El Presidente Speaks
At the July meeting, the question was raised as to "How our Association could help and assist members?" The Association is in good financial health as a result of the members support of the Hamfest and of course, yearly dues.
There are a number of activities that members may participate in throughout the year, such as: Hamfest, Field Day, Highway clean-up, 2 meter ARES Net, 10 meter CW Net, Fat Tire Fiesta, picnics, Christmas dinner and regular monthly meetings.
The main budget items of SARA are the maintenance of the Socorro repeater, expenses associated with the yearly Hamfest and postage/publication of the monthly newsletter.
It appears that SARA could assist members in a number of other ways. For example: acquiring instruments, ham publications, video tapes, cd-roms and other items that could be made available for the membership to utilize. These could be items that are not an everyday needed accessory to a ham station, but would be useful on an occasional basis.
These are just a few examples of ways our membership could further benefit by being SARA members, in addition to all the activities mentioned earlier.
It would be nice to hear from the membership, how members feel about this initiative. Whether it is a good idea or not, what kind of items would be of general interest, whether a sub-committee should be created to look into these matters, further ideas and suggestions.
It would be appreciated if the enclosed (see end of newsletter) questionnaire could be filled out by every member and returned to one of the club officers.
YOUR RESPONSE IS IMPORTANT! (See form at end of newsletter) Thanks Al (AC5BX)
Under the plan adopted by the Board, the entry level to Amateur Radio would be known as Class D and would convey the privileges of the present Technician license. The written examination would be at the same level of difficulty as that of the present Technician examination, but consistent with the privileges of the license. All amateurs now licensed as Technicians would become Class D.
The next step would be known as Class C and would convey the privileges of the present General license, but with phone subbands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. Class C would be the entry level to high frequency (HF) operating privileges. To upgrade from Class D to Class C, an amateur would pass a written examination on the operational and technical qualifications required for HF operation and a 5 word per minute Morse code examination. All amateurs now licensed as General, Technician Plus, and Novice would become Class C. The expansion of the telephony sub-bands would result from "refarming" of the Novice CW bands that are no longer required for their original purpose.
The third step would be known as Class B and would convey the privileges of the present Advanced license, but with phone subbands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. To upgrade from Class C to Class B, an amateur would pass a more advanced written examination similar in difficulty to the present Element 4A and a 12 word per minute Morse code examination. All amateurs now licensed as Advanced would become Class B.
The final step would be known as Class A and would convey the full privileges of the present Amateur Extra Class, with telephony sub-bands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. To upgrade from Class B to Class A, an amateur would be required to pass the most difficult written examination in the sequence. Consistent with the practice in many other countries, no additional Morse code examination would be required beyond 12 words per minute. All amateurs presently licensed as Amateur Extra Class would become Class A.
In their discussions, Board members emphasized that the objective is to rationalize and simplify the amateur licensing structure without reducing the requirements for any class of license. Where reductions in Morse code requirements are proposed, there would be a corresponding increase in written examination standards. On the other hand, Board members were adamant that simplifying the structure should not come at the expense of privileges already earned by amateurs. Therefore, present Novice and Technician Plus licensees, having earned entry-level HF operating privileges, would be granted the new entry-level HF license.
Adoption of the simplification plan marks the culmination of 30 months of work by the Board, during which time the input of literally thousands of ARRL members and other amateurs and prospective amateurs was considered. The Board debated a wide variety of options including both smaller and larger numbers of license classes, higher and lower qualification levels, and different privileges. Nine of the 15 Directors voted in favor of the plan, with six opposed. Following the meeting ARRL President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, observed, "The debate was at times contentious and the result was not unanimous. Some Board members preferred greater simplification; others were uncomfortable with some of the changes being proposed. However, every Board member, without exception, left the meeting knowing that each of his or her colleagues did what they believe is best for the future of Amateur Radio."
Members are urged to contact their ARRL directors to comment on this proposal. E-mail addresses are on page 10 of any issue of QST. Members also may comment on the proposal via the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org or via e-mail at restruxATarrl.org.
Again, I must apologize for not getting the Newsletter out in a timely manner. My work schedule has been horrendous these last few months and everytime I think that there is light at the end of the tunnel so I can perform my extra-curricular obligations, the light goes out and all hell breaks loose.
Two quick items, please take time to respond to the ARRL item that appears in this issue as it will have an affect on all of us. Second, at the bottom of this issue is a questionnaire, please fill it out and return it to any of the club officers....this is important and has a direct affect on your club benefits.
By now you've noticed a different format .... comments on yea or nay would be appreciated. Thanks -ed.
PO Box 132
Lemitar, NM 87823
INITIATIVE TO BENEFIT SARA MEMBERS : Name:________________________ Call sign: ______________ Class of license: _______________________________________________________ Are you in favor or not of this initiative?____YES/NO If YES, indicate what items should be considered:__________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Suggestions for other activities, etc. ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Enclose additional pages if desired. Send your response to: SARA, P.O. Box 132 , Lemitar NM 87823 or turn in at meeting or give to any club Officer.