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Author Topic: Code Requirement, update...  (Read 2842 times)
N5LRZ
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« on: March 24, 2006, 02:04:41 PM »

For those holding on to hopes of a quick drop of the Code Requirement you may want to start to study the code or prepare to retake the written tests you have passed when your Certificate of Completion expires.  The FCC it appears is not in a big hurry to drop the code.  Other matters it appears are more important....

FCC Noncommittal on "Morse Code" Proceeding Action
NEWINGTON, CT, Feb 13, 2006--Just when the FCC will act on the "Morse code" proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, remains hazy. The Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O) last July proposing to eliminate the Element 1 (5 WPM) Morse code requirement for all license classes. The Amateur Radio community has filed more than 3800 comments on the proceeding, and additional comments continue to show up, even though the formal comment deadline was last October 31 (with reply comments by November 14). The next--and most-anticipated--step for the Commission is to formally adopt any revisions to its rules and conclude the proceeding with a Report and Order (R&O) that spells out the changes and specifies their effective date.

"There really is no news," an FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau staffer told ARRL on background. "We certainly hope to release WT Docket 05-235 sometime this year, but we're not making any predictions at this time. We certainly are not saving up any big announcements for Dayton Hamvention."

When the FCC does act on WT 05-235, no one's expecting any major surprises: The Commission appears poised to simply drop the Morse requirement as it proposed last summer. Beyond eliminating the Morse requirement, the FCC declined in its NPRM&O to go forward with any other suggested changes to Amateur Service licensing rules or operating privileges.

The proceeding began with 18 petitions for rule making--many just calling for the elimination of the Morse requirement but some asking for more far-reaching changes in the Amateur Service rules. The various petitions attracted a total of some 6200 comments. The FCC subsequently consolidated the petitions--including one from the ARRL asking the FCC to establish a new entry-level license class and to retain the Morse requirement for Amateur Extra class applicants--into a single proceeding designated WT 05-235.

Worth noting is that the FCC did not propose in WT 05-235 to extend HF privileges to current Technician licensees who have not passed a Morse code examination. In its NPRM&O the FCC suggested that in a no-Morse-requirement regime, such "codeless Techs" would be able to gain HF access by taking the Element 3 General class written examination.

Another Docket Ahead of Morse Code Proceeding

Before it releases an R&O on the Morse code proceeding, however, the WTB wants to wrap up action in another Amateur Radio-related docket--the "Phone Band Expansion" (or "Omnibus") NPRM in WT Docket 04-140, released April 15, 2004. A dozen petitions for rulemaking, some dating back to 2001, were consolidated in the Omnibus proceeding. In that NPRM, the Commission proposed to go along with the ARRL's Novice refarming plan aimed at reallocating the current Novice/Tech Plus subbands to expand portions of the 80, 40 and 15 meter phone bands. The FCC also agreed with an ARRL proposal to extend privileges in the current General CW-only HF subbands to present Novice and Tech Plus licensees (or Technicians with Element 1 credit).

At Dayton Hamvention 2005, the FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, told the FCC Forum that commenters generally seemed to support the League's Novice refarming proposal, although he cited requests to establish even wider phone bands "particularly in the 75-meter band." The Amateur Radio community also was very favorably disposed toward the FCC's proposal in WT 04-140 to essentially do away with its rules prohibiting the manufacture and marketing to Amateur Radio operators of amplifiers capable of operation on 12 and 10 meters, Cross said.

CW Bands, Privileges Unaffected

Any FCC decision to eliminate the 5 WPM Morse code requirement for HF access would have no impact on either the current HF CW-only subbands or on the CW privileges of Amateur Radio licensees. The Morse code proceeding neither put forward nor recommended any changes in CW allocations or privileges.
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N8UZE
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2006, 04:53:40 AM »

If you had posted this back in February, it would have been news.  But this article is over a month old now.
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K3ASA
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2006, 11:58:33 AM »

AMEN! To that!  73, de Gene,  K3ASA
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AD5WN
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 10:19:58 AM »

A story about Code.

I was sent to the U S Army Code School in Fort Dix New Jersey back in 1961.  They still trained in Morse Code at that time.  They started us out sitting at cubicles, sometimes for 8 hours a day.  After a few days some of the men decided they didn't like the code and went as a group to see the First Sgt. to discuss a transfer to another outfit.  The First Pig said, "Don't worry about a thing boys, we have a spot right here on base in an infantry outfit".  All of them returned to the cubicle and graduated.  I believe they graduated anyone that could perform 13 WPM.  Most of us did more than that.  What these men needed was motivation and they got it.  I believe anyone should be able to learn 5 wpm in a couple of weeks if they work at it.  --...  ...--   AD5WN
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KE5ICG
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2006, 07:57:06 AM »

Never thought I would say it, but "bravo" for the FCC. No reason I can see for dropping code or any of the tests.  It would not be amateur radio without them.  Looking forward to passing Elements 1 and 3 soon.

73

Ray
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W2RDD
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Posts: 191




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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2006, 10:37:19 AM »

I learned cw at Keesler Field in 1958. Was my chosen career field. If I washed out, would probably have been permanent KP for 4 years. Now, how can we work the threat of forced Kitchen Police into cw requirement passage. Just kidding. 73
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KD7SGM
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2006, 12:05:27 PM »

Why would we want to "Work at it" If you enjoy transmitting code then by all means do so, but do not force me to embrace it. It is not relevant as a viable form of communications in todays world. A computer with a sound card and some software will provide faster, more efficient error free communications if I was looking for a mode other than phone. If your mode is CW because you enjoy it that is great, I am sure it will always have a loyal following but to make it a licensing requirement because you are afraid it will fade away is not appropriate and is detrimental to the hobby. I agree with keeping the written exam for the various license levels which should answer the dumbing down of the hobby argument(not that it has ever been said that only the smartest people are able to pass the morse requirement). If over the history of Ham radio progression of technology would not have been embraced, such as forcing  everbody to maintain the ancient art of CW then our hobbie would not be alive
today. Ham radio is a hobby and should be enjoyed but to state that CW is a vital mode to ham radio is the same as stating that a buggy whip is still vital to the transportation industry.  
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KD7SGM
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2006, 12:08:43 PM »

If you enjoy transmitting code then by all means do so, but do not force me to embrace it. It is not relevant as a viable form of communications in todays world. A computer with a sound card and some software will provide faster, more efficient error free communications if I was looking for a mode other than phone. If your mode is CW because you enjoy it that is great, I am sure it will always have a loyal following but to make it a licensing requirement because you are afraid it will fade away is not appropriate and is detrimental to the hobby. I agree with keeping the written exam for the various license levels which should answer the dumbing down of the hobby argument(not that it has ever been said that only the smartest people are able to pass the morse requirement). If over the history of Ham radio progression of technology would not have been embraced, such as forcing everbody to maintain the ancient art of CW then our hobbie would not be alive
today. Ham radio is a hobby and should be enjoyed but to state that CW is a vital mode to ham radio is the same as stating that a buggy whip is still vital to the transportation industry.
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WB9QEL
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2006, 07:36:55 PM »

Licensing requirements come with the territory within Ham Radio.  Would you like the FCC to say just do whatever you want, no more license requirements?  These debates about getting the license, what are they?  What are they really?  I sure don't understand it.  This is a hobby, think what it would be if all of our kids were taught that you have no accountability, no requirements to do anything.  Does anyone in this hobby, or on this website,  grasp this concept, just remotely?  One last thing, Testing or no testing, CW or no CW, just be nice to one another and have respect!!  When you are face to face with somone, on the air, or on the Web, man, have respect for other people!!  God Bless!

Nick
W9ZXT
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KD7SGM
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2006, 10:17:38 AM »

I do not think that anyone is advocating no license requirements, just no code requirement. How does CW add accountability? I do not understand how it can be healthy for our hobby to tell everyone coming into the hobby new that before you can experience HF on any mode or band you have to learn something that has no relevance anymore.Our hobby is ageing and we are not going to attract new people to the hobby with this limitation. Kids today grow up with computers, Xboxes and cell phones, do you honestly think that we will be able to interest them in learning the code? if you do you do not have kids.I love ham radio and the opportunity to learn new technologies I just have no interest in CW. I am angry with the way CW is forced down your throat in this hobbie and lorded over everone that has not passed the code requirement like they are better because of it. It is no longer an ITU requirement for a reason and that is what some people can not grasp.
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WB9QEL
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2006, 07:21:22 PM »

Hi Tom KD7SGM.  I read your post and you make some interesting points.  Please know that I don't make post's on the internet or get on the air to make others mad or try to spin something into what it is not.  At least I try not to.  I do understand what you are saying.  I know you don't think anyone is advocating no license requirements.  I probably do have a little different way of thinking when it comes to accountability and respect.  I'm not a real big fan of not earning something that you want.  I believe it may breed disrespect and no appreciation for what you have been rewarded with.  When a person feels that they really haven't earned anything, they may not feel as though they are accountable for what they have been rewarded with.  I do, also, understand your anger with the CW requirement.  I have 3 Girls, one 5, one 8, and one 13.  Believe me, I understand, they have anger also.  It's usually about learning something in school that is new, or homework that needs to be done that they don't want to do.  My children don't have an Exbox, cell phone, nor do anyone one of them have computer access.  All 3 of them know CW at different levels and actually like it, if you can believe that.  Hey, that's just me and my take on things a little.  Maybe if we were a little less concerned with how MANY Hams get their new license, or upgrade their existing one, and a little more interested in how they get it, maybe it could possibly make a difference in respecting one another in this hobby and make the hobby better.  One last thing, if CW is taken away because it is completely a thing of the past and the FCC agrees, how about taking away the published question/answer pool along with it.  Just something to think about.  Thanks for you post Tom.  God Bless!!

Nick
W9ZXT  
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KD8CZK
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2006, 03:08:11 AM »

Being 55 years old and having achieved a few things I think I have my own slant on this.  I once scored 25 WPM on a touch typing test.  To watch me today typing on my MAC, you would never guess it.  Plain simple truth is, NOTHING stays the same.  Touch typing on an old typewriter is an arcane skill.  I have had a number of achievements that no longer stand as tall as they once did.  Passing with a high score for my first FCC license does not mean as much, as it would have 35 to 40 years ago.  Even if the test were equal.

I will grant this.  Acane skills should be preserved.  When I upgrade, I will develop my FIST.  But, when change comes, cry-babying around about *change* just is not going anywhere.  Until the rules change, the Rules rule,  when they change, they are still the Rules. Are we the only country that has proposed this change?  Have not others already made the change? Try as we might, change is unavoidable.

Be proud of what you have done.  It makes you worthy.  Be glad new blood is coming into the hobby, even if they don't have to make their own tube rigs and pound brass.  

Jerry  KD8CZK
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KD7SGM
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2006, 01:43:17 PM »

I understand what you are saying, But CW is a mode like any other. To say that you may not have any HF privledges what so ever until you learn this mode is strange at best. Maybe we should make it that you have to pass a proficiency exam on satelite operations prior to having HF Privledges at least with satelites our technology base is progressing rather than static. When I started in this hobby I had no electronics background or knowledge, I was not even mechanically inclined. I am a business man who was paying a tremendous amount of money for communications and decided I should learn something about this industry that was taking so much of my money. The written exam for me at least was very difficult, the electrical theory portion was close to hopeless. I feel that I have earned something from where I was at zero knowledge to now having built my company's statewide commo system which has both data and voice capability I feel that I have accomplished something. I am not the smartest person around which maybe why the written exam was as hard as it was for me, we each have our own demons. How hard does it need to be? does it need to be so hard that people feel that it is just not worth it for hams to accept that they have "earned it" . The code test should not be an absolute barrier to all HF access. By the same token I do not believe that all requirements be lifted. This hobby is what it is and will be whatever the FCC says it will be, I just wished that our hobby was more accomodating. I also believe that if it does not become more accomodating it will eventually die.
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KI4OYV
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2006, 01:56:41 PM »

I recently took and passed the "Tech" test as to be able to help out with our local CERT organization, as well as ARES/RACES. I see the "NO CW" requirement as somewhat of a blessing to these Emergency Comm groups, who need the help on ALL bands and can't get the help because of the CW requirement. If the CW'ers want, give them a seperate licence or rider to the General license.
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W9WHE-II
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2006, 10:46:48 AM »

"For those holding on to hopes of a quick drop of the Code Requirement you may want to start to study the code or prepare to retake the written tests you have passed when your Certificate of Completion expires"

What a terribly mean-spirited thing to say. I think that type of language is hurtful to all of the whiners that have been whining for so long and also to the "entitlement' crowd that thinks that so long as they can whine about it, they are entitled to it!
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