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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

No-Code International Waged 'Battle':

Dwayne Sparks (AK4P) on December 15, 2005
View comments about this article!

NO-CODE INTERNATIONAL

Candidates statement, and CALL FOR ADDITIONAL CANDIDATES.

Please pass this message on to other Radio Amateurs, especially NCI members.

NO-CODE: THE END-GAME

You may know me: I'm Bruce Perens K6BP. I'm the founder of No-Code International. Outside of Amateur Radio, I'm probably best known as one of the founders of the Open Source movement in computer software, and an early Linux developer. You can read my bio at http://perens.com/ .

When I started NCI in 1997, I never dreamed that we'd achieve our goals so quickly - but we are most of the way there. Last year, the International Amateur Radio Union, composed of national radio societies from all over the world, voted to ask for the removal of the international treaty provision requiring Morse Code testing for Radio Amateurs. Even ARRL voted in favor of removing code requirements from the (international) Radio Regulations. There is no remaining credible opposition to NCI's cause on the international level. It's certain that code requirements will be removed during a future World Radio Conference, hopefully the one in 2003.

The battle then moves on to the national front, or should I say 204 national fronts. But this might not be much of a fight. National Amateur Radio societies that lobbied to preserve code testing would likely be opposed by their own governments and citizens. The U.S. FCC has already stated that their only reason for 5 WPM code testing is to satisfy the international treaty requirement. As its demographics change, the worldwide Amateur population becomes progressively less enamored of code requirements. Even pro-code organizations like FISTS have wisely concentrated on promoting the use of Morse on the air, rather than on the test. Thus, I don't see it as a winning strategy for any radio society, even ARRL, to continue to drag its feet on code testing once the international requirement ends. We won't fall asleep at the switch: NCI will persevere until the day that code requirements have been eliminated in every nation. But the end-game calls for a very different NCI from the one we've had up to now.

NCI has always been an adversary, and now it's time for us to be a partner. Our opposition has conceded enough that it's time for NCI to reconcile with them. If we don't do so, we could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by motivating new opposition in the no-code battle. But I am not confident that some of the present NCI directors are ready for the challenge of cooperation with their old enemies. A number of them cling to a rabid and vindictive ARRL-phobia in a time when little more than watchfulness is appropriate. Thus, I am calling for the formation of a slate of candidates to bring NCI into the future, as a partner in the rehabilitation of Amateur Radio.

The CW requirements battle, carried on since the 1950's, has been a crippling one for Amateur Radio. In a time when we should have been moving the Amateur Service into the future, many of us dug our heels in to the past, diverting our collective energy from the healthy growth of our service and the defense of our radio spectrum allocation. We Radio Amateurs, through our own short-sightedness, took a vital Service and transformed it into technology's endangered species. But the Amateur Radio Service remains critically important as an educational tool. Amateur Radio is still the only practical means of maintaining a worldwide corps sufficient to improvise effective communications in any emergency, no matter how large. The social benefits of the Amateur Service, and the many good attributes of the Amateur Radio hobby, must be preserved. All Amateurs must unite to achieve that goal.

For NCI to take its appropriate role in the end-game of the no-code battle means cooperation with national societies like ARRL, and with IARU on the international front. Although I was bitterly opposed to ARRL's long-standing policy in favor of high-speed code testing, my goal has always been to get them to change their minds, not to defeat them. I've maintained my ARRL membership during the entire existence of NCI, and was lucky enough to be able to donate $1000 to ARRL's frequency defense fund last year. Every U.S. Amateur should donate whatever they can to that fund - go to https://www.arrl.org/forms/fdefense/fdefense.html to do so, or read about the fund at http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2002/01/14/2?nc=1

It's time to re-build NCI's leadership. Any person who was an NCI member on December 31, 2001 can be a candidate for director, and can vote in the election to be held no later than April 30. NCI directors can volunteer to attend government and radio society meetings on behalf of the organization, but most of them do little more than discuss the organization's policy and vote their directions via email. Thus, the load of being an NCI director is a manageable one for a busy person. We need new blood, and we need to question our existing leadership about how they will bring our organization into the future, if they are to continue in their positions at all.

Please write to me and tell me how you feel about this, especially if you are willing to serve as a candidate.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens K6BP
Incumbent NCI Director

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by ERNESTTHOMPSONEXK4EAT on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"The CW requirements battle...has been a crippling one for Amateur Radio. In a time when we should have been moving the Amateur Service into the future, many of us dug our heels in to the past, diverting our collective energy from the healthy growth of our service and the defense of our radio spectrum allocation."

AMEN Brother!!!
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KC2FTN on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Bravo!

KC2FTN
NCI 3853
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N4QA on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Bullsh**, next case!
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KG9IO on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"It's certain that code requirements will be removed during a future World Radio Conference, hopefully the one in 2003."

Someone is a little slow on the draw.......
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WK3C on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If you'll look at the top of this subject thread, it appears that this is a rather old text that has been dredged up from somewhere and it *appears* that it was posted by Dwayne Sparks (AK4P), not Bruce Perens.

Looks to me like more "flame fanning" ...

73,
Carl - WK3C
Executive Director, NCI
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N4QA on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WK3C,

*Now* we all know why ARRL denied your bid to run for Director, Atlantic Division.
I wish they hadn't.
It would have been a pleasure to watch your campaign go down in flames...
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K7NNG on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NCI, BRUCE PERENS???? JUST THE SOUND OF THE NAMES SPARKS RAGE WITHIN ME.
YOU PEOPLE ARE NO GOOD, UP TO NO GOOD, AND IMHO THE LOWEST OF LOW LIFE IN AMERICA.
YOU HAVE CREATED A MONSTER, RUINED DECADES OF RADIO
HAM VALUES AND HISTORY.
YOU ARE THE NEW GENERATION OF GIMMEE GIMMEE WITH NO WORK AND STUDY WHICH IS NOT A COMPLIMENT TO HAM RADIO.
WHAT YOU HAVE CAUSED, WILL HAPPEN, BUT AT WHAT EXPENSE?
YOU ONLY ACCOMPLISHED THIS BECAUSE YOU HAD THE NUMBERS OF BEGINNERS (TECHS) BEHIND YOU.
I WOULD BE ASHAMED, I AM ASHAMED THAT YOU AND YOURS ARE PART OF HAM RADIO.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by GM1MQE on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I find it really surprising tha the USA still requires this. We think the UK as being slow on this issue but I have been operating HF for over a year now.

Andy Norrie
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KG4TZM on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I think this link is the same article on his website:
http://perens.com/Articles/NCI_reform.txt
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KD8BSW on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Most major countries are dropping the code requirement, What reasoning dose it make, to require cw if you never plane to use it? the Ham ranks are dropping radical. most radio clubs, the membership is in the age of 50+, we must change with the time's I see a lot of "I had to learn it so everyone else should to."
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KE7AKS on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I still say that we should all be required to learn
hirogliphics, in order to get HF privliges. it would require much more dedication and effort. Then the generals, and extras would really have bragging rights. They could then use SSTV to communicate....
Really COOL use of technologies, and history..

Well maybe it would be just as much fun to find the old Buck Rodgers Secret Code Ring again...
73's Harv
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WY3X on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps the same people who want to maintain the code requirement are the same ones who want elementary and high schools to retain spelling, grammar, and English classes? Just a thought. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to peruse the litany of anti-CW posts on this website to come to that conclusion. Not trying to offend anyone in particular, read them for yourself! Apparently, even CNN is noticing a degradation of aptitude in basic reading and writing skills since the arrival of the personal computer in our public schools (as reported recently). Why learn correct grammar and how to spell when your computer can do it all for you? Pencil and paper were better learning tools than computers 30 years ago. "In the day", most learned computer skills in college, not in elementary school. It all comes down to laziness, and lack of basic motivation and patience in the learning of a new skill. This is becoming the trend for many (not all) of today's youth. With apologies to and drawing a parallel with Federal Express, they absolutely, positively, have to be on HF overnight! Our youth see this ad repeatedly on television, and it works for today's business, so why not for them? Throw a few bucks around and you can be on the air in no time! No skills required! Did your grandfather start life as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Likely, he started in the mail room, right? Amateur radio, as with business, had it's mail room, and the employees there held the Novice class license. Basics first, the advanced stuff will come soon enough. CW *IS* a basic amateur radio skill, but regretfully, not for long. Amateur radio once taught life skills as well as technical knowledge. After the CW requirement is gone, all that will be left is rote memorization of the test questions. Nowadays, everybody wants to be the company CEO without having to learn any basics. Watching business reports on TV makes life appear this way. Michael Powell, last chairman of the FCC, got his job because daddy gave it to him. Look at the mess we have been left with because of his tenure: BPL. NCI should be ashamed of themselves and their position. Amateur radio will *NOT* be left a better place because of the loss of CW. -KR4WM
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by NE0P on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I am John Geiger, NE0P, founder of NWTI-or no written test international. Our purpose is to remove the written test requirement for US ham licenses, since it is an outdated requirement that keeps people from becoming hams. There is no reason to test people on knowledge they will never use once they enter the ham service. If you also want to see the written test requirement dropped so we can move amateur radio into the 22nd century, post here or drop me an email.
 
Death Wishes Over a Dying Hobby?  
by K4RAF on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Ah yes, another kumbaya moment, feeling the love & fraternity of fellow amateurs!

The saddest of fact of "digging in your heels" is you close the door on millions who would otherwise consider showing interest in getting a license. You just want your little hazing ritual to remain intact, until the service is totally 'refarmed' once & for all!

Now is it any wonder why there are about 100 million FRS radios, 75 million 802.11 users, 70,000 GMRS licensees & only 00.60 million hams?

Thank you ARRL for continuing to divide the (once) fraternity into a sandbox fistfight...

k4raf@yahoo.com

 
RE: Death Wishes Over a Dying Hobby?  
by AK4P on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
RE: K4RAF

<<Now is it any wonder why there are about 100 million FRS radios, 75 million 802.11 users, 70,000 GMRS licensees & only 00.60 million hams?>>

Maybe it is because ham radio was different. You had to know something to be a ham. There's never been great numbers of US ham radio operators; right now there are more than there's ever been. Now that the code is gone, the floodgate will be open. You likely will see the numbers of hams increase into the millions when radio manufacturers start cranking out 2-meter rigs and other ham radios like they do FRS radios. It will be bedlam. No regard for FCC rules, no regard for other operators. Just look what FRS did to the GMRS service if you need an example. Thanks guys.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KB8DFK on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Since when should the U.S follow the international community? And if your too lazy to learn Code, your free to use your HF privileges on 11 meters. Is that a 10-4 good buddy?
 
Wait a minute...the fat lady hasn't sung yet...  
by N4QA on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Did I miss something?
Has FCC released its final R&O on the Morse requirement issue?
Famous American Yogi Berra has been quoted as saying:
"It ain't over 'til it's over."
He also said:
"You made the wrong mistake."

Hint to No Cod (e intentionally deleted) International officers, members and sympathizers:

The cheapening of *any* of its licensing requirements does not cause amateur radio to be more valuable.
 
RE: Wait a minute...the fat lady hasn't sung yet..  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Makes you wonder, what does an organization, who�s mission is to be against something, do, if the evil scourge, blighting the world, is no more?

How does one channel all that negativity with no negative?

Even better, one whose claim to fame is writing code, against code?

Maybe he goes code blue?

Oh Noooooo. No-code, going co-ed!
 
The fat lady is singing the song now!  
by AD6WL on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NCI played a part in the successful removal of the morse requirement by dividing and conquering. They supported the morse elimination proposals as three different groups; NCI, W5YI, and NCVEC. Fred Maia, W5YI, is a board member or higher in each of these organizations and has used his position in these groups to get more No-Code proponents in these groups and to persuade them to support the morse elimination. A lot of people suspect he is primarily doing this to increase the sales of his study material. His study books encourage the memorization of the correct answers and not the learning of the material. Also, he and his groups have supported easier exams.
 
RE: The fat lady is singing the song now!  
by KC8QDU on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
It's garbage like this that makes me turn off the radio and go spend time with my family.
 
Nothing at all has changed:  
by AI2IA on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing has changed.
The Morse Code segments of the bands are all in place.
Use of Morse Code has not been forbidden.
Morse Code equipment sales are still going on.
The same old myths about people "memorizing" the answers to test questions are still alive and well.
Have you ever really met anyone who memorized ten or more questions? I am a VE, and I have never met one.
Most tech candidates are enthusiastic and want to learn, not to memorize. They welcome Elmers but get turned off by the grumps and doom sayers. If you don't believe me, go ask them.
The grumps and doomsayers are still grumping and doom saying.
We still hear code on the air.
The great ones still have no patience with the five-word-per-minute hams who are trying to do code on the air.
What would all of these complainers do if they did away with the licenses and kept everything else in place?
You've got a license. You've got the option to use code anytime you want. You don't need anything else. Ham it up and be happy.
 
RE: Nothing at all has changed:  
by AD6WL on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
“Nothing has changed.”

We used to have 20 wpm Extra class ops who had to take very hard written exams. Now we have 5wpm Extras (like me) who took some pretty easy exams.

“The Morse Code segments of the bands are all in place.“

Yes, and there have been proposals to reduce them.

”Use of Morse Code has not been forbidden.“

No and probably never will be.

”Morse Code equipment sales are still going on.”

I don’t know if the sales are up, down or flat but yes, they are still going on.

”The same old myths about people "memorizing" the answers to test questions are still alive and well. Have you ever really met anyone who memorized ten or more questions? I am a VE, and I have never met one.”

I am also a VE and personally know of a ham who memorized his Tech exam answers. He studied the correct answers only. He did not study the wrong answers or even the questions! He only studied the correct answer and he passed the Tech exam. He didn’t ace it or get a very high score but he did pass. He brags about it on a Los Angeles area repeater that is known for not having the best of ops on it.

”Most tech candidates are enthusiastic and want to learn, not to memorize.”

You are 100% correct. Most techs that I have taught or given the exam to are great people and are becoming great hams.

“They welcome Elmers but get turned off by the grumps and doom sayers.”

You’re probably right. The fact is that most doom sayers (as you call them) are not found at ham meetings and field day. Of course, I’m not sure what you are defining as a doom sayer.

“If you don't believe me, go ask them. The grumps and doomsayers are still grumping and doom saying.”

I have never heard any of the Tech candidates mention anything about doom sayers.

”We still hear code on the air.”

Yes.

”The great ones still have no patience with the five-word-per-minute hams who are trying to do code on the air.”

Wrong! Goto: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/qrs-cw or www.fists.org and you can meet the greatest ops who always QRS for you. Better yet get on the air and you will hear some very experienced ops QRS for you. I know because many of them have helped me with my code over the past few years and most still get on there and they (we) love to meet new CW ops.

”What would all of these complainers do if they did away with the licenses and kept everything else in place?”

Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by this.

”You've got a license.”

That is correct.

“You've got the option to use code anytime you want. You don't need anything else.”

I would say you do need more than just the option.

“Ham it up and be happy.”

I wish I had more time to get on the air, but I’m still very happy ;-)
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KE4ZHN on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This has got to be the biggest load of bulls*** Ive read in quite a while. The FCC released a statement that they favor removing the morse code testing requirements on its own, NCI had nothing to do with it. Since when does a group like NCI have so much clout with the FCC? What a laugh! Perhaps if some of these good buddies quit playing with their echo mikes long enough, they could have learned the code.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by NE0P on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"Use of Morse Code has not been forbidden.“

Yes it has been on 60 meters.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KB8DFK on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I learned code from ARRL tapes back in 1987 at 5wpm, I passed my exam and after receiving my license I operated with a very sloppy fist on 40,80 and 15 meters. I had hundreds of QSO's with CW pros who took the time to slow down their code speed to QSO with me. I got plenty of operating tips and soon my code was as smooth as butter. I worked hundreds of DX stations on 15 meters before upgrading, most of these QSO's wouldn't have been able to take place on any other type of operating mode but with Code I was able to filter out the QRM and QRN. Had I not been forced to learn code my experience would have never been this sucesfull! Why are people so against having to learn something in order to gain? Most of the excuses before the "No Code Tech" was "I don't have the time to learn code" and now these same guys are on VHF saying the same thing about upgrading to get HF priviliges.. Now I hear alot of guys saying "Im studying for my General because they're gonna dump the code" Is this what we want? Something for nothing? These guys who have NO time to learn code are just lazy, and shouldn't even be Amateur operators. I personally think the FCC should require Code to be tested every 4 or 5 years in order to keep an Amateur license. All this talk about, No one is Elmering newbies is BS, Go buy some Tapes or CD's learn the code and practice, stop trying to get something for nothing. Whether your gonna use it or not CODE needs to be apart of Amateur radio testing. I know No code Technicians who can't even Identify there own callsign in CW thats ashame!!!
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K7FD on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NCI? Shouldn't it be NIC...for "No, I Can't..."

Again, for all those who might have missed the truth, you really can't call yourself a ham radio operator if you don't know the code. You can only lie to yourself.

73 John K7FD
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB4TJH on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This K4BP sounds like one really arrogant jackass, and I place the emphasis on the second half of that word jackASS.
 
RE: Death Wishes Over a Dying Hobby?  
by K4RAF on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"Maybe it is because ham radio was different"

Agreed but less now than just 5 or 10 years ago. We used to have leaded gas, smoke cigarettes on movie sets & didn't need to force people to wear seatbelts by law. Times change, adapt...

"You had to know something to be a ham."

The fact you have put both references in the past tense means that you might conceed it already has become less of a difference. I passed 13WPM in 1982. I honestly can care less when the FCC will drop it, but it will.

k4raf@yahoo.com
 
RE: No Code International-waged 'Battle':  
by VE7ALQ on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I live in Canada, and we had the misfortune of dropping the Morse Code requirement for prospective Amateurs. I operate CW only on HF, not SSB, and find CW goes a lot further than SSB for a compromise antenna and 100 watts. Already there are no "CW sub-bands" in Canada, just a "gentlemen's agreement" that we don't use SSB below 3725 kHz. How long will it take for the U.S. to eliminate the code sub-bands, and rely on a "Gentlemen's Agreement" when not everybody is a gentleman?
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KC0VCU on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>"Use of Morse Code has not been forbidden.�
>
>Yes it has been on 60 meters.

Actually, no it hasn't. The mode CW has been forbiden on 60 meters, but you can still send modulated tone via Upper Sideband Phone. That may not be your prefered method of sending code, but if you do send that way, you are not violating the restrictions within the 60-meter band.

I do suspect that tying up one of the five channels made aviailable within the 60 meter band for CW traffic is probably not going to endear you to other operators. Also as a secondary user of the band it may not be considered good utilization and you may be asked to stop by a primary user, but you run that risk anyway.

For that matter it is primarily by agreement within the user community that hams don't send code over a 2-meter, 220, or 440 repeater. Though again modulated tone is used for repeater ids, and is even sent by many radios as part of their ranging capaiblities.

Code may not be prefered, but it is still usable. CW is not allowed, but that is a mode that is used to send code, and not the only one available. There is a distinction.

73

-Rusty - kc0vcu (who happens to be a no code tech, studying to pass the code requirements for his general upgrade.)
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KD5PSH on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
One only needs to read the comments made by the no-coders to be aware that Morse is not all they have managed to avoid learning. These are very ignorrant fellows indeed.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB9QEL on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I just ran across this article and wondered who the NCI was so I read it. Kinda wild I guess, I knew the code issue was touchy but WOW!! I have said this before in couple of posts, take away the requirements to become a licensed operator and it will not be a very good thing for Ham Radio. When I was growing up, man I loved CB radio. I was about 10-11 years old and it was really cool. My dad had a base, my grampa had a base and everyone had Mobiles. Radio was cool. Then I found out about Ham radio. It was even more cool. These guys didn't just have radios with channels and stuff, they had RADIOS and did all kinds of different stuff than us CB guys. My dad at that time had a YAESU FT-101E with 11 meters, that was our base radio. They called them Rice Burners. If you had a Rice Burner, man, you had a good setup.
I loved CB radio and started listening and learning about what it was about to be a Ham operator. I had a school teacher that was one and was also an electronic teacher that explained alot about the hobby and helped me understand it. The first thing I realized, after starting to understand Ham radio is, I better start studying!! Electronics/CW if I want to get my license. I got my Novice after 2 trys, had CW down no problem, came easy to me. Electronics is what slowed me up, still does. I could send and receive code but could not get on the air and would listen and think man I have to study electronics, because I am ready to make some contacts. Had to study and Work At It more though. Study!!
I made alot of contacts and really enjoyed it. Few years later I joined the Marine Corps and over the years let my license expire. I got my license back in the early 1990's as a general but never got back on the air, until about a year or so ago.
I know most of you are thinking what in the world is this idiot talking about? I really hate to see it come to this in regards to Ham Radio. It really is not about CW, it is about working for and studying for something that means something to you when you get it. It requires work! CW and electronic theory (Without the question Pool) requires work to learn. We have already taken away the electronic theory (by publishing the answers and questions to the FCC's test) and dropped CW to 5 WPM. Some say, but CW still exists right? I say try it from 5 WPM to 13-20 WPM if you want a General or Extra, it's hard!! I have never once seen an article on publishing the FCC's questions pool for the elctronic theory for the test. Is that OK with everyone? Publish the question pool, take away the CW requirement, and get your license. What's next, no test? Now that is CB!
If the inc, wic, or the cns want CB radio back, they are well on their way to getting it. The bad thing is there will be no Ham Radio alternative to getting away from it.
Any new Hams that would like to explore CW try the FISTS website or contact me, my e-mail is up on QRZ.com.

73 ES God Bless
Nick
W9ZXT

 
RE: Death Wishes Over a Dying Hobby?  
by N5EAT on December 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The amateurs who have left the code behind and moved into the future seem to have one thing in common: Unattended Beacon Mode. Now that our computers can control our rigs, perhaps THEY should be required to pass a license exam. Most of these 'stations of the future' seem to be empty suits beaming data streams into the ether where they are duly ignored. And I suppose you guys and gals get some kind of interesting yet unproductive thrill from knowing your rigs are wasting spectrum while you're at work or on vacation.

Way to go, Future!!!
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WA4LYN on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Why not drop the written test requirements as well? I'm 44 years old now, but was first licensed as a Novice in junior high, and achieved Amateur Extra a few years later when the code requirement was 20 wpm with one minute of solid copy.

Graduated licensing WITH a code requirement helps produce qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, and courteous ham operators, and relegates the others to 27 MHz where they belong.

A ham license is an earned privelege, not a right. It certainly is a sad sign of the times when a ham license can be found at the bottom of a box of Cap'n Crunch.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KA7EKW on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The primary arguments in favor of keeping the Code requirements boil down to either "I Hadda So You Gotta" (IHSYG) or the old saw about the kid who saves his by rebuilding the family's Atwater-Kent and sending code for 120 hours straight.

How about requiring anyone who wants to get a ham license to build their first radio, like I did? I Hadda So You Gotta! Heck, most of these guys are just appliance operators, they have no idea what they look like and would be dangerous with a soldering iron.

As far as the second idea, well, we're kinda short on Atwater-Kents these days.

If you want to run code, you are welcome to it. There are some chunks of the spectrum set aside just for you to play, and I have a lot of respect for guys and gals who can hammer out 30 or 40 words per minute.

However, the market has proven that the vast majority of hams -- even those of us who learned the code -- never bother with it after passing the exams that we needed it for. If there were really a major interest in CW, a good key wouldn't cost nearly as much as a good HT!
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KG4TZM on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
As for getting rid of morse code or not, I really don't know, it's a kind of tough decision. I like CW personally and would rather it stick around, (I would like to have a high WPM code copy requirement for the extra, to be honest).

That is merely my biased opinion on the subject though. I can see the no-code argument from the other perspective. The tests are already pretty easy (question memorization that doesn't really stick with a person), so I would like to see the requirement stay. It would be better though if everyone would just self-motivate themselves and "learn more" in the hobby regardless of the testing requirements. Try to learn about some new aspect of ham radio. That would be ideal. Perhaps I should take my own advice....

Derek
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K8XF on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The views expressed by K6BP are foolish and only shows what a small minded person who takes his time hopes to accomplish. If this person only had enough brains he could have done more with his time and not wasted his efforts.

Viva CW

Mike, K8XF
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N3EVL on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"...Since when should the U.S follow the international community? And if your too lazy to learn Code, your free to use your HF privileges on 11 meters. Is that a 10-4 good buddy?..."

An unkind person might be tempted to conclude that YOU'RE too lazy to learn correct use of English which tends to take the punch out of YOUR argument ;)

 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KC8VWM on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

Drop english and grammar as a requirement in amateur radio!!


We can just get on the air and make grunting sounds like neanderthol cavedwellers in hopes that everyone intelligently understands one another.


rruurhr rrrh ruh rrrru rrrh

rrrrrr ruuurhhrr ruuuhhrr

 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WA4DOU on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If you can't do a reasonable job of expressing yourself, both written and orally, you'll have a harder time being taken seriously in life. Grammar, spelling and your ability to construct coherent sentences does matter. The Internet serves to highlight the extent to which modern education and many of its products declined.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WA4DOU on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
To make a statement that one should not have to learn morse code because one never plans to use it is to speak from ignorance. Do I worry if you want to learn morse code or not? No. It remains as the second most popular mode and will continue to do so into the forseeable future. Its performance is second to none.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K2FIX on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
TROLL ALERT !!! TROLL ALERT !!!

THIS ISSUE IS DONE, WHEN THE FCC RELEASES THE REPORT AND ORDER, WHICH WILL HAPPEN SHORTLY, CW WILL BE ANOTHER INTEREST IN HAM RADIO, NOT A HAZING RITUAL.

STILL, WHAT A TROLL !!!!
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K3UD on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
It is amazing how something as easy as learning the code at 5 WPM in order to pass a test engenders so much hate and spawns organizations with the goal of putting a stake through its heart. There is no logic to it and it is almost a form of mass hysteria.

To paraphrase a rather famous hippy song of the 60s...

You don't know what you got till its gone...they took away the code and put in a digital bot...

73
George
K3UD
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KG4YVA on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I think the argument over the code is absolutely outrageous!! Look at all the code hams on 80 meters destroying the band. I hear them using foul langue. Being rude and foul to hams thinking that they might get a new contact or make new friends on the band. Causing interference with nets and other operators. Telling other hams that the frequency is theirs. When we all know that the rules do not allow any frequency to be claimed by anyone. Then! They ID so fast you would never be able to copy it. Lie about their call or just plain do not give one. So I just wonder? How all those " No Coders " got on 80 meters and screwed it up? Seems to me instead of telling me how bad of an operator I will be because of no code. You need to clean up your own class first!! How can any code ham tell me how much I am going to ruin the HF bands when they are doing such a great job at it themselves? Oh!! And do not get me starting on the Code hams that do not return a SASE QSL card!!
KG4YVA
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by W8FAX on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Awww hail...we jes ain got THYME ta be lernin no beep beep mose code. All eye bees a wantin ta dew is TYALK ON THE RAYDEEOO, an run my leenyar. Purty soon it will be "we be gettin' our check day", an I kin pay the lectric bill. It's ma god-given rite. Even the nci sez so. Til ma just deserts arrive tho', eye jest be awaitin fer tha beep beep ta go away. Hey woman, hand me my banjer an les dew a toon fer everbody.....
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WO7T on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Blah Blah Blah Blah, aren't I great starting NCI.
Blah Blah Blah Blah, aren't I better in judging suitability of CW requirement.

As John said let's all get behind the NWTI-or No Written Test International. Afterall, if you can operate a CB radio or an FRS walkie-talkie, just
what more do you need to plug in and operate a ham
radio appliance. How rude to have prerequisites that
prevents someone with cold hard cash to spend.

Might as well start the giveaway program in this venue of our society, as well.

Something for nothing...........
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by TIMEPILOT84 on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks to the eloquent arguments of several people on this particular post, I've decide to wait and become a no-code Extra, as the tests aren't particularly difficult. My intention is purely to ruin the hobby for those who see no-code licensees as a sure sign that the sky is falling. 10-4, Over and Out, Good Buddies.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB9QEL on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I thought it was very well put what WA4LYN had said in his post. He talked about the licensing requirments yielding qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, and courteous operators. It has absolutely nothing to do with "I had to do it so you have too also". Nothing! I think, maybe, that most of the posts here about CW retention, are honestly, hams trying to retain some respect in the hobby and retain a mode that is obviously very important to radio amateur communications. I have seen the posts about the rude operators, and heard them on the bands. It is pretty wild, I can't believe it to be honest. Why do you all think this is happening? Is it possible, just possible, that as time went by and license requirements loosened up we started losing the qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, and courteous new operators? I'm not talking about someone who can build an amp, radio, or come up with a new antenna design. Just qualified, knowledgeable, experienced, and courteous. How about just courteous, the other attributes would be a bonus at this point. How do we do this? Could it be by the testing procedure? That would maybe be a starting point would it not? Hey listen guys, I want this hobby to be around for awhile longer, that is why I posted this. You all have a Merry Christmas, a great and happy New Year, ES God Bless!!

Nick
W9ZXT
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by KG6AMW on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
You guys might be good with cw, but brother, what a bunch of whiners.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by SAIL_AWAY on December 16, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
i'm so new to this that i don't have such strong feelings on one side or the other of this issue. but one thing i really don't buy is that "the flood gates" will open. will they ? i mean are there really some huge number of people out there who have just been pushing against the gates to get into HF radio ? who ? i don't know any. i mean if you cared enough to want to be in HF you'd have already learned 5wpm and done it ... i mean is there really some huge group of people out there who have struggled with the CW requirement for so long and are finally finding relief ? i just don't see it. and if the flood gates are going to open ... why haven't they ? i mean if most countries have already dropped the requirement for CW to get on HF ... where are all those people who just couldn't wait to get into HF ? have you heard from them ? are they crowding out your conversations all across the HF bands and clouding up the waters ? and it's not even like you can say oh wow yes but now that the code requirement is gone manufacturers are going to rush in and make simple little gadgets that the masses can use to ask their mates to get milk on the way home. yeah ? they do that already, it's called an HF radio, anyone can buy one, what else are they going to make that all these people can't already buy ? i just don't think CW was keeping anybody out, i mean, what kind of silly rabbit can't pass the 5wpm CW test if they wanted to.

it all just has a feeling like, i don't know .. it is hard to describe. it's like one of those little towns where the biggest auto manufacturer has just up and left, all the action is gone, it's a ghost town ... and city council is arguing over whether holding the parade in the spring instead of the summer is going to put the town back on the map. it's just sad to watch all the arguments and things about such trivial crap. meanwhile REAL THINGS are happening ... radio hasn't died, it's just changing. digital is HUGE! and there's crazy wild new stuff happening out there, linux is on fire, communities are being built and it's spreading across the world, even into tiny villages. and even the fundamentals of radio communication are being looked at, spread spectrum is old news, but with processors able to make synthetic waveforms that go directly to the amplifier and antenna there are amazing possibilities that just didn't exist 10 years ago, or even 2 years ago. what will tomorrow bring ? i'm really excited about it. and i just don't see where CW and morse code really makes a difference one way or the other, i'm watching this argument and thinking ... who cares. i say let's get rid of the CW requirement and make everybody pass a test that shows they know some kind of basic computer skills, can put down a bead of solder, can hook up a solar panel, know how to keep a deep cycle battery from going dead before it's time, etc ... something that actually matters and is relevant. i know a lot of people do CW, so let them ... i am learning it too, because i want to know. but that's because i want to.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by AK4P on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My reason for having posted this article is a simple one. Many hams have never heard of NCI or Bruce Perens. Many hams did not know that there was an organized and probably corporately sponsored effort to have Morse testing eliminated from amateur licensing. Many hams still believe that eliminating the code is just the "sign of the times". As far as I and many other amateurs are concerned, CW is the identifying feature of amateur radio. Without it, it won't be ham radio any more. It will be something else. Personally, I would rather see ham radio consigned to the dust bin of history than to see its requirements for licensing compromised any further. In his article, Mr. Perens states that the role of NCI has been an "adversarial one". My question is "why?" What war did he and NCI think they were fighting? Mr. Perens also says in his article that the new role of NCI should be one of reconciliation for the division in the amateur ranks WHICH NCI CAUSED IN THE FIRST PLACE. No, this goes beyond a simple code/no-code issue. I think it has been a calculated plan from the beginning to eliminate Morse testing from amateur radio at all costs. Again, to what purpose? Who has the most to gain? I would not be surprised to find that NCI has corporate sponsorship, perhaps by entities who want ham radio to disappear altogether. Can there be reconciliation? As long as NCI remains organized, I don't think so. Ham radio has lost its appeal and its innocence. The universal fraternity ham radio once enjoyed is gone. NCI has destroyed it.
Ham radio got along just fine when there were fewer than 300,000 amateurs in the US. Now, there are more than 650,000 licensed amateurs and the numbers are growing. Ham radio is not dying for lack of operators. Ham radio is dying a death of diffusion, a death of 1,000 cuts. The Morse code is the last test of any substance left in amateur licensing. Once it is gone, testing might as well be eliminated altogether.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K4RAF on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"there are more than 650,000 licensed amateurs and the numbers are growing."

Where are the numbers to support this statement?

We have lost ~10,000/year for the last 3 years. This will only increase when a majority of 60+'s become SKs. The average age is now around 67.

The only number that is increasing is the number of scooters. Code attitudes being what they seem to be here, I say we're doomed. In fact, I know we are considering hams' total disconnect with current technologies. We once lead, now we don't even follow...
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by VE7ALQ on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Already here in Canada Amateurs with the "Basic"
qualifications have to use "type-approved"
transmitters. This is the flip-side of dumbing
down the Amateur Radio requirements, not just
the code, but also in the theory.

When I first got my ticket in 1969, not only
did I have to know Morse Code (10 wpm) but in
exchange was allowed to build my own transmitter,
which I did from scratch out of the 1967 Radio
Amateur's Handbook, in the High School Library.

Only we Canadian Amateurs with the "Advanced"
qualification can build our own transmitters.
I hesitate to do any work on my Icom IC706mkiiG
in part because the components are so small
that they are not visible to my naked eyes(!)
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by W8JJI on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Good riddens to the cw requirement. It was the worst thing for this hobby.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K7NNG on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My final take on all this is: if they do away with
CW testing, then it only makes sense to do away with
any written testing.
But,,,the FCC should then Charge $1000.00 for a ten year license.
That's kinda like the commercial ops.
Even tho I have passed all testing and copy CW very competently, I would pay $1000. for a new license each
ten years.
Watch how fast NCI disappears.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K7VO on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I love reading the comments of the code forever crowd. Cast a few stones, call a few people names, and cling to your hazing ritual which requires newcomers to the hobby to learn an outstanding mode of communications from the 19th century... and then wonder why there aren't enough volunteers for 21st century catastrophes or why the average age at your local ham club has eclipsed 70.

Bash the newcomers, drive them from the hobby, attack the only national organization that lobbies to protect our spectrum (that's the ARRL, not NCI), throw in a few political attacks on anyone to the left of Jesse Helms... yep, that's sure going to "preserve" our hobby.

Elitism, classism, and the general divisiveness of the hobby are far more dangerous to our future than the abolition of the Morse examination, which the FCC has made very clear is in our future.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by K7VO on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
> Now, there are more than 650,000 licensed amateurs
> and the numbers are growing.

Actually the numbers have been shrinking for about two years. The number of active hams is probably less than half the number you quote. With the 10 year license people who got a license but were never active, or who dropped out (or were driven out) quickly, or some who died eight or nine years ago are still in the database as licensed amateurs.

While I don't believe dropping Morse testing will increase the numbers of new hams much at all there really is no reason in the world to maintain the test. It isn't "dumbing down". It's eliminating nonsense that is anything but required to be a good ham. You may eb happy to see ham radio in "the dustbin of history" when (not if) the Morse examination requirement is dropped, but some of us would like to continue enjoying the hobby, thankyouverymuch.

NCI isn't the problem. Attitudes like yours are.

-Caitlyn
K7VO
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by VK4DGG on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The concept of tying code requirements to Ham Radio operator behavior and capabilty to operate proficiently puzzles me. I have been a Ham since 1972, I had to learn the code. In the past 33 years of operation I have used the code about 1 hour. Back to my first statement, tying code proficiency to operator behavior and performance.It seems that some folks want to imply that not learning code will somehow encourage poor and illegal operation by new operators. My argument on that is, if you read all the notice of vilations sent out by the FCC, the vast, vast majority of them go to operators that have had there license for years, most of them longer than 10 years. This fact does not support the theory that learning code makes for better Hams.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by SAIL_AWAY on December 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
i can understand why code used to be a requirement, i mean, bomb shelters, imminent doom, etc, world war ii before that, trying to squeek a tiny signal out from russia before the wall fell, etc. and amateur radio was it, radio was IT! no internet, no cellular telephones, no 1.2ghz wi-fi, no EVDO, no satellites except for russian ones beaming down signals on you (or whatever), etc. i can see why everyone pushed cw as a requirement for being on the radio ... the radio was a popular place to be, everyone wanted to be on it, they were fighting to get on it, it was the essentially important place to be. like the internet has been for the past 10 years and more. and like something else is going to be 10 years in the future. i can see why the code requirement was there, in such an important thing as radio you just couldn't have rogue transmitters sending out a huge ugly signal, or have morons without any basic sense stomping on important communications from some far-off place, etc. but you know, that was then, this is now. true, we could end up there again, a couple of well placed mega-ton bombs could see to that and we'd be right back where we were trying to find out what's going on somewhere on the planet by tapping on a key. and it's true, not very many people will know how to do it, even ones who passed the CW test for that matter won't be able to actually communicate using CW. but we'll learn :) when that skill again becomes relevant i think oldies would be amazed just how quickly no-coders become coders, overnight i'd say. it's not like there aren't piles of books around with the code in them, it's not like keys are hard to make, or that radio's stopped supporting CW or something. my icom ic-mkiig has a spot for connecting a key.

we could get upset about a lot of things that have slipped into the shadows, i mean, my own family complains that nobody knows how to can garden produce anymore, the local cannery is closed, etc. few can grow their own wheat anymore, or if they did they wouldn't know how to harvest it, winnow it, and that kind of a thing. and yeah, we're losing CW too. but that's a bad thing ? people are very adaptable, and not altogether stupid, they can learn something when it's useful to them. is CW really necessary now ? yes, in a worst case scenario it's necessary, and it might save your life if you're stuck in some caved in mineshaft like on tv stories or something, but ... do we require everyone to learn how to build a scout pit to keep themselves warm outside in case their jetliner crashes before they can fly in one ? do we require everyone to learn how to make a fire using a piece of ice as a magnifying lense ? do you have to demonstrate some ability to jump start an engine before you can use a car ? i mean these are important, good things to know .. but they just aren't necessary for most people. yeah i'd love it if every motorist knew how to jump a car and change their oil, but the simple fact is most just don't care. it doesn't make them bad drivers, and certainly not bad people, it just means they aren't in that more elite group that is really serious about driving, but they still drive just fine, many of them (i won't say most hahaha). i don't know. like i said before i really don't have strong opinions on it, i just don't care. cw requirement is ok with me, i'll do the cw test and smile doing it. i don't have a horse in this race really. maybe after i have been on the radio as long as some of these other folks i'll have a stronger opinion.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB9OMC on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Gentlemen and Ladies of eHam - my name is Duane Mantick, Callsign WB9OMC, Amateur Extra Class license holder and licensed since 1974. I am one of the original members of NCI and also a long serving member of the NCI Board of Dirctors along with Mr. Perens et al.

In regard to Mr. Sparks' posting of the "article" by Bruce Perens, I would like to point out a couple items
that hopefully will turn down the rhetoric and flames for the benfit of eHam and everyone else.

1) If you read the text of Mr. Perens article (as quoted) carefully, you will note that it was written BEFORE WRC-03. That makes the article better than two years old, and thus, somewhat outdated. Without going back to an old hard drive on an even older computer I do not recall the specific date Mr. Perens wrote the article but I suspect that it was early 2002. That makes if over three years old and closer to four. Summation: the article itself is OLD NEWS.

2) As I recall, the article itself was an opinion expressed by Mr. Perens himself and was NOT an official position of NoCode International and therefore should NOT be construed in any way as being representative of the opinions of the Board of Directors of NoCode International *or* its membership.

3) Mr. Sparks has used this outdated and un-official article to draw some VERY erroneous conclusions about the actions and motivations of NoCode International. Mr. Sparks states "Many hams still believe that eliminating the code is just the 'sign of the times'."
Let me be absolutely clear about a VERY important point - NCI is NOT advocating "....eliminating the code....". NCI has only advocated the elimination of Morse Code TESTING. If you examine the NCI website, http://www.nocode.org, you will find that NCI's position is that Morse Code should rightfully be one of many modes available to Amateurs and that those who enjoy it and wish to be proficient at it should absolutely continue to do so, and continue to be *allowed* to do so.

4) Mr. Sparks characterization of "....division in the Amateur ranks WHICH NCI CAUSED IN THE FIRST PLACE." is also incorrect insofar as the movement to eliminate or reduce Morse *testing* is concerned. I wrote an article on the subject for CQ-VHF magazine in the July 1997 issue, page 75, entitled "A Mode of Operating Should Be a Choice, Not a Barrier". In fairness to those who argued the point before that, the discussion on the relevance of Morse testing had been going on for years before *I* became involved.
My article and publically available comments by others clearly predate the very formation of NoCode International.

5) Mr. Sparks has said that [he would not be surprised to find that] "....NCI has corporate sponsorship, perhaps by entities who want ham radio to disappear altogether." Bluntly, that is absolutely FALSE. NCI has NO connection to ANY corporation with any such agenda and would, in fact, be opposed to any organization or entity who wished to see the end of Amateur Radio. NoCode International consists of AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS et al who feel that Morse Code testing is now and has been irrelevant for some time; and further feel that as we are moving into the 21st century, Amateur Radio needs to in effect, "re-invent itself" to once again be relevant. I refer you to the FCC's rules 47 CFR 97.1 which suggest that Amateur Radio should contribute to the advancement of the radio art. If we are to do so, continued testing on the single oldest mode of Amateur communications is as irrelevant to that advancement as a requirement to be able to ride a horse is to obtaining a driver's license for a car.
While being a proficient horseman is for many an enjoyable pastime, millions of licensed car owners and drivers do just fine without having learned the equestrian arts. Summation: NCI is PRO-AMATEUR RADIO and wishes to see it flourish with a refreshed emphasis on the future, rather than being mired in the past.

Thank you for your attention.

Duane Mantick
WB9OMC
Amateur Extra Class
NCI-1003, Member of the Board of Directors

 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by AK4P on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WB9OMC:

Thank you for your input. I do appreciate the time you made to clear up a few facts. However, comparing horsemanship to automobile licensing is like comparing apples to oranges. The fact is that eliminating Morse testing from amateur licensing represents the lowering of standards. The amateur service has lowered its standards time and again until the point where anyone can read the question pool online, take the exam and get a license. Imagine getting a driver's license without taking a driving test (perhaps that has changed, too, judging from some of the drivers one sees nowadays). My argument is that Morse code exam is the only substantial, applicable test available to the amateur service. There has been too much name calling and rhetoric over this issue already. Clearly, people have differing ideas when it comes to keeping or eliminating Morse testing. What would NCI offer prospective licensees to do as an alternative? Anything? Perhaps we should just dispense with license testing altogether. You have to know that some people are going to disagree with NCI and its goals. Right up to the end. It doesn't matter how old it is the article I posted. It is still news to those who never realized that NCI is trying to fundamentally change the amateur service for what many believe is the worst. AK4P
 
No-Code_Int'l...what does it mean?  
by N4QA on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
'No-Code International'.
Is the name of the organization a mistake?
Did 'they' mean for its name to be No-Code Testing- International?

How much longer will NCI sympathizers wait for FCC to eliminate Morse testing...one year? Ten years? Forever? Such a gargantuan waste of time and energy!

Spend a few hours and learn the code!

Advocate for more stringent testing at all levels.
Become proficient at operating all extant and future modes!
Strive for excellence!
You can do it!
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by W5SSG on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hello all, I would like to say if you don't like what's going on, become a Politician. Then you will have a vote to change it. Why is everyone so upset at our goverment is doing? Morse Code will always be here, but getting bent out of shape does no one any good at all. Have we not beat this dead horse to death? Turn on your radio pick your favorite freq and call CQ and when a DX station answers you ,you will feel better!

Love live Ham Radio
Jim
W5SSG




 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by AK4P on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WB9OMC:

As far as corporate sponsorship of NCI, someone has paid for the webpages, the campaigns, etc. Perhaps these have been paid largely from private donations, but if the W5YI group paid into the sponsorship of NCI using monies gained from amateur licensing, then that is something I would consider to be corporate sponsorship. Perhaps there are others. I would like to see a list or a statement of contributors to NCI. It is a fundamental right to request this information.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N5EAT on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
> Now, there are more than 650,000 licensed amateurs
> and the numbers are growing

When I became licensed in 1984, there were several dozen repeaters in this area, 90 percent of them active on an almost continuous basis. Since the easing of requirements to "stem the tide of amateurs leaving the hobby" most of the repeaters do nothing but ID themselves every ten minutes.

For some reason, mixing computer technology with amateur radio has destroyed the hobby. CW is a very involving activity. It's sometimes difficult. But it generally requires human control. I know many amateurs who have setup elaborate packet/aprs systems who feel they are highly involved in this hobby. In fact, what they've done is camp on a frequency with a beacon machine. If it weren't for contests and the odd emergency need for operators, the hobby would actually BE dead.

Why did we feel the need to save a hobby which was flourishing 15 years ago? What we've actually done with every concession to testing and the encouragement of the mixing of computer technology into our midst is to have destroyed our hobby. If you can't see that you're blind and not listening. I know for a fact you aren't on a repeater talking.

If you take something profound, like mathematics, and mix it with something rinky-dink, like 'the Internet', you end up with something profoundly rinky-dink. That's exactly what we've done with amateur radio.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by AK4P on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This is courtesy of K3UD and QRZ.com. Thanks!

I need to apologize for an error in last months numbers. The failure to update a working spreadsheet caused the monthly loss in July to be over stated. I have used the June numbers to be measured against the August numbers to normalize the data. As such, the differences in the bottom line numbers are the result of a 2 month comparison rather than a 1 month comparison.

I am sorry for the error.


Total number of USA Licensed Amateurs by Class

As of May 14, 2000:

Novice - 49,329
Tech/+ - 334,254
General - 112,677
Advanced - 99,782
Extra - 78,750

Total all classes - 674,792

As of August 31, 2005

Novice - 27,781 (-43.71%) (-21,548)
Tech/+ - 317,661 (-5.02%) (-16,794)
General - 135,970 (+20.67%) (+23,293)
Advanced - 75,293 (-24.55%) (-24,489)
Extra - 107,005 (+35.74%) (+28,255)

Total All Classes - 663,710 (-1,195 since the June reporting period)## (see top of post)

Total all classes (5/14/00) - 674,792
Total all Classes (4/21/03) - 687,860
Total all classes (9/6/04 ) - 674,788
Total all classes (7/31/05) - 663,710

Total loss of 11,082 since 5/14/2000 (Was 674,792)
Total loss of 11,078 since 9/6/2004 (Was 674,788)
Total Loss of 25,015 since 4/2003 (all time high of 687,860)

We Lost
370 Novice
465 General
519 Advanced

We Gained
6 Tech/+
154 Extra

This is an overall 1,195 loss since the June reporting period## (see top of post)

For the Month of August, 2005 there were 1,916 new licenses issued by the FCC.

1,722 Tech/+ (89.9%)
155 General (8.1%)
39 Extra (2.0%)

This is an increase of 36.9% from the total (2041) issued in July
These numbers come from the very interesting and comprehensive website of Joe Speroni, AH0A
http://www.ah0a.org


Numbers of US population and the number of hams at the start of each decade from 1930.

Year Population # Hams Growth Rate

1930 123,202,624 19,000
1940 132,164,569 56,000 194%
1950 151,325,798 87,000 55%
1960 179,323,175 230,000 164%
1970 203,211,926 263,918 15%
1980 226,545,805 393,353 49%
1990 248,709,873 502,677 28%
2000 281,421,906 682,240 36%
2005 663,710 -2.72%

The 2005 number was as of August 31, 2005.


Notes,
* We had a gain in the amount of Tech/+ and Extra which breaks the 13 reporting period string of Extra only increases.

The base totals are from implementation of the then new licensing changes in May 2000. September 6, 2004 is the date I started measuring the changes. The peak number was in April 2003.


73
George
K3UD

Edited by K3UD on Sep. 07 2005,17:10

--------------
K3UD (EX-WA3DNC - W3GEO)
(EX- Novice - Tech - General - Advanced)
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N3EVL on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N5EAT: "...For some reason, mixing computer technology with amateur radio has destroyed the hobby..."

This is the most absurd statement I've heard in a long time! Perhaps you would prefer that amateur radio was devoid of any computer-related technology? That would indeed be the death knell for the hobby by isolating us in some kind of backwater that has no relevance to real-world communications developments. I entered into ham radio precisely because of its technological connections both past, present, and future and, like it or not, that present & future must embrace state-of-the art developments or wither on the vine. There is much that is positive and relevant in the marriage of computers and radio communications with respect to ham radio, and none of these developments prevent you from enjoying aspects that relate to older technologies but to reject these new developments is contrary to the very nature of the hobby.
 
Why keep the written test  
by NE0P on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have yet to see anyone present a reason for keeping the written test. After all, it is a barrier to people becoming hams. You have to learn outdated material (electronic theory and such) where many hams have no desire to homebrew or repair their equipment. You are required to learn about propagation factors that you may never use. If I only want to operate on 432 SSB, why do I need to learn about Eskip and F2 propagation?

If our goal is to get as many hams as possible, we should just issue a license to whoever wants one. That will eliminate all elitism, divisiveness, and barriers.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NE0P: - Sarcasm aside, your implication appears to be that elimination of a code test requirement and elimination of written exams are somehow equivalent. This is a gross oversimplification and generalization and a view to which I do not subscribe. Perhaps you hold the view that the testing requirements as laid out at some arbitrary point in time in the past (and the material they include: theory & code) are somehow sacrosanct and there is never a valid basis for change? In light of change all around us, such a view is, IMHO, illogical.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by A1A on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
LEARN THE 5WPM and STOP WHINING... Claiming that code testing is killing Amateur radio is BS. After the code is gone, there will be a NTI (No Theory International) If learning code is a turn off from getting your license then apparently your not a good canidate for Amateur Radio. And if you don't like my attitude IMHO I don't give a Hoot....
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB9OMC on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I would not call eliminating Morse Code testing a "lowering" of standards - I would call it a "changing" of standards. It simply reflects reality, to wit, that we are not utterly reliant upon a demonstrated knowledge of Morse Code anymore. Let those who WISH to use Morse Code use it, and those who do NOT be free of it - they have other modes to choose from.

NCI will probably not offer anything regarding the written exams, because NCI was created with only one goal in mind - elimination of the Morse Code Exam. It remains to be seen if any of us will try and organize for written exam reform. I personally am all for it.

Those of us who have been involved with NCI from the beginning always knew that some people would be opposed to what we were/are doing. That's fine.

But it does matter that you chose such an outdated article from ONE member of the NCI Board and further, one that was his personal opinion and NOT that of the Board or overall membership of NCI - by presenting it in the manner that you did, it gave the appearance of being "official" and it is definitely NOT.

As for those who did not or do not know that NCI exists and/or what the goal of the organization is, all I can say is that we have had a web site in place for a long time. Many of us have published articles in a variety of forums. It has been discussed both here on eHam as well as QRZ.com. I have heard it discussed on the air. It has been the subject of both FCC and international action. Those who missed it.....well, we have made as much outreach as we can afford as time went by. I think you'd have to never log on to websites, never read an Amateur magazine, never listen to rag chews, never talk to fellow local hams and pay no attention to FCC rule changes to NOT know that the Morse Testing was the subject of both change and intended change.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB9OMC on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
To the best of my knowledge, the "W5YI Group, INC", has not put one red cent into NCI. W5YI, Fred Maia himself on the other hand, has. There is no connection between the two in this regard that I am aware of.

I am not aware of any obligation that NCI is under to provide any individual with a financial statement of any kind. However, if you feel strongly about it, I suggest you go to the NCI website and find the link to send an email to our Executive Director and ask him for one. He can decide this issue since it is the Executive Director who is in charge of the money side of NCI. He may also bring it back to the rest of the Board for a vote.

NCI has attempted to maintain an objective distance from such connections, and in fact many publications and organizations have maintained an objective distance from NCI precisely to prevent a conflict of interest. By doing so, those organizations and publications are able to report on these issues honestly and factually.

The link between Fred Maia, holder of callsign W5YI, and NCI or for that matter his work with CQ Magazine, Quarter Century Wireless Association and others is no secret.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by NL7W on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Quickly becoming a watered-down hobby...

Part of my response to NPRM 05-235: "This no-code NPRM's poor reasoning for such drastic testing changes will weaken the ham radio. I, and roughly have the hams in our country, continue to have valid and grave concerns about the gradual reduction or elimination of service testing standards over the last 10 to 15 years. Any further reduction or elimination of existing license testing requirements will dramatically lower the standard of operator, and thus, violate part (d) of Part 97.1. Therefore, the removal of the only remaining demonstrated skill (CW) as a requirement can only truly be debated within the context of a comprehensive review and rewrite of testing procedures - overall (which the NPRM said it addressed, but did not). And, since this NPRM's body of proposed changes doesn't include a rebalanced skills, knowledge, and comprehension requirements suite, such an "overall" review is not being proposed or entertained as part of this NPRM proposal; this rulemaking proposal should be REJECTED or MODIFIED."

The FCC is in the process of removing the only demonstrated skill left in order to earn an HF capable license. The FCC, and groups like NCI, are killing this technical hobby - the hobby that helped me, and many others, choose the telecommunications career path. Amateur Radio is going the way of GMRS, CB, FRS, and other services - we are no longer unique.

My fellow eighties high-school friend, Professor John Geiger, NE0P, has it right. Next, will come those pushing for the sign-your-name-on-the-dotted-line exam, essentially "no written test international" or NWTI.

Pray tell me, where does it stop?

NL7W
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N5EAT on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"This is the most absurd statement I've heard in a long time! Perhaps you would prefer that amateur radio was devoid of any computer-related technology? That would indeed be the death knell for the hobby by isolating us in some kind of backwater that has no relevance to real-world communications"

You are correct. I wish amateur radio was devoid of most computer related devices other than the graphical representation of a radio control head and
programming software. Those are excellent mergings of computer and radio. However, I have seen zero benefit from packet, APRS, and much of computer translated and forwarded data. Radio, as a stand alone entity is STILL as relevent as it was prior to computers. Computers impede most communications and the development of communications skills. In a real communications test, most computers are just in the way. I do use logging software, but I don't use it to key my rig. I did that for a while and my radio skills atrophied.

Hell, I can connect my toaster to my computer. I can add my toaster to a multi user network. People all over the world may command that toast be made, but only I can eat it. Just because something can be done does not mean it needs to be done. Hams should be getting on the air or building antennas or something core to radio communications. (yes, you can go to radio shack and purchase a wireless do-dad to connect appliances to your network).

When packet was all the rage, I'd sometimes try to engage persons in communications. Every now and then,
i'd find someone to chat with. Usually, I'd be asked to keep my chatting to a minimum so as to not impede the "critical" message forwarding functions going on (ie; sending crap to every packet station in the world). I stand by my assessment that computers are destroying amateur radio.
 
No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by NE0P on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
to NL7W, thanks Steve for the kind words, and I couldn't have worded your response to the FCC any better.

Remember, there is already code-testing free HF, it is called Citizen's band.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by NE0P on December 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
To N3EVL: I do hold that the code test and the theory test are equilivant in their impact. Let's take a look at the arguments for eliminating the code test, and see how they apply to the written test.

1. The code test is a barrier for people becoming hams-actually the written test is MORE of a barrier for people becoming hams. No one licensed after 1991 was required to learn morse code to become a ham. Yet they all had to pass a written test. I have seen several younger persons at VE sessions fail the written test and then just give up on becoming a ham.

2. Morse code is just another mode, we don't test people on SSB, digital, etc-yes, and electronic theory is just another set of knowledge. We don't test people on geography. In HF operating, knowing the general location of Pakistan and the beam heading for it is probably more useful than knowing what a resistor or capacitor does.

3. Listen to 75 meters, see the code test doesn't serve as a filter for bad operators-and people operating in the general portion of the band have passed only 1 code test, but 2 written tests. If they are in the extra portion, they have passed 1 code test but 3 written tests. If the code test isn't a filter to eliminate bad operators, the written test is an even worse filter to eliminate them.

4. Knowing morse code doesn't make you a better operator-OK, and knowing the schematic symbol for a NPN transistor also doesn't make you a better operator.

5. Morse code use won't go away if we eliminate the code test-and interest in homebrewing and studying propagation won't go away if we eliminate the written test.

6. People who want to keep the code test have the "I had to do it, so you do to" mentality-the same can be said for those who want to keep the written test. It is just another form of hazing also.

Remember, the code test isn't keeping anyone out of ham radio, because it hasn't been required for the technician license for almost 15 years now. If you want to look at what is keeping people out of ham radio, look at the written test. That is the barrier that exists.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by N3EVL on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N5EAT: "...Computers impede most communications and the development of communications skills. In a real communications test, most computers are just in the way. I do use logging software, but I don't use it to key my rig. I did that for a while and my radio skills atrophied..."

I guess I take a broader view of the marriage between computers and radio - whether it's the microprocessor inside your 'conventional' rig or the PC on the desk next to your rig or the PC on the desk that IS your rig (see flex-radio and related software-defined-radio developments). Yes you can argue the pros and cons of certain computer/radio interractions as they relate to the hobby and granted, all of them are not everybody's cup of tea. Far from "impeding" commmunications (as in the communications art in general), computers are an integral part of communications.

 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NE0P:

Yes, the two might be considered equivalent in the sense that they are both tests that need to be passed in order to achieve the desired goal.

Regardless of one's views on the code/nocode issue or the licensing structure as it currently exists, I think the majority of hams are in agreement that some kind of entry requirement is necessary in order to ensure that radio equipment in the hands of an indiviadual will be operated safely, considerately, within the rules and regulations, and with a reasonable degree of technical competence. If you have a better way (than some form of testtin) of demonstrating all that all of these conditions are met, then please suggest it.

It might be hoped that anyone desirous of entering the hobby would recognize the inherent value in self-education in these areas and view this as an enjoyable experience as opposed to a hurdle to be overcome - indeed most hams recognize that the learning part is ongoing regardless of license level achieved. Soneone who doesn't buy into this is in the wrong hobby (IMHO).

My point was that we should have an open mind regarding what it is we actually test for and be prepared on occasion to modify that set of requirements in light of changes in technology and so on. This is normal evolution of/within the hobby. However, the occasional modifying or dropping of a requirement is certainly not the same as dropping all requirements as you seem to imply.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by NE0P on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N3EVL wrote: "Regardless of one's views on the code/nocode issue or the licensing structure as it currently exists, I think the majority of hams are in agreement that some kind of entry requirement is necessary in order to ensure that radio equipment in the hands of an indiviadual will be operated safely, considerately, within the rules and regulations, and with a reasonable degree of technical competence."

But how does testing on electronic theory, Boolean algebra (that was on my extra exam), or propagation insure those things any more than testing on CW receiving? Shouldn't we also drop those things, and only test on rules and regulations? Or even more specifically, the person beforehand would specify what bands and modes they plan to operate on, and we would then have to only test them on rules related to those specific bands and modes. This would then eliminate the cry of "Why am I forced to learn someething I will never use."
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by NE0P on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
It was written:
"I think the majority of hams are in agreement that some kind of entry requirement is necessary in order to ensure that radio equipment in the hands of an indiviadual will be operated safely, considerately, within the rules and regulations, and with a reasonable degree of technical competence"

I thought that the goal was to get as many hams as possible, and to remove any barrier that prevents one from becoming a ham. If we don't we will lose out to BPL and others who want our spectrum. At least that is the argument that keeps being put forward by those who want to eliminate the code test.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N5EAT on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I'm of course not referring to any of the microprocessors inside radio equipment, nor any of the software in a software defined radio. I really have no problem with packet nor aprs nor any of the computer/radio interface programs available. The problem seems to be that once someone has hooked a rig to a computer - it's promptly set on auto and left to do what it pleases. It completely removes the interaction between person and radio - the essential link for meaningful communications. I was a huge advocate of packet until it dawned on me that
there were very few people on packet. There were lots of unattended machines on packet.

It's just been my (i think real) observation that computers generally reduce involvement between human and radio - which leads to empty, wasted spectrum.

If packet worked - we'd be having this conversation on the AIR - and not computer based internet only.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by AK4P on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
RE: WB9OMC:

"But it does matter that you chose such an outdated article from ONE member of the NCI Board and further, one that was his personal opinion and NOT that of the Board or overall membership of NCI - by presenting it in the manner that you did, it gave the appearance of being "official" and it is definitely NOT. "


My apologies. However, the article in this post was a.) in the public domain (the internet), b.) encouraged to be passed to other interested amateurs by Mr. Perens himself, and c.) did not feature the official emblems or logos of NCI. Mostly, it was old news, and I do apologize that it isn't more timely. At the time of its writing however, Mr. Perens was an official (the founder) of NCI and said so. So it could be construed that the comments of Mr. Perens at that time represented and continues to represent the goals and interests of No-Code International.

"I would not call eliminating Morse Code testing a "lowering" of standards - I would call it a "changing" of standards. "

Standards are constructs of personal conviction, much like the constructs of morals and values. To say that the elimination of Morse code testing represents a changing of standards in the amateur service rather than lowering them, means that NCI expects about half of the amateur population to willingly change their constructs of personal conviction. Personally, I would not accept someone attempting to change my moral behavior, my values or my standards. Further, by NCI's promoting such a change in standards in the amateur service, one can expect a change in the values and morals of the amateur service to follow. I think there is already evidence of this change. For every newly- licensed person who is knowlegdable, competent and who really has interest in ham radio, dozens will be becoming licensed who have no real interest in ham radio, the FCC, the FCC rules or courteous operating practices. There will be bedlam - roger beeps on 20 meters, the whole gamut. It has already begun and will get worse. I am asking myself why I ever bothered to get licensed, become a VE and stay with it this long. But my license is up for renewal next year; maybe not this time.

 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NE0P: "...But how does testing on electronic theory, Boolean algebra (that was on my extra exam), or propagation insure those things any more than testing on CW receiving? Shouldn't we also drop those things, and only test on rules and regulations? Or even more specifically, the person beforehand would specify what bands and modes they plan to operate on, and we would then have to only test them on rules related to those specific bands and modes. This would then eliminate the cry of "Why am I forced to learn someething I will never use..."

I think there is a valid expectation that radio equipment will be operated by someone who has demonstrated some basic comprehension of the underlying theory of its operation - combined with a demonstrated understanding of the rules and regs, that knowledge (one would hope) would possibly prevent inadvertent QRM and/or unsafe procedures around high voltages (for example).

Speaking for myself, I have never bought into the argument of "Why am I forced to learn something I will never use..." either in general or as a reason to amend the testing with respect to code - again, IMHO, there are valid reasons to eliminate code testing that have nothing to do with this particular 'argument' and there are valid reasons for retaining aspects of our test scheme even if the aspiring ham thinks he/she might never use them.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N5EAT: "...It's just been my (i think real) observation that computers generally reduce involvement between human and radio - which leads to empty, wasted spectrum.

If packet worked - we'd be having this conversation on the AIR - and not computer based internet only..."


I think perhaps that I agree if we restrict the discussion to modes that eliminate or drastically reduce the human component from ham radio - although there are precedents (I think) that show that these modes, as applied to emergency comms can have value. I would not fault anyone for venturing down such a road to experiment and see 'what if'. I think we must be careful though in making broad statements: the software defined radio case is a fine example of good things that can come from blending of technologies shows that hams can combine such apparentlty diverse areas as HF radio design and software development and be at least close to the cutting edge.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by NE0P on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
To N3EVL: And what are the valid reasons for eliminating the code test? And if we believe that people should demonstrate some basic understanding of how a radio works before they operate on it, which is wrong with having people demonstrate that they are capable of using every mode on their radio before they operate it?
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by NL7W on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AK4P:

Carefully read my previous post, then respond to it - point for point.

Nuff said...

73 and Merry Christmas!
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NE0P: "...And what are the valid reasons for eliminating the code test?..."

Simply a readjustment or shift of priorities that reflects the relative importance of that mode now compared to its importance in the past. While I would encourage newcomers to learn and use and enjoy it I don't think it merits continuation as a requirement.

NE0P: "...And if we believe that people should demonstrate some basic understanding of how a radio works before they operate on it, which is wrong with having people demonstrate that they are capable of using every mode on their radio before they operate it?..."

If you mean that a "basic" knowledge should include some understanding of all (or most) of the commonly used modes then that is ok. It depends on where you draw the line on "basic." If you mean demonstrate as in "hands on" then that would seem somewhat impractical to administer. The goal, as we discussed earlier, I think, is to address those basic requirements mentioned, not to produce ham radio equivalents of EE graduates just so they can get on the air: that deeper knowledge can be acquired later 'on the job' (as can knowledge of CW).

 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by NL7W on December 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N3EVL:

"This no-code NPRM's poor reasoning for such drastic testing changes will weaken the ham radio. I, and roughly have the hams in our country, continue to have valid and grave concerns about the gradual reduction or elimination of service testing standards over the last 10 to 15 years. Any further reduction or elimination of existing license testing requirements will dramatically lower the standard of operator, and thus, violate part (d) of Part 97.1. Therefore, the removal of the only remaining demonstrated skill (CW) as a requirement can only truly be debated within the context of a comprehensive review and rewrite of testing procedures - overall (which the NPRM said it addressed, but did not). And, since this NPRM's body of proposed changes doesn't include a rebalanced skills, knowledge, and comprehension requirements suite, such an "overall" review is not being proposed or entertained as part of this NPRM proposal; this rulemaking proposal should be REJECTED or MODIFIED."

The FCC is in the process of removing the only demonstrated skill remaining in order to earn an HF capable license. In their infinite wisdom, the FCC and groups like NCI, are killing this wonderful hobby - the hobby that helped me, and many others, choose a career in telecommunications. Over the years, many of us enthusiastically tackled the challenges of the earlier Morse code and written exams. In effect, I believe the challenges were put there for "type A" folks (like myself) to tackle and overcome. They were there for young and old alike to tackle and master, a standards goal that made one feel a sense of accomplishment - part of a worldwide group that understood and demonstrated basic communications capabilities via short waves.

Gone will be this basic, demonstrated communications capability - this intrinsic value that bound us together for 100 years. Gone will be the basic operational and electronic communications building block that all HF hams progressed through and experienced. In essence, Amateur Radio is quickly becoming just another radio service the FCC cares little about. With the removal of this unique demonstrated skill, Morse code, we (HF licensed hams) will no longer be considered special - bound by an intriguing ability.

So what will be left? The HF operators' basic building block will be gone... so who knows? Obviously, we will become more fractionalized, less cohesive, and antisocial. This is already happening within ham radio; it will only continue to get worse as time progresses.

I suppose the lessening of standards and traditions is a sign of the times. I, for one, am thankful for ham radio's earlier Morse code challenges, and especially for those upstanding Elmers who helped mentor me 20 to 25 years ago. Their character molding influences were of immense help.

Now that the Morse code or CW requirement will be ending, I sincerely hope some future character-building "standard glue" revolving around basic RF communications can be found. Just remember that the RF world is and always will be ANALOG. Electronics' building blocks are ANALOG, and that the digital world, to include information technology (IT) and Internet protocol (IP), are just mere extensions of these blocks.

This comes from someone who is actively managing, developing, and pushing (for the federal government) viable public safety land mobile radio VoIP linking capabilities utilizing IP over satellite systems and the Internet for transport. I guess what I am trying to say is, "I am not out-of-touch" and am not an old fart - but I have been around awhile.

73.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 23, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NL7W: Thanks for the interesting and insightful feedback. I think we can agree that the whole issue of testing requirements & standards is worthy of debate and there are no easy answers.

You commented: "...Just remember that the RF world is and always will be ANALOG. Electronics' building blocks are ANALOG, and that the digital world, to include information technology (IT) and Internet protocol (IP), are just mere extensions of these blocks..."

I think some might disagree - if I have a radio that does all the signal processing including Demod (AM, SSB, FM, Digital modes), and AGC, etc inside my PC, and I make modifications using an editor and compiler, I'd say these were decidedly non-analog building blocks!

73, Pete, N3EVL
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by WA4DOU on December 23, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Whether or not one operated with cw was never a concern or consideration in amateur radio until a faction showed up which opposed the learning of morse code as a licensing consideration. These were the forces of division. These are the forces that today you can thank for the fracturing of amateur radio and these are the same forces that will continue to foment dissent in a myriad of ways in the future. The written test will be their next frontier.
 
RE: Why keep the written test  
by N3EVL on December 23, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WA4DOU: "...Whether or not one operated with cw was never a concern or consideration in amateur radio until a faction showed up which opposed the learning of morse code as a licensing consideration..."

Whether or not one operates with CW in the future continues NOT to be a consideration in the debate on CW as a licensing consideration. I, and others I have discussed this with operate CW because we like it and will continue to do so. I contend that there are many that are unopposed or at least ambivalent to the removal of the CW requirement and do not belong to any "faction."

WA4DOU: "... These were the forces of division. These are the forces that today you can thank for the fracturing of amateur radio..."

How so is the hobby fractured? While there are many examples of bad operating etc in evidence on the air (where it counts), I think the fracturing of which you speak is mostly evident here (on internet forums). Similarly, these forces of division to which you allude - are they representative of the global ham community or just the US? The decision to drop the code requirement for HF was an ammendment to an international treaty. Was this decision driven by a faction? Do these "factions" exist elsewhere? IMHO, these factions are mostly a vocal minority that appears more numerous than they actually are given internet forums such as this.


WA4DOU: "...and these are the same forces that will continue to foment dissent in a myriad of ways in the future The written test will be their next frontier..."

If this proves to be the case, there is no reason to assume that those that did not oppose removal of the CW requirement will automatically be in favor of whatever else might be the "next frontier." I would give the ham community a bit more credit to evaluate these future issues sensibly on a case-by-case basis.
 
RE: No-Code International Waged 'Battle':  
by WB9OMC on December 27, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
In response to AK4P who wrote:


My apologies. However, the article in this post was a.) in the public domain (the internet),

>>>>>Which means nothing as far as being "official NCI documentation" - if it had been that it would have been on the NCI page. All being in the public domain really means is that Mr. Perens elected to post it without official support from NCI.

b.) encouraged to be passed to other interested amateurs by Mr. Perens himself,

>>>>>Which means nothing as far as being "official NCI documentation" - Mr. Perens is entitled to post his own opinions and it is unfortunate that he made them look like they reflected something official from NCI. Those documents reflected ONLY what Mr. Perens was thinking at the time.

and c.) did not feature the official emblems or logos of NCI.

>>>>>I'd call that a very strong hint. :-)

Mostly, it was old news, and I do apologize that it isn't more timely. At the time of its writing however, Mr. Perens was an official (the founder) of NCI and said so. So it could be construed that the comments of Mr. Perens at that time represented and continues to represent the goals and interests of No-Code International.

>>>>>I think I have stated before and I will state again that the document does NOT and DID NOT AT THE TIME represent anything but Mr. Perens opinions. You can construe anything you want any way you want but THAT document WAS NOT THEN, NEVER HAS BEEN and IS NOT NOW an official NCI document; does NOT have the NCI Board of Directors signatures attached to it; and has not then or since in any way been acted upon by the NCI Board as anything other than Mr. Perens opinion.

>>>>>In short, you are kicking a dead horse - NCI will NOT claim the document or the opinions therein as official or in any way representative of the NCI Board of Directors.

>>>>>I wrote:

"I would not call eliminating Morse Code testing a "lowering" of standards - I would call it a "changing" of standards. "

AK4P wrote:

Standards are constructs of personal conviction, much like the constructs of morals and values. To say that the elimination of Morse code testing represents a changing of standards in the amateur service rather than lowering them, means that NCI expects about half of the amateur population to willingly change their constructs of personal conviction.

>>>>>I can say this for myself, although I *suspect* that most of the NCI board would agree: quite the contrary. We do NOT "EXPECT" people with such strong personal convictions about Morse Testing to change their minds just because we allegedly "say they should". We "EXPECT" that they will NOT give up those convictions and NCI isn't even aiming its message at those folks.

Personally, I would not accept someone attempting to change my moral behavior, my values or my standards. Further, by NCI's promoting such a change in standards in the amateur service, one can expect a change in the values and morals of the amateur service to follow.

>>>>>My opinion is that you make the argument sound too much like a combination of the Holy Bible, the Koran and the Torah (my apologies for any misspellings). Certainly, there WILL be changes. One of my personal hopes and goals is that what NCI has been and continues to do will have the side benefit of encouraging and creating a whole new generation of "Amateur Activists". These will be people who will NOT stick their heads in the sand, but rather will band TOGETHER to help support and GROW the hobby again rather than let it stagnate the way it had been.

>>>>>IMHO, the world will not come crashing to a biblical end just because Amateur Radio climbs out of the middle 20th century and into the 21st.

I think there is already evidence of this change. For every newly- licensed person who is knowlegdable, competent and who really has interest in ham radio, dozens will be becoming licensed who have no real interest in ham radio, the FCC, the FCC rules or courteous operating practices. There will be bedlam - roger beeps on 20 meters, the whole gamut. It has already begun and will get worse.

>>>>>None of this sort of bad behavior is anything new. There have been crappy hams since LONG before NCI ever came into existance and LONG before the movement to end Morse Testing ever took root. The term "lid" did NOT start with NCI or with the broader movement, but was already an old term back when I first licensed in 1974.

>>>>>I will point out to you that clear back to when Morse was the ONLY mode, there are records of maritime operators giving each other a hard time, and not in some gentlemanly spirit, either. Why did the FCC take some of the early actions in Amateur Radio that they did? Because early Amateurs were creating interference to other wireless services and needed to be regulated just as those commercial services did. Obviously, the knowledge of Morse Code didn't prevent those problems. It didn't guarantee that operators would be gentlemen and ladies in either the Amateur Service *OR* the commercial services. Never has, never will.

Duane
WB9OMC
 
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