About 18 months ago the FCC along with the ARRL commenced a dialog regarding the Ham census. There has been little change in the numbers of license holders since then. The dialog was and still is how to get more people into the hobby. I wrote in my blog at that time of my objections to both the FCC and the ARRL’s solution of giving HF band width to the Technician license holder in order to attract larger census numbers.
In rounded off numbers there is a total of 757,000 licensed Ham radio operators consisting of Techs, Gen, and Extra. The numbers of licensed Technicians is 385,000 and so if you do the math, that’s over half of the licensed Hams in the U.S. There’s a lot wrong with those numbers and so the idea of attracting more people into the hobby, the FCC and the ARRL’s solution is giving Techs phone and digital band width on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters.
My answer is simple; upgrade to General and Extra for your privileges. I’m celebrating my 24th year in the hobby and I worked for my privileges the hard way, I earned them. I personally do not see an advantage to the hobby by inviting the buy me, get me, give me, bunch into the hobby by giving them band width they should earn by upgrading. How about a concentrated program to encourage and to help these 385 thousand Techs to upgrade rather than entice them with a giveaway program and then invite those with open arms who want to become licensed Hams. Take the entry exam for a license then upgrade like you and I did…the right way, we earned those HF privileges.
Just when you think there’s no positive message in this blog, I worked Juan Fernandez Is. (XRØZRC) using CW and I did it the hard way, I busted through the pileup after 2 agonizing hours of brass pounding. Welcome to spring!
Before closing, remember to sit at your station and call CQ, someone somewhere is listening for your call, don’t disappoint them. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be…see ‘ya next month.
Best 73 es gud DX de Bob, WØZPE