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  #11   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 12:01 AM
Mike Coslo
 
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Jim Hampton wrote:

(Len Over 21) wrote in message ...

In article , Mike Coslo writes:


What?! how can this be? First is interpretation. Regardless of the
reasons that some may have for a different answer, there has to be a
reference somewhere. And the nice thing about the question pool is that
you can see the answer that is wanted. Then the person taking the test
can decide whether they want to put in the desired answer, purposely
put in an answer that will be marked wrong, or argue with the test giver.

So NOT having a open question pool is going to cause trouble.


No "interpretation" is allowed in here, Mike.

Public disclosure of the amateur radio question pool (with answers)
has been deemed, variously, "dumbing down," "cheating," and
(probably) "unpatriotic." It is an evil that must be eradicated. :-)

All things on the amateur test must be kept the way it was for the
olde fartes...closed book, prim, proper, very very formal. The rest of
their life depends on the test outcome. It's the most important thing
in their lives and MUST be treated that way!

Might be fun to conjecture on your try at a real discussion. It would
meet with the usual hate-spew of certain creatures in here, though,
and quickly evaporate into the bit-bucket.

I've taken a few tests, both open-book and closed-book, neither of
which conditions bother me. The biggest "test" I've ever taken is
the continuing "test" of working for a living in electronics design.
Some of the time that work couldn't be either open- or closed-book;
no book existed to yield the "proper answers." :-)

LHA / WMD




Hello, Len


I guess, as in most things, "it all depends..."

Let's assume a newly minted extra class licensee. He/she knows the
(listed) answer as to what an emitter follower is. He/she also can
perform a simple math calculation as to what voltage will result (with
no current draw) at a tap in a voltage divider.

After a couple of years of on-air experience, he/she applies for a
tech job. There is a simple test to take to see if you understand
simple electronics. He/she is presented a very simple schematic of an
emitter follower with an open input (of course, a simple bias network
gives an appropriate voltage/current to the base) and an open output.
As can be expected, there is a resistor from ground to the emitter and
a resistor from the collector to +12 V. The questions a

1) what is the dc voltage at the output of the circuit?
2) What is the voltage at the collector of the transistor?

Assumptions are made that the transistor in question has a reasonably
high beta and they aren't looking for perfection anyways; just an
answer that would reasonably be seen if you stuck a digital meter on
the output.

If they answer the question, one can assume that they actually know
the material.

Of course, if the answer is that one wants the license only to "talk",
then the whole problem is moot. If you examine this newsgroup, you
will find a lot of code-tested amateurs, non-code tested amateurs, and
non-licensed folks that can not only talk, but argue up a storm

Whew! I'm back, finally, after changing ISPs and having a problem for
a week with my browser. Turned out there was a trojan dropper hanging
in an old abandoned folder and I kept getting hit with trojans locking
up the browser! Ad-aware, Spybot search and destroy, and AVG finally
cured the thing (with a brief boot to DOS to delete the directory and
virus that AVG couldn't move).


Welcome back! I was wondering what happened to you OM.


Too soon old, too late smart

Gee, do these threads ever die of old age or do they simply keep
resurfacing?


Nahh, their our old toys in th ecloset, and we tak 'em out once in a
while to beat 'em. 8^)


- Mike KB3EIA -


  #12   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 04:43 AM
Len Over 21
 
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In article , Mike Coslo writes:

Len was wrong about the first voice transmission date. Okay, so what. I


still enjoy reading his posts. So many of them make me laugh with his
wit and puns. Dipped in acid they are, but witty nonetheless. Even when
he calls me a hockey puck or a fifth wheel on the Four Morsemen of the
Apocalypse - man, that's funny stuff!


I don't remember calling you "a fifth wheel on the Four Morsemen of the
Apocalypse" but then Rev. Jim will call me wrong anyway... :-)

The whole point of this newsgroup (or newsgrope) seems to be for a
few of the regulars to establish their divine, ultimate superiority in
anything remotely close to amateur radio. This "superiority" is
accomplished by trying to denigrate and insult all who talk back to
those noble, never-wrong extra regulars.

As I've pointed out before on testing and the QP, the FCC never ever
made a maximum limit on the pool questions, only a minimum. If
the QPC wants to make it large, then it can. A very large QP will
defeat all the baseless charges of "incopetence" via "memorization"
of all the answers.

The question pool is generated by an all-amateur group. It would seem
likely that they would know the material and what should be there.

The criticism hurled about in here isn't directed at the QPC, is it?
The criticism is against all those who took the test when the public
pool data was available...by the OFs who took tests under the old
system of "private" questions.

"Mankind invented language to satisfy his need to complain." - anon.

LHA / WMD
  #13   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 05:06 AM
Len Over 21
 
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In article ,
(Jim Hampton) writes:

(Len Over 21) wrote in message
...
In article , Mike Coslo

writes:


I guess, as in most things, "it all depends..."

Let's assume a newly minted extra class licensee. He/she knows the
(listed) answer as to what an emitter follower is. He/she also can
perform a simple math calculation as to what voltage will result (with
no current draw) at a tap in a voltage divider.

After a couple of years of on-air experience, he/she applies for a
tech job. There is a simple test to take to see if you understand
simple electronics. He/she is presented a very simple schematic of an
emitter follower with an open input (of course, a simple bias network
gives an appropriate voltage/current to the base) and an open output.
As can be expected, there is a resistor from ground to the emitter and
a resistor from the collector to +12 V. The questions a

1) what is the dc voltage at the output of the circuit?
2) What is the voltage at the collector of the transistor?

Assumptions are made that the transistor in question has a reasonably
high beta and they aren't looking for perfection anyways; just an
answer that would reasonably be seen if you stuck a digital meter on
the output.

If they answer the question, one can assume that they actually know
the material.

Of course, if the answer is that one wants the license only to "talk",
then the whole problem is moot. If you examine this newsgroup, you
will find a lot of code-tested amateurs, non-code tested amateurs, and
non-licensed folks that can not only talk, but argue up a storm


Okay. I see that a lot in rec.radio.amateur.homebrew. Talk.

Could have laid it out on the bench and DONE it with quick and
dirty prototype in the time required to argue. :-)

Whew! I'm back, finally, after changing ISPs and having a problem for
a week with my browser. Turned out there was a trojan dropper hanging
in an old abandoned folder and I kept getting hit with trojans locking
up the browser! Ad-aware, Spybot search and destroy, and AVG finally
cured the thing (with a brief boot to DOS to delete the directory and
virus that AVG couldn't move).

Too soon old, too late smart


Sometimes the only way to survive is to drop to primitive level and
Reformat the HD! :-)

Heh, I cheated and got an HP Pavilion box. Got a 17" TFT LCD
display too as the old 6 1/2 year CRT display bit the dust in the
horizontal sweep. I care not to bother repairing it. Recycle. The
TFT is like wonderful to the eyes. :-)

Gee, do these threads ever die of old age or do they simply keep
resurfacing?


Nope. They are as ageless as the old wounds of the passionate
arguers can continue to hurt! :-)

Some just have to keep on with the re-runs of old arguments, hoping
they might win one on the eleventieth hundred go around...

Their original points MUST be made! :-)

LHA / WMD
  #14   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 12:52 PM
N2EY
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Mike Coslo writes:

Depends what you mean by "better" and "worse", Mike.


Well, I say they are a *functional* equivalent. Some don't like them
because the question pool has the exact answer desired, and knowing the
exact answer desired means that someone can just give that answer and be
done. But if the answer is in a text, then we can read the text and get
the exact answer too.


The difference is that reading the text requires some understanding of the
material. As Dee points out, if you know only that there will be questions
about quarter-wave verticals on the test, you learn the formula and how to use
it. But if you know the question pool has, say, 3 questions on quarter wave
verticals, and they are for 2, 15 and 40 meters, it may be easier and quicker
to just memorize a few bits of info needed to answer those questions.

Here's something to try.

Let us take a website:

http://www.ewh.ieee.org/reg/7/millen...scientist.html

This is IEEE's write-up on Reginald Fessenden.

Let's take a situation where there is a question on the first date of
transmitted sound.

Quoting from the page:


Professor Kintner, who was working for Fessenden at that time,
designed an interrupter to give 10,000 breaks a second, and this
interrupter was built by Brashear, an optician. The interrupter was
delivered in January or February 1900, but experiments were not
conducted until the fall of that year. To modulate his transmitter,
he inserted a carbon microphone directly in series with the antenna
lead. After many unsuccessful tries, transmission of speech over a
distance of 1.5 km was finally achieved on 23 December 1900, between
15-metre masts located at Cobb Island, Maryland.

A couple paragraphs later....


Fessenden's greatest radio communications successes happened in 1906.
On 10 January, two-way transatlantic telegraphic communication
was achieved -- another first – between Brant Rock, Massachusetts,
and Macrihanish, Scotland. James C. Armor, Fessenden's chief assistant,
was the operator at Macrihanish, and Fessenden himself was the operator
at Brant Rock.

End quote



OK.


There are some questions that may be easily taken from these paragraphs.

When was the date of the first successful voice transmission?

A. July 15, 1905

B. December 1, 1899

C. December 23, 1900

D. January 10, 1906

Some place you can look up the answer = C

What was the distance of the first transmission?

A. 1.5 Kilometers

B. 1.5 miles

C. Transatlantic

D. 5 meters

Some place you can look up the answer = A

Okay. So which is the superior method?


Depends what you mean by "superior".


Right, but I consider them functional equivalents, so the superiority
of one over the other is not my concern.


But they're not functional equivalents at all.

If someone who knows nothing about Fessenden discovers that there are only

two
Fessenden questions in the pool, he/she need only learn two simple facts
("first voice transmission date = 1900" and "first voice transmission

distance
= 1.5 km = about 1 mile".

But if a question pool is not available, the person has to learn a whole

lot
more because there's no telling what Fessenden questions, or how many, will

be
on the test.


and if a question pool is available, the student has to go over the
entire question pool to learn the few questions that are asked.


Except if you have the pools available, you don't even have to read the
paragraphs. Just highlight the right answers to those two questions and you're
set.

But if all you know is that there will be questions about Fessenden and the
first voice radio transmissions, you'll read and try to absorb the whole story.

If I were to voice my preferences, I would just as soon read a nice
story about Mr. Fessenden than a dry question pool. But functionally the
two are identical.


Not really. Heck, I could write at least a dozen different questions from
those paragraphs.


the two questions asked were just a sample. Indeed there are a huge
number of questions that can be gathered from that text. In fact, I
would credit the author with writing an excellent piece. Interesting,
with just the right mix of human and technical interest. but I digress....


Not at all! It proves the point - if someone knows the exact Q&A, they can
focus on those questions alone, and miss the broader experience.

Should the answers to the question pool be some deep hidden tome, not
accessible to the public?


Nope.

The *exact questions* should be secret! But that's not going to happen any
time soon, so why get worked up over it?


I'm not terribly worked up over it, but it seems there are plenty
enough Hams that are.


Sure, but there's not much that can be done about it. Simply making the QP
larger doesn't completely solve the problem either..

As much as the two methods are pretty much the
same, I would only agree with that if no one was allowed to study *any*
reference material *at all*. Reading the two paragraphs gives you the
*exact* same answers as looking at a question pool.


Not really.

If we know the exact Q&A in this hypothetical question pool, the whole
story that started out like this:


Professor Kintner, who was working for Fessenden at that time,
designed an interrupter to give 10,000 breaks a second, and this
interrupter was built by Brashear, an optician. The interrupter was
delivered in January or February 1900, but experiments were not
conducted until the fall of that year. To modulate his transmitter,
he inserted a carbon microphone directly in series with the antenna
lead. After many unsuccessful tries, transmission of speech over a
distance of 1.5 km was finally achieved on 23 December 1900, between
15-metre masts located at Cobb Island, Maryland.

A couple paragraphs later....


Fessenden's greatest radio communications successes happened in 1906.
On 10 January, two-way transatlantic telegraphic communication
was achieved -- another first – between Brant Rock, Massachusetts,
and Macrihanish, Scotland. James C. Armor, Fessenden's chief assistant,
was the operator at Macrihanish, and Fessenden himself was the operator
at Brant Rock.

End quote



Boils down to this:


transmission of speech over a
distance of 1.5 km was finally achieved on 23 December 1900


It boils down to that for the purposes of the question pool for sure.


Which is what people will tend to study for!

I'll take having to study the second over having to study the first any
day.


The story is more interesting than the question pool. but the test
process isn't designed to be interesting. It is designed to check that
the prospective Ham (or whoever is taking a test for whatever subject)
has been exposed to material thought to be important.


Not just exposed - understands!

Finally, I deliberately included this particular material and this
specific question because of a current disagreement between to members
of the group.


Do you see Len admitting he's wrong, even when IEEE says so?


Not directly.


Of course not.

But I don't expect a "Wow, was I wrong" In fact, there
are only a few people that I ever expect that from. I'm perfectly happy
to admit when I'm wrong, but I'm the oddball.


That makes two of us.

Len was wrong about the first voice transmission date.


And a bunch of other things about Fessenden. And a bunch of other things in
general. Only problem is that some people may take him seriously. I sure don't.

Okay, so what. I
still enjoy reading his posts. So many of them make me laugh with his
wit and puns.


Dipped in acid they are,


They smell of something else ;-)

but witty nonetheless.


Halfway there, anyway ;-) ;-)

Even when
he calls me a hockey puck or a fifth wheel on the Four Morsemen of the
Apocalypse - man, that's funny stuff!


What's really funny is that he doesn't get the joke when it's turned on him.

One of the key elements of humor is surprise. Len is totally predictable, so
there's little if any humor in his posts. Heck, there's even a profile of him
that exactly predicts his behavior here.

But Len does serve one good purpose: he's one of the best friends the code test
ever had. He's probably done more to keep code testing a requirement for a US
ham license than any of us.

For that, let us be truly thankful ;-)

73 de Jim, N2EY


  #15   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 12:52 PM
N2EY
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Mike Coslo writes:

I wonder how many people DO memorize the question pools as opposed to
doing the background work.


There was an article on the ARRL website a few months ago about an "efficient"
"Tech in a day" class. The authors (who were not ARRL staff, btw) went on about
their high success rate and 'efficiency' in getting people licensed.

Basically their method was to simply review the Tech question pool. A quick
cram course, and then the test. First-time pass rate of more than 85% IIRC.

The article caused such a stir that it was quickly pulled. ;-)

I say such courses actually do new hams a disservice because they are left with
a license but not the knowledge or skills they need to use it.

I don't know if anyone offers "General in a day" or "Extra in a day" courses,
but I have read of a "GROL in a day" course. Money-back guarantee, IIRC.

It isn't very smart to do it that way. 800
plus questions just for the Extra license is a *lot* of memorization.


Not if you consider that:

1) You don't have to do it all at once. There are three writtens and they don't
share pools

2) You don't have to memorize the pool - just enough of the correct answers.

3) Get ~74% right and you pass. You get the same license as someone who aced
it.

4) A guess is as good as gold.

A lot of hams I know used "Now You're Talking" as a study guide when
they got their Technician's license. That has lots of other stuff
besides just the pool.

Good for them! Most of the new hams (and old ones too!) I've encountered really
do want to learn the material, not just pass the test.

73 de Jim, N2EY




  #16   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 02:01 PM
Mike Coslo
 
Posts: n/a
Default

N2EY wrote:
In article , Mike Coslo writes:


I wonder how many people DO memorize the question pools as opposed to
doing the background work.



There was an article on the ARRL website a few months ago about an "efficient"
"Tech in a day" class. The authors (who were not ARRL staff, btw) went on about
their high success rate and 'efficiency' in getting people licensed.

Basically their method was to simply review the Tech question pool. A quick
cram course, and then the test. First-time pass rate of more than 85% IIRC.

The article caused such a stir that it was quickly pulled. ;-)


I don't doubt it! That is the "cramming route", and it is a horrible
way to learn - or not learn - anything.


I say such courses actually do new hams a disservice because they are left with
a license but not the knowledge or skills they need to use it.


Right. All that does is puts the test material into mid-term memory,
and from there it goes we know not where.


I don't know if anyone offers "General in a day" or "Extra in a day" courses,
but I have read of a "GROL in a day" course. Money-back guarantee, IIRC.


It isn't very smart to do it that way. 800
plus questions just for the Extra license is a *lot* of memorization.



Not if you consider that:

1) You don't have to do it all at once. There are three writtens and they don't
share pools


Its a *lot* of questions between the three pools.


2) You don't have to memorize the pool - just enough of the correct answers.


? If you are going the rote route, you have to do something, because
you don't know which questions will be used.

3) Get ~74% right and you pass. You get the same license as someone who aced
it.


Just like a passing grade anywhere else


4) A guess is as good as gold.


True of any multiple guess test I guess.


A lot of hams I know used "Now You're Talking" as a study guide when
they got their Technician's license. That has lots of other stuff
besides just the pool.


Good for them! Most of the new hams (and old ones too!) I've encountered really
do want to learn the material, not just pass the test.


There we agree for sure. The learning process for my General and Extra
tests was *fun*. Certainly the Extra was more difficult, taking around a
week of fairly intense study and reference. But it was still enjoyable.

Can a person do one of those license in a day things? I guess. They
have my sympathy.

Remember in "Family Vacation" when the family was at the Grand Canyon,
but Clark Griswald was in a hurry to get to "Wally World"? He bob's his
head up and down a few times impatiently, and tells them "Okay let's go".

They were there, but they missed all the good stuff. Just like crammin'
Hams.

But we can't dictate how people pass the tests, only that they do pass
them.

And I suspect that almost all new Hams try to do this the right way.

- Mike KB3EIA -

  #17   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 05:20 PM
Bert Craig
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"N2EY" wrote in message
...

I don't know if anyone offers "General in a day" or "Extra in a day"

courses,
but I have read of a "GROL in a day" course. Money-back guarantee, IIRC.

73 de Jim, N2EY


My avionics professor noted this and developed a series of screening tests
to thwart the "one day wonder" syndrome. Sure, you could study the Q&A pool
"guides" and get your tickets. (Both FAA & FCC) However, in order to pass
the licensing courses, (Airframe, Powerplant, & Avionics) you had to score
= 80 on you "screenings." Of course, the licensing classes were required to

earn your sheepskin. At the time, we thought it "$ucked big time," but were
thankful during our job interviews when little details like Kirchoff and
Thevenin found their way into the interviewer's questions.

73 de Bert
WA2SI


  #18   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 09:28 PM
Mike Coslo
 
Posts: n/a
Default

N2EY wrote:
In article , Mike Coslo writes:


Depends what you mean by "better" and "worse", Mike.



Well, I say they are a *functional* equivalent. Some don't like them
because the question pool has the exact answer desired, and knowing the
exact answer desired means that someone can just give that answer and be
done. But if the answer is in a text, then we can read the text and get
the exact answer too.



The difference is that reading the text requires some understanding of the
material. As Dee points out, if you know only that there will be questions
about quarter-wave verticals on the test, you learn the formula and how to use
it. But if you know the question pool has, say, 3 questions on quarter wave
verticals, and they are for 2, 15 and 40 meters, it may be easier and quicker
to just memorize a few bits of info needed to answer those questions.


Maybe my brain works differently, but if you have a question pool that
has a certain number of questions regarding antennas, and you may be
called upon to answer a few of any of those questions, its a lot easier
for me to remember 468/[Frequency in mHz] for a dipole, 71.3/[Frequency
in mHz] for a 1/4 wave vertical, and a few other quick calcs, than it is
to remember the answer to a specific question.

A person would have to be a little dense to try to do otherwise. And of
course, if you know the wavelength of the frequency in question, you can
ballpark the answer pretty closely almost without thought.


Here's something to try.

Let us take a website:

http://www.ewh.ieee.org/reg/7/millen...scientist.html

This is IEEE's write-up on Reginald Fessenden.

Let's take a situation where there is a question on the first date of
transmitted sound.

Quoting from the page:



Professor Kintner, who was working for Fessenden at that time,
designed an interrupter to give 10,000 breaks a second, and this
interrupter was built by Brashear, an optician. The interrupter was
delivered in January or February 1900, but experiments were not
conducted until the fall of that year. To modulate his transmitter,
he inserted a carbon microphone directly in series with the antenna
lead. After many unsuccessful tries, transmission of speech over a
distance of 1.5 km was finally achieved on 23 December 1900, between
15-metre masts located at Cobb Island, Maryland.

A couple paragraphs later....



Fessenden's greatest radio communications successes happened in 1906.
On 10 January, two-way transatlantic telegraphic communication
was achieved -- another first – between Brant Rock, Massachusetts,
and Macrihanish, Scotland. James C. Armor, Fessenden's chief assistant,
was the operator at Macrihanish, and Fessenden himself was the operator
at Brant Rock.

End quote


OK.



There are some questions that may be easily taken from these paragraphs.

When was the date of the first successful voice transmission?

A. July 15, 1905

B. December 1, 1899

C. December 23, 1900

D. January 10, 1906

Some place you can look up the answer = C

What was the distance of the first transmission?

A. 1.5 Kilometers

B. 1.5 miles

C. Transatlantic

D. 5 meters

Some place you can look up the answer = A

Okay. So which is the superior method?

Depends what you mean by "superior".


Right, but I consider them functional equivalents, so the superiority
of one over the other is not my concern.



But they're not functional equivalents at all.


For the purposes of the test, they are the same. As interesting as I
found the fact that Brashear made the optical interrupter, the people
that made up the test didn't include that on the test.


If someone who knows nothing about Fessenden discovers that there are only


two

Fessenden questions in the pool, he/she need only learn two simple facts
("first voice transmission date = 1900" and "first voice transmission


distance

= 1.5 km = about 1 mile".

But if a question pool is not available, the person has to learn a whole


lot

more because there's no telling what Fessenden questions, or how many, will


be

on the test.


and if a question pool is available, the student has to go over the
entire question pool to learn the few questions that are asked.



Except if you have the pools available, you don't even have to read the
paragraphs. Just highlight the right answers to those two questions and you're
set.


No doubt you have bought used college textbooks? Lots have the
pertinent info highlighted.


But if all you know is that there will be questions about Fessenden and the
first voice radio transmissions, you'll read and try to absorb the whole story.

If I didn't know the answer, I'd read a whole item anyhow.


If I were to voice my preferences, I would just as soon read a nice
story about Mr. Fessenden than a dry question pool. But functionally the
two are identical.



Not really. Heck, I could write at least a dozen different questions from
those paragraphs.


the two questions asked were just a sample. Indeed there are a huge
number of questions that can be gathered from that text. In fact, I
would credit the author with writing an excellent piece. Interesting,
with just the right mix of human and technical interest. but I digress....



Not at all! It proves the point - if someone knows the exact Q&A, they can
focus on those questions alone, and miss the broader experience.


Sure, but you're talking about the broader experience - NOT the context
of the test.


Should the answers to the question pool be some deep hidden tome, not
accessible to the public?



Nope.

The *exact questions* should be secret! But that's not going to happen any
time soon, so why get worked up over it?



I'm not terribly worked up over it, but it seems there are plenty
enough Hams that are.



Sure, but there's not much that can be done about it. Simply making the QP
larger doesn't completely solve the problem either..

As much as the two methods are pretty much the
same, I would only agree with that if no one was allowed to study *any*
reference material *at all*. Reading the two paragraphs gives you the
*exact* same answers as looking at a question pool.



Not really.

If we know the exact Q&A in this hypothetical question pool, the whole
story that started out like this:




Professor Kintner, who was working for Fessenden at that time,
designed an interrupter to give 10,000 breaks a second, and this
interrupter was built by Brashear, an optician. The interrupter was
delivered in January or February 1900, but experiments were not
conducted until the fall of that year. To modulate his transmitter,
he inserted a carbon microphone directly in series with the antenna
lead. After many unsuccessful tries, transmission of speech over a
distance of 1.5 km was finally achieved on 23 December 1900, between
15-metre masts located at Cobb Island, Maryland.

A couple paragraphs later....



Fessenden's greatest radio communications successes happened in 1906.
On 10 January, two-way transatlantic telegraphic communication
was achieved -- another first – between Brant Rock, Massachusetts,
and Macrihanish, Scotland. James C. Armor, Fessenden's chief assistant,
was the operator at Macrihanish, and Fessenden himself was the operator
at Brant Rock.

End quote


Boils down to this:




transmission of speech over a
distance of 1.5 km was finally achieved on 23 December 1900

It boils down to that for the purposes of the question pool for sure.



Which is what people will tend to study for!



I'll take having to study the second over having to study the first any
day.


The story is more interesting than the question pool. but the test
process isn't designed to be interesting. It is designed to check that
the prospective Ham (or whoever is taking a test for whatever subject)
has been exposed to material thought to be important.



Not just exposed - understands!


Finally, I deliberately included this particular material and this
specific question because of a current disagreement between to members
of the group.



Do you see Len admitting he's wrong, even when IEEE says so?


Not directly.



Of course not.


But I don't expect a "Wow, was I wrong" In fact, there
are only a few people that I ever expect that from. I'm perfectly happy
to admit when I'm wrong, but I'm the oddball.



That makes two of us.

Len was wrong about the first voice transmission date.



And a bunch of other things about Fessenden. And a bunch of other things in
general. Only problem is that some people may take him seriously. I sure don't.


Have you ever considered that in some cases he may say something wrong
on purpose for the purpose of stirring up the ant nest?


Okay, so what. I
still enjoy reading his posts. So many of them make me laugh with his
wit and puns.



Dipped in acid they are,



They smell of something else ;-)


but witty nonetheless.



Halfway there, anyway ;-) ;-)


Even when
he calls me a hockey puck or a fifth wheel on the Four Morsemen of the
Apocalypse - man, that's funny stuff!



What's really funny is that he doesn't get the joke when it's turned on him.

One of the key elements of humor is surprise. Len is totally predictable, so
there's little if any humor in his posts. Heck, there's even a profile of him
that exactly predicts his behavior here.

But Len does serve one good purpose: he's one of the best friends the code test
ever had. He's probably done more to keep code testing a requirement for a US
ham license than any of us.

For that, let us be truly thankful ;-)



- mike KB3EIA -

  #19   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 10:21 PM
Len Over 21
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Mike Coslo writes:

N2EY wrote:
In article , Mike Coslo

writes:

I wonder how many people DO memorize the question pools as opposed to
doing the background work.


There was an article on the ARRL website a few months ago about an

"efficient"
"Tech in a day" class. The authors (who were not ARRL staff, btw) went on

about
their high success rate and 'efficiency' in getting people licensed.

Basically their method was to simply review the Tech question pool. A quick
cram course, and then the test. First-time pass rate of more than 85% IIRC.


The article caused such a stir that it was quickly pulled. ;-)


I don't doubt it! That is the "cramming route", and it is a horrible
way to learn - or not learn - anything.


That group of VEs have their own website. If anyone "pulled" that,
it was the VEs themselves, for different reasons than not conforming
to the Blessed Status Quo.

There's a great deal of contention on the TEST. Some say it MUST
be passed. Others complain that "nobody is learning anything."

The implication is that the Olde Wayes are the ONLY way to go.

Passing the amateur test only yields personal authorization to
transmit RF energy on certain frequencies using certain modes
and modulations, always abiding by federal regulations thereto.

I'd say that a "quickie cram course" fulfills getting a license. The
license is not, nor was it ever, any "degree" or academic certificate
of learning anything. The FCC is not chartered to be an academic
organization.

I say such courses actually do new hams a disservice because they are left

with
a license but not the knowledge or skills they need to use it.


Right. All that does is puts the test material into mid-term memory,
and from there it goes we know not where.


You can say that about any test in any activity...and find living proof
of it as examples.

Amateur radio is NOT a profession, guild, union, or other craft. Any
amateur radio person can be as good or bad as they care to be. A
few questions on a single test (renewable by electronic or mail means
as long as the FCC allows it, no retesting required if done within time
limits). The "importance" of having amateur smarts seems more like
some kind of self-defined role-model fantasy of many. But, it is still a
fantasy and is NOT an absolute requirement of any true officiating
body.

I don't know if anyone offers "General in a day" or "Extra in a day"

courses,
but I have read of a "GROL in a day" course. Money-back guarantee, IIRC.


A "GROL" is a COMMERCIAL license. Why is that used as an
example in an AMATEUR newsgroup?

I never took any test for a "GROL." After I was released from active
duty - and three years working in communications on HF through
low microwaves - I was able to borrow the entire FCC rulebook
(in 1956 those came in loose-leaf form). I just memorized a lot of
that in two weeks of intensive "cramming" on regulations. I didn't
need any technical studying. Passed the First Phone test in one
sitting (including a mass interruption of the whole Chicago Federal
building while they had a fire drill).

All that the "cramming" did was allow me to pass the test, receive
the desired license, and fulfill some personnel requirements to work
at radio and television stations. Did I "know" everything? No. There
were no technically up-to-date schools on the broadcast industry or
much of the entire electronics industry. One learned specific
technical things on-the-job. No problem. Got the required work done,
got the monetary compensation. Everyone satisfied enough.

The state of Illinois finally got around to having a job category of
"electronics technician" and "electronics engineer" roughly in the
early 1970s...despite the existance of Motorola and Zenith and
Admiral in the Chicago area with large numbers of those
occupations. [one reason why I never collected anything in the
way of monies for not having a regular job in 1956...heh]

The technology of electronics (radio is a subset of that whole) is
constantly changing, expanding, discovering new things. Schools
can't keep up with the pace, are always lagging. Look at amateur
radio technology...is the technology of today much like that of 40
years ago (like 1964)? Not much. Someone who passed their last
ham test 40 years ago certainly can't be "up to date" on modern
day ham technology WITHOUT doing their own education on both
technology and operating skills. Yes, a CW-only hold-off can
concentrate solely on that and play guru...but a guru circa 1964,
not of 2004.

Its a *lot* of questions between the three pools.


That word "lot" is highly subjective, not useful for quantifying anything
to a large and varied group of people.

Again, the amateur radio test is NOT an academic thing and amateur
radio is NOT a profession, guild, union, or craft requiring knowledge of
a certain kind. Amateur radio is a basically a hobby. Nobody gets
fired from a "job" in amateur radio, receiving some kind of severence
check.

? If you are going the rote route, you have to do something, because
you don't know which questions will be used.


Irrelevant. The detractors of the open QP say "it can be memorized!."
Entire. "Size of the QP is not object" to some detractors. :-)

Just like a passing grade anywhere else


Just what do you think the amateur radio test IS? An applicant
either passes or fails. Simple. Do you lose any job prospects
if you fail an amateur test?


4) A guess is as good as gold.


True of any multiple guess test I guess.


"Fool's gold." Probability of a correct answer given four possibles
is too low to pass the test. NO "gold."

There we agree for sure. The learning process for my General and Extra
tests was *fun*. Certainly the Extra was more difficult, taking around a
week of fairly intense study and reference. But it was still enjoyable.


Anything interesting is fun to learn about. Tests aren't needed to
have fun.

Can a person do one of those license in a day things? I guess. They
have my sympathy.


As I recall my first full day at ADA transmitters, we were able to QSY
most of the transmitters after a half-day's on-the-job instruction. NONE
of the newcomers were experienced on those fixed-station trans-
mitters; those weren't taught in any Signal schools. 1 KW to 15 KW
RF power output, all circuits operational 24/7.


But we can't dictate how people pass the tests, only that they do pass
them.


The "dictation" seems to be endmic with the OFs. They condemn
any test that is different from the one They took...

And I suspect that almost all new Hams try to do this the right way.


What is "the right way?"

Is anyone going to lose their job for not doing it "the right way?"

Is not passing a ham test going to subtract from college credits?

Will your family, friends, neighbors all shun you if you fail a ham
test?

Us readers in Reality Land can't comprehend what "the right way"
is in the individual, subjective fantasylands of the OFs, only conjecture
on their "importance of doing it the right way."

Stressing some (mythical?) "right way" without explaining what this
"right way" is gets a bit wearying and doesn't offer any quantitative
proof that it IS any sort of "right way."

But, one can be sure that all the OFs "did it the right way" because
they passed and will never have to worry about taking another ham
test in their lives. They can feel secure in looking down Their noses
at those who haven't taken that particular test.


  #20   Report Post  
Old July 21st 04, 10:52 PM
N2EY
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mike Coslo wrote in message ...
N2EY wrote:
In article , Mike Coslo writes:


I wonder how many people DO memorize the question pools as opposed to
doing the background work.


There was an article on the ARRL website a few months ago about
an "efficient"
"Tech in a day" class. The authors (who were not ARRL staff, btw)
went on about
their high success rate and 'efficiency' in getting people licensed.

Basically their method was to simply review the Tech question pool. A quick
cram course, and then the test. First-time pass rate of more than 85% IIRC.

The article caused such a stir that it was quickly pulled. ;-)


I don't doubt it! That is the "cramming route", and it is a horrible
way to learn - or not learn - anything.


It's only horrible if the student really wants to learn the material.

I say such courses actually do new hams a disservice because they are left with
a license but not the knowledge or skills they need to use it.


Right. All that does is puts the test material into mid-term memory,
and from there it goes we know not where.


Not only that, the person may not have any real understanding of how
to actually get on the air. Heck, I know of a General who's had a
license fo
years but can't figure out how to get a simple end-fed random wire to
work
on HF.

I don't know if anyone offers "General in a day" or "Extra in a day"
courses,
but I have read of a "GROL in a day" course. Money-back guarantee, IIRC.


It isn't very smart to do it that way. 800
plus questions just for the Extra license is a *lot* of memorization.


Not if you consider that:


1) You don't have to do it all at once. There are three writtens and
they don't share pools


Its a *lot* of questions between the three pools.

Sure but you only need to pass them one at a time.

2) You don't have to memorize the pool - just enough of the correct answers.


? If you are going the rote route, you have to do something, because
you don't know which questions will be used.


You only need to word-associate the correct answer to each question,
not recite them verbatim.

3) Get ~74% right and you pass. You get the same license as someone who aced
it.


Just like a passing grade anywhere else


Not completely. In many situations things like GPA and class ranking
make a difference. In grad school I had to maintain a B average (3.0
GPA) just to stay in school. Wasn't a problem, even though I was
working full-time while going to school at night.

4) A guess is as good as gold.


True of any multiple guess test I guess.


Yep. That's the downside. The upside is that there is no chance for
bias or interpretation of an answer - you either got the right one or
you didn't.

That's not a minor point, either. Suppose the question is and essay on
"how long is a 40 meter dipole, and how do you determine the length?"
Is 66 feet the right answer, or 67? If a person puts down 68 feet, is
that wrong? How much explanation is enough?

A lot of hams I know used "Now You're Talking" as a study guide when
they got their Technician's license. That has lots of other stuff
besides just the pool.


Good for them! Most of the new hams (and old ones too!) I've encountered
really do want to learn the material, not just pass the test.


There we agree for sure. The learning process for my General and Extra
tests was *fun*. Certainly the Extra was more difficult, taking around a
week of fairly intense study and reference. But it was still enjoyable.


Actually I never formally studied for any FCC license exam. Just read
my books, built and used my rigs and went for the test when I thought
I was ready.

Can a person do one of those license in a day things? I guess. They
have my sympathy.

Remember in "Family Vacation" when the family was at the Grand Canyon,
but Clark Griswald was in a hurry to get to "Wally World"? He bob's his
head up and down a few times impatiently, and tells them "Okay let's go".

Never saw that one but you describe the scene so perfectly that I
didn't have to.

One sees this sort of thing in many ways. There's the parent who is so
intent on videodocumenting all of their kids' school plays and sport
events that they miss actually seeing/experiencing the kid perform or
play. There's the air show/railroad buff/museum visitor/tourist who is
so intent on getting the picture or marking the checklist of places
visited that they don't actually experience the aircraft, trains,
museum exhibits or local color.

And there's the ham who doesn't experience actual radio operation...

They were there, but they missed all the good stuff. Just like crammin'
Hams.

But we can't dictate how people pass the tests, only that they do pass
them.

We *can* have an effect. I've taught ham radio classes, code and
theory, but I won't teach a "license in a day" class, nor endorse one.

And I suspect that almost all new Hams try to do this the right way.

Now ya just set yourself up to be a target, saying there's a right
way!

73 de Jim, N2EY


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