First off it is not your fault you are a no code licensed ham . It is the fault of the folks that licensed you .
That would be the FCC, for US hams.
And you're right; the FCC makes the rules. We can comment, but that's all.
YOU MY FRIEND will NEVER convince me that this dropping of the code was not about MONEY . Sales of amateur radio products and every thing surrounding ham radio. Including more membership into ARRL .
In non-amateur radio, you're right. Radio operators cost big money!
But I think the code *TEST* was dropped from amateur radio licensing for very different reasons.
Consider the history:
In 1975, FCC proposed a new 7 class dual-ladder license system that included a no-code-test VHF/UHF license. Opposition to it was overwhelming and most of the proposed changes never happened.
In 1978 the FCC waived the sending tests.
In 1982-83, FCC tried again, proposing a nocodetest license, and again the opposition was so overwhelming that the idea was abandoned.
In 1983-4 the VE system replaced FCC testing. The main reason was...cost. Paid FCC employees were replaced by unpaid amateur volunteers in almost all of the testing process. This was the direct result of Reagan Administration budget cuts.
In 1990 the FCC created medical waivers for the 13 and 20 wpm code tests, at the behest of the White House, who wanted to a favor for a King who was a ham. This effectively reduced US code testing to 5 wpm for all classes if a ham went to the trouble to get a doctor's note.
Finally in 1991 the Technician lost its code test.
You're probably familiar with the changes of 2000 and 2007.
It should be noted that in the Report and Order for the 2000 changes, the FCC stated that *they* did not consider any of the reasons given for code testing to be valid any more. None of them. They stated that the only reason they kept code testing was because the ITU treaty required it.
It should also be noted that the treaty originally required all amateur licenses to have code tests. Then in 1947 the treaty was amended to require it only for licenses with privileges below 1000 MHz. Over the years that frequency limit was reduced, until it wound up at 30 MHz.
Some other countries had no-code-test VHF/UHF amateur licenses long before the USA.
I can name over half dozen hams I personally know that would NOT Be EXTRA or even a GENERAL if there was morse code required . Not because they could not learn it , but because they are to lazy to even try. They would have stayed at cb most likely . I have watched these new hams get better and better as operators with time and they are very good people .
Maybe that was FCC's plan all along.
11 meter cb has been out of FCC's control for 40-odd years. So maybe they think that if it's easier to get into ham radio, people will bypass cb and become hams - and be more law-abiding on the radio.
You have any idea the money they spend on ham radio ? I believe the no code requried will and has generated millions of revenue .
Yes - but revenue for whom? Mostly the equipment manufacturers.
And it's not that much money. Say the *average* ham (not the big spenders) spends about $1000 a year on ham radio. And suppose the nocodetest license brought in 100,000 hams who wouldn't have gotten licenses otherwise.
That's $100 million a year. Sounds like a lot of dough but in the electronics industry it's small potatoes. Think about how much is spent on, say, iPods each year. Just iPods, nothing else.
You have any clue the money generated by allowing people to apply for a vanity call ? I sure would like to know .
Not much at all. And it all goes to pay costs; nobody really makes any money on it, except maybe the QSL card printers and name-tag folks.
I mean, there are today almost 700,000 US hams. Suppose that 20,000 of them apply for a vanity call each year, at a cost of $14 each. That's only $280,000.
And you want to take what cw frequency from us that we have ?
That's the real issue. And the truth is, on the HF amateur bands, we US hams don't have *ANY* "exclusive CW frequencies". Not one Hz. They're all shared with digital modes.
What I don't understand is why the FCC doesn't allow US hams to use digital modes in the 'phone subbands.
73 de Jim, N2EY