Topics

Proposed Band plan and uBitx


Jeffrey Benedict
 

ARRL has proposed an upgrade in privileges for Tech hams  Techs will get a chunk of 80SSB, chunk of 40SSB and a chunk of 15SSB. There are other changes in the data portions of the bands but, instead of describing everything, I will attach a link to the ARRL site and you can read it for yourself.

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/ODV/Second%20Board%20Meeting%20July%202020/Doc%2025A%20Band%20Plan%20Final-1b.pdf

What does this mean for the uBitx community? This change is obviously pointed at the Techs who only have HTs. Before this change, Techs had 10SSB and VHF up, They also have the same CW allotments of the old Novice class (80, 40, 15 and 10). There might be people in your club who maybe would like to get on HF but it is too expensive, even with a used rig. Some might appreciate something which has a little more than the QRP/CW  kits. Some would like to do it the "ham way" and build their own rigs. The uBITX gives phone on 80, 40 and 15 plus the privelages that they already have. Plus 10-20 watts output. A uBITX isn't "easy" to build but it is not that hard either. Someone who would be comfortable wiring up a new water heater wouldn't be intimidated by a uBITX It most certainly easier for a rookie than a package containing a board, a bag of parts and a couple of sheets of instructions. A builder could ask questions here or an Elmer in their club. As they build up confidence, they can add more features. And, when and if they upgrade to General, the uBITX works on the General allotments, too.

Don't wanna get into a fight about "earning" privileges and being "given" privileges , There was a whole lot of fighting over the Tech Plus and CW which really didn't help people. The Tech Plus and the cheap HT got a lot of people into hamming who probably wouldn't have gotten in otherwise. Besides, the commitment to assemble a uBITX and get a decent wire up seems a way of "earning" the right to use it. I know a few who might pick up the challenge of a uBITX as I sit here right now. I'm not sure when this is to take place.  The announcement was what the ARRL was recommending. If they got to the point of an announcement, I would say it's pretty sure the FCC will go for it.

73, Jeff
--
Jeff, K7AIL  CN87

raoul@...


Ashhar Farhan
 

Interesting, it would have been better if they were given a slice of 40 meters. The upper end is mostly empty, the dx is better.
- f

On Mon 3 Aug, 2020, 7:04 AM Jeffrey Benedict, <raoul@...> wrote:

ARRL has proposed an upgrade in privileges for Tech hams  Techs will get a chunk of 80SSB, chunk of 40SSB and a chunk of 15SSB. There are other changes in the data portions of the bands but, instead of describing everything, I will attach a link to the ARRL site and you can read it for yourself.

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/ODV/Second%20Board%20Meeting%20July%202020/Doc%2025A%20Band%20Plan%20Final-1b.pdf

What does this mean for the uBitx community? This change is obviously pointed at the Techs who only have HTs. Before this change, Techs had 10SSB and VHF up, They also have the same CW allotments of the old Novice class (80, 40, 15 and 10). There might be people in your club who maybe would like to get on HF but it is too expensive, even with a used rig. Some might appreciate something which has a little more than the QRP/CW  kits. Some would like to do it the "ham way" and build their own rigs. The uBITX gives phone on 80, 40 and 15 plus the privelages that they already have. Plus 10-20 watts output. A uBITX isn't "easy" to build but it is not that hard either. Someone who would be comfortable wiring up a new water heater wouldn't be intimidated by a uBITX It most certainly easier for a rookie than a package containing a board, a bag of parts and a couple of sheets of instructions. A builder could ask questions here or an Elmer in their club. As they build up confidence, they can add more features. And, when and if they upgrade to General, the uBITX works on the General allotments, too.

Don't wanna get into a fight about "earning" privileges and being "given" privileges , There was a whole lot of fighting over the Tech Plus and CW which really didn't help people. The Tech Plus and the cheap HT got a lot of people into hamming who probably wouldn't have gotten in otherwise. Besides, the commitment to assemble a uBITX and get a decent wire up seems a way of "earning" the right to use it. I know a few who might pick up the challenge of a uBITX as I sit here right now. I'm not sure when this is to take place.  The announcement was what the ARRL was recommending. If they got to the point of an announcement, I would say it's pretty sure the FCC will go for it.

73, Jeff
--
Jeff, K7AIL  CN87

raoul@...


Evan Hand
 

Farhan,
They did propose to open 7.225-7.230 MHz to Technician class operators.  They did not add any of the 20 meter band, which I agree would have been a good idea.

73
Evan
AC9TU 


Ken Hansen
 

I don't think that's a real indication of their confidence the FCC will agree with their proposal. I believe the ARRL announces all of their proposals, and their track record on announced proposals is far short of 100%.

Carefully avoiding discussion of the merits of the proposal, just an observation on their history of announcements turning into FCC changes.

Ken, N2VIP

On Aug 2, 2020, at 20:34, Jeffrey Benedict <raoul@...> wrote:

The announcement was what the ARRL was recommending. If they got to the point of an announcement, I would say it's pretty sure the FCC will go for it.


Bill Cromwell
 

Hi,

ARRL should be and tries to be open about it's activities.

73,

Bill KU8H

bark less - wag more

On 8/3/20 10:15 AM, Ken Hansen wrote:
I don't think that's a real indication of their confidence the FCC will agree with their proposal. I believe the ARRL announces all of their proposals, and their track record on announced proposals is far short of 100%.
Carefully avoiding discussion of the merits of the proposal, just an observation on their history of announcements turning into FCC changes.
Ken, N2VIP

On Aug 2, 2020, at 20:34, Jeffrey Benedict <raoul@...> wrote:

The announcement was what the ARRL was recommending. If they got to the point of an announcement, I would say it's pretty sure the FCC will go for it.


Dennis Beverage
 


-- I’m full on for expanded tech privileges.  I’ve held a tech ticket for nine years, but enjoy building projects like the ubitx, (I have two V4’s under construction) but haven’t had time to get them finished.  Haven’t had time to prep for the general exam either.  But,  I sure would like to Have broader access across the bands than the currently allowed CW Access.  Truth be told, I don’t get as much time to work these radios as I’d like to have, but hopefully those problems will work out in the not to distant future.  I’m sure a goodly number of techs like me would be encouraged by the opportunity to get HF band access also.  And I think it’s also likely many potential hams driven away by the expense of today’s ham gear would jump at the chance to have an all band radio they could build with the initial investment of less than $100 plus a soldering iron.  And what’s so precious about band space that tech’s couldn’t be granted some small HF segments.  Perhaps it would help to build the ham ranks over-all.

Just my 2 cents worth. Hope the ARRL is listening.
Sodypop🤠


Jack, W8TEE
 

Dennis:

You will really enjoy the hobby much more if you upgrade. I'll bet if you would spend 1 hour per night studying Ham Test Online (http://www.hamtestonline.com), you'd pass your General after two weeks time. You just need to make a small financial and time commitment and a whole new world opens up!

Jack, W8TEE

On Sunday, August 9, 2020, 9:59:52 PM EDT, Dennis Beverage <sodypop@...> wrote:



-- I’m full on for expanded tech privileges.  I’ve held a tech ticket for nine years, but enjoy building projects like the ubitx, (I have two V4’s under construction) but haven’t had time to get them finished.  Haven’t had time to prep for the general exam either.  But,  I sure would like to Have broader access across the bands than the currently allowed CW Access.  Truth be told, I don’t get as much time to work these radios as I’d like to have, but hopefully those problems will work out in the not to distant future.  I’m sure a goodly number of techs like me would be encouraged by the opportunity to get HF band access also.  And I think it’s also likely many potential hams driven away by the expense of today’s ham gear would jump at the chance to have an all band radio they could build with the initial investment of less than $100 plus a soldering iron.  And what’s so precious about band space that tech’s couldn’t be granted some small HF segments.  Perhaps it would help to build the ham ranks over-all.

Just my 2 cents worth. Hope the ARRL is listening.
Sodypop🤠


--
Jack, W8TEE


John AG6GL
 

Guy's

I am all for more tech privileges,  but Ham Test on line $20 for a whole year, you can start with the General test. It will test you to see what you know and help you understand what you missed by links out to Wiki and other web sites. 
I used it myself. the Tech study and practice tests took 10 hours, General 20 hours, extra was hard it took about 30 hours. This was 9 years ago, the price my have changed. It was a nice learning experience. 
I'm still not sure if my voltage is leading my Amperage or is it a nan gate or a nor gate or who left the gate open.  In march 2011 I was a tech. 
in May I was a general and in June or July EXTRA.  This is pretty easy, and might be a lot faster than waiting on the FCC to approve any changes. 

Just an option, I did it at work, got paid to do it.

John Gartman  W6JPG


Patrick Ridge
 


The ARRL has a great online test bank and it is for free. You can take all of the test questions by subject and level or take practice exams for each level. Its an awesome resource that gives you feedback and will focus the area you need to emphasize. W8EEY has posted excellent classes on YouTube that correlate to the chapters of the ARRL manual for each level - another excellent and free resource.

To echo what was already said, instead of waiting for the FCC to expand privileges, go earn the next level up!

Alan
AE0IX

On Sunday, August 9, 2020, 07:59:52 PM MDT, Dennis Beverage <sodypop@...> wrote:



-- I’m full on for expanded tech privileges.  I’ve held a tech ticket for nine years, but enjoy building projects like the ubitx, (I have two V4’s under construction) but haven’t had time to get them finished.  Haven’t had time to prep for the general exam either.  But,  I sure would like to Have broader access across the bands than the currently allowed CW Access.  Truth be told, I don’t get as much time to work these radios as I’d like to have, but hopefully those problems will work out in the not to distant future.  I’m sure a goodly number of techs like me would be encouraged by the opportunity to get HF band access also.  And I think it’s also likely many potential hams driven away by the expense of today’s ham gear would jump at the chance to have an all band radio they could build with the initial investment of less than $100 plus a soldering iron.  And what’s so precious about band space that tech’s couldn’t be granted some small HF segments.  Perhaps it would help to build the ham ranks over-all.

Just my 2 cents worth. Hope the ARRL is listening.
Sodypop🤠


Reed N
 

I think it's super useful for tech's to have SSB on parts of the HF bands. CW-only is a pretty big hurdle in order to use any of the HF bands at all, so providing a bigger "taste" of HF than just CW makes a lot of sense. HF presents a different set of experiences than VHF, which could be just the thing a person needs to get hooked.

Currently, it's a bit of a "chicken or the egg" situation. If a tech doesn't want to learn CW right away, then it's a hard sell for them to spend money on an HF radio (and antenna setup) that they can't actually use. But then why would they study for harder tests if they don't even know if they'll like the new band privileges? Perhaps another ham can get them into HF, but not all hams are interested or comfortable in social activities, and it's especially difficult with the current COVID pandemic going on.

Ultimately, we need more people to get interested in the hobby to keep it alive, and the more opportunities you can give people to get excited, the better. If we can get techs more active by giving them some HF privileges, that sounds like a win-win to me. Ideally that activity will lead them to strive for general and extra to unlock all of the spectrum, but even if they stay at tech for the remainder of their years, that's still another station that can reply to your CQ.


Reed


Jack, W8TEE
 

Reed:

I agree. I do think most techs would like to have SSB privileges on the HF bands, even though they haven't tried it. Our club gives the exams every month but Dec, and I recall running into one who passed his Tech perhaps two years earlier. I asked him how he was enjoying his license. He said he bought an HT and it was okay, but "it gave me less than my cell phone". His experience was limited to local repeaters and, clearly, he did not get the full "ham" experience.

Many are not aware of the exam study aids that are available to them. I got my General class license in 1955 and never felt the need to go for a higher class. Then, when I became an officer of the club, I was shamed into going for my Extra. I found HamTestOnline and it was a great study aid for me...and worked! I think some gentle prodding from old timers, and relating the operating advantages it gains them, might help. The marginal benefits going from Tech to General is huge, from General to Extra, not as much. Perhaps some Elmering would help them see the advantages of upgrading. We've had some "seasoned" hams tell war stories about experiences they've had over the years and I noticed that many of the new hams were completely absorbed by the talks. Anything we can do to make them see what ham radio is really about might just push a few over the upgrade hill.

Jack, W8TEE

On Monday, August 10, 2020, 3:32:00 AM EDT, Reed N <greenkid336600+groupsio@...> wrote:


I think it's super useful for tech's to have SSB on parts of the HF bands. CW-only is a pretty big hurdle in order to use any of the HF bands at all, so providing a bigger "taste" of HF than just CW makes a lot of sense. HF presents a different set of experiences than VHF, which could be just the thing a person needs to get hooked.

Currently, it's a bit of a "chicken or the egg" situation. If a tech doesn't want to learn CW right away, then it's a hard sell for them to spend money on an HF radio (and antenna setup) that they can't actually use. But then why would they study for harder tests if they don't even know if they'll like the new band privileges? Perhaps another ham can get them into HF, but not all hams are interested or comfortable in social activities, and it's especially difficult with the current COVID pandemic going on.

Ultimately, we need more people to get interested in the hobby to keep it alive, and the more opportunities you can give people to get excited, the better. If we can get techs more active by giving them some HF privileges, that sounds like a win-win to me. Ideally that activity will lead them to strive for general and extra to unlock all of the spectrum, but even if they stay at tech for the remainder of their years, that's still another station that can reply to your CQ.


Reed

--
Jack, W8TEE


Ken Hansen
 

We're now a week into discussing a regulatory issue in one country on an international forum about a particular line of radios.

The BITX20 group has just under 8,000 members, I dare say a good portion of them are outside the influence of the FCC and the ARRL.

I understand the connection between increasing privileges and an affordable radio option like the uBitx, but I have to believe there's a more US-centric place for this discussion to continue.

Ultimately this is a technical forum, and the expansion of Technician privileges in the US is not a technical discussion.

I'm not a moderator, I'm not telling anyone what to do, I'm just pointing out the international nature of the group for consideration.

Ken, N2VIP

On Aug 2, 2020, at 8:34 PM, Jeffrey Benedict <raoul@...> wrote:

ARRL has proposed an upgrade in privileges for Tech hams Techs will get a chunk of 80SSB, chunk of 40SSB and a chunk of 15SSB. There are other changes in the data portions of the bands but, instead of describing everything, I will attach a link to the ARRL site and you can read it for yourself.


Jack, W8TEE
 

Ultimately this is a technical forum...

"Ultimately", yes, but to preclude non-technical topics seems overly-restrictive. Increasing the number of US operators in the HF spectrum slice might be of interest to those non-US operators who have a µBITX to work DX. Personally, I enjoy the "stories" some posters tell about things that happened to them, perhaps on a SOTA activation or "reviews" of hardware/software. If I tire about reading a given thread, I stop reading it. If it's a one-post-and-done, I don't think that's going to hurt me much.

I think things here are pretty good as is. If it wasn't, I don't think we'd have 8000 members.

Jack, W8TEE

On Monday, August 10, 2020, 11:35:55 AM EDT, Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:


We're now a week into discussing a regulatory issue in one country on an international forum about a particular line of radios.

The BITX20 group has just under 8,000 members, I dare say a good portion of them are outside the influence of the FCC and the ARRL.

I understand the connection between increasing privileges and an affordable radio option like the uBitx, but I have to believe there's a more US-centric place for this discussion to continue.

Ultimately this is a technical forum, and the expansion of Technician privileges in the US is not a technical discussion.

I'm not a moderator, I'm not telling anyone what to do, I'm just pointing out the international nature of the group for consideration.

Ken, N2VIP

> On Aug 2, 2020, at 8:34 PM, Jeffrey Benedict <raoul@...> wrote:
>
> ARRL has proposed an upgrade in privileges for Tech hams  Techs will get a chunk of 80SSB, chunk of 40SSB and a chunk of 15SSB. There are other changes in the data portions of the bands but, instead of describing everything, I will attach a link to the ARRL site and you can read it for yourself.




--
Jack, W8TEE


Christopher Miller
 

I have to agree, this is a BitX forum, not a technical forum. If you don't want to read a topic you can mute it.

Chris
KF4FTR


Dennis Zabawa
 

So many get the Technician license so they can "talk on the radio" and are quickly disenchanted with the intelligence level of some repeater users.  Will giving them HF privileges encourage them?  Possibly, but the additional investment in radios and antennas required would likely deter them from actually using their privileges.  I believe it boils down to whether you really want it or not.  If you do, you will make the effort to get that next level of license.

Increasing the number of inactive licensees does no one any real good but the ARRL.


Christopher Miller
 

When I was like 16 I had to pass a 13 wpm code test. It was a weather report. If you don’t even have to try, I don’t see how it could be easier. It might as well be cb then. Just sad...


Alan Cooper
 

already cb radio activity can be heard anywhere between 3800khz and 3900khz any night of the week, and most of them are Extra class licensed people. (all the played music, foul language, and intentional jamming one would never wish or want to hear).


On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 11:35 AM Christopher Miller <djmalak2k6@...> wrote:
When I was like 16 I had to pass a 13 wpm code test. It was a weather report. If you don’t even have to try, I don’t see how it could be easier. It might as well be cb then. Just sad...


Bob Lunsford
 

I believe some topics may not seem directly related to QRP or uBITX but they may encourage some, new and old, to see a new way our radios can be used. They are ham radio related and the uBITX brand is linked to ham radio or should be. I do not see our hobby here as a cult and will entertain any new topic or idea that may possibly be related to our hobby. However, there is a point where some topic can be worn out when enough is said on it to satisfy most here. (I speak from experience.)

Bob — KK5R


On Monday, August 10, 2020, 12:15:57 PM EDT, Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum@...> wrote:


Ultimately this is a technical forum...

"Ultimately", yes, but to preclude non-technical topics seems overly-restrictive. Increasing the number of US operators in the HF spectrum slice might be of interest to those non-US operators who have a µBITX to work DX. Personally, I enjoy the "stories" some posters tell about things that happened to them, perhaps on a SOTA activation or "reviews" of hardware/software. If I tire about reading a given thread, I stop reading it. If it's a one-post-and-done, I don't think that's going to hurt me much.

I think things here are pretty good as is. If it wasn't, I don't think we'd have 8000 members.

Jack, W8TEE

On Monday, August 10, 2020, 11:35:55 AM EDT, Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:


We're now a week into discussing a regulatory issue in one country on an international forum about a particular line of radios.

The BITX20 group has just under 8,000 members, I dare say a good portion of them are outside the influence of the FCC and the ARRL.

I understand the connection between increasing privileges and an affordable radio option like the uBitx, but I have to believe there's a more US-centric place for this discussion to continue.

Ultimately this is a technical forum, and the expansion of Technician privileges in the US is not a technical discussion.

I'm not a moderator, I'm not telling anyone what to do, I'm just pointing out the international nature of the group for consideration.

Ken, N2VIP

> On Aug 2, 2020, at 8:34 PM, Jeffrey Benedict <raoul@...> wrote:
>
> ARRL has proposed an upgrade in privileges for Tech hams  Techs will get a chunk of 80SSB, chunk of 40SSB and a chunk of 15SSB. There are other changes in the data portions of the bands but, instead of describing everything, I will attach a link to the ARRL site and you can read it for yourself.




--
Jack, W8TEE


Dean Souleles
 

One more training resource -

Hamstudy.org provides license test prep, sample test and and links to resources - and it is free.   I used it for all three tests.  I kept studying until I was able to pass a sample test at 90% correct consistently.  I passed all three test first time out.

Dean
KK4DAS