Bob - I can't resist commenting on your statement;
"I look back 30 years ago and remember a League well atuned to its
members and a lot more cooperation with the membership. Those days are
gone. It's now a power trip for some. It is politics at it's worst and
with no real rewards."
I was first licensed as WN0MWN in 1965, upgrading to WA0MWN a year later.
It seems to me that the ARRL was more out of touch with mainstream amateur
radio 30 years ago than it is today.
30 years ago marked the beginning of incentive licensing, a plan which
stripped many hams of privileges they already had, and was opposed by the
majority of active hams. Yet the league expended vast resources to convince
both the FCC and its membership that it was needed to improve the quality
of ham radio. Incentive Licensing was a power trip for many high ranking
ARRL officials and politics at its worse. After it was instituted many hams
voted with their feet and left the hobby. They simply did not like having
something they considered theirs, which they had earned taken away. It is
not clear that the "more stringent" theory and "faster" code requirements
improved the technical or operating quality of hams, then or now. On
numbers alone incentive licensing has been a bust.
On the other hand, there have been some good changes to ham radio in the
last 30 years brought about both with and without the aid of the league,
most of which were probably supported by the membership; an extended and
renewable novice license, expanded phone bands, Technician privileges on
the HF bands, 10M phone privileges for Novices, new bands, and 10 year
terms for licenses.
My feelings on the league vary, some years I belong and some years I don't.
This year I don't, but I always seem to buy the magazine.
This is not a flame, so please don't take it as a personal affront. I just
don't think that the league was better attuned to its members needs 30
years ago.- Duffey
James R. Duffey (505) 764-3143
Principal Scientist (505) 843-7995 (FAX)
Maxwell Technologies Inc/Albuquerque Division
2501 Yale Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
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