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Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 07 Nov 2017, 20:29
by Admiral
And people who can't code in Perl or set up a client server model shouldn't be allowed to own a laptop?

It's a hobby that you can enjoy at any level.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 03 Feb 2018, 19:56
by scan125
Can I add a little extra view point that may or may not add a little extra to this thread.

I graduated in the 70s with a degree in electrical and electronic engineering. At THAT time the predominant UK technical bodies wire the IERE(Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) and the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers). At that time (or there about) to become a full member and become Chartered you needed a degree. Previous requirements were HND or HNC (with additions). In the 80s they raised the bar from normal degree to Honours degree. Note that did not require the current HND/others to revalidate against the new higher requirements.

I'm not up to date with current requirements but the over the years the bar is being raised so that ideally and MSc or higher will aid your membership progress. Whilst I believe a bog standard ordinary degree is still the base qualification for the IET (IET was formed from IEE who swallowed the IERE) they are probably looking for more.

Not sure if a have an issue with this but then again much of the hierarchy only have a lower academic qualification. Fair enough they satisfied the requirements at the time.

What really got me pissed of is that when I retired to maintain my Chartered Professional Status they wanted MONEY. I then raised a valid point that retired members should be accorded an official CEng (retired status) for minimal (£5 all in fees) so that whilst not currently practicing they could still attend/service/etc schools/other looking for people to encourage the take up of engineering as a profession. So to have someone with therelevant HARD EARNED status etc. was/is important.

The response I got was astounding.

The Engineering Council stated the CEng was reserved for those with full current CPD (continual professional development) AND current practitioners in the industry.

The IET responded that their retired members would not be subjected to rigours CPD requirements and reading the organisation ET magazine and possibly attending a lecture/event once per year was sufficient to maintain CEng status.

What a complete and totally "out of align" setup. You can not hand CEng status unless you are a paid up member of a professional institution. To be a member of an institution cost, even if as retired it is only 50%. Still a lot of money. Meanwhile an Engineering Coouncil retired status is not going to be allowed as CEng is for fully compliant practicing engineers. Meanwhile those retired IET members who just read the mag and only have an HNC/HND and PAY THE MONEY are OK.

I decided it was all a financial con and so now, as much as I would like to help and develop young engineers/scientists/etc with some official credentials that schools and colleges could check out I'm just a "don't ask me I gave my working life to working in/developing/training/etc in the engineering profession an now I'm a "has been".

Absolutely criminal IMHO. All those old farts (retired or otherwise) who are prepared to pay can still retain their professional status but in many cases do f all for the profession and the careers of young people.

So, how does this fir it with the current RSGB Foundation requirements.

Well call me a cynic but revenue comes to mind. Slowly move Intermediate requirements to Foundation level and guess what move the next level up requirements down a level.

From my point of view the foundation license was to get people interested and on the LADDER. From their they can decide to grow or give up. If things carry on then I can see us back to the 1970s where morse was a requirement.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 04 Feb 2018, 21:37
by WhiteNoisePoetry
> Well call me a cynic but revenue comes to mind.

The RSGB have always been self serving anyway.

Many years ago (and I mean MANY) they attracted money through dealers who could become a sort of RSGB Approved dealer. I think they
even got a little plaque or sign to display outside their "emporiums". Evidence of this can be seen by reading 1950's mags like SWM or PW.

Plus there was plenty of eager enthusuaists wanting circuits to make, books to read etc, and they catered for that. Well that was pretty much
a bilateral advantage. They satisfied a need and made cash.

But that was a long time ago and there's not much new anymore.

For decades they have been a society looking to justify their own existance, and had been freewheeling for a long time.

At best they could only really eek out their existance on finding bogeymen to jusifiy their existance, from strange EU regs that were going
to destroy the hobby, to fighting against CB'ers giving the "superior" radio amateurs a bad name.

And then came their greatest oppurtunity when OFCOM practically wanted to deregulate the hobby.

But they couldn't legally, so they got around that by making getting licence so easy that it was as good as deregulation ;-)

Now with the need for formal exams gone, the RSGB now had a way of making money by providing these exams but they needed punters.

By saying that the hobby was doomed and too full of old farts they could justify turning the society into a feckin' child advocacy group for future
engineers.

Really ?

The rest of us did an exam and a Morse test before we even left school, and a look at any historical magazines from before even WW2 showed
that those old G2xx and G3nn two letter calls did exactly the same when they were teenagers. And they still had to build their bloody rigs !

So why do youngsters NOW need it easy ?

They don't, it's a myth, but it justifies the society's existance now.

Just look at Radcom, full of bloody pics of 5 year olds connecting LED's to batteries all over the place, slotted between dealer adverts, and yet
another poxy five page article about how to put a PL259 on a bit of coax.

What a load of crap.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 05 Feb 2018, 21:52
by Transwarp
Some really good posts on this topic, I like the cut of some forum members jibs with their responses :lol:

Seriously though, speaking as an M3 veteran of 15 years the tech in the hobby is moving on and on all the time, I'll admit that I wouldn't know my way round the new digital modes and radios so any young newcomers to the hobby will be out in front with them. As for changing the requirements for foundation, well I think it's long overdue and had to happen to keep up to date so it gets a thumbs up from me. I think though the power limit should be raised from the current 10 watts to say 20 or 25, as one forum member mentioned that CB'ers operate 12 watts SSB licence free legally today. Maybe it might be a case to reduce band privileges at FL level to give holders the incentive to progress for more privileges, only if they want too though of course. The other ways could be to give them a little bit more access to some other bands but a FL only lasts for a couple of years, no progress to the next level within that time then out of the hobby you go until you either pass the next level or apply for another FL after 12 months has elapsed and start all over again.

As for youngsters using ham radio, well lets face it unless they have a specific interest in radio communications or electronics then most young un's will find their smartphone far more interesting and user friendly, radio then just cannot compete with such. For those that are house bound with a disability, well a tablet, smartphone or laptop connected to the net and the world's you're oyster. In the modern connected world hobby radio just cannot compete and it's a small niche pastime that could probably go out of existence unnoticed to the masses imo.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 06 Feb 2018, 23:13
by 26mb04
I think either Ofcom/RSGB Ltd need to decide what the foundation licence is supposed to actually be. A lot of hobby organisations are going down the road of progression, this does 2 things:

1: It gives members Customers the impression they need to do better, pass more tests (and pay more money) in order to stay relevant;

2: It makes people appear, on paper to have more knowledge than others because they had this knowledge at the point of assessment.

The fact that a lot of people either don't need or don't retain this knowledge is used by the membership organisation to justify refresher courses under the guise of CPD etc. If you retain the knowledge (and have money), you get to keep the qualification. If not, you lose.

I've been a FL for a long time. I know enough about radio to be a very competent FL. Forcing people to progress against their preferred level of knowledge is dangerous, and kills hobbies by ensuring your membership base is primarily skewed toward people with money as opposed to people with knowledge.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 07 Feb 2018, 08:56
by paulears
Sadly, there is a quest for qualifications for all. I was involved in UK examinations for a long time, and remember very well finishing the writing of the latest in a series of qualifications I, with others wrote for fifteen years. The ink was just about dry on the Level 2 - roughly school GCSE level, when we were suddenly requested to add in Level 1, as a fallback. So a criteria change so that a pass was effectively "being present when something was done" was added. That was enough for me.

The real problem touched on above is that there is a requirement for Governments to protect access to a service internationally agreed. There is in effect, a gatekeeping function. The generally considered opinion is that the gatekeeping process needs to ensure that operators have the ability to understand the consequences of what they are doing, and cause as little impact to other users as possible. In the pioneering days of radio, severe interference from poorly aligned transmitters was a strong possibility. Designs were crude and the interference possibilities immense. Somebody thinking they were transmitting on 80m, could have significant output in other places from harmonics not suppressed. Filters were needed, but test gear limited. The ham test at that time attempted to make certain operators were technically aware of the issues and had the knowledge to reduce the problem. As home brewing dwindled and commercial equipment became more normal, the content of the test gradually changed. People were still running high power equipment, so the test made sure that the interference issues were understood. The low cost of gear now means that operation has slipped more towards low power, but while interference in terms of power output has reduced, the potential for interference by ignorance of band plans and different modes has increased. Hence the changes to the entry licence to reflect where the risk really is.

The entry level licence is nothing to do with advancing amateur radio - it's simply a sensible gatekeeper. The other licence categories are where the serious hobbyists tend to move to for the additional privileges and because they can make progress.The serious amateur development work is up in the microwave bands, away from the noise and bad temper in the VHF/UHF bands and the interference, but long range of the HF bands. The kind of people doing this real development work usually work in telecoms and the highest licence grade we have is not remotely a challenge.

We all have our level of competence, and the only way forward is up. Passing a test and not progressing is stagnation. Nothing wrong with that, but all the hams I meet want to get better at what they do and how they do it.

The test has changed each revision because the focus keeps moving. The technical content has reduced gradually, bit if you look carefully there is more emphasis on the consequences of poor operating practice. Same thing with the professional communications exams. Air traffic controllers do not need to know how a radio works, or anything about propagation or interference. They do, however, need to communicate reliably and efficiently - so their test points in that direction. The maritime services don't need to include Morse Code any longer because most modern installs on ships don't feature it. They do, however, need others operational knowledge that their predecessors didn't.

Personally, I don't like the removal of the things I struggled to learn 40 years ago - but that is just ego really. I think it's human to dislike something now considered unimportant.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 07 Feb 2018, 19:22
by Transwarp
Good comments & points made in the above post, I don't though agree "Passing a test and not progressing is stagnation"

In respect of 'The Hobby' a person staying at FL level is a personal choice. I don't see full car licence holders being nagged by the DVLA they should move on and pass a test for a coach or heavy goods vehicle licence. It's a matter of choice at the end of the day, but sadly in the hobby there is licence snobbery and when such is challenged it's always "no-no-no not at all, it's just progression is important that's all" - Yeah right, so when operators who should know better are referring to FLH's as licence sitters, corn flake packet ticket holders, and other such demeaning remarks, that's encouraging progress is it? Pah, shove it!

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 17 Feb 2018, 10:41
by lincbob
and to add my 10p worth on the matter....

I tried to get my first licence at 14 and was ignored by my local radio club despite repeated enquiries, suffice to say they are no better these days as on field days they choose to ignore M6 calls, give them a try if you hear G4FOX on the air, that's providing you are intermediate or higher.

for a new foundation licence holder, being reprimanded for using the wrong terminology on 80m by some radio dinosaur that insists on steam driven radios and walks round in sandals stroking their beard and muttering how they had to sit a proper test with morse, you kind of think do i really want to progress and end up like that (which I did incidentally, minus the beard and sandals)

ive even had heated discussion about how the use of morse code readers and related computer jiggery pokery is wrong, wrong, wrong with operators in their 70s and they felt that morse would be better of dying a death than evolving and embracing modern technology, however when I asked whether this meant the proficient morse op that develops chronic arthritis in his hands and is unable to work a key should just jack in the hobby, there was no answer.

personally, anything that gets new operators into the world of radio has got to be a good thing. The young operators I have spoken to on the air have all been polite, professional and proficient so something is working.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 17 Feb 2018, 12:18
by Transwarp
When I started out on the ham bands I was by the book in etiquette operating, however as time went by and I became 'wise' to the hobby lords on the bands I decided I'd be more down to earth. I'd say 'break' instead of giving my call sign when wanting to join in a conversation and say nice talking to you buddy when finishing, little things like that. Many times pulled for my verbal operating manner which just went in one ear and out the other tbh. Don't get me wrong I didn't use talk like 10-4 /10-10, good buddy, or blowing my windows out with ya modulation etc (felt like doing though on a couple of occasions!) I was just being who I am while operating properly, I'll be the same again if I ever revisit the airways for a little blast in the future.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 22 Feb 2018, 22:45
by Checkpointcharlie
Get your finger out and crack on with the 3 exams and stop whining like little kids as to why not to progress.....have a good weekend ya slackers :-)

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 23 Feb 2018, 20:19
by Transwarp
Checkpointcharlie wrote:
22 Feb 2018, 22:45
Get your finger out and crack on with the 3 exams and stop whining like little kids as to why not to progress.....have a good weekend ya slackers :-)
Ok, I've got my finger out for you! :)

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 23 Feb 2018, 21:50
by Checkpointcharlie
Transwarp wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 20:19
Checkpointcharlie wrote:
22 Feb 2018, 22:45
Get your finger out and crack on with the 3 exams and stop whining like little kids as to why not to progress.....have a good weekend ya slackers :-)
Ok, I've got my finger out for you! :)
Well done how about pulling your finger out and getting a real license then or are you going to continue whining on about as the why not to progress, if theirs one thing I have learned in this hobby it's full of toe dippers that should have had their baby ticket revoked years ago.

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 24 Feb 2018, 08:16
by thedeerhunter270
Checkpointcharlie wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 21:50
if theirs one thing I have learned in this hobby
There is - or there's - not thiers :)

Grammar Police

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 24 Feb 2018, 13:43
by Transwarp
Checkpointcharlie wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 21:50
Transwarp wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 20:19
Checkpointcharlie wrote:
22 Feb 2018, 22:45
Get your finger out and crack on with the 3 exams and stop whining like little kids as to why not to progress.....have a good weekend ya slackers :-)
Ok, I've got my finger out for you! :)
Well done how about pulling your finger out and getting a real license then or are you going to continue whining on about as the why not to progress, if theirs one thing I have learned in this hobby it's full of toe dippers that should have had their baby ticket revoked years ago.
:roll: Same old lines, I ain't biting. Got my finger out again though if it pleases you? :lol:

Re: Proposed changes to Foundation syllabus

Posted: 25 Feb 2018, 00:49
by Checkpointcharlie
thedeerhunter270 wrote:
24 Feb 2018, 08:16
Checkpointcharlie wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 21:50
if theirs one thing I have learned in this hobby
There is - or there's - not thiers :)

Grammar Police
Another long term FL......................................