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Old October 14th 07, 09:16 PM posted to
[email protected] N2EY@AOL.COM is offline
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First recorded activity by RadioBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 877
Default Forty Years Licensed

On Oct 14, 10:03?am, Steve Bonine wrote:

I suppose that the VE system is a positive and reasonable
step for the
hobby. It sure is easier to convince class attendees to come
to a VE
session than to travel to the nearest FCC examination location,
so it's
obvious that we get more new hams with the VE system than
having the FCC
administer the tests.

I don't think it's obvious at all. Look at the growth in US amateur
radio over the decades, and the VE system by itself didn't really make
a noticeable difference in the number of new hams.

Remember too that in the mid-to-late 1970s the FCC offered
hams two test options:

1) Travel to an FCC exam point

2) Get a certain minimum number of people lined up for the
test, and FCC would send an examiner

Most hamfests above a certain size had FCC exam sessions
in that time period. Clubs and classes would have periodic exams, too.
All free.

Not to mention all the tax dollars that we're

*That* is the only reason we have the VE system, IMHO.
The FCC got unpaid volunteers to do almost all the work of test
preparation and administration, instead of paying federal
employees to do it.

But the new hams are missing a memory that all of us old timers
have of being intimidated by the FCC exam process, and that's
just a tiny bit sad.

Given the choice, I'd rather have the tests be really good ones
that are readily accessible, with as little intimidation as possible.

I think the main effect the old system had on me (and probably many
others) was that, since it was somewhat difficult/expensive
to get to an FCC exam session, and the results of failure could be
rather dire, we tended to be way overprepared for the exams, and
surprised that they weren't as tough as we'd feared once we actually
got to them.

73 de Jim, N2EY