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Author Topic: Should band plans be revised?  (Read 11476 times)
NO2A
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2010, 09:10:32 PM »

And just when you thought it was safe to call "CQ" around 7050-7060 or so,some foreign station starts talking on lsb. Clear frequencies are getting as precious as gold!   Cheesy
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AB2T
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Posts: 246




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« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2010, 03:59:23 AM »

Blatant troll.

Either that, or someone who badly wanted to use the word "anachronic" in a sentence and couldn't think of any other way.

And even used the wrong word.  I think the OP was thinking of "anachronistic", which has a completely different meaning from "anachronic".

I didn't even notice that.

Cool!  "anachronic" is the vocab word of the day.  I'll try dropping it in a sentence.  That's the best way to retain vocabulary.

73, Jordan
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KATEKEBO
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« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2010, 06:45:32 AM »

While most of the comments are good and civilized, I can't help to notice that some people's the reverence for CW borders with religious fanaticism.  My initial post is based on three facts:
- Several countries' band-plans have a smaller reserved CW portion, albeit many of the allow CW across the entire band.
- USA and Japan has dropped CW from ham licensing requirements.  It appears that the authorities of these two countries believe that CW has limited interest / importance for the hobby of amateur radio.
- CW has been abandoned completely in vital safety communication systems such as GMDSS.

As I said, I have nothing against CW and I admire people who have mastered the skill.  I just questioned it's relative importance and status among the different modes and technologies used in amateur radio.

And to the people who make fun of my spelling mistake, I just want to let you know that English is my third language in terms of proficiency and fluency (among a total of five).  The next time I engage in conversation with a "gringo" who pretends to speak Spanish or French I'll make sure to follow your good example.

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N3QE
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« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2010, 06:56:32 AM »

While most of the comments are good and civilized, I can't help to notice that some people's the reverence for CW borders with religious fanaticism.
People's desire to enjoy the beach without getting sand kicked in their face borders with religious fanaticism, too. Go try it.
Quote
  My initial post is based on three facts:
- Several countries' band-plans have a smaller reserved CW portion, albeit many of the allow CW across the entire band.
This is a WEAKNESS of those countries band-plans and in many cases is a lingering effect of previous international SW broadcasting allocations.
Quote
- USA and Japan has dropped CW from ham licensing requirements.  It appears that the authorities of these two countries believe that CW has limited interest / importance for the hobby of amateur radio.
- CW has been abandoned completely in vital safety communication systems such as GMDSS.
There's no requirement that folks have the ability to SPEAK or LISTEN in SPEECH in ham radio or other radio services like GMDSS, either. I don't use this long-standing fact to advocate making the SSB allocations smaller, you will note!

In fact you will notice that there's no need to use speech to effectively use EPIRB, NAVTEX, RADIOTELEX, or other GMDSS/maritime radio systems, either.

Tim.
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K4FH
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« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2010, 08:47:33 AM »

I am so glad that I was not naive enough to stay a no-code extra.  I was licensed in 2007.  In 2008 I became an Extra.  In 2009 I became a know-code Extra.   Learning CW later in life is hard work but the reward is truly great.  SSB, PSK31, never gave me the enjoyment CW does.  With CW, I don't need a 100w, a linear, or StepIR at 75' to have fun.  I have a blast with < 20w and compromise antennas. 

The culture of CW is different than that of SSB too.  The opps are more professional and QSL'ing is far cheaper since most of us refuse SASE. 

I now operate 95% CW with the occasional SSB contact.  I've made more CW contacts than any other mode since licensed. 

I suggest that instead of making assumptions about "how dead" CW is take the time to learn it.  You might enjoy it.

73,
Chris kf4h

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NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2010, 09:01:22 AM »

Quote
I can't help to notice that some people's the reverence for CW borders with religious fanaticism. .....   I just questioned it's relative importance and status among the different modes and technologies used in amateur radio.

There's nothing fanatical about using a mode that's cheap to implement and more effective than almost any other-- nor in pointing out its advantages-- especially to someone who asks.

Concerning the "importance and status" of CW, here's a data point for you.  The ZL8X Kermadec Island expedition is in its final hours of operation.  According to their website: http://www.kermadec.de/service/qso_statistics/index.php they have made over 143 thousand contacts with over thirty thousand hams worldwide.  Over 81 thousand of these contacts (56.8 percent) were made using CW as opposed to SSB and digital modes.  On the difficult MF band (160 meters), 95 percent of their contacts were made using CW.

73,
Chuck  NI0C   
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N2EY
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2010, 01:54:57 PM »

I can't help to notice that some people's the reverence for CW borders with religious fanaticism. 

I don't think that's the case at all.

My initial post is based on three facts:
- Several countries' band-plans have a smaller reserved CW portion, albeit many of the allow CW across the entire band.

The USA does not have *any* reserved CW portions on *any* HF amateur band.

- USA and Japan has dropped CW from ham licensing requirements.  It appears that the authorities of these two countries believe that CW has limited interest / importance for the hobby of amateur radio.

It's a fact that the USA has dropped all Morse Code testing.

However that has nothing to do with the importance or interest in the mode.

The USA has reduced written testing as well.

- CW has been abandoned completely in vital safety communication systems such as GMDSS.

Those systems are not amateur radio. They do not use amateur frequencies or equipment.

-
As I said, I have nothing against CW and I admire people who have mastered the skill.  I just questioned it's relative importance and status among the different modes and technologies used in amateur radio.

You also recommended that the SSB space be widened even more than it is. But you don't give any specifics.

One of the ways to kill something off is to make it more and more difficult to do. In the USA, widening the SSB space on the HF bands means narrowing the space allowed for digital and Morse Code, unless other rules changes are made.

What you seem to be proposing is to squeeze the CW/Morse Code and digital ops into less and less space so that there will be more for SSB.

That's not a good idea.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KC2MJT
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« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2010, 04:26:53 PM »

Measuring the relative importance of modes in amateur radio is like measuring the relative importance of children.
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WB3CQM
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2010, 05:28:27 PM »


- USA and Japan has dropped CW from ham licensing requirements.  It appears that the authorities of these two countries believe that CW has limited interest / importance for the hobby of amateur radio.
- CW has been abandoned completely in vital safety communication systems such as GMDSS.


While I do not want to really get into a argument with any no code ham about this issue I think it should be pointed out.

First off it is not your fault you are a no code licensed  ham . It is the fault of the folks that licensed you . My self I have no hard feelings about the dropping of code or ill feeling about any new ham not having to learn it. Those that want to learn it will learn it and most likely stay at it.

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 .

 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 . But it dose not change the fact they still refuse to even learn the code. You have any idea the money they spend on ham radio ? I believe the no code requried will and has  generated millions of revenue .

You have any clue the money generated by allowing people to apply for a vanity call ? I sure would like to know .

On the other hand I know very outstanding hams  that learned the code and the min. they passed the exam never again used it. So why even learn it in the first place? Those that WANT to learn it WILL learn it sooner or later.

Speaking only for my self - I got into Amateur Radio in 1976 to be a CW OPERATOR . Today in 2010 I work more at cw practice and have just as much or more excitement working DX in the CW mode then when I started.  To work ZL8X on Top Band CW with 100 watts on a home made antenna is hard to describe the JOY I had from the CW contact. I have made 1000's of cw contacts and I would not trade one cw for 10 or 20 ssb.

You can not even understand what that Top Band cw contact is let alone any cw contact. I might as well talk to the WALL than talk to you.

The Maritime Service like WCC was losing money as I understand it with the people they had to hire and pay. Again it was about money. It would be hard to argue that picking up a satellite phone would not be the best and fastest way to get help if your ship was going down.

Ham Radio is a Hobby and at the same time a business for many people.

It is not because these countries  see cw as lack of importance in ham radio.

You need to again look at all the statics of all the DXpeditions and you will see the majority make more CW contacts.

Listen to the CQWW -CW contest one weekend-

You have any idea the money spent on Morse Code Tapes , Keys , filters , contest and contest stations ? ... Speaking of my self I spent over  $20,000 alone on tower and  antenna systems and computer , radio  and keys  for one reason only -CW DXing -

I can name many people that have just as much interest in cw dxing or just cw as mode to talk to other hams as my self.

And you want to take what cw frequency from us that we have ?

My 2 cents OM your way out in left field on this issue.
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N2EY
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« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2010, 07:01:27 PM »

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
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KATEKEBO
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« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2010, 05:50:09 AM »


But I think the code *TEST* was dropped from amateur radio licensing for very different reasons.

73 de Jim, N2EY

The main reason that code was dropped is because amateur radio is a hobby in decline and making it easier to get licensed gave it additional life support, at least for some time.  The number of licensed hams in the US over the past 10 years has remained flat (+/- 1%), in spite of a 10% increase in population.  If the code requirement was still in place, the number of hams would be steadily decreasing, and this is bad for both ARRL and radio equipment manufacturers, so they lobbied to get the code dropped and make ham radio more accessible.

It would be interesting to see statistic of code proficiency by age group as well as date of upgrade to General / Extra.  I bet that a very substantial percentage (probably majority) of hams who have upgraded to General / Extra after the code requirement was dropped don't know Morse and will never learn it.  Today ham radio is still dominated by "mature" hams who had to learn code as part of their licensing process, but as more and more new, code-less hams take over (and old-timers pass away), there will be less and less CW activity.

My question may seem controversial today (just as the idea of code-less General and Extra hams was few years ago), but it is only a matter of time that code's popularity will decrease, especially given that two largest ham communities (US and Japan), as well as ITU, have dropped code requirement.  It's only a matter of time that other countries will follow, and 20-30 years from now CW will be a relic  - few hams will practice it as an "art", but the vast majority of amateur radio community will be code-less (assuming that ham radio can survive that long as a significant activity, but that is another story).  The question is - should we wait until then to revise the bandplans, or should we act proactively (maybe not today, but in 5 or 10 years) to adjust to prevailing trends.  The gradual shift to more and more code-less hams is not noticeable today because the code requirement was dropped just recently (compared with the average lifespan of an active ham), but in my opinion the drop in code's popularity is inevitable.

If anybody knows where we could find code-proficiency statistics by age and upgrade date, please post if here.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2010, 06:16:34 AM »

I'll say it again  Grin  What you are referring to as "CW bands" are not that at all. CW is permitted (with a few restrictions) on any frequency authorized for use by a licensee. What you are referring to as the "CW bands" are actually authorized for CW, RTTY, and Data modes.

If CW were to dissapear from the scene entirely, there would still be activity on RTTY and Data modes on those frequencies. I expect that Data mode activity will continue to increase over the years. You can't ignore that activity when considering band plans.

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K2BEW
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« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2010, 06:33:36 AM »

I'm a "no-code" extra.
However, I strongly agree that the cw band plan should remain as it is.
First of all it is very easy to think just because you personally don't do or like something then it "must be that way for everyone"
Very narrow self-centred thinking.

Secondly, there is room on the bands for everyone and in fact I think in some ways there is more room than there used to be.
I think there is a decline in Hams with the advent of the Internet, so there is no need to gain more room for other modes.

Finally, although I am not proficient yet, I am learning CW and really look forward to using those bands. And even though I got my General with no code I would have gladly taken the code part of the test and I personally think it should not have been eliminated.

73
Tom
N2BEW
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WB3CQM
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« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2010, 03:25:06 PM »


But I think the code *TEST* was dropped from amateur radio licensing for very different reasons.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 Today ham radio is still dominated by "mature" hams who had to learn code as part of their licensing process, but as more and more new, code-less hams take over (and old-timers pass away), there will be less and less CW activity.

.  The question is - should we wait until then to revise the bandplans, or should we act proactively (maybe not today, but in 5 or 10 years) to adjust to prevailing trends. 


Well it seems to me YOU are on the wrong forum to take over or change  the cw and data frequency .

It would seem to me trying to convince NOW cw operators and future cw operators that we need to revamp the cw bands would be best done over on the SSB Forum !

Morse Code has been with us 160 years and I do not vision like you do that it will disappear in 30 years.

I see a vision that CW Contest will continue and I see the Vision that the Club Log will continue to be even more popular because we as little humans love to compete and in order to win the top spot on the leader board you NEED to LEARN and practice CW .

CW is without any doubt in my mind the greatest mode of communication there is on HF bands. Rather just having a nice qso in Morse Code or DXing . Weak signals , low power , simple transmitters , simple wire antennas , long distance , Top Band DXing ect .... CW will I think live as long as we are allowed to use the HF frequency spectrum .

And while you are fueling the fire I might add that  MORE than MORSE CODE  was dropped from the EXTRA EXAM .  When I took the Extra in front of the FCC I also had to pass first 50 questions of the advanced test. That was 20 wpm and 90 questions to receive Extra . It was a one shot deal and no second chance that day . I worked very very hard at passing the extra  and it was not done over night or in 3 days after passing the General.

Do your self a big favor and learn Morse Code and find out what a great part of the hobby it is. And in 30 years you can fight to keep the CW bands as they are. SSB / CW / Data operators all need to stick together for the best of the hobby .

73 JIM/WB3CQM 



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K4FH
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« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2010, 03:31:17 PM »



CW is without any doubt in my mind the greatest mode of communication there is on HF bands. Rather just having a nice qso in Morse Code or DXing . Weak signals , low power , simple transmitters , simple wire antennas , long distance , Top Band DXing ect .... CW will I think live as long as we are allowed to use the HF frequency spectrum .


I'll tell you what I did today.

I made a contact with AA1TJ in VT, me in GA.  This was with CW.   AA1TJ is an experimenter.  He gets joy out of using as little power as possible.  His rig of choice today was made on a bread board using a Raytheon sub-miniature tube.   Total power around 40mW with a perfect match.   For those that do not know, 40mW is about the amount of power you get when you rub a balloon on your head Smiley

I gave him a 339 and he was weak but if he had slowed down and increased the length of the elements we could have carried a conversation.  920 miles with only 40mW.  It is contacts like those that make every minute invested learning CW well worth it!

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