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Morse Code Requirement Dropped by ITU.

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All,

 

I received this email this morning about the code requirement and the ITU:

 

BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE:

 

Well, it finally happened. The ITU has adopted language at the just

concluded WARC-03 that drops the international treaty obligation for

member nations to require proficiency in morse code to issue an amateur

radio license for shortwave (HF) frequencies. Follows a quote from the

International Amateur Radio Union webpage:

 

"The old regulation that Morse was a requirement for the operators of

amateur stations below 30 MHz was found in a provision that read as

follows:

 

"'Any person seeking a license to operate the apparatus of an amateur

station shall prove that he is able to send correctly by hand and to

receive correctly by ear texts in Morse code signals. The

administrations concerned may, however, waive this requirement in the

case of stations making use exclusively of frequencies above 30 MHz.'

 

"That was replaced with a provision giving each administration the right

to decide whether or not Morse is a required qualification as follows:

 

"'25.5 Administrations shall determine whether or not a person seeking a

license to operate an amateur station shall demonstrate the ability to

send and receive texts in Morse code signals.'

 

"The alternative of simply deleting the old provision was rejected

because a number of administrations thought that the matter was so

important that a positive decision not to require Morse as a

qualification was appropriate. The effect is actually the same: Morse

code is no longer an internationally required qualification for an

amateur license, though an administration may still require it." (End

quote)

 

This is BIG NEWS for potential American licensees because the FCC has

implied in the past that the only reason they were retaining even the

feeble and easily circumvented code requirement in place was the

international treaty obligation.

 

It is difficult to accurately predict how soon this will affect US

licensing procedure; however, as it is the stated intention of the FCC

to get of the requirement as soon as possible, it seems logical to

assume that after the Senate ratifies the treaty (which, in the past,

has occurred without much debate), in a year or two the FCC will

completely eliminate the code requirement for US Amateur license

candidates.

 

END OF FORWARDED MESSAGE

 

Here's a link to article 25 at the International Amateur Radio Union's web page.

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I plan on getting my general before they drop the code. I think that the code is a very important requirement, not only that it makes you learn and work for something but it is the universal language.

 

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Speaking as a "low-code" Extra, I don't think dropping the code would be a problem.

 

I would like to see the written tests revamped to better reflect what you need to know on a practical basis.

 

Rather than the current license classes with frequency sub-bands, I have thought for a long time that they should replace it with one basic license with priviledges limited to basic voice and CW modes. The written could include assessment of the knowledge needed for CW, AM, FM, SSB. This would be plenty for the average Technician-type operator, and quite enough for geocaching.

 

If you want to use digital modes, have an endorsement and related test.

 

If you want to use ATV, have an endorsement and related test.

 

Of you want to use satellite, moonbounce, etc., have endorsements and tests that assess the knowledge required to be successful.

 

Tracking endorsements would be as simple as checking QRZ.COM, the same way you can check license class now.

 

I forgot, what did this topic have to do with geocaching again?

 

Dave_W6DPS

 

My two cents worth, refunds available on request. (US funds only)

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I agree with Dave. I have my extra class ticket and never used code ONCE after getting it...but....it really made me appriciate my ticket more and gave me a great sense of pride. In this day and age of "I want it now" I think even 5wpm would be appropiate for the begginer.

But hey, I do see both sides and would like to get some younger HAMs involved.

73s

Bob, N0WME

 

PARENTS....THE ANTI-DRUG

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I think it is a shame, because when you drop it, people won't learn it. First licenced in 1996, I got my Extra in 1998. Knowing code has made the hobby much more enjoyable these last few years at the peak of the sun-spot cycle.

 

It is much easier working DX on CW. When a station comes on SSB phone, you don't have a prayer when you have 100 watts and a one-element antenna (like 95% of Hams). I am amazed how often I can work them on the first few calls on CW. The pileups are usually much more orderly, with better operators on both sides.

 

Also, I have had many ragchews on CW with Hams around the world that I know don't speak english.

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quote:
Originally posted by EScout:

I think it is a shame, because when you drop it, people won't learn it.


 

People will still learn it if they want to use it... I think this will be good for Ham Radio.

 

Every time there has been a chage like this, they cry that its going to become like CB!

 

Well I'll tell you this, more than half the people I know that are Hams were CB'ers.

 

I was a CB'er and so was the rest of my family.

They are now all hams. 1 tech, 1 tech plus, 1 genral, and two extras. All ex-CB'ers

 

Noel

 

W8TVI's Geocaching Pictures

MIGO_logo_animated88x31.gif

GeoX Geocaching gear!

That torpedo did not self-destruct. You heard it hit the hull. And I....was never here.

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W8TVI: Who said anything about CB?

 

My point is that CW is a way to receive much more fun and satisfaction from the hobby if you like to work DX.. If you have ever screamed into a mic for 30 minutes with no success and then switched over to CW and worked the same DX station in 30 seconds, you would know what I mean.

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My personal opinion is that this may be a good thing. I must admit that the code is the one reason I never went passed Tech. I can learn the material without a problem (I have taken the general test) however learning code really is like learning a new language & I just haven't had the time (I can only stand Gordon West's voice for so long). I remember there was talk years ago when everything went to 5wpm that the bands would be impacted however at least around here it is hard to even get a QSO on a 2meter repeater in rush hour. I guess computers and cellphones are taking over the void amateur once filled.

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Dropping the code requirements is the best news that I have herd about the ham radio hobby in several years. icon_biggrin.gif

 

The questionable need to transmit ditty-dum-dim-ditty for at last the past 10 years, has caused a lack of interest in several potential hams.This is jeopardizing the take over and loss of bandwidth reserved for hams because of a lack of use and interest in obtaining the code proficiency that is required for the General license.

 

The few die-hard Hams icon_mad.gif that will continue to gripe and demand a code requirement that is now,.... so obsolete, icon_rolleyes.gif will scream like mashed cats because of this rulling, icon_eek.gif.....But that is what happened to the buggy whip manufactures when the automobile made horses as an obsolete method of transportation as the code is to communication. Now sit back and watch the radio industry gear up to the demand and we all benefit.

 

One more positive thing that the GWB administration has liberated us from, Thank you Mr.President. icon_biggrin.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by stutzismydog:

One more positive thing that the GWB administration has liberated us from, Thank you Mr.President. icon_biggrin.gif


 

Do you actually BELIEVE that GWB had ANYTHING to do with this?

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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Good morning Desert_Warrior~

 

You said..."Do you actually BELIEVE that GWB had ANYTHING to do with this?"

 

My answer=...Did GWB personally get involved in the details of the no code decession.....NO, But GWB's administration's appointee to the FCC happens to be Colin Powell son and they all march to the tune whistled by the leader GWB. Do you think that the no code requirement would have happened under the Kilngton debacle ??? I don't think so.

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All I want to say is, I hope that ham radio dosn't turn into being like the CB bands. I think the code requirement made you have to work for your ticket and kept out the jokers.

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quote:
Originally posted by stutzismydog:

 

My answer=...<snip> Do you think that the no code requirement would have happened under the Kilngton debacle ??? I don't think so.


 

I think that since the first major reduction in code happened under...wait let me think...Oh I remember, President Clinton (WJC), it is safe to say the FCC had very little to do with this much less bush. WJC had nothing to do with it either, we are but a very small, and very complacent part of the ITU.

 

More then likely, it has more to do with commercial interests worldwide who have now found viable uses for the 30 and below spectrum.

 

As to the "CB thing" as an OO I will tell you things have got much busier as the code requirement drops. As much as I would like to see code remain as a requirement (It will for many years) unfortunately most of the notices I write are for 20 wpm Extra's, so while I am sure there is probably some correlation somewhere, I'll be damned if I can find it so can't use this as an argument.

 

Also, and I have to do this (sorry), can bush even spell ITU? BRING ON THE FLAMES. icon_biggrin.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by stutzismydog:

Good morning Desert_Warrior~

 

You said..."Do you actually BELIEVE that GWB had ANYTHING to do with this?"

 

My answer=...Did GWB personally get involved in the details of the no code decession.....NO, But GWB's administration's appointee to the FCC happens to be Colin Powell son and they all march to the tune whistled by the leader GWB. Do you think that the no code requirement would have happened under the Kilngton debacle ??? I don't think so.


 

I hate to blow a hole in your hull and sink that theory... BUT... the FCC HAS NOT dropped the code requirement. They MAY - in the future. But for now, it is the ITU who has dropped the requirement. To the best of my knowledge, neither GWB or the young Mr. Powel are members of the ITU.

 

The ITU dropping the code DOES open the door for the FCC doing so, and they most likely do so in the future. But I seriously doubt GWB had anything to do with it. The ITU is made up of MANY member-nations, the USA is but one vote. More often than not, the other nations vote their own way anyway. As in the result on 7 MHz.

 

GWB has done a lot that I like. But I am afraid crediting him totally for this event is stretching it just a tad bit....

 

BTW, at least we agree on "Klinton". However, he had as little to do with it as GWB has. The FCC had been under a mandate for a number of years to streamline the system in EVERY service.

 

Mike. Desert_Warrior (aka KD9KC).

El Paso, Texas.

 

Citizens of this land may own guns. Not to threaten their neighbors, but to ensure themselves of liberty and freedom.

 

They are not assault weapons anymore... they are HOMELAND DEFENSE WEAPONS!

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The code requirement was dropped to 5 WPM under the Clinton administration. The primary reason was equality.....it was felt that not enough women and minorities were taking the Amateur exams, or that those that did, failed the code tests in too large numbers. They also significantly dropped the number of questions, and the number of exams from 5 to 3 (for the Extra license).

The result of dropping the speed to 5 WPM was that many Advanced and General class immediately upgraded to Extra. In the three years since the change, there has been no real net change in the number of licenced amateurs.

 

I still recommend learning code because: the phone portions of the HF bands are crowded, its much easier working DX stations on code, its easier to contact DX stations for casual ragchews on code, its fun using a small 5 watt rig on battery power in the field.

 

You don't need to know code if:

1.You have 1500 watts and a big beam.

2. You dont care about contacting DX stations.

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I got to tell ya, you came up with a new one.

 

In all my activities and all the contact with ARRL, etc I have never, ever heard that discrimination was an issue. Where did you hear this?

 

If in fact it is true, it has no basis in fact since learning the code takes little more then a brain stem and a desire (please note requirement two before jumping on me).

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I find this a very good thing. I've had this blok about learning code, and it might be fun to work some HF...and truthfully, if they do drop the code requirment, it'll take the pressure off, and I'll probably be able to finally learn code!

 

ApK

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I am currently learning code and the number of resources available are amazing... I'm planning on testing in August for elements 1 and 2.

 

For those that are interested, here's a really nice site (even lauded on ARRL's site)

 

Learn Morse Code

 

Even though I may never use it actively in CW, repeaters will send their ID's in Morse code and I'd like to be able to understand some of what is happening on CW, even if I cant copy verbatim.

 

There are other applications for using Morse Code, It's not just for Ham Radio anymore!

 

T.

 

Cadence

(OddTodd and CheleBell)

FRS2,12GMRS22(WPXD965)

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W5YI has petitioned for this along with No Code International for years.

 

This is old news. About the only reason it has been succesfull as of late is that the ARRL, contrary to what they tell us, has not fought as hard for it realizing that they don't make money if there ain't no hams.

 

Before you say it, I am a life subscriber to QST.

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quote:
Originally posted by Baloo&bd:

This is old news.


 

W5YI's advocacy may be old news, but the ITU dropped the code requirement in WRC-03. The FCC has always pointed to that international agreement as to why they have to keep the code requirement. What's news is that this formal request may actually go though.

 

The fact the process may take a couple of years until it actually becomes effective is what may put this is the "ho-hum" category.

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quote:
Originally posted by GeckoGeek:

quote:
Originally posted by Baloo&bd:

This is old news.


 

W5YI's advocacy may be old news, but the ITU dropped the code requirement in WRC-03. The FCC has always pointed to that international agreement as to why they have to keep the code requirement. What's news is that this formal request may actually go though.

 

The fact the process may take a couple of years until it actually becomes effective is what may put this is the "ho-hum" category.


 

You may be right...this was released today:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-237420A1.pdf

 

It doesn't look like they are fast tracking no code!

 

Never say Never...Never say Always!

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I didn't see where that press release addressed code at all. The only mention of the Amateur Service was regarding changes to the opertion of auxiliary stations.

 

I believe it's too early for the FCC to take any action regarding licensing changes. It would be unwise to rush into action just because they received the first petition. I'm sure more will be submitted. It appears theings are getting pretty screwed up by the UK's rush to drop code requirements (UK Hams appear to have lost the ability to operate on HF in other CEPT countries that haven't dropped code requirements), so as impatient as some no-coders may be, it's smarter for them to take their time and be sure it gets done right, rather just getting done fast.

 

-----

~ Boyd

N5CTI

 

"Never ask a man where he's from. If he's from Texas, he'll tell ya soon enough. If he ain't, don't embarrass him."

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quote:
Originally posted by EScout:

I think it is a shame, because when you drop it, people won't learn it. First licenced in 1996, I got my Extra in 1998. Knowing code has made the hobby much more enjoyable these last few years at the peak of the sun-spot cycle.

 

It is much easier working DX on CW. When a station comes on SSB phone, you don't have a prayer when you have 100 watts and a one-element antenna (like 95% of Hams). I am amazed how often I can work them on the first few calls on CW. The pileups are usually much more orderly, with better operators on both sides.

 

Also, I have had many ragchews on CW with Hams around the world that I know don't speak english.


 

Actually, I think that is all the more reason why people *will* learn it. Once they get onto the HF bands and see how crowded the FM frequencies are and they see that there is a lot of activity on the CW freqs which they could be participating in, they might decide to learn Morse Code so they can join in.

 

Undrhil

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