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Thread: Is it me?

  1. #41

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    Well, I did download the question pool from the fcc web site, or I could just be misremembering it...

    Anyway, howdy Eric. Welcome to the forums. Scrolling down this thread you will see my tech experience has been in computer repair and vacuum tube/valve radar. So I am kinda still lost when it comes to hearing a voice come back at me instead of a blip on the radar screen. :-)
    --
    73, Jim/N4AAB got my Extra class license on Aug 10, 2017. Vanity call in Oct, 2014.
    My Ham radio site has no popups, no music, no banners.
    'Through the thorns to the stars' from Ghost-in-the-Shell anime.

  2. #42

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by park View Post
    I guess what I am saying is I'm amazed at the number of people who have a ham license and don't know (or can't figure out) how to operate their "rig".
    AC5PS / Ken
    I took my General Test in Buffalo in 1962 and after the 13 wpm cw test we took the written one. I do not recall the number of questions, but one of them was a schematic of either a radio receiver or an audio circuit. "Why won't this work?" and the answer was a missing coupling condens (oops! Hi) capacitor.
    Is that still in the General test, Ken? Hi again.
    Charlie, K3UIM

  3. #43
    K7KBN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adventurer View Post
    I even managed to crimp some power pole
    connectors on myself
    Didn't that hurt??
    Last edited by K7KBN; Tue 10th Apr 2018 at 07:12.
    73
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  4. #44

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    I'm firmly under the impression that the biggest problem is the speed of qualification. People get a licence on a whim. They have no knowledge of the hobby and the speed they can do a test and get the licence is simply too quick. Can you imagine how bad the roads would be if people could take a simplified driving test and be behind the wheel of a car with no on the road experience, just knowledge of the Highway Code. The lower licence classes used to be so you could become a good operator before getting access to additional bands - now you can be a new ham with the most tricky licence, and if you have deep pockets go out and spend thousands and cause havoc!

    With cars we have proper L plates in the UK, you drive with somebody supervising till your practical skills are good enough. A child can learn the current beginners licence here with NO test of understanding, and that is the bad thing. The test is not designed to test understanding - otherwise we'd not have people with a licence popping up on the forums asking questions we all gape at! As in "I'm a licensed ham, what do I have to do to use a repeater?" or having to ask how long an antenna is for a certain band?

  5. #45

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    I had to read my ht's instructions on how to access the repeater. And then when it got told I wasn't hitting the repeater, I found the mistake in the instructions.

    Contacted the company, they said download the pdf from their site.

    The printed book and the pdf had the exact same error. I put the correct method on my web site.

    As for the Amateur Radio Handbook, it talks about repeaters, but I don't remember it telling exactly how to access the repeater. Certainly wasn't on any of my tests. I looked for the handbook pdf on my hard drive, evidently I didn't copy it over from my Win 7 computer.
    --
    73, Jim/N4AAB got my Extra class license on Aug 10, 2017. Vanity call in Oct, 2014.
    My Ham radio site has no popups, no music, no banners.
    'Through the thorns to the stars' from Ghost-in-the-Shell anime.

  6. #46

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    I agree with Paulears... first off here in the States United, there is no practical knowledge required, it is simply study the question pool and take a written test...you really do not have to know anything...
    I believe the test should not be all multiple choice, one should have to demonstrate a knowledge of the topic, not the ability to memorize... another thing I would like to see is what back in my "service" years, we called "time in rate" before even being able to be advanced. I would like to see a waiting period requirement between levels of license so a ham would have some practical experience in the hobby before upgrading...
    I do not hold it against any of the guys getting tickets, they are just doing what the system is set up to do...I think here the reason for the current easy licensing structure is the fear that the numbers of hams was dropping and there was concern that we might lose frequencies if the number of participants got too low.

  7. #47

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    -... .-. .. -. --.
    -... .- -.-. -.-
    - .... .
    -.-. .--
    - . ... -
    !!!!!

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obed View Post
    I agree with Paulears... first off here in the States United, there is no practical knowledge required, it is simply study the question pool and take a written test...you really do not have to know anything...
    I believe the test should not be all multiple choice, one should have to demonstrate a knowledge of the topic, not the ability to memorize... another thing I would like to see is what back in my "service" years, we called "time in rate" before even being able to be advanced. I would like to see a waiting period requirement between levels of license so a ham would have some practical experience in the hobby before upgrading...
    I do not hold it against any of the guys getting tickets, they are just doing what the system is set up to do...I think here the reason for the current easy licensing structure is the fear that the numbers of hams was dropping and there was concern that we might lose frequencies if the number of participants got too low.
    Thats possible. But from what I have read for the past several years, people are taking the technician test then never getting on the air.

    Club I belong to encourages people to get on the air. We have several events we provide communications for. I can participate in one of them.
    --
    73, Jim/N4AAB got my Extra class license on Aug 10, 2017. Vanity call in Oct, 2014.
    My Ham radio site has no popups, no music, no banners.
    'Through the thorns to the stars' from Ghost-in-the-Shell anime.

  9. #49

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    I think the biggest contributor to the whole "get licensed, buy an awesome baofeng, and put it in a drawer" thing came from that show called Preppers. So many so-called "preppers" gave the world the impression that these little HT's are the most useful thing out there when SHTF. I know 2 such "hams" that did it for just that reason.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by N4AAB View Post
    There are license guides with text, and questions and answers at the end of the book. But there are hundreds of questions, and only 35 of them on the Technician and General class test. Amateur Extra has 50 questions. So a test taker wont know what questions they are going to get, until they site down and take the test the VE has handed them.

    edit:

    Almost forgot. You have to take the tests in order. So if a new ham has their heart set on Amateur Extra.

    First take element 2, Technician, if they pass it, they can take element 3, the General class test.

    If they pass element 3, then they can take element 4, the Amateur Extra test.

    Flunk one, and you have the license of the level before it. Flunk Element 2, and you come back in 30 days and try again. The examiner will write down which test you took, so you wont see the same tzest during a retake.
    There is nothing in the regulations that specifically says the examinations MUST be taken in the Technician, General, Extra order. All the regulations say is that to obtain the Technician license, you must pass Element 2, to obtain the General license you must pass Elements 2 and 3 and to become an Amateur Extra you must pass Elements 2, 3 and 4. Theoretically, you could take and pass them in reverse order but you would not be awarded a license by the FCC until you had passed all the required elements. Most VE team leaders are going to require they be taken in the proper order, however.


    Quote Originally Posted by tplyons87 View Post
    As a millennial, I agree. The good news is I don't think anyone who wants everything handed to them will pursue ham radio when you can call or FaceTime or text message someone. Sort of a catch-22. The hobby might decline in participation, but those who are involved will stay at the same level of proficiency. Granted, we don't have to know CW any more, but everything else we do.


    Interesting observation and something I've noticed a bit too.

    I undertake many less popular hobbies for someone my age, many of which are stereotypically "old-man" hobbies like scuba diving and shooting sports. Out of those, the internet community seems very warm, welcoming, and tolerant of newbies. Plenty of forums exist to ask the stupid questions, whereas there are only a handful of ham radio forums that don't have the traffic that a scuba diving or firearms related site does.

    That being said, getting into ham radio isn't exactly straight forward. You have to get your license before you get to play around with anything. No driving lessons to learn in a safe environment. No scuba class in a pool where you learn about the equipment and how it all works together. Ham radio, on the other hand, requires you to get licensed and then figure it out if you're not lucky enough to have a club locally or know anyone involved in it. Taking a class is an option, but they're few and far between.

    While I'll admit, this hasn't been the easiest hobby to learn, it's fascinating. But I do agree, the resources on ham radio are definitely lacking compared to other hobbies. With any luck I'll pass my technician license test tomorrow and get to play around on 2m/70cm to get a feel before branching out into HF.
    One off-topic comment here: As a former US Navy diver, I don't consider SCUBA diving to be an "old man" hobby. To the contrary, it's a sport that requires good physical conditioning and is therefore better suited to a younger group of people. I'm in my 70s now and I no longer dive.

  11. #51

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    The concept of peppers is alien to folk in the UK, so forgive me for asking this - but if the idea is to prepare for the day when everything breaks down, and you're on your own - then surely you buy the radio and put it in the drawer. If you need to use it, the idea of licensing will be long past caring about. In the world they are preparing for, there won't be any FCC people prowling around catching people for using radios without a licence.

    Surely Ham radio is a hobby, and one that provide useful knowledge and skills as a byproduct? I just can't get my head around people who become hams to use it privately. The notion of my wife wanting to study and take an exam to talk to me is just crazy. I'd just give her one of my legal hire stock radios if she wanted to talk to me.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    The concept of peppers is alien to folk in the UK, so forgive me for asking this - but if the idea is to prepare for the day when everything breaks down, and you're on your own - then surely you buy the radio and put it in the drawer. If you need to use it, the idea of licensing will be long past caring about. In the world they are preparing for, there won't be any FCC people prowling around catching people for using radios without a licence.
    I agree, if everything did break down, a license would mean nothing. Neither would a weak unencrypted HT without repeaters! Yet, that tv show was full of people putting them in faraday cage garbage cans lol. I certainly would not want to communicate on an easily located mode like VHF line-of-sight anyhow! Id be thinking more like QRP NVIS with a digital mode myself if the world fell apart.

    At least one person I know gave up on ham activities almost immediately after licensing because nobody around here was interested in "preparing". I believe there was an intention to communicate with hams, but the subject of prepping didn't strike up any local interest. I tried buying his radio, but he said "Someday soon I might need it". I can only wonder who he intends to communicate with... total strangers with a desire to take his stuff I suppose. I think paranoia drives it more than logic.

  13. #53

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    I'm going out on a limb here supposing that preppers and whackers might be strictly a North American (USA) phenomenon. At least I've never heard of the sickness outside of this country.

  14. #54

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    Ken,

    How did this thread migrate from 'help with their rig' to license tests.

    Society promotes, 'have someone else do it for you'.

    I've been asked by folks to help them with their equipment. I tell them to read the instructions. I get flak.

    Kraus

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