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Old February 26th 08, 01:01 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

On Feb 25, 10:19�pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:
"Klystron" wrote in message
...


The ten year license
term means that, on average, it will be
five years before a dead ham is
dropped from the rolls, assuming that his heirs do not notify the FC

C.

That assumes an even distribution of expiration dates. That's not
necessarily a valid assumption, because events like changes in the
vanity call rules have resulted in a lot of expiration dates being
clustered in certain years, leaving other years rather lean.

Try more like 6 years since there is a two year grace period
after the
expiration date that also needs to be factored in.


That depends on which numbers are used. The numbers posted at the
beginning of this thread include only current, unexpired licenses, not
those in the grace period. So the 5 year number is
correct if we assume an even distribution of license expirations by
year. The numbers on hamdata.com do include licenses that are
expired-but-in-the-grace-period.

btw, in Part 97 FCC uses the term "expire" to mean
the end of the 10 year license term, not the 2 year grace period.

73 de Jim, N2EY


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Old February 26th 08, 01:03 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

"Dee Flint" wrote:
"Klystron" wrote:
[snip]
* the almost complete lack of any reporting of this change to the world
outside ham radio. I would like to see a poll that asks people what they
know about this. My guess is that if you take one step outside of ham
radio circles, you will find that no one knows anything about it.



Since most of the "outside world" doesn't and didn't have a clue about the
requirements to get a ham license, publicizing the elimination of the Morse
code testing would have had little to no impact. The only way it might have
helped was in letting people know that ham radio exists.



I think that most people who are technically inclined to any
reasonable degree have had some awareness of ham radio, at some point in
their lives. Most were deterred from becoming involved in it by the need
to jump through the hoop of learning a useless and obsolete "skill"
(yes, I know, you probably don't see it as such) that they found
repellent. Now that that hoop has been eliminated, the reason that they
never became hams has been eliminated. Once that word gets around, I
believe that many technophiles will slowly gravitate to ham radio (as I
did).


* the aging (and death) of the ham population. The ten year license
term means that, on average, it will be five years before a dead ham is
dropped from the rolls, assuming that his heirs do not notify the FCC.



Try more like 6 years since there is a two year grace period after the
expiration date that also needs to be factored in.



Actually, that would bring it up to 7 years (5 year "expected value"
on the random variable of 'term of license remaining at time of death'
plus 2 years of grace).

--
Klystron (a RECENT no-code Extra and GROL w/ Radar)

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Old February 26th 08, 03:38 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

On Feb 26, 8:03 am, Klystron wrote:
"Dee Flint" wrote:
"Klystron" wrote:


I think that most people who are technically inclined to any
reasonable degree have had some awareness of ham radio, at some point in
their lives.


Agreed. But new hams don't just come from the "technically inclined".
In fact,
in many cases what first interested someone in technology was ham
radio.

There's also the issue of "old/inaccurate information". I have come
across people who
were knowledgeable about ham radio 30-40 years ago, but thought it had
died out in
the 1970s or so. Or who thought that the equipment had to be large,
expensive and
power-consuming. Others thought ham radio and cb were the same thing,
or that cb had
replaced ham radio (!)

Most were deterred from becoming involved in it by the need
to jump through the hoop of learning a useless and obsolete "skill"
(yes, I know, you probably don't see it as such) that they found
repellent.


Whatever your view of the *test*, Morse Code is still in wide use in
amateur radio.
Therefore, by definition, skill in its use is neither useless nor
obsolete for hams.

Now that that hoop has been eliminated, the reason that they
never became hams has been eliminated. Once that word gets around, I
believe that many technophiles will slowly gravitate to ham radio (as I
did).


Of course more new hams would be a Good Thing. However, the relatively
slow
growth of the past year, while welcome, means that either there aren't
so many
people out there who were repelled by the test, or that they haven't
yet found
out it's gone. Or both.

I will continue to post these numbers in an effort to document what's
happening.

Try more like 6 years since there is a two year grace period after the
expiration date that also needs to be factored in.


Actually, that would bring it up to 7 years (5 year "expected value

"
on the random variable of 'term of license remaining at time of death'
plus 2 years of grace).


No, 6 years is the right number if the grace period is being
considered. Here's why:

If the license term is 10 years and the grace period is 2 years and
the likelihood of
a ham dying is the same for any given year, then the median value is
halfway through
that combined 12 year period. Which is 6 years.

IOW, all else being equal, half of the hams who die in the 12 year
license-term-plus-grace-period
interval will do so in the first 6 years, and half will do so in the
second 6 years.

If the grace period is not considered, the median value happens at 5
years.

73 de Jim, N2EY


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Old February 26th 08, 06:37 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

wrote:
[...]
Whatever your view of the *test*, Morse Code is still in wide use in
amateur radio.
Therefore, by definition, skill in its use is neither useless nor
obsolete for hams.



Of course, that sort of tautology would still hold if there were an
FCC regulation that all ham radio conversation must take place in Latin
and all new hams must pass a test in Latin.


[...]
No, 6 years is the right number if the grace period is being
considered. Here's why:

If the license term is 10 years and the grace period is 2 years and
the likelihood of
a ham dying is the same for any given year, then the median value is
halfway through
that combined 12 year period. Which is 6 years.

IOW, all else being equal, half of the hams who die in the 12 year
license-term-plus-grace-period
interval will do so in the first 6 years, and half will do so in the
second 6 years.

If the grace period is not considered, the median value happens at 5
years.




I disagree. All hams will get the full 2 year grace period AFTER they
die (assuming that the FCC is not told of their deaths). It is a
constant, not a variable. 'Term of license remaining at time of death'
is the only variable. It has an expected value of 5 years. The full
grace period is added to that by default.
Put another way, my assumption is that all hams will renew their
licenses for as long as they live. Even if they die the day before the
end of their final term, they will still get the full 2 year grace. For
your model to hold, they would have to allow their final term of license
to expire and then live on into the grace period.

--
Klystron

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Old February 26th 08, 07:21 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

On Feb 26, 1:37 pm, Klystron wrote:
wrote:


Whatever your view of the *test*, Morse Code is still in wide use in
amateur radio.
Therefore, by definition, skill in its use is neither useless nor
obsolete for hams.


Of course, that sort of tautology would still hold if there were an


FCC regulation that all ham radio conversation must take place in Latin
and all new hams must pass a test in Latin.


That doesn't follow.

There isn't a regulation that radio amateurs must use Morse Code on
the air. Yet they do - by choice.
So having the skills to use it is neither useless nor obsolete.

No, 6 years is the right number if the grace period is being
considered. Here's why:


If the license term is 10 years and the grace period is 2 years and
the likelihood of
a ham dying is the same for any given year, then the median value is
halfway through
that combined 12 year period. Which is 6 years.


IOW, all else being equal, half of the hams who die in the 12 year
license-term-plus-grace-period
interval will do so in the first 6 years, and half will do so in the
second 6 years.


If the grace period is not considered, the median value happens at 5
years.


I disagree. All hams will get the full 2 year grace period AFTER they
die (assuming that the FCC is not told of their deaths). It is a
constant, not a variable. 'Term of license remaining at time of death'
is the only variable. It has an expected value of 5 years. The full
grace period is added to that by default.


There's a mistake in your reasoning, I think.

Put another way, my assumption is that all hams will renew their
licenses for as long as they live.


That's not valid assumption, though. The renewal window is 90 days
before expiration but two years after expiration. A considerable
number of hams renew in the grace period. How many? I do not know

Even if they die the day before the
end of their final term, they will still get the full 2 year grace.


Of course. But at the same time, they could renew on the last day of
the grace period, too.

For
your model to hold, they would have to allow their final term of license
to expire and then live on into the grace period.


Which does happen. Some hams just forget, others need time to figure
out the new regs, etc. 90 days isn't that long of a time.

And some just lose interest, for a variety of reasons besides death.
This isn't a new thing - read some ham's bios, and more than a few
talk about how work, family, and other things crowded out ham radio
for them at some point, they sold their equipment and let their
license expire, and then came back years later. From the standpoint of
license numbers, it doesn't matter if a ham dies or just lets the
license expire, the same effect happens.

Actually, we need not consider the grace period at all, because we
have sources of numbers for the current, nonexpired numbers of
licenses.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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Old February 26th 08, 07:52 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

Klystron wrote:
Alan WA4SCA wrote:

So perhaps the code issue wasn't all that important, anyway.



Perhaps it is just ONE factor among many. Other factors may include:


* the almost complete lack of any reporting of this change to the world
outside ham radio. I would like to see a poll that asks people what they
know about this. My guess is that if you take one step outside of ham
radio circles, you will find that no one knows anything about it.


It would be interesting for sure. Ham Radio is one of those niche
activities that isn't geared toward the average person. And that really
isn't all that bad a thing. Some people pick hobbies because a lot of
other people are doing the same thing, Others pick ones like amateur
astronomy or Ham radio because its what they enjoy.

At any rate, its all good, I think.


* the aging (and death) of the ham population. The ten year license
term means that, on average, it will be five years before a dead ham is
dropped from the rolls, assuming that his heirs do not notify the FCC.


Isn't it great that Ham radio can be still pursued by older folks? I
know that that is a bit of a non sequitar, but the thought just crossed
my mind. 8^)


In sum, I believe that the small change in licensing numbers does not
rise to the level of statistical significance.


In an overall sense, it is a little hard to come to a definitive idea of
how many are active, and most analysis only gives us rough trends.

I am pleased that the FCC is issuing a goodly number of new licenses,
and that at least the big dropoff is at least negated for the present. I
personally am happy with only a small increase in numbers.


Given the magnitude of
the unknowable quantities described above, we probably cannot tell
whether the population of live, active hams has grown or shrunken. Is
there a statistician in the house? I would like to see an estimate of
the margin of uncertainty of those numbers (plus or minus x percent),
given the various unknown factors.



I think that production of stats on active Hams is very difficult,
certainly it can't be gleaned from totals.

- 73 de Mike N3LI -

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Old February 27th 08, 01:01 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008


"Klystron" wrote in message
...
"Dee Flint" wrote:
"Klystron" wrote:


[snip]


I think that most people who are technically inclined to any
reasonable degree have had some awareness of ham radio, at some point in
their lives. Most were deterred from becoming involved in it by the need
to jump through the hoop of learning a useless and obsolete "skill"
(yes, I know, you probably don't see it as such) that they found
repellent. Now that that hoop has been eliminated, the reason that they
never became hams has been eliminated. Once that word gets around, I
believe that many technophiles will slowly gravitate to ham radio (as I
did).


That would only be true if they knew what the requirements are. Very few
were aware that Morse code was required. No one is deterred by a
requirement that they don't even know exists.

Dee, N8UZE


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Old February 27th 08, 01:31 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default 1 Year Later - ARS License Numbers Feb 2008

Michael Coslo wrote on Tue, 26 Feb 2008 14:52:59 EST:

Klystron wrote:
Alan WA4SCA wrote:


* the aging (and death) of the ham population. The ten year license
term means that, on average, it will be five years before a dead ham is
dropped from the rolls, assuming that his heirs do not notify the FCC.


Isn't it great that Ham radio can be still pursued by older folks? I
know that that is a bit of a non sequitar, but the thought just crossed
my mind. 8^)


Please define 'older folks.' That remark seems to me to be verging
too close to that of a confrontational remark. :-(

The practice of operating a radio has never been any sort of test
of athletic ability or that of stamina or physical strength only
possible by those in the 20s and 30s age groups.

The 25th of February 2008 was the first anniversary of my passing
my first amateur radio license test. That day was close to the
51st anniversary of my passing my first commercial radiotelephone
operator's test at age 23. I was 74 on 25 Feb 07 and it was no
more difficult nor easier a year ago than it was to pass a
similar FCC test 52 years ago.

Since I've kept daily statistics pages from both www.arrl.org and
www.hamdata.org, here's some items of information of the past year
(25 February, 2007 to 2008) from Hamdata that isn't reported on
the ARRL license stats page:

No Longer Licensed [Expired] : 26,127
NEW : 27,211 (positive offset by 1,084)

Class Changes : 32,021

License numbers, total of ALL amateur radio licenses -
2 July 2003 : 737,938
25 Feb 2008 : 722,588 (deficit of 15,350)

About the only thing one can infer from those is that there IS
a small increase in newcomers versus expirees...but the total
of all licenses is still short of what it was about 4 1/2
years ago. At the present rate of license totals increase,
that deficit will not be offset for another 15 to 16 years.

The number of existing-license class changes has been larger
for this past year than previous one-year periods. That seems
to be the major outfall of the latest change in regulations for
amateur radio licenses.

In sum, I believe that the small change in licensing numbers does not
rise to the level of statistical significance.


In an overall sense, it is a little hard to come to a definitive idea of
how many are active, and most analysis only gives us rough trends.


The word ACTIVE has two meanings as used in this thread. The
'active' amateur radio licensees in the FCC use of the word
refers to the license itself; i.e., whether it is valid for
legal operation of a transmitter as required by a particular
radio service. The word 'active' as many use it elsewhere
refers to whether or not one USES a license for the purpose of
transmitting (as required by law). There are no definitive
statistics on USE insofar as an amateur radio license that
I've seen.

I think that production of stats on active Hams is very difficult,
certainly it can't be gleaned from totals.


I disagree. One of the major uses of the first major computer
systems was searching, sorting, and compiling totals of some
programmed-in sorted-for subject. That was a selling point for
the old IBM punched-card tabulator in electro-mechanical IT
operations of the 1940s. Today it is greatly aided by the mass
memories of 250 GB to 2 TB hard drives...which anyone can buy
for reasonable cost off-the-shelf at places like Fry's
Electronics. Sorting and searching programming methods have
been well-known to IT programmers for half a century.

The FCC daily and weekly database files are all available to
anyone with high-speed access capabilities. Each is so large
in size that using a dial-up connection would require about
a half day to download. ALL statistical website providers use
the SAME database so none is more 'official' than others.
What the statistics providers DO with their data is up to them.

There isn't any sampling or 'plus or minus percentage' in
regard to the FCC license class information in its database
files. It isn't a result of polling of any kind. It is data
direct from the only agency that grants amateur radio
licenses in the USA. Totals are what they are.

73, Len AF6AY

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Old February 27th 08, 01:32 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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On Feb 26, 2:52�pm, Michael Coslo wrote:
Klystron wrote:
Alan WA4SCA wrote:

Ham Radio is one of those niche
activities that isn't geared toward the average person.
And that really isn't all that bad a thing.


"Radio for its own sake" (which is what amateur radio is really all
about) has never been a mainstream sort of thing. Just look at
the number of licensed US hams compared to the US population
at any time since licensing began.

At any rate, its all good, I think.


Yep.

Isn't it great that Ham radio can be still pursued by older folks?


It's great that people of all ages can be hams. Young, old,
middleage, newcomers, oldtimers, etc.

In sum, I believe that the small change in licensing numbers
does not
rise to the level of statistical significance.


IMHO, what *is* statistically significant is that what was a slow
decline has turned into a slow increase. What will be interesting
is if it continues long-term.

I think that production of stats on active Hams is very difficult,
certainly it can't be gleaned from totals.


There's also the problem of what constitutes an "active" ham.
Obviously someone who is dead or who never gets on the air
or otherwise participates isn't "active".

But what about the ham who operates a few contests a year?
Or the ham who does a lot of building and experimenting, but
little operating (and whose operating is mostly to check out the
latest project)? The ham whose activity is teaching classes,
running VE sessions, Elmering (in person and online), writing,
etc.? The ham whose focus is public service? Etc.

All sorts of activity - and it's all good!

73 de Jim, N2EY



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