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post #1 of 12 Old Dec 15th, 2006, 11:02 pm Thread Starter
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QST - End of an Era - QST

FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes

NEWINGTON, CT, Dec 15, 2006 -- In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission today adopted, but hasn't yet released, the long-awaited Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235, the "Morse code" proceeding.

Full story at the ARRL website

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post #2 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 7:30 am
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Kinda like when the USN eliminated Flashing light and semaphore from its communications arsanel years ago. The new technology evolves into a cultural change. But that doesn't mean I have to give up CW!


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post #3 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 8:46 am
 
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Wow!

Kind of makes sense I guess - that was the big hurdle/filter that kept a lot of guys from moving up the license ladder.

I spent 10x longer studying the code then I did all the rest put together...
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post #4 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 11:07 am
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I hate to see it go

I hate to see it go away as it means we're dumbing it down to the least common denominator. You thought CB was bad. Wait until the truckers don't have to take a test to be legal with 2KW mobile.

CW is still the most effective use of the radio spectrum. Advanced class license since 1984, when 13 words a minute was still the requirment for General and Advanced. We won't talk about how long it took me to get from no license to Technician though.

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post #5 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 12:57 pm
 
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Originally Posted by Steve_R
I hate to see it go away as it means we're dumbing it down to the least common denominator. You thought CB was bad. Wait until the truckers don't have to take a test to be legal with 2KW mobile.

CW is still the most effective use of the radio spectrum. Advanced class license since 1984, when 13 words a minute was still the requirment for General and Advanced. We won't talk about how long it took me to get from no license to Technician though.
hehehe... i remember countless cassette tapes and then the big leap to programs for the PC that would generate code! many many evenings studying....

You are 100% correct of course, it was and probably still is the most efficient use of the spectrum....

I'll never forget the thrill of finally getting my last state (HI) for my WAS as a novice - it was some upper license guy doing a good deed and spending time with us ham-fisted novices....
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post #6 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 4:46 pm
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I have WAS (CW), DXCC (CW). I could see this coming years ago - ham radio operators were getting too old, with too few newbies entering the ranks. Only question was how to get around the international treaties that required CW proficiency for a ham ticket. Guess they figured it out.

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post #7 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 5:26 pm
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Anyone still remember CW from the Boy Scouts? It was a requirement for 1st class. There was a requirement in one of the merit badges for semaphore.

Guess it just proves that I'm all filled up. Some new fact came in and forced out all the CW years ago!!

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post #8 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 6:04 pm
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it's about damn time.

i'm a long time ham who had never been able to pick up code. maybe i'm stupid... or maybe it's the tinnitus. or the years of having stuff go bang, boom, or get blown up while working for uncle sam? either way, many (most?) of the older elmer types simply scoff at the notion that someone cannot learn code... it's the old "i had to do it, and so do you" or "in my day..." guess the industry and the FCC finally figured out all those guys are dying off and they need new blood if the industry is to survive. I donít for a second believe it is the dumbing down of anything Ė the FCC is pretty righteous about enforcement and they still arenít handing out licenses. You have to spend a lot of time & effort in studying theory in order to get a ticket with higher privileges.

Morse code as a requirement for a ticket is complete bullshit and has been for the last twenty years. I can't imagine how many people who were interested in the hobby have been turned off by the code requirement. Iím not saying Morse doesnít have a place and itís not an exciting thing for some people Ė and I can imagine there are some very limited (but probably not real world) circumstances in which that is the only way to communicate.

good riddance.
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post #9 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 7:41 pm Thread Starter
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Oh for pity's sake, they didn't outlaw CW!

The FCC has simply joined the rest of the modern world in removing CW "proficiency" as a barrier to the HF bands. ITU dropped CW requirements in 2003 - no one 'got around' anything. Many other countries took advantage of the ITU rule changes and dropped CW requirements years ago. Have any of you noticed an influx of LIDS on the HF bands in the past 2 or 3 years? As is normal and part of our heritage, on air behavior will be determined by us, ourselves. How we react to and encourage behaviors. Self policing, not exclusivist membership requirements. That has been and will continue to be what sets hams apart.

As for "the most efficient" use of spectrum - consider some of the newer modes. Being able to carry on dozens of QSOs within the same narrow slice of spectrum as PSK31 can, is pretty impressive! (I'm embarrassed to admit I can't cite the relative bandwidths at the moment, but the question does motivate me to find out!) I'd venture a guess that many decrying the loss of this access barrier have never even tried PSK31 let alone it's even more efficient derivatives or cousins. If anything, 'encouraging' hams back into experimentation, trying new schemes and methods will only benefit everyone. If a QSO can be exchanged off the fleeting ions of the briefest of meteorite trails, I'm sure we can not only develop but make common such schemes that would allow many multiples of QSOs to occur on the same or nearly same frequencies.

Technology and progress have done away with the need for horse drawn carriages, home thrown stoneware and candles for lighting. But, those things and the skills to make and use them continue. CW will continue, it'll be used - it'll be taught. Many a generation to come will enjoy CW as many in the past have. Maybe even more now since it's no longer forced.

What the FCC has done is make access requirements to the HF bands pertinent.

Tate

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post #10 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 7:45 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
How we react to and encourage behaviors. Self policing, not exclusivist membership requirements. That has been and will continue to be what sets hams apart.
Kinda like this community, huh?

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post #11 of 12 Old Dec 16th, 2006, 8:19 pm
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Still remember when Dad took me to the Federal Customs House in Boston in 1961 to take the 13 wpm code test for the General ticket. A man of the cloth and I were the only ones in that day. I passed and he didn't. He said some words that I think he had to explain at the Pearly Gates. He was much older than I at the time. Forty five years later and I still remember the code @ 20!
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post #12 of 12 Old Dec 17th, 2006, 9:41 am
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About time!


Had a buddy loan me a couple of code tapes, listened to them for about 3 hours driving to a service call. Had most of it down pretty good and then started thinking. Why am I learning something that I have no interest in and therefore will never use? My head is about full of stuff right now that I'm surprised I even remember where I live so why clutter it up even more?

Guess I'll have to figure out a way to get a radio mounted on the LT now. Was going to just hang a 2 meter rig on it but shoot, where will that 706 fit? Where and how to mount that screw driver antenna.

Looking forward to HF now

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