[Boatanchors] ARRL Band Plan

Jim Wilhite w5jo at brightok.net
Mon Apr 13 16:34:18 EDT 2015

This logic leads to the upgrade argument and could, in the digital mode, be applied to the Novice and Technician classes as well.  If they wish to operate digital, they could just take the test.  However segment limits have been argued to be unnecessary.  If the addition of the two classes did, in fact, begin begin to really overcrowd the digital band segment, then it would be appropriate to review and authorize additional space.  At the moment, only the SSB segment of 80 meters can be a problem.  Some of it is holdover of nets that operate for various purposes and they must operate above 3.8 for maximum participation and the General class operators.  Those nets begin on the East Coast at 5-6 PM and continue across all 4 time zones and that causes a lot of the congestion.  I do not hear CW nets any longer nor have I ever heard a digital net.

I suspect the FCC would not buy that argument but it does have an example to review carefully.  That example is 160 meters where all classes and modes are available to Extra, Advanced and General.  When there is a CW contest you hear CW stations all the way up to 1.9 Mc, the same for digital.  Most of the time when conditions are good there is no purposeful interference among stations and SSB stations rarely if ever go below 1.850.

I recall one instance when someone did and an FCC official chastised them.  That created a minor uproar because some felt that the FCC did not have jurisdiction in the matter.  They did not, but the effect reminded everyone that cooperation among us was paramount, and to my knowledge that has never happened again.  Most of this proposal is aimed at 80 meters.  I have listened to that segment and do not see night to night congestion that would support additional space.  80 meters at night can be a coast to coast band when conditions are right and I live in the middle of the country like you Glen.  So I can hear both coasts and still do not hear enough stations to say the digital segment is full.


From: Glen Zook 

Today's Amateur Extra Class written examination is pretty darn easy!  Also, using the various "sample" tests, one acquires the ability to recognize the correct answer without have any understanding of the question.  Since the correct answer, and all of the incorrect answers, MUST be presented on the examination papers using the exact wording as in the examples, the human brain very soon recognizes the correct answer.  The only thing that is permitted is to vary the order in which the possible "answers" are presented on the examination papers.

This is very unlike the General Class examination that I took in October of 1959.  Instead of being multiple choice answers, one had to draw schematics, determine the value of things using memorized formulas showing your calculations on supplied "scratch paper", fill in the blank, etc.  There were VERY few multiple choice questions.

The old Advanced Class examination was multiple choice.  However, one had to choose which components that were missing from schematics, calculate things, and so forth.  For "grins", I worked a couple of the calculations using misplaced items in the formula and the "wrong" answer that I got was definitely one of the possible multiple choice answers.  However, the General Class examination was considerably harder.

The Amateur Extra examination was only harder than the Novice Class examination that I took in February 1959 because it had 50-questions instead of 20-questions!

Glen, K9STH 

Website: http://k9sth.net

From: "pmarkavage at juno.com" <pmarkavage at juno.com>
To: w5jo at brightok.net 
Cc: Boatanchors at puck.nether.net 
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2015 1:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Boatanchors] [Bulk] Re: ARRL Band Plan

If Generals feel their portion of the band is congested, they only have
to upgrade to Extra (under the current FCC rules) to take advantage of
all the band spectrum. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. 

I would also suspect many of today's newly minted Technicians (computer
savvy et al) would have more of an interest to operate digital modes then
the traditional CW mode.

It's the 21st century; times are changing and amateur radio operating
practices, procedures, wishes, and desires need to evolve.

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