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  #121 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2013, 6:13 PM
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Random thoughts:

Standards change. An analogy that I like to use here is that to graduate high school, my parents had to master English Literature, Calculus, World History and Geography, and Latin. I had to be proficient in American Literature, Geometry, US History and French. My children did not have to crack a book of literature and barely wrote, had a brief brush with pre-Algebra, studied something called World Culture and were not required to learn a foreign language. All of our diplomas are valid as they were issued according to the standards in force at the moment.

Years ago, it was a point of honor that the Amateur Radio dealers required a copy of a valid license with an order. No force of law behind it, they just wouldn't sell the stuff to you without a license. "Store policy".

Interesting, the talk of memorizing question pools. It was Dick Bash and his after-exam interviews that were the beginning of memorization of answers. Before VEs, there were no published question pools from the FCC. They were a deep dark secret, until Bash and his minions started hanging around FCC offices and buttonholing people as they came out of exams. From interviews, Bash compiled the exact question pools and published them. Of course, the Pass rate for Amateur Radio exams skyrocketed, but he also incurred the wrath of the FCC, ARRL, Wayne Green and anyone else in the 'hierarchy'. But, the new hams loved it. Rather quickly, the FCC cobbled together the VE program as they had pretty much lost control of the exam process. They bundled it up as a cost savings and the rest is history.

Again: completely random.

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"Ham" in reference to an Amateur Radio Operator is not an acronym for anything. It's just a word. It does not need or want to be capitalized.
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  #122 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2013, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by KA9QPN View Post
Random thoughts:

Standards change. An analogy that I like to use here is that to graduate high school, my parents had to master English Literature, Calculus, World History and Geography, and Latin. I had to be proficient in American Literature, Geometry, US History and French. My children did not have to crack a book of literature and barely wrote, had a brief brush with pre-Algebra, studied something called World Culture and were not required to learn a foreign language. All of our diplomas are valid as they were issued according to the standards in force at the moment.

Years ago, it was a point of honor that the Amateur Radio dealers required a copy of a valid license with an order. No force of law behind it, they just wouldn't sell the stuff to you without a license. "Store policy".

Interesting, the talk of memorizing question pools. It was Dick Bash and his after-exam interviews that were the beginning of memorization of answers. Before VEs, there were no published question pools from the FCC. They were a deep dark secret, until Bash and his minions started hanging around FCC offices and buttonholing people as they came out of exams. From interviews, Bash compiled the exact question pools and published them. Of course, the Pass rate for Amateur Radio exams skyrocketed, but he also incurred the wrath of the FCC, ARRL, Wayne Green and anyone else in the 'hierarchy'. But, the new hams loved it. Rather quickly, the FCC cobbled together the VE program as they had pretty much lost control of the exam process. They bundled it up as a cost savings and the rest is history.

Again: completely random.

73--
Tom KA9QPN

"Ham" in reference to an Amateur Radio Operator is not an acronym for anything. It's just a word. It does not need or want to be capitalized.
One thing you got right here is today's school learning curve has really been dumbed down a lot. Goes to show you what sitting in front of a game console your whole childhood proves.
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  #123 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2013, 7:49 PM
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Originally Posted by KA9QPN View Post
Random thoughts:

Standards change. An analogy that I like to use here is that to graduate high school, my parents had to master English Literature, Calculus, World History and Geography, and Latin. I had to be proficient in American Literature, Geometry, US History and French. My children did not have to crack a book of literature and barely wrote, had a brief brush with pre-Algebra, studied something called World Culture and were not required to learn a foreign language. All of our diplomas are valid as they were issued according to the standards in force at the moment.

Years ago, it was a point of honor that the Amateur Radio dealers required a copy of a valid license with an order. No force of law behind it, they just wouldn't sell the stuff to you without a license. "Store policy".

Interesting, the talk of memorizing question pools. It was Dick Bash and his after-exam interviews that were the beginning of memorization of answers. Before VEs, there were no published question pools from the FCC. They were a deep dark secret, until Bash and his minions started hanging around FCC offices and buttonholing people as they came out of exams. From interviews, Bash compiled the exact question pools and published them. Of course, the Pass rate for Amateur Radio exams skyrocketed, but he also incurred the wrath of the FCC, ARRL, Wayne Green and anyone else in the 'hierarchy'. But, the new hams loved it. Rather quickly, the FCC cobbled together the VE program as they had pretty much lost control of the exam process. They bundled it up as a cost savings and the rest is history.

Again: completely random.

73--
Tom KA9QPN

"Ham" in reference to an Amateur Radio Operator is not an acronym for anything. It's just a word. It does not need or want to be capitalized.
Good points! There was a time when one had to meet a certain level of competency to get into a college, and a time when retailers were not just obsessed with selling anything they could to anyone for the sake of making a buck. Times have changed.
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  #124 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:05 PM
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Some people take HAM radio way to seriously! Its just a hobby and dont ever forget that!

And for those that say it is not just a hobby.. your wrong.. the word amateur is in the definition. I know there is ARES and lots of other community service focused groups out there and I am not taking away from them at all. The reality of the whole argument ... like it or lump it... is that it doesn't take a lot of skill or knowledge to press the PTT button and nor should it. I personally dont give a crap if you studied for five years or five minutes your just another voice on the radio.

if you want to make it an elite club then why not become a professional? do it for a living.. as for the stuck ups who get upset when someone uses a 10 code .. grow up or give it up.. if the founding fathers keep up with all the *****ing about newbies eventually there will be no more newbies and the government can take back the spectrum and sell it off to the highest bidder.. that will teach ya.

that's my rant..
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  #125 (permalink)  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:49 PM
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that's my rant..
And rant you did! I think we all know it is a hobby, one that I do take seriously. Here's an example why: You know how a lot of people politically rant about others freeloading off of the government and not working hard for the things they have? That's kind of how I feel about this hobby. Myself, and many before and after me, have worked hard to earn my license. I'm the OP of this thread and if you'll read the OP I stated that (in my opinion) as it gets easier to get on the air we have increasing numbers of people that have no idea even the basics of radio operation. If we as a community want to keep this little hobby from becoming another CB band or have the FCC reduce our spectrum due to poor use of the service, then we have to keep a level of professionalism and knowledgeability in this hobby. I think we have a greater risk of loosing spectrum if we become overwhelmed with malicious interference and hams that break the rules, than if we have a few less newbies that join the ranks.

Now, that's MY rant
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Old 02-28-2013, 1:55 PM
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I've found that a lot of the amateur radio operators I know are either engineers or have some other occupation that is fairly regimented. Engineers in general like to do things by the number and it's difficult in my experience to tell or suggest how to do anything to an engineer. No disrespect intended here. Regimentation and having organization plays an important roll in being a responsible amateur radio operator. It may be a hobby but it can become a very important and responsible hobby pretty dog gone quickly in a local or national emergency.
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Old 02-28-2013, 3:25 PM
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I've found that a lot of the amateur radio operators I know are either engineers or have some other occupation that is fairly regimented. Engineers in general like to do things by the number and it's difficult in my experience to tell or suggest how to do anything to an engineer. No disrespect intended here. Regimentation and having organization plays an important roll in being a responsible amateur radio operator. It may be a hobby but it can become a very important and responsible hobby pretty dog gone quickly in a local or national emergency.
Well here is the first bit of sense ability i have heard in a while.


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  #128 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2013, 1:43 AM
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blah blah blah
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  #129 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2013, 11:10 PM
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While searching for information regarding the Technician license I happened upon this thread. Please excuse this being my first post, but I wanted to provide a different perspective.

Recently, after a road trip where I was stopped on the interstate for about 45 minutes and no way to know what was going on I decided I wanted to add a CB radio to my truck. I researched a great deal and kept coming across terms that I wasn't sure what they meant. I decided that it might be a good idea to learn more rather than just throw a radio in the truck and go about my business. Furthemore, I thought that studying and getting an amateur radio license would be more beneficial than just CB route. So, I got on Amazon and ordered my ARRL book and started reading. I think I snould mention that I really wanted to learn the material as opposed to memorizing the questions. Well, I made it two pages into the first chapter. Frequency and Phase perplexed me. "The period of the cycle (represented by capital T) is its duration. The reciprocal of the period, 1/T, is the signal's frequency" Well, since I understand that the frequency is the number of cycles per second, I have no idea what the sentence above in quotes is supposed to mean. I gave up at this point and threw my new book in the garage sale box. (I don't return things after being used, even small usage). If I can't grasp the material in the first chapter on the first page, how well am I going to do later on? I fail enough at things to know when to give up and this one was a doozy. If I can't get the license with an understanding of the material, I am not going to get the license.
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  #130 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2013, 6:39 AM
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If I can't get the license with an understanding of the material, I am not going to get the license.
You're being too hard on yourself.

At any rate, forget the books.

I recommend HamTestOnline.com

They offer a money back guarantee.

There is no requirement that you *completely* understand all the material. Just that you make a decent effort. The important thing is that you will learn more than you think, and you will be exposed to a lot of things that you can continue on with if you choose. That's why there are more than one class of license. If you had to *completely* understand all tje material, the FCC would make the tests 100% passing requirement instead of 75% !

Trust me, unless you are severely brain-damaged you will pass the Technician test.

I've been a ham for 32 years. You just may come to love it. See you on the air!

Last edited by bill4long; 08-12-2013 at 6:47 AM..
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  #131 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2013, 7:38 AM
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Originally Posted by shortride View Post
I've found that a lot of the amateur radio operators I know are either engineers or have some other occupation that is fairly regimented. Engineers in general like to do things by the number and it's difficult in my experience to tell or suggest how to do anything to an engineer. No disrespect intended here. Regimentation and having organization plays an important roll in being a responsible amateur radio operator. It may be a hobby but it can become a very important and responsible hobby pretty dog gone quickly in a local or national emergency.

+1 on that! I've only had my ticket a year so I'm still learning; but from what I've seen locally there are some folks way too stuck on themselves. It is a hobby and should be fun; but every recreational activity has some kind of rules. Like the we used to say in the Army, "The more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in war."

I've got no problem following the official rules; but I may or may not follow too much of the good ole boy crap that seems to go waaaaaay too much!
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 5thGenTexan View Post
While searching for information regarding the Technician license I happened upon this thread. Please excuse this being my first post, but I wanted to provide a different perspective.

Recently, after a road trip where I was stopped on the interstate for about 45 minutes and no way to know what was going on I decided I wanted to add a CB radio to my truck. I researched a great deal and kept coming across terms that I wasn't sure what they meant. I decided that it might be a good idea to learn more rather than just throw a radio in the truck and go about my business. Furthemore, I thought that studying and getting an amateur radio license would be more beneficial than just CB route. So, I got on Amazon and ordered my ARRL book and started reading. I think I snould mention that I really wanted to learn the material as opposed to memorizing the questions. Well, I made it two pages into the first chapter. Frequency and Phase perplexed me. "The period of the cycle (represented by capital T) is its duration. The reciprocal of the period, 1/T, is the signal's frequency" Well, since I understand that the frequency is the number of cycles per second, I have no idea what the sentence above in quotes is supposed to mean. I gave up at this point and threw my new book in the garage sale box. (I don't return things after being used, even small usage). If I can't grasp the material in the first chapter on the first page, how well am I going to do later on? I fail enough at things to know when to give up and this one was a doozy. If I can't get the license with an understanding of the material, I am not going to get the license.

Hi,
First let me say welcome to RR Forums!

Second, I agree with bill4long, sounds like you were a little hard on yourself. I hate to hear that you gave up that quickly. There certainly are aspects of the test (and hobby) that can be difficult to understand and grasp. In all honesty, I don't think many amateur operators fully understand all of the technical aspects there is about the hobby - I know I don't. For example, I was never any good at the electronic schematics parts of the exams. And to this day I still couldn't point out the symbol for a resistor or capacitor.

Amateur Radio is a hobby that requires one to learn with experience. For a Technician Class license the main thing is understanding -and not just memorizing- the FCC rules, regulations, frequency privileges, and power limits. The rest of the segments of the test on require a very basic familiarity with the more technical aspects. As my original post in this thread indicated, it's not very hard to get licensed these days. Certainly easier than it was 50 years ago.

If you didn't sell your study guide, I'd encourage you to give it a try beyond the first few pages. There's also the aforementioned online study sites, and my personal favorite are the Gordon West study manuals. I believe you'll find that with the exception of the technical questions, the Technician exam is fairly easy to understand with a little bit of studying and time.

Good luck to you, and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 5thGenTexan View Post
While searching for information regarding the Technician license I happened upon this thread. Please excuse this being my first post, but I wanted to provide a different perspective.

Recently, after a road trip where I was stopped on the interstate for about 45 minutes and no way to know what was going on I decided I wanted to add a CB radio to my truck. I researched a great deal and kept coming across terms that I wasn't sure what they meant. I decided that it might be a good idea to learn more rather than just throw a radio in the truck and go about my business. Furthemore, I thought that studying and getting an amateur radio license would be more beneficial than just CB route. So, I got on Amazon and ordered my ARRL book and started reading. I think I snould mention that I really wanted to learn the material as opposed to memorizing the questions. Well, I made it two pages into the first chapter. Frequency and Phase perplexed me. "The period of the cycle (represented by capital T) is its duration. The reciprocal of the period, 1/T, is the signal's frequency" Well, since I understand that the frequency is the number of cycles per second, I have no idea what the sentence above in quotes is supposed to mean. I gave up at this point and threw my new book in the garage sale box. (I don't return things after being used, even small usage). If I can't grasp the material in the first chapter on the first page, how well am I going to do later on? I fail enough at things to know when to give up and this one was a doozy. If I can't get the license with an understanding of the material, I am not going to get the license.
I'm going to make a suggestion, find a radio club in your area that has classes to prepare you for whatever exam you wish to take. This way, you can understand what the books are about. A basic understanding of electronics, rules and regulations, frequency bands and how they apply to the class of amateur license you want, and all the different modes that are available to hams to operate their radios on. Not to mention antennas.
There is so much more than taking online exams to learn by talking to those that are experienced and have fun with ham radio.
The quick way is not always the best way.
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  #134 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2013, 11:26 AM
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...find a radio club in your area that has classes to prepare you for whatever exam you wish to take...
That's a good idea. Not only will it make it easier to learn, and receive some wisdom from other hams, but you will make some friends and have people you already know to immediately talk with on the air after you get licensed.

Last edited by bill4long; 08-12-2013 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:51 PM
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[QUOTE=N8IAA;2020874]I'm going to make a suggestion, find a radio club in your area that has classes

^^^^^^^^That ! That is how I did it, as well as self study when I went for Tech. It was a great help to have another human being who could explain, as well as the practical experiments and demonstrations of the theories in the syllabus.

I also like to get folks to think of the Tech license, as a license to learn. It gets you in. After that, you limit yourself or not.
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Old 08-12-2013, 1:04 PM
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I also like to get folks to think of the Tech license, as a license to learn. It gets you in. After that, you limit yourself or not.
Well put.
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  #137 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2013, 3:48 PM
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Thanks for all the encouragment. It was really just my intention to illustrate that in some cases "ham radio has NOT become too easy". Finding a local club does not really make things any easier, that causes me all sorts of anxiety. I might just buy a scanner and listen or something.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for all the encouragment. It was really just my intention to illustrate that in some cases "ham radio has NOT become too easy". Finding a local club does not really make things any easier, that causes me all sorts of anxiety. I might just buy a scanner and listen or something.
That's fine too, I listened a lot before I ever got my ham license.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:04 PM
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I might just buy a scanner and listen or something.
Nothing wrong with that. A lot of people get into ham radio that way. I was listening to 2 meters on a BearCat scanner in 1980 for about six months before I got my license. You may decide ham radio is not for you.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:39 PM
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Well... I have been in contact with the local club. I am going to give it another shot.
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