Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

ACMA, Licencing, and Examination discussion
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3ZTE » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:24 pm

VK2ZRH wrote:A sad state of affairs in ZL, it seems, Ken.

Grant (and others) the WIA is working on improving things for all licence grades, Foundation holders in particular.
See : Amateur licence conditions -latest moves, here: http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2 ... /index.php
For Foundation Licensees, the WIA is seeking more bands – including some microwave bands, more permitted modes and more power, plus permission to build kits.
That means ". . to build and use kits". Currently, F-calls can build stuff to their hearts' content - but are not permitted to transmit with what they've built. The licence conditions specify commercial amateur gear only. :eh:

"More permitted modes" means digital modes, particularly, and not "just voice" (as in D-star, DMR, C4FM etal); ie. data modes. :shock:
Most encouraging and appreciate your taking the time Roger, to bring us up to date.

73 Grant VK3ZTE

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK5ZLR » Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:41 am

VK2ZRH wrote:
"More permitted modes" means digital modes, particularly, and not "just voice" (as in D-star, DMR, C4FM etal); ie. data modes. :shock:
Yep good, and I fully support this.

As I understand it the F call exam involves demonstrating some rudimentary ability to use a transceiver.

I wonder how establising power, bandwidth etc of 5.8GHz FPV drone signal, or any other of the infinite number of different digital mode possibilities, will be covered in the F call exam?

At the risk of making an already top heavy system even worse, maybe there is scope for a D-call - Digital modes licence.
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK2MUS » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:36 pm

VK5ZLR wrote:
Yep good, and I fully support this.

As I understand it the F call exam involves demonstrating some rudimentary ability to use a transceiver.

I wonder how establising power, bandwidth etc of 5.8GHz FPV drone signal, or any other of the infinite number of different digital mode possibilities, will be covered in the F call exam?

At the risk of making an already top heavy system even worse, maybe there is scope for a D-call - Digital modes licence.
There is no requirement for a practical test - those that do their exams via the clubs may indeed have a practical however it is not a requirement - Being able to say plug a transceiver into the power and hook up the antenna on the clubs unit may be fun however that foundation operator then can go home and adjust the power levels on a ft101 without any one except google telling him how to. If he can do this then I see no reason why he can't plug a cat cable into his radio and into say a little rascal unit and the computer - no standard or advanced operator ever had testing to see if he could do this - again using google to research the digital modes or even buying say the Getting on air with HF digital from the ARRL book shop will give him the basics of digital modes

If you consider that foundation operators need to be tested on digital modes then maybe standards and advanced should also be recalled to do the test also as most of the foundation operators will be more competent in Computers and computer interfacing then a lot of those in the other grades

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3PF » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:08 am

VK2MUS wrote: SNIP...... There is no requirement for a practical test ....SNIP
John
John,

You are incorrect: The Foundation and all new candidates without an existing amateur licence MUST be competent on all items on the Practical Assessment test. This does include assembling a simple station and completing contacts on air, plus a lot more.

Those with an existing licence are not required to complete the Practical to upgrade to a higher level licence, but they cannot apply for the higher level Certificate of Proficiency unless they also complete the Practical: for example, even though I am an Advanced licensee, I have the AOLCP (and the NAOCP) only. If I wish to obtain the AOCP, I will need to complete the Practical Assessment. Once the Foundation licensee passes the appropriate Regulations and Theory Assessments, they can upgrade to the higher level licence (Intermediate or Advanced, according to the Theory paper completed successfully) and do not need to complete another Practical assessment.

Regards,

Peter VK3PF
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK4WDM » Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:56 pm

Is anyone else having trouble understanding Peter's last paragraph or am I just being a thick :om: ?

73

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3ALB » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:02 pm

Assessor alert #72

The requirement for those who upgraded from the historic Novice License to an Advanced License is that a practical examination will be required if the candidate wishes to receive an Advanced Certificate of Proficiency.

This issue causes confusion because an amateur license and the Certificate of Proficiency represent two different conditions. The licence is the permission to operate and the Certificate of Proficiency is the Qualification. There is an agreement between the WIA and ACMA that no person will be disadvantaged as a result of the changed LCDs. As a result a person who does not complete the practical but does successfully complete the theory for an advanced upgrade can receive an advanced licence, however unless they complete the practical they cannot receive an advanced Certificate of Proficiency.

The recommendation is to advise those seeking to progress from an historic Novice Licence to an Advanced Licence is for the assessor to offer to the candidate the practical examination so that a certificate of Proficiency can be issued.
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by ZL3OZ » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:43 pm

After what I posted about ZL licences I am now glad I am licenced ZL and not VK.

I think all this different classes of exam and proficiency levels is just a load of old fart stuff.
Its class segregation isnt it? Mines bigger than yours?

Of course I will get either flak or total ignore from those in the higher classes for this comment.
I understand, they had to work hard to get where they are so why shouldnt the newbies have to as well?.
It sounds like the american system to me where one hears them on air low on 20mtrs being "oh so proud" they are an extra class and not some johnny come lately like the others who are not allowed on THIS frequency.

Isnt it time all this class stuff was done away with? We Hams are getting thin enough on the ground now without making a whole lot of lower class citazens out of new comers which can only discourage them.
An earlier poster was right, newbies are mostly more hi tech profficient than the older hams so why make them jump through hoops.

My suggestion is the discouraged F calls should come to ZL. We are all class equal here now and the only ones who count themselves as "higher" than others are naturally like that anyway, and end up only talking to one or two others who think the same.

You see I am really a lowly T call who used to be looked down on by the high and mighty.
We ZL may have sold our birthright in becoming free licences but this class thing being done away with was one GOOD thing our admin has done.
Some on this logger are proud of their T calls still, my ZL3TJV is still active, and some like me were once, and went for an easier callsign but its hard to tell on air or in a list, because many of us are far more efficient and enthusiastic operators than the ones who wanted their class system to remain.

Thats my stirr.

OZ

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK4WDM » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:10 pm

My suggestion is the discouraged F calls should come to ZL
You forget that they will still have to pass a language test. Those who say "feesh and cheeps" instead of "fush and chups" will be turned back at the border :mrgreen:

73

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by ZL3OZ » Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:29 pm

At least they wont be misunderstood when they say "SIX" Wayne.

OZ :popcorn:

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK2MUS » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:31 pm

VK3PF wrote:
VK2MUS wrote: SNIP...... There is no requirement for a practical test ....SNIP
John
John,

You are incorrect: The Foundation and all new candidates without an existing amateur licence MUST be competent on all items on the Practical Assessment test. This does include assembling a simple station and completing contacts on air, plus a lot more.

Those with an existing licence are not required to complete the Practical to upgrade to a higher level licence, but they cannot apply for the higher level Certificate of Proficiency unless they also complete the Practical: for example, even though I am an Advanced licensee, I have the AOLCP (and the NAOCP) only. If I wish to obtain the AOCP, I will need to complete the Practical Assessment. Once the Foundation licensee passes the appropriate Regulations and Theory Assessments, they can upgrade to the higher level licence (Intermediate or Advanced, according to the Theory paper completed successfully) and do not need to complete another Practical assessment.

Regards,

Peter VK3PF
A3-007
There was no requirement when I was tested - in fact there were no radios in sight to do a practical on - the practical covers such topics as how do you break into a conversation - the official answer is press ptt and say breaker - my answer was to wait till a break then ptt and say vk2mus on the side - that was incorrect the other question I was asked was if my swr is high what do I do to lower it offical answer was change the length of the antenna and that was about all the practical - there is no requirement to have any radio gear available at the sight of testing - you will see that this is considered as the practical allows "simulation" or "orally describing" not actually plunging in a power cord or an antenna

So if you read the Practical assessment form you will see that the whole thing can be done without any radio gear within sight.
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3ALB » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:14 pm

VK2MUS wrote:
SNIP

So if you read the Practical assessment form you will see that the whole thing can be done without any radio gear within sight.
John
I have just read the practical assessment form on the WIA website and while some parts are clearly oral assessment only at least nine elements of the practical assessment require the candidate to use a radio to demonstrate competency.

What form are you reading?
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK4EA » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:01 pm

Certainly when I do practical assessments, the candidates must use a radio, on air.

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK5ZLR » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:15 pm

.

Well maybe like ZL3OZ says, there should just be one class of licence, and it should be free.

Certainly would simplify things, but would the ionosphere implode due to beinig over-excited by the under-qualified ?
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK2MUS » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:23 pm

Peter, if you are conducting the exam in the house of the person being tested do you bring the required radio equipment?

There are only two elements that could be read as not being done without a radio /antenna /tuner and swr meter present - element 8 - if I remember in my assessment the question was asked where the swr is connected when using a tuner, (before or after the tunner) I was also asked what type of connectors are normally used for HF and VHF anetnna connection on the back of the radio and what type of connectors are usually used for power leads - easily explained with out doing it on a radio/tuner/power supply etc
again form memory element 15 was covered by showing that I understood calling frequencies and instructions such as up 5 or down 5 etc again without a radio

Lets talk sense here - I could have been tested on say a FT897 and shown how I can wizz around the menus then been allowed to go home and tune up the ft101 - nothing in those elements would have any relevance to what I needed to do to tune up the ft101 to match my allowed power level - my examiner simply used good common sense.

Setting hands on elements must have some relevance to the actual radios the person being tested will be using the Yaesu menu system is totally different to say a Kenwood so there needs to some leeway in the practical Element 8 is simply a test to see if the person knows not to try to plug the antenna into the power socket or trying to push a VHF connector into a HF connector !!

But getting back to the original - what questions should be asked about digital modes - what computer interfaces will you use for hands on testing - as far as the interface goes one really only needs to see if the person being tested can read an instructional manual for the unit they finally purchase - what questions do you need to ask about the software - again can the person being tested read up on how to operate the software no matter what software they get.

More importantly the person being tested should have basic understanding of the effects of ALC in digital modes and understand that the power level is not set by the radio but by the computer sound-card hopefully you are not going to demonstrate ALC in real time on the air -some operators will get slightly pissed off at you.

Digital modes are the safest communications the foundation operator can do - they are at low power they are on dedicated freq's and highly organized in procedure by the software in most cases they have immediate feedback to the operator if he/she has high alc or overly high power via the software or the spotting sites. They also mean that the foundation operator can contact, using a fairly basic antenna and radio, any one world wide

I find that those that want extra testing for foundation operators if they are given digital modes never say what testing elements they want or they simply do not understand digital mode communication and computer interfacing

I think you could also drop the whole of the practical assessment without any great worry. It may work if the person does the testing at a Radio club or the examiner brings all the gear but otherwise it does not work
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3RX » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:51 am

vk2mus wrote:
There was no requirement when I was tested - in fact there were no radios in sight to do a practical on
This was discussed - and answered - almost a year ago:

viewtopic.php?p=53886#p53886
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by ZL3OZ » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:12 am

Well maybe like ZL3OZ says, there should just be one class of licence, and it should be free.
Not my words grouped like this.

I did say all one class of license. I did not say it should be free! The free bit is bad.

Most definitely not free, as that removes any inclination or commitment from Govt agencies to protect the license holder.

As for class and hurdles for entry;
My Son, at age around 15yrs, and my Wife together sat the exam after a few months studying. About 6 yrs ago. Neither of them being tech minded other than son being more computer savvy than me, they are now licenced and didnt have any big trouble passing the exam. There was no practical assesment and as far as I am aware in our system there isnt.
What I am saying here is the exam is doable by a newbie who doesnt hold all sorts of tech ability and qualifications.
Its doable for someone who is interested and wants to be a Ham.
Its been this way for years now and the bands are NOT swarming with idiot ZLs and fools.
In fact there are still way too few sitting it.

As for fools on air if they want to be fools on radio pretty much anyone can buy a B**feng radio on line and transmit where ever they dare, some are. So what are we protecting? Our nations airwaves or our pride?

Its human nature to want to be included in some sort of exclusivity above someone else. To me that is what this class system is generating.
If there should be a qualification rated system let it remain where it should be, in the professional arena, not our hobby.
Make it easy for the newbie to get in and nurture them when they get going. Its hard enough to get them interested without fussing over whether the hoop they have to jump through should be a burning one or not

Ken
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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3PF » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:21 pm

VK2MUS wrote:Peter, if you are conducting the exam in the house of the person being tested do you bring the required radio equipment?
Yes - Not much is required to put together a practical assessment kit. However, it is unusual to conduct an assessment at the candidate's place of residence. The recommendation is for a neutral venue to be used - usually a radio club meeting venue.

OK on your other comments - I will not make any comments on those. The fact is that the Foundation, Standard and Advanced licences now require the Practical Assessment to be completed for a Certificate of Proficiency to be issued. There is an exemption from the Practical for candidates upgrading to a higher licence level, but Lou has explained the details.

Regards "not doing the actual practical" and doing a simulation: To quote:
"Assessor Alert 73
Alert date: Tuesday 22/09/2009

During recent discussions with Assessors Learning Facilitators and exam candidates indication has been given that the on air component of the practical examination has been simulated. This is not in accordance with the syllabus documents section 8.4 Foundation and 9.7 Advanced where on air contacts on HF and VHF are specified. This means actual contacts are made using radio equipment. Please ensure that this and all others syllabus requirements for the practical are met."

Regards,

Peter VK3PF

PS: I am making no comment or reflection on the requirements in ZL, where assessments must comply with the local requirements, just as we in VK must fulfill our local requirements.

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by ZL3OZ » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:02 am

:D :D
Last Post. (anyone have a bugle?)
I will cease stirring on this subject as it has drifted a bit anyway from the original comments about making cheaper entry for the poor young fellow Ham who has a $ hurdle to jump.

The same fellow probably has an I phone cost in the hundreds of dollars and a flash games capable laptop as well.

What I notice in the young ones leaving school is the cost of tech gadgets seems to pose very little problem compared to my youth, so why worry about a couple of hundred dollars entry cost?

Its all a matter of being keen enough....... keen for what?........how do they know about it if they havent heard of it.
I have neighbors around me here the majority have no idea what Amateur radio, or any sort of radio, is now. Is that WiFi?

Its a problem to be sure.

OZ

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3BA » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:51 am

Forget the AMC as a provider of exams, here's a new provider...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBH6dde ... ture=share

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Nik VK3BA
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http://www.qrz.com/db/VK3BA

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Re: Exam / Licence Price & Young People ..

Post by VK3BA » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:47 am

Oh dear... it's now July, but they're slowly getting there... :yawn:

http://www.amc.edu.au/industry/amateur-radio

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Nik VK3BA
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