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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: N3DF on July 11, 2008, 01:29:28 PM



Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3DF on July 11, 2008, 01:29:28 PM
When I took the Amateur Extra exam at the FCC New York field office in 1971, the content of the cw test (played on paper tape on a 1930's style code machine) consisted of ship position reports (latitude and longitude coordinates).  Evidently, the FCC used the same tape for amateur and commercial examinations.  Does anyone else remember the content of their FCC cw examinations?  --Neil N3DF


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K7KBN on July 11, 2008, 02:53:43 PM
I took the General code test (not CW) in Los Angeles, and the Extra in Seattle.  Both tests were plain language text, with numerals and punctuation.  I don't think I ever heard of an amateur code test at an FCC office that was mainly numerals.

Good question!

73
Pat K7KBN


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K9MRD on July 11, 2008, 05:52:20 PM
I took the Extra CW test at the Chicago FCC office in 1964 and it was text as I recall.

Wayne


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: KG9SF on July 11, 2008, 07:09:08 PM
I took the CW test at the Chicago FCC office (39th floor of the Federal Bldg.) in November 1975.  As I recall, I was sent 5-letter groups of random letters and numbers, e.g.  KFBT7, AV43T, 90HGH, etc.


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K7KBN on July 11, 2008, 09:18:37 PM
I can't seem to find it right off, but the more I think about it, I'm sure I remember in the FCC's rules that the code exams for amateur licensing were specified as plain text.  Anybody have a copy of the older rules?

73
Pat K7KBN


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3DF on July 11, 2008, 10:38:58 PM
Pat,

I think you are correct.  However, I think that the term "plain text" meant as opposed to random code groups, which constituted (and I believe still constitute) part of the code exam for some commercial radiotelegraph operator licenses.  By that standard, ship position reports would be plain text.  

Neil N3DF


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K2ACB on July 11, 2008, 11:40:56 PM
I got my novice license (WN2DZW) in December of 1963. I was 14 and at that time you had to get a higher class license within a year or you lost your license.        

From the second month after I received my novice license I went down to the FCC office in Manhattan in New York City to try for the general class license.I never bothered with trying to obtain a technician license.

There was this crusty old gentleman by the name of Finkleman or Finklestein who administred the exams at the New York FCC office.He also administerd the commercial FCC exams. At that time you did not get credit if you passed the cw portion of the exam and if you failed you had to wait thirty days to try again. However the exams were free.


I failed the cw portion of the exam five times before I passed it.It took me another two times to pass the cw and theory portions of the exam.However I did get my general license with two months to spare before my novice license expired.I became WB2DZW and held that call until they instituted the vanity call sign program when I changed my call for my initials and present call of K2ACB.

If I recollect correctly at the New york FCC office for the CW exam they sent random code with letters, numerals and punctuation. They did not send words or text that made any sense. The code was sent using this perforated code machine for 5 minutes. You had to copy one minute correctly or 100 characters. Punctuation counted as two characters.You wore earphones and sat at these old classroom desks.


If you successfully passed the code you then had to send. There were  strait keys attached to the desks and Mr. Finkleman or Finklestein would listen to see if you sent correctly.He tested everyone who passed individually. You could bring a bug(semi automatic keyer like a vibroplex key) if you had one and use it to send cw. You did not have to send very long.If I remember he gave you the text which was plain English to send. I actually remember one person passing the written portion of the test but failing the sending portion.Mr. Finkleman or Finklestein could not understand what the fellow was sending. After several attempts at trying to decipher his sending he told the fellow to come back next month and try again.I don't think that happened very often but it did happen in those days.

About two years after I received my general class license I went down for the extra class license. This was before incentive licensing. I think it was around 1966. In those days the Extra Class license was composed of 90 multiple choice questions and you had to draw ten schematic diagrams. The code speed was 20 wpm. If I recollect correctly, the code at that time in the FCC office in New York was still sent as random characters for five minutes and there was no plain text.Punctuation counted as two characters.(Mr. Finkleman or Finklestein still administred the tests.He became an institution at the New York FCC offices until he retired.He must have  administered thousands of FCC tests during his tenure there.

Well I never came close to passing the 20wpm extra class code test. I never even got to the theory part. I tried it once at that time and that was it.When the FCC instituted in 1967 or 68 there incentive licensing I went down and passed the advanced class license. However for that license I did not have to take a code test.

It was not until 1980 that I once again tried for my Extra Class License.At that time things were very different at the New York FCC offices . I think they had moved from Washington Street in lower Manhattan to Varick street. Also Mr.Finkleman or Finklestein had retired.The Extra code test was still 20 wpm but this time the exam was an actual qso sent for 5 minutes. They asked you such questions as what antenna was the sending station using and where was his location. You had to get seven out of ten questions correct.You also got credit if you passed the code and failed the theory. I passed the code on my first try this time for the Extra Class license. I failed the theory on my first attempt but passed on my second attempt. I still had to wait 30 days but the exam was free.

Originally when I took the Extra class license before the incentive licensing it was 100 questions with 10 schematics. Ninty of those questions were multiple choice and you had to get 75 questions to pass. After incentive licensing they made the extra Class exam 50 questions and you had to get 37 right. However in the late 70's for a period of two or three years they reduced the Extra class exam to only 40 questions and you only had to get 32 questions correct to pass. They then put it back to 50 questions where it is today. Maybe they did that because they found too many people were passing the exam? I don't know but I have not taken a radio exam since

I still use cw mostly on 30 and 40 meters. However I am only a casual cw operator and like to send and receive at the leisurely pace of around 13 to 15 wpm.
Alas!most operators in the extra class portion of the cw bands like to send much quicker than that.At least I passed the code at 20 wpm.                           73-Alan-K2ACB


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: W8ZNX on July 12, 2008, 12:51:30 AM
all morse code tests i took at the FCC office

were 5 letter/number code groups

mac


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: AD5X on July 12, 2008, 04:21:57 AM
I vividly remember my General test in 1964, as it was a high pressure situation for me (Dad had to take a day off work to drive me into down-town Washington, DC).  The code test was sent by machine and consisted of 5-letter/number groups.  I had to copy a solid minute error-free.  Then I had to send a clean minute with a straight key.  I can't remember the Extra code test taken in 1977 at the FCC office here in Dallas - probably because the pressure wasn't as great!

Phil - AD5X


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3DF on July 12, 2008, 08:10:48 AM
Alan--

Interesting narrative.  That Washington Street FCC Field Office was in a very creepy building.  Lots of empty corridors and cobweb-covered World War II era shuttered offices.

When I took the sending tests, the examiner didn't bother putting on the headphones--he said he could judge my sending just by watching me.  Told me to speed up at one point on the 20 wpm exam.

Neil N3DF


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: W4YA on July 12, 2008, 11:24:35 AM
A lot of guys in my high-school radio club in 1954 were getting their FCC commercial tickets. So I studied Kaufman's Q&A Manual and passed the 2nd Class Telegraph exam which included a 20WPM code test. I think it was plain language.

The FCC examiner talked me into taking the Extra exam, which he said was EXACTLY the same questions as the 2nd Telegraph. It was indeed the same test, and I didn't have to take the code test again.


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: W5HTW on July 13, 2008, 05:01:18 PM
From reading these postings, I can only guess that the FCC code tests must have been left up to the choice of the district FCC Engineer in charge.  I don't recall the content of my General test in 1957.  But the test for my Extra, in 1969, was indeed a commercial ship message, citing things like position, nautical weather, load manifests, and the like.  I think this test, taken in the Washington, DC office, was the same tape used for testing the commercial operators, but simply run at a different speed.  

The sending test was a paragraph supplied by the engineer, and I had to send what he had typed out.  After about 20 characters, he stopped me with "OK, you can send code," and graded me 'passed."  

I never ran into a code test that was five letter groups, in FCC licensing.  However, such tests were common in military or government communications, as one had to pass such a test to get out of radio school.  I recall I had to copy 25 GPM to graduate from the school, and 22 GPM of cut numbers.  The 25 GPM test did NOT include any symbols or punctuation, but letters only.  Same with the 22 GPM of cut numbers.  

Back in 1957 I took the General and failed it the first time, went back a month later and took it and passed.  I think I got the same code test both times.  I took the Extra only once.

Ed


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K7KBN on July 13, 2008, 06:55:51 PM
Both my Second and First Class Radiotelegraph license tests were 5-letter/number groups, with an occasional punctuation mark thrown in - including the semicolon, which I'd had to learn from Navy "canned" message formats.  It wasn't taught in "A" School.


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N2EY on July 14, 2008, 05:25:43 AM
Passed 13 wpm in the summer of 1968 (age 14) and 20 wpm (age 16) in the summer of 1970 at the Philadelphia FCC office. Both times were plain text. Looked like the Congressional Record as I recall. The code table could seat 4 or 5 people at a time IIRC.

The FCC gave you a yellow legal pad and a #2 pencil to copy with, plus headphones. Code came from a little machine that read a paper tape. The machine, 'phones and all materials were kept in a locked file cabinet.

You got exactly 5 minutes of code and the examiner had to find at least 1 minute of perfect legible copy for you to pass. When the test ended you had to put the pencil down, no going back and fixing errors or filling in blanks. If the examiner couldn't read your writing he didn't ask you what a letter was; you just failed.

You only got to send if you passed receiving. You only got to the written test if you passed code.

When I went for the Extra I was the only one there for 20 wpm so I had the examiner's undivided attention. When the test started, it seemed easy. After a minute or so he shut off the machine and asked

"Easy, huh, kid?"

"uh, yeah..." was all I could manage. I was supposed to get 5 minutes, what was going on?!

"It should be" he said. "That was 13. Here's 20!" and he restarted the machine at the right speed for the real test.

I'll never know if he did that on purpose or simply forgot, but I passed 20 that day.  

I don't know how many different tapes they had in the office. I do know that if you failed an exam you had to wait 30 days before you were allowed to retest. I think part of the reason for the 30 day wait was that FCC didn't have a lot of different tests, written or code.


Title: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N4ST on August 09, 2008, 01:31:39 PM
13 WPM in 1969 in the Baltimore Federal Building, I believe the receive test was 5-character groups. The transmit test was 5-character groups and the guy stopped me fairly quickly I thought.  Didn't seem like a minute of sending.  When I went back for my Extra in 1978, the receive test was a ham type QSO, multiple guess answer sheet and no sending test.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: WX2S on November 25, 2012, 07:08:27 PM
At the risk of raising a necro-thread... I was just listening to a practice Extra test on the Gordon West CD set, and he mentioned that the examinee had a choice of either one minute of perfect copy or answering ten questions about the message. Anyone ever experience this?

Not that it matters now; just curious.

(I never took the Extra code test, but the General test was plaintext. I took it in Baltimore, and I remember, slightly, the yellow pad and #2 pencil.)

73, -WX2S.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K5MF on November 25, 2012, 08:08:14 PM
Took the novice, general, advanced, and 1st class radiotelephone with radar endorsements exams all on the same day.  Passed them all - no brag just fact.  If I recall properly it was at the FCC office in Norfolk, Va.  but the brain cells are going.  I do remember the code exams.  They were all text in the format of a typical QSO.  I don't recall if there was an option for solid copy or questions but I remember answering questions such as call signs, QTH, temperature, etc.  I was able to copy about 15 wpm at the time so the code test was nothing to worry about.  I had just finished the USN's basic electronics course, FT A school, FT C school, and the AN/SPS 48A radar school at Dam Neck Va. so the technical tests seemed like just another day at work for me. I spent nearly the entire day there and got to know the examiners pretty well.  They even took me to lunch.  I was really young and felt no pressure or stress at all.  It was just another test like the ones I had taken in high school and 2 years of naval schools.  No big deal at all.  I was a good test taker then but I don't think I could handle a marathon session like that today.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: AB7KT on November 26, 2012, 03:14:29 AM
My extra class test was just a basic ham, CW QSO

I don't remember what my 13 wpm text was


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N2EY on November 26, 2012, 07:08:55 AM
I was just listening to a practice Extra test on the Gordon West CD set, and he mentioned that the examinee had a choice of either one minute of perfect copy or answering ten questions about the message. Anyone ever experience this?

That was the format from the late 1970s/early 1980s onward. But it wasn't always so.

It used to be that the only way to pass the receiving tests was to copy at least 1 minute with no errors, and the exam was 5 minutes long. At least 25 correct consecutive legible characters for 5 wpm, 65 for 13 wpm, 100 for 20 wpm. You didn't get time after the test to go back and correct or fill in, and "legible" meant "legible to the examiner". You could use a typewriter if you provided it.

The option of answering questions on the contents came later. For a time there was even a choice between fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice!

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: AE8I on December 05, 2012, 04:12:07 AM
I took my Extra Class exam at the J. W. Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 28, 1978. The 20 WPM code test was a typical Amateur QSO, with a 10 question, fill in the blank test concerning what was sent. We were given two pieces of white paper and a pencil or two, as I recall, to record the text. I don't remember if an option for one minute of perfect copy was offered to us or not, but I tend not to think so.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3QE on December 05, 2012, 12:47:48 PM
Circa 1978 (my Novice) and 1981 (my General and Advanced, at FCC field office) the FCC code exam was taker's choice between "minute of perfect copy" and "listen to a QSO and answer some questions". I think it was about 1978 that the "listen to a QSO and answer some questions" must have become an option; all the training classes/tapes/records I had certainly worked towards the "minute of perfect copy".

IIRC... everyone at my FCC exam session opted for "listen to QSO and answer some questions". I seem to recall the QTH and/or name in the QSO had some oddball spellings. Not multiple choice in my case.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3DF on December 10, 2012, 10:20:35 AM
Around 1980 I was a Volunteer Examiner in Colorado.  A youth wrote "Dallas, TX" as his answer to the question of where one of the two operators in QSO was located.  The test tape had sent "Dallas, Texas" in full.  One of the three examiners balked at passing him, and I nearly exploded until he changed his mind. 


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N9KX on December 10, 2012, 10:52:16 AM
I passed the General and Advanced exams at the Chicago FCC office in early 1977 and took -- but failed -- the Extra code exam.  It had to be solid copy and there was not then an option to answer questions about the QSO instead. I could easily pass the 20wpm code copy requirement today, but of course it is not required...

I do remember that being a teen in an FCC office and knowing I had to do perfect copy without any ability to pause the tape made it seem a lot more difficult than would be copying in the comfort of my own surroundings...


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: W2LO on January 31, 2013, 04:56:25 PM
 I definitely remember my 1960 13 wpm (General) and 1965 20wpm (Extra) CW receiving tests at the New York FCC office on Washington Street in lower Manhattan. The FCC office was not far at all from the old "Radio Row", later to become the site of the World Trade Center.

 The 1960 test was about a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral (now Cape Kennedy) and the 1965 Extra test was about a personnel/hiring issue. I passed the CW but failed the theory the first time on the Extra test; when I came back a month later (you had to wait a month before trying again) they gave me the exact same CW test and this time I passed the theory. You received no credit for passing the cw only; you had to pass both the cw and theory at a single sitting. Theory questions were multiple choice, the drawing of circuit diagrams having been eliminated a short time before.

 One earlier posting stated that the CW test was random numbers, etc. This is incorrect; the stated FCC policy was "plain text" with at least one solid minute correct out of a five minute test without any later corrections permitted . The commercial telegraphy exams did include groups of 5 random letters and numbers.

 By the way, the sending test consisted of maybe 20-30 seconds of straight text, just enough for the examiner to determine if you could do it OK.

 After you passed your Extra in those days the FCC would mail you a nice blue 8 x 10 inch certificate awarding you your Extra privileges. I've still got mine dated September 10, 1965.

 You would never forget your visit to the FCC office.....not even 50 or more years later.

 


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3DF on January 31, 2013, 08:17:33 PM


 After you passed your Extra in those days the FCC would mail you a nice blue 8 x 10 inch certificate awarding you your Extra privileges. I've still got mine dated September 10, 1965.



 

Is your Extra certificate really 8x10?  Mine (and all of the others that I have seen) is 7x9.  It is an odd size and it was hard to find a frame that fit well. 


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K7KBN on January 31, 2013, 10:01:12 PM
Yeah - that was an odd size.  Maybe it was a standard back in the day, though.  The Navy used to use   8 x 10.5 inch paper for stationery.  When I submitted my application for the Warrant Officer program, the instruction clearly stated that size, and the local Naval Reserve station actually HAD a bunch of it!

Guess it worked.  But 7 x 9???


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: N3DF on February 01, 2013, 06:18:01 AM
Yeah - that was an odd size.  Maybe it was a standard back in the day, though.  The Navy used to use   8 x 10.5 inch paper for stationery.  When I submitted my application for the Warrant Officer program, the instruction clearly stated that size, and the local Naval Reserve station actually HAD a bunch of it!

Guess it worked.  But 7 x 9???

When I first started working the entire Federal civil service used the 8x10.5 (two hole punch) standard, which I understand was a leftover from the 19th century.  We converted to 8.5x11 (three hole punch) early in the Ford administration.  Threw out a lot of file cabinets!


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: W2LO on February 01, 2013, 11:05:58 AM
 My curiosity got the better of me so I got the FCC certificate down and measured it; it is indeed 7 x 9. No problem getting a frame for it though; my father was in the picture frame business for over 40 years-hi!


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: WD8KNI on February 04, 2013, 04:14:40 AM
1972 Cleveland FCC office, 13 WPM, 5 letter code groups, with one minute solid copy out of 5 minutes..  I remember it well.  Copy was perfect, I was then asked to send one paragraph the examiner provided, no sweat.. he then asked me to send every possible punctuation. The last one was a / bar.. 

At that point I was brain dead.. 

Examiner:  "I can't pass you without being able to identify portable operation"
 
After seconds that seemed like 10 minutes of panic.

Me:  "last month your office issued a directive that portable identification was no longer require"

Examiner:  "Smart ass, you pass"  .. Fred



Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K5XH on February 12, 2013, 01:36:37 PM
I took my Extra in Kansas City sometime around 1975. Code was plain text in the form of one side of a typical QSO. It was heavy on numbers. Like the type of receiver and how many tubes it had and the type of tube in the final. The examiner did not look at the copy but there was a multiple choice test on the content. There was no sending requirement.

In about 1970 I took the Advanced test in Chicago. It was pain text also and I had to send a little.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K2PHD on July 01, 2013, 10:17:15 AM
I took both the 2nd Class Radiotelegraph and the General Amateur code tests in NYC in 1975 and I had to receive and transmit numerals, punctuation and letters for commercial and typical QSO for amateur.


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K6TTE on July 01, 2013, 01:50:32 PM
Yes, I remember having two ways to pass the test.  Answer 10 questions (7 correct passed, I think) or 1 minute correct copy.  I got rattled at the beginning and missed the call signs, so the 10 questions avenue was out.  I managed to buckle down and copy 1 minute 100% correct and passed.  Whew!   ;D


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: KC8Y on July 01, 2013, 04:38:03 PM
I took a code test for 13wpm and a radio-theory exam (General & Advanced), in 1969 at the FCC Field Office in Pittsburg, PA.  Passed them both..

Took the code test for 20 wpm and radio theory exam (Extra), in 1998 before a VE team...

Ken KC8Y

 


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: KS2G on July 02, 2013, 03:32:41 PM
When I took the Amateur Extra exam at the FCC New York field office in 1971, the content of the cw test (played on paper tape on a 1930's style code machine) consisted of ship position reports (latitude and longitude coordinates).  Evidently, the FCC used the same tape for amateur and commercial examinations.  Does anyone else remember the content of their FCC cw examinations?  --Neil N3DF

Neil ...

I took the General, Advanced and Extra tests at the FCC New York field office in the final quarter of  1972 and first quarter of 1973.

The cw tests were texts of a typical Amateur Radio QSO  -- name, QTH, weather,  type and number of tubes in the radio, etc.

73,
Mel - KS2G



Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: WD8KNI on July 10, 2013, 03:25:48 AM
I took the CW test at the Chicago FCC office (39th floor of the Federal Bldg.) in November 1975.  As I recall, I was sent 5-letter groups of random letters and numbers, e.g.  KFBT7, AV43T, 90HGH, etc.

same here same office, same floor 1973, 5-letter groups, random letters and numbers, required one minute error free.. 


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K5WLR on July 14, 2013, 02:50:23 PM
Well, let's see.... got my novice in December of 1974 at Myrtle Beach AFB, SC. The test was given by a 1st Lieutenant (as I recall). There were four of us that passed and I became WN4LQO.

My tour in the USAF ended and I went home to St. Petersburg. Back then, you had to upgrade after 2 years or start over again. In 1976, I went to the FCC Field Office in Tampa, FL and took my Element 3 exam. No instant upgrade then. Received a letter from the FCC Field Office a couple of days later. I could see through the envelope "Notice of Failure of Amateur Radio Examination." My heart sank as I opened the envelope. This was my last opportunity to upgrade before my license expired. Looking at the form, there was nothing checked... what the heck? I flipped the card over. The note on the other side said I had passed Element 3 and they were forwarding my paperwork to Gettysburg for processing. I was now WA4LQO. Wow!  ::)

I went to college in Boca Raton, FL and, having finished my student teaching early, I worked on getting my code speed up to 13 WPM and studied for the Advanced Class license. In March of 1982, I drove to the downtown Miami FCC Field Office for the tests. First came the code... I put on an old set of wireless headphones and the code test started... my "magic pencil" started to copy every word, number and punctuation. I began to relax and tilted my head. The code faded away and I almost got whiplash snapping my head back upright. Just missing a couple of characters, I copied the rest of the QSO. The test was 10 questions, fill the blank. No problem with that or the Advanced theory.

In the late 80s, some of my ham friends said I should become a volunteer examiner. Wanting to be able to give all the exams, I began to work on my code once again and studied the Extra Class theory. After a few months, I felt I was ready, so I went to a VE session in Lake Worth, FL. This was in April of 1991. The lead VE would ask, "Did you study?" If you answered yes, then he said, "Then you'll pass!" I had and I did. I worked with this VE group for a number of years.

The code tests I took at the Miami FCC Field Office and the Lake Worth, FL VE session were both one side of an amateur QSO.

I became W4WLR in 1996 and, when my YF and I moved to AR, I became K5WLR.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!  8)


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: W2SE on February 17, 2015, 09:45:17 AM
I recall taking the 13wpm General Morse code test around April 1971 in the FCC Field Office in Greenwich Village NYC (Manhattan NY).   I want to say Houston Street which I reached via the A train (subway). 
Long featureless halls with mostly anonymous doors through a sterile classic government building.  A very large room for the test (light green?) with high ceilings, wooden tables and chairs, hanging ceiling lights (not well lit), lots of echo, and old architecture.   

A rickety black open frame paper-tape code oscillator with several tubes (you could see the tubes) attached to the worst headphones available, cloth covering on the wires.  Poor quality audio of course.  Add in a straight key that was probably mil surplus from WWI.

One had to take and pass the code test first before one could take the written test(s).

For 13wpm, one needed to correctly copy 65 characters in a row (anywhere within the 5 minute test interval).  It was normal text like a QSO, not code groups.  Yellow legal pad with #2 lead pencils (with erasers).  There was additional time given to make corrections before handing in the paper.
I squeaked through the code portion even though I was doing a solid 15wpm OTA.  Next came the written tests.  I had to take the General first before they would give me the Advanced test (2 separate written tests).  Breezed through both.

Then the long wait for the paper license to arrive in the US mail with my new callsign.  Meanwhile, I was still rock-bound with my Novice ticket and Heathkit HW-16.
My initial call was a WN2, which was assigned exclusively to Novices.  WA2 and WB2 were assigned to tech and above and there was no good way to know what you would get, ergo the wait.



Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K6PLE on February 20, 2015, 10:39:08 AM
Ready for the flames!  ;D

Passed my Technician and General at the same time in November 2014, No code test required. Got my first key and a Begali Machine for Christmas 2014. Practicing like my hair is on fire(yes I still have hair) and now, a few months later, I can 75% copy on the air(15-20wpm) and 100% copy with the machine and key at 15wpm on the Spark with 20-25 on the Leonossa! Scheduled Extra exam for March 16.

Memorizing is Mesmerizing!

73-K6PLE


Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: WA2ISE on February 20, 2015, 12:22:54 PM
I went to the NYC FCC field office in the summer of 1976 for a tech test.  Code consisted of many five letter words like yacht, house and so on.  And I had to send, using their straight key for a minute or two, then the examiner said I passed that. 

Then took the general written.  I remember questions that appeared to require several rules and laws of electronics in one question.  Something like "You have an SSB transmitter with 800VDC on the final's plates.  How much current can your B+ ampmeter read and still be legal power?"  At the time I think you could have up to 1KW of "input power" on the RF amp, but there was something about being allowed higher peak envelope power PEP.  So you had to know how to calculate the input power, and also know the legal limit for SSB transmission.  Shamelessly plagiarized from another post: "Back when we measured plate input power instead of output power, the rule was SSB PEP was accepted as being "twice DC." And "DC" meant CW, key down. So an amplifier that was running 1 KW (input) on CW could, if switched to SSB, run 2 KW input. And that was legal. Many amplifiers of that period, such as the National NCL-2000, were rated that way - 1 KW CW, and 2 KW PEP SSB (not just 2 KW PEP - you had to add the term SSB to that! Otherwise you were going to be illegal and/or going to smoke something big time.)" http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=16805.0 (http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=16805.0) So if that is correct, then you could have peaks of 2.5 amps of 800VDC.  But how does your meter respond to occasional peaks of current?  I probably got this question wrong...

After the test went to the men's room.  someone wrote on the wall "FCC = Funny Cookie Corporation"...



Title: RE: FCC CW Test Content
Post by: K3STX on February 20, 2015, 01:17:27 PM
Jeez, I forget all this. Maybe someone can remind we of what the rules were in 1978?

I THINK my elmer gave me my novice CW exam (did he do the test too)?

I THINK I had to go to the Philadelphia FCC office to take my General license test/CW exam. Am I remembering this correctly?

paul