Talk:Amateur radio licensing in the United States

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Novice Enhancement and "No-Code" Technicians[edit]

The section is confusing. The information jumps around in date without specifying when it is talking about. Better dating of events would be helpful. Could be cleared up a bit. Anonym1ty 20:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC) The section makes it appear as though The no-code technician license was introduced in 1987 when it was introduced in the early 1990s Anonym1ty 20:28, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The whole thing needs a good and thorough cleaning. I can see the fingerprints of the code whiners, too.  :-) Going backwards, and ignoring the 2007-02-23 changes: 2000-04-15 - removal of 13 and 20 wpm Morse tests, shortening of written test regime (5 to 3); 1991-02-14 - Removal of Morse testing for Technician license, inadvertent creation of "Tech with HF", later Tech Plus; 1990-??-?? - Novice enhancement, addition of 10m SSB, vhf/uhf priv to Novice; 1987-03-21 - Tech test cut in half, part made into General test ("3B") (Same with Advanced/Extra?) -- plaws 22:01, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that the reason why the older hams complains about the newer hams not having to take the code test is due to the fact that they feel that the newer hams are not as knowledgeable as they were. The common misconsception is that they are ( ) extra lights - for getting a Extra class license and not having to do any code. That choice was not because of the operator not wanting to take the test or the FCC, but because the rest of the world had moved on and did not require it. Before 1958 the ARRL made the rules for the whole world of amateur radio. Our problem was that we saved France in WW II - but they didn't want to be saved from the Germans. They were actually in bed with the Germans and liked things the way they were. After the war, the resentment was so great, they started their own ITU - International Telegraphy Union and ignored what the ARRL said and did and demanded their own set of rules and governing body. The harassment caused by the old hams against the new hams is unwarranted and un necessary. If a old ham was so smart, they would have taken advantage of the new standards and upgraded to Amateur Extra and not stayed at General or Advanced. It pretty much proves that - that class of license was about as far as they were qualified to advance to.

The morons who says that you are not a ham until you learn code has two arterial motives.. First - to perpetuate code - so when they are old, they will still have someone to code with. And to segegrate themselves from everyone else by thinking that it somehow makes them better - just because they learned code, or passed a multiple guess code test. AdrianPA (talk) 14:08, 22 December 2012 (UTC)AdrianPa

Morse Code[edit]

Am i incorrect for saying that there is no more morse code reqirement? if not this should be changed —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.193.129.99 (talkcontribs).

No, you're not incorrect...at least, not as of two weeks from today. A change would bea ppropriate. -- Jay Maynard 19:20, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Pre-1964 license classes[edit]

I have reverted to the earlier edit which explained the license classes pre-Incentive Licensing. Another user here blew it all away because of one line which was removed, which suggested that the Advanced Class existed prior to 1964.

My ARRL license manual from that era stated that there were 3 classes (Novice, General and Conditional), with an insert put in to explain (and promote) Technician, Advanced and Amateur Extra. This was a question on the exam, too. If anyone has any proof that Advanced predates Incentive Licensing, let's work it into the article instead of just blowing everything away. Critic-at-Arms 06:03, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

OOPS! The A, B, C classes weren't Novice to General/Conditional, they were General to Advanced. Fixing the article now. Critic-at-Arms 06:26, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
There, now it looks right, and the Incentive Licensing stuff is fixed. Critic-at-Arms 06:36, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Someone blew away a lot of MY other work because they remembered it wrong. Novice and Tech were introduced in the early 1950s, and Advanced was present (but not issued) since that era, as well. Before relying on faulty memory, why not refer to actual sources? How much time did you spend reading the QST discussion of the license changes from that era? (I did, more than I should, rather than actually doing the college work I should have been...) -- Jay Maynard 09:57, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Significant rewrite pending, please review the work in progress[edit]

All, I've attempted a significant repair and reorganization of the article in a sandbox. This article is very complex and difficult to work, mainly because there are few sources. I have focused on reorganizing and matching up the pieces that were already in the article.

Please review it here and comment on its talk page or here. I plan to merge it with the live article after 10 days (March 22nd). Thanks - Davandron | Talk 00:01, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Looks better than what we have now. I did do a little formatting cleanup down in the refernces section. One suggestion, if possible, when you are ready to bring the new text in, please merge it in a section at a time rather than a whole sale copy/paste of the entire article. This will help provide some path through the edit history to see which sections morphed. --StuffOfInterest 11:37, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
Merged a little later than I thought. Sorry I just merged the whole thing instead of piece by piece. The substantial re-write made it difficult to show what was kept. - Davandron | Talk 16:40, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


Callsign groups and other minor corrections[edit]

I added one and corrected another. 2x2's beginning with "AA-AL" are extra only and belong in group A. I added that. Also, 2x3's in group D cannot start with the letter "N". I believe those calls are reserved for other services and aircraft.  :) I also changed a few things in the Novice section. The Novice was actually deprecated in the 2001 restructuring, not in 2007. Additionally, they now have the full General CW band on 80, 40, 15 and 10. Ryan 20:57, 19 April 2007 (UTC) (updated 21:17, 19 April 2007 (UTC) )

Ryan / Rjairam, I want to thank you for your changes; you caught a bunch of stuff I missed. I tweaked your new text, since some of it was redundant with the paragraph explaining what a grandfathered license meant. I also tried to remove some of the history, since its in the sections below (now linked very strongly). Hope I didn't step on your toes too much.
I also realized that the changes sections were unsourced, so I started adding citations. Thanks again! - Davandron | Talk 13:30, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
The Novice section under Grandfathered licenses stated that the Novice license was for those who passed a morse code test but not the Technician test. This is actually inconsistent with what is stated later on in the article. Novice licenses are actually independent of Technician, and had a separate written test. I fixed it and added a citation (ARRL). It was also stated that Novices were granted General class HF privileges. This is incorrect. They were only granted CW on 80, 40 and 15 meters on the CW/data General portions of those bands.Ryan 14:59, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
You're right again :^) My reversal of the copy to "not the technician" was because of sources I had found earlier stating its purpose (CW but no theory = Novice, Theory but no cw = Tech). As far as the bandwidth, I was trying to make it read better, but you are right they didn't have voice privileges. Thanks for your hard work! - Davandron | Talk 16:35, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome. I also added some citations from ARRL, FCC and W5YI for a few other things. Ryan 20:22, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Hey, guys. This discussion of callsign blocks is all really very interesting, but the article is about Amateur radio licensing in the United States, hence the title. Can we split this part off now, please? --129.15.109.254 21:12, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Anonymous, I currently feel callsigns are an significant part of licensing process in the United States. I had left out the special events callsigns, since they weren't related to operator licensing, however I see that Ryan/Rjairam felt it was missing and worked to include that information. While I agree that the callsigns section could work as its own short article with a stub here, since the main article is only at 20k I think disintegration would be of limited benefit. Perhaps you could explain your thoughts a little more? - Davandron | Talk 21:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, that was me. Must have timed out. Callsigns are callsigns and we already have an article for that. They may mean something to an operator, like some kind of badge of honor, but they are hardly integral to the licensing process. The history of US amateur callsigns, OTOH, is interesting (did you know there used to be "1 x 4" callsigns?) and is likely deserving of an article, but it sure doesn't belong here. The only exception would be that different license classes are issued calls from different groups, though with the new licensing regime and the exhaustion (years ago) of Group C, it's sorta moot. --plaws 20:19, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Plaws, stepping back a bit, the core of our debate seems to be the difference in opinion as to whether callsigns are part of amateur radio licensing in the US. As I understand it, your opinion is that call signs are not an important part of licensing, and therefore shouldn't be mentioned in in an article titled "licensing." Am I understanding your argument correctly? - Davandron | Talk 14:02, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Let me see ... in a nutshell, yes. With the exhaustion of Group D in all call areas and with the end of new Advanced licensees in 2000, the whole Group thing is really moot anyway. As I said, the callsign is stuff interesting and likely deserving of an article, but isn't germane to this one. --plaws 20:48, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Plaws, thank you for confirming I understand your opinion. While I haven't seen it stated explicitly, reading into what you've written it seems you feel this article should only discuss the operator classes and perhaps the history of amateur radio regulation, is this also correct?
While awaiting your answer, I'd like to reiterate my thoughts. I feel that the US Amateur call signs are an important part of being licensed to operate in the US and the licensing process. I feel this because callsigns are utilized to confirm that one is operating in an area they have been examined for knowledge of (through the FCC database). They are only issued as part of the licensing process, where operators are offered a name of their choosing through the vanity program. Additionally, they are used to track the licensee in a way which is intelligible and understandable to FCC controllers and other users. Finally, as you mentioned, callsigns are an important part of the amateur radio licensing culture in the US. All of these reinforce its inclusion here.
Reviewing your suggestions, relocating to the callsign article does not appear an appropriate place to discuss the US amateur callsign system (its a generic article which avoids discussions of any nation's system). Your alternative of a stand alone article that only covered the US callsign groups appears to create a rather short and stubby article lacking in context. At this point, while I would entertain a discussion of refining the name of the article, I feel the context of this article is the correct location for the material and haven't heard any persuasive reasons why it does not belong here. - Davandron | Talk 18:34, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'll chime in here - licensing and callsigns go hand in hand. The type of callsign you get is usually associated with your license, therefore I think it is entirely appropriate that it go here. Ryan 20:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Back prior to the reconstituted vanity call sign program, in the days of 6 license classes, the days of 4 groups of callsigns, or further back in the days of enforced call sign changes when you changed districts, I might be convinced to go along with you guys. Now, no way. In 2007, unless you pass all three elements at one sitting and get a Group A/Amateur Extra call sign, you're going to get a Group D call. Whether you stay a Tech, or upgrade to General, you're "entitled" to a Group C call, which many folks buy right away. In fact, aside from former holders or family members priority, how many folks buy Group Bs? Not many, I'd wager. IOW, it's all meaningless. Devoting so much space in an otherwise good article is just so much filler. Put it in another article and let folks click through if they want the gory details of a nearly obsolete system. --plaws 21:32, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

new history[edit]

Just noticed this in the FCC's 99-412 (pg 6):

Three of the six current amateur radio operator license classes, i.e., the Novice, Technician, and Amateur Extra Class, were established in 1951. (See Amendment of Part 12, Rules Governing Amateur Radio Service, Docket 9295, Report and Order, 42 FCC 198 (1951) (1951 License Structure Decision). At the same time, the Class A, B, and C operator licenses were converted to the Advanced, General, and Conditional Class operator licenses, respectively. After adoption of the 1951 License Structure Decision, the amateur service operator license classes, in ascending order of frequency privileges, were: Novice, Technician, Conditional or General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra Class.)

I'm going to try an integrate some of it. - Davandron | Talk 19:43, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


Citations[edit]

It was brought to my attention that some citation templates make the text difficult to maintain. I agree to an extent, and would like the community to come to a consensus on what we should use for this article. I am in favor of something that is simple and consistent. What do you think we should use? Feel free to throw out some suggestions. - Ryan 00:21, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Grandfathered license classes[edit]

I changed it from three to two, because since no-code HF became effective, Tech and Tech+ are now one and the same. - Ryan 20:02, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

I reverted; people can still have a technician plus, even though privileges are identical to the technician. I don't think that Advanced has privileges beyond Extra, but its still grandfathered as well. - Davandron | Talk 13:17, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, that's wrong. The only reason someone would have "Technician Plus" is because they have a license printed at the time of that the FCC considered Technician Plus a class (about 1994 to 2000). After the 2000 rule change, Tech Pluses EDITED TO: Technician licenses printed after that time EDIT ADDED: for licensees with Tech Plus privileges were even marked LICENSE CLASS CONVERTED PER 97.21a3. Despite that, they retained Element 1 credit and could operate on the so-called Novice HF assignments. This all became moot last February as ALL Technicians were granted those same HF privileges.
We'll need to do something useful with this:
  • The Technician Plus Class operator license was issued to Technician class licensees, who, in addition to passing the Technician written examination, also had passed the 5 wpm telegraphy examination. A Technician Plus Class licensee was authorized the same privileges of a Technician Class licensees, plus the privileges of a Novice Class licensee. The class was deprecated by the restructuring in 2000 with Technician Plus licenses being converted to Technician Class licenses when renewed or if modified to show a vanity call sign. --plaws 22:45, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Lets run a simple test:
1) Was there a license class called "Technician Plus"? Answer: Yes
2) Does that class exist now? Answer: No
3) Does the now non-existing class retain its privileges? Answer: Yes
Sounds like a grandfathered class to me. As a follow up, the FCC calls it a grandfathered class.[1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 21:56, 9 June 2007 (talkcontribs) Davandron.
Test results:
1) from about 1994 (three years after it's creation) to 2000, the FCC did indeed issue licences marked "Technician Plus".
2) Correct and not since 2000.
3) Incorrect. All Technicians now have what were once known "Novice HF" privileges regardless of whether they passed a code test.
4) The same FCC page says you need to pass a 5 wpm code test to get General, so what's your point?
--plaws 02:17, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

History of Licensing Concerns[edit]

The article omits discussion of pre-FCC amateur radio licensing schemes by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Federal Radio Commission. These licenses included the Amateur First Grade, the Amateur Second Grade, the Amateur Extra First Grade, and the Unlimited Radiotelephone Endorsement. In addition, it does not make clear that the Advanced Class was closed to new entrants from 1951 to 1967. Further, it does not make clear that from 1951 to 1967, four classes had identical privilieges (Conditional, General, Advanced and Amateur Extra). Nor does it make clear that during this period three classes had identical written exams (Conditional, General and Technician). Finally, it does not make clear the surprising degree of emotion that the incentive licensing proposals of the mid-1960's had for many hams. I also note that the Technician license exam for many years in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was typically given by volunteer amateur operators and for many years did not require that the applicant first obtain a Novice license. In fact, an operator could have both a Novice license and a Technician license at the same time.