Open note to the ARRL and amateur radio clubs

9 Feb 2017

Today when scanning my Facebook feeds, I see across various amateur radios groups that the ARRL has posted a poll asking various questions, primarily for the goal of "how to attract younger people to amateur radio". The current link as of early Feb 2017 is HERE. They ask licensed amateurs to "Please complete and submit the survey no later than April 7, 2017. Survey results will be published." Clicking on the survey link, they state:
What are the problems we're trying to solve?
- The declining population of new hams under the age of 30.
- A decline in the number of new licensees who actually get on the air.
- Amateur Radio's lack of appeal for those under the age of 30, compared to other technical hobbies.
- The increasing challenge of engaging and retaining Technician licensees.
- A reluctance in much of the amateur community to embrace newer technologies of interest to the younger segment of the population.

The working mission:
- Encourage students and young adults to learn about ham radio.
- Train licensees for concepts necessary to be effective and successful.
- Provide sufficient privileges that will make Amateur Radio more attractive.
- Build in a strong incentive to upgrade to next license level.

If you were to design the perfect entry level license for ham radio, what would it be like?

Please bear in mind: no decisions have been made yet. This project will not advance until we have your input as an ARRL member.


While I did fill out their survey, I figured I would use my own medium, my website, to go into a little bit more detail on how I see things, my viewpoint regarding their survey and how/why the majority of requests and submissions will completely miss the underlying cause, or many will speak out against it altogether. I did this primarily because they limited the customized responses to just 500 words, and as you continue down this page, you can see I am well past that.
The majority of the topics and issues they presented really have little to do with the FCC, except for the lack of enforcement, where they typically only step in if someone is interfering with another service like an airport or emergency departments (fire, police, EMS). I cover this in greater detail towards the end so I will not go deeper here.

First, lets see a few initial knee jerk comments from real people found on Facebook regarding these proposed changes (names removed):

  • Nope. No way. No how. Not a good idea. The HF Bands are already full of lids and Alpha Hotels, so lets open up the doors so that the masses of idiots can flood in?
  • They need to be MORE concerned with all the folks that are buying the these cheap chinese radios and using them without a license on the ham bands. (My response was: don't blame the tool, bad people will always find a way to use a tool in a bad way.)
  • I just can't believe that less than 20 years after slimming down the license structure, we again can't resist adding another license class. If left to our own long enough, we just can't help ourselves from making something more complicated, requesting more rules from contest sponsors, demanding more oversight from the FCC, rallying congressmen for meaningless bills, etc.

So as you can see there are plenty of vocal opinions, but the majority of commentary either falls along the line of useless (as seen in the first comment), advocating no change, or further reducing the frequencies available to the Tech license (which has little to no bearing on the attempt to attract younger people).

Personally, I believe they should allow for a small slice of the 15 and 20m bands to the Tech license like they do with 10m, such as CW/data 21.050-21.100 and 14.050-14.100, and upper sideband voice only on 21.300-350 and 14.285-305. Why? Because the band openings for 10m are so remote except for every 11 years during the peak of the sunspots, and outside of that 1-3 years, 10m is almost completely dead, requiring expensive equipment like big 5-7 element beams, tuners, and equipment). Access to 15m and 20m should allow for at least a taste of what is available to the General and Extra licenses. I believe the lack of HF access by a Tech license is the biggest reason many stay with their Tech license for long periods of time (plus the high costs of HF capable radios). There will always be those few that have no interest in long distance communication and are happy in their little 2m/70cm bubble for their local area, which is fine, but they tend to be the exception.

So with that out there, I feel I can help contribute a bit more from several fronts on this topic. Why? Well because at age 38 I am almost half the age of the typical licensed amateur (a bit of an exaggeration and joking jab at my fellow hams), I have school age children that show at least some interest in technology, and I myself work in IT.

With that, lets cover their key concerns:
1. The declining population of new hams under the age of 30. - Honestly I believe the biggest growth of amateurs in the past decade has been in the age 30-50 bracket. This age group is more likely to see the dangers of "always on" technology and prefers the more open one on one aspect of talking with a person over the air, but will also associate with them online in social mediums such as Facebook or For the younger generation (school age), the decline is caused by multiple factors, including the availability of instant social communication tools that the young generations uses such as the cell phone itself, Facebook, texts, Skype, snapchat, and so on, plus the primarily "one way" tools such as instagram, twitter, and so on. With all of these, there is always the "response" factor where there is the quick responses from friends, or with other tools the time delayed hundreds or even thousands of likes, thumbs up, responses, etc. With amateur radio, there is no equivalent. You cannot send out an image on SSTV via 14.230MHz and get responses in the form of likes over the next few weeks and months, at best you can get a single response to form a QSO with one other person.

So what is the answer? Well I do not have bulletproof answers, but I do have some ideas and suggestions. The key aspect is that this younger generation (and even my generation to some extent) does not like "hanging out" with people their parents or grandparents (or great-grandparents) age, although they would be more comfortable with people their parents age or younger. When the large majority of licensed amateurs is at or above retirement age, they typically have no clue about current technology nor how to attract younger people to amateur radio, it ends up a patchwork of failed ideas year after year. In some cases they eventually give up and just enjoy the company of each other on the air and at the clubhouse and events. When I showed up to a local club 2 years ago after being licensed, there were only 2 other people that were NOT of retirement age. Since then they have slowly grown and the meetings/tech nights typically have more people closer to my age.

My suggestions:

  1. Create a series of pamphlets that can be sent out to public and private schools recommending they create an "Amateur Radio Club". Many schools across the US already have a radio club, sometimes as a part of the A/V clubs, but this is a very small number with clubs compared to the whole. Also I believe that you are more likely to get a program like this through private schools, as they typically are looking for more clubs and aspects to get the students involved at and after school.
  2. Another suggestion is get those closer to my age to create small "side" clubs aimed at those under 50 years old. I know this aspect could be a bit sensitive as many of these retirees like to be involved in EVERYTHING ham related in their area or region, so to be excluded could be a sensitive subject. It should be brought up at the larger club meetings and described in a way to say they are not banned, but the goal is to bring in younger amateurs that may not want to always associate with the older generation. They are more likely to be comfortable with people their age (my age) or for those still in middle/high school, more comfortable with people their parents age. They could be tasked with contacting local and regional schools to help push the idea of school based amateur radio clubs.
  3. Work with the local churches that have youth groups and meetings of their own, and see if there would be any interest in creating a club license (or an arm of the local existing amateur club), able to be used by both the licensed amateurs in the area, but also attempt to get some of the younger groups involved as well. A simple 2m or dual band local radio and a basic HF rig (that can be easily removed and stored when not in use), plus simple antennas (like a resonant HF dipole just above the roof), is all that is really needed to get on the air.
  4. Homeschool groups - This is one of the biggest growing movements across this country yet an untapped potential for helping to teach the kids (and parents) about the scientific aspects of amateur radio including propagation, resonance, and so much more. With a General/Extra in the household, they could use HF to chat and share ideas and information with others via a "homeschool net", or even the same type of net (with permission) through a linked repeater network or repeater up on a mountain to chat with other homeschoolers in the region, outside of their immediate city.
  5. Usage of internet based programs and apps such as Echolink - One of the biggest issues I see regarding new technology like this is the comments from the long time amateurs in the "retirement generation" saying that is not amateur radio. Realistically, when SSB and FM was gaining steam, the older generation at the time said the same thing. There will always be those die hard "keep things as they were decades ago", resistant to change.
  6. Ask those vocal few that attack the low priced "Chinese" equipment, such as Baofeng radios, to please stop. I honestly believe that the availability of these low priced radios has been a savior to amateur radio, bringing in people that would otherwise be unable to afford a $300 name brand handheld/mobile radio. The younger generation doesn't want to be a part of a group of bickering old people. To make it worse, they either help spread or cite some bogus spurious emission test done by some biased person that purposely misaligned their equipment to ensure they fail. I have seen several such tests recently, one by a guy named "Bryan" where he tested a UV-82 (actually a UV-82X) and a Motorola. You can watch the two videos side by side and see the "Boafeng test" was obviously set up to fail before the PTT was even pressed. These types do more to harm to amateur radio than the lawful respectful licensees that use whatever radio they want legally.

2. A decline in the number of new licensees who actually get on the air. - I will not go in quite as much depth here but will cover some key aspects I have noticed.
One of them involves several points I mentioned above. I believe one of the biggest hindrances to keeping people on the air are the long time licensees that go after and attack the newly licensed, even for the smallest missteps (such as saying their ID at 12 minutes instead of 10), or in many cases the new ham asking what the elder deems a "stupid question" and being attacked and berated for it. If they ask "what is the most power I can use with my radio?", they shouldn't be responded to in a rude fashion with "if you had actually studied for your license you would know the answer!" Unfortunately this is becoming much more common and I believe is one of the primary reasons why someone who recently got their license decides to stop getting on the air and sets the radio aside or sells it.
Another aspect I've found is what I call the "clique" or "elitism" perspective that many long time amateurs share. A newer ham with an unfamiliar call sign makes a call over the air (typically through a local repeater), and gets no response. There may be 50 others monitoring the frequency but because of this prevalent clique-ish or elitist attitude, none of them respond. I could not count the number of times I heard where a new ham calls with no answer (some of those times me being the new ham), and then a few minutes later one of the long time hams makes their own call and is immediately responded to by another long time ham and tie up the repeater with their own conversation for some time. In some cases the new ham tries to interject to take part in the conversation and is completely ignored, making matters worse. There needs to be requests made by ARRL and the local clubs to have "etiquette meetings" where they cover topics like responding to new/unfamiliar call signs. I know I am not the most sociable person, but I still try to respond to calls whenever possible regardless if I am familiar with the call sign or not.
Next comes the aspect of people that have had overall positive experiences as a Tech through their local repeaters, but then they get their General license and an HF radio. Tuning into any frequency near 14.313 or 7.200 and the majority of the time it is profanity laced verbal garbage and attacks. Many times they move to other frequencies and purposely interfere. It continues because there is almost no enforcement coming from the FCC, so the problem just gets worse every year. I have seen quite a few people get their General license and within a few months sell their HF radio, never to upgrade to Extra and never to use HF again, because of these daily abusive occurrences. Add in these people who think they own the band, they purposely interfere with other modes they believe should not be using "their frequencies" such as SSTV, FreeDV, PSK, JT65, and others. I go into the enforcement mention in more detail below.

3. Amateur Radio's lack of appeal for those under the age of 30, compared to other technical hobbies. - This is a tough one, as today we have so many different options for hobbies and "time wasters". I take part in several myself including some online gaming, 3D printing, and more. I can only suggest combining them. I recently gave a presentation at a local amateur clubs "tech night" regarding 3D printing. Part of my presentation included the capability to create your own custom "things" but tied it into amateur radio such as a case for a homemade transceiver, a mic holder, an HT holder for your desk or car, and more. I had several examples that I had printed and was passed around the room. One ham even bought several desk/table top HT holders from me after that meeting.
Too often there is this perspective that each hobby is exclusive and relates only to other parts of the same hobby, instead of many of them having the capability to cross over, such as my 3D printing your own radio case example proved. Other examples could be Echolink for combining computer/tablet technology with radios, creating a small side "off road radio club", a "fishing radio club", and so much more.
Show these younger people SSTV and PSK and equate them to texting pictures and words on their phone, except this goes out over the air for anyone to see and respond to, many times overseas. Work with the bigger companies to provide easier texting capabilities through their digital modes like Fusion and DMR. Show off APRS and how it can be used to share their location with their friends, or combine the APRS plus digital text mode to invite them to where they are, without actually saying "I am at the football field".

4. The increasing challenge of engaging and retaining Technician licensees. - This one directly relates to my comments above for #2, so I will not go into that again.

5. A reluctance in much of the amateur community to embrace newer technologies of interest to the younger segment of the population. - This one is also partially covered in #3 above. As we know most people as they get to and past retirement age (the majority of licensed amateurs) tend to be much more resistant to change. Many of them either limit their exposure due to lack of understanding, or sometimes become a hermit (only to come out to the local amateur club events). I deal with this on a daily basis with my father-in-law. He does not use a computer ever, he does not have a cell phone, and he is very much a hermit in the example above (except he is not a licensed ham). To him, I have learned to share and show off the newer technology in very limited quantities as there is so much that he would not even understand the words describing it. He still has no idea what texting is or any of the new social or technological advances. Luckily I have gotten him introduced to some newer simple technology like Netflix (through an Amazon Fire Stick, with a very simple easy remote). Occasionally I show him one of my latest prints from my 3D printer, but when he asks how it works, I have to use the simplest terminology possible (for example, "I load it into the computer, have the program convert it into something the printer understands, and then click print").
So when it comes to much of this new technology, it is a massive change that has come very quickly, even in my lifetime. My basic $30 smartphone is faster and can do so much more than the big bulky Windows 3.1/DOS computers I used in high school. So I do understand the need to pace the introduction of new technology into amateur radio, but at the same time I truly believe this pace has been severely hindered by these long time amateurs solely for the sake of resistance to change.
My suggestion here is twofold:
1. Get some of the younger licensees to participate in "Tech Nights" through the local clubs, as I do. 2 different local clubs have 1 business meeting per month, and 1 tech night per month (they have them coordinated so they do not interfere with each other, and always on a Thursday). Allow for technical topics that may otherwise not be directly related to amateur radio, as I did giving my presentation on 3D printing. Some locals "play" with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards (as I do too), and have done tech nights on them. Learn to use apps on a tablet like QRZ, repeaterbook, Echolink, Zello, and more, and then "report" on them at a tech night. At the local club meetings, gathering, and events, show off that newest release Chinese radio and ignore the hypocritical anti-Chinese crowd. New technology becomes much less scary and more widely accepted when people start using it.
2. Have the FCC and ARRL adjust the band plans so there are dedicated slices of frequencies for digital modes and experimentation. I know this will be met with fierce resistance as these long time amateurs who believe that these bands are "owned" by amateurs (or themselves) and should be placed with the least number of limitations so they can essentially do what they want. Sadly this elitism and ownership belief includes attacking people using other modes they feel or think should not be used in "their" slice of the spectrum. I see it all the time with people who think "I did not hear any SSTV signals in 14.230MHz so I am going to call CQ and try to chat with people", yet they know any voice usage at 14.230 will very likely interfere with someones SSTV transmission, but they still do so purposely and solely because they have this belief of ownership of these frequencies that supersedes everyone else.
I truly believe this is a much needed adjustment, to set aside dedicated and enforced frequency sections solely for digital use. These designations should be set as "digital modes only" including SSTV, FreeDV (digital voice), RTTY, PSK, and data, no voice allowed. I would say they would need a 1 year transitional period so people can be informed and move their voice chatter and nets away from these frequencies.
I believe this needs to be written into the FCC code as well which would allow them full law enforcement for purposeful interference, essentially wording such as "any purposeful interference, which would include using CW or analog/sideband phone/voice" on any frequency designated as -digital mode only- is subject to enforcement under existing FCC regulations, with fines no less than $20,000 per verified violation." and "digital modes allowed in the digital only sections of the bands mentioned, would include but not limited to (using their most common name designations) PSK and related modes, JT65, FreeDV, SSTV, digital voice, and others that may be added to the list as new digital modes and technologies emerge". I would also make sure there is the mention that "while these digital modes theoretically could be used anywhere in the bands, it is strongly encouraged to limit it to the digital only portions when possible, especially for the VHF and higher frequency bands", which would free up usage for analog voice and CW users in the rest of the band. I would also suggest a mention of these modes also used through repeaters such as Fusion, D-Star, and DMR, "while repeater use of the digital modes is allowed, simplex usage is strongly recommended to be done within the digital only designated parts of the band." With the wording of "strongly recommended" and "suggested", it should help push these users to the proper sections, and help alleviate some of the worries that digital will encroach on analog voice portions of the bands, but of course there will always be those few that will ignore the rules and law to purposely interfere using voice on the digital only portions, this is where the FCC enforcement would need to step up.

My HF band suggestions:

  • 10m: 28.5-28.7MHz
  • 15m: 21.070-21.200
  • 20m: 14.070-150 and 14.225-14.245 (this is because PSK and JT65 are well seated at 14.070 and 14.076, and digital modes like SSTV and FreeDV are used at 14.227, 230, 233, and 236).
  • 40m: 7.065-7.100, and 7.175-7.190
  • 80m: 3.570-3.600, but also bring the current N, G, and A limits down from 3.525 to 3.500.
Then for the higher frequencies:
  • 2m: 144.100-144.200
  • 1.25m: 219-222 (giving back the lost 220-222 slice to amateurs, even if limited to secondary use)
  • 70cm: 425-430

Then the other key to it all, enforcement. Listen to any repeater in areas of any major city (like Los Angeles, Chicago, NYC, which I have done several times through Echolink), listen to 14.313, listen to 7.200, and all you hear is foul mouthed rude abusive people, almost none of them giving their call sign ever. So many laws and rules broken on a daily basis, all in easy earshot of anyone tuning in. While I believe in a free Constitutional Republic, I also believe that freedom of speech does not cover these people telling others to shut up with profanity or verbally attacking others on a daily basis. If we are to help amateur radio, the FCC needs to step up, track down the worst abusers, confiscate their equipment, and levy harsh fines ($20,000 or more per offense). Within a single year of catching even 100 of the worst, could result in an additional $2 million in revenue for the FCC, plus the threat of increased enforcement means a lot less purposeful interference. If anything similar to my mentioned band adjustment is made plus the increased enforcement should at least keep the crude chatter to a minimum on the air and allow them to take their garbage and rude griping off the air. When it comes to our roadways, the key to enforcing the speed limit is a known and regular presence of law enforcement in that area, our air waves are no different.
There is enough new technology that could greatly assist with quick location tracking of signals. While I do not have the knowledge or programming capability to do so, I do have the ideas of how it could be implemented. Use 5 HF capable stations at 5 locations with multiband HF directional beams, such as southern CA, remote area of WA state, New England area, southeastern US, and one in the middle of KS or NE. Then remote access from a single location to be able to turn the beams, detect signal strength, and as long as at least 3 of them can get at least a weak signal from the offending station, the computer triangulation could be used to greatly narrow down the location, in most cases within a mile or two. I am sure they have a database of previous offenders, and they could cross reference the list wit the location and narrow it down further. Then a small team of 5, each with location tracking system on the specially setup vehicle (at least 4-5 available at each of the major FCC regional offices around the US) travels to the area, narrows it down even further and the hammer comes down. If current amateurs can do the same thing with a $30 radio, a homemade yagi, and a compass, the FCC can do it without wasting too many resources, and tracking leading to enforcement could be done much quicker than ever before.

I am well aware everyone has their opinions. Some are overly optimistic with "we can all share the bands" as if it was all ponies and rainbows, suggesting people turn the dial if they don't like what they hear or want to call CQ. I have heard too much over the air to know that is not possible, too many voice users will and already do "park" on the digital frequencies like 14.230 solely to use voice and make false claims that "they did not know they were interfering" with SSTV despite that being common knowledge to everyone with an HF license. Versus with a dedicated digital only slice of the spectrum, there can be no doubt they were purposely interfering. Some are too pessimistic with claims of the "digital users and modes taking over the airwaves", forcing out the analog voice and CW users. That will never happen. I have heard and seen too many long time Extras that believe they should have the final say in all changes, which always means no changes unless it greatly benefits ONLY Extra licensees, and vehemently vocal against any loss of "their" frequencies, usually placing self imposed priority on their opinions over others. Of course the majority of troublemakers and rule breakers on the air are Extras on HF, or unlicensed users on CB/VHF/UHF.
I on the other hand am more towards the middle, cautions and realistic. If we want to look forward to the new and possible emerging technologies, both the ARRL and FCC need to adopt and set aside specific dedicated slices in at minimum the 6 major bands (40m, 20m, 15m, 10m, 2m, and 70cm) solely for digital usage, no analog voice aka "phone", no CW, even if this means a slight adjustment to the band plans. I offered several options above for the various bands, other possible options could be expanding the bands, for example 20m to include digital only at 14.350-14.370 and similar adjustments for the 4 major HF bands. Some slices of the spectrum may be a bit more crowded above and below their frequency ranges, such as 2m and 70cm, but each of those bands have good portions that are rarely used in the majority of the country, such as the low end of 2m in the 144.100-145MHz range, and low end of 70cm from 421 to 440MHz, so we may as well allow for them to be put to a different use. I am not suggesting we adjust 2m to give a full 1MHz to digital, that is just asinine, but each of the bands do need dedicated digital only section of frequencies.

Since I have mostly spoken about the airwaves, I have not really covered the equipment and personal use side of things. There is no use setting aside frequencies if there is nothing to use it, right? As of right now, there are already lots of digital modes in use, but most of them date back to the days of 2MB RAM and serial devices being the norm. Today we have technology and devices that can decode a PSK signal in real time and still be able to run 50 other programs without heating up. I have seen where people use a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero with a few other parts to run a full PSK/JT65 setup to/from their HF radio, and it decodes these modes in real time with no delay. A $5 computer today doing things that a $3000 computer 20 years ago struggled with.
There are other options such as FreeDV (Free Digital Voice) that has been slowly gaining momentum among a small subset of amateurs, but sadly are constantly shut out by people refusing to give up the frequency due to their self perceived superiority. The primary frequency it is used on is 14.236MHz, but on a daily basis, there can be a digital voice QSO in progress for some time, and some joker comes along starting up transmissions in analog voice. The problem is if they are chatting in digital, they cannot hear the analog signal asking "is the frequency in use?", and the analog user just hears some noise thinking it is just some background noise. In many cases, we switch back to analog, hear them talking and have to repeatedly and many times 30 minutes or more tell them they are interfering and they need to change frequencies. the most common response to use telling them? Nothing, the majority of the time they completely ignore us and keep talking, despite us knowing that they can hear at least one of the 3 of us telling them they're interfering.
Regarding FreeDV, there are some companies like Flex that are starting to include this as an option in their radios. The adjustment of the frequency spectrum with a digital only slice should open the door for more companies to do this as more people would like to try the newer technologies, but advancement is continuously hindered by jokers thinking they own the airwaves and purposely interfering. At least with a dedicated slice, and enforcement support by the FCC, we can hopefully get the advancement needed towards creating and using them on a regular basis.
The other aspect from the hardware side that is really surprising to me is how many brand new models are sticking to the 1980s technology with serial ports, or serial only support through serial-to-USB adapters. USB has been around over 20 years and is the defacto standard for external devices connecting to computers, so why are these amateur radio companies and manufacturers still relying on old outdated slow technologies like serial connections? I can plug in my handheld to be programmed which requires a serial port adapter cable, and it takes 3 minutes via that slow 9600baud speed to program 30 channels which would equate to maybe 50KB worth of information? I can plug in my 64GB USB thumb drive and have 5GB written to it in that same timeframe. Under 10kbps versus minimum 11000kbps? The reliance on outdated slow serial technology need to stop. These companies need to step up and upgrade their boards and systems so I can program those 3 channels and it do so in a few seconds.
How about a multi-band HF radio with an Ethernet port that can be accessed and fully controlled via another computer or smart phone across the house? Press the red button to talk on the phone and it is just as if you're in front of the radio as the data and audio is passed both ways over the local network at minimum 11Mbps. A few companies are doing this like Flex and Ten-tec, but it is greatly resisted by the same long time elderly hams that have fought the rest of the changes to ham radio, yearning for the days of tube radios.
The progression into these new areas both on the hardware side and the airwaves has continuously met with great resistance from elderly amateurs so resistant to change, which is currently leaving the majority of amateurs with new radios based on technology from the 1980s. Look at the majority of even brand new models from most manufacturers, inside they may have newer better stabilized IF, chips, and so on, but the button and display on the front are still the same backlit generic LCD displays of the 1980s. I started with these types of displays with my Nintendo Gameboy in the late 1980s, it is time for a change inside and out. Luckily a few companies have dared to take that step, such as Yaesu with their new FT-991A, FT-400XDR, FT-450D. Kenwood continues to use the old boring cheap displays, Icom is using some new displays but only with their high end IC-7X000 series radios that cost over $1000. None of them offer a newer style LCD display manufactured after the 1980s in their baseline VHF/UHF models, despite the price of these screens being at an all time low. Have a look at a touch sensitive 5" screen typically used for a Raspberry Pi, they can be had for $10. A larger company buying 500 screens could likely get them for much cheaper, and be able to design a great looking radio around it, while still keeping it in the price range of budget minded amateurs (below $200).
Then here comes along those "dreaded Chinese radios". For a mere $100, you can get a QYT KT-7900D or 8900D mobile 25W radio with newer 2" full color LCD display, and the capability to monitor 4 frequencies at once, instead of just 1 or 2 from the rest of the manufacturers. Sadly they're still using the serial aspect for programming, but one step at a time. This opens the door for a lot more configurations and capabilities, that is sadly being led by the Chinese companies instead of the big 3, or even the 2nd tier like Anytone and Alinco.

So, there is no single, simple answer, but I hope some of my suggestions here are taken under consideration by the ARRL, FCC, local amateur clubs, and the radio manufacturers. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope my little rants did not detract from the overall message.

Take care and 73,