Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

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Tim
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Tim » 29 Jun 2017, 10:38

Andymusa wrote....... I only asked as I see the 5/9 comment fairly often and mostly by people who aren't licensed. Granted there's a lot of 5/9 move along QSO exchanges on the Ham band but, it is really easy take a 5/9 exchange and turn it into a conversation especially if one is good at the art of conversation.

Ham radio is declining, not because of the entrance procedure but because it has to compete with many forms of communication easily accessible to all.

The main reason for the change and making the entrance a little harder in my opinion, is more down to the decline in standards of operation than anything else. This is no ones fault but the RSGBs and Ofcoms. When operating procedures and practices aren't taught to a good enough standard it will happen.

11 mtrs will always be a great band, long may it continue but I love the Ham bands to.

Cheers for the reply Tim.[/quote]

I don't wish to belittle any licensed operators, not in the least but it does rather get ones goat when there are those that look upon 11 meter operators with contempt and considering that the biggest majority of license holders actually started out on CB and still operate on 11 meters I find that the condescending comments an attitude toward 11 meter operators by some is bound to affect the take-up of potential amateurs and not conducive to increase numbers.

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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by k40 » 30 Jun 2017, 05:49

RSCB's radio selling mates aren't going to be happy, less fresh M6's with wads of cash wanting the latest black box.
I've heard of some who took a couple of tries to pass the foundation as it is.
The main idiot that I've heard messing about, swearing and playing music on ham was a cb "ch 19er" and not licenced.
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Sam P
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Sam P » 30 Jun 2017, 08:01

andymuza wrote:International rules prevent this. All countries who allow Ham radio operation have to have an entry standard. To be honest I was shocked the UK were allowed to make it as easy as they did with the current Foundation.
Andy, this isn't the case. I was given a full licence issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in exchange for a tenner.... no exam or knowledge of the licensing T&Cs required.

However, I think you're quite right, there needs to be minimum standard to hold a licence to operate within the spectrum available to amateur operators. Legal EU and UK CB is taken care of by dint of the limitations set by the equipment in accord with Ofcom regulations. By definition (as we know) in the UK 11m is a non-allocated band that has bu99er all to do with amateur radio and isn't legally assigned to citizens band... so the licenced / CB / 'pirate' debate is just a distraction that has nothing to do with RSGB syllabi.

Being a licenced operator in the UK is a serious responsibility and requires a base level of knowledge to keep the operator safe, legally within band and be able recognise / rectify EMC issues when they occur. To measure this level of knowledge an exam is set and practical 'experiences' are ticked off along the way. It is only fit and proper that the learning cycle is reviewed and ammended, and that is what the consultation document is attempting to do, it doesn't set ammendments in stone - however it is important that the consultation is responded to.

The foundation level of learning isn't in-depth, much of it is at an 'awareness' level such as 'the candidate must recall'. For example, the introduction of waveguides, will be to recall that they exist not to calculate and interpolate waveguide theory.

The purpose of the learning outcomes is to empower operators with knowledge to facilitate a high standard of operation, this should be welcomed, it's not there to create a barrier. I would hope that the proposed changes to the syllabus have been put forward to facilitate or enhance operator capability (that's a good thing, right?), if that isn't the case then hopefully the consultation should 'weed-out' potential barriers.

One certain barrier with an increase to syllabus content will be allocated learning time and the good-will of the registered (volunteer) trainers to make amendments and deliver. The content of foundation can be delivered over a weekend, any increase to content may make that less achievable.


There we go, that's my ten penny worth :D
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by andymuza » 30 Jun 2017, 16:26

Sam P wrote:Andy, this isn't the case. I was given a full licence issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in exchange for a tenner.... no exam or knowledge of the licensing T&Cs required.
How long ago was this Sam and was the licence issued in the UK?

Great post by the way.
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Sam P » 30 Jun 2017, 22:19

andymuza wrote:
Sam P wrote:Andy, this isn't the case. I was given a full licence issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in exchange for a tenner.... no exam or knowledge of the licensing T&Cs required.
How long ago was this Sam and was the licence issued in the UK?

Great post by the way.

Thanks, Andy.

It was issued in a British Overseas Territory hence the FCO issuing it, but is still the case today. I had an additional station licence which was generic and could be operated by anyone without supervision... and that still remains the case today with the current incumbent.
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by TimH1971 » 02 Jul 2017, 10:29

Some figures:
In 1982, fuelled no doubt by the popularity of CB, there were a record 8,000 plus new licences granted to the foundation level equivalent.
Move forward to 2002, the final year of the old system.... that figure dropped to 366.

The move to the current foundation accreditation has led to the numbers of annual new entrants to the foundation level increasing to 1,500 per year, not spectacular but far better than 2002.

Now we want to make it more difficult? At a time where the hobby has stabilised but badly needs new blood?

Not good.
Last edited by TimH1971 on 02 Jul 2017, 10:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by TimH1971 » 02 Jul 2017, 10:38

It also seems to me that, anecdotally, hams I have spoken with imply that the main issue with the current system is certainly not the ability or quality of M6 operators but two things:
1. The quite small leap required between foundation and intermediate compared with the gap between intermediate and full.
2. The attitude amongst SOME full licensees towards M6 entrants.

Number 1 is something the RSGB has to address by strengthening the intermediate licence.
Number 2 will, in the next couple of decades be addressed by Mother Nature and time itself.

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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Metradio » 02 Jul 2017, 11:37

I think the advances in mobile phone technology and PMR446 has negated the need for some for an amateur license..

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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Checkpointcharlie » 02 Jul 2017, 12:18

The foundation is a stepping stone nothing more in my view and I see no problem adding more content to the first 2 steps, if you are serious about the hobby then this change will not be an issue.
The foundation license has been set up all wrong in my opinion and has lowered the bar way too low......changes needed.
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Admiral » 02 Jul 2017, 12:55

Ahhhh, the familiar whiff of elitism that lingers like a fart in a lift.

Foundation Licensees can only use off the shelf equipment, therefore don't need to initially know about spurious emissions and polar patterns to get started, as neither does a CBer who decides to take up the hobby and gets a legal SSB set for their first go, and ironically, a licence free CBer can legally use more RF power on HF than can a licensed ham who holds a Foundation licence.

Get your heads out of your arses and smell the coffee, if you want the hobby to survive for the next 40 years then open the door to new blood and then groom them to better things with stick and carrot tactics.

It's a good job the 'CSGB' didn't want me to pass a licence when I wanted to be an amateur photographer for a hobby, questions about trespass and harassment or needing to have an in depth knowledge of F-stops and depth of field before I could have a go would have meant I wouldn't have bothered.
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by TimH1971 » 02 Jul 2017, 14:56

Simply this ....

If you make studying towards the foundation syllabus and exam more time consuming, containing content unnecessary in terms of adding any additional value to operating a station at 10w safely and responsibly then an already fragile hobby will die within 15 to 20 years.

I have just passed foundation but I have a young family and work full time. I'm in my mid forties
and have arrived via a love of radio through CB.

I've sacrificed time to study and pass because I love the hobby from way back (early 80s).

How many of today's 15-25 year olds are going to bother if you unnecessarily pad the qualification out to satisfy some grumblers who are unlikely to see any (if there are any) new generation of operators become licenced?

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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Metradio » 02 Jul 2017, 15:37

TimH1971 wrote:.......I have just passed foundation but I have a young family and work full time. I'm in my mid forties
and have arrived via a love of radio through CB.
I've sacrificed time to study and pass because I love the hobby from way back (early 80s).......
Harking back some years ago, this was me:

I have just passed the RAE and have a young family and work full time. I'm in my early forties
and have arrived via a love of radio through tinkering with radios.
I've sacrificed time to study and pass because I love the hobby from way back (mid 60s)

Mike
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by sickboy » 02 Jul 2017, 16:11

Metradio wrote:
TimH1971 wrote:.......I have just passed foundation but I have a young family and work full time. I'm in my mid forties
and have arrived via a love of radio through CB.
I've sacrificed time to study and pass because I love the hobby from way back (early 80s).......
Harking back some years ago, this was me:

I have just passed the RAE and have a young family and work full time. I'm in my early forties
and have arrived via a love of radio through tinkering with radios.
I've sacrificed time to study and pass because I love the hobby from way back (mid 60s)

Mike
Fair point Mike, but how many youngsters these days tinker with radios? Times are changing, the hobby has been bolstered with a generation of people who enjoyed using CB (myself included), but where does the new blood come from after that?
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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by TimH1971 » 02 Jul 2017, 16:29

I'm 45, by the time I hopefully get to 75 how many of today's 15 yr olds will even be aware that amateur radio exists?

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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Post by Admiral » 02 Jul 2017, 16:53

TimH1971 wrote:I'm 45, by the time I hopefully get to 75 how many of today's 15 yr olds will even be aware that amateur radio exists?
And the twelve remaining hams in the UK can have a good chat about the good old days and what a great idea it was to make entry into the hobby more difficult thirty years ago.
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