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Author Topic: ARRL and CW  (Read 5608 times)

Posts: 57

« on: December 22, 2001, 05:50:22 PM »

Does the ARRL want to keep a code test as a requirement for a license that allows the operator to operate on HF?
As I understand in the past they were against the code free license.  
Does any one no if things are still that way?

Posts: 242

« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2001, 02:02:09 PM »

There is no question in my mind that the ARRL is still very much pro CW. I think it is important to read very carefully the statement they made about eliminating the Novice bands, because if you don't, you might well think the ARRL has changed its stance on the elimination of the code.  Not so. I think what they are looking for is a more effiecient way of putting the band plan together.  It does make sense to re-organize things now that there are only 3 license classes, and the FCC has stated that they will not change the bands until there is a concensus among Ham operators. A lot depends on what happens on 40m. I think it's important to put things together in such a way that new CW ops will feel comfortable in getting on the air.  As it is, if you are a new CW op, and you want to go somewhere that you can be assured you can find someone who will work you at a speed you can handle, you go to the Novice portion. If the Novice Bands are gone, it will be harder for the new CW ops to find others to work who they know will work them at a speed they can handle.  It sure is easy to say, "Well, just start working faster and you will gain speed".  Sorry, it just isn't that simple for everyone.  I think it will work out ok in the long run, but as far as the ARRL relenting on the code, you can forget about it.  

Posts: 12


« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2001, 12:30:04 AM »

It still comes down to less cw-only band, right?

I'm not concerned about speed... I don't see why speed has to be separated into band areas. I guess a lot of hams don't like to scan around like I do, but I enjoy it. And there are wide variants in speed in the general band already, right?


Posts: 12

« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2001, 03:38:11 AM »

  There are wide variations in speed all over the bands.  And, there are wide variations in CW ability as well.  The best thing about putting the newcomers with the OTs is that they will learn what passes for proper CW procedure and etiquette, without developing a "novice accent".  Hopefully, they'll learn to not send AR K at the end of a CQ - unless they're on an ARK!   K is the proper thing to send at the end of a CQ.  AR is good if you're already in a QSO.  
  This isn't stated to start some big squabble.  It has been the practice for more years than most of us have been on the air.
  This said, I hope everyone is having a fine holiday season.  Keep pounding the brass folks!

   73 es hpe cu on cw de WB6SMX - Jim

Posts: 729


« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2001, 01:07:59 PM »

I doubt it matters if the ARRL is pro/anti CW, though it's fairly clear they do not wish to eliminate it.  But the real chicken will roost at the FCC, and their goal is simplification of their procedures and workload - period.  If the WRC2003 abandons CW as a licensing requirement, then good and bad money both say the FCC will do the same, and ALL ham licenses will become 'code-free."  However, do not read into that the elimination of the CW bands; they will exist for possibly as long as ham radio exists, and certainly for a few more years.  

As to variation in speed, that will probably always be, but there is pretty much no difference between a 5 WPM Novice and a 5 WPM Extra, so making a subband based upon speed would be silly.  The current subbands are a leftover from Incentive Licensing, which has been totally negated in practice, and they should be eliminated.  

Novices can learn better by being in the general (not General) CW bands, but that, too, has been negated by the elimination of the Novice license!   The new training ground for hams is two meter FM, which is horribly unfortunate, (and it shows!)  but the ball has bounced, and it isn't going to bounce back.  

If the WRC2003 eliminates Morse as a testing requirement, and if the FCC follows suit (both "ifs" appear to be about 99.9 percent certain) then there will be no reason not to immediately grandfather all Novices, Techs and Tech Pluses into General.  Since there will be no difference between a General and an Extra, then everyone can then be immediately upgraded to Extra.   Having gone to that length, we can then downgrade everyone to "Amateur Radio Operator."   Which is probably what we should do.

But NONE of that suggests the elimination of the CW bands or the banning of code.  It merely says it won't be necessary to know code to be a ham.  An HF ham.   Those who enjoy code can still enjoy it, at whatever speed and ability they choose. What IS sad about that, though, is the ones who don't know code at all, but who use computer-generated code, can spread into the CW bands at high speeds, making life rough indeed for those who really do know code and love using it.  Using code with a computer is not a sin, and I have no quarrel with it, but claiming it as a "talent" is a very different thing.  LIke climbing onto an airliner and flying from New York to Los Angeles and then bragging about being a good pilot.   If those who use machine code will use it in respect of those who know the code as a "second language" then go ahead and machine away.  Some of us, perhaps a dwindling "some", will continue to do it the old way, just because we can and because it's fun, and we don't want to be crowded out.  

Probably the majority of tomorrow's hams will be on SSB, anyway, and that's fine.  The bottom line is CW will stick around a while longer in the ham bands, with or without the ARRL's approval.  


Posts: 39

« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2002, 02:50:11 AM »

We the ARRL members want to keep the code.  The top brass at headquarters must be under pressure by the advertisers who definitely want to make licenses easy to get.  Have you ever noticed that the pro-code people are unable to write a good letter in support of the code and get it pusblished?  I tried to get ARRL to list the different modes in their ability to get through.  Negative results.  Maybe I should take a course in letter writing.
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