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Is Ham Radio Doomed?

bharvey2

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Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,143
Do you know the atomic weight of Sulfur or the spin direction of electrons? Do you know how many shift register a binary multiplication uses in assembler? Of course no! I don't know exactly how many watts I'm allow to use when transmitting at 14175 AM or USB mode, that's why I learning. So no, the test is not easy a cake for someone that is no a HF fan or never was involved in radio transmitters.

I really tired of people comments about "even my dog can pass the test" or "in my time we were supercalifragilistic radio hams".You were radio amateurs for how long? 20 or 30 years, or even more? for you is easy, you are breathing this every day of your life, but I can say too that my dog can pass a quantum mechanics examination, so if you say that you don't know the electron spin direction I may imply that you are less smart than my dog. (I don have a dog , by the way). That stupid attitude is not helping at all to bring newcomers to the radio hobby. Of course saying. thing like someone said here that the test is not so hard if you take care of preparing yourself a little helps and is most welcome comment.

By the way my background is Electronics Engineer, Semiconductors engineering, quantum mechanics fan, worked for Intel and right now IT Manager at a small company. So its not that I'm lacking knowledge, but you can't never know everything in this life, and I open to learn new things. Ah, and I had a Extra Radio license back on my teens, and back then the examinations where even harder, with full CW knowledge, than today, but since more than 30 year has passed since then and I never used my learned skills again, it went to the drain and now I need to re-learn everything, almost...

To all the good people trying to help a newcomer, thanks.!
kekinash, It sounds like we have similar histories. I too obtained an electronics engineering degree but my career moved in a bit of a different direction so I didn't always have an opportunity to put my skills to use. I've forgotten much of what I learned. Before I took my tech and general tests (yes, both on the same day) I studied for a few weeks to refresh my memory. I was surprised how much of the information came back to me. I just needed to blow the dust off of it. Some of the questions on the test won't have much relevance if you aren't a radio person but hey, you don't need a perfect score to pass. Also, for the most part, it's a multiple choice test. Do some studying to refresh your memory. Take some of the online practice tests until you're comfortable with your success rate. I think you'll be up to speed in little time at all.
 
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kekinash

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Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
11
Location
RGV, Texas
Thanks for kindly words. I pretty sure I will pass the examination, I just wanted to remind some people here that even if for you is a very easy test because you are deeply involved with the stuff, for other people can be somehow challenging. And yes life is like that sometimes, you earn your degree in something and you work in something completely different. Semiconductors industry mostly have to do with atoms and chemistry than really electronics, weird.
 

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
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5,825
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Brownsburg, Indiana
Ah, and I had a Extra Radio license back on my teens...
Do you have proof? Do you have a copy of your old license? Can you find your name and callsign in an old callbook?

Take a look at §97.505(a). If you have proof that you once held an Amateur Extra license, you can get credit for Elements 3 (General) and 4 (Extra). You don't get credit for Element 2 (Technician). The idea here is that you probably need a refresher on the administrative rules, but you don't need to be re-tested on the more technical aspects of the rules. I could be all wrong on this, so maybe one of the more experienced VEs can weigh in.
 

kekinash

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Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
11
Location
RGV, Texas
Do you have proof? Do you have a copy of your old license? Can you find your name and callsign in an old callbook?

Take a look at §97.505(a). If you have proof that you once held an Amateur Extra license, you can get credit for Elements 3 (General) and 4 (Extra). You don't get credit for Element 2 (Technician). The idea here is that you probably need a refresher on the administrative rules, but you don't need to be re-tested on the more technical aspects of the rules. I could be all wrong on this, so maybe one of the more experienced VEs can weigh in.
It was in Europe, so I don't think it will help, as for the call name, I'm really don't remember it, but could be that looking their database using my surname may produce some results. But I think is easier for me to just do just the test, and it will help me to gather the update knowledge about today's Ham radio rules too, which surely are different from Europe and from the 80's, so is not wasted time to me. As I already said, I did several practice tests on line and passed with almost perfect score. But thanks for you help, I really appreciate it. i already scheduled the test for next moth and I will post here the result with my new callsign.
 

KK4JUG

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Messages
2,546
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GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
Do you know the atomic weight of Sulfur or the spin direction of electrons? Do you know how many shift register a binary multiplication uses in assembler? Of course no! I don't know exactly how many watts I'm allow to use when transmitting at 14175 AM or USB mode, that's why I learning. So no, the test is not easy a cake for someone that is no a HF fan or never was involved in radio transmitters.

I really tired of people comments about "even my dog can pass the test" or "in my time we were supercalifragilistic radio hams".You were radio amateurs for how long? 20 or 30 years, or even more? for you is easy, you are breathing this every day of your life, but I can say too that my dog can pass a quantum mechanics examination, so if you say that you don't know the electron spin direction I may imply that you are less smart than my dog. (I don have a dog , by the way). That stupid attitude is not helping at all to bring newcomers to the radio hobby. Of course saying. thing like someone said here that the test is not so hard if you take care of preparing yourself a little helps and is most welcome comment.

By the way my background is Electronics Engineer, Semiconductors engineering, quantum mechanics fan, worked for Intel and right now IT Manager at a small company. So its not that I'm lacking knowledge, but you can't never know everything in this life, and I open to learn new things. Ah, and I had a Extra Radio license back on my teens, and back then the examinations where even harder, with full CW knowledge, than today, but since more than 30 year has passed since then and I never used my learned skills again, it went to the drain and now I need to re-learn everything, almost...

To all the good people trying to help a newcomer, thanks.!
I first took (and passed) the test in 2012 so there's no "20 or 30 years, or even more" years in my background.

You can bring up all the useless examples you want. I stand by my contention that it's not all that tough.
 

kekinash

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Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
11
Location
RGV, Texas
I first took (and passed) the test in 2012 so there's no "20 or 30 years, or even more" years in my background.

You can bring up all the useless examples you want. I stand by my contention that it's not all that tough.
Sorry I didn't mean to offend you. I just wanted to point out what is obvious for you and clear as the water can be confusing and muddled for others.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,193
It was in Europe, so I don't think it will help, as for the call name, I'm really don't remember it, but could be that looking their database using my surname may produce some results. But I think is easier for me to just do just the test, and it will help me to gather the update knowledge about today's Ham radio rules too, which surely are different from Europe and from the 80's, so is not wasted time to me. As I already said, I did several practice tests on line and passed with almost perfect score. But thanks for you help, I really appreciate it. i already scheduled the test for next moth and I will post here the result with my new callsign.
If you had a US license, the VEC's might very well have access to some old call books. The ARRL might be helpful as well, because very likely they had your old call for marketing purposes. Either way, welcome back.
 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
484
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
Today there is a wealth of resources to search out old licenses and callsigns.
One site I like to play in is:


I can find my old "G" callsign, my Central America, Pacific calls-- but most fun of all I can look up my grandfather back to the stone age....
... and my father-----

"Wow Dad...... you are like OLD !" (lol) :)


Lauri :sneaky:
 
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kekinash

Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
11
Location
RGV, Texas
Today there is a wealth of resources to search out old licenses and callsigns.
One site I like to play in is:


I can find my old "G" callsign, my Central America, Pacific calls-- but most fun of all I can look up my grandfather back to the stone age....
... and my father-----

"Wow Dad...... you are like OLD !" (lol) :)

Lauri :sneaky:
Thanks Lauri for the link, I will check if I can find myself there (not pun intended, I know exactly where I am right now :)).

Anyway I'm studying and updating my knowledge about everything related to Ham Radio, and so far is a good and fun experience. Beginning next month I have the exam and I'm not worried at all, I don't expect any problems passing it, unless those crazy guys stumping the 51 area pass by and kidnap me :p.... and that will be another history.
 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
484
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
.
Your welcome Kikin..... :)
I hope this site site works for you (and any others out there in a similar situation.)

If you do decide to go the new-test route, its nothing like in the past when I did mine in front of British postal radio inspectors, and later US FCC examiners - both with Morse included-- I sat them successfully as a tender young teenager. The anxiety was far far worse than any of the test material.

____________________________________________


I was an ARRL VE for several years. To be in the VE program required taking a exam that was long- and quite frankly, more tedious and in depth than any of the actual ham licensing tests. Or maybe that was just me- I am not one that gets excited by laws and regulations.

My observation, being an 'examiner,' is that overcoming the inertia and/or anxiety to simply go take the test is usually the major hurtle. The material is easy-peasy to memorize today. Plus we were all volunteers- no Stasi-KGB "the subject will sit down, back straight, ...keep your hands on your knees!" stuff.
My group was Very ! laid back, and if our's was like other groups are today, we'd let you retake the exam until you passed. It wasn't a 100% pass rate, but darn close to it. We even gave you donuts and coffee.

Good Luck, Cowboy ! :)

___________________________________________


Back to the topic of Doom

That archive of CallBooks is a fun exploration. There are some notable's in there-- try looking up "1AW" in the 1920's editions......

And, Guys-- Look at all those names, down thru the ages-
And there are more hams today than ever, all over the world ! :)

Take a collective deep breath, open a beer and go outside and enjoy the sunshine.....

Cheers !

Lauri :sneaky:




6bar.jpg
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ladn

Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
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Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
327
Location
Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
My group was Very ! laid back, and if our's was like other groups are today, we'd let you retake the exam until you passed. It wasn't a 100% pass rate, but darn close to it. We even gave you donuts and coffee.
Your VE group was a lot nicer than the first ARRL VE group I tested with! It was a bunch of grumpy OM's (literally) in a noisy gymnasium, They didn't even provide headphones for the Code test, let alone doughnuts and coffee! The testing experience didn't do much to promulgate the joy of ham radio.
 

mm

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
614
Your VE group was a lot nicer than the first ARRL VE group I tested with! It was a bunch of grumpy OM's (literally) in a noisy gymnasium, They didn't even provide headphones for the Code test, let alone doughnuts and coffee! The testing experience didn't do much to promulgate the joy of ham radio.
Oh come on if you never took either a ham or aa commercial FCC test in front of real FCC personal then it wasn't an experience, believe me, a test administered by some hams is more like a vacation compared to sitting 2 hours in front of real FCC personal.
 

ladn

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Messages
327
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Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
Oh come on if you never took either a ham or aa commercial FCC test in front of real FCC personal then it wasn't an experience, believe me, a test administered by some hams is more like a vacation compared to sitting 2 hours in front of real FCC personal.
Actually, I did both! The commercial was considerably less intimidating than the amateur. Both were coldly professional and neither was fun.
 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
484
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
When we did the code exams- back in those antediluvian days when we tested for Morse- I would often play a little trick on the candidates.
I knew just how anxious these guys/gals were, so I would say;

"Before we do the actual test".. (we would try them in bunches like a French Revolutionary Tribunal)...
"let's give you all a chance to practice a bit first"

The paper and pencils were passed out, -and everyone was told to try and relax- this is just a warm up..........

"See how you do with this practice material"-- and the pre-recorded Morse was started.

At the end of it, I would ask-

"Want to see how you did?"

...... and I would hand out a second sheet of paper with 10 questions about what they had received-- (we had the option to test for straight copy or ask questions about the message content)-- The questions where like;

What was the name of the fellow on the other end? Where was he located? etc. -- all multiple choice (multiple guess ;)) questions.

Invariably everyone answer'd (guess'd ;)) our minimum percentage of correct answers.
I, meanwhile, would be slyly circulating about the examinee's (I was once a university professor- we know how to slyly look innocently over shoulders as students take tests :))

............and looking at their results, I'd then ask-

"You guys want to sign those ? "

--------There was a silent, collective look of "Huh ?? !"--------

"You all passed the code test-- Congratulations !"

_______________________________________________________________________


FR.jpg




Lauri :)


.
.imag.jpg
 
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W5lz

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
296
Got a Novice license as a teenager. Then high school, and girls. Didn't up-grade. Then college and girls, still didn't up-grade (Novice expired after one year, non-renewable). Guy I was working with left an Extra manual laying around and I got to thumbing through it. Month after he passed his and I went to a club meeting to take the test (hoping for general). Ended up getting the advanced, missed extra by one @#$ question. The code was no sweat, sort of. Had to take the @#$ test twice more before passing, I'd never even heard of Smith charts! Also 'froze' on that first license test, just flat couldn't remember anything asked. Bummer! Especially since I'd majored in electronics in college! Everybody has problems with testing, easy or not. The testing now isn't the same as it used to be, it's been made easier (believe that or not). Still no reason why most people can't pass the thing with just a little study/memorizing.
 
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