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[TenTec] Must Read -- Comments to the FCC by AH0A

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Subject: [TenTec] Must Read -- Comments to the FCC by AH0A
From: jreid@aloha.net (Jim Reid)
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 18:27:07 -1000
Time is getting very short.  You have about 36 hours to comment
about the FCC NPRM on Amateur License Restructuring.

However  amazing fresh insight and ideas are being proposed
by Joe Speroni,  AH0A.  Please have a look at his complete,  and
final submission to the FCC.  It is posted at:


I believe you will find it frankly  fresh and insightful.  I have already
begun to defend Joe's thought,  see the following,  but only after you
read Joe's input to the FCC.

I sent this out a couple of hours ago:

>AH0A writes:
>> Upgrading through the series of license classes has promoted 
>> technical skills. 

xxxx comments:

>I can find no practical evidence that this is true.
>If the incentive system promoted greater technical skills based
>I would expect to see a difference between the various sub-bands
>on the air.

KH7M replies:

Well,  xxxx,  then you agree that the FCC is correct in considering'
eliminating the educational aspects of the Amateur Service??
That was the point of Joe's intent:  do not minimize the importance
of continuing the education of the newly licensed and entry level
amateur!!  What alternative do you suggest,  Xxxx, one of the
defined purposes of the amateur radio service is technical
advancement (of the participants,  or not?)  and enlarge
the available pool of trained folks in things technical and

Another of Joe's points:  who are we kidding with the questions
asked on the Novice,  or Tech level test if that is to become the
new Entry class license.  That level has no need to be asked
about satellite com,  nor packet mode stuff.  That is silly!!
What the present process teaches young people is this:
it is ok to just memorize a bunch of answers to get the
license,  you don't/can't have any idea what that stuff
means anyway!!  And that attitude carries right on
through life and the process of "upgrading" -- a
bad word for you apparently.  Young people need
to be asked the basics after they are taught the basics.  
And similarly up the education process.  

The current written examination system/question pool
needs very careful attention to repair a very flawed
system concept.  Joe has gone into some detail
about this topic.  Read it more carefully,  Xxxxx
before you have your usual knee jerk reaction to
the incentive license process against which you
have railed for a long time.

xxxx continues:

>Tuning across bands such as 80, 20, and 15 meters which 
>have separate Extra, Advanced, and General segmentation, there
>is no noticeable difference in signal quality, operator skills,
>technical content in conversations, or any other difference
>in technical skills between any of the segments.  

By golly,  you are correct,  xxxx.  I couldn't tell whether the
engineer working next to me at Zenith Radio Research was
only a trade school tech,  a  BSEE,  MSEE,  or Ph.D!!
Sometime,  at the bench the tech school guy was a lot more
useful!!  However,  the Ph.D always did a pretty good job
when we had a lab seminar explaining what we were trying
to accomplish in a new area,  and how he thought we might
proceed to accomplish the designated goal.

You see,  different skill/training levels show in various ways.
In our Amateur Communications hobby,  many Extras write
books,  design new antennas,  right amazing computer
programs:   would you expect a young General to do as
much??  Could you tell whether they could from how
they operated on 10 meters??

I think you are in error,  xxxx,  in belittling the attainment of
the Advanced,  Extra,  whatever level of accomplishment.
Such educational stepping ladders have had value in
all fields of education,  and continue to have value.  Yes,
Ph.D's comprise the majority of faculty in Universities,
not BS degree holders,  why??  Because they have
studied longer,  got mostly A's as undergrads so
they may have learned/remembered more there,
and have also shown excellent oral skills to defend
their ideas in their chosen fields of specialization/
research.  I believe that is what ought to be accomplished
with the stair stepped Amateur Communicators license
process.  Note I have adopted Joe's new name

Clearly Joe is trying to open the eyes of the Commissioners
to what our hobby could become.

AH0A commented:

>> It would seem that Military club stations could also be dispensed 
>> with, resulting in additional savings to the Commission.  

Xxxxx  continues in his typical fashion:

>This is a *really* bad idea.  They are not military *club* stations.
>They are military *recreation* stations.  The difference is 
>significant, in that it allows for establishment of an amateur
>station on a military base where there may not be a permanently
>assigned amateur licensee (clubs require a licensed .

KH7M continues:

This,  to me is a trivial point,  Xxxx; I am surprised you chose to
ignore the important issues brought up by Joe.  The point the FCC
seems to be stressing in their NPRM is their cost reduction.  Joe
was pointing out another area of possible cost reduction.  The
FCC can deal with how a military base gets a license for
recreation,  I am sure!

How about some comments about the major issues raised by
Joe??  For example,  the declining amateur population in 
Japan despite the existence there of a code-free HF license
for the past 10 years or so--the statistics he shows to the FCC
are not just trivial reductions in number.  So how can it be
said that eliminating the CW test will somehow save
the US amateur service,  assuming it needs saved?  

I believe Joe has opined some  fresh,  new ideas to help 
the future enrichment  our chosen hobby of communications."

What Joe has highlighted is that we need a stair stepped
license system.  We need to highlight the un-common 
person in our chosen hobby.  The Advanced and Extra
Classes must mean something!!  Just as the Ph.D degree
means something.

Yes,  I know the FCC and many other Federal agencies are
under pressure to level the "playing field".  However,  when
we get into a war,  we do not want a common soldier to 
lead the military!  We want an uncommonly great General!
When something inside us goes dreadfully wrong,  we
bypass our general practitioner physician,  and seek 
out an uncommonly excellent surgeon.  So it is in our
chosen hobby of Amateur Communication Service,  we need
some identified uncommon Extra Class guys in times of
great need;  whatever that need might be.  Teaching a class
in communication technology;  figuring the correct strategy
in an emergency situation,  performing as excellent VE's,
writing a book about Yagi antennas,  or a new computer software.
We need,  just as industry and education need a way
to grade and rank pretenders to excellence,  a way to
define and learn excellence.  Maybe we have lost our
way,  but now is the time,  with the help of the best and
the brightest among us,  to open our minds and map out
a new way.

73,  Jim,  KH7M

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