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ARRL Licensing Proposal

Well, dozens of opinions abound, and you know what they say about opinions...

Therefore, I shall offer mine and be done with it...Oh, and you are MORE
THAN WELCOME to reply to me.  Unlike others I'm willing to put my money
where my mouth is...

Please remember that the licensing structure is all simply a PROPOSAL.
Nothing more, nothing less.  It's almost a given that there will be changes
to the rough draft before it gets set in stone.  Therefore, there is no
need to go flying off the handle about how the HAM radio service is
scuh-REWED now that these "damned CBers" are coming into fertile territory.

IMHO, the current setup is a joke.  Novices get HF privs but little VHF,
but the technicians get VHF but not the HF???  Its like playing leapfrog
with the licenses.  That is ridiculous and it is in need of a change.
Whether it be subtle as just re-shuffling the names or drastic as cutting
away at the code requirements, change is inevitable (except from a vending
machine).  Like all things in this world, we must evolve in order to

Now, how we "evolve" is of course up to us.  Yes, I said "us".  By writing
to our ARRL representatives (remember, the ones who send you the "vote for
me" firewood every so often?) and voicing your concerns in a mature and
sensible manner.  That is what they are there for.  They represent us as a
whole, and we must let them know how we feel.  Silence can be deafening
when you choose to stay quiet.

I personally could care less for the code, but I think it should still be a
requirement.  I am an advanced class operator who earned my ticket the hard
way like 99% of us.  I think that the 20 wpm requirement will not leave the
testing requirement for class A, or extra, or whatever else they will end
up calling it.  It doesnt matter how hard the test questions are in any
examination study guide when they give you the answers right there.  The
code test helps put your mind to work at what you are at the VE test
session for, rather than "what was that answer in the book?"

I think the four-tier structure is a great idea.  It eliminates the
"leapfrog effect" I mentioned earlier.  However, I think a more logical
approach would be to grandfather the novices into the "class D" level, and
simply go take their written test with the 5wpm element having been passed.
 It would give them voice privvies on 2 meters, and that can be bigger
incentive for them to upgrade.  

After my first field day, I started studying for my 5 wpm to get on 10
meters, and when i got on 10, I busted my can on the code tapes and
computer programs to get that 13 wpm code and go on to general.  When I got
on 20 meters, I busted my can on the written exam to get more privvies on
the HF bands to work some of those countries I was desperate to talk to but
couldnt because I wasnt licensed for it.  Unfortunately, personal matters
and an upcoming funeral...er...wedding has put my Extra Class studying in
check for now.  But I will do it.  Why?  Because I want to.  I want to EARN
the right to be able to get on HF and talk with whomever I would like.  

I have heard the riffraff about these "damned no-coders" being a hinderance
to HAM radio.  Again, that's their opinion.  They are entitled to it.  But,
speaking as a former "damned no-coder", I can say that I am no different
from any of you.  I am grateful for the no-code licensing for getting my
foot in the door, but I took the initiative to upgrade.  The "no-code"
license got me interested in HAM radio, and it carried me to where I am
now, not just as an active DX chaser, but also a storm spotter on VHF,
extrememly active in our local SKYWARN system as a Net Control.

Speaking of which, As I thumb through my logbook of SKYWARN net activity, I
see a lot of no-code licensees taking part in weather spotting.  I'd say a
good 75% of these people who got their ticket after I did are no-code
techs.  If the no-code techs are such a hinderance, how come they are more
active in spotting dangerous storms to protect your tail?  It seems that
even they have a respectful place in HAM radio.

Yesterday as I read off the proposal over the air, someone commented that
class D would be known as "Class DUH".  Even now the stereo-typing begins.
Such close-mindedness is what hinders the service, and NOT the "damned

I think we should all look at this objectively, and not bellyache.  There
is nothing concrete to what has been proposed.  We have been given the
mold, now how we shape it is up to us.  Let the ARRL know your feelings.
Even if you are not a member, you are still a HAM.  

Again, just my humble opinion, Iiiiiii...could be wrong.

I leave my opinion and my abundant cliches to the group for discussion.
*  I once had a life, now I have a                 *
*  computer and a modem...                         *
*                                                  *
*  Gregory S. Williams                             *
*  ke4hsm@icx.net                                  *
*  http://user.icx.net/~ke4hsm/index.html          *
*  http://user.icx.net/~ke4hsm/skywarn.html        *
*  http://user.icx.net/~ke4hsm/twiar.html          *
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