovered at the end of #11 when the discarded ascent module was crashed back onto the moon... The seismic sensor that was left by the astronauts discovered that when the ascent module crashed, that it did not cause a "thump" or a "thud" as would be expected from a geologically dead planetoid that had no liquid magma core, that rather it RANG LIKE A BELL! For hours. This was so strange that the NASA scientists thought that the instrument was defective.

Then, the same thing happened on #12. Folks at NASA were really scratching their heads. Why? Because according to all of the theories and models that they used, the only way that the ringing could occur was if the moon, (hold on) was hollow!

We all "know" what happened to #13. It has been rumored that they were carying a "very special" scientific package to truly stimulate the lunar orb to see what 'made it ring'. Like maybe a 19 Kiloton 'scientific package'. I have heard whispers that a former East European/west asian empirical entity with a passion for the color red had found out about this soon to be delivered experiment and had loudly protested through back channels and threatened to do so and so if we did. Strangely, something happened to # 13 and they did not get to land on the moon. None of this is documented, but there are the signs that there was some shinanigans going on here.

The later moon missions were even more interesting. When the "moon buggy" went to the moon, the video was much better by that time than the first # 11 video, and things were very clear. I remember seeing a video of the lunar rover charging across the moons surface with the sun's light casting a very stark shado to the front of the lunar rover. Then suddenly, another shadow appeared, and seemed to be sweeping from front to back of the rover, as well as the stationary sun shadow. This second shadow had to be cast from a very bright light that was moving at an incredible speed behind and out of camera view.

I asked a NASA archivist once about this, showing them the video. They simply and with deadpan expression told me that it was an "anomoly". Hmmmm.

But what really convinces me about this is something that happened quite by serendipity (sp?).

I attended a training seminar in RF exposure limits that was paid for by a previous employer back before I entered the teaching profession. The presenter gave us his CV and I saw that he was indeed a retired NASA/military signals analyst during the Gemini and Apollo missions, with top secret clearance. I waited until a break and when no one else was in the room, I asked him why NASA quit with #17 when they had missions that were funded to # 20, had the crews picked and had landing sites chosen, and even had the rockets contracted if not already built.

He gave me the same reason that you did. Money. Very self assured answer to boot. (One of the three remaining Saturn 5s were used to loft Skylab, the other two became static displays.)

I nodded my head, then turned back around and asked him if NASA found ruins that were built by some intelligence on the surface of the moon.

He almost choked on his drink, then very curtly said "I can't talk about that". I asked why. He replied that he would "...spend the rest of his life in Levenworth federal penitentary".

Then he refused to even look at me for the rest of the seminar or even acknoledge my presence.

I think that this gentlman's response spoke volumes and volumes, and is (IMHO) a very good piece of anecdotal evidence that Never A Straight Answer is hiding some very profound truth that they are terrified of.

Best,

Joe KB0TXC

P.S. No, I do not get into 'conspiracy theories', as I do not have the time or inclination to do so. Hiowever, this reaction of a Top Secret security clearance person who had access to materials and data from the lunar missions that I witness first hand does go a long way to cofirm at least in my own mind that there is some fire lurking somewhere under the smoke that is drifting out of NASAs HQ.

j.

 
Judgemental Jimmy  
by K6LHA on December 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY continues his STALKING Crusade on 28 Dec 08 with:

AF6AY writes: "The time between 23 November 2005 (end of commentary on 05-235) and 19 December 2006 (when R&O 06-178 was released) took a long time.

N2EY: "It was a little over a year, Len. Not that long at all."

Now, now, in this same thread you said the period between 23 Feb 07 and now was "long ago." Can't you make up your mind?
..................
N2EY: "For example, a few years back, you wrote:"

LHA: "Tried to learn morse for 13 WPM back in the early 60s, reached about 8 WPM, and GAVE UP."

N2EY: "Now, why would you have tried to learn Morse Code for 13 wpm back in the early 1960s except to get a General Class amateur radio license? (In those days, a General license conveyed all US amateur radio operating privileges)."

My first wife died in the early 1960s. I did a lot of things right after to keep busy. Grief can upset one's life. Took me a while to get rid of some of those grief things, got a second job to pay for the hospice and doctor bills. Being around other people at work made it a LOT better than sitting by myself listening to code practice tapes or other introverted things to occupy a mind.
..................
N2EY: "Seems pretty clear that what you wanted to do was to get a General and have full privs from the get-go. It's also clear that you didn't want a license with a name like "Novice" or even "Technician" because you considered such a title as being beneath you. Heck, you probably consider the term "Amateur" to be beneath you."

Not at all. I simply consider YOU to be BENEATH most rational human beings. That's all.
..................
N2EY: "Your obvious hatred of ARRL and "incentive licensing", plus those of us who have had Extras for a long time, clearly comes from the fact that those 1968-69 rules changes increased the requirements for a full-privileges US amateur license, particularly the 20 wpm code."

In the early 1960s I didn't know you or many long-time radio amateurs. About the only really long-time radio amateur was my former boss at the Ramo-Wooldridge Calibration Lab, Ed Dodds. He had me over to his house several times when he had a schedule with an old friend of his in New Zealand on 20m. Very kind of him and his family. It was easy talking to Ed's friend in NZ, hearing of his ranching business and activities far away. Talking on radio always came easy to me, talking in public was just as easy.
..................
N2EY: "When the Technician lost its code test in 1991, that wasn't good enough for you."

Damn straight! Over a decade after my first wife's death there a LOT of somethings BETTER than yakking on a radio...Personal Computing, something that had started around 1976. That and BBSs all over the southland here...over 200 in the 818 Area Code by 1990. Lots of social BBSs where good folks got together for mutual enjoyment, partying, meeting new people face to face, having a good time.

By the way, Memorandum Report and Order 90-55 was released on 13 December 1990, not in 1991. Try to keep things in context.
.................
N2EY: "Nor would you consider a medical waiver because that would be an admission that there was something you weren't inherently good at."

'Medical waiver?' For what? Having some sexual favors with mutually agreeable women? Bachelor folk do that, Jimmy. Really. Or is that against your 'holier-than-thou' religion or what?

I've never claimed to be the hottest hunk in bed, but the only disappointments I got were from two women looking for husbands/partners who made much more money than I did. No dissatisfaction with love-making expressed. Length DOES matter to some women, the length of men's account balances, that is... :-)
....................
LHA: "I'm going for Amateur Extra "out of the box.""

Tsk, tsk, what did you think I finally did? :-)

Oh, yes, you figure that ONCE SOMEONE DECLARES SOMETHING THEY ARE BOUND UNDER GOD TO DO IT PRECISELY AS STATED!!! :-)

Jimmy boy, OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES are NOT in anyway subject to your egotistic 'judgement.' In everyone's life there are mitigating factors that can change one's course of action. You have no damn business being so judgemental about everyone if they don't do EXACTLY as you say they should.

The only one needing any shrink wrapping seems to be yourself, bound and determined to thrash them verbally for the slightest infraction of WHAT YOU THINK THEY SHOULD DO. Hey, like 'up yours' little man. I decide what I want, and you have absolutely NO say in that. 'Infraction?' More like mental-ego infarction in your case.
..................
N2EY: "Seems to me that you DID want an amateur license before 2007."

Back in 1947 (well before you were ever conceived) I had a desire to control model aircraft I was flying as a teener. I started learning a little bit about electronics, limited as it was back then in the age of vacuum tubes. It was ridiculous to have a requirement to test for morse code just to control a model airplane so I dropped that ham radio license idea. Notice I said ELECTRONICS, Jimmy, NOT amateur radio. Electronics went a LOT farther than simple radio...lots of informed grown-ups said that at the time...it kept growing until it was one of the most profound influences on everyday life than even the best prognosticators could think of!
..................
N2EY: "But you'd rather not admit that fact, nor that you let your pride stop you all those years."

"Admit WHAT, little man?" I admit I got a PROFESSIONAL radio license in 1956 because I'd already become a PROFESSIONAL radio communicator in the military. I admit to WORKING in radio for money. I admit I moved to the southern California area to work as a PROFESSIONAL electronics technician, then as a design engineer doing circuit design, then systems design for MONEY. I admit I got an HF CB license to use in my sports car in 1959...for FUN, you little man. I admit to finding a LOT OF DIFFERENT ELECTRONICS things to do for FUN, little man. I admit to politicking the FCC to eliminate the code test because I felt it was the thing to do at the time...based on the overdue longevity of that useless requirement and the input of a lot of fellow electronics hobbyists who felt the same way. You don't like that, little man? TS to you, then.

Now, if I want to CHANGE direction LATER in whatever I do for my own FUN I will do that. You can't stop me with a double-semi full of silly little accusations based on your own control-freak ego. You are way to heavy on your inuendo too much. To that I just say (slowly, syllable by syllable) "inuendo," little man.

Tell us what "stopped you" from getting into REAL electronics work for money. You seem to HATE the word 'professional.' You must not have a good job. What else have you done in professional 'radio' with your out-of-date morse code skill? You've never served your country in either the military or civilian life. Yet you've made fun of those who served their country IF and only IF they didn't like morse code. That's getting rather close to irrationality in your judgement. Most rational folk would say that.

Why do you HATE so many that don't care one bit for morse code, Jimmy? 'Fess up, lay it on the line. You DO hate those that don't love, honor, and worship morse code. Admit it. You are flawed in parts of your id. You haven't existed in the times when 'radio' was pioneered yet you infer that you were somehow 'connected' with those pioneers. You weren't. You came long after. What kind of 'pioneering' do you imagine you've done?

Why can't you get along with folks who don't care for morse code?
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by W8JII on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
To N2EY-----------Give it up Jim. You're just feeding the supreme egotist(LEN). When a man resorts to name calling and snide remarks he isn't worth your responding to him. The "Jimmy", "Little man" and other comments are totally inappropriate.
73, Ron
 
RE: Judgemental Jimmy  
by RADIO123US on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY said "Why can't you get along with folks who don't care for morse code? "

Len, when you got your "Extra out of the box", you thought your previous radio experience would translate in to making you an "Old Timer" in amateur radio....what you found though was that "time in service" matters ....so you were NOT recognized as "experienced".....then you met Jim, N2EY, who is more experienced then you are, and had the "time in service"....your ego just could take that, so you started harassing him and calling him names.....Jim has continued to remain respectful, yet you continue to harass him and others...

so the REAL question here is....

Why can't you get along with folks who DO care for morse code?

 
RE: Judgemental Jimmy  
by RADIO123US on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY said "Why can't you get along with folks who don't care for morse code? "

Corrected typo in my response

Len, when you got your "Extra out of the box", you thought your previous radio experience would translate in to making you an "Old Timer" in amateur radio....what you found though was that "time in service" matters ....so you were NOT recognized as "experienced".....then you met Jim, N2EY, who is more experienced then you are, and had the "time in service"....your ego just could NOT take that, so you started harassing him and calling him names.....Jim has continued to remain respectful, yet you continue to harass him and others...

so the REAL question here is....

Why can't you get along with folks who DO care for morse code?

 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K1BXI on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Wow...this one is going on 15 days and counting. I've run out of pop corn, beer and pretzels.

I need to dust off my J-38 for straight key night. I'll be hanging around 3550.

I'll check back next year to see how you folks are doing.

Have fun and Happy New Year.......John
 
Lunar Hoaxes or Empty Wallets?  
by N2EY on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "Those [Apollo] missions were incredibly expensive - about a half-billion dollars back then, which equates to several billion in today's money. Per mission. The federal government was going into hock to pay for the Vietnam war, the Cold War, and the Great Society social programs at the time, and money was getting tight. The Space Shuttle was the Next Big Space Thing, so the number of lunar missions was cut to save a couple of billion dollars."

KB0TXC: "The moonshots are something that I have studied and pondered for <many> years."

Me too. I don't put any credence in conspiracy or hoax theories.

btw, if you want to see a REALLY good film, look for "The Dish". It's about how the Apollo 11 TV images were received on Earth using a radiotelescope in Australia. Although slightly fictionalized they got the main facts right. Sam Neill is excellent and the photography of the title element is great.

KB0TXC: "I was a very small little boy watching on an old BW television on a hot summer night as the Eagle landed. From that point on, I was mesmerized by the moonlandings. I have not even read Green's book titled Nasa mooned america, this is stuff that I have found or read elsewhere, as well as some well crafted questions that I posed to a retired Nasa signals analyst."

I was 15 when Apollo 11 landed. I remember clearly how most of the world paused and watched history being made.

But I also remember how, in the following years, the whole enterprise became commonplace for most people. Even after the near-loss of Apollo 13, Americans considered complete success to be the normal state of affairs in space exploration. More important, they questioned more and more loudly why we were spending so much money "up there" when there were so many problems "down here".

Eventually those questions won the day. The USA had won the race to the moon; the Rooskies finally gave up even trying, so why continue to spend billions? How much more was there to learn, and at what price?

KB0TXC: "Much much strangeness about the moonlandings, especially the later ones. However, one of the strangest things was discovered at the end of #11 when the discarded ascent module was crashed back onto the moon... The seismic sensor that was left by the astronauts discovered that when the ascent module crashed, that it did not cause a "thump" or a "thud" as would be expected from a geologically dead planetoid that had no liquid magma core, that rather it RANG LIKE A BELL! For hours. This was so strange that the NASA scientists thought that the instrument was defective."

All that means is that their geological model for the moon was inaccurate.

KB0TXC: "Then, the same thing happened on #12. Folks at NASA were really scratching their heads. Why? Because according to all of the theories and models that they used, the only way that the ringing could occur was if the moon, (hold on) was hollow!"

And maybe it is. Or maybe there's another explanation.

KB0TXC: "We all "know" what happened to #13. It has been rumored that they were carying a "very special" scientific package to truly stimulate the lunar orb to see what 'made it ring'. Like maybe a 19 Kiloton 'scientific package'. I have heard whispers that a former East European/west asian empirical entity with a passion for the color red had found out about this soon to be delivered experiment and had loudly protested through back channels and threatened to do so and so if we did. Strangely, something happened to # 13 and they did not get to land on the moon. None of this is documented, but there are the signs that there was some shinanigans going on here."

Sorry, such conspiracy theories are simply not credible without documentation that's more than a few whispers here and there. Apollo 13 nearly ended in disaster because of a design/test mistake, which was fixed on later flights.

KB0TXC: "The later moon missions were even more interesting. When the "moon buggy" went to the moon, the video was much better by that time than the first # 11 video, and things were very clear. I remember seeing a video of the lunar rover charging across the moons surface with the sun's light casting a very stark shado to the front of the lunar rover. Then suddenly, another shadow appeared, and seemed to be sweeping from front to back of the rover, as well as the stationary sun shadow. This second shadow had to be cast from a very bright light that was moving at an incredible speed behind and out of camera view.

I asked a NASA archivist once about this, showing them the video. They simply and with deadpan expression told me that it was an "anomoly". Hmmmm."

And it was. How much experience do any of us have with photography or television in a vacuum environment? Using equipment of the 1960s? All sorts of odd things can happen. Anomalies are par for the course.

KB0TXC: "I attended a training seminar in RF exposure limits that was paid for by a previous employer back before I entered the teaching profession. The presenter gave us his CV and I saw that he was indeed a retired NASA/military signals analyst during the Gemini and Apollo missions, with top secret clearance. I waited until a break and when no one else was in the room, I asked him why NASA quit with #17 when they had missions that were funded to # 20, had the crews picked and had landing sites chosen, and even had the rockets contracted if not already built.

He gave me the same reason that you did. Money. Very self assured answer to boot."

Because that's the real reason. The cost of the rockets was only part of the total cost of a mission; the launch, tracking and recovery were big-money items too. Money was tight in the 1970s, what with oil embargoes, stagflation, unemployment, the Vietnam War and other problems.

KB0TXC: "I nodded my head, then turned back around and asked him if NASA found ruins that were built by some intelligence on the surface of the moon.

He almost choked on his drink, then very curtly said "I can't talk about that". I asked why. He replied that he would "...spend the rest of his life in Levenworth federal penitentary".

Then he refused to even look at me for the rest of the seminar or even acknoledge my presence.

I think that this gentlman's response spoke volumes and volumes, and is (IMHO) a very good piece of anecdotal evidence that Never A Straight Answer is hiding some very profound truth that they are terrified of."

Well, maybe. But I think that if there were ANY truth to such a theory, we'd have heard about it by now, because somebody would have spilled the beans.

Remember that the Soviets sent unmanned probes to the Moon, and took lots of pictures. They'd not keep such a secret, particularly if they could scoop the Americans by announcing it first.

In fact, the Soviets are the best guarantee that nothing about the Apollo missions was faked. You can count on the fact that the Soviets were listening to, recording and analyzing every radio signal that came down from every US mission, looking for both data and faking.

I submit for your consideration that the ex-NASA guy was simply pulling your leg.

btw, you have read Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey", right?

Got more to say but right now I have to go check on the AE-35 unit. Won't be long; it's right next to the CRM-114.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Sputnik Fever and Incentive Licensing  
by N2EY on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The excellent discussions with KB0TXC got me thinking about the motivations behind the "incentive licensing" changes of the 1960s.

I think one of the factors behind those changes were the early successes of the Soviet space program.

What happened was that Americans had long thought of themselves as the world's leader in science, technology and industry. The USA was *the* place where things in science and technology happened first - particularly in the 20th century.

So it was a big surprise when the USSR successfully launched the world's first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1. Worse, the Soviets kept coming up with more successes in space: first animal in space, first probe to leave earth orbit, first pictures of the far side of the moon, and finally the first man in space.

Meanwhile, the US space program experienced some spectacular failures, with rockets blowing up on the pad or soon after launch, equipment failures, delays, and all sorts of other problems. And we were in second place, trying to play catch-up.

That series of "space firsts" and other events (like the USSR shooting down Gary Powers' U-2 plane with a surface-to-air missile) caused a lot of concern in some circles that the USA wasn't #1 anymore in science and technology.

The results went in all directions. For example, educators were pushed to upgrade science and math programs in schools, all the way down to the earliest grades. News coverage of the space program was front-and-center on TV, radio and in the press.

Amateur radio was affected, too. FCC and others began to wonder about whether American hams were on par with their Soviet counterparts. They looked at the requirements for an amateur radio license in the USSR and wondered how many American hams could meet such requirements. They also noted how many Soviet hams built their own stations from scratch, including complete SSB transceivers, while homebrewing by US hams seemed to be a dying art.

So it seemed natural to FCC that the requirements for a US ham radio license should be upgraded as a way of raising the standards. But it took several years to effect those changes. Even after the rules changed, our requirements were still far below those of the USSR, but they *were* better.

We now know that the Soviets were having similar problems with their space program. But because they only announced their launches and goals after the fact, the Soviet space efforts that we saw all *looked* like successes. The USA did everything live with the cameras rolling, so every problem was on the record.

Soviet amateurs did indeed build a lot more gear than US hams back then, and were probably technically and operationally better - because they had to be. Manufactured equipment simply wasn't available to them.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Alleged Conspiracy Theories in Space Programs  
by K6LHA on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Joe KB0TXC wrote about 'strangeness' in the space program on 28 Dec 08:

"P.S. No, I do not get into 'conspiracy theories', as I do not have the time or inclination to do so. Hiowever, this reaction of a Top Secret security
clearance person who had access to materials and data from the lunar missions that I witness first hand does go a long way to cofirm at least in my own mind that there is some fire lurking somewhere under the smoke that is drifting out of NASAs HQ."
----------------
First of all, that 'UFO thing' is out of place in this article, even to e-ham.net that is supposed to concern itself with AMATEUR RADIO.

Only tens of thousands of Americans have been involved with the space program in the USA. I happen to have been one of them, working at Rocketdyne Division (then owned by Rockwell International, makers of the Space Shuttle Main Engines or SSME) and EOS (Electro-Optical Systems, then a Division of Xerox Corporation). I've been through the Manned Space Flight Center in Clear Lake, TX, a suburb of Houston, on a free, open walking tour that was available on Sundays (may still be), seen the excellent MSFC museum there, even sat in the visitor's booth of the alternate control center (there are two identical control rooms, backup everywhere) during the 1970s. I heartily recommend a weekend tour of the MSFC for anyone, citizen or tourist, that is interested in learning more about the space program.

I've been inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for work related to unmanned spacecraft several times, even once for an Open House that JPL has yearly. The latter was at a later time, much improved displays and knowledgeable docents explaining everything on display. For staff meetings and ordinary work, the old JPL facility tended toward the dowdy government-issue kind of working environment; what is seen on TV documentaries is a result of remodeling of its interior. Rocketdyne built the F-1 engines used on the Apollo first stage (five of them, each with 1.5 million pounds of thrust). An engineering-test version of the F-1 still sits outside the main entrance of Rocketdyne on Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, CA; anyone can park in a visitor space and walk up to it close to see it (rather big and tall, easily seen from the street).

As to security clearances, I've had all three levels for other government contract work not involving space flight: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. The latter involves an FBI background check done by FBI agents and employers must pay the government for that. That's all routine for some DoD contract work. The only classified space work involves the 'keyhole' satellites and equivalent, nearly all lofted from Vandenburg AFB just outside the small city of Santa Maria, CA, along the Pacific Coast. Been there. "Deep Black" satellite programs have been well documented over the years.

Over many years I've been able to see lots of film footage and TV recordings and still photographs of the various USA space programs. NASA freely releases many recordings and photographs worldwide as a good-will gesture, even to foreign companies such as Hasselblad Camera AB in Gothenburg, Sweden, where I got a fine tour with my cousin, a retired trade school instructor. Cousin was amazed at hearing that NASA gave Hasselblad the photos they used in all sorts of camera catalogs. Hasselblad made the special cameras used on the Gemini and Apollo programs.

The most amazing NASA film clip I've seen was an unedited 16mm film of the near-disaster during an early Gemini-Agena docking when an attitude control thruster stuck open. Neil Armstrong was command pilot then and managed to regain control despite a rapid three-degree-freedom spinning caused by that malfunctioning thruster. That mission had to be aborted due to lack of thruster fuel. It was not caused by any 'unknown' forces, just from some flaw on the Gemini attitude control system (later identified and fixed for future flights).

I have yet to witness any 'strange' alien-like images on any of the Apollo mission recordings. The wreckage of the service module of Apollo 13 following the explosion of a liquid oxygen tank was perhaps the most 'alien' (metaphorically speaking). All the rest are just recordings of an environment that is alien to earthmen's experience: Micro-gravity, near-perfect vacuum, intense solar radiation of many kinds, and accidents due to equipment failure.

The only 'radioactive' devices put on the moon have been the radioactive isotope thermoelectric generators used with ALSEP, the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package, a small stand-alone multi-experiment package with its own RF station for data relay back to earth. I was a fabrication engineer on the SWS or Solar Wind Spectrometer built at EOS in Pasadena, CA, had my gloved hands on all parts of those as well as other unmanned spacecraft. One of the ALSEP experiments was a seismic sensor. The Moon did not "ring like a bell" when struck by large objects but rather had some very low-frequency reverberations not observed on Earth before. The "ring like a bell" phrase was from a journalist who tried to write about a subject they didn't understand to a public that knew even less. The results of the lunar seismic measurements added more to Earth-based seismologists' knowledge.

The USA space programs are - with the exception of the spy/recon satellites - one of the most OPEN and FREE of all USA government projects. They are well documented, not only by government people but civilians who have some science and engineering knowledge. The only "secrets" kept hidden are for classified national defense work. An example of the latter is the famous Lockheed 'Skunk Works' that began just a mile from me at what is now renamed Bob Hope Airport.

One large hangar and office building had the design and first fabrication of the F-80, the U-2, the SR-71, the F-117 and some unmanned recon aircraft. It was located at the corner of Winona and Hollywood Way at the airport for years, hiding in plain sight to anyone driving past on the north-south major street of Hollywood Way. I had seen that building/hangar for many years, had never known it to be home of the Skunk Works until after it was moved, all Lockheed buildings razed as part of Lockheed's exit from Burbank. The exit was not a result of 'alien' influences, just excessive regulations and taxes imposed by the earthpeople of Burbank's (and state of California) government.

Some people prefer MYTH and LEGEND and 'mysterious secrets' to actual truth. Truth is often too complicated to contemplate by those who don't want to learn complex things. In a way that also marks the start of 'radio' around the beginning of the last century. The 'magic' of radio morphed into MYTH, especially the Morse Myths that grew far beyond the reasonable in hobby communications into this new Millennium.

73, Len AF6AY


 
Just The Facts  
by N2EY on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

N2EY: "For example, a few years back, you wrote:"

LHA: "Tried to learn morse for 13 WPM back in the early 60s, reached about 8 WPM, and GAVE UP."

N2EY: "Now, why would you have tried to learn Morse Code for 13 wpm back in the early 1960s except to get a General Class amateur radio license? (In those days, a General license conveyed all US amateur radio operating privileges)."

AF6AY: "My first wife died in the early 1960s."

I know, Len. As I have previously stated, I'm sorry for your loss.

AF6AY: "I did a lot of things right after to keep busy. Grief can upset one's life. Took me a while to get rid of some of those grief things, got a second job to pay for the hospice and doctor bills. Being around other people at work made it a LOT better than sitting by myself listening to code practice tapes or other introverted things to occupy a mind."

Whatever works for you. But that doesn't answer the question, Len.

You stated earlier in this thread that you didn't want an amateur radio license until 2007. If that were true, why were you trying to learn Morse Code to 13 wpm 40+ years ago?

N2EY: "Seems pretty clear that what you wanted to do was to get a General and have full privs from the get-go. It's also clear that you didn't want a license with a name like "Novice" or even "Technician" because you considered such a title as being beneath you. Heck, you probably consider the term "Amateur" to be beneath you."

AF6AY: "Not at all."

I think I got it right.

AF6AY: "I simply consider YOU to be BENEATH most rational human beings. That's all."

Why? Because I point out inconsistencies and mistakes in your statements?

N2EY: "Your obvious hatred of ARRL and "incentive licensing", plus those of us who have had Extras for a long time, clearly comes from the fact that those 1968-69 rules changes increased the requirements for a full-privileges US amateur license, particularly the 20 wpm code."

AF6AY: "In the early 1960s I didn't know you or many long-time radio amateurs."

Not the point, Len.

AF6AY: "Talking on radio always came easy to me, talking in public was just as easy."

But Morse Code didn't come as easy to you. And when "incentive licensing" made a full-privileges license harder to get, you got really angry.

..................
N2EY: "When the Technician lost its code test in 1991, that wasn't good enough for you."

AF6AY: "Damn straight!"

Why not?

You've said over and over that VHF/UHF are the Big Thing today. The Tech lost its code test in 1991, so if you're so into VHF/UHF, it would seem tailor-made for you.

I think the real problem was that you want the top license or nothing.

AF6AY: "By the way, Memorandum Report and Order 90-55 was released on 13 December 1990, not in 1991."

But it didn't go into effect until Feb 1991. That's the point.

N2EY: "Nor would you consider a medical waiver because that would be an admission that there was something you weren't inherently good at."

AF6AY: "'Medical waiver?' For what?"

For the code tests above 5 wpm, that's what. So you didn't need to pass the 13 or 20 wpm code tests in order to get a General, Advanced or Extra license.


LHA: "I'm going for Amateur Extra "out of the box.""

AF6AY: "Tsk, tsk, what did you think I finally did? :-)

Oh, yes, you figure that ONCE SOMEONE DECLARES SOMETHING THEY ARE BOUND UNDER GOD TO DO IT PRECISELY AS STATED!!! :-)"

Not the point, Len.

You stated earlier in this thread that you didn't want an amateur radio license until 2007. Yet way back in 2000 you stated that you were "going for Extra out of the box". Which means you wanted an amateur radio license long before you actually got one.

AF6AY: "Jimmy boy, OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES are NOT in anyway subject to your egotistic 'judgement.' In everyone's life there are mitigating factors that can change one's course of action. You have no damn business being so judgemental about everyone if they don't do EXACTLY as you say they should. The only one needing any shrink wrapping seems to be yourself, bound and determined to thrash them verbally for the slightest infraction of WHAT YOU THINK THEY SHOULD DO. "

Len, you judge other people's lives all the time. And it's almost always a negative judgement.

You've made all kinds of negative statements about me and my life, even though you know very little about me, and much of what you think you know is inaccurate.

I didn't say that you SHOULD have gotten an amateur radio license in 1948, 1964, 1991, 2000, or any other time. What I did say, and will repeat, is that you COULD have, but chose not to. I think the main reason you chose not to was your pride.

Nor did I make any value judgements about your choices. You, OTOH, are always ready to pass judgement on others.

My point in bringing up those old statements of yours is to try to reconcile inconsistencies in your statement about when you wanted an amateur radio license.

AF6AY: "Hey, like 'up yours' little man."

Len, I'm not a "little man". Not in any way that matters, anyhow.

AF6AY: "I decide what I want, and you have absolutely NO say in that."

All I'm doing is pointing out inconsistencies in your statements, Len. Is that not allowed? Is it morally wrong to point out that you've made claims that cannot both be true?

N2EY: "Seems to me that you DID want an amateur license before 2007."

AF6AY: "Back in 1947 (well before you were ever conceived)"

Len, what does age have to do with it? You're older than I am, everyone knows that. Doesn't make you better than me, nor does it make you right all the time.

AF6AY: "I had a desire to control model aircraft I was flying as a teener. I started learning a little bit about electronics, limited as it was back then in the age of vacuum tubes. It was ridiculous to have a requirement to test for morse code just to control a model airplane so I dropped that ham radio license idea."

But you did want an amateur radio license back then. That's my point.

N2EY: "But you'd rather not admit that fact, nor that you let your pride stop you all those years."

AF6AY: ""Admit WHAT, little man?""

Admit that you were too proud to have anything but a full-privileges amateur radio license.

Admit that you wouldn't get a license with a name like "Novice" because you didn't think of yourself as a beginner.

AF6AY: "I admit to politicking the FCC to eliminate the code test because I felt it was the thing to do at the time...based on the overdue longevity of that useless requirement and the input of a lot of fellow electronics hobbyists who felt the same way."

"A lot", Len? Yet you couldn't even get a majority of commenters to agree with you.

AF6AY: "Tell us what "stopped you" from getting into REAL electronics work for money."

How do you know I'm not doing exactly that?

And what does it matter what I do "for money", Len?

AF6AY: "You seem to HATE the word 'professional.'"

Not at all, Len. However, it is sometimes misused as a sort of magic talisman that is supposed to mean "best" or "the right way" when really all it means is "done for money".

AF6AY: "You must not have a good job."

What does my job or jobs have to do with amateur radio, Len?

If I make more money than you, does that mean I'm a better person? If my net worth is greater than yours, does that make me right and you wrong?

Or are you simply looking for ways to put me down?

AF6AY: "What else have you done in professional 'radio' with your out-of-date morse code skill?"

My Morse Code skills (plural) are not "out-of-date", Len. Not for Amateur Radio, anyway.

You seem to think that experience in 'professional' radio somehow trumps anything done in Amateur Radio, even when the subject is Amateur Radio. Well, it just doesn't work like that, Len.

AF6AY: "You've never served your country in either the military or civilian life."

How do you know for sure, Len? And what does it matter? I've seen how you talk to veterans who disagree with you. It's not very nice.

AF6AY: "Yet you've made fun of those who served their country IF and only IF they didn't like morse code."

When did I do that, Len? Show us.

Here's a sample of how *you* talked to a US military radio operator who used Morse Code:

http://tinyurl.com/27fbwe

Later on, you admitted that the part about the artillery barrage was made up from others descriptions, and not from your personal experience:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/dac579f6a0668ec7?dmode=source&hl=en

http://tinyurl.com/2tpq2l

There's also this classic, aimed at ham who served in the military in Vietnam, and who made a career in the service of our country at embassies and consulates all over the world:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.radio.amateur.policy/msg/64514cd48c14fbb1?dmode=source

http://tinyurl.com/3ygllb

AF6AY: "Why do you HATE so many that don't care one bit for morse code, Jimmy? 'Fess up, lay it on the line. You DO hate those that don't love, honor, and worship morse code."

No, Len, I don't. Not at all.

AF6AY: "Admit it. You are flawed in parts of your id.
You haven't existed in the times when 'radio' was pioneered yet you infer that you were somehow 'connected' with those pioneers. You weren't. You came long after. What kind of 'pioneering' do you imagine you've done?"

What ARE you talking about, Len? "flawed in parts of your id"? "connected with pioneers"?

AF6AY: "Why can't you get along with folks who don't care for morse code?"

Actually, I get along with them just fine. It's you who have the problem getting along with people who like Morse Code.

And it's not just about Morse Code. All anyone has to do to become a target of your ire is to disagree with you, point out a mistake you made, or come up with information that proves you wrong. Your behavior in that regard is 100% predictable.

Gotta run. Calm down and enjoy life, Len. Consider that you, like everyone else, make mistakes sometimes.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Just The Facts  
by RADIO123US on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY said "Admit that you wouldn't get a license with a name like "Novice" because you didn't think of yourself as a beginner. "

Jim, I think you hit the nail on the head with this....Len thought his "so-called" professional experience would instantly "buy" him respect in the amateur radio community...as I mentioned previously, he didn't consider the "time in service" aspect of it....he's VERY angry now, because his demands for respect barely get a yawn...we've all seen many folks just like Len throughout the years on this site, and while he may be a "legend in his own mind", to the rest of us, he's just a NEWBIE with a bad attitude...
 
RE: Stories  
by N2EY on December 29, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "in all of FCC's history, there was never a time when amateur license exams were ONLY held at FCC Field Offices."

AF6AY: "Really? :-)"

Yes, really.

AF6AY: "You KNOW that ever since 1934?"

Yep. It's a fact, Len. Your statement about all license tests being held only at FCC Field Offices was and is simply wrong.

AF6AY: "The *TESTS* themselves were rather simple in their written form."

N2EY: "Again, how would YOU know, Len? You never took any amateur radio exams until a little less than 2 years ago."

AF6AY: "Information on incidental things (such as testing for any license) made its way out of the sacred FCC offices near the San Pedro harbor. Mimeographed and photocopied documents of things were passed around (the Xerox machine had yet to be perfected)...even by educators (real live instructors) at the University of California many campuses, University of Southern California, and dozens of smaller universities in the area."

What sort of "things", Len? Are you saying you saw copies of actual FCC amateur radio license exams back in the 1960s? That was a violation of federal regulations of the time.

And it doesn't change the fact that you never actually took any of those exams.

N2EY: "Those of us who actually took the old tests say you're simply wrong."

AF6AY: "Jimmy boy, you are ALWAYS saying I am 'wrong' and 'in error' and other assorted negative commentary. :-)"

No, Len, you're wrong about that.....

I only say you're wrong when you are wrong.

AF6AY: "But YOU don't have a single tangible item to PROVE (without shadow of a doubt) of YOUR amateur radio test papers of the 1960s either, do you? :-)"

That would be against regulations, Len.

What I do have are my Amateur and Commercial radio licenses.

AF6AY: "Indeed, the written tests had very little in regards to academic-intellectual knowledge of theory of radio-electronics and were mainly concerned with the existing radio regulations plus organization of the FCC itself."

N2EY: "No, that's just not true, Len. The written exams then involved quite a bit of knowledge about radio. Not at the EE level, of course, but far beyond "very little"."

AF6AY: "Nothing in my commercial radio operator test questions were specific to include common radio transmitters of the 1950s."

Not the point. The discussion was about amateur radio exams.

AF6AY: "A commercial radio operator license was a pro forma document that could get the grantee a gateway into an income-producing job in communications."

N2EY: "It also excluded people who did not have such a license from many jobs, regardless of their academic achievements and/or intellectual knowledge."

AF6AY: "Jimmy, that's just BS. :-)"

Now, it's the plain truth. There were a considerable number of jobs that required a Commercial license, and even a Ph.D. in EE couldn't legally do them if s/he didn't have the required license.

N2EY: "Here's what it was REALLY like:"

AF6AY: "From Jimmy's teenage years vantage point that is..."

From the point of view of those who actually got Amateur Radio licenses back then.

N2EY: "First off, in the bad old days, we did not have access to the actual questions and answers that would be on the test. We had "study guides" that indicated the general areas of testing, but not the exact Q&A."

N2EY: "On top of that, the exams at FCC offices were usually only given on weekday mornings, so for us teenagers in school it meant waiting for a day that school was closed but FCC was open. And if you failed an exam, you had to wait at least 30 days to try again."

AF6AY: "Oh, isn't that just SO AWFUL?!?"

No, just inconvenient.

AF6AY: "Only 'teenagers' were being tested, Jimmy? No adults who had to TAKE TIME OFF WORK AND POSSIBLY LOSE EARNINGS FOR THAT TIME OFF? Nah, that never occurred to you. <shrug>"

No vacation days, Len? No paid time off?

btw, Len, even teenagers have jobs - which usually don't have any vacation or paid time off.

And unlike most jobs, where a working person can usually arrange to get a day or halfday off in advance, a student back then wouldn't even think of playing hooky on a school day to go to the FCC office.

Just made it more of a sporting course, really.

N2EY: "Today, with all of the possible questions being published and available free, it's a completely different game. That doesn't mean new hams are "dumb", just that the requirements are very different when you know ahead of time exactly what the questions and answers will be."

AF6AY: "Oh, my, from that wording your are elevating yourself WAYYYYY above much-later licensed radio amateurs because you are just too wonderful for words. You are the Amatur Ubermensch, the SuperHam, faster than a contest QSO, able to leap tall pile-ups with ease. "

If you say so, Len. How many QSOs did you make last Field Day? Or in the November Sweepstakes?

................
N2EY: "There are more mistakes in Len's posting but that's enough for now."

AF6AY: "tell us your mighty experience, hands-on, in the electronics industry."

Why? You won't tell us of your experience as a radio amateur, so why should anyone tell you of their work experience?

AF6AY: "I'm sure we'd all love to hear about those. It could be summed up in just one word: None. :-)"

That would be an inaccurate summary, Len. Completely inaccurate.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
SKN, Anyone?  
by N2EY on December 30, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
K1BXI writes: "I need to dust off my J-38 for straight key night. I'll be hanging around 3550."

Thanks for the reminder! I'll be using my J-37. Got it back before I was a Novice - 1966 or so. Cost me all of 25 cents.


K1BXI: "Have fun and Happy New Year"

You too, John. Hope to see you on 80 meters.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on December 30, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY wrote:

"We now know that the Soviets were having similar problems with their space program. But because they only announced their launches and goals after the fact, the Soviet space efforts that we saw all *looked* like successes. The USA did everything live with the cameras rolling, so every problem was on the record."

I would agree with this statement for the early part of our space program, with the exception of the early "explorer" satellites, which were basically spy cameras with telephoto lenses. However, toward the middle to the late Gemini shots, I feel that there was an increasing degree of shadowy-ness to our space endeavors.

I would submit that today, if an amateur or hobbyist wanted to intercept and receive the data telemetry from the Hubble Space Telescope (a true marvel that should be considered a national treasure and maintained for ever, IMHO) and generate their own images using this data, that they better have a NSA clearance to do so. The data is heavily encrypted, and the key is NOT available to the general public. The public can have access to only those images and data that the gate keepers and the university contractors at Never A Straight Answer want the public to have.

Same with the Clementine lunar probe. Why? What is to hide? After all, the only thing that Clementine was looking for was evidence of possible subterranean frozen water, isn't it? That is what we were told...

Not that many people would want to expend the effort to listen to our space probes anymore. I do remember seeing Ham publications in the late sixties and early seventies where amateur radio ops and SWLs were indeed listening to the transmissions of our manned space programs. I remember seeing a photo of an op with a home made dish antenna and state of the art (for the time) preamps and converters to listen to the astronaut's radio transmissions. One person was even using a cooled transistor preamp, and what was so fascinating to me was the cold vapors that were coming out of a vent on his dish mounted pre-amp (remember, I was a little boy then, and seeing the vapors coming out of the preamp housing were as magical to me as the thought of listening in on the astronaut-heros...). This brings up another thought... If our space program is open, why do the majority of the space shuttle comms take place on secure (encrypted) channels? What are they hiding? I do remember listening to a recording that someone made of a shuttle mission, and they were talking on an open channel (obviously), but then the speaker stated something to the effect "...oh...here comes an IAC..." Then someone else shouts "...secure channel!" and that was that. What is an IAC? It has been whispered to me that an IAC in Never A Straight Answer parlance is an acronym for "Identified Anomalous Craft..." Now, I *wonder* just what an "Identified Anomalous Craft" is?

We live in a very large, and for the most part, completely unknown to us universe. It is far larger, and more energetic than most people can understand, including me. With that in mind, I find it not at all difficult to believe that there are other intelligences about besides humans and felines. I also feel that for whatever reasons, that the shadowy power elite and their ruling class minions are desperately afraid that the common everyday person would have access to this knowledge.

Best and 73

Joe KB0TXC


 
Moonray and More  
by N2EY on December 30, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: "We now know that the Soviets were having similar problems with their space program. But because they only announced their launches and goals after the fact, the Soviet space efforts that we saw all *looked* like successes. The USA did everything live with the cameras rolling, so every problem was on the record."

KB0TXC: "However, toward the middle to the late Gemini shots, I feel that there was an increasing degree of shadowy-ness to our space endeavors."

What I was getting at was that, in the early days, what the rest of the world saw of the Soviet space program was only the successes. If a rocket blew up on the launch pad, or was scrubbed a dozen times for various reasons, we'd never know, because they wouldn't tell us.

KB0TXC: "data is heavily encrypted, and the key is NOT available to the general public. The public can have access to only those images and data that the gate keepers and the university contractors at Never A Straight Answer want the public to have.

....Why? What is to hide?"

See below. There are good reasons not to simply blab the data all over the place.

KB0TXC: "Not that many people would want to expend the effort to listen to our space probes anymore."

Maybe not individuals, but a lot of other countries and such would. And given the fact that even us amateurs can hear earth-orbit satellites of a couple watts output, those with more resources would have little trouble.

KB0TXC: "I do remember seeing Ham publications in the late sixties and early seventies where amateur radio ops and SWLs were indeed listening to the transmissions of our manned space programs."

K2RIW had an article in QST about his homemade receiver and 12 foot dish, used to listen to the later Apollo missions. 1974 or so. Lots of details as to how he did it. He sent tapes to NASA!

KB0TXC: "If our space program is open, why do the majority of the space shuttle comms take place on secure (encrypted) channels? What are they hiding?"

There are at least three reasons for the encryption that I can think of.

1) Without encryption, NASA would be giving away the data free to anyone with a suitable receiver. This includes folks whose space programs are in competition with ours. That's not a smart idea.

Suppose a USA research team uses Hubble to photograph a distant galaxy, trying to prove or disprove one theory or another. And suppose there are other, non-USA research teams working on the same thing. Should the USA team, who developed the research protocol and paid for the telescope time, simply give away all the data free to the competing teams? Particularly since the other teams may be able to analyze it faster, since they wouldn't have to invest anything into getting the data other than a receiving setup?

Make no mistake, those folks are VERY competitive. We're talking Nobel-prize level stuff, too, which isn't just given away.

Encryption is one way to keep the data private. The rightful owners of the data can always share it later, but once it's loose they can't get it back in the box.

2) It's in the interest of national security not to reveal to everyone just how good some of our technology is, nor exactly what some satellites are doing. Suppose a US recon satellite has the capability to recognize specific individuals and vehicles from space - would you want the bad guys to know how good that technology is? I wouldn't. Yet if the data is unencrypted, those capabilities will soon be known to everyone who is interested. They could even use our own data against us!

3) Occasionally, really bad things happen in space, like the 2003 loss of space shuttle Columbia on reentry. NASA has just released more info on what happened during the final minutes of Columbia:

http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=104&sid=1561269

If one or more of the astronauts who died were a friend or loved one, would you want those last horrible moments played over and over on the media? (You KNOW there are media outlets that would do such things). By encrypting, NASA retains control of what the media sees. That's not always a bad thing.

KB0TXC: "I do remember listening to a recording that someone made of a shuttle mission, and they were talking on an open channel (obviously), but then the speaker stated something to the effect "...oh...here comes an IAC..." Then someone else shouts "...secure channel!" and that was that. What is an IAC? It has been whispered to me that an IAC in Never A Straight Answer parlance is an acronym for "Identified Anomalous Craft..." Now, I *wonder* just what an "Identified Anomalous Craft" is?"

That's easy - it's a spy satellite, either one of ours or one of theirs. Not something you want the whole world to know you're looking at.

KB0TXC: "We live in a very large, and for the most part, completely unknown to us universe. It is far larger, and more energetic than most people can understand, including me. With that in mind, I find it not at all difficult to believe that there are other intelligences about besides humans and felines."

And canines, porcines, dolphins, other primates, and maybe someday machine intelligences (if not already).

In fact, looking at the size and age of just our own galaxy, I find it exceedingly difficult, if not downright impossible, to believe that life and intelligence have only evolved on this wet rock we call Earth. Seems obvious to me that there must be many, many other planets with intelligent life on them, either now or in the past.

HOWEVER, the interstellar distances are so incredibly large, and the number of stars so high, and the times span so enormous, that it seems extremely improbable that we've had visitors from elsewhere. That doesn't mean it's *impossible*, just highly *improbable*. Science fiction gets around the problem with mumbo-jumbo about "hyperspace" and such, but it is after all *fiction*.

KB0TXC: "I also feel that for whatever reasons, that the shadowy power elite and their ruling class minions are desperately afraid that the common everyday person would have access to this knowledge."

I think the answers are far simpler, as I've outlined above: They don't want to give away the really good data to competitiors for free, there are national security issues involved, and they don't want to cause additional pain to those who've already suffered a tragic loss.

Conspiracy theories are attractive because they usually cannot be completely disproved. There's always the *possibility* that we're not being told the whole story, because except in special cases, you can't prove a negative. The *probability* is something else.

btw, Joe, ever hear of Project Moonray?

http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/nick.html

From what I've read and been told, the Moonray package would have gone to the Moon and been deployed if the Apollo missions beyond 17 had flown. But they were canceled and that was that.

Pretty good for a radio service that some say is "just a hobby", huh?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doo  
by K6LHA on December 30, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC conspired to tell of conspiracy on 30 Dec 08:

N2EY: "We now know that the Soviets were having similar problems with their space program. But because they only announced their launches and goals after the fact, the Soviet space efforts that we saw all *looked* like successes. The USA did everything live with the cameras rolling, so every problem was on the record."

KB0TXC: "I would agree with this statement for the early part of our space program, with the exception of the early "explorer" satellites, which were basically spy cameras with telephoto lenses. However, toward the middle to the late Gemini shots, I feel that there was an increasing degree of shadowy-ness to our space endeavors."

Ahem...not to step on Jimmy Miccolis' fantastic experience in the space programs of the USA...I'll just correct a few things. Explorer I satellite was the FIRST USA orbiting satellite, launched in 1958. It weighed less than 50 pounds, carried NO cameras whatsoever. Had the 'American-made' Vanguard launch vehicle worked (it did not, spectacularly), it might have ridden on that. As it was, the Army Ballistic Missle Agency in Huntsville adapated a Redstone missle for the purposes. Explorer I transmitted just above the FM broadcast band with less than 100 mW of RF output (on two frequencies), had no rechargeable batteries; those lasted only about 3 months. Sputnik was hardly better, but it was THE first orbiting satellite much to the western world's chagrin. :-)
............
KB0TXC: "I would submit that today, if an amateur or hobbyist wanted to intercept and receive the data telemetry from the Hubble Space Telescope (a true marvel that should be considered a national treasure and maintained for ever, IMHO) and generate their own images using this data, that they better have a NSA clearance to do so. The data is heavily encrypted, and the key is NOT available to the general public. The public can have access to only those images and data that the gate keepers and the university contractors at Never A Straight Answer want the public to have."

Ahem...there is NO "NSA clearance" necessary to get direct downloads from Hubble. :-) All you need to know is the carrier frequency (in the microwave region) and the modulation kind/type, then you must have the proper antenna tracking system with high gain to preserve the signal-to-noise ratio. After that comes the hard parts: WHICH camera do you want to access? There are several on Hubble. Do you have the format of the data compression used with the imagery and can you decode that? Now, an even harder problem: Which filters on which cameras are being used...and do you have the formatting to recover imagery with those? Add to that which images have what exposure times? Even worse is WHAT is Hubble pointing at to get any particular image?

Hubble is a joint project between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). They have a SCHEDULE of users that is at least a year and a half long and an association of astronomy universities do the deciding on which user can use Hubble at any one time on the schedule. Hubble can't turn to just any point in the universe quickly and must carefully stabilize itself for any imagery to be done. Users request which part of space and the kind of camera (which determines how long the user ties up the system). Hubble positioning and general telemetry comes down on one RF channel, imaging data on another. Casual receivers on the ground can't know ahead of time where Hubble is pointing nor which camera is being used with what filters or what exposure times. Note: Faint objects DO require long exposure times, almost the same as with old film astronomy; long exposure times require absolute stability to preserve fine detail in images.

Now there are thousands of images available for download taken by Hubble. All the WORK associated with decoding/blending-of-filter-imagery has been done for you. No problem. However, if you are not doing any actual astronomy science work, most of the images are just attractive eye candy for casual viewers.
............
KB0TXC: "Not that many people would want to expend the effort to listen to our space probes anymore."

Why would they want to? :-) ALL non-national-security spacecraft have had their carrier frequencies published in the open. That includes the high-rental transponders of the commercial commsats. Problem is that it takes a LOT of effort to FIND them for casual hobbyist space-snoopers.

ANYONE with money can build or have built the same kind of DSN (Deep Space Network) antenna, receiver, etc., that is used with the Mars rovers and their orbiting relay satellite. JPL has published, openly, full descriptions of one station at Goldstone site of the DSN. I have one in the back of a filing cabilnet. :-) Cryogenic front-end, too. :-) Once that is accomplished, it is a daunting task to build the decoder for the data, to strip off the ordinary telemetry to get to the slow-scanned imagery. Given the enormous distances to Mars and the practical limitations of solar-recharged power systems, data compression to minimal bandwidth with relatively low-power transmitters on/near Mars is needed as an absolute must-have. The only "encryption" involved is in the transmit path from Earth to Mars so that some nut-case doesn't upset the whole program with false signals. Even then the "encryption" isn't of the national security kind, just the ordinary security needed to operate a costly vehicle very, very far from Earth.
..............
KB0TXC: "If our space program is open, why do the majority of the space shuttle comms take place on secure (encrypted) channels? What are they hiding?"

The majority of manned space communications takes place using DIGITIZED voice and data. That is for clarity in signal and the easy relaying by the various commsats. STS (Shuttle) does have a back-up system using civil aviation frequencies (VHF AM) in case of extreme emergency of having to land at unplanned terrestrial sites...for sure 121.5/225 MHz for the recognized civil and military (respectively) known emergency frequencies. A common emergency transceiver in many military emergency parachute survival packs has those frequencies plus a homing transmission signal for SAR aircraft using their TACAN equipment to get to the site quickly. Look up AN/PRC-112A for an older model of such a survival radio...it is based on a Motorola civilian model, upgraded to include the military aviation band.

NASA Public Relations people HAD planned on a deliberate time-delay (a few seconds really) after the sudden just-after-launch explosion of Challenger (STS 51J). That was seen live to anyone tuning in that morning to their local TV channels. It took all viewers (and many in NASA) by surprise. The actual reason for any delay, NASA to broadcast, considered beforehand was by the civilian outrage that would be expressed if such civilians heard ordinary high-performing men (the astronauts) CUSSING during some unexpected problem. :-) [reference a seminar on space communications in the southern California area, said by a NASA PR man, to the delight of the audience] "Tape delay" of voice broadcasts were very common in civilian broadcasting as early as the 1950s, all to avoid such terrible things of epithets and blasphemy expressed by call-ins. :-)

All FAA traffic control towers (and some traffic centers) are required to record ALL voice communications as long as they are operating. They did this with very slow-speed (about 7/8 inch per second) tape recordings on broadcast-size 15-inch tape reels in the 1970s and 1980s. A very few such recordings were copied for NTSB investigators for crashes in the past, some of those released to the public. Broadcasters bleeped or deleted parts of such copies they received from the NTSB for their own broadcasts.

As far as I know today, there are no such 'delays' in communications. If 'we' (in the listening/viewing audience) don't hear/see everything, it is just because there is simply too much communications/data flowing during any manned spaceflight, especially in lauch operations. During the famous Christmas Eve lunar orbit of an early Apollo flight there was a few-second time delay between VOA broadcasts and local AM/FM/TV broadcasts, VOA audio coming through earlier. According to an NBC staffer at the Burbank western Hq of NBC, that was a normal delay of NASA broadcast uplink to a commsat with New York NBC picking that up, sending up its own uplink to commsats for distribution to other NBC stations. I worked for RCA Corporation at the time and NBC was then a wholly-owned division of RCA Corporation. With each commsat path being 23 thousand miles plus, many links add up to a very noticeable audio delay even if the speed of light is 186 thousand miles per second.
..............
KB0TXC: "I do remember listening to a recording that someone made of a shuttle mission, and they were talking on an open channel (obviously), but then the speaker stated something to the effect "...oh...here comes an IAC..." Then someone else shouts "...secure channel!" and that was that. What is an IAC? It has been whispered to me that an IAC in Never A Straight Answer parlance is an acronym for "Identified Anomalous Craft..." Now, I *wonder* just what an "Identified Anomalous Craft" is?"

I'd say your leg was pulled mightily. :-)

Case in point (actually several): The motion picture industry has made many aircraft-to-ground, aircraft-to-aircraft "communications" by voice for the use in movies. Some of my neighbors do that work for a living and I've heard a few tapes of their work. Sound departments are very clever in doing such audio. See "First Encounters" near-the-opening scenes where a (supposedly) en-route air carrier captain is asked if he wants to "report a UFO?" Sounded very real, even acted very real by the actor being the air traffic controller. ALL FICTIONAL, of course. :-)

What about famous Mercury program "space fireflies?" Back in those days it wasn't polite for TV journalists to talk about particles of frozen urine as such. :-) No, no! The viewing audience of the 1960s would be OFFENDED by uttering the name of a common human waste product! :-)

It was much better later with Fuel Cells for spacecraft. Plain water was the waste product. Non-offensive.

If you want to go completely over the edge, hang around the perimeter of "Area 51" near Nellis AFB in Nevada. A few BELIEVERS still do. :-) Me, I'd rather go southeast to Las Vegas...much more entertaining. :-)
...............
KB0TXC: "We live in a very large, and for the most part, completely unknown to us universe. It is far larger, and more energetic than most people can understand, including me. With that in mind, I find it not at all difficult to believe that there are other intelligences about besides humans and felines."

If you really, truly want to know about the REAL hush-hush spy satellite programs, then I recommend William E. Burroughs' "Deep Black." A definite work of reputable hitorical data up to 1988. It is out of print now but public libraries have them. I've used the Burbank public library copy for research purposes about 15 years ago. Amazon lists it. There's also James Bamford's book on the NSA and CIA, "Body of Secrets." Factual works, NOT fiction or speculation. The US Government Printing Office has had a number of factual books for sale, including the official histories of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs plus a whole series on Skylab for teacher classroom work. On the aircraft side, there is "Skunk Works" by Ben Rich and Leo Janos published in 1994; Ben Rich took over the skunks after legendary Kelly Johnson retired and is responsible for Lockheed building the F-117. The F-117 had the absolute smallest of radar target returns of any aircraft up to and past 1975 when it was first conceived in Burbank, CA.
................
KB0TXC: "I also feel that for whatever reasons, that the shadowy power elite and their ruling class minions are desperately afraid that the common everyday person would have access to this knowledge."

Sounds like you are talking about the ARRL. :-) I have to give the ARRL a lot of credit. They've managed to delude tens of thousands of radio hobbyists into thinking that all amateurs MUST be, FORVER, a living museum of the earliest skill in radio ommunications! :-)

Alien life on Earth does exist, but it isn't in Nevada. It is in a state on the other corner of our nation. :-)

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: SKN, Anyone?  
by N2EY on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Only a couple of hours away. I'll be on with the Southgate Type 7 (see QRZ.com profile) and my J-37.

All the best in 2009

73 es HNY de Jim, N2EY
 
On the Last Day of 2008  
by K6LHA on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
While this article subject has wandered far from its origin, even to including (gasp!) insidious government conspiracy (!), I thought it better to examine what happened to USA amateur radio numbers over the past year on this last day of 2008.

Based on Hamdata.com numbers, 2008 included 28,010 new licensees but 27,054 expirations. That was a net gain of only 956, or +0.13 percent growth based on a total of 712,972 individual licensees on 31 Dec 08. There were 20,071 license class changes in the past year, affecting only those already licensed.

Technician class licensees now account for 45.6% of all individual license grants. General class has 21.9%, Extra is 16.7%. No-longer-granted (for 8 years now) classes of Novice, Technician-plus, and Advanced total 112,585 or 15.8%. The total of General and Extra classes is 275,132 or 38.6%, still less than Technician class by 50,123.
----------------
By comparison 2007 USA licensees had 27,141 new but 26,541 expirations, an increase of only 600 or 0.084% growth based on 712,282 total individual licensees at the end of 2007. Only 8,688 class changes were done in 2007.

At the end of 2007 Technician class had 43.6% of all individual licensees, General had 21.8%, Extra had 16.2%; total of General and Extra was 270,523 (38.0%) but still less than Technician by 40,378. Total individual licenses at the end of 2007 was 712,282.
----------------
As a note to those who refuse to consider any amateur radio numbers from other than 'official' stats from the ARRL, I'd remind them that ALL licensees once took the time and trouble to pass one or more tests to get their licenses. If some didn't bother to renew, then it might be due to them being discouraged with its continuing emphasis on old standards and practices, dissatisfied with some of the (self-proclaimed) leadership.
----------------
As we enter 2009 the 'higher' classes will still generally look down on the "newbies," the "novices," the "know-nothings," the "shack on a belt" types with the usual scorn and denigration used for 'lesser folk.' I think it behooves all you 'higher' beings to consider that USA amateur radio just isn't growing by holding dear the standards and practices in an amateur radio of three-quarter century ago.

Happy New Year 2009, Len AF6AY
 
RE: On the Last Day of 2008  
by KG4TKC on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
- Autobiography of Mark Twain
 
RE: On the Last Day of 2008  
by N2EY on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
AF6AY: "Hamdata.com numbers, 2008 included 28,010 new licensees but 27,054 expirations."

Hamdata.com uses the term "no longer licensed" not "expirations". Their numbers include licenses in the grace period.

AF6AY: "That was a net gain of only 956, or +0.13 percent growth based on a total of 712,972 individual licensees on 31 Dec 08. There were 20,071 license class changes in the past year, affecting only those already licensed."

AF6AY: "Technician class licensees now account for 45.6% of all individual license grants. General class has 21.9%, Extra is 16.7%. No-longer-granted (for 8 years now) classes of Novice, Technician-plus, and Advanced total 112,585 or 15.8%. The total of General and Extra classes is 275,132 or 38.6%, still less than Technician class by 50,123."

So? What's your point, Len?

Let's look at the number of current, unexpired licenses for comparison:

Novice: 18,319 (2.8%)
Technician: 312,377 (47.1%)
Technician Plus: 10,069 (1.5%)
General: 144,702 (21.8%)
Advanced: 62,063 (9.4%)
Extra 115,562 (17.4%)

Total Technician and Technician Plus: 322,446 (48.6%)

Total current unexpired individuals: 663,092

AF6AY: "At the end of 2007 Technician class had 43.6% of all individual licensees, General had 21.8%, Extra had 16.2%; total of General and Extra was 270,523 (38.0%) but still less than Technician by 40,378. Total individual licenses at the end of 2007 was 712,282."

----------------
AF6AY: "As a note to those who refuse to consider any amateur radio numbers from other than 'official' stats from the ARRL, I'd remind them that ALL licensees once took the time and trouble to pass one or more tests to get their licenses."

I'd remind you, Len, that hamdata numbers are no more "official" than ARRL numbers. The big difference is that hamdata includes licenses that are expired but in the grace period, and ARRL does not.

AF6AY: "If some didn't bother to renew, then it might be due to them being discouraged with its continuing emphasis on old standards and practices, dissatisfied with some of the (self-proclaimed) leadership."

They could also be dead or disabled, Len.

Which "old standards and practices" do you mean, Len? What "new" standards and practices would you recommend?

AF6AY: "As we enter 2009 the 'higher' classes will still generally look down on the "newbies," the "novices," the "know-nothings," the "shack on a belt" types with the usual scorn and denigration used for 'lesser folk.'"

Oh really? What do you base those statements on?

Reading your many posts, Len, it seems that *you* look down on practically everyone. Particularly those who disagree with you, or point out mistakes you make.

Perhaps you're really telling us about yourself - after all, you hold the highest available class of US amateur radio license, and you don't consider yourself a "newbie" or "novice" even though that license is less than 2 years old.

AF6AY: "I think it behooves all you 'higher' beings to consider that USA amateur radio just isn't growing by holding dear the standards and practices in an amateur radio of three-quarter century ago."

Which "standards and practices in an amateur radio of three-quarter century ago" do you mean, Len?

Let's see:

75 years ago was 1933. Back then most US amateur license tests were conducted at FCC exam points by FCC examiners. Only those who lived more than 125 miles from an exam point, or who were physically disabled, could take the tests "by mail". That procedure ended more than 25 years ago.

In 1933 all US amateur licenses required 10 wpm Morse Code tests, sending and receiving. All Morse Code tests disappeared in 2007.

In 1933 all US amateur licenses required a written exam of about 50 questions which were not published. Some were essay questions, some required drawing a diagram, some required showing calculations to derive a numerical answer. There were also some multiple choice questions. All but the multiple-choice format questions disappeared more than 45 years ago, while the secrecy of the questions used disappeared more than 25 years ago.

In 1933, if a ham wanted to operate 'phone on the HF bands between 2.5 and 25 MHz, s/he had to get a Class A license, which required an additional, more-technical written exam and a year's experience. The exclusivity of the HF 'phone subbands ended in 1953.

In 1933, most hams were using simple home-made equipment. The USA was struggling through the Great Depression, but even in good times back then, manufactured equipment was too expensive for most hams. Some of us still homebrew our stations, but we're a minority - and you look down upon us from your all-store-bought station.

In 1933, there were several examples of amateurs providing public-service and emergency communication. That still happens today.

In 1933 the ARRL was the largest amateur radio organization in the world. Still is.

And yet, in 1933 the number of US hams was growing by leaps and bounds. From 1929 to 1935, the number of US amateurs grew from less than 20,000 to more than 46,000 despite all the problems of those times. Figure out the percentage growth needed for the numbers to grow that fast - it's pretty respectable!

Which "standards and practices of three-quarters of a century ago" are the problem, Len?

What would YOU change? What "standards and practices" would YOU put in place?

Seems to me that, in your opinion, simply getting rid of Morse Code testing wasn't enough. I think you want us to get rid of Morse Code USE as well.

And I think you'd prefer that radio amateurs not build their own equipment, nor make a fuss about public service and emergency communication. I think you'd prefer that we define amateur radio as "just a hobby" with no claim to anything else. No standards, either.

I also think you'd love to see ARRL just disappear, leaving amateur radio without a national organization at all.

Now you'll probably say I'm all wrong about those things, Len. But your own statements back them up.

What's really illuminating is what you don't say, Len. You don't say what you've actually done in amateur radio besides get a license, buy a transceiver and antenna, and make a lot of postings to amateur radio forums. You don't say what amateur radio should be in the 21st century, only what it shouldn't be. You don't answer direct questions, either, preferring to either make bad jokes or just ignore them.

So, even though you'll probably just insult me for doing so, I'll ask one last time:

Which "standards and practices of three-quarters of a century ago" are the problem, Len?

What would YOU change? What "standards and practices" would YOU put in place?

All the best to all in 2009.

Time for SKN!!

73 de Jim, N2EY


 
RE: On the Last Day of 2008  
by OLDEPHARTE on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY: What would YOU change? What "standards and practices" would YOU put in place?

Seems to me that, in your opinion, simply getting rid of Morse Code testing wasn't enough. I think you want us to get rid of Morse Code USE as well.

And I think you'd prefer that radio amateurs not build their own equipment, nor make a fuss about public service and emergency communication. I think you'd prefer that we define amateur radio as "just a hobby" with no claim to anything else. No standards, either.

OLDEPHARTE: Jim, without realizing it, you described CB.

73,
OLDEPHARTE
 
RE: On the Last Day of 2008  
by K6JPA on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Happy New Year guys, and thanks for keeping things here interesting...
73, Jim K6JPA
 
RE: On the Last Day of 2008  
by W7ETA on December 31, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats to me for keeping this thread going into another year.
73
Bob
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on January 1, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Moonbeam sounds like it would have really been a cool project. I wonder how long that it would last in the very harsh lunar environment...

Anyway, another theory that has been expressed by more than one individual is that the Soviets were a little further along with their moon project than we thought. As some may remember, the Luna series of Russian probes were soft landing lunar devices.

The theory that I have heard is that when Khrushchev made his famous 'lets bang our shoe on the table' at the united nations, that he was indeed there to announce the safe landing of a human on the moon, but infact that just before he was to make the announcement, he had learned that the mission failed and that the cosmonaut had been killed.

Actually, I think that I have finally figured out this theory as well as the fact that telemetry data for Clementine was encrypted: They found out that the moon really IS made of green cheese, and Kraft foods had threatened to take over the world if this news became public. Alas, there would be no mining of green cheese from the moon in our lifetime due to this very short sighted stance from the world's largest processed cheese food manufacturer.

Joe KB0TXC
 
Moon and Beyond...  
by N2EY on January 1, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
KB0TXC: "Moonbeam sounds like it would have really been a cool project."

I think you meant "Moonray" Joe. (the name comes from "Moon Relay")

KB0TXC: "I wonder how long that it would last in the very harsh lunar environment..."

Well, the plan was for it to have RPG power, so that was a long-term thing.

Actually, the lunar environment isn't that much different from space, except for the 2 weeks of day/2 weeks of night cycle. While the surface gets very hot during the day and very cold at night, the package can just sit on thermally insulated stilts (no atmosphere to deal with). Proper thermal design, which is needed on anything that goes into space, deals with the rest.

KB0TXC: "Anyway, another theory that has been expressed by more than one individual is that the Soviets were a little further along with their moon project than we thought. As some may remember, the Luna series of Russian probes were soft landing lunar devices."

Some of them were, anyway. There were even three Soviet missions (unmanned) that went to the moon, soft-landed, picked up some lunar samples, and then *returned to earth* with them. (Luna 16, Luna 20 and Luna 24) The Luna samples were small and very limited (0.326 kg) compared with the 381.7 kg of varied samples brought back by various Apollo missions, but the Soviets did bring back some Moon rocks using robot craft.

KB0TXC: "The theory that I have heard is that when Khrushchev made his famous 'lets bang our shoe on the table' at the united nations, that he was indeed there to announce the safe landing of a human on the moon, but infact that just before he was to make the announcement, he had learned that the mission failed and that the cosmonaut had been killed."

That's a good one! But I don't find it very credible. The shoe-banging incident at the UN happened on October 12, 1960, but the first manned space mission (Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1) did not happen until April 12, 1961.

KB0TXC: "Actually, I think that I have finally figured out this theory as well as the fact that telemetry data for Clementine was encrypted: They found out that the moon really IS made of green cheese, and Kraft foods had threatened to take over the world if this news became public."

You mean....it's all just Velveeta?!

KB0TXC: "Alas, there would be no mining of green cheese from the moon in our lifetime due to this very short sighted stance from the world's largest processed cheese food manufacturer."

No mining *that we know of*. Wasn't there a program back in the 1970s where the govt. gave poor people "surplus" cheese? "Surplus" from where?

73 es HNY de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Moon and Beyond...  
by WA4KCN on January 1, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY - Jim enjoyed reading your cw qso with W9GRE on 7.029. Was going to call but was too slow on the trigger with all the morse activity.

72 es tnx
Russ
 
SKN - 7.029  
by N2EY on January 1, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
WA4KCN: "N2EY - Jim enjoyed reading your cw qso with W9GRE on 7.029. Was going to call but was too slow on the trigger with all the morse activity."

Yep, 80 and 40 have been hopping!

What you heard me using is shown on qrz.com in my profile. Once a year I use the old J-37 exclusively, just to remind me how much I like my Vibroplex.

SKN lasts till 2359 GMT. We've still got a little time!

73 es HNY de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: On the Last Day of 2008  
by K6LHA on January 2, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY tried to revive the "Len v. Jimmy Show" on December 31, 2008 with:

AF6AY: "Hamdata.com numbers, 2008 included 28,010 new licensees but 27,054 expirations."

N2EY: "Hamdata.com uses the term "no longer licensed" not "expirations"."

So, "no longer licensed" is NOT an expiration? Is this the 'New, Revised Standard English?' :-)

N2EY: "Their numbers include licenses in the grace period."

Oh, horrors! NONE of those in their grace period EVER took a TEST? :-)

If they never passed a test (which all those in their 10-year term did), then how could they be in any 'grace period?' :-)
...............
AF6AY: "There were 20,071 license class changes in the past year, affecting only those already licensed."

N2EY: "So? What's your point, Len?"

To other thinking individuals without bias (hard to get in these forums), the real influx of (supposed) newcomers is from those ALREADY LICENSED who upgrade, probably so that some won't be looked upon as 'lower class' by the so-called 'elite.' If you've talked person-to-person with some of them you would find out more reasons why they got tired of being looked-down upon, but that isn't your messaging style...and I doubt you socialize with them without emphasizing your 'elite' status in USA AMATEUR radio.

Jimmy, you've had this so-called 'service' of numbers 'issued' biweekly in the past to show 'growth' rather wrong. Other than mistaking class-changes for 'growth' in other classes, you've also FAILED to show that some have simply DROPPED OUT of USA amateur radio. Now, there isn't any data OTHER than expirations cum "no longer licensed" on WHY they dropped out, no polls or other data, but they DID. So many, in fact, that never-licensed-in-amateur-radio numbers are just barely offsetting those expirations.

You've never 'advised' (read ordered) us to think about that NON-growth. All you've done is emphasize the PAST, a past that is no longer valid.
...............
N2EY: "I'd remind you, Len, that hamdata numbers are no more "official" than ARRL numbers."

I've not said any different. :-) ALL, repeat ALL such statistics pages get their data from ONE (truly official) SOURCE, the FCC. The ARRL is so big and publishes so much, that it assumes a mantle of 'officiousness.' :-)

N2EY: "The big difference is that hamdata includes licenses that are expired but in the grace period, and ARRL does not."

Which means WHAT, Jimmy? Having two sources of data allows a good estimate on all those IN their 'grace period' for each class of license. You keep on emphasizing the 'active' licensees. In terms of the license, NOT their activity. That word means only that the licensee is IN their normal 10-year term. It has NO bearing on whether they are 'active operators' or not. 'Active' in that sense is in USING their radios.
...............
AF6AY: "If some didn't bother to renew, then it might be due to them being discouraged with its continuing emphasis on old standards and practices, dissatisfied with some of the (self-proclaimed) leadership."

N2EY: "They could also be dead or disabled, Len."

No kidding? :-) Why don't you 'tell me' the sun rises in the east, too? :-)

Don't old CW ops live forever? ["CW will never die!" and other brave, patriotic, flag-wrapped sayings about a century-old mode]
...........
N2EY "Which "old standards and practices" do you mean, Len?"

Just about anything YOU BELIEVE in (about amateur radio), Jimmy. :-)
...........
N2EY: "What "new" standards and practices would you recommend?"

You mean other than opening a 'new' Part 97 with, "Here are your bands, play nice?" :-)

How come for why do there have to be 'replacements' of 'new' standards and practices'? Why can't there be openness and elimination of old, outdated regulations? Why can't there be modernizations?

I am for allowing as many OPTIONS to USA amateur radio licensees as possible, not the Byzantine labyrinths of the old six-license-class-tiers with RESTRICTED-TO-'LOWER'-CLASS bandplans. Those are GOING, Jimmy, and it is high time they were tossed in the refuse.

Option is not a failure. [paraphrase of Gene Kranz' statement about Apollo 13]

OPENNESS in USA amateur radio does NOT mean a whole set of elaborate new standards and practices to 'replace' the old standards and practices. If there will be NEW standards and practices, then they will EVOLVE by themselves...whether you like it or not, Jimmy.

Now, YOU - as the hidebound CW ops man - can continue to do your Professional Amateur thing all you want, Vibroplex vibrating you to orgasmic heights. NO ONE is stopping you. YOU aren't restricted to use your OOK CW
telegraphy anyplace but the five channels on '60m'. You can dream of being the very bestest CW man there ever was, diddling your speed key as much as you want. Not much call for such skills outside of amateur radio now, is there?
............
AF6AY: "As we enter 2009 the 'higher' classes will still generally look down on the "newbies," the "novices," the "know-nothings," the "shack on a belt" types with the usual scorn and denigration used for 'lesser folk.'"

N2EY: "Oh really? What do you base those statements on?"

Your own comments for the last ten years or so, Jimmy. :-) [see following]

N2EY: "Reading your many posts, Len, it seems that *you* look down on practically everyone. Particularly those who disagree with you, or point out mistakes you make."

Jimmy, YOU aren't "everyone" in any category...except in your own mind. :-)
..................
N2EY: "Perhaps you're really telling us about yourself - after all, you hold the highest available class of US amateur radio license, and you don't consider yourself a "newbie" or "novice" even though that license is less than 2 years old."

RIGHT, damn straight. I've only been IN electronics as a professional for a mere 55 11/12 years, BEGINNING in HF radio communications at a station you can't really imagine, OPERATING more radios, HF through microwave, in just those first three years...than the average amateur will ever operate in their lifetime. Since then I've not only operated radios from VLF through 25 GHz as a professional on land, in the air, and from ocean waters...some of those radios were what I designed in that professional work. 'Professional' in the generic sense of that word, getting paid real money for my services.

Nowhere in Part 97, Title 47 C.F.R., do I see any necessity to be a "professional amateur." There's no such class or requirement. USA amateur radio is DE FACTO a HOBBY. I got an amateur radio license FOR hobby purposes, Jimmy, HOBBY. To have fun with. I wasn't intending to be a Professional Amateur. I wasn't going to devote my life to a HOBBY. :-)

YOU can call me "newbie," "neophyte," "know-nothing," and other assorted denigrations because you LIKE looking down on your perceived 'enemies.' You will continue to do so...even if I've been IN radio longer than you have existed. :-)
...............
N2EY: "75 years ago was 1933."

WRONG. 2009 - 75 = 1934. :-)
...............
N2EY: "What "standards and practices" would YOU put in place?"

Why is there need of 'replacement' with ANOTHER set of regulations? I've advocated LESS regulations, not more. I've never advocated any strict 'professionalism' in amateur radio HOBBY activities. I rather like Part 97 to begin with "Here are your bands, play nice, enjoy." :-)
...............
N2EY: "Seems to me that, in your opinion, simply getting rid of..."

Jimmy, your SEEMS are too tight. Get a better tailor. :-)

...............
N2EY: "I also think you'd love to see ARRL just disappear, leaving amateur radio without a national organization at all."

I have no hate for the ARRL but no love for them. I became a full member of the ARRL in 2007 and will not renew this year. They have done nothing for me in two years. I've been able to 'participate' with my NON-elected-by-me 'representatives' of amateur radio that have included only ONE PARTIAL election. <shrug>

Here's a clue, 'renowned' AMATEUR historian: The ARRL is merely the SURVIVOR of many national organizations for amateur radio long, long ago. Their were many others but those who love, honor, and obey the League will not understand that. <shrug>

The first such organization was the Radio Club of America founded in 1909. The ARRL was a late-comer five years later. <shrug>

According to the ARRL 2007 Annual report there were 153,535 members at the end of 2007. The League included a breakdown of their financial condition at the end of that report...but did not show the highest PAID staffers as an IRS filing requires.

Goll-eee, Jimmy, when are YOU going to submit a resume to the ARRL to better your financial situation? It would be the first step in actually SERVING your community (of amateurs), wouldn't it? Just think, Dave Sumner has a six-figure income with a title of CEO! [rather more than being an unpaid 'moderator' of that busy, busy newsgroup rec.radio.amateur.moderated]
..............
N2EY: "Now you'll probably say I'm all wrong about those things, Len."

For starters, you couldn't do simple arithmetic. :-)

Otherwise, you are simply badgering me, looking for a FIGHT in a Word War III conflict, creating arguments because I don't believe in Your opinions. :-)
...............
N2EY: "What's really illuminating is what you don't say, Len."

Tsk, tsk, tsk. I've said what I needed to say to the FCC, Jimmy. You aren't the FCC, you aren't the ARRL, you don't represent the 'amateur community.' You simply want to impose YOUR self-righteous opinions on everyone who disagrees with you. :-)
...............
N2EY: "You don't say what you've actually done in amateur radio besides get a license, buy a transceiver and antenna, and make a lot of postings to amateur radio forums."

That's not 'enough?' :-) I'll be glad to write a BOOK about it, if you have a book contract for money! :-) [big advance compensation necessary considering the 'publisher' :-)]

I wasn't aware that one HAD to be IN amateur radio to work on radios or electronics. Am I breaking some kind of federal law? Sunnuvagun! :-)
...............
N2EY: "So, even though you'll probably just insult me for doing so..."

Oh, my, Jimmy-with-the-thin-skin-ego gets so 'insulted' when His opinion isn't accepted in the everlasting light of his (amateur) radio-godhood. :-)

All bow down to the Emperor of (amateur) radio opinion! Anyone who tells the Emperor he doesn't have any clothes on will be 'excommunicated.' <shrug>
-----------------------

Goll-eee gomers, All I did was tabulate some numbers on USA amateur radio licenses in two different articles and Jimmy wants to declare Word War III on me! [for the umpteenth time...] :-)

But...Jimmy loves 'fighting wars' on opinions. He is righteous in his wrath, unbending, never giving up his valiant 'fight' to be a Professional Amateur of the Olde School, forever knuckle-spanking those who don't Believe as He Believes! :-)

Yawn.
------------------
Stay tuned to the latest episode of the "Jimmy versus Len Show" coming soon on e-ham.net, any forum. :-)

73, Len AF6AY
 
#$%! EVERYONE ELSE  
by PLANKEYE on January 2, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS MY BOY LEN:

Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY

__________________________________

PLANKEYE:

SO FEW in here really care about the future of Amateur radio.

Are you one of them Len?

Are you one of the Few that really Cares?

That's a Straight Up Question!

Care to answer it?




PLANKEYE
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on January 2, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Plankeye...

Did you know that the moon <IS> made of green cheese?

Do you care? Even if you don't, I bet there are millions of mouses that do, and they probably do not even know Morris code!

hihihihi!!!

Toodles,

73

Joe K0TXC

NNNN

 
RE: #$%! EVERYONE ELSE  
by K6LHA on January 2, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
#$%!!!! to you, Plonk. :-)

Enjoy your cheese...:-)
 
#$%! EVERYONE ELSE  
by PLANKEYE on January 3, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS MY BOY LEN:

Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY

__________________________________

PLANKEYE:

SO FEW in here really care about the future of Amateur radio.

Are you one of them Len?

Are you one of the Few that really Cares?

That's a Straight Up Question!

Care to answer it?




PLANKEYE
 
What DID Happen in the First 13 Days After Doomsda  
by KB0TXC on January 3, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I fear that so very few here at e-ham really care that the moon is made of green cheese.

TELL ME PLANKEYE, DO YOU REALLY CARE?

WELL, DO YOU?

I THINK THAT IS A STRAIGHT UP QUESTION.

VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU THAT THERE ARE COUNTLESS MICE THAT DO. MOST OF THEM USE RTTY AND PHONE TO COMMUNICATE. A FEW USE FM AND REPEATERS. ALMOST NONE USE CW ANYMORE, AS THEY FIND THAT IT IS A SLOW AND OUTMODED MEANS TO COMMUNICATE.

TELL ME, HAVE YOU GOTTEN THE 'PLANK' OUT OF YOUR EYE YET SO THAT YOU CAN HELP YOUR BROTHER GET THE SPECK OUT OF HIS?

(caps off now, as the above text was modeled after the previous silly post)

Joe KB0TXC

(reflections upon a silly post)
 
#$%! EVERYONE ELSE  
by PLANKEYE on January 3, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
THIS IS MY BOY LEN:

Another thing interesting is that SO FEW in here really care about the future of amateur radio in the USA. Their general concept of an amateur radio 'future' is enclosed only with their own personal ways of being in the hobby...never mind what others want, they have theirs, so #$%! everyone else. :-)

Merry Christmas every one, Len AF6AY

__________________________________

PLANKEYE:

SO FEW in here really care about the future of Amateur radio.

Are you one of them Len?

Are you one of the Few that really Cares?

That's a Straight Up Question!

Care to answer it?




PLANKEYE
 
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