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Old 02-18-2017, 09:38 PM   #1
electricflyer
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Default Proposals to enhance the Technician License

I got the newsletter from the GA ARRL group that mentioned a desire by ARRL to get a younger (under 30) group of people interested in amateur radio. They are looking for input via a survey of what may be changed for the Technician License to make it more desirable. They think access to more of the HF bands would help. I filled out the survey but question some of the items they plan to propose to the FCC. Personally, I think the desire to be a ham is influenced by a friend or a relative. My FIL was a ham and I studied the Handbook and learned code back in 1960 but being just married and not having any extra funds I lost interest. It wasn't until my oldest son got his advanced license and went to work for ICOM that I decided to join in the hobby.
Locally one of the elementary school teachers has gotten a quite a few youngsters (4th to 6th grade) interested and has spent may hours after school mentoring these kids and that would be one way to get younger people in the hobby. The problem in this age is cell phones and internet. They don't understand the need for a radio when they can call anywhere in the world. Local clubs are a big help but even the seasoned hams are not interested in joining a group of like minded. And look at the stats, hams over 50 are in the majority so perhaps the millennials don't want to hang out with the old foggies. Hard to put a finger on what it will take to generate interest, I don't think it will be any one certain change to cause an affect. I have attached the information from ARRL that presents what they propose.
http://www.arrl.org/license-1
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:10 PM   #2
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Kill two birds with one stone: Give them a chunk of 10 meters.

1. Gets them on HF, world wide, plenty of CB mobile antennas out there work fine. (I had a Ranger 25 watt 10m mobile and worked the world with a Radio Shack CB antenna.)

2. Busy up the 10 meter band to keep the interlopers off.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:29 PM   #3
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They already get a chunk of 10M - from 28.300 to 28.500 on SSB. They could be allowed on 17M SSB and that would be OK by me. That would give them a lot of access to DX. They also already have a portion of every band for CW. I think they are worrying about something that doesn't exist. I see a lot of techs that ride out the 10 years of the license and then let it expire. Many of them never get a radio or get something from China that is to hard to program so they give up on it.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
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Well. I do understand how Cell phones can... Leave you stranded. But when all else fails. HAM RADIO. In fact where I am right now the cell phone is iffy at best, The TS-2000 100% reliable if I had to call for help it would work.

But that said... I would need to know more about what the enhancements are to comment. Tech's as I recall have full novice privledge, this includes access to nearly all HF bands, but CW only. Let me check something. Yup, 80/40/15/10 meter CW is allowed Technician. Now voice would be nice (limited voice on 10) but we need to encourage upgarding.. I mean... I got by for over 30 years with just 2M/70cM FM, but then I decided to UPGRADE.. So.. though I still use WA8YXM.. that's an E-Ticket now days.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:58 PM   #5
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10 meters is fine gives them the ideal but I think it is better to inspire them to upgrade to better things sticking with 10 meter voice.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
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Actually I think the FCC could care less if there was more hams, fewer licenses, less work (thinking like a civil servant), but license applications are now farmed out to a contract agency. But still, the number of licenses in the system is at an all time high. Upgrades are desired. When we test and a person gets their Tech license we always say, see you next month to test for General and while you are at it study for Amateur Extra. I was a Tech for a little over 10 years when I decided to get my General and when I got it I told DW, I'm going to get my extra next month, and I did. Maybe if there was a college credit for getting a license it may stir up some interest, easy class. It's been a while since we have had a teenager take a test, other than the students at one of the local elementary schools. The problem is keeping them active, a lack of propagation isn't helping. Just looking at the www.hamdata.com database for every 3 new licenses 2 others are not renewed, of those not renewed 80% are probably Techs, granted many SK's go unreported.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:46 PM   #7
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Clubs. Clubs. And more clubs.

The social, friendship and mentoring that goes on in clubs is the thing. A ham active in a club will be active for a long time. We have to build more clubs. Not more hams.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:00 PM   #8
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At test sessions we always advocate that people join a club, we tell them of any local clubs they can attend. The problem is that hams are a collection of individuals, and a strange group of individuals at that LOL. Nothing demands that they join a group. If you look at the number of hams in a given area the number that belong to a club is a pretty dismal number. For example, there is somewhere around 1700 hams in Cobb County GA, there is one club in the county (and a couple SIGs). I don't know how many members they have but I will guess it is less than 50. The county I live in has 2 clubs, one is almost exclusively ARES the other older one is open to anyone but the county has just slightly over 300 hams and the total membership of both clubs is about 30. Not a very good representation of participation. People have all kinds of reasons for not attending, work late, wrong night, don't like one of the other members, cost too much ($15-$25), don't need any help (don't want to help others), to far away, etc, etc.
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricflyer View Post
It's been a while since we have had a teenager take a test, other than the students at one of the local elementary schools.
I'd be surprised to see a successful test of a person who, in his teens, is still in elementary school. Have the tests been dumbed down that much?
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Old 02-20-2017, 03:34 PM   #10
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What would a student in 5th grader in Georgia have that a 5th grader in Iowa wouldn't have.

Get ready!!

A drivers license.
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