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Author Topic: Code Proficiency Credentials?  (Read 1633 times)
K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« on: January 06, 2009, 02:00:49 PM »

I keep seeing references to some "Code Proficiency" test or certificate, ostensibly such that no-code licensees like myself could wave it in the face of the no-code-nay-sayers.

Yes, there WERE tests, but does any such "badge of honor" or membership exist in the U.S.?

Just curious.

I'm even more curious about how much the no-code whiners spend doing CW? I wonder that because, oddly, I have not heard this complaint "in code," but I'm still copying at best only around 12 to 18 WPM plain text or rag chews, on a good day.
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N5XH
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 04:33:24 PM »

http://www.arrl.org/awards/#cp  
Illegitimi non Carborundum
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K5END
Member

Posts: 1309




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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 09:22:55 PM »

"Illegitimi non Carborundum"

Ah, yes. Words of wisdom. Thanks for the link.

73
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W8ZNX
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 03:04:02 AM »

you don't need them

you can do the ARRL code runs

i know more than one
20 wpm extra
that has not run cw in over 25 years
they only got up to 20 wpm to pass the test
then threw away their telegraph key

nobody can tell if you passed or did not pass a code test

if you are hanging out down at the
bottom 50 kc of the bands
running cw

we all know
you know morse code
and don't have to prove anything to us

yours truly
mac
dit dit
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NB8N
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 05:57:43 AM »

>we all know
you know morse code
and don't have to prove anything to us

Amen! which gives summary of the difference between talkin' the talk and walkin' the walk.

But here's something I've been suspecting for a bit: many folks shun CW because they think they are not good enough.  That is, they stay on the sidelines after hearing the high-speed ops.  

My advice is to get in the game and make your CQ at a speed you are comfortable with, regardless of what that speed might be.  There may be some who will dial past your effort, but a good op will not.  He/she will pause, respond, and encourage your effort.

Give it a try.  

73,
Bob - NB8N
Harassing Electrons Since '78
www.bobburdick.com
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K5END
Member

Posts: 1309




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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 12:35:34 PM »

Not being "good enough" never stopped me at anything before, haha.

BUT, I confess I was very reluctant out of consideration for the experienced OM. "What gives me the right to ruin the fun," so to speak.

But what I noticed was the opposite of what I expected.

The CW ops complied willingly to the QRS in the first two QSOs, and by the 3rd QSO I could copy at least the average straight keys without a problem.

They told me that my code was good copy. I guess "good" is relative. Smiley

They said, keep practicing and welcome to CW.

QSL cards were immediate and encouraging.

Not one negative response on the bands, so far. Not one.

It was like walking into a room of old friends whom I'd never met before, if that makes sense.

Not used to that. You don't find many situations like that these days.
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W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2528




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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 12:55:29 PM »

Now that would be funny L K5end, someone complaining about no code ops in CW.

To go from 15-18 WPM to 20wpm, I had to write in script, and copy random characters and numbers.  Past 20wpm, I had to copy words in my head.

73
Bob
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PLANKEYE
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 04:19:33 PM »

The best thing you can do is get on the Air.  If you like CW put your keyboard up and get your Key out.

Quit trying to find your Badge of Honor.

The days of testing for the ticket are over.

Be nice to folks and Have Fun!!

PLANKEYE  

   

 
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3849




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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 04:32:07 AM »

I passed the old 20-wpm-FCC-examiner code test 38+ years ago. That was a one-time thing; show the examiner you can send and receive.

I've got a 30 wpm ARRL certificate around the shack someplace, again a one-time thing.

I say this just so you know where I'm coming from.

IMHO the most important Morse Code credential is what a ham does with it on the air. Ragchews, contests, traffic handling, DX, trying out new rigs/antennas and much more. Actual on-the-air operating - that's what really counts.


73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB2NVY
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 10:33:50 AM »

Back in the early '60s I got my ARRL code proficiency award for 20wpm as a general class ham, and was proud of it. I can copy about 25wpm, 100% now, but I often wonder about how anyone establishes their claimed copy speed. The ARRL award requires copying 1 minute 100% solid copy, which makes sense. But many people claim it's good enough to head copy "most" of what's sent. So, if I can copy only 75-80% of 50wpm, am I a 50wpm op? If so or if not, where do you draw the line between enough and not enough, short of 100%?
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3849




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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2009, 11:01:22 AM »

"The ARRL award requires copying 1 minute 100% solid copy, which makes sense."

Yep.

"But many people claim it's good enough to head copy "most" of what's sent."

I don't.

"So, if I can copy only 75-80% of 50wpm, am I a 50wpm op? If so or if not, where do you draw the line between enough and not enough, short of 100%?"

It depends. Morse Code is a variety of skills, resulting in a variety of speed ratings. For example:

- 100% write-it-down plain-language speed

- 100% write-it-down code groups speed

- 100% copy-in-your-head speed

- "got enough to follow the conversation" copy-in-your-head speed

- "grabbed a callsign/contest exchange" speed

just for starters.

Then multiply the above by variations in conditions (excellent, good, fair, poor), QRM, etc.

Of course none of that really matters.

What really matters is whether an op can have QSOs under whatever real-world conditions arise. For example, in a contest, an op who can do 40 wpm under ideal conditions but who can't handle QRM/QRN/QSB/QSD can be easily outscored by an op whose top speed is 20 wpm but who can pull lots of QSOs through all that.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2009, 11:02:10 AM »

> I'm even more curious about how much the
> no-code whiners spend doing CW? I wonder that
> because, oddly, I have not heard this complaint
> "in code," but I'm still copying at best only
> around 12 to 18 WPM plain text or rag chews,
> on a good day.

Some of the operators most bitter about the code
test being dropped are the ones who learned it
because it was a requirement, but never use it.

Those who do use it are happy to know it, whether
it was required or not.

> BUT, I confess I was very reluctant out of
> consideration for the experienced OM. "What gives
> me the right to ruin the fun," so to speak.

You're not ruining anyone's fun.

But what gives you the right to expect others
to slow down for you is that someone slowed down
to work the OT's when they were pups.

Truth is, tell someone, 'this is my first CW
contact' and you've made their whole day.

> It was like walking into a room of old friends
> whom I'd never met before, if that makes sense.

> Not used to that. You don't find many situations
> like that these days.

Congratulations, you've learned amateur radio's
"secret handshake".

73
Scott
W5ESE

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K5END
Member

Posts: 1309




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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2009, 01:52:28 PM »

Thanks for the response, Scott.

I did my first ever mobile QSO party last weekend, and as it happens my participation was 100% CW. Didn't plan it that way, but it worked out that way.

The experience was so rich even from the beginning that I feel like writing it up in an article--from drilling the first hole in the body metal of my beloved pickup, through all the challenges and finish up at the end of the day after my first ever experience to be at the center of a pile up.

73
LK

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W5ESE
Member

Posts: 550


WWW

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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2009, 02:25:56 PM »

> I did my first ever mobile QSO party last weekend,
> and as it happens my participation was 100% CW.
> Didn't plan it that way, but it worked out that way.

Wow, if it was the Oklahoma QSO Party, then I'm
sorry I missed you. I participated as a fixed
out-of-state entry, in the QRP category.

All my contacts were on 80m and 40m, so maybe you
stayed on 20m.

73
Scott
W5ESE

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WX7G
Member

Posts: 5920




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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2009, 01:57:39 PM »

You can test for and obtain an FCC 2nd Class Radiotelegraph Certificate. I have one.

This is the license that was required for shipboard radio use until Maritime CW was phased out in July of 1999.

It has been replaced by the GMDSS system for which the GMDSS maintainer license and the GMDSS operator license are used.
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