What Happened?

A reader writes:

I wanted to send you a note because you are in close contact with new Techs, and I’m wondering what your thoughts are. [If you look at the statistics (see figure below from www.ah0a.org), there is a]] very distinct decline in the number of new Techs that began exactly with the release of the last question pool. Is this a cause-and-effect thing or just coincidence?

Tech Licenses

The number of new Tech licenses seems to have declined since the release of the latest question pool.

I’m kind of at a loss to explain this. Looking at the charts for General and Extra, it doesn’t appear that this phenomenon can be explained by more hams upgrading. Does anyone have a possible explanation for the lack of growth in the number of Techs?


  1. I think it’s just a lag effect after a recent change. Look at the lag after the FCC dropped the CW requirement and a previous short drop after the previous new Tech Question Pool. And, put this in perspective. There has been only about 8% growth in Tech licenses from the bottom in June ’07 (more like 5% if you use the historic mean). That is pretty anemic growth to begin with. Could also just be that the effect of no CW and a likely push by radio mfgrs’ advertising sopped up all the suppressed demand and now that’s done. They’ll have to think up some other gimmick.

  2. Dwayne KA9KQH says:

    conjecture: People perceive amateur radio as an expensive hobby. The economy is apparently a little to sluggish or scary for people to spend much on non-essentials.

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