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Author Topic: What does no Code really mean?  (Read 2330 times)

Posts: 313


« on: December 19, 2006, 04:13:41 AM »

What does no Code really mean?
If I take my General test how soon can I use it?
When do you project it will actually go in effect?

I am sure that we will loose less Hams now for I know many that will be upgrading and some that we lost!

I still plan on studying code but after I pass!

Martin Brossman

Posts: 542

« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2006, 04:53:38 AM »

* "What does no Code really mean? "

No code means you don't have to take Element 1 anymore for any license class.  Other than that, it doesn't mean anything.  The world of amateur radio will continue as it has for the last 100 years.

* "If I take my General test how soon can I use it?"

As soon as you walk out the door from the test session.

* "When do you project it will actually go in effect?"

Probably the middle of January - I think it's usually a month after the R&O goes public.

* "I am sure that we will loose less Hams now for I know many that will be upgrading and some that we lost! "

I doubt we'll lose any hams at all.  And if someone is so bitter and jaded that they would actually give up their license over the removal of a 5 WPM test that they said wasn't doing anything to begin with, then we don't need them anyway.

Posts: 0

« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2006, 05:01:10 AM »

In the long run it will probably mean FEWER not more amateurs.

In the beginnings there will be more amateurs who do not quit to be sure.  And also to be sure there will be more General Class licenses.  

HOWEVER it is a fact that there is a big difference between a VHF station and a HF Station.  

The VHF station for most people, including myself, is a mobile in the house with a power supply and a home made antenna of some type.  THIS is not very expensive.

HOWEVER to do things RIGHT in HF requires a jell of a lot more money.  With 'decent' HF radios going for $2,000.00 on UP and with a truly bragging rights good radio, competition grade radio, going for $4,000.00 UP to 12 grand a lot of people are going to find out that their desire far outstrips their wallet.  They will get sick and tired of repairing 2nd hand radios that cost a small fortune to repair--when you can find someone to repar them.

Eliteism will also bounce them out pretty fast.  The if the 'my radio is better than yours clicks' do not drive them out then the 'code certification clicks' will drive them batty.  AS CB wained after the new rubbed off so will the number of people who will remain in Amateur Radio.  

Dropping the code is only a Band Aid, not the cure.

IN THE END I feel that the bottom line, end game, will be that we will have FEWER people than we have today who will remain.  At LEAST having a code requirement acted as a 'Filter' to screen out those who did not want the license bad enough to survive the eliteism until they too became elite.  At LEAST having the code did delay entry until the person could scrape together enough $$$$ to at least buy a half decent 'NEW' radio.
There will be fewer because NOT having the code will let people go when they are NOT  in a position to go there.

R Arceneaux


Posts: 3331

« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2006, 06:12:30 AM »

N5LRZ is 110% on target, but it's actually worse than that, as I've stated elsewhere.  

It's not the expensive radio that is the issue ... it's the antenna.  Very few people these days can afford, and/or have the space, to install an effective antenna for HF operation.  Just read this Elmers forum for a while, and you can see how desperate people are to figure out a way to install a stealth wet noodle ... ANYTHING! ... and then read how disappointed these folks are that they can't get any kind of range from their compromise antenna.

Sure, there will be a 'blip' type increase of activity and interest once the code requirement is dropped, starting probably next February.  But just like the early 90s when the NCT was authorized, we saw a leap in licensees, but then a huge drop, as people found out that what they had wasn't what they thought it was.

The reason you can buy a nice synthesized 5 watt 2m HT for $50 is because thousands of them are lying around, unused, a by-product of disillusionment and subsequent lack of interest.

The true winners of the new code-free HF ticket (besides the radio manufacturers)?  Patient hams of tenure, who will be able to pick up lightly-used IC-7000 rigs, in a year or two, for half of the new price, and nice accessories for them as well.

Posts: 221

« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2006, 06:39:15 AM »

"If I take my General test how soon can I use it?"

After the Report and Order goes into effect, as soon as you walk out the door.  If you pass the General test before then you will be issued a CSCE showing you passed Element 3.  I expect you will then have to return to a VE session after the R&O goes into effect and have the paper work done upgrading you to General class.  You may have to pay another $14 for this.

"When do you project it will actually go in effect?"

It is expected it will go into effect 30 days after the R&O is published in the Federal Register.  Since the FCC hasn't even released the R&O, only a press release, no one knows.  It may be several weeks after the FCC releases the R&O before it is published in the Federal Register.  And who knows when the FCC will release the R&O?

Posts: 10248


« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2006, 06:56:58 AM »

There is a "fast track" work-around to the normal wait time associated with R&Os. Whether the FCC elects to use it remains to be seen. However, I tend to agree with the ARRL on this one, so I suspect you won't see the code dropped much before the end of February.

As a sidelight, I just bet the VECs are gearing up for a mad dash of folks wanting to upgrade.

Alan, KØBG


Posts: 313


« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 07:36:21 AM »

My comment about loosing Hams was in reference to the number that did not make it to General due to the code requirement. Everyone that is a Tech now is studying for General if they had not passed with code before. I think this TRUELY helps the hobbie!

Posts: 14496

« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2006, 07:43:23 AM »

Lets not try to scare people off with misinformation. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on an HF station and *most* HF hams don't. Granted that you may have a difficult time witn antennas if you are living in an apartment. The vast majority of hams run dipoles on 75 & 40M and many do on the other bands as well. A good used HF radio can be had for $500 or less. No need to spend $12,000 on a "competition grade" radio.

By the way, I wouldn't call a VHF mobile rig with an antenna in the attic a "competition grade" station either. Relativly few hams have "competition grade" stations but they get by very well and have fun.

Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 313


« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2006, 08:03:15 AM »

Great point about not scaring off Tech. I have experience hams of that form hams with little socal skills and now have learned to not listen to them for their are some many great ham's that realy help!

I started a new questions based on your topic:


Posts: 4283


« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2006, 08:09:47 AM »

I agree that it will not take millions of dollars to get on HF, but first there are two considerations to be made.

First, do you want to work HF domestically or HF DX?

If domestic, then you can get on HF these days (discussed later) for a few hundred dollars.
If DX, then these days, you'll need to have a decent rig and a decent antenna up in the air.

Second, the cycle.  Right now we're at sunspot minimum, so only the low bands are good (for DX) and these bands require some goo and some investment.  But in about 4-5 years, we'll be at sunspot maximum and you will be able to work the world with wet noodle antennas and low power, etc.

So, if HF DX is what these new folks are looking for, then they'll either have to spend some bucks now or wait it out.  If they can't wait, then we may lose them.  (Lose as in to be lost or taken away, Loose, as in not tight.)

If HF domestic is their bag, then they'll be able to get on the air right away with not too much investment.

Phil  KB9CRY

Posts: 3289

« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2006, 08:16:51 AM »

Ham radio will continue without the world coming to an end.

Other requirements have come and gone without destroying the hobby.  No one has to hand draw Colpitts and Hartley oscilator circuits to be licensed anymore.  Nobody knows how to properly adjust a spark gap for the cleanest signal consistent with the state of the art.  Nobody in the last 50 years has had to pass a CW sending test.  Nobody in the last 25 years can be trusted to have a completely honest exam, since they weren't tested by an FCC engineer.

From an operational perspective, CW is a quaint, enjoyable and challenging mode, that is no longer used commercially or militarily with a few minor exceptions.  I would like to see it retained at 5wpm for Extra, but there is no valid operational need.

It doesn't take $2k+ to get on the air and never has.  Hamfests are full of superb older equipment at good prices, and I dare say many older hams have rigs they would sell cheaply or give away to earnest newcomers.  I would.   I got on the air with a used Heathkit and a random wire.  Where there is will there is a way.  I lived on the prairie and had to teach myself from the ARRL Handbook and QST.  CCR's and apartment dwelling are obstacles, but hamdom can't fix that.

The biggest factor that will attract and keep new hams is whether YOU are friendly and willing to Elmer them.   Do you support your club in keeping an active and enthusiastic program and environment.

73,  bill


Posts: 181


« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2006, 08:29:25 AM »

This is from the ARRL website and should answer your questions:

REVISED Dec 18, 2006 15:50 ET

End of an Era: 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 adopted, but hasn't yet released, the long-awaited Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235, the "Morse code" proceeding. The FCC also has adopted an Order on Reconsideration in WT Docket 04-140 -- the "omnibus" proceeding -- modifying the Amateur Radio rules in response to an ARRL request to accommodate automatically controlled narrowband digital stations on 80 meters in the wake of rule changes that became effective December 15. The Commission designated the 3585 to 3600 kHz frequency segment for such operations, although the segment will remain available for CW, RTTY and data as it has been. So far, the FCC has only issued a public notice and not the actual orders detailing the rule changes. The effective date of both orders is not yet known, but it appears likely at this point that it will be sometime in February. Currently, Amateur Radio applicants must pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to operate on HF. The FCC's action will eliminate that requirement all around.

"This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur Radio," the FCC said. The ARRL had asked the FCC to retain the 5 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants only. The FCC proposed earlier to drop the requirement across the board, however, and it held to that decision.

A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on both orders is posted on the ARRL Web site.

The FCC's action in WT Docket 05-235 will grant limited HF privileges to all Technician licensees, whether or not they've passed a Morse code examination. Once the R&O goes into effect, all Technician class license holders will be able to enjoy current "Tech Plus" HF privileges in addition to their current VHF/UHF privileges. The FCC said the R&O in the Morse code docket would eliminate a disparity in the operating privileges for the Technician and Technician Plus class licensees -- something the ARRL also has asked the Commission to correct following the release of its July 2005 Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 05-235.

"With today's elimination of the Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that the disparity between the operating privileges of Technician class licensees and Technician Plus class licensees should not be retained," the FCC public notice said. "Therefore, the FCC, in today's action, afforded Technician and Technician Plus licensees identical operating privileges."

Technician licensees without Element 1 credit currently have operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz. Technicians with Element 1 credit (ie, "Tech Plus" licensees) have limited HF privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters. Under the Part 97 rules the Commission proposed last year in its NPRM in WT Docket 05-235, current Technicians lacking Morse credit after the new rules went into effect would have had to upgrade to General to earn any HF privileges.

Privileges will remain the same for Novice, General, Advanced and Amateur Extra class licensees.

Typically, the effective date of a FCC order comes 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register. If that's the case, the new exam requirement and the revised 80-meter segment for automatically controlled digital stations would likely not go into effect until sometime in February 2007. At the time the rule changes adopted in the R&O are published in the Federal Register, the effective date also will become known (it is included in the Federal Register summary). In any event, the new rules will not go into effect anytime before they show up in the Federal Register.

The FCC has clarified that there will be no changes in the administration of Amateur Radio examination elements and in granting a Certificate for Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for General and Extra class until the new rules go into effect. CSCEs are only valid for examination credit for 365 days from date of issuance; applicants cannot use CSCEs older than that to upgrade. Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) will handle all upgrades through volunteer examiner teams.

Candidates for General or Amateur Extra testing between now and the effective date of the new rules will still have to pass Element 1 (5 WPM Morse code) to obtain new privileges. Those earning Element 3 or Element 4 credit between now and the effective date of the new rules will receive a CSCE from the VE team. Once the new rules are in place, anyone holding a valid CSCE may apply for an upgrade at an exam session and pay the fee, if any.

The wholesale elimination of a Morse code requirement for all license classes ends a longstanding national and international regulatory tradition in the requirements to gain access to Amateur Radio frequencies below 30 MHz. The first no-code license in the US was the Technician ticket, instituted in 1991. The question of whether or not to drop the Morse requirement altogether has been the subject of often-heated debate over the past several years, but the handwriting has been on the wall -- especially since the FCC instituted an across-the-board 5 WPM Morse requirement effective April 15, 2000, in the most-recent major Amateur Radio licensing restructuring (WT Docket 98-143).

The FCC said the R&O in WT Docket 05-235 will comport with revisions to the international Radio Regulations resulting from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). At that gathering, delegates agreed to authorize each country to determine whether or not to require that applicants demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to qualify for an Amateur Radio license with privileges on frequencies below 30 MHz.

The list of countries dropping the Morse requirement has been growing steadily since WRC-03. A number of countries, including Canada, the UK and several European nations, now no longer require applicants for an Amateur Radio license to pass a Morse code test to gain HF operating privileges. Following WRC-03, the FCC received several petitions for rule making asking it to eliminate the Morse requirement in the US.

The ARRL will provide any additional information on these important Part 97 rule revisions as it becomes available.


Posts: 1556

« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2006, 10:13:11 AM »

"So, if HF DX is what these new folks are looking for, then they'll either have to spend some bucks now or wait it out."

Not true - you can work plenty of DX with a basic transceiver and a dipole or vertical.  You won't win contests, but you can have a lot of fun.

Phil - AD5X

Posts: 298

« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2006, 12:38:11 PM »

If you are in Limbo,
Caught in that Grey Area of Government in Decision.

Just go ahead and take the code.
Don't spend two months sitting on the fence.
You have 5 minutes to copy one minute of solid copy.

I know more than one ham that was very nervous and blew the first and last call sign.

Had no idea of the names of the operators but was able to go back. At the end of the test and figure out. Kenwood TS 140S running Quad up 25ft QTH is Aberdeen, SD and DID NOT forget the comma.

 They don't send 25 in a row without punctuation. If you miss it it is most likely a comma or a ?

It is a great chance for you to talk to other hams about code.

You won't learn code in a month. But you can learn enough to pick out the 5 words you need to pass your code test.
Good Luck
Erik AC0FA



Posts: 9930

« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2006, 01:14:25 PM »

it becomes effective 30 days after being published in the federal register, when ever that is.

techs will get tech plus privdleges whic is voice on 28.300 to 28.500 and cw on the bottom of several other bands.

if you pass your general or have a cert for it now you will have to go to a ve session and get it "up graded" at the session ( probably a 14 buck fee) for a paper work  up grade, or take your test then and be up graded then and sign  as /ag.

next you work on the extra, and then become a VE yourself.

you can set upa a new hf station with an ft857 d, a power supply and a hustler 5BTV for under a thousand bucks  all new

 you can also pick up a used corsair II or omni-d, or a older kenwwood  or even a boat anchor like a ft 101 series, and make your self a fan dipole and get on for a couple hundred bucks.. its all in what you want.

  good luck and have fun. its a ball on hf, talk to friends you make all over the world.

and don't let the folks with the bad attitudes get to you. we all take the test given on the day we test.  the FCC decides the content of the test. not us.

so in a hundresd years it will eman exactly squat.Smiley
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