[AMRadio] Extra Class

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Sun Sep 27 21:50:12 EDT 2009

The big difference between Extra class of  to-day and the one of the 50's is 
that back then it  really was something "extra".  It afforded no additional 
operating privileges beyond the General, so the only reward was pride of 
accomplishment and a nice certificate to hang on the wall.  The callbook 
listings didn't even show licence class IIRC.

To-day's Extra is mandatory to enjoy full amateur privileges.  Especially 
since Advanced Class was discontinued, unless you take the Extra class exam, 
your operating privileges are substantially restricted. The reward for 
passing the Extra is something completely different now, so we shouldn't 
expect the test to be close to the same thing it was back then.

The name is somewhat deceiving; it ought to be re-named from "Extra", to 
something like "Full Licence", with the General re-named something like 
"Restricted Licence", and the Technician should be renamed "Communicator 

And I don't understand why some people get their knickers in a twist 
whenever the topic of to-day's ham radio exams and privileges vs what old 
timers remember theirs were like when they first got on the air.

Don k4kyv 

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