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Author Topic: Are there still Novice licenses?  (Read 1497 times)

Posts: 946

« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2019, 10:49:18 PM »

I know someone who still holds an Advanced class license.

So do I:  Me.  I've been an Advanced since 1972, and have little desire and no need for an Extra.  I don't use CW, and I don't miss the Extra-only phone segments on 80, 20, and 15.  I operate digital modes, with some SSB contesting, almost exclusively.  An Extra is not necessary for my kind of operating. 

That doesn't mean I won't give the Extra test a shot sometime in the future, just to say I finally passed it, but after almost 49 years as a ham, I've never needed those "extra" frequencies.  Nor are the "good" callsigns available anymore for the most part.  I've had a 2x2 call since the end of 1990.  Whether it begins with an A, K, N, or W doesn't matter all that much.

He speaks fluent PSK31, in FT8...  One QSO with him earns you 5BDXCC...  His Wouff Hong has two Wouffs... Hiram Percy Maxim called HIM "The Old Man..."  He is... The Most Interesting Ham In The World!

Posts: 705


« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2019, 06:35:16 AM »

The Novice and Advanced class licenses still exist. If they expire, they can be renewed. However, there is no path available for obtaining new Novice or Advanced licenses.

Some, with those class licenses, look at it like a badge of honor. A Novice license says you at least passed the 5 WPM Morse test and a Advanced license says you at least passed the 13 WPM Morse test.

But it doesn't.

In 1990, FCC created "medical waivers" for the 13 and 20 wpm Morse tests. There were no waivers for 5 wpm because of the ITU treaty.

So, for 10 years, it was possible to get any US license that required code tests with just 5 wpm code. That includes Advanced.

Quite true. But does the ULS show that there was a waver for the code? Was there a difference in the call sign that was assigned?

The information on the ULS, for my license, shows that I had previously held an Advanced class license. There is no mention of passing any code tests, or that I only had that Advanced class license for about 2 weeks. The only thing that I have, to prove that I passed the code tests, are the CSCEs from when I tested.

Martin - K7MEM

Posts: 1280

« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2019, 09:20:21 AM »

Interesting point, Martin. In the UK,  someone can take over a relative's call sign, so although to originally get a G3 or G4 plus three, you had to pass the Radio Amateur's Exam and 12 wpm Morse test. Now if you have the qualifications for a Full licence, which no longer includes Morse, you can have a relative's call where people would think you had passed a CW test when you hadn't. For the 2 letter pre-war calls, such as G8ON (my father's call), you only had to pass a CW test and provide an explanation of what experiments you were going to carry out that needed a radiating licence (usually 'propagation' and 'aerials'!)

Interestingly, apparently as the situation in Europe 'hotted up' in the late 1930s, the 'reasons' needed for a radiating licence were not  very difficult - presumably someone figured that in the event of war, radio amateurs would be needed, as indeed they were. Because the Nazis were very suspicious of having private individuals who communicated with radio and thus only had a few radio amateurs - who had to be Party members, just as in the days of the Communists in Eastern Europe - they were always short of experienced technicians to a much greater extent than the British or Americans.

Posts: 45

« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2019, 06:49:38 PM »

I held an Advanced license. When the 20 WPM test for extra was dropped to 5 WPM I decided to just take the written and upgrade. I wish I hadn't. If I had kept the Advanced it would have been unique and there would have been no question what tests I passed to get it. I don't operate HF much and would never have cared about the extra privileges.
Oh well, you can't go back.

Posts: 3683

« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2019, 11:08:04 PM »

As I recall (1957 was the year for me) the Novice license was not renewable and was
good for only one year. Thus one was motivated to take the General exam (at an official,
and intimidating downtown FCC office) or give up hamming until one could pass that test.

I passed the Novice test in 1959.  It was, as you described, good for one year, and then up or out.

However, if you happened to live more than about 250 miles (can't remember the exact mileage the FCC specified), you could have a Volunteer Examiner (!) who was over 18 years old and who had a current General class or higher license proctor the test for you, certify your 13 WPM proficiency and sign for the written test requirements.  The only things you COULDN'T do with a Conditional license were proctoring such exams and applying for Advanced/Extra class licenses.  You had to retake the same exam at an FCC office, thereby "upgrading" to General first.

Oh, and you had to have two years' operating experience as a General and/or Advanced licensee before you could apply for Extra.

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