Poll ARRL Appoints Panel To Study License Requirements

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio General Discussion' started by wedgar, Aug 14, 2016.


Are you in favor of changing the current FCC Amateur Radio licensing structure?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Uncertain

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  1. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    An ARRL Board of Directors-appointed ad hoc committee will study the current Technician license exam requirements and recommend possible changes, which may eventually find their way into an FCC petition for rule making.

    These could include consideration of a new entry-level license class.

    The panel's recommendations to the Board would be aimed at developing "a more targeted examination with a more limited set of privileges that would attract a new generation of Amateurs."

    The motion at the July 15-16, 2016, Board meeting by New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, noted that the Novice license was discontinued in 2000, and the Morse code requirement lifted from all licenses a few years later, with the Technician ticket becoming the new entry point into Amateur Radio.

    It also cited "a considerable increase in difficulty for the new entry point" and new licensees who have been granted "extensive privileges not appropriate for all newcomers." "We need to improve upon our efforts to attract newcomers to Amateur Radio and pass along the tradition of emergency and communication support, developing interest in hands-on projects, and improving on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education," the motion asserted.
  2. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    The development of new Amateurs is important but that long sentence puts too many goals in the effort. Attracting new comers is good but I have always been quality over quantity. As a fellow who has ham-crammed over 80 people this year I have to think the newcomers should be able to understand the history of Ham Radio and where it came from as well as Ohm's Law.

    And that is another thing. I highly suggest that they take a look at the British Foundation License and what is required.
    wedgar likes this.
  3. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    From the motion, it appears the maker felt the Technician requirements have become more difficult than previously. I haven't seen that.
  4. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    I find that hard to believe.

    When a 35 year sees ham radio in use at a Triathlon a year ago, finds the study material himself, studies by himself, finds a testing session by himself, passes the test by himself, and then finds our club by himself I cannot believe that becoming a technician is all that hard of a goal to accomplish.
    wedgar likes this.
  5. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Exactly. I suspect (I have no "insider" knowledge) that the maker of the motion was looking to have a license class where it might be easier for younger people to obtain.
    W.T. Jones likes this.
  6. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    I think I could get behind that move. It is a good thing to get them younger but I would put an age limit on eligibility and longevity. I think that the terms of license might be like the last novice license of the late 60's. 2 years and upgrade or out.

    But the fellow might have something with the thoughts of attracting young people.

    BTW, I finally met the new ham, KC3HOT, at our Tuesday Morning EOC sessions. He is a retired financial person and still very politically active in our area. He is travelling to DC for meetings with Senators and Congressman. Fired up about Ham Radio right now and I don't want to lose that enthusiasm so I turned the group lose on him. They showed him everything from QRP CW in the back parking lot to DX SSB contacts with Italy, and digital contacts using Fldigi. We programmed his radio, taught him how to make a QSO, and set him on the right path.

    He was amazed at the outgoing attitude of the Hams. One of them said "Oh we're not outgoing. We're the reserved ones. You haven't met the "true believers" yet." I thought that was kinda funny.

    He was kind of wondering about the group. We had a high school student, a retired Psychologist, a Radiologist, an airline pilot, a retired Verizon engineer, a technician from a local TV station, 2 of the counties elected officials, an EMA Director, a Deputy Director, a retired college professor, a chief of police, 2 state troopers, and me. We were joined later by two of the County Road and Bridge mechanics who are interested in Ham Radio. He was rather amazed at the mix of people that showed up.

    Isn't just wonderful!
  7. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    We have a number of Novice class operators currently that have not upgraded. If they are active - hats off to them. I do believe we need to get more younger people involved with amateur radio. And I'd like to see more family amateur radio events. Let's get the family involved as well.

    That's very funny... (y)

    That goes to show that amateur radio cuts across society segments and hams come together to help and work with each other.

    You dang well betcha!
    W.T. Jones likes this.

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