k4kyv at charter.net
Thu Dec 22 17:42:25 EST 2016
> On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 3:04 PM, <manualman at juno.com> wrote:
> > Actually, the Extra Class ranks increased by 68.0K from Dec 1999 to Sept.
> > 2016.
> Indeed--it used to be that when Extra involved a 20 wpm CW test, the % of
> Extras of the entire US licensees hung steady at 5 percent.
> Obviously elimination of the CW test, and of course the other aids facilitating
> memorization have pumped up the percentage.
> What's the result? Questions to the QST Q&A column from hams with Extra
> class call signs looking for answers for such as why their 80 m.
> dipole won't work on 40 m.
> Rob K5UJ
Another factor was incentive licensing. Before IL, the Extra Class was something hams could earn for pride of accomplishment but which carried no additional operating privileges beyond those of the General. When it became necessary to have the Extra for full amateur privileges, that changed the whole nature of the licence class. It was no longer a mere trophy to display on the wall for bragging rights. When the 20 wpm was dropped (and eventually the code test altogether), and Advanced class privileges discontinued as an option for upgrade, the option is now either the General class with highly restricted privileges or the Extra for full amateur privileges, so Extra Class is no longer anything special. This is especially true with current system of published, verbatim, questions/answers for the M-C written tests.
A better nomenclature for the three present-day licence classes would be Full, Limited (or maybe Restricted), and Communicator. The name "Technician" is a joke.
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